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The Book of Understanding: Creating Your Own Path to Freedom

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The path to freedom is filled with questions and uncertainty. Is it possible to truly know who we are? Do our lives have a purpose, or are we just accidental? What are we meant to contribute? What are we meant to become, to create, and to share? In The Book of Understanding, Osho, one of the most provocative thinkers of our time, challenges us to understand our world and o The path to freedom is filled with questions and uncertainty. Is it possible to truly know who we are? Do our lives have a purpose, or are we just accidental? What are we meant to contribute? What are we meant to become, to create, and to share? In The Book of Understanding, Osho, one of the most provocative thinkers of our time, challenges us to understand our world and ourselves in a new and radical way. The first step toward understanding, he says, is to question and doubt all that we have been taught to believe. All our lives we’ve been handed so-called truths by countless others—beliefs we learned to accept without reason. It is only in questioning our beliefs, assumptions, and prejudices that we can begin to uncover our own unique voice and heal the divisions within us and without. Once we discover our authentic self, we can embrace all aspects of the human experience—from the earthy, pleasure-loving qualities that characterize Zorba the Greek to the watchful, silent qualities of Gautam the Buddha. We can become whole and live with integrity, able to respond with creativity and compassion to the religious, political, and cultural divides that currently plague our society. In this groundbreaking work, Osho identifies, loosens, and ultimately helps to untie the knots of fear and misunderstanding that restrict us—leaving us free to discover and create our own individual path to freedom. Doubt—because doubt is not a sin, it is the sign of your intelligence. You are not responsible to any nation, to any church, to any God. You are responsible only for one thing, and that is self-knowledge. And the miracle is, if you can fulfill this responsibility, you will be able to fulfill many other responsibilities without any effort. The moment you come to your own being, a revolution happens in your vision. Your whole outlook about life goes through a radical change. You start feeling new responsibilities—not as something to be done, not as duty to be fulfilled, but as a joy to do. —OSHO From the Hardcover edition.


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The path to freedom is filled with questions and uncertainty. Is it possible to truly know who we are? Do our lives have a purpose, or are we just accidental? What are we meant to contribute? What are we meant to become, to create, and to share? In The Book of Understanding, Osho, one of the most provocative thinkers of our time, challenges us to understand our world and o The path to freedom is filled with questions and uncertainty. Is it possible to truly know who we are? Do our lives have a purpose, or are we just accidental? What are we meant to contribute? What are we meant to become, to create, and to share? In The Book of Understanding, Osho, one of the most provocative thinkers of our time, challenges us to understand our world and ourselves in a new and radical way. The first step toward understanding, he says, is to question and doubt all that we have been taught to believe. All our lives we’ve been handed so-called truths by countless others—beliefs we learned to accept without reason. It is only in questioning our beliefs, assumptions, and prejudices that we can begin to uncover our own unique voice and heal the divisions within us and without. Once we discover our authentic self, we can embrace all aspects of the human experience—from the earthy, pleasure-loving qualities that characterize Zorba the Greek to the watchful, silent qualities of Gautam the Buddha. We can become whole and live with integrity, able to respond with creativity and compassion to the religious, political, and cultural divides that currently plague our society. In this groundbreaking work, Osho identifies, loosens, and ultimately helps to untie the knots of fear and misunderstanding that restrict us—leaving us free to discover and create our own individual path to freedom. Doubt—because doubt is not a sin, it is the sign of your intelligence. You are not responsible to any nation, to any church, to any God. You are responsible only for one thing, and that is self-knowledge. And the miracle is, if you can fulfill this responsibility, you will be able to fulfill many other responsibilities without any effort. The moment you come to your own being, a revolution happens in your vision. Your whole outlook about life goes through a radical change. You start feeling new responsibilities—not as something to be done, not as duty to be fulfilled, but as a joy to do. —OSHO From the Hardcover edition.

