WELLNESS LENS OF WILD WILD COUNTRY DOC
The latest Netflix docuseries, Wild, Wild Country is 6-hours of What in the hell? Is this shit real? While the documentary focuses on a utopian commune under the leadership of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh also known as Osho, this tale is more relevant today than it was during the 1980’s.
With stock footage taken from local news channels in Oregon, the Duplass’ brothers (Mark and Jay) uncover the story of assassination plots, gun rights, voter rights, a fear of us versus them, and immigration concerns. Sound relevant enough yet?
What stands out to me the most after watching this series is that cults or communes (the story makes these terms interchangeable) often use and manipulate people’s need to fill a spiritual void and enter into a community. We all want to live in a utopian society. We all want to feel included.
Everything that the Duplass’ brothers touch is gold whether it be acting, writing, or producing. And along with directors and brothers Maclain and Chapman Way, they make the viewer feel as if they are members of the Rajneesh cult-utopian-commune-society.
SOCIETY & COMMUNITY
When Facebook first started to blossom as a social media site, many people would join groups. They could join public groups to show their admiration for a particular topic. Or they could join a private group to keep themselves shielded from outsiders. We all seek a community.
In the case of the Rajneesh, even wealthy people began to flock to the community. In the rural community of Oregon, the rich lived in harmony with the poor and homeless people that were bussed in for various reasons. (I will spare you the spoilers).
I can’t help but think that this is the climate of wellness community today. One may feel like they need the lavish lifestyle in order to find a balance. One may feel like they need to splurge on self-care in order to feel whole.
However, just like the Sannyasins (or disciples of Osho), you must create your own paradise. Wellness is about being happy. Happiness is created by the inner self.
LOYALTY or LOVE?
Devotion to a person can be misleading. Devotion to items can be malevolent. Is Wild, Wild Country about the meditation and spiritual practices of Osho? Or are they about the devotion and loyalty of his followers. For example, IsWild, Wild Country a tale of a courageous woman perhaps? A psychopathic woman?
Osho’s secretary and the main character in the docuseries, Ma Anand Sheela, loyal to Osho or is it love? According to Vulture, Mallika Rao interviewed Sheela by phone about this. Sheela says, “I tell you in a simple word – I loved Bhagwan. I liked everything about him, so it is not that I like this better than the other.
Sheela is the badass leader of the movement while Osho takes a vow of silence. She can be seen giving the finger, cursing on live television, and simply spreading the message of free sex and free love.
But this tale delves into how far people will go for the ones that they love.
GREED & POWER
Michelle Obama once said, “When they go low, we go high.” When the state and federal government along with the local community went low, Sheela went high. And this was no turn the other cheek high.
Furthermore, people are kicked out of the commune with no place to go. Worse accusations were made. But when people are under pressure, you find out who they truly are is a motif that is threaded throughout all 6 episodes.
According to Sheela, “people only understand sensation. They don’t understand, other than negativity and sensation. People remain stuck in negativity. After watching this docuseries, I find myself asking myself: Who am I? And how can I continue to try and live better and be better?