‘The Rebel’ talks about the birth of a new man, a rebellious spirit that the world has never encountered before. The rebel described by Osho is an enlightened being with a strong sense of individuality, and only a rebel has the potential to save mankind from annihilating itself in the future.
This book is an effort to unleash the rebellious spirit that we were all born with but which got repressed as a result of our past conditioning by religion and society.
Bhagwan Rajneesh, popularly known as Osho(1931-1990) was an Indian mystic and a spiritual guru. He was a controversial figure of his time for his differing views on organized religion, politics, and sex. Osho’s vision was to create enlightened individuals who would embrace meditation, mindfulness, love, and humor. Books by Osho are popular throughout the globe and have been translated into 29 major languages. There are over 650 Osho books available today.
The Rebel is a transcripted version of Osho’s 1987 discourse in Pune. The book is a compilation of the various insightful questions asked by Osho’s sannyasins and his response to these questions.
The book dissects the idea of a rebel. It describes the new man as Zorba the Buddha, an embodiment of both matter and consciousness. The birth of the rebel is said to begin with the death of the old hence the rebel will renounce all the ideologies and superstitions of the past that were imposed on him, but he’ll not renounce the world and the society as a whole. Compassion, love, and awareness will be the foundations of the new man.
The book could be a useful guide for meditators as it emphasizes the importance of meditation and shares great tips on meditation. It also talks about the steps involved in Vipassana, the meditation technique that led Gautam Buddha to enlightenment.
If you’re familiar with Osho’s work, you might be knowing that he had a great sense of humor, so expect some good laughs as you read this book. Laughter for Osho was a preparation for meditation as in laughter he believed, one experiences transcendence of mind.
Apart from that, Osho shares his views on various subjects, like the legalization of drugs, Aristotelian logic, the marriage system, organized religion, the justice system, sexual repression, nudity and, the education system. Reading this book will give you a better understanding of why Osho’s ideas sparked so much controversy and why he was considered ahead of his time.
When it comes to the table of contents, the chapters of this book are not interconnected and the reader is free to start from any chapter that they like.
Even though ‘The Rebel’ is a well-written book, it cannot give you the same experience that you get while listening to Osho. The readers who’re familiar with Osho’s meditative voice and his style of delivery will feel this absence as they read the book.
Reading the ‘The Rebel’ should be an inquiry for the truth. And just like the rebel mentioned in the book, the reader should keep aside all their notions before reading this book. Approaching the ideas mentioned in this book objectively is key to fully grasp Osho’s message.
If you consider yourself a seeker of truth and love reading books related to spirituality and mysticism, ‘The Rebel’ should be on your booklist.
Reviewed by: Neil Jose