30 review for The Book of Understanding: Creating Your Own Path to Freedom

  1. 5 out of 5

    Derek

    Osho was never against material wealth, that's why he lived with luxuries for much of his life, including Rolls-Royces. Too many people would see him wearing a diamond watch, for example, and think they'd "exposed" him. Really, they exposed their own flawed understanding of his way of life and their own conditioning that poverty equals spirituality. There's many thought-provoking ideas in this book. Zorba the buddha, reacting vs. responding, intelligence vs. intellect, etc. Many anti-theist secti Osho was never against material wealth, that's why he lived with luxuries for much of his life, including Rolls-Royces. Too many people would see him wearing a diamond watch, for example, and think they'd "exposed" him. Really, they exposed their own flawed understanding of his way of life and their own conditioning that poverty equals spirituality. There's many thought-provoking ideas in this book. Zorba the buddha, reacting vs. responding, intelligence vs. intellect, etc. Many anti-theist sections, Osho hated religion and politics. It's a great overview of his philosophy, if you can call it that. Bottom-line: read it if you like Osho. If you don't, you may not know what he's talking about or see the significance.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Matt Nielsen

    I picked this book up at Barnes and Nobles a year or so ago just because it sound interesting. I had never heard anything about this "Osho" guy but the introduction to the book intrigued me, so I bought it. I have to say that it wasn't hard to see why this guy was considered a hero by some and a nutcase by others. His plain and simple way of looking at things is refreshing in a lot of ways, and although I may not agree with everything he says I appreciate his frankness and pull-no-punches style. I picked this book up at Barnes and Nobles a year or so ago just because it sound interesting. I had never heard anything about this "Osho" guy but the introduction to the book intrigued me, so I bought it. I have to say that it wasn't hard to see why this guy was considered a hero by some and a nutcase by others. His plain and simple way of looking at things is refreshing in a lot of ways, and although I may not agree with everything he says I appreciate his frankness and pull-no-punches style. I highly recommend this book for the sole reason that it will cause you to forever look at things in a whole different light. That is my favorite kind of book. One that makes you take a long hard look at what is considered the truth and then question it. If any of you out there that know me and live close want to borrow it you are most welcome. Just let me know.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    It starts with a lot of comparative religion stuff comparing eastern and western philosophies. Then, it moves on to how we establish a consistent independent identity, how to stay true to yourself and how to stay consciously aware enough to experience every moment.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Karan Sachdeva

    I had heard that OSHO books are "intense" and so I found that out myself as well. There are plenty of insightful ideas and opinions in here. No one is same, eh? He was a curious fella and certainly did have very interesting manner of thinking. I agreed for many, disagreed with some (especially his idea of no punishment for criminals) and not really sure about a few. I think that his ideal world, or the world of his vision, isn't really possibly but then one can dream. My only complaint (the disa I had heard that OSHO books are "intense" and so I found that out myself as well. There are plenty of insightful ideas and opinions in here. No one is same, eh? He was a curious fella and certainly did have very interesting manner of thinking. I agreed for many, disagreed with some (especially his idea of no punishment for criminals) and not really sure about a few. I think that his ideal world, or the world of his vision, isn't really possibly but then one can dream. My only complaint (the disagreement aren't complaint for me) is that I found his stories are false. At least some are like Lincoln one was and I feel it is unlikely for some other as well. PS- I saw Sadhguru also used the "Responsibility = Response-ability" idea so did Victor Flankl. Who actually came up with this? If you know, tell me also. ;)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    How we let society dictate our inner lives

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ilya Mrz

    Zorba the Buddha. Yes, I like it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Noah Rasheta

    I really enjoyed the big ideas in this book!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sudharsan srinivasan

    Definitely a must read book by all.This book provides a lot of insights. Many of osho's philosophy is undeniable but few of them were not not acceptable to me.But I felt like all possible philosophy is dumped into a single book. It was too much for me. Any way must read book for everyone. I am following blindly following Osho as he says I am trying to understand myself. And in that search this book acts as a ladder to me. Definitely a must read book by all.This book provides a lot of insights. Many of osho's philosophy is undeniable but few of them were not not acceptable to me.But I felt like all possible philosophy is dumped into a single book. It was too much for me. Any way must read book for everyone. I am following blindly following Osho as he says I am trying to understand myself. And in that search this book acts as a ladder to me.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jelena

