- 1 Data Template
- 2 Notes
- 3 CD Cover
- 4 File 1
- 5 File 2
- 6 Footnotes
- 7 End
|Recorded date||September 8, 1974|
|Number of tapes||One 90-min tape, 2 sides|
|Other recorders audible?|
|Alternate versions exist?|
|Source||Paul Schmidt - is a Mike Fitz white cassette|
|No. of MP3 files||2 -- SH converted Dec. 2011|
|Total time||45 min + 42 min = 89 min = 1 hr 29 min total|
|Transcription status||In process Jan 2012|
|Link to distribution copy||http://distribution.direct-mind.org/|
|Link to PDF||http://distribution.direct-mind.org/ Or try http://selfdefinition.org/rose/|
|Published in what book?|
|Published on which website?|
|Audio quality||Very good|
|Identifiable voices||"Dan", "Izzie", some unidentified voices.|
|URL at direct-mind.org||https://www.direct-mind.org/index.php?title=1974-0908-Theosophical-Society-Pittsburgh|
|For access, send email to: email@example.com|
See Discussion page for a few notes.
Thanks to Paul Schmidt for this tape.
Rose says “Hi Dan” a couple times.
The WKSU interview is dated the day before: 1974-0907.
Paul Schmidt version = 45 min + 42 min = 87 min = 1 hr 27 min.
This is also released as a commercial CD – need to compare versions
Time commercial CD = 9 + 7 + 12 + 8 + 11 + 13 = 60 minutes total.
Rose Publications via CD Baby: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/richardrose7
File 1 = 45 minutes, 29 seconds
Well, as far as my notorious background, I’ll leave that open for questions later if anybody wants to know. We do have a group here in Pittsburgh. My first lecture was right here in this room. We now have a group at Pitt and we have our own ashram near the university; we have a group at Ohio State University and one at Kent State University. The general organization has members all over the eastern part of the United States, and we’ve got one member in Salt Lake City and one in Texas.
We’ve made quite a bit of progress for being active just two and a half years. I had an experience at the age of thirty, but I found too few people willing to listen to what I had to say. I found that in the contracting business you can lose contracts by talking about esoteric matters; you can lose friends; and if you live in a particular religious neighborhood or where there’s a strong religious atmosphere you get a lot of criticism from conventional religions.
The old days
So I just presumed that there were no ears; and I’m quite convinced that there were no ears at that time. There is a group, a small group that never numbered more than five or six people, that existed since I was about twenty-five years of age. I had started contacting people in Akron. But these people are old; most of them are older than I, and the majority of them are now dead.
But we had no way to work; because at that time they were mostly too old to start doing any spiritual work. When I say too old I mean too tied up in economic exigencies. They were married, they had ten kids to keep or something and they had a job that they couldn’t get off; maybe they were working a swing shift, so they couldn’t do consistent spiritual work. And it was just hopeless.
But we met; we’d keep in contact through the mail, and they’d come down to my place or I’d go up to their place. I had a farm down in West Virginia and the idea was always there, the intention, was to use that farm someday for a spiritual retreat. And it’s in existence for that today; we have a center in West Virginia. And you don’t have to be an addict of Zen to come. As long as your intentions are sincere and you’re not a pest, we welcome members there. Because that’s what it was for: open [investigation]. I’m very much, I’m heartily in favor of the Theosophical Society. Of all the groups I’ve investigated in my lifetime – I’ve investigated every one that I could find – this is one of the few groups that kept an open door. This in the book I’ve written also, that they have an open mind toward the investigation of truth: scientific, spiritual, the study of religions. I went through all that, and everybody who’s on a spiritual path has to do it. You have to prospect a little, you have to look around, to see what’s propitious, what’s good for you, what you think might help you.
Now the talk I’m going to give today is [on Zen]. – hi Dan – And basically it’s useless to talk on Zen; you can pick books up on Zen history in any store, and I’m not too sure anybody cares about Zen history. I don’t care about it. I don’t care whether Bodhidharma sat in Peking or Tokyo. What’s important is whether there’s anything going on today, and whether there is any substance to it.
So Zen was the closest word, when our society first started. It was the closest word to describe the experience – some call it cosmic consciousness, some call it satori, some call it enlightenment. It was a system that took you directly there, instead of through a hundred years of devotional homage to some church. So we chose that name, although I’m not oriented entirely toward the Asian way of thinking in Zen. I believe in Christian mysticism as well; and I believe that we’ve had profound Christian mystics, people who were exactly as far advanced as anyone who ever came out of Asia.
But of course the American public likes exotic terms. I didn’t pick the word Zen because it was an exotic term, I picked it because it’s a short word that says a lot. For instance, there’s no English word for the enlightenment experience – “enlightenment” isn’t the proper word – it’s a distinct type of exaltation. The closest you get to it in western writing is when they talk about the “ecstasy of the saints”, but I don’t consider this the final experience; I consider this a relative, emotional experience; it’s colored by emotion that’s relative. The final experience has no relative associations, it has no relative definitions: it is not good nor bad, it is not beautiful or ugly. It is. It just is. It is nothing and it is everything. So you can’t say ecstasy, because ecstasy implies something.
But you have different exaltations that people experience. And nearly everybody who experiences them think they’ve reached the final stage of spiritual development. And this is the reason that I have encouraged people to seek on all levels. But it’s very difficult to cooperate with people on some esoteric levels; the metaphysicians or transcendentalists are all enemies among themselves – not enemies, but they won’t work together. They chide each other. They say, “You aren’t wised-up yet. When you get real smart you’ll come around to our way of thinking,” which is Rosicrucianism or Transcendental Meditation or loving the guru, something of this sort. Just pledging your adoration to some millionaire fifteen-year old kid.
These are all people on a level, though; they reached a certain spiritual level – because of the fact that they put energy into it, and they devoted themselves. I don’t see too much difference in whether you’d fall in love with a fifteen year old guru or fall in love with a figure of Christ who’s been dead for two thousand years. It’s a devotional attitude, and this devotional-emotional attitude toward a spiritual search brings you to an exaltation. And that exaltation – I call it salvationism, and Gurdjieff calls it the movement from man number one two man number two, from the instinctive man to the emotional man.
Then you have another exaltation when you transcend that, if you live long enough. If you’ve been saved and you never get beyond salvationism, you’ll live and die in that one experience. But you will grow beyond that if you see that you’ve been outwitting yourself with your emotions. You’ll say, “Oh, I’d better look for some solid reasoning.” And if you’ll start to study whatever you can get your hands on – maybe fundamentalism, it may be the kabala, numerology, astrology, or something that has symbols, even scientific; it may be mathematics.
So out of this comes another exaltation – these are measurable – and I call it the eureka experience or the “wow!” experience. And a tremendous lot of your so-called satori experiences are nothing more than this wow experience – a momentary bursting of a knowledge light, so to speak, illumination, saying, “That’s it.” Like when you solve “x” in algebra.
Of course this becomes a final thing in itself. A person can live on that plateau for awhile, and they draw postulates and form dogmas and all sorts of things out of that discovery, or that elation. And they linger in that for quite awhile, some of them all their life. And even into magic – magic results from this particular level: the continual piddling with symbols and trying for materialistic results from transcendental symbols.
If they linger in that for awhile they may transcend it. They’ll transcend it by entering into philosophy, and this is the next step, and this is samadhi, the first step of samadhi – when a person reaches what you read about in esoteric literature called cosmic consciousness. Cosmic consciousness is a relative experience, by virtue of all the descriptions of it. If you’re acquainted with Richard M. Bucke, in Cosmic Consciousness he speaks of the city of London, England lighting up with a rose-colored light, and a feeling of peace and bliss and all this sort of thing. Now this is what the Hindus call kevala nirvikalpa samadhi. Now that’s a big long word and it doesn’t need to be, but we have nothing better. I’ve never encountered a better word. Satori isn’t a good word for the final enlightenment, because the word satori has been abused by all sorts of little enlightenments. When you read literature, the different Zen books, you get the impression that some of these people are not so much enlightened as they were just glad to get out of the place.
