|Recorded date||January 1, 1976|
|Location||Religious Conference Auditorium near UCLA, Los Angeles|
|Number of tapes|
|Other recorders audible?||No|
|Alternate versions exist?|
|No. of MP3 files||MJ version: Three: 32 min; 30 min; 30 min. SHORT. Edit 5/10/2014: BM also has.|
|Total time||92 minutes, SHORT. Schmidt: Files 47 + 46 + 31 + 9 min is 2 hr 12 min total|
|Transcription status||Draft with ellipses done by MJ in 2004. Appears on SearchWithin. A lot can be recovered using BM version with headset.|
|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?||SearchWithin.Org|
|Remarks||Date appears in PZ Newsletter Feb. 1976, page 4|
|URL at direct-mind.org||https://www.direct-mind.org/index.php?title=1976-0126-Zen-and-Esoteric-Christianity-LA|
|For access, send email to: email@example.com|
Schmidt version is 30 min longer
1st pass was done with Bart’s ; 2nd with Jake’s ; 2nd #2 with Dave Mettle’s
Files are labeled here using Bart’s: one 90 and one 60 min tape.
Paul Schmidt version audio quality poor, telephone spectrum.
Date appears in PZ Newsletter Feb. 1976, page 4
We’ll talk a bit, we’ll talk about Zen. There’s not a whole lot you can say about Zen. Zen I think is supposed to be an action thing. But nonetheless you’ve got to talk you’ve got to say something. A lot of authors will tell you that there’s nothing to do and nothing to say, but they write whole shelves of books on it. So they must be saying something. And there must be a prepares for it, there must be some proof of it.
So we do have to talk, but the thing is, I don’t believe that you can go at it in a cut-and-dried logical evaluation. You can try a little bit to evaluate things; and the purpose here is trying to evaluate for you the possible experiences I have had with Zen and esoteric Christianity, and to give you some ideas on it. And then after that I’d like to turn the meeting over to some questions, sort of an informal discussion.
And of course if anybody wants to, after the meeting, if you want to ask any questions, or if there’s something you don’t want to ask me in the meeting itself, I’m perfectly free to ?? ?? questions ?? what you discover. [?]
The topic of the lecture is supposed to be "Zen and Esoteric Christianity." Now I found that there were eminent enlightened men in both camps. Being raised a Christian I was somewhat, in my childhood or youth, I was reluctant to accept this ?? events, and I spent quite a few years looking into Zen.
So I’m going to run through, I want to throw out a few ideas. Then I want to make some statements, controversial statements. I don’t say that you have to – the whole thing is – you don’t have to believe anything. In fact, I think the basic thing behind Zen is not to believe, so much. But you have to question – the koan, the Zen koan itself is a question. You hear talk of a person getting a koan. The koan, some of the Asian koans that you get – they take a single word: “Why?” Translated into Chinese or Japanese, that might be "Mu" or something of that sort.
But that "why?" holds the challenge to an entire life’s philosophy. Because as soon as you start to challenge why you are doing [one] things, you get into challenging everything. Why do you do anything? Why do you think the way you do? Why do you accept things in your childhood and allow things [them] to become part of your state of mind?
[mj version has blip, loses 3 seconds here]
Zen puts no names on things, at least it’s not supposed to. Because? there is a definite definition of Zen. I think it’s good idea to remember this, although it was said they don't want to put a name on it, still there are definitions given. And in viewing or evaluating some of the present Zen systems flourishing in the country today, it’s a good idea to apply this, if you’re examining them.
Supposedly at the time of Huang Po, no, it was Bodhidharma in China – Bodhidharma came to China – there was a definition given, and it was “a transmission outside the scriptures." And this is something that one of those – there’s not much attention that has been – there’s an awful lot of attention paid to scriptures, sutras and formalities But this definition given at that time negated the need for scriptures of any sort, and negated the need for any particular type of form. Since then, of course, any group, or anything that starts, there are forms built around it, ?? ?? and sects, schisms: we have Soto Zen, Rinzai Zen. And seemingly there wouldn't be any need for this if there was, for naming at least these schisms, unless there was an extensive amount of attention put on form.
Now when we talk about the pursuit, the pursuit of Zen, basically, toward the final answer of the Self – let’s say a hint perhaps, if you don't want to accept the thing verbally – is that it’s the finding out [of] the God within you, or finding you essence. We find this in Christianity as well. Christianity is pretty much split up into two groups: the school of immanence and the school of fundamentalism. [ note – also check “transcendence vs immanence” ] Again the fundamentalists are the same as the ones that have the sutras [scriptures], that’s the equivalent of the sutras in Asia. The Christians also have a school of immanence, in which they believe that you have to find That in you. The answer lies within.
Zen challenges the self. So does Christianity in some aspects. Christianity advises self- scrutiny.
