Wild Wild Country

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Has anyone been watching “Wild Wild Country” on Netflix? If you haven’t, it’s a FASCINATING six-part documentary on an Indian guru’s (Osho) attempts to establish a commune for his followers in rural Oregon in the 1980’s. 

Watching this bizarre and tragic story unfold brought up so many thoughts and feelings for me (lol, when does something not bring up lots of thoughts and feelings for me?). 

I’m not giving a lot away here by saying that this commune was extremely controversial in its surrounding community (and in the rest of the United States), and in the end, it didn’t work out for Osho. His followers were devastated and disillusioned, and their rancher neighbors were vindicated and gleeful. 

This made me think about the classic polarity between winning and losing. As always when working with a polarity, we have to ask ourselves how the polarity can flip, i.e., what’s the winning within losing (and the losing within winning). 

The Osho people had lost everything - their home, their community, for some, their faith in their spiritual leader. Where’s the winning in that? Well, I think the basis of a true spiritual practice is learning to be okay when everything is falling apart. I didn’t get what you thought I deserved and I’m freaking out. Wonderful! It’s such a rich opportunity to look within myself and see what’s really there. 

Of course, this is also painful is hell and my ego always wants to avoid it. But it’s an effective tool for growth. 

And the losing within winning? Those ranchers didn’t grow as much as humans. Thirty years later, they still feel the same way about the situation - like they banished evil people from their town. 

I think this is important right now in our political world, where we are so often feeling so much loss. Polarity work invites us to look deeper within the loss and learn more about ourselves and life. Then we can begin applying that knowledge to make thoughtful change in the world, in whatever little or big ways we are able.