In other words, it’s the enlightenment you’d get if you were in a prison camp, and a tremendous amount of pressure was put on you and then released; the pressure is released by you escaping or something, and you reach “enlightenment”. So I’m somehow a little suspicious about actually what goes on in some of the so-called cases of enlightenment.
But regardless, the relentless pursuit of truth through a philosophic means leads to this kevala samadhi. That’s when all the world falls into place, the material world and everything has meaning, and everything is beautiful and everyone you meet on the street is beautiful. And you’ll be so convinced that you’ve found the answer that you may spend the rest of your life in that state.
Now if you haven’t entered any of these states, all I’m talking about will sound like garbage to you. If you’ve had any reading in esoteric literature, then it may have some meaning to you. But otherwise it won’t. So what I’m about to say will have even less meaning to you. And that is that there’s another state beyond that, which Gurdjieff hinted about, and some of the mystics hint about, and some of the people claim to have – and that is the sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi.
Hi Dan – sit down.
So I come at this from little different angle. I don’t believe it’s necessary for you to study Japanese, or to go flying over to Japan or to kneel at the feet of anybody, regardless of what country he comes from. I believe that the truth exists right here in Pittsburgh. The truth exists wherever you’re at; you don’t need to go anyplace.
Find your fellows
Of course you have to find your fellows. And because of the fact that you have to find your fellows we do set up ashrams; we have little groups who meet, and we encourage this type of lecture and that sort of thing. Because nobody works alone. This is explained in my book, the advantages of working together.
It takes one man an infinitely long period of time say to build a house – for him to take block and tackles and pull those logs into place by himself. But if he gets a hundred of the neighbors together, like in the old days, they throw up a log cabin in a day’s time and he’s living in it the next day. And he goes down the road and helps with the next fellow.
And the same way with spiritual work. Results are proportional to the number of people who are applying effort to it. And not only that, but it’s like Alcoholics Anonymous or any of these anonymous clubs – you have people to remind you when you’re slipping. You have people to confront you and say, “Hey, you’re getting off the track.” This is important. There are many advantages.
And of course, as II said before, these truths were written a long time ago and everybody in this room has heard them – and never paid any attention to them. The whole formula for esoteric or spiritual work is written and nobody pays any attention to it – and that’s “the way, the truth and the life.” The admonition is given out, that you have to have the way – and that is the discipline; whether it’s Christianity or Buddhism or whatever it is – you have to have some discipline. You have to be aimed irrevocably at the truth – this must be your tantamount objective, regardless of everything else. And you have to have the life, or the way you live, which is a brotherhood, the sangha they say in some of the oriental monasteries.
In the Buddhistic admonition it was “the buddha, the dharma and the sangha,” which is practically synonymous. And yet these three little words are read all the time in Buddhistic or Christian literature and nobody pays any attention – they go back to beating their head on some temple floor and burning incense to some invisible God that they can’t reach and that evidently has never reached them.
This is the reason we work together and the reason we have groups. But each man himself has to find it; each man’s path is slightly different. You may loaf together and you may hold meetings together, but I don’t pretend that you can take a formula that I could write in a book – I’ve written a book but I don’t have any individualized formula for how a person could reach it, because everybody reaches it a little differently.
I knew a man very well and one of what I consider the most outstanding cases of enlightenment that I have met in this country. And I mean the country is crawling with people now who claim to be enlightened. But you will know then when you talk to them – this is your only, the final judgment. And the man who was outstanding in my memory was an ex-aviator from World War II who had mentally cracked up, and had retreated into the Lord’s Prayer, and continued to study, pray, analyze the Lord’s Prayer, because he said, “That’s the only thing I knew.” He never read oriental literature or anything.
So he took what was at hand, and he pursued the truth in the only way he knew how; he picked up the Bible and he opened it. And they said, “The Lord said if you want to pray, do it this way,” and what followed was the Lord’s Prayer. He took the Lord’s Prayer and hung onto it, and the longer he hung onto it the more stuff hit the fan, the more hardship descended on him. His wife left him, he was about to lose his job, his children were deserting him.
He was working in Dallas Texas as a salesman for an automobile dealership, and he said he just had an unusually difficult case – some people came in and were hassling him about a sale – and he said he just put his head down on the desk and he prayed that God would kill him. He said, “I can’t take any more and I don’t have guts enough to kill myself.” And he never raised his head up off the desk. They hauled him to the hospital – he passed out, and when he woke up he was in the hospital.
And they kept hi there for ten days, and in ten days that man witnessed the universe – I mean not the universe as you see it, but he witnessed that which is, because the universe is not. And I heard him talk, I heard him describe it in one of our group meetings years ago, in Akron Ohio. And I knew that the man had reached; he had arrived. But he was unable to help somebody else. Because not everybody’s going to find it with the Lord’s Prayer.
People by the millions are rejecting Christianity because Christianity has gone into politics. And so there’s a dissatisfaction with Christianity and the young people are all heading for the Orient, where there’s an equal amount of corruption, but you can’t see it from here – so they hop over there. But yet, the thing is here, the truth is here; there is an esoteric Christianity and there is an esoteric Buddhism. And this is what Zen is. Zen is an esoteric Buddhism.
So I want to pose some questions to you, I don’t want to preach to you. Because there is nothing to learn in Zen – it’s all to unlearn. I’m not here to really denounce or negate anything. I’m not here to educate, but I am here to negate education; I hope to, let’s put it that way. If there is a wisdom that’s offered here today or in the thing that I follow, it’s basically a wisdom of emptiness, or a negative wisdom. If there’s any know-how, it’s in how to run between the raindrops. The art of running between the raindrops is what’s important, not how many sutras you can memorize or how much Zen history or how much liturgy you know.
I maintain that we’re basically automatons. And if you haven’t already experienced this – some people don’t experience it until they get quite old, and then it’s generally too late to do anything about it. But most people when they advance into years realize that they don’t amount to much. Nobody takes them seriously, the earth doesn’t take them seriously, and all the egos of their youth are no longer echoed by other people. They’re not good-looking anymore, they don’t have any money, they don’t have any charismatic effect. And when the egos go of course they realize that they’re just another bubble of clay, about ready to descend back into the earth where they came from.
And this is all we are, basically, in my estimation; we are nothing more than bubbles of clay, unless we choose to be something else. Now of course that’s the old common tone in all religious exhortations, that man is nothing until he gets saved or something of that sort. But the thing is that there is no basic awakening from this sleep that we have plunged ourselves into, by chanting ourselves or praying ourselves further to sleep, or by reassuring ourselves that we’re beautiful or that God put us here to run the show – about two to three billion of us here and we don’t seem to be doing a very good job of it. But that’s what we’re supposed to be here – this is supposed to be our picnic grounds – the whole thing was created just for a bunch of blobs. Three billion blobs, so much better than the monkeys and the animals because they’re endowed with a soul – three billion people – which none of them ever discovered. They just said, “Well, we’ve got to keep the faith, and don’t tell the kids anything different because all hell would break loose.”
But mostly you find that everything you do, you’re programmed. And I want to provoke that thought today, the depth to which you’re programmed. For instance, why do you work? Why do you go out and get a job? Why do you go to school? A lot of people go to college. Is it to find wisdom? Do people go to college to find wisdom? I find that even in these liberal arts colleges they go to smoke dope, basically. Or get an easy degree, something of that sort. But people study to get a better job because they think that they couldn’t make it by just working, so they’ve got to get in some better category; they’re not too sure of themselves.