Zen mechanics: there are certain mechanics applied to anything, whether lighting candles, or whirling prayer wheels. Zen mechanics include primarily sitting, which they call zazen, and the koan?. But it claims neither of these as religious mechanisms. Christianity imposes a wide variety of disciplines which it labels as religious mechanisms, for leading to holiness.
Zen postulates nothing beforehand. Christianity postulates before finding. If a child is brought up in a Catholic, Christian school or something of that sort, he is taught that there is a God. He is taught to find God, he’s taught that there is. Zen doesn't teach that there is anything. And this is of significant difference, basically, between them.
Of course, again, Zen is an esoteric Buddhism. Now we look around for where is the esoteric Christianity? It’s very difficult to find, and I believe ?? spent a lot of time trying to find it Even with the rare preachers that you run into like Thomas Merton – by the time he got to the point where he could examine esoteric Christianity and compare it to esoteric Buddhism or Zen, he was too late ?? [in his life]. to try it.
Zen is corruptible, but not as easily corruptible, because it is not rigidly dogmatic. Christianity is corruptible. You find that – I remember when years ago I was initiated into, I went around and joined a number of sects, this was for the purpose of digging, and I joined the Radha Swami sect. The last of that line that I've heard of recently is Kirpal Singh. There was a schism that occurred in that, Kirpal Singh and two other sects split up, a three-way splitting. But they had an idea, that as soon as you organize a religion, there’s, you develop a body, like [in] cybernetics. It gets large and complicated, and starts putting on a ?? like an entity.
As soon as it starts to look like an entity, it gets a disease, and the disease is the devil: Kal. [mj version hissing noise] Kal – they didn’t quite label it the way the Christians do, a terrible creature, waiting on the fringes to take over or subvert. But they maintain that this was a force of Nature – that we're all not supposed to escape. Just like in ?? cave ?? to stand? up? – in reference to – they claim that there was a bargain made upstairs, and that this Kal had certain hunting rights on humanity. The purpose was to keep people ignorant, to keep people on this planet, this plane. That was the theory behind the Radha Swami word Kal.
I don't say now that that’s something you should believe or anything, but I see the significance of this. That as soon as you get too formal an institution developed, you immediately have a struggle for power and a struggle for ideas, and the thing is political. And the next thing you know it’s not a religion anymore.
Now Zen is not that easily corruptible, because it denies all the time, any form. You'll find that some Zen movements can't wait to get into some form. They can't wait to buy equipment – special pillows, special robes, and all this other ??. They start organizing as a religious unit. So when that happens, then I’m inclined to believe that there will be an open door for corruption.
[bm1-11:22] [mj less 11 seconds]
I want to make a few remarks about this business of, let’s say the talk, the goal of spiritual work, particularly Zen. We use a word, you hear a word called "enlightenment." And because the word is used too freely – of course it can't be understood – so any use of it seems superfluous. The attempt to define it is almost a waste of time, but nevertheless, it gets back to this thing that we’ve got to say something. And we have to try to use some common sense in communication.
They tell the story about Buddha, that somebody approached him and said, "If you prove to me that you’ve got something on the ball, I'll follow you. If you can prove to me that you can take me to satori, to enlightenment, I'll follow you." And [Buddha] said, "I can't prove this to you, I'll have to take you there." Because this is not a picture-show; this is a trip. The whole thing is a way, a method of becoming.
So this sounds like it’s pretty final. The person, the only thing left then is [that] whoever is talking to Buddha would have to have some sort of intuition in order to guess this fellow’s got something on the ball, because he's not proving anything in advance.
Now, I don't think it’s that bad. I think that there can be some conversation. And I think that it’s needed, it's necessary if you are going to put years of your life into something, and manifestly from all the stories we hear, that the pursuit of this goal takes years: very dedicated, directed years. And if you get on that sort of path, there are going to be many times when you think you're kidding yourself, that you're a real nut, because there's no guarantees along the way; there are very few milestones.
[But] I say that there are milestones. And I say there are things you can talk about. There are definitions. If you read enough of it, you’ll get a vague idea at least that somebody down the line experienced something. You don't need to just say, [that] "There's nothing, you're going nowhere, this is a study of no-mind, and these are fallacies.” If there's no-mind – believe me, that’s oblivion – what? Get drunk: eat, drink and be merry. This business of no-mind is not the end of Zen. This is not enlightenment. And to do nothing is to make yourself a vacuum. Nature abhors a vacuum and Nature will always fill a vacuum.
So let’s go back to the authorities and see? : people I think that are honesty? honestly? Down the ages we've had some honest people that experienced. And I had confusion: when I first got into this, sorting out these various stories of experience. I had a man come to me one time, a man I thought a tremendous lot of, an old fellow, a Pentecostal. He healed people. He did some marvelous things. I knew him well enough to know he was utterly sincere and believed every word he said. He'd tell me he had been saved, that? he saw God. And I thought, "That's strange. That doesn't sound like some of these other accounts."
