Flowers of Emptiness

Just finished ‘Flowers of Emptiness’ by Sally Belfrage. The book, written in the late 70s, is about the author’s two-month stay at the Poona ashram of the now deceased Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Re-branded as Osho after various scandals). Belfrage went to Poona a hardline sceptic and returned to the UK with a changed mind but still critical of Bhagwan and his set-up. She was later involved at Greenham Common and died in 1994.

I’m something of a collector of books about people’s experiences with spirituality and am particularly fascinated with accounts ofgroups with cultish leanings, and this book covers both. The recently published ‘My Life in Orange’ by Tim Guest covers similar ground to Belfrage’s account, though over a longer time span.

The Bhagwan never convinced me, his writing always seemed a hodgepodge of various traditions, and I’ve never read anything original by him. From what Belfrage says, it was the man himself that had something, you had to see him live, in the flesh, to get ‘it’, whatever ‘it’ was.