But what’s it all about? They don’t get a better understanding – maybe they want to be a better robot, they want to fit in some machinery, in some executive suite, but still machinery. Or they want to be controllers of other robots. But they want to get a better automobile, a better house, so that they can have a better sexual mate, so that they can better satisfy their fantasies. And these fantasies beget agonies.
And eventually our house and our car and even our exhausted body wears the massive symbol to remind us that we’ve worshipped idols instead of the truth, and shows that we’ve hopelessly locked ourselves in space and time. We’ve got a twenty-year mortgage on the house and we’ve got a five-year loan on the car – we can’t break loose, we can’t travel to visit some distant library, or travel to meet somebody halfway across the country, because we don’t dare take the time off. And when we get time off from work all we can do is stagger home after we’ve stopped for reinforcements at the local pub. Because this is the only escape, after ten years or so of working at a factory the only escape is to drug yourself or get yourself half-crocked.
Because underneath, the computer is always talking to you. It says, “Hey, what’s wrong with you, bud? You’ve been punching that time clock for ten years. Is this you? You’re just an extension of that time clock, an extension of that ladle or whatever you’re running in the mill.”
And I say, is it possible that instead of identifying with relative bondage – by relative bondage I mean being tied to this sexual programming. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not denouncing, I’m not anti-sex or anything of that sort. I’m just saying that this is where we’re hung up, chiefly. We don’t allow that to be say five percent of our time – it’s ninety-nine percent of our energy. This is the whole thing, that we have a physical bondage.
I say isn’t it possible that we could discover something else? Maybe even while we’re doing that, if we get the thing balanced. In the marriage of space and time, in the continuum of space and time, the marriage of the atman and the brahman, the self and the overself, nothingness and everythingness. Come back later, after you’ve learned it, to houses and wives and cabbages and kings. But wherein the house then is only part of your dream of life, and you realize that the house is not real and is not a real identification [?] you’re not hooked on it, it’s just something you have to live in. Wherein the sexual partner is a friend and not a manacle, not something to enslave you, not our master but our equally pathetic sojourner on a long stage of life, where we are here for a brief interval only.
So that is the proposition I have, where our main job, whatever it is, is not piling up money in a bank, but it’s a breaking [of] windows, icons, these ideas that people fall back on to soothe their feelings. When they worry about the grave or life after death, there are too many things waiting to say, “Yes, come in here and I’ll give you the solution. All you have to do is drop ten percent in the basket on the way out, and we’ll give you the solution to all this. And then quit worrying, go back to your job, because we’ve got an agreement with the government, and we won’t be funded if we don’t tell you that.” So what we have is to break these window, behind which we find a fantasy land of make-belief and mass acceptance, and a condition that permeates the whole mass mind of mankind
You may think I’m talking here about a rebellious attitude toward the establishment or something of that sort. I don’t pay any attention to the establishment; I don’t have any attitude toward it one way or the other. The establishment I’m talking about is the one that’s inside your heads, the one you built up like a brick house – convictions that lead nowhere.
And I maintain that this head is the same no matter where it’s at, and as I said before, I don’t see any difference – you might have a Tibetan, or a Japanese Zen master, a pretended Zen master, or a Hindu teacher – these are still heads. And to understand heads you’ve got to understand what motivates them. And if we examine our heads we’ll find basically, as I said before, that no matter what titles that man wears, whether he’s the president of the United States or he’s the president of a university, his head is primarily gonad-dominated; these heads have been that way for eight thousand years, if civilization has lasted that long, or if human history has lasted that long.
And the only difference that I can see, down through these years, between the cave man and us is our ability to enact and put forth pretense. And it’s a mass pretense, the sort which we endow with the word “culture”. And culture is a threatening word today – everybody’s talking about culture. [?]
We have in eight thousand years built an enormous farce, which we call technology as well. We have come a long way spiritually in eight thousand years. And I say it’s amazing we’ve come as far as we did, because spiritual progress is inversely proportional to technological progress.
In other words, everyone runs out and gets all carried away by the building of the spaceship or the building of the airplane, but the serious introspection, if you want to call it that, which I consider true religion ... Well, religion is a bad word – that’s another thing, we have semantics. Religion basically means belief, and I don’t believe in believing. I don’t believe you should believe anything, not even me. I believe you should find out for yourself. If I can help you a little bit in finding out for yourself, that’s alright. But I don’t even think you should believe me.
But basically, if there’s a word that we can use and call it investigation or religious investigation without the connotation of belief with it, it is introspection. We have to look within ourselves. But we’ve come a long way regardless, because of this hazard that we’ve encountered all the way down: Everybody endowed the general with honor, or the king or the emperor, that sort of thing, or even the scientist, but not the person who struggled to try to find some spiritual unity and freedom for man
So in that respect, although we’re way behind our technological advance, we’re fortunate that we’ve come as far as we have; it’s almost miraculous. And that’s one of the reasons I believe that there’s an essence behind mankind that is pushing for recognition. Now I’m speaking of what some people mistakenly refer to as God. Because God’s got to be a bad name anymore – it’s abused by too many hucksters, peddling their wares in the name of God. But I believe that there is an essence back behind mankind that is pushing for some resonance within each individual. And if it hadn’t been for that, we would have never survived the attraction of the technological advance, and the attraction of the inventions that led to more pleasure instead of more thinking.
And talking about the idea of God, today, it might be good to mention this, that we have a peculiar change; there’s been an about-face in the whole thing. Of course I think it’s wrong first of all to set out on a path to find God. This seems to be – whenever you say this, this is a noble little remark to drop and everybody likes it, and you make no enemies if you tell people you’re looking for God. I remember one time I asked a woman what she was doing and she said, “I’m trying to help God.” And I said, “What makes you think that you’re that important, that he needs your help? If he is what you presume – not what I presume him to be but what you presume him to be – a great, kind father who sees the fall of every sparrow and all this sort of thing. And he knows that you’re doing it. And what makes you think you’re so important that he needs your little push?”
This personal type of God – to pursue it is a form of absurdity, because of the simple fact that we don’t know. And to postulate and dedicate your life to something you don’t know is foolishness. The only thing you can do is seek that which is. You have to look, and say, “Whatever it is, I want it, but I want the truth.” As soon as you identify, as soon as you postulate, then you start to build a fairy tale around that God: “Well, yes, he likes Ginger snaps.” Or he likes incense, or he’ll get angry if you do this. And then we’re back in the caveman days, with a little bit more elaborate temple to hold our superstitious religion, that’s all. So we build up dogmas of sin and guilt and reward, and idyllic heavens to which we’re going to go, in which Uncle Jake and Aunt Fanny will be waiting for us.
But today they have rejected him too; the new thought has mostly rejected God. And I’m not happy about that either. Because this was better than nothing; this was better than worshipping Mescalito, let’s put it that way. He is either a utility today or he’s rejected. He has to serve some function, he has to dovetail with political power. And when God doesn’t dovetail with the sociologists or the psychologists, why – of course the psychologists and the sociologists are also trying to dovetail in with the political power, and not to offend the people who believe, until they can twist their heads a little bit at a time. But if he is not a utility he is rejected. And he does his job for our somatic desires or we fire him.
Now here’s a strange vein running through everything: He blesses our lust, and if we drink the wine after it’s blessed it’s harmless. Or if we baptize – you hear these stories coming out of Russia back in the Czar days, the days of Czars, that if you had a pig and it wasn’t blessed – I think they have this in the Hebrew faith yet - somebody’s always going to get a rake-off from blessing pigs or chickens or something. But this takes you down to the detailed, ritualistic smile of God. God has to smile on this pig or this chicken or it’s not fit to eat.
