The Last Testament (Vol 2) ~ 25

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event type interview
date & time 15 Sep 1985 pm
location Sanai Grove, Rajneeshpuram
language English
audio Available, duration 1h 38min. Quality: good.
Live music after the interview.
online audio
video Available, duration 1h 40min. Quality: good.
online video
see also
online text find the PDF of this discourse
shorttitle LAST225
Published in book form in The Man of Truth, ch.12 (in 2008).
Interview. Announcements by Ma Prem Hasya : Tom Greening from Humanistic Psychology (inaudible)
CD-ROM on this chapter: Interview with Tom Greening, Humanistic Psychology Magazine, Los Angeles, California.
Question 1
Thank you for this opportunity. I've enjoyed the Ranch and the people today, and your discourse this morning. You see before you ,perhaps, a blue soap bubble.
Preparing to talk with you, I thought perhaps I should read some of your books again or do some studying; instead the new New Yorker magazine came and I thought no, I'd really rather look at cartoons and uh... going through there I came across one by George price. I'll give it to you.
Is that your twin brother in that picture?
Question 2
For the audience, I think the cartoon says, the man is saying to his wife, "Yes, it's true. There's no bottom to my bag of tricks."
Well, it's an auspicious day, what with our discourse this morning about power and Sheela. I've been involved in many organizations, none of them as fascinating to me or as complex and as perhaps full of heart and love as this ranch. I've been in group practice, the same group of people for twenty-seven years where we try to deal with power and equality and creativity, with some success -- we've survived. I've been in a family, I've been involved with growth centers -- Esalen somewhat in its early years and others -- and still retained that perhaps naive concept of democracy of this distribution of power, checks and balances, internal corrective processes, to prevent power from being focussed, captured for too long by any one person or group of people.
What's happening in the Ranch and the consciousness that would in the future perhaps more rapidly deal with non-productive power consolidation, that would more rapidly confront the overconcentration of power or the misuse of power, the processes within the people themselves that would correct that before an individual left the Ranch or before you had to intervene?
Question 3
What prevented the sannyasins on their own from dealing with that earlier?
Question 4
But meanwhile they are living in a political world that can harm them and so they must become political and....
Question 5
There was a leadership vacuum and....
... She filled it. And that always happens when there's a vacuum: someone will fill it. It's simple.
Question 6
The day will come when you will stop speaking again -- will your sannyasins then have moved spiritually, politically, whatever way, to where they can handle that kind of problem?
Question 7
Or they may hear you speaking even after death....
Question 8
Were you... But people do that, we know they do that. Were you surprised?
Question 9
I guess my hope is that by knowing that people will do any stupid, ego-oriented, power trip or paranoid trip that then we can sometimes design strategies in advance to prevent that from happening.
Question 10
Decentralization of power is one way -- others ways of?
Question 11
I assume that the rotation of role does not include yourself?
Question 12
Who will make the appointments though, of the new leaders that are to be rotated?
Question 13
And you feel that they are now sufficiently enlightened or self-empowered that they can make their own wise decisions?....
Question 14
Without being too swayed by your recommendations or opinions?
Question 15
But yesterday they were not strong enough to remove Sheela -- tomorrow they will be strong enough?
Question 16
Someone, perhaps it was ezra pound, once defined a slave as someone who waits for someone else to set them free, and that sounds a little bit like the sannyasins had to wait for you to grant them the authority, permission, to exercise more self-governing power.
Question 17
This did not surprise you?
Question 18
And part of your awareness was the thought, "Hmm, perhaps Sheela might want to poison them?"
Question 19
We could look at this event in terms of what some people call systems theory and ask in what way is Sheela a product of all of us, how are we all -- including yourself... responsible for Sheela?
Question 20
And my sadness also and my concern is that we never seem to learn fast enough to anticipate and heal the paranoia or power drives that are everywhere and so when someone as yourself tries to come into the world with love or creativity, then throughout history it bumps up against....
Question 21
How will your message and your practical strategy in the world be more durable, more wise?
Question 22
Only you have security forces to preserve a little bit longer the future.
Question 23
In a related way I have... also feel some concern or sadness about the relationship between your people and the people of Oregon, and wish that there be a process there also that could be healing or de-escalating -- do you see that happening?
Question 24
Well, we're not talking about conversion; we're just talking about some live and let live.
Question 25
But you know we're talking about more than land-use; we're talking about attached, vulnerable egos. And I'm hoping that there might be some new strategies that you would have, perhaps with Sheela gone, that would deal with those in some new ways.
Question 26
Well, it does occupy a lot of time and energy and money....
Question 27
... Wouldn't they rather be laughing than doing law though?
Question 28
That appeals to me, that strategy appeals to me more than the name-calling.
Question 29
Well, but it stirs up needless opposition sometimes.
Question 30
And again you were not surprised at how much opposition and paranoia you ran into in oregon?
Question 31
But you know what you can do. You can shake their world apart.
Question 32
No intentional hostility, but you constitute a threat to their attached egos.
Question 33
In addition to the creative and effective use of the constitutional law and of the media, I guess I'm wanting to hear more about -- not weakness or compromise -- but more about some compassion and love for those people who are having trouble adjusting to the change.
Question 34
Do they know that? Do they feel that?
Question 35
What are some, perhaps... there's so many ways of loving; are there perhaps some new forms of love that the community might extend outward?