    Another great book by Osho! I love reading everything from him. Before I recommend the book to anyone, I always give a fair warning that this is not for the very religious people. They can be offended or confused, at least that is how I think. But that don't bother me, I am fully open for all questions and doubts. If you are the same, this book can be life changing indeed. It will shift your thinking about the many things about the world and yourelf and it will really set you free! Another great book by Osho! I love reading everything from him. Before I recommend the book to anyone, I always give a fair warning that this is not for the very religious people. They can be offended or confused, at least that is how I think. But that don't bother me, I am fully open for all questions and doubts. If you are the same, this book can be life changing indeed. It will shift your thinking about the many things about the world and yourelf and it will really set you free!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    This book is a collection of Osho's teachings. This is one out of 13 Osho's book I have read. It is written in 2006 in very easy way. I think in two days you can finish reading this book. If you want to discover Osho's world and you are new in the self-help world, it can be a good start. Otherwise, nothing new. This book is a collection of Osho's teachings. This is one out of 13 Osho's book I have read. It is written in 2006 in very easy way. I think in two days you can finish reading this book. If you want to discover Osho's world and you are new in the self-help world, it can be a good start. Otherwise, nothing new.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Virussa

    Some of the concepts he deals with in this book are interesting but I had the feeling that he kept repeating himself over and over and over. For this reason the reading got quite boring at some points. Nonetheless, it's totally food for thought. Some of the concepts he deals with in this book are interesting but I had the feeling that he kept repeating himself over and over and over. For this reason the reading got quite boring at some points. Nonetheless, it's totally food for thought.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Snow

    Insightful.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Antonio Vargas

    Another amazing work from OSHO, the Sadguru.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jakey

    Great compilation of Osho talks on the subject of understanding oneself and society.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mohit Sharma

    This book have changed my perception forever. I read it long time ago, but I want to read it again.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sairam V

    Annotated the whole book! Just outstanding insights and mind blowing perspective to all the general stuff Makes you think in every single page of the book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sofi

    I don't know what to say, I don't understand why I, as a teenager, thought it was a good idea to buy this book? I did not find understanding, only more doubts😐 I don't know what to say, I don't understand why I, as a teenager, thought it was a good idea to buy this book? I did not find understanding, only more doubts😐

  18. 5 out of 5

    Srikanth

    This book is an amazing collection of various lectures given by Osho at various times; all pertaining to the subject of 'Understanding'. Osho's clarity of thought is very well seen in his words expressed in simple and easy to understand language. Osho does not come with a religious baggage and is free to pick and choose ideas and concepts anywhere from Buddha to Jesus to Vedanta philosophy to Neitzsche and Marx among others. He also analyzes their ideas and explains where they fail and how to tr This book is an amazing collection of various lectures given by Osho at various times; all pertaining to the subject of 'Understanding'. Osho's clarity of thought is very well seen in his words expressed in simple and easy to understand language. Osho does not come with a religious baggage and is free to pick and choose ideas and concepts anywhere from Buddha to Jesus to Vedanta philosophy to Neitzsche and Marx among others. He also analyzes their ideas and explains where they fail and how to transcend them. The book's tagline definitely lives up to its word.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Bhakta Kishor

    The path to freedom is filled with questions and uncertainty. In The Book of Understanding , Osho, one of the most provocative thinkers of our time, challenges us to understand our world and ourselves in a new and radical way. The first step toward understanding, he says, is to question and doubt all that we have been taught to believe. It is only in questioning our beliefs, assumptions and prejudices that we can begin to uncover our own unique voice and heal the divisions within us and witho The path to freedom is filled with questions and uncertainty. In The Book of Understanding , Osho, one of the most provocative thinkers of our time, challenges us to understand our world and ourselves in a new and radical way. The first step toward understanding, he says, is to question and doubt all that we have been taught to believe. It is only in questioning our beliefs, assumptions and prejudices that we can begin to uncover our own unique voice and heal the divisions within us and without. In this groundbreaking work, Osho identifies, loosens and ultimately helps to untie the knots of fear and misunderstanding that restrict us, leaving us free to discover and create our own individual path to freedom. --------------------------------------------------------------