So our people today have rejected God, that idea of God. And as I said, in a way it’s probably just – because this God was created in the image and likeness of man; and in the imagination of man, it’s fitting that that’s where you end up.
[the next paragraph moved up from further below]
And I’m not making fun of an entity when I say that; I’m making fun of the asininity of people who think that they can postulate, and then worship that which they postulate before proving.
[resume normal flow]
But this is not the real God. This is the God that everybody, when they join cults or movements, they find inadequate. And this was a hundred years ago that they found that type of God inadequate too, and they went out looking for something else. And there is a real search; there is a real essence that can be searched for.
Of course, to people who are on the instinctive level and there’s no hope for them except to be the man with the hoe for sixty years and then drop dead – let them believe, and don’t dissuade them. Don’t try to educate them. Do not try to tell people that there is no religion and that’s their only prop. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about people who are interested in finding the truth, not people who need a crutch or a panacea, something to get them through life. To those and to little children you must remain silent. But I don’t believe in preaching lies, even to little children. I had children of my own and I never taught them anything about God. Because as I said the word is badly abused.
We have an evolutionary God; this is another thing that’s bad. You don’t have to take my word for it; go back and get Frazer’s Golden Bough and Max Mueller and some of these writers, and you’ll find that there’s a genesis. Frazer says it evolved from what they call the corn god. He became more elaborate as people’s imaginations became more fantastic.
But underlying all this is a real essence. Now how do you get to it? How do we know that there is an essence, that they weren’t just playing games all over the world? No. I’d say that there were only certain places where they played this game of the imaginary, wrathful God, the successor to lightning and thunder. I find that even in some primitive tribes that there is a looking up – American Indian, Australian aborigine – an intuitive looking upward for life after death without any deity involved in it. A vague reference perhaps to a great white father [error: this term was used for the U.S. president – should be great spirit] or something of that sort, the big brother in the aborigines.
But regardless, they seemed to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they had a life after death. And not only that, but they respected the same thing for animals; they felt that the animals also had a life after death – which some of our more cultivated or civilized religions renounce; they say the animals have nothing. But of course, when we look at ourselves all we can see when we take away the pretense, is an animal.
But the God that is proclaimed by the hucksters, without bother of definition, has remained unfortunately silent for thousands of years. The people who embraced the cause were destroyed, and not since the days of the burning bush have we had any real evidence that there was any invisible force – I can’t say it’s divine, or permeates the entire universe or anything of that sort – but any sort of magical or invisible voice, to back up the idea of a personal connection between us and another personal being of infinite power.
So this brings us back of course to the study of Zen. Because you can’t postulate. And when you finally realize that you can’t postulate, then you have to start from zero. And if you start with zero, you have to start with yourself; you can’t just say, “Well, I don’t exist.” You have to start though with zero convictions. And of course this sounds rather difficult, but there is a system. There’s a system by which you subtract, instead of adding pretensive knowledge. You subtract erroneous thinking. You get your head on straight, so to speak; you get rid of the neuroses. And whatever means you use to do this is very good. And I advise the people in the group lots of times to get a book on psychology. In our different ashrams we have all sorts of books on psychology – from Jung, and lately we’ve been invaded by Karen Horney – these are all good things to stir your head up, to see where you’re kidding yourself.
But this is basically all you have to go by – just to retreat. You observe your actions, observe your source, observe your inner being – look inside and see what you can see. Now that doesn’t seem like much of a formula. And of course I can’t go into a tremendous lot of detail, but this is exactly the system you use. You have to get some better method of evaluating yourself – by searching perhaps for ways and means, for techniques, going into some Christian spiritual discipline or Zen-ish spiritual discipline, or some psychoanalytic technique – but it has to be a pure psychoanalytic technique.
And one of the first observations I made was that we were a robot – we are eminently mechanical. We may have thought that we’re in charge – you hear people say, “I’m going to do this,” – and you find that back behind the scenes there’s something working all the time. You sense this in your life. For instance, a young man say pursues an ambition for twenty years, and he’s going to do a certain thing; he sets his head to do it. The young woman sets her head that she’s going to marry a certain type of fellow – she’s going to marry a millionaire or a football player or something. So she invests in several thousand dollars worth of cosmetics and several decades of her time and she never finds this Prince Charming. And the man never makes his million. And he wears himself out, he beats his head on the wall, and he never makes anything.
And then it comes to him that he is not running the show; he is being moved. And these very things that were his motivations, such as sex and power and pleasure and travel and all this sort of thing, were the bait that kept him going, that made of him nothing more than a robot to fertilize the earth. And then he sees a deeper purpose. Some of your young people today pick this up – and then they make a religion of that, that’s “mother earth”. They believe that they’re here just strictly to fertilize, to take so much dope and have so much experience and then croak, and fertilize the upper crust.
But I believe that there are two purposes for this robot, and they’re demonstrable. One of them is that he’s evidently a part of nature; he’s just an extension, just a fertilizer. He’s like the wheat or corn that grows in the field: when the pollen falls on the ear of corn, the grain starts to grow, the tassel falls off, the leaves turn pale, and there’s no longer any life. And the same with the human being. He somehow activated his DNA molecule when his breeding season is over, or maybe when it begins. But somehow it’s activated in the corn and the wheat and the plants, and it’s activated in the animal. That you’re just here to reproduce and then fertilize – what’s left of you – in the planet, the ground.
But there is another purpose, I maintain, and that is the meaning. There is an ultimate meaning behind this. In other words, can spiritual hope and belief be nothing but part of our robot’s program-stimulation? Or is it possible that the robot has [a] no meaning beyond his purpose? If this is so then we have but one sensible work – to somehow interrupt or reprogram the robot, and concentrate on new purpose.
And this is the alternative – of which you’re not sure, because you’re not sure of anything; there’s no foolproof equation going to be given you in advance by which this will be proven. When you pursue truth you go into it blind, with no previous convictions or no previous formulation – although it doesn’t hurt to speculate. But the alternative is to somehow interrupt the automatic behavior and then reprogram. Our meaning is evidently fertility but if we can reprogram the robot, then that immediately means we have new meaning. And all that we are is our meaning. We are not souls if our only purpose is to fertilize the earth: we are fertilizer. But if we become spiritual agents, then our meaning makes us spiritual beings and endows us automatically with a different meaning, and that means immortality. That is, if we struggle for it.
I maintain of course that it’s evident, that if you watch the life and death of people on the instinctive level, that if there were any type of immortality that is dreamed by the people on the levels above – such as a person who reaches samadhi; such as Richard Bucke – and he looks back upon the person who is in the instinctive level, he sees that they will never reach that in their lifetime, that they will just lie down some day and die like an animal. And if they don’t reach it, they’ll become convinced that they are what they thought they were. You will die with the belief of yourself of what you think you are. If you think you’re a millionaire or a tycoon, or if you think you’re powerful or the best or the smartest or the bravest or whatever it is – this is all ego; this is all false.
So what you believe is false. That’s not really you. And as I said, sometimes it dawns on you right before you die. When you get old you say, “Ho, I’m not what I thought I was. But what am I now?” It’s too late to re-form, it’s too late to regroup and have a new objective, and have a new ambition, and to give the robot a new purpose.
But this is the reason – if you could see the analogy – that the person who dies in the instinctive level cannot be any more than that fact for eternity, unless by some haphazard chance there’s a reshuffle, a reincarnation, or a re-viewing, of somehow coming back. And this is evident to people on the second level above them – they know this fellow has never wised-up, and he ever will be wised-up; he’ll die believing he’s Tom Jones. He’ll never die believing that he’s nothingness and everythingness. And that sounds rather absurd, but that’s the difference between the real and the unreal.