And then I met people who said they reached satori. I read their books, listened to their talk, and I saw there was a difference. A fellow who reached satori, had a brief, what I call an algebraic "eureka" experience – something popped. ?? ??
The I read a book by Richard M. Bucke called Cosmic Consciousness. It’s available in the libraries. He gives case after case – I think they're a little bit jumbled; I think he's got two categories in there. But he talks about people suddenly becoming aware of an enormous allotment of time, the transformation of scenery around [them], the sky being lit up, actually lights being created that even neighbors could see and that sort of thing, by virtue of this experience. The account of St. John of the Cross, [for example] who was enlightened.
And [But] then you hear that there is an experience beyond this. The experience beyond this is one in which a person knows everything. Because all these people were not too sure. Richard Bucke says he stood, I think it was in Montreal, Canada someplace, walked out onto the veranda or something, and all at once the spell hit him, and the city became like it [had] caught on fire, bathed, he said, in a rose-colored light. His description was that from at that moment, one drop of Brahmic Bliss fell upon his soul, and from that time thereafter he was at peace with God.
But he answered no questions; the symptoms were decided. [?] And I find that all of these experiences described by people who have experiences fall into these categories: one of salvation; one of "wow;" one of cosmic consciousness; one of enlightenment. They're all different. They're levels. The thing is, that so many people are mistaken, that as soon as they get to one level, they think they've had it, and they look down their nose at everybody else. They say, "You should be converted to my movement and have this great experience." And everybody they meet, they give the same treatment.
So it was a long time -- I'm not quoting myself [tonight]. I've written a book, and all this is explained in the book but I don’t want to quote myself here tonight, because that’s unnecessary. The most important book that I read upon the description of enlightenment – and if you can get this book, and then compare it with some of the people who are running around today telling you they are enlightened, writing all sorts of crazy books – it’s by Ramana Maharshi. It called the Spiritual Teachings of Ramana Maharshi. It’s very simple; the greatest things are told, I think, in a very simple account. You don't have to have a lot of piety, or quotations from the Bible and that sort of thing, to convey the greatest truth that there is.
[bm1-18:43] [mj 20 seconds less]]
He says that there are two sorts of what he calls samadhi. There's kevala, and he uses a word, he calls it nirvikalpa samadhi, and there's sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi. Now I don’t know how to pronounce these long Indian terms, so I’ll just abbreviate and call one kevala samadhi and the other sahaja samadhi. He recognizes these as the two peak experiences that it’s possible for a human being to experience.
The kevala samadhi he describes as equivalent to a bucket that has been lowered into a well by a windlass, and left lying on the bottom. Now what does he mean? He says what happens is that the mind has entered an experience. It’s dropped, it has dropped everything, and it's inert. But it can return at any time. That mind can return. The bucket can be pulled back up. You can go back and once more enter into your old personality, not knowing too much. You’ll have an experience, but you don't know the whole story.
The other one is – the equivalent action involved – is a river flowing into an ocean. When the river flows into the ocean it loses its identity. Now presumably the drops of water are there, but they lose their identity, they're no longer seen. And it cannot return, as a river. There's no return. I find that this analogy, if you want to call it that, is the best that I've ever encountered. And I realized when I read it, that if this man hadn't experienced it himself, he must have been in contact with some people who had.
I think that there are some other things incidentally in Ramana Maharshi that are well worth reading. It’s not Zen, but I think it describes the maximum experience. I think one of the greatest difficulties we have in Zen today, is the fact that they've made the word satori as the maximum experience, the same as the Pentecostal people named salvation the maximum experience.
Now to ?? that’s what they mean by satori. Somebody may say, “When I use the word apple I really mean orange [i.e., define things to suit their own conception]. But there is a – by examining all the writers on this, and current writers as well, you'll find their use of the word – for instance, if you’re acquainted with Zen, you’re acquainted with the description of a person going into a zendo. And they sit there and they’re harassed for hours or days or weeks. And then something happens. They go in to talk to the teacher – he has given him a koan, and they’re supposed to be shouting the koan, and at the same time, they’re? supposed? to? be? working? their head. So they go back into this room privately with the teacher and he says, "Do you have the answer yet?" And the fellow says, "Yeah, here it is." And he says, "No you don't have it." So he goes back out and they harass him some more, and then when he comes back, he says something and the guy [teacher] says, "Yeah, you got it."
Now, this is not It. When Ramana Maharshi had his experience – he died. This is how heavy it is. Because to know everything, you have to die. This is an old maxim that comes from many Hindu writers that you see in the literature. That to know, you have to die. To know what the story is after death, you have to die. But the thing is that, that by some quirk of fate to come back. For some reason, by virtue of maybe because they place so much importance upon bringing the message back to humanity. I think that may be it.
But the simple thing is that also they want to know the answer, they don't particularly want to die, so the organism continues to live. Ramana Maharshi passed out, and the people with him took his pulse and stuff, and they were quite convinced he was dead. Now how long he was out, I don't know. But they checked him.