  20. 4 out of 5

    Chrissy

    I binged and read this book. It is my first Osho read and I find his polarizing to say the least. Reading this on the heels of analytically breaking down Jay Z's Magna Carta Holy Grail the ideologies are similar. I would not recommend this book to the religiously devout who is faint of heart. As someone who teeters the line between a traditional religious upbringing and seeking out an identity outside of organized religion I was more than intrigued. I find myself in a consistent conflict as I qu I binged and read this book. It is my first Osho read and I find his polarizing to say the least. Reading this on the heels of analytically breaking down Jay Z's Magna Carta Holy Grail the ideologies are similar. I would not recommend this book to the religiously devout who is faint of heart. As someone who teeters the line between a traditional religious upbringing and seeking out an identity outside of organized religion I was more than intrigued. I find myself in a consistent conflict as I question the Universe and when I step outside the control of my imprinted faith. I love his comparative argument and how he so effectively blends the two hemispheres beliefs to teach one to live an identity true to self and still be aware of the gifts of nature and life.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    While I am not sure what my thoughts are about the man himself and some of his beliefs stated in this book, Osho makes some pretty inspiring and eye opening statements about the truths of the universe. At times what he says may come across as very offensive, especially for people still stuck in a religious mindset. But, if you are truly open and willing to question your beliefs, morals, values, etc., this book is a great read for influencing your mind to begin thinking for itself.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mufid Tiganj

    Nice book - this book give you some informations for your's EGO...not to much but enough to do some sin if you haven't strong principles of life ! He presents all religions like incorrect 'cause he wants to say ''my new religion which I made is the best and only way to find God'' but, I want to ask 'which kind of God he try to find?' MY ADVICE IS NEXT: If you haven't strong belief - DONT' READ THIS BOOK ! Nice book - this book give you some informations for your's EGO...not to much but enough to do some sin if you haven't strong principles of life ! He presents all religions like incorrect 'cause he wants to say ''my new religion which I made is the best and only way to find God'' but, I want to ask 'which kind of God he try to find?' MY ADVICE IS NEXT: If you haven't strong belief - DONT' READ THIS BOOK !

  23. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Cumberbatch

    I expected more. I didn't realize that, although he say he isn't forcing his ideas, he is. I felt like he was implying that he isn't into religion, but if he could be a religion he would be the head of it. I couldn't wen finish. He was also quite redundant. He had about 5 real points yet somehow had to explain them in over 200pgs...? Idk I expected more. I didn't realize that, although he say he isn't forcing his ideas, he is. I felt like he was implying that he isn't into religion, but if he could be a religion he would be the head of it. I couldn't wen finish. He was also quite redundant. He had about 5 real points yet somehow had to explain them in over 200pgs...? Idk

  24. 5 out of 5

    Cecilia

    I read this book some years ago but took it up again and it is still amazing me to read it. Gives me a frame for understaning and put words to many of my wonderings and thoughts even though I don´t "agree" with every word. I read this book some years ago but took it up again and it is still amazing me to read it. Gives me a frame for understaning and put words to many of my wonderings and thoughts even though I don´t "agree" with every word.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Larisa

    This book about contrast of the spiritual and material worlds, about the East and the West, about merge, about integrated creative energy. Osho is a follower of New Age. Everyone solves for himself: like Osho or not, if it adds up, in what he is right or errs.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ana

    This book was my first OSHO read and I loved it every bit of it even tho at when I started reading I closed it and thought this man is crazy but I continued and it got better. Not for the weak minded. I DO NOT Recommend this book if you have "strong beliefs" and very religious. This book was my first OSHO read and I loved it every bit of it even tho at when I started reading I closed it and thought this man is crazy but I continued and it got better. Not for the weak minded. I DO NOT Recommend this book if you have "strong beliefs" and very religious.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sachin Bhatt

    Very effective book on personal freedom. Articles goes to ground level of every topic. Gives an eternal peace while reading. must be read in breaks to assimilate and practice.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    made me smile. and laugh out loud, despite myself.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tony Kaldas

    Osho as usual is a person who always gives you the truth in your face!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Yusuf

    The bible for the new century human regarding our perception to our own self, the world and the future of our race and planet

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