Such a purpose, if we reprogrammed ourselves, would be directed to knowing the Self ...
[break in tape]
[file 1 ends at 45:28]
File 2 = 42 minutes.
Lecture of Questions (abbreviated)
[ Side 2 begins mid-stream early in “lecture of questions”.]
[Insert – written by SH:
So here are some questions for you to answer, which will help illustrate the limitations of what we accept in conventional thinking.
end of insert]
[The following are taken from “Lecture of Questions” in Profound Writings East and West. ]
What do you know for sure?
Does a man own a house of does the house own him?
Does a man have power, or is he overpowered?
Does a man enjoy, or is he consumed?
[ End of insertion. Tape starts here. ]
Does a man reason, or is he so programmed?
Can a man learn that which he really wishes to, by himself alone?
Can a man become?
How shall we know what he should become?
Why build ant hills before knowing what an ant is?
Why do we build conceptual towers of Babel about human thinking before we know what thought is?
How can you dare to define thought before you knowing the source-cause of all thought, or the essence of thought?
00:40 Now this is where I make a direct point at modern psychology and modern psychiatry – that we’re patching tires without correcting the malady. We’re patching tires when we should picking nails up off the road. We’re trying to treat symptoms instead of analyzing the cause. And we can’t treat say disturbances of thinking processes until we know what a thought is. And of course they blithely turn that aside and say, “Well, nobody knows.” But that is sophistry; there are people who do know what thought is. But nevertheless, unless you know what thought is, no one should attempt to correct other people’s thinking.
And not only that, but where did it come from? And we talk about our own life – we think we’re eternal just because we’re here, just because we’re standing here today. But where were we say fifty or sixty or a hundred years ago? Where were we a hundred years ago? It seems impossible to contemplate right that now; I know all of you think, “I never dreamed that I didn’t exist a hundred years ago.” We just go about life as if we have lived forever and will live forever. It’s amazing how we’re swept into this, and this is what keeps us going – the idea that we’re programmed to forget the fact that something came seemingly out of nothing. We didn’t come out of nothing, but we don’t bother to find out where we came from.
When you describe bouncing, do you describe the striking object or that which is struck?
Can you start thinking? Can you stop thinking?
You obviously can try this sometime – if you think that you’re in charge of your thoughts, that you’re the guy who’s doing the thinking, let’s try to stop it. Or let’s try to start it. Say, “I’m going to start thinking. At three o’clock in the morning when I’m sound asleep, I’m going to start thinking.” The only thing that’s going to start you thinking is an accident; that’s the accident of awakening, like with an alarm clock or an accidental awakening.
Is thought something received or something projected?
Is thought a sort of somatic effluvium?
Now the modern psychologists and sociologists would have us believe that it’s just an excrescence of the brain of some sort.
Do we think, or are we made to think?
Are we free? Are we actually free? That’s what I’m basically getting at with this: Who’s doing the thinking?
Is “negative thinking”, as commonly discussed, negative to man or negative to nature?
Does the brain generate thought like a radio generates the message coming from its speaker?
Now this is very possible. How much of it is generated in that manner? How much of it is projected? And how much of it is basically “us”?
Is thought limited to the brain?
Incidentally, there’s been a lot of research done on this lately; it’s pretty well established that thought isn’t limited to the brain.
When a tree bends over, does it create wind by waving its branches?
Can theological facts be established by voting?
We’re stuck in a mass of democracy. Everything’s going to be decided by voting. The Supreme Court will decide everything for us. And if you want to be funded, you’ll get in line.
Is Mary the mother of God or is humanity the mother of God?
Did God come out of the womb of humanity’s imagination?
Is God determined by victorious armies?
In other words, for the people who prayed on the other side, their God is false.
Is virtue established by psychological edict? By ecclesiastical vote? Or by the requisites of our ultimate essence?
What is sin? An offense against yourself? An offense against your fellowman? Or an offense against God?
Is an offense against God recognized by divine outcry, earthquake, or cosmic catastrophe?
Is it a sin to eat meat?
Are the animals our brothers? Are they possessed of intelligence and soul?
Now I’m just asking; I want to provoke some thinking in you. I don’t mean it one way or the other – I want you to solve these for yourself.
Do animals sin when they eat other animals?
Or are such sinning animals pardoned for keeping ecology in balance?
Is it wrong to kill except for food?
Do we do wrong, then, by not eating the people we kill?
Who is knowledgeable about good?
Is “good” that which we desire, or that which is in itself good?
What is the condition of being good-in-itself?
Is evil the child of good, or its twin?
If a man drives a horse through a plate glass window, should the man be prosecuted or the horse?
If a man robs to feed his children, should we prosecute the man or that which drove him, the children?
If a man rapes a girl should we prosecute a) the man, b) the girl who tempted him, c) his ancestors for his genetic inheritance, or d) the forces that designed him?
What is equality?
Was Samson equal to Delilah?
Is a baby equal to a dying man?
Are you only half of a plan by virtue of not possessing both sexes?
Is peace of mind more important than global peace or herd peace?
Who or what are we?
Are we only a body?
Or are we rather a complex organism, a cell colony? A nature-oriented bundle of conditioned reflexes?
Some of the modern come out with this today – that we don’t exist, we’re just a bunch of conditioned reflexes.
Is the brain a monitoring station designed for the organism’s indefinite survival? Or is our body programmed for death? (That it’s in the death gene, following procreation.)
Is all religion and philosophy merely rationalization emanating from that computer to answer constant cellular awareness of death?
In other words, is all this philosophy and religion and stuff just a bit of bubbling off the pot to keep the guy from going berserk?
Or is the universal belief in life after death an intuitive reading from that computer? A reading not completely translatable into computer symbols, which are limited.
As I said before, we have no computer symbols for enlightenment. We have a big long Hindu word, sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi, but very few proper symbols for what the computer says, what our intuition tells us is really there.
Is there a soul?
Did it exist before the body or must it be developed, grown or evolved?
This is what I meant when I asked what you remember before you were born; that [supposedly] all of a sudden we had a soul – one of these all-powerful things, capable of making decisions and being held responsible by the most powerful of all, this God who is in charge of everything.
Prove or establish the following: mind, as other than somatic awareness; subconscious mind, ego, id, superego; chakra, kundalini, tisra-til; astral, etheric, causal, desire bodies; aura, halo, ectoplasm; conscience; spiritual ear (we’ve really got a lot of fleece hanging on us), spiritual nectar (that’s the one that drips down inside your head when you pay off a thousand dollars).
What is the correct definition of sanity?
Do our psychologists practice rationalization and make-believe when they substitute behaviorism for a deeper set of factors of human origins, or factors of prenatal determination, meaning factors that would bring us to a knowledge of the true essence of man?
Do they not procrastinate the search for real causes?
I often bring this up about the science of psychology: When I was in college it was 1938 and I still have the dictionary; the word psychology was defined in 1938 as it reads from its derivation – it’s the study of the psyche, the study of the mind: psyche and logos. But when my daughter was in college in 1968 or so she brought home a dictionary and the word mind is left out. It’s no longer a study of the mind, it’s the study of personality and behavior and a few words like that; I can’t remember the exact definition. But the word mind is left entirely out. As far as they’re concerned, as far as Merriam-Webster or our authorities on psychology, there is no such thing as mind. It’s a bundle of conditioned reflexes.
Do they not manifest a possible paranoia of their own, in fear of subjective observations? – that many of these substantial pursuits have come up with, in which they produced evidence that there is an essence – a possible or probable essence of man.
Which is the worse schizophrenic, the man who speaks in tongues, the schizoid who can’t help himself – or the professionals who create volumes of confusing, complex terminology describing nothing better than their own frustrating dichotomy?