But the people who have satori are not hauled to the hospital. They are not picked up and carried out. It’s a “Wow. Oh, I’ve got it.” So it’s good to – if you don't believe what I'm saying, go get the books. All of the accounts that I've read about satori are a very brief "wow" experience. And you can get the same thing by intensely studying algebra. You can get that same thing by just intensely studying any set of symbols – like the cabbala. Take the cabbala and keep your head on it, and wisdom will come, and with it will come a revelation.
Now let me try to explain to you the mechanics. Presumably – I don't know how many of you are acquainted with Gurdjieff. Again, I'm falling back on somebody else, because I don’t like to bring all this out of my head and say these are my ideas. So I’m dropping a few names, so that you can use it for reference. ?? ?? ?? Gurdjieff had a movement – I’m sure some of you are acquainted with it – in which he labeled men as divided into four categories: instinctive, emotional, intellectual, and philosophic.
The instinctive man is every man. Every man is instinctive, and presumably most remain in that level and die there. The emotional man is the man who has abandoned, at least momentarily, the instinctive level. He does this by emotion – the only way he can get away from the instinctive level is the emotion that has to draw him there. The emotional has to draw him: He falls in love. He falls in love with Jesus, or he falls in love with some guru. And by dropping his ego self, this thing, this fatheaded idea he’s got about himself – now considering himself worthless and this other person person very significant.
[bm1-25:47] [mj version 30 seconds less]
And he loses himself over this, whether it’s the opposite sex, he or she loses himself in the opposite sex momentarily, and there's a revelation of ecstasy or beauty, possibly. And the same thing applies in the religious sense. The person loses himself in Jesus, they become transformed. The love affair is such that they may lose their desire for booze, or dope, or anything. These things are true.
But this ?? [means?] that their [?] person has gone to the, now to the emotional level. He doesn't necessarily live there totally; he still has instinctive traits. But he is dominantly and forever now an emotional person, a person on that level. And after a while – this is the case if you examine some people’s lives who have been saved, they’ve been saved – after ten or twenty years, there’s something called backsliding, and they find out that they’re missing something. That which they thought was a personality? guiding them perhaps – they want to take a second look. And they start, as I said before, perhaps studying the cabala, astrology, fundamentalism, digging a little deeper. And one day something pops again, and they have a revelation – the pieces fit. The eureka experience. And the person says, "Hey, I was a fool. I was letting my emotions guide me."
And a tremendous lot of – well, Gurdjieff categorizes the different levels, instinctive [etc] levels, by saying that in these levels are such things as the fakir, the yogi, the monk, and so on. And he puts the monk in the emotional class. He's not a mystic, he's just an emotional, devotional person. But after that, he becomes freed by, let's say, persistent application of common sense By persistent use of his intellect he finds his intellect. And he is so overjoyed, that he thinks, "Now I can do anything. I’ve got a powerful head. I can do anything I want to do. I can solve the secrets of the universe," – by just continuing to study the cabala or continuing to work with [this system he’s involved it]. ...
Can I help you?
Q, Is this the lecture on Zen?
R. It sure is. I hope.
R. Yeah, maybe we should have left that door open a little bit. [discussion] Is there a sign up? Okay.
After a while, there's another realization that sets on a man – if he lives long enough. These changes, these states sometimes last ten or twenty years. I think again, the majority of people who enter into them die in them. The old fellow that I knew who was a healer and a Pentecostal, he died in that faith. He could see ahead that he didn't have all the answers, but, and he was, incidentally, a little inclined to discard the fundamentalistic grip that he had on things. He realized that wasn't the only the way to speak. Some people couldn't understand things that ?? his quotations. [something he couldn’t understand just with his quotations?]
But [So] when a man reaches this realization – whether it is by studying the cabala, whether it is by sitting in some zendo – attacking yourself with a formula, a symbol, or a set of symbols – the result [of which] is that the head "pops," and there’s an illumination that occurs. [sentence] and this is the eureka experience – of course they call it satori. Again, when he emerges from this he realizes, looking backwards, that once again he was the not the victim, [in this case] not of his instinctive self, [but] he was the victim of his emotional self and his intellectual self. And now he recognizes that intellect is a vanity. In Zen, ultimately you are supposed to recognize your intellect is a vanity. That's what the purpose is, that they must have to go beyond that. Once you [BM version break in tape at 30:44 – missing half a page] [mj version no break – here is at 30:01] recognize that your intellect is vanity, you have no place to go.
I know that I went through this myself. I would wander all over, looking for one group or one cult after another, one guy that maybe would give me a hint. And say, "What can you do that is neither reasonable nor lovable?" [?] So you just fish, and flop around and flounder from one thing to another, but strangely enough never give up, if you're really whole? hog?
