My Life in Orange



My Life in OrangeAt The Age Of Six, Tim Guest Was Taken By His Mother To A Commune Modeled On The Teachings Of The Notorious Indian Guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh The Bhagwan Preached An Eclectic Doctrine Of Eastern Mysticism, Chaotic Therapy, And Sexual Freedom, And Enjoyed Inhaling Laughing Gas, Preaching From A Dentist S Chair, And Collecting Rolls Royces Tim And His Mother Were Given Sa

Tim Guest c 1974 2009 was a journalist and the bestselling author of My Life in Orange Growing Up with the Guru, about his childhood on communes around the world Guest s articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Telegraph, New Scientist, and Vogue.

[Epub] ↠ My Life in Orange Author Tim Guest – Heartforum.co.uk
  • Paperback
  • 320 pages
  • My Life in Orange
  • Tim Guest
  • English
  • 23 July 2017
  • 1862077207

10 thoughts on “My Life in Orange

  1. Joshua Gross says:

    The difficulty with this book, at least for me, was the problem with it having to be both a memoir and a historical account Tim Guest was a child when all this was happening, so he wouldn t have had the relevant details at the time There are long passages about him as a child, unattended by adults like all the other kids and getting into mischief that I got rather tiresome after awhile, and then fascinating segments of researched information regarding the Rajneesh Most of the book dragged on The difficulty with this book, at least for me, was the problem with it having to be both a memoir and a historical account Tim Guest was a child when all this was happening, so he wouldn t have had the relevant details at the time There are long passages about him as a child, unattended by adults like all the other kids and getting into mischief that I got rather tiresome after awhile, and then fascinating segments of researched information regarding the Rajneesh Most of the book dragged on and on and didn t really get interesting until things started getting crazy in Antelope, OR Unfortunately, Tim Guest gets some things wrong There were mass suicide murders at Jonestown, not Jamestown Portland is not the state capital of Oregon, Salem is Seattle is in Washington, not Oregon These may be little things, but they take away some of his credibility Who knows what other errors he s made It was a littleinteresting reading about the effect this all had on him as a teenager at the end, but it did go on for a bit longer than anyone would have wanted to read

  2. Samilja says:

    This book just made me sad Guest s memoir chronicles his life roughly from age 2 to age 11 in and out of various ashrams and communes created by and for followers of the Indian guru Bagwhan Guest s mother is searching presumably for meaning in her life and with varying degrees of misguidance, love, neglect and naivete drags her young son into life among her fellow sannyasins The party line at these communes is that kids should not be raised as dependent on their biological parents but This book just made me sad Guest s memoir chronicles his life roughly from age 2 to age 11 in and out of various ashrams and communes created by and for followers of the Indian guru Bagwhan Guest s mother is searching presumably for meaning in her life and with varying degrees of misguidance, love, neglect and naivete drags her young son into life among her fellow sannyasins The party line at these communes is that kids should not be raised as dependent on their biological parents but rather learn to rely on the community and mostly themselves With this as their guiding priniciple, sannyasin parents relinquish care of their children to other sannyasins while the parents go off in search of enlightenment As his mother spends her days working for the communal good, attending spiritual sessions and worshiping her guru, Guest alternately runs amok, loses his sense of place and with it security , grasps for his mother s attention, runs away, returns and starts over from the beginning For nine years.Two events were particularly poignant to me They are silly taken out of context perhaps, but in the thread of the book they are particularly symbolic of the real tragedy Guest experiences The first happens when Guest is may be 5 or six and is living at the communal house known as Medina He lives in the Kids Hut with the other sannyasin kids and at one point he returns to Medina after a brief holiday with his father in the U.S He brings back with him a Star Wars toy that his father has bought him a real treat given that material presents are frowned upon at Medina Within days his toy is vandalized by the other kids and he hides the remains under his bed A week later, it s gone altogether This kid has nothing that is truly his, that is sacred if you will This token was a bit of a talisman for him but even it could not escape the sense of Ours that pervaded Medina The other event happens later, near the end of his communal life He and his mother are at a German commune, where they have essentially been banished after his mother falls out of favor of new leaders within the movement These leaders ban kissing between group members including between parents and children Guest s mother turns to him, a nine or ten year old kid, and says, That s terrible You can t kiss your mother any Go and complain Rather than stand up herself and fight what she believes to be wrong, in essence to stand up for her son, Guest s mother again asks him to take on her role Eventually, as he gets older and as the movement goes in ever increasingly bizarre directions, Guest opts out and moves with his father Not too long after, the movement collapses and his mother returns to England with nearly a decade of communal living experience and not much else to show Still desperate for his mother s attention and for a sense of self and place, Guest goes back to his mother who, along with her long time sannyasin boyfriend, moves him from place, to place, to place for the duration of his time at home As an adult Guest seems to have made peace with his mother and even share an intimate and mutually fulfilling relationship But the retelling of his childhood got completely under my skin and made it hard for me to have much sympathy or empathy for his mother She was lost as many of us are, but what I could not reconcile was that she always put herself before her son Of course it is not my experience to reconcile and applaud Guest for having done it himself