Psychiatry and psychology
I believe that the big service today is that the psychiatric and psychological fields basically function to put people back to work and back to paying taxes, and not making ripples. Regardless of what they have to do – to get these people back to work or to keep them from making ripples, they will incorporate in their psychological system. And this is the horns of their dilemma. I do believe that the majority of people that are psychiatrists and psychologists are intelligent and sensible people. But they’re hung on this; they can’t escape it. Because this is what the public demands.
I have an article from Readers Digest in 1968, and the title is “Does Psychiatry work?” They’re talking about the percentage of the people who have to return to the mental institution after being released – meaning that the people who were treating them didn’t have the proper system. That is, they’ve got all sorts of tools, but still they didn’t get to the root trouble.
“Such observations have convinced many psychiatrists that their proper study is not specific diseases like schizophrenia, but the whole man, who has developed a harmful way of reacting to his life and to himself.
And then he goes on to say that the group therapy, milieu therapy and social therapy – these are the things that they’re substituting, instead of sitting down with the guy and saying, “Here’s what’s wrong with you, take such and such a pill.” Which means that people are going back to curing themselves. They put them in a group of people – and I know personally a lot of these groups who have done exactly that; they just throw them together and say, “Let’s see what comes out.” Well, the result of all this expensive supervision has been, “Since 1955 the number of Americans admitted to mental hospitals has risen four times faster than the population.” For any increase in the population, the increase in demand for admission to these institutions is outdistancing it four times.
Now why do I bring this up? Why do I heckle the psychiatric field? Because I believe that they’re making their own patients in a tremendous lot of this. You can convince people that they’re sick, for one thing. But then when you encourage them just to do something to get back to work ... We have a man in our group from Cleveland – an engineer – and he had been going to a psychiatrist and paying him thirty-five dollars a session over a period of years, because he was incompatible with his wife. She was kicking him, nagging him; she claimed that he was unsatisfactory and all this sort of thing. He was feeling worse and worse and worse.
So the result was, of course, that he became depressed. He became divorced, he gave her the house, he gave her all the money in the bank because he felt like a louse. And he was living in a house trailer up there, and my friend Martin happened to run into him in Kent and said, “Why don’t you go down and talk to Rose?” And he came down to talk to me; he drove down to the house. And I said to him, “Did it ever occur to you that you’re wife’s a lesbian? That’s my conclusion.” And he said, “I’ll ask her.” And he drove back up – he was still in contact with her – and she said, “Yes, yes.” And he said, “Well what the hell did you ever marry me for?” She said, “I couldn’t support myself.” She was an engineer also. She said, “I couldn’t pay bills, because I could not control money.”
And he went back and told his psychiatrist off. He said, “You’re supposed to know. And this little bald-headed character from West Virginia who has no degrees at all, somehow hit the nail on the head, and it was proven; I went back and corroborated it with her; she said, ‘Yes, this is true.’ ” And she was able, by virtue of her non-heterosexual inclinations to denounce him all the time, not to feel aroused or be compatible with him, and then say, “Well, you’re inadequate,” and continually hound him with his inadequacy. He told me about his love for children and stuff, and I said, “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with you.” This is our member in S-. Salt Lake City He’s married and has a baby with somebody else now.
This shows some of the very simple things – their inability to go inside of a man’s head, to just look inside and see that man as being whole and complete and good. And I didn’t even know the other party; I never met her. And do you know what they told him? The psychiatrist gave him a list of swinger clubs in Cleveland. “Try this. Try two or three at a time. Get another woman or two women or a man and a woman – it doesn’t matter, anything you do is alright; but get back to work, pay taxes, and above all, pay that thirty-five bucks a visit.”
Also we run into these people who are into the various forms of training children, in institutions. And I ran into it when I was in college. I was going with a girl in college, and the gym teacher was talking to the girls about masturbation. And she had got it from the latest sources that there was absolutely nothing wrong with masturbation, that this is all an old-folks tale from way back that it caused mental illness and that sort of thing. But not the human kingdom alone – even the animal kingdom rejects other animals and tries to kill them when they’re masturbating; I had a farm and I got this from watching cows and all sorts of animals.
The human family rejects people. The result is we’ve got a lot of sick people running around all over the country today, who have jaded themselves with various forms of sexual degeneracy, thinking that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it, that everybody should accept them. And when they pass you on the street they make you feel sick. And they get hostile because they’re rejected. But they have rejected their own spiritual quantum. As the Bible says, they burnt the oil from their lamps. And there’s no way to replace it.
So modern psychiatry doesn’t admit spiritual values, doesn’t admit a spiritual quantum in the human body. But the people here who have gotten into yoga, who have studied anything about kundalini yoga, know that there is such a thing as raising a spiritual quantum. And raising a spiritual quantum has to be associated with inhibiting a sexual factor. You can’t just go out and do as you please, and then go back and demand that society accept you as you are, for whatever type of dishrag you are, just because the psychologist says that it’s okay. Just keep on paying taxes, there’s nothing else you need to worry about. Just stay in the same job, pay your bills and pay taxes.
I think that this is a very critical thing in spiritual life today: you cannot find yourself if you open up all the floodgates of energy. If you want any hint whatsoever about spiritual work, this is a common denominator. It’s not me talking. I spent years researching it; this is a common denominator in all religion, whether it’s Christianity, Buddhism or what. Celibacy is a common denominator of spiritual attainment – or at least restriction, inhibition. If you want to be an animal, that’s what you’ll be, an animal. An eternal fact of an animal.
So if you look into these various religions you’ll find this. But modern psychiatry doesn’t pay any attention: that’s “superstition”. Anything that doesn’t come under their [agreed] discussion is superstition. And unfortunately, I’m predicting you’ll see the results of it. You’re already seeing the results of it; we’ve got about a million kids already who have gone over the cliff. Because first of all, they rejected these universal inhibitions. I don’t blame them for rejecting modern authority – I think most of the authorities we have in schools in college today are very selfishly motivated; they’re career-motivated, money-motivated, union-motivated – they just want to maintain their power and that’s all they care about. They don’t care about the spiritual values of children under their care. And I’ve got a lot of proof about this too. It’s bad enough when you play politics with the spirits and minds of older people. But again – we go back to Christianity – the Bible itself denounces it, when you tinker with children, when you encourage children into a life of dissipation. And they make it you might say even a law: “There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this; go ahead and help yourself.”
Another thing that they don’t consider is the invasion of entities. Now this has nothing to do with the final essence of man; I don’t even intend to get near it, to try to tell you about the ultimate essence of man and what its purpose is here. You can find that out for yourself – because you wouldn’t believe me, or couldn’t hear me if I spoke it. But there are certain things that you will encounter in the spiritual path. And you’ll find out first of all that we’re not the only fish in the sea; that there are entities that are invisible, and there are entities that promote human actions.
And you will find patterns by which these entities work, to promote certain things. For instance, if any of you have read the romance of Don Juan – he speaks of Mescalito, the spirit of the peyote plant, and he claims that there’s a spirit in charge of the jimson weed. And this is reminiscent of Paracelsus, who speaks of the succubi and the incubi. Now we can laugh at them if we wish, but all the theological writings down through the ages bear witness to this, whether it’s Buddhist or Hindu or Christian literature – it bears a witness that there are entities who dominate our lives. And the only time that we’re immune to the action of these entities is when we are pure, or when we’re old enough and mature enough that they can’t affect us.
So if you want to find out something, if you want to know the truth – whether you want to know the truth or not, if you just want to be healthy – you protect yourself. If you want your kids to grow up so they’re not idiots, or very unhappy, you try to feed them, physically, you protect them against physical harm. But to not try to protect them psychically or mentally – this is real folly in my estimation. I think that any kid can grow up in the streets, and nature will protect them a certain amount – there will be a certain percentage of them that survive, let’s put it that way. But I think it’s folly for people to continue to allow children to be confused about certain things.