So there's no hope, there's no path; you run out of railroad tracks. The only thing you have left in my estimation, at this stage, is what I call a vector. You've pulled the arrow back so far that it has to go somewhere. It has to keep a ??. Sometimes out of a clear blue sky there will be a revelation.
In Bucke's case it happened without any prediction. He walked out on his back porch and boom. St. John of the Cross was in a prison cell, put there by the conventional authorities for not following the party line. He had a revelation. His cell was lit up so much that the jailers thought he had gotten himself candles or something. The same thing happened to Bucke.
Again, I said this is powerful? [part of it?] But where are the answers? What do we know, after all this life-time? Here is perhaps an old man who finally gets this enormous flash of light. He doesn't know if he's having a stroke – which might bring the same flash, [mj version – file 1 ends here at 31:51] mj2 starts here – no break – a couple words overlap] [BM version of tape resumes here] or whether he is imagining himself, ?? perhaps having some experience. And regardless of whether he considers it valid or not, there's no particular answer. There's no answers in it – except that he feels at peace with God, or feels at peace with himself, something of that sort. So, you can trust that, or else you can continue once more to search.
Now it would sound that we are into a cumulative spirituality – that the more you go and the more you struggle, the more you get. Well, this can't be true – there has to be an end to the capacity of the human being to experience. In my life’s experience, there is a culmination, a top, and that is enlightenment.
But this [eureka] is an experience which recognizes that you don't have the answers yet. [So you] continue to search. And this is the projection upon what Gurdjieff calls "man number four," above the philosophic sense. As to once more – You're not now a philosopher: you're not a person who has thrown all the symbols and all the mathematics into the computer and came out with one big burst of rose [colored] light. You're now obliviated by your own ignorance, the realization of your own ignorance. You go clear to the depths of despair, perhaps, in the realization that you're nobody in the final analysis – one of three billion ants on the earth.
[bm1- 32:24] [mj2-01:42]
We go at it first of all thinking all sorts of things, that we're very important. As I said, when you get into that intellectual thing and you think – I did, I don’t know about you – I thought that I could solve any problem. I thought that I – I'd gone to college, and learned to use a slide rule, and I'd read some books. I thought, boy I can take this stuff apart, all I have to do is keep chucking this stuff into the computer. And then I found out that the only way I could get the answer – I didn't know this, this is hindsight – was when I threw so much into the computer it blew up. Then I got the answer. So this is the equivalent of the river entering the ocean.
[bm1 - 33:13] [mj2 - 02:29]
Now I want to ask some questions – they're koans, if you want to call them that. American koans.
Do you understand yourself?
Do you need to understand yourself?
Can you understand yourself by an objective study of behavior, like the study of psychology?
Is it possible to understand yourself without completely understanding your origin and destiny?
In other words, a man has one of these experience of radiance or cosmic consciousness, but yet he still doesn't know where he comes from. You ask that man, “Where did you come from?” He still doesn't know. “Where are you going when you die?” He says, "I just have a lot of faith, whatever that beautiful thing was that happened to me, that everything’s going to be okay."
[bm1 - 34:16] [mj2 -03:32]
This is one of the keynotes of spiritual searching. So many movements – and there are yardsticks – in the book that I’ve written I have these. I say, whenever you go to a new movement that you haven’t examined before – put these yardsticks up against it. Some of them are: Does it answer these three questions: “Who are you? Where did you come from? Where are you going?” And i it doesn't answer these three to some satisfaction you’ve got to still keep on looking.
[bm1 - 34:47] [mj2- 04:01]
The next thing, another one of the yardsticks is: Does it pretend to trade [bm version: gap in tape but nothing lost. mj version – no gap, no loss] an infinite or absolute value for cash? There's no price you can put on it. And when they say there’s cash involved, then I try to turn my back and walk away.
Is identification of the Self necessarily the isolation of self from the environment?
In other words, is this self that we talk about – like me – a distinct creature standing here, or am I just a sort of an amalgamation, a force field and electrons, so to speak, one of the Universal Brahman. Where's the line of my individuality? Where do I stop and you begin? Where do I stop and my children begin, or my parents?
[bm1 - 35:53] [mj2 - 05:06]
Do motivating factors, such as the appetites, [leave that open a little bit, will you?] fall into the category of being separate from the self?
In other words, when something attacks you, like if you get a flea or a bedbug, we don't accept that as ourself, or perhaps some viruses within our bloodstream, we don’t accept as ourself. But we do have things that divert our attention. In other words, we have a desire for instance maybe to get drunk, something of that sort. Sometimes it seems to louse up our previous appreciation of ourself. Now is this the self, or is this something external?
[bm1 - 36:46] [mj2 - 05:58]
Do curiosity and desire belong in “separateness” categories?
I use these two words deliberately, because I believe that without curiosity and desire, no one could look for the truth. Yet with curiosity and desire we might end up in the whorehouse, an entirely different science.