  3. Molly says:

    An admission with just the title, My Life in Orange Growing up with the Guru, I had somehow expected this to be about a child s experiences with monks The guru, in my imagined variation, would be the Buddha, but instead, after reading the back of the book out loud to my husband, who gently chided me at my omission is it true about pregnancy brain do I really have such enormous gaps in my thinking , I was transmitted right back to middle school, when one of my good friends was fascinated An admission with just the title, My Life in Orange Growing up with the Guru, I had somehow expected this to be about a child s experiences with monks The guru, in my imagined variation, would be the Buddha, but instead, after reading the back of the book out loud to my husband, who gently chided me at my omission is it true about pregnancy brain do I really have such enormous gaps in my thinking , I was transmitted right back to middle school, when one of my good friends was fascinated with cultish world religions, spoke often of Osho, called us Beloved and my golden retriever Maggie became Magdalena One of the techniques Guest employs well is the ability to remind the reader that this is HIS journey not a history of Baghwan Shree Rajneesh, but his childhood in a commune He s able to bring the historical experience in by integrating it to the chronology of his narrative, so we are not left wondering what life really was like in a broader perspective I could understand some readers taking issue with the use of a child s point of view without sticking to the vehicle and instead giving us an adult as child perspective Guest never is overtly critical of the experience, though he peppers his story with enough examples for us to cringe at the neglect of that time I am equally appreciative of his ability to integrate his own flaws, to remind the reader that he did not react perfectly to his surroundings, was not a fully innocent victim, so to speak I never once felt Guest was purporting a victimhood stance, so my word choice is flawed The writing itself was matter of fact, much like the narrative, and the read itself was smooth While the storytelling seemed well done, I wished the language would have been richer,layered Perhaps Guest s distance from figurative language best illustrates his alienation from this strangely sensual world

  4. Elizabeth Urello says:

    I read a lot of books about cults and cult members I don t have an explanation for why, it s just an interest I have The tagline of this particular book could read, An interesting person ruined my life, and I have no idea why This memoir of Guest s upbringing in the Rajneeshi cult should be fascinating, but it s spoiled by Guest s inability to elevate it from mere factual retelling into literary memoir He plods along, recalling every tiny detail as if it were important for its own sake, so I read a lot of books about cults and cult members I don t have an explanation for why, it s just an interest I have The tagline of this particular book could read, An interesting person ruined my life, and I have no idea why This memoir of Guest s upbringing in the Rajneeshi cult should be fascinating, but it s spoiled by Guest s inability to elevate it from mere factual retelling into literary memoir He plods along, recalling every tiny detail as if it were important for its own sake, so that the book is stuffed with childhood recollections that aren t necessary for our understanding of his experience And he offers almost no insight into the characters of the people involved it s a lot of here s what happened and almost no and here are the conclusions I ve drawn about it, which results in the book weirdly reading as if it were written by ten year old Tim The present day Guest has almost as little perspective on the whole thing as he did as a child.In the end, this book isof an exorcism of a personal grievance than something that would be of any interest to anyone outside the Guest family I was intrigued by Guest s mother she s the sort of person that I want to understand better, and that s why I read a lot of books about cults But Guest doesn t understand her at all, or give her much of a chance to speak for herself a little bit at the end Granted, he s really mad at her and she was a truly shitty mother, but she s alsointeresting to an uninvolved reader than he is the whole thing happened because of her choices, whereas he was just along for the ride , so it would have been nice if the book had been about her instead of about her confused, unhappy child.Should you read it No

  5. Tegan says:

    After watching Wild Wild Country on Netflix I was interested in learningabout life in the communes This novel is from a child s perspective, and the author mainly lived in Europe, only briefly visiting the Oregon commune, but it still provides interesting insight into how children were viewed in the sannyasin culture Mostly left to their own devices sannyasins were encouraged not to have children and get sterilized.