There are real dangers. There are real mental and psychic dangers, and I think they are almost criminal – as the Bible says, the people who do it should be drowned. I find that that includes all the sociologists and the psychologists who are practicing this in the country; they should be drowned. Because they are scandalizing our young children. And I just encountered this a couple of days ago; that in one of our Pittsburgh institutions the people in charge of children were belaboring themselves with this idea, that it was very proper to masturbate. So what do you have? I find that half of our children’s institutions are run by misfits, people who are sexually degenerate.
Yet we talk about spiritual things. But it’s impossible for you to make any spiritual progress at all unless you do a very simple thing, and that is to control your energy. It has nothing to do with say the divine right or wrong; it has to do simply with controlling your energy. That if you drain all of the blood out of a body, that body won’t move. And there’s an essence that’s even as valuable as blood. And it’s almost measurable. It’s in a quantum, a neural quantum – that if you drain it all out of your body, you’re a dishrag. And people for instance who have drained it out with booze know it, and people who have taken acid for a prolonged period of time know it – unfortunately, only vaguely they know it. But they know that they’ve lost a quantum that is very difficult for them to replace.
Now at this time I’m sure some of you have some questions. I’ve been talking without any accent on Zen history or Zen techniques, and in an hour’s time I can only hit certain high spots. I’d much prefer that if anyone has any questions, we can hit those high spots also.
Q. What’s the book you referred to?
R. The Albigen Papers. It’s a series of papers – half of it is a corrosive analysis of what I call the crap that exists today, that people have to wade through before they can find anything solid. The sociological illusions: that you have to be a certain way, to drive a certain type of car, to think a certain way; you don’t dare do these things or those things in public and that sort of thing. Keeping up with the Joneses; believing that the law is always right; that just because a man puts a mortar board on his head he’s wise, that sort of thing. And then the psychological illusions: that we’ve got a cult, a whole priestcraft of people who call themselves psychologists – who can’t define sanity. A simple thing like that. The very stuff they work with – sanity and insanity – they have no definition for it and they all admit it. And no definition for the mind. And I’ve seen in psychology books the attempt to define the mind, and this gets into chapters.
Another part of the book is the muckraking of isms, cults, things that just take your money, appeal to certain vanities or egos inside of you, and not to your desire for the truth. And religious discrepancies, theological discrepancies. Now it’s a lifetime of research compacted into a few pages you might say.
Then, the second half of the book is how you go about starting to search for the Truth, and I call it capital-T Truth as opposed to relative truth. There are two forma of truth. If you take a simple formulation like H2O – we say that that’s established as far as we care. It might not be proven absolutely but we’ll admit that hydrogen and oxygen produce water, and H2O is the form of the water. But when you speak of the nature or the essence of man, or the absolute condition of that which is, the universe and everything, then you’re talking about capital-T Truth; this is absolute truth. And the word capital-T Truth is in itself not definable.
So you might as well say it’s postulated by virtue of the fact that if there is more of something, the increment implies an absolute capacity. That if there is a possibility of more clarity – in your search for relative truth, you get into more and more clarity, you toss out more garbage – and this has to lead, by virtue of what I call the Law of Progression to an absolute end. It can’t be limited. And this absolute end, if you can understand it looking at it from that viewpoint, that is the experience of enlightenment. That’s when you would actually know the answer. So the second half of the book has to do with the ways and means of that. And this incidentally is the book we use in our groups, and most everybody uses as a handbook.
R. This isn’t the book itself, that’s just a folder [brochure] we have to explain our work.
Q. How do we get a copy?
R. I think we have two copies. Do you have any copies with you? [Somebody: I have a copy.] There are some copies here.
Q. I would tend to agree with you, concerning your statements about modern psychology. But how would you define sanity?
R. Well, I wouldn’t define sanity short of absolute truth. Now I do believe though that there are certain things that are harmful. Let’s take the postulation that sanity is healthiness; we’ll say that when you do something that’s unhealthy you’re not being sane. Or if you do something that leads to a state that would produce unhealthiness, this might be called insanity.
But by that expression, we take an act for instance of masturbation and we say, “Well, that’s perfectly alright because so many New York doctors said it doesn’t do a darn thing to you.” Yet suppose you know it does affect you, or you find out later – like taking a certain drug – they found out it didn’t hurt the woman at all, but when the child came out he had two stumps for legs. So this is the same thing that’s implied there; they do not bother to identify the harm that they can’t see – because they deny anything they can’t see.
Modern psychology denies the mind outside of the physical body, or outside of experimental results, like the thing with Pavlov’s dog. If they can carry out experiments and say, “Here’s the reactions,” well, reactions are physical. But they do not see the after-effects, or the interior effects. They can say, “Sure, here’s this fellow, we wired him up with en electro-encephalograph and we let him masturbate for two or three years – and he’s just as efficient, he pays just as much in taxes as he did before.” But you get that fellow in your esoteric group, and you read something. And the people pick it up – their intuition picks it up – but this man has no intuition for some reason. And we’ve had them, believe me. We have lifetime examples who will admit it; that this is the reason – they have no intuition because they could never shut the tap off long enough to start thinking.
But this is something the psychiatrist denies. He says, “That’s an exceptional case.” Or, “That’s nonsense, that’s superstition, you just imagined it. There’s no such thing as esoteric sciences anyhow.” He denies the whole field of esoteric science. So all that he’s concerned with is a well-functioning body capable of working a slide rule. This man that I’m talking about is a genius with a slide rule; he’s an engineer. But as far as spiritual intuition, he had none.
And then you go back, you develop the ability to look inside the human mind, and you look inside the mind of a child – and this child has no neuroses. There’s nothing wrong; this child is happy and healthy. But when he gets old enough to where he can indulge in sex, he develops neuroses, not before. Not unless somebody tinkers with him or her. Then the neuroses develop. And they say, “This has nothing to do with sex, absolutely.” What else did the child do? There has to be a connection. If you get sick it has to be something you contacted in your environment or something you were born with. If you were born without a lung, naturally, that didn’t come from your environment; that’s a parental environment then. But I’m talking about the average healthy child.
33:13 There are just millions of these kids today who are instantly degenerated when they get to be twelve-thirteen years of age. Because everybody is telling them this is the thing to do. And the morality of a hundred years ago is looked upon as old-fashioned as such – with the implication that religion can be outmoded and there’s a new type of religion, of permissiveness, whereby we can now have God and infinite perversion hand in hand.
But what I’m saying is that psychologists and psychiatrists do not bother to go into the essence of man. They do not bother to go into his real essential nature. They only accept what they see, and that is a man working in a steel mill who somehow has developed a neuroses and he’s unable to work at his job. He’s about ready to leave six kids and go on welfare, which will mean that the psychiatrist will have to help pay taxes to keep those kids, and everybody else will have to keep them. So we must get this guy back to work, for the benefit of society.
And of course I say the hell with society, let’s take care of the human soul. Let’s take care of that human mind. And especially that childish human mind which still has a chance yet. This is the point.
Q. Would you please tell me something about Zen archery?
R. No. [laughs] I’m not concerned with Zen archery. I had a fellow come over to my lecture at Pitt one time – I was talking about the conservation of energy and transmutation of energy. And this fellow listened to me talk, and then he said, “Well that guy don’t know anything about Zen, he doesn’t know any haiku.” In other words, I had no poems to recite. I know nothing about flower arrangement. This is what I call the abortive use of the word Zen. But I think that it isn’t only Zen archery, but a lot of Zen movements that purport to be enlightenment systems are nothing more than social institutions. Sorry that I can’t help you, but I’ve never done anything in that line.