One of the themes behind spiritual work, in my estimation, is what I call "reversing a vector." We have a vector that’s aimed at the cemetery and at reproduction, the species that fertilize the planet. Most of our processes in fertilizing this planet are a result of our curiosity and our desire. By self-scrutiny when you get into [bm: tape gap, nothing missing—no gap in mj version] meditation you’ll find out that these things are not something that belong to us, that we created. It is not our curiosity and our desire. You can examine the progress of children: as they get to a certain age you don't have to tell them, all at once they have the desire, [the] curiosity. And the curiosity continues until the desire increases, and then there is a vegetative process.
[bm1 - 38:20] [mj2 - 07:28]
I watched this on the farm, with cattle, when a calf was born. The calf is born with a curiosity, and unless it has that curiosity it ends up dying. The mother of that calf didn’t say, "Here, you better start hunting for some milk, or you're going to die." That calf gets up and staggers around in a few hours’ time and starts exploring. It keeps on exploring until it finds the udders. And that's when it lives. If it doesn't find them it dies.
[bm1 - 38:56] [mj2 - 08:04]
So this is what I call an implant. It's like something in the DNA molecule, if you want to call it that; this is genetic. So consequently it’s not a great personal attribute or psychological quality, that maybe we get along with. [?] The idea is that there is possibly a system of using this, and again this falls into the category of reversing the vector. Than once you momentarily forget the udders, and the other little appendages, and start getting curious about "Where did this character come from? Where did I come from? What's going to happen to me? Is it possible for me to do something about my death?" – which seems like it's statistically unavoidable. So we, what I call, "change the direction of the vector," from morbidity to introspection. We start to become curious about ways and means of changing our destiny – at least finding some experience. It would be, that’s a ??, seem to be.
[bm1 - 40:15] [mj2 - 09:24]
Now with this of course, in the opposite direction – once you get curious, it seems to grow [into] a habit of sorts. Spirituality can become a trip, a hangup, if you want to call it. [But] spirituality can develop a spiritual desire. And okay – now this is when the ol' train is on the tracks and it’s running on its own momentum. That's the synthetic desire, this transformation.
Now this comes back, this opens up a whole line of esoteric philosophy. And I call this the "transmutation of energy." This is known in yogic circles as kundalini yoga. So that we use everything that might use us, if possible, ?? eat ?? in other words to go the whole hog: either go whole hog or don't get into the fight. Because you’ll wind up possibly with rationalizations, even if you go whole hog – but you’re surely get them if you just say, "Well, it’s going to be one seventh of my time, one day a week,” something of that sort, and not really put yourself into it.
[bm1 - 41:30] [mj2 - 10:36]
Then we get into the realization that, after all, we were not learning. We get to thinking, like studying the scriptures or something, studying even the yogic routines or something of that sort, that we're learning, we're getting smart. We'll eventually get formulas and one day we’ll use one of these formulas, and then the atmosphere will part, and Aunt Mae will say, "Hello, ?? ?? glad you're here, lead me [you?] through the door." [?] or something
[bm1 - 42:03] [mj2 - 11:10]
We get the idea that it's cunning; that we can become wise with cunning. But it isn't. What it amounts to is that we change. In Thomistic theology, there's a statement, that the finite mind will never perceive the infinite. This is true. If you don’t know what I mean, then stop me. It seems that we are grubby relative creatures, and the dimension we’re headed for is an absolute dimension. A person who deals in relative symbols and words thinks – even our thoughts are relative: good and bad, bright and dark, all that sort of thing – cannot comprehend an absolute answer. So this stops people right there. They say, "Don't do any more thinking. Just go to church and pay your ten percent, because you're a relative creature. And trust us, we’ve got a license, and the license is from the man upstairs, and he'll take you through, [so] ride his coattails."
[bm1 - 43:15] [mj2 - 12:21]
But the truth of the matter is, that there is a quirk to this: that we can become less finite. And by being less finite, we become more absolute, or universal. This is the key. So this is also a system of Zen. This was a – somewhere when I was 21 years old, I remember saying this to myself, [at bm 43:49 a 3 second gap in tape the following is missing] “Boy,” – the first thing I thought was, I was going to college and majoring in chemistry – "I'll take this world apart." You can explain how fatheaded I was by that. I was going to get into splitting atoms, and stuff, and by taking matter apart, and know[ing] what matter was, and behind matter there had to be something.
[bm1 - 43:52] [mj2 - 13:15] [NO BREAK] I’d get a definition. [mj2 – 13:15]
[Well, when] I got into chemistry a little bit and I realized that there’s an infinite tangential science. That it just broke off into branches and sub-branches until – it would have taken 2,000 years of consistent college work to even get started – and then by ?? ?? this promise to ??