  6. Val Robson says:

    This is one of the best autobiographies I have ever read I bought it after watching the Netflix six part series Wild Wild Country about Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his followers aka the orange people They got going in the 1970s and then moved to USA in the early 1980s where they attempted to build a new town, Rajneeshpuram, in the wilds of Oregon Some of the people within the movement let power go to their heads and it all went horribly wrong for them and the thousands of followers in the This is one of the best autobiographies I have ever read I bought it after watching the Netflix six part series Wild Wild Country about Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his followers aka the orange people They got going in the 1970s and then moved to USA in the early 1980s where they attempted to build a new town, Rajneeshpuram, in the wilds of Oregon Some of the people within the movement let power go to their heads and it all went horribly wrong for them and the thousands of followers in the mid 80s This book is written by Tim Guest who was a child during this time but lived in various communes around the world as his mother became a follower of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh in the 70s when Tim was a toddler Tim lived many different places in the UK, India, USA and Germany Sometimes he went with his mother but often was left behind to be cared for by other commune members Occasionally he rebelled and went to live with his father for periods of time That usually involved plane journeys as an accompanied minor as his father was mostly based in California He had the strangest childhood imaginable which he spent much of his later teens and 20s trying to come to terms with and to rebuild a relationship with his mother who he felt constantly abandoned by as she clearly put serving the commune above parenthood.This book doesn t just document Tim s bizarre upbringing but also the real story of what was happening in the Rajneesh communes as opposed to the rather sanitised version portrayed by the Netflix series I kept wondering why there were no babies or children despite free love being one of the Bhagwan s principles The answer to this and many other puzzling things is in this book It s a must read for anyone interested in wondering just why people follow gurus and self declared leaders like Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, Jim Jones, etc A gripping read from start to finish

  7. Bharath says:

    This is a book about the period when Tim s mother was a close follower of the controversial guru Osho Rajneesh His mother starts by attending a lecture and gets deeply involved visiting and living in the Pune ashram of Osho and later Europe, America as well As he was a small boy at the time, Tim recounts much of this later That is one of the problems of the book There is no insight on what Tim s mother found attractive in Osho s teachings, and whether she suffered any self doubt during m This is a book about the period when Tim s mother was a close follower of the controversial guru Osho Rajneesh His mother starts by attending a lecture and gets deeply involved visiting and living in the Pune ashram of Osho and later Europe, America as well As he was a small boy at the time, Tim recounts much of this later That is one of the problems of the book There is no insight on what Tim s mother found attractive in Osho s teachings, and whether she suffered any self doubt during much of her time as a follower There is a touch of humour as Tim narrates the going ons at Osho s various centres, and many episodes are fun to read Nevertheless, what the book lacks is depth and comes across as a very shallow recap of much of what happened at the time Quite a bit of the latter part of the book is public knowledge as well The story being a deeply personal one for Tim and his family is to the book s credit though

  8. minnie says:

    I read this over the weekend and found it a fascinating insight into the insane world of the religious cult.It s the memories of Tim Guest, whose mother joined Bhagwans followers in 1980 and dragged her young son around various Ashrams.This book was extremely sad, young Tim runs wild at Medina the Orange peoples headquarters in Suffolk with the other kids and does all the things normal kids do, but with no real love or input from his mother.When Bhagwan sets up a huge village in Oregon,and eve I read this over the weekend and found it a fascinating insight into the insane world of the religious cult.It s the memories of Tim Guest, whose mother joined Bhagwans followers in 1980 and dragged her young son around various Ashrams.This book was extremely sad, young Tim runs wild at Medina the Orange peoples headquarters in Suffolk with the other kids and does all the things normal kids do, but with no real love or input from his mother.When Bhagwan sets up a huge village in Oregon,and everyone has to move there, the paranoia amongst his followers becomes scary and there is the usual cult thing of Gun toting security, stockpiles of Weapons and a getaway helicopter.Tim Guest never really judges the craziness around him, just describes his memories in an undramatic way that makes it all theshocking for the reader

  9. Jenny (Reading Envy) says:

    Tim was 6 when his mother decided to follow Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh This chronicles his memories of living on various Rajneesh compounds in India, the UK, Rajneeshpuram in Oregon , and even a school in Holland It was fascinating For instance, who knew that one of the leaders of this group was the only instance of biological warfare used in the United States until anthrax For all of the horror stories out there about cultish religions, this wasfocused on his unique childhood and wasTim was 6 when his mother decided to follow Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh This chronicles his memories of living on various Rajneesh compounds in India, the UK, Rajneeshpuram in Oregon , and even a school in Holland It was fascinating For instance, who knew that one of the leaders of this group was the only instance of biological warfare used in the United States until anthrax For all of the horror stories out there about cultish religions, this wasfocused on his unique childhood and wasbittersweet than horrid I want to readabout the Rajneeshees

  10. Barry says:

    Fascinating personal story of a childhood in Bhagwani communes Honest about the emotional neglect, and the craziness of it all, but also sympathetic in its recognition of the adults as lost souls and often desperate seekers Mostly personal, as I said, but also lightly seasoned with insights.

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