The Scott Shaw Blog Be Positive

Nice People Aren’t at the Top

When you look at your life where do you find yourself? Do you find yourself fulfilled? Do you find yourself content? Do you find yourself supporting yourself in an adequate manner?

When you look at your life who are you reliant upon? Who do you need in your life to maintain your level of survival and to continue living the life you have become accustomed to? Is your life, your finances, and your living situation in a state of stability or can it all easily fall away from you?

When you look at your life who do you turn to for guidance? Do you look to your family, your friend, a religious leader, or are you completely self-contained? Do you only ask yourself what you should do and do you only blame yourself for any mistakes that you make? Or, do you continually turn the blame elsewhere.

Life is a complex web of interpersonal relationships based upon human needs. Why we do what we decide to do can be defined by many ideologies and philosophies but at best, they are only a guess, for what a person ultimate does is only truly demarcated by what that person does. They are the only one who truly knows why. But they only know if they take the time to analysis and develop an answer to that question.

Once a person does what they do, (once any of us do what we do), then the rest of our life and our life choices are set into motion. Most people don’t think about this, however. They just do. They just are influenced into doing something, told that they should do something, and/or do what they do because it feels good. From this, absolute destiny is set into motion.

Some people, for whatever reason, find their way to a position of power. They either see a goal and work towards it or that position is handed to them. Sometimes, it is a little bit of both. Once they have arrived at that position of power, it causes them to take action and do things that will affect the life of other people. From this, they either do things that helps other people or they do things that hurts other people. Sometimes, the same action has a different effect on two separate individuals. Yet, it was one person doing one thing that helped, hurt, guided, or lead another human astray.

How many people attain where they are in life and truly understand why they have arrived there? How many people once they have arrived care that the influence that they have may truly change the life or another person? What they say, what they do, what they feel while doing what they do, all has consequence. But, are they aware enough of this fact to cause them to truly think before the do? Or, do they just do, motivated by an individualized desire to gain or maintain power, control, and/or continued fulfillment of their desires?

Recently, I watched the Netflix documentary, “Wild, Wild Country,” about the spiritual leader Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his foremost disciple of the time Ma Anand Sheela. Though it was six hours in length and as a filmmaker I found it to be a bit long-winded, it truly provides a microscope into the complex psychology of power and how a person acts once they possess said power.

As the TV news anchors say, “Full disclosure,” I must tell you, I spent time with and was initiated by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh in India in the 1970s. This documentary primarily focuses on the time when the group purchased a ranch in Oregon, which from the moment it happened I knew was a big mistake. Though Oregon sometimes has a description as being a bit of a hippie oasis, it is far more inhabited by rednecks than hippies. That was one of the group’s primary mistakes. Had they located in California, none of the ensuing destiny would have manifested.

When I was with Rajneesh in India, it was a very different time from when they arrived on the farm in Oregon. It was all about embracing freedom. For many of us who were there at that time and had been schooled in the realms of restrictive eastern metaphysics where celibacy and formal seated meditation was propagated, it opened a new window into reality and a redefining of true spirituality. It was great! He truly was a spiritual revolutionary.

Did I think he was the second-coming or anything like that, as some people did? No. He was just a man who presented a new take on the road to enlightenment. But, like all spiritual teachers I had met and have studied with, I saw his flaws. Everybody has them. But, it was not Rajneesh, himself, that caused me to leave his fold. Whereas in regard to my years with Swami Satchidananda, it was more the people that were in a position of power that caused me to leave the group. In Rajneesh India, it was more the uncontrolled chaos defined by people that were in need of a father figure or who weren’t really there for enlightenment but simply wanted easy sex and wild non-stop partying, all placed under the guise of spirituality. For me, I was about nirvana, not just another orgasms.

I never visited Rajneesh or the commune in Oregon. I had gained all I could from his teaching in India. But, to watch the documentary it was truly revealing about why people do what they do and what motivates them. If you can sit through it and keep an open mind, you can really witness a lot about the concept of human power and the cost thereof. You will see how Ma Anand Sheela, this charismatic figurehead, truly guided the community to… Well, I’ll let you decide… And, how the people who occupied powerful position in the U.S. government did what they did with absolute power while possessing no inner understanding of who or what they were dealing with.

And, to the source point of this blog, this is where all the problems with personal power, merging with a group consciousness, emerge. There is one person who has a vision and from that one person either great good is created or great bad is instigated. And sometimes, in the early stages, it is hard to see which is which.

So, as you pass though life, study who holds the power over you. Study who you allow to hold the power over you. Study why you do what you do because of what someone, who holds the power over you, asks you to do. But, more than all that, know yourself. Always question why you are doing what you are doing. Know the reason why. From this, even though there may be people in a position of power who overshadow your existence, you can stay true to yourself, doing things that only help people and hurts no one. Then, at the end of your days, you will know that there is no one to blame but yourself.