I was talking to a fellow yesterday about splitting the atom, and now they're splitting photons. And they still don’t have the answer. They have a method of watching the photon become split, watching energy actually come to life or come into existence. But still we don't know what's behind it. [gap in tape] [bm1 - 44:36 another gap—mj2 – 13:57 has gap also]] ... less than that, and maybe my head would freeze up before then. I think it has. [laughs]
But regardless, you've got to have a shortcut – or else quit, just again revert to the animal: eat, drink and be merry. Well, my intuition told me that if there is a shortcut, somebody's bound to have found it, or at least they’ve found the part-way trip. So let's get into the libraries, let’s hope – as I said, I tramped around the country, I was out here [in L.A.] getting a look around. And like Omar Khayyam, mostly came out by that same door wherein I went. Regardless, by keeping up the thing, I kept the problem in front of the computer. And by continuing to challenge the computer, I think that aided the – coming to some bigger answer.
[bm1 - 45:34] [mj2 - 14:52]
Well, let’s get on with the questions:
Is the body part of the self, or a garment for the spirit?
In other words, are we like an engine? These are concepts.
Is the mind the self, or is it only part of the self?
Maybe that sounds like an idle question, just to throw something at you. But no, there are different concepts. There’s a thing – for instance, modern psychologists define the self as that which you see, and what you see is what you get. They won’t be bothered with any problems that aren’t visible.
[bm version side 1 ends at 46:42]
[NO break in tape – nothing missing - from mj version ]
[bm2 - 00:00] [mj2 – 15:29]
Yet behind this manifest self or personality, there is an observer. If we go into meditation we discover this, that there is a person observing thoughts. And then there is an observer of this whole mechanism. So that this seemingly is a mental process, and if it’s a mental process that may well be the mind.
Is mind a faculty through which we observe God?
Or – can we observe God with the mind?
Now the reason for asking that question, again, is this concept that – with Zen, in the study of Zen, we can't see – the mind has to be killed. We can’t see [this with the mind]. The mind has to die before the person or the individual reaches its awareness.
[bm2 -01:06] [mj2 – 16:32]
Now I have a ...
Q. Excuse me, can I ask you a question?
Q. Do you think that’s what they mean when they say “dropping the egos? ?? ??
R. Well, I think that – I’ve always said this: Before you drop your head, you’ve got to fatten it up. You have to fatten your head up. You have to pursue wisdom. You have to examine every, I say turn every stone over, listen to every man, listen to every religion, listen to every philosophy. And then find some yardstick by which to measure them. This is the path of wisdom. And you have to become, as you’re going along, someone intuitional to do this. You can’t do it with just sheer logic, you have to develop an intuition.
[bm2 - 02:01] [mj2 - 17:26]
Then there comes a time when all of this is dropped. This is true. But I don’t – again – I wonder when a person talks about dropping egos – it almost sounds like they’re going to go out and drop egos. I don't think a person drops egos. I think the rug is pulled out from under him. This is what happens. You don’t drop them. You fold up, that’s all. In other words, you wise up to yourself; you recognize that you’re less important than ...
[bm2 - 03:32] [mj2 - 17:57]
... just for what it’s worth on this business of egos. We have, as I said, there are a lot of things that are manifestly known to us as egos, such as, a fellow wants to be a rooster: and he’s maybe powerful, or maybe he’s confident or something like that, or maybe he’s smart, and he wants to dominate the chicken coop, you know, because of his physical ability. And we call that an ego. Eventually somebody bigger than him beats him up, and he finds out that he's no longer a rooster, the head chicken. And then he drops it, and he becomes maybe a little bit easier to get along with, because of his new wisdom.
[bm2 - 03:71] [mj2 - 18:40]
But there are other egos too: the ego of power, the ego or the vanity of logic, there’s developing? the appetites, like wanting to drink or wanting to take dope – this is an ego. It’s a different ego, it means that you’re on a certain – hanging up yourself, saying you’re important enough to be in this particular pleasure event? venue?
[bm2 - 03:43] [mj2 - 19:05]
Now, we go on beyond that, and we find out the desire for life, the desire to have life, is an ego. And I know one time – we had a little group, back in Ohio; the lady of the house belonged to the group and husband didn't. It was mostly one of these phenomenal group, we looked into Scientology and haunted houses, spiritualism and whatnot. And I said to this man, "You're intelligent, why don't you join our group?" And he said – his name was John, ?? ?? [I don’t want to give his last name] ?? ?? And he said, "Why makes you think that John is so important, that he needs to live forever?" I never forgot what he said. He never joined the group, but he left that little bit of wisdom with us, that "What makes you think you're that damn important that you have to live forever?"
[bm 04:51] [mj2 - 20:12]
I couldn't help but realize that this man had really dropped an ego. He wasn't trying to live forever. We were trying to find mechanisms to live forever. And then you go – of course it sounds like we're drifting in the direction of resignation to nothingness, oblivion. Yet, this is the last ego in the path that has to be overcome. Not the fact that you're going to die. We can accept that, there are many statistics, we have to. But there's still one other ego, and that’s the ego that you are immortal. Come one day, you’re gone? slapping? in? the? sun? There are three billion born every forty years. And he’s picked you out, and said, “Hey, that’s a special one – catch that before it’s dumped into the incinerator.
