This long and sometimes wandering commentary is so much fun to read that I just about couldn't put it down. As the title of the review implies, OSHO is hard to categorize. He is in one moment filleting hypocrites mercilessly, and in the next offering up some of the most profound spiritual wisdom you will find anywhere. And that might all be topped off with some hilarious jokes or humor. Is this man a sinner or a saint, a fraud or a luminary? It is sometimes hard to tell, but there are so many gems in this book that the ride is worth it no matter your conclusion at the end.
I've come to enjoy the freewheeling style of OSHO and I think think his ability to make the Buddha and Jesus compatible and accessible at the deepest level is what sets him apart from many other teachers. Unlike too many of today's literal fundamentalists, he puts the poetry back into religious scriptures of all traditions. He breathes life into the myth and metaphor of our great religious traditions and brings that life forward into today.
Ostensibly, he offers a commentary on the great 10th century Tibetan Master, Atisha. This takes the form of an opening few lines from Atisha, followed by OSHO's commentary. But, after the commentary, OSHO is fielding questions from his sannyasin, and that leads to wide ranging discussions on every topic of modern life.
It would be easy for me to imagine people being offended, put off, and downright alarmed by this wild and often unpredictable mystic. Sometimes, you simply have to get into the spirit of it and realize he is putting you on, and certainly laughing inside. And, that's the point - it's part of the dance of life that he tries valiantly to get his students and his readers to engage.
In spite of the irreverence often displayed here, and the wild ride through the white water, I think the "religion" (small "r") is sound as a rock. I can find profound and moving lessons every time I open this book.
NOTE: If you are new to OSHO, I would actually recommend "Mustard Seed" before reading this book. In that book, it is almost exclusively single-minded, and more focused on the mustard seed teaching, and should be well understood by Christian and Orthodox readers