Mar 04

Persephone’s Book Review: A Surprise Life by Susan M. Clare

Tag: Book Reviews,Human Condition,Persephone's UpdatesPersephone Arbour @ 4:51 pm

This book was written by someone I knew from my years with Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. I was never a member of the hierarchy, I was a hard-working ‘peon’. From that perspective this extremely well researched book helped me understand many things that I couldn’t possibly have known about. Here is part of a letter I wrote to her recently:

Dear Sambodhi, (her spiritual name)
. . . What I loved most about your book was its clarity, honesty and purity – purity? Wow, not sure where that one came from – but it feels right. I want to thank you for explaining so many things that I couldn’t possibly know.

What I found most beautiful was your gradual and steady awakening to what was really happening throughout that period of time; with all of us and also with Bhagwan. I applaud the recognition of your strengths as well as frailties, and that you ‘learned to write’ when producing your book. Without doubt you are a good writer my dear – and a compassionate and insightful one!

The following words are taken from the back cover.

This memoir recounts my experiences during the 10+ years I was a disciple of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (now known as Osho). The first half focuses on my participation at his ashram in India as well as the background and early influences that led to my becoming a disciple. The second half describes my involvement at our communal ranch in Central Oregon. My initial purpose in writing had nothing to do with publishing. I wanted to explore its potential for examining what destroyed our community from a viewpoint outside myself, on paper. I needed to understand what led to our collapse, and what part (if any) I may have played. As I progressed, however, I realized that others might welcome seeing how this destructive path came about, and perhaps notice a resemblance, as I did, between the behaviors that led to our downfall and similar behaviors in the larger world that might be recognized if we chose to pay closer attention..

I remember Sambodhi with deep affection. I remember her courage, her broad smile, her intelligence. I found this book an extraordinarily clear testament of a woman whose life was, by happenstance, intertwined with mine for some years. Of course I want you all to read it! So, please click on the photo above and this will take you directly to it.

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