Question 36
Well... That might be to much: perhaps another way!
Question 37
How did you learn that?
Question 38
Well.... Calling them chickens or stupid or third-rate politicians -- which they may be -- I'm not sure that helps... Maybe nothing helps.
Question 39
Well, but you, you won your point there: Why call the man a buffoon? Why not let him be? You got what you wanted -- why rub it in?
Question 40
You also, of course, are depending on their being first-rate politicians and judges who will follow the Constitution, and fortunately there are such people. Then there are people who are half way between buffoon and first-rate.
Question 41
Many of those people are my friends or like myself... easily impressed one way or the other, not knowing what to make of you, of the Ranch.
... Hearing gossip, reading things, getting little pieces of information. I like that you're doing more interviews, more media -- I hope that that gets more information out.
Question 42
This morning you said that you're an ordinary man and I know you meant in terms of your way of being and living. And yet of course, you don't always look and act like an ordinary man -- why is that? Why...?
Question 43
I promised myself that I was going to be one of the few people who didn't ask you about the Rolls Royces. It takes a great effort of the will to....
But I did ask my mechanic before coming; I said, "Well, what, what should I talk about? What should I ask this man?" And he said, "Well, if he's going to buy expensive cars, why does he buy Rolls Royces? It's not a car: it's stodgy furniture." So he want you to buy Maseratis -- I give you that.
Question 44
For you it's not stodgy furniture?
Question 45
I was talking with Rajen this afternoon and wondering, speculating -- I work as a psychotherapist personally....
... And I've been influenced by Carl Rodgers and Rollo May and also by Maurice Freedman who is a sort of interpreter of Martin Buber and who published an article in my journal recently called Healing through meeting. I was wondering how, how would psychotherapy look in this context at the Ranch in your buddhafield? What would I see -- if I didn't know that this was a Rajneesh therapist -- what would I see different? And this is even researchable -- there are people who like to do research about psychotherapy transcripts... coding them and so forth -- what could we find that we could point to that would say, "Ahah! There's something different here, different even from relatively enlightened existential psychotherapy." What would we see different?
Question 46
Well, the transpersonal psychotherapists certainly would agree in principle to what you're saying and many of us have long ago put psychoanalysis behind us.
Question 47
But as I said, many therapists nowadays have put that aspect of psychoanalysis behind them and at least in principle, perhaps not always with the ability, but at least in principle, attempt to work with clients in the way that you're describing. And I propose it to you really as a research project, to study the process of psychotherapy as it occurs here, and to see how is it different and distinguishable perhaps, from... certainly from psychoanalysis, but also from psychotherapy as done by people who have done extensive Zen meditation or whatever else.
Question 48
I'm involved some in the training of psychotherapists also and it would be of immense value if you could produce here some video tapes of therapists working with people in this way so that I and other teachers of psychotherapy could show to students and to say, "See, here is something that's different -- look at it."
Question 49
And also I don't do research myself, because it's rather difficult, but if... As your university progresses, if there were people and money and time and energy to do some research, attempting to describe this work, it would be good as part of your public relations to reach out to the community of psychologists just to say, "here, we are serious. We do this work. We show it on video tapes."
Question 50
"We publish articles about it -- come and watch."
Question 51
Back for a moment to the issue of building the community in ways that power can be shared and decentralized. Another method that I am fond of -- I wonder if it's being done -- is to have not just informal discussions amongst the people, but even some formalized processes for reviewing decision-making, task fulfillment, power usage and misusage, some way of self-review. I've been involved in many such groups myself. The group practice that I'm in, we meet for eight hours once a month and for one hour every week to kind of look at what's happening among us.
Question 52
Again, it distributes the power and it builds a skill into people... to look at what's happened in terms of awareness really.
Question 53
In about two weeks I'll be making my third trip to the Soviet Union to talk with psychologists and others there and just as you struggle with the citizens of Oregon, some of us are struggling with the citizens of the Soviet Union. And by some irony or fate, you and I and Mikhail Gorbachev are about the same age.
And we are living in this nuclear-menaced world together, and I keep thinking, "What can I do there? How can I make some difference? What can I say? If I were a sannyasin, perhaps, would I be better equipped to go there and to talk?
Question 54
I read an article about some of them in the Soviet press that....
Question 55
You must have been amused to hear yourself accused of working for the CIA....
Question 56
You're the most conspicuous double agent that (inaudible.)
Question 57
And by the Maserati dealers of America.
Question 58
I sense that you do derive energy and excitement from... from the controversy.
Question 59
While you're a courageous man, I become worried when I see so much hostility -- the guns....
Question 60
I will extend that invitation and I know a few soviets who have a particular interest in the kind of experiment that you are doing and who....
Question 61
I hope you'll allow me to translate that into hospitable when I....
Question 62
Well, of course when I return and I tell people of the hospitality and warmth that I felt here and that the people did seem conscious and alive and free and autonomous, then some of my friends -- the eternal skeptics -- will say, "Oh, well, Tom is always kind of gullible, eager to please, believes in things. They must have sold him too."
What shall I say to them then?
Question 63
I would... if I were really shrewder and tougher, what tough question would I ask you now?
Question 64
No. I'm asking you for help here!
Question 65
What do you see as the unresolved problems in running the Ranch, in enlightening and liberating the sannyasins -- what, what's next? How must the work proceed next? What new form do you envision? -- just decentralization of power, certainly is one.


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