Q. You’ve helped me very much.
Soul vs. mind
Q. You used the word soul or mind interchangeably; do you consider them one?
R. No – I use them because these are the words you’ll understand. But when we talk about the soul of course you really have to define things, because of the abuse, again, like the word God has been abused. Some of the ancients considered the soul to be the astral body, while others considered the spirit to be the real soul. Some reverse it, so you have to define yourself. Actually, there is a shell that survives death that you could identify as being a ghost, which would not be our final essence. When I was speaking about the soul of the child I’m speaking of the chances of that child. That child’s essence cannot be destroyed. Its soul cannot be destroyed, if you speak of the soul being its final essence.
When I speak of essence I use that word particularly because I want to differentiate between the idea of an individual being, an individual soul, somehow floating around independently, maybe growing. As you hear this thing today of expanding consciousness until it becomes a bigger and bigger bubble until God moves over. And this is not what the essence of man is. The essence of man is God.
And the mind of man is an illusion. So that basically you have to lose that mind before you find your real essence. This is the process of Zen and Christian mysticism. When all the egos of the human being disappear – the ego that’s your node, the ego that your knowledge or your memory is immortal – that goes too. So the mind is basically an attribute or a faculty, a projection from the essence itself. I use the word soul rather loosely.
JJ van der Leeuw
Q. You mentioned things we’re used to seeing in this existence, like buildings, as not being real. What do you mean by that?
R. Well, again, this is something that I shouldn’t carry into a discussion. You hear a lot of this in Zen literature and it’s not provable to you. I can’t prove with objective words that there’s no such thing as an objective being. And this is what it involves. We’re talking with relative words to demonstrate that there’s no such thing as a relative existence – that there is no universe, that there are no planets, that there are no dictionaries, that there are no bodies – as we know them. When we really know who we are, then we realize that we are tremendously different from this agreed-upon projection; that what we see is manifestly an illusion. There’s a book you can get here, they have it Conquest of Illusion by JJ van der Leeuw; it will give you a good idea of what I’m talking about.
Q. This Jane Roberts, the Seth material – that tells you a whole lot more than anybody I’ve ever read.
R. Van der Leeuw is – you’ve read van der Leeuw have you? They have it here, generally; it comes from the Quest bookstore. And this was written by J J van der Leeuw – and he brings this out, the concept. And Brunton is another one. Paul Brunton’s Wisdom of the Overself and The Hidden Teachings Beyond Yoga. These are very good books to read on that.
Q. It’s hard to get Paul Brunton’s books. You have to send away for them.
R. Yes, this is true. You send to Sam Weiser’s bookstore in Broadway, New York, I forget – 200 something. I’ve sent away and got a few of them.
Q. You said that after death the ego ceases to exist, the memory itself ceases to exists, but the vital essence of who you really are exists. Then after death do you really exist?
R. Well, again, there are different deaths. I believe that the people on the instinctive level cannot possibly have any memory of themselves. When they realize that their true self, the true possibility of what they are – they wouldn’t have anything to remember except a nightmare; this life would just be a nightmare.
I believe that when they die, certain people do remember who they are and continue to live in what they call astral living, or bardo living; the Tibetan Book of the Dead speaks of the bardos. And it is possible that this belief continues; that you’re able to carry on a form of life, by just maintaining a belief in it, maybe for a certain time. And of course this is the injunction that’s given by the writer of the literature for the dying, in the Tibetan books of the dead: the injunction is always, “Remember that this is not real, and then you can’t be tortured.” Because the people who die believing in hell will find one. People who die believing that they’re going to be reincarnated may go through nightmarish reincarnations.
So consequentially there are experiential levels that you can return to. But I still say only a percentage of the people do that. Then of course there’s manifest evidence that there are people who never reincarnate, that they transcend this. And these are the only people who actually know that the world is an illusion. The people who are living in a bardo of illusion don’t know that there is such a thing as capital-R Reality. Even though they’re dead they don’t know it, and even though they have some sort of memory they don’t know it.
Well, did you have any business to discuss?
Q. I need to make a couple of announcements.
R. Go ahead. Then if anybody wants to ask more questions we can do that.
Q. Thank you very much Mr. Rose.
Q. I just wanted to make an announcement ... [ fades out ]
[ Side 2 ends at 42:07 ]
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Audio CD of this talk available at RosePublications.Com. Portions of this talk were extemporaneous and the transcription required revisions to sentence structure, etc., for the printed page. See Robert Martin: Peace to the Wanderer. http://selfdefinition.org/rose/ Chapter 4 of The Albigen Papers: “On Gurus and Unique Systems”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satori Also see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kensho See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millennium_'73 “A three-day event at the Huston Astrodome featuring Prem Rawat, then known as Guru Maharaj Ji, a 15-year-old guru. Organizers billed the festival as the most significant event in human history which would usher in a thousand years of peace.” Gurdjieff described man number 1, 2, 3, etc., but progression marked by exaltations is Rose’s concept. See Ouspensky, In Search of the Miraculous, ch 4, p 78 of PDF http://selfdefinition.org/gurdjieff/ Or today’s emphasis in modern physics and brain science. In “Zen and Death", Sept. 15, 1977, Rose refers to the experience as the dropping of an emotional ego that results in graduation to the intellectual man or ego. A clear state of mind and a feeling of peace. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samadhi http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Maurice_Bucke In the original: “... the city of Montreal or Toronto or wherever he was.” Corrected here. Cosmic Consciousness, page 8, Bucke is speaking about himself in the third person: “He found himself wrapped-around as it were by a flame-colored cloud.” It only happened to him once in his life. Chapter 6 of The Albigen Papers: See “Contractor’s Law”, “Law of the Ladder”, and “Friendship and the Search”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sangha http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Jewels According to Robert Martin, two very long sessions at Martin’s house that lasted into the night. Wood was a friend of Martin. Martin’s accounts of Wood are on page 91 and page 96 of Peace to the Wanderer. Also see a newspaper clipping from 1965 and obituary here: http://selfdefinition.org/christian/paul-wood-story.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Golden_Bough http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Mueller Golden Bough, “The nature of Osiris” http://www.bartleby.com/196/88.html Mark Jacqua, “The Magical World of the Australian Aborigines”; TAT Journal #10, 1980:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karen_Horney The thinking of the robot nature. Social criticism. Shabd yoga. Original source is “Psychiatry, the Uncertain Science”, Saturday Evening Post, August 10th, 1968. This quote appears at: http://www.huddersfield1.co.uk/depression/uncertain_science/page_three.htm (page 3)
Start of article: http://www.huddersfield1.co.uk/depression/uncertain_science/index.htm
On page 2:” It is a startling fact that nobody can say how well any of these treatments work.” http://www.huddersfield1.co.uk/depression/uncertain_science/page_two.htm From page one: http://www.huddersfield1.co.uk/depression/uncertain_science/index.htm See “Psychology of Miracles”, 1981, Akron, Ohio, from Direct-Mind Experience. There were 300,000 deaths from AIDS in the US between 1987 and 1997. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HIV/AIDS_in_the_United_States Carlos Castaneda. PDF: http://selfdefinition.org/shaman/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paracelsus Hartman: Life and Doctrines of Paracelsus. PDF: http://selfdefinition.org/magic/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Succubus and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incubus Matthew 18:6 and Mark 9:42. The word essence here as Paracelsus used the term, different than elsewhere in the talk. Full text: http://selfdefinition.org/van-der-leeuw/conquest-of-illusion.htm Theosophical publishing house. Both in PDF here: http://selfdefinition.org/brunton/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bardo Full text: http://selfdefinition.org/tibetan/