[bm2 - 05:51] [mj2 - 21:13]
And then we realize that we are not important. That we have no proof, absolutely no proof. As far as the facts – when the chips are down, we are zero; there's no logical evidence to show that we’re going to live after death.
[bm2 - 06:07
But strangely enough, it's only when that last ego is dropped – when it is dropped – and it can't be dropped voluntarily: You can't say, "Well I’ve got the formula now and I'll drop it." But it’s only when that thing is taken away from you ?? that the answer is apparent to you.
[bm2 - 06:28] [mj2 - 21:52]
I want to turn the rest of the meeting over to a more intimate communication: any questions that you have, comments that you have, and see what we have in common.
Q: What kind of ?? did you have, ?? read about the existing? ?? personal investigate one?
R. What, that ...
Q. That you arrived at your evaluation.
R. A lifetime of digging.
[bm2 - 07:10] [mj2 - 23:34]
Q. What do you think of the use of mind-expanding drugs?
R. Well, first of all, I think it’s a misnomer. Because there's no proof that it’s going to expand your mind, I don’t think. I don’t doubt that it gives you experience. In fact, about five or seven years ago, I got the idea – I heard, I read some stuff by Timothy Leary in which he talked about finding God, the God experience. And I thought, "Well now, if that'll bring it back, why not? What’s two or three dollars worth of chemicals if we can find a maximum experience, or re-find it?" So I took LSD. And I found that LSD – and I found this by talking to a tremendous lot of people – there may be some exceptions; maybe Timothy Leary was an exception, although he’s – I’m somewhat skeptical about his, what all the things he’s found.
[bm2 - 08:17] [mj2 - 23:27
But I found it to be a super-sensual experience. A sensuality that drains the nervous system, as well as the body. It had the rare ability – it takes years and years of drinking booze to drain the nervous system. But these drugs can do it in five minutes’ time, or an hour’s time. So consequently, I wonder – if it is – if it’s doing it – I didn't find any revelations.
[bm2 - 08:46] [mj2 - 24:06]
Q. Do you know anything about prehistoric civilization such as Atlantis and Lemuria?
R. I don’t think it’s important.
Q. Do you think that believing in them is important?
R. I think it’s very dangerous to believe in things.
R. I think that if you The sacred science is doubt, not belief.
[bm2 - 09:22] [mj2 - 24:39]
Q. Do you believe that ??
R. I can’t – I don’t know. I’m willing to say that there may have been many things existing. I'm not too much concerned. I can't be concerned about everything. See, I believe that when you start on a search – sure, I like to read stories about flying saucers, or the lord? of? sphinx? ?? me the answers. But I realize that to get something done in your lifetime, or let’s say even twenty years of your lifetime, you have to narrow your field down, you have to specialize. You have to go after that which is pertinent to yourself or to your self-definition: So, after I find out who I am, if I have time left, then I'll go back and look at Atlantis – this is the attitude. I think it’s important first to find who's talking about Atlantis. [To do this] first.
[bm2 - 10:15] [mj2 – 25:34]
Q. I was going to ask about – you said you took LSD – your thoughts on the experience – do you [inaudible]
R. Oh yeah. I thought I had made that point, that I had.
R. Well, of course, again, I would believe that I would be a fraud? I would be almost a, in the position of ?? on you, if I didn't know what? it? was? that? I was saying, if I hadn't been down to the trail. And that's my point, is to – not to evaluate just half-way down the trail.
[bm2 - 10:58] [mj2 – 26:18]
I don't think that there is a language [by which ] to convey to you, except that, number one, there's nothing to postulate and search [for]. You can't say "I'm going to find God." It's nice to say that. Or you can say, "I'm going to find the truth." That sounds nice. There's nothing wrong in saying that. But as soon as you say it you know that you've created something. Why not say, "I'm going to find Gizmo." Because immediately – of course, there's a certain amount of sense to it too, because we say, “Well, what I mean by ‘God’ is not Jehovah, or Krishna – I mean the maximum, the absolute, the top answer, the final cause, the first cause, whatever you want to call it. And then we say, "Yes, that's understandable." But still we label things, we start to make a label.
[bm2 - 11:53] [mj2 - 27:12]
Now the next thing of course, is that we've got to eliminate. We've got to eliminate anything that doesn't, that isn’t truthful. So consequently there's nothing wrong in saying we're looking for the truth. A fellow comes along and says, "I'm looking for the truth." But I differentiate by saying that there are two truths – capital “T" and small “t." Small "t" is relative. It says hydrogen and oxygen in the proper combination make water – that's small "t" truth. Somebody else may prove it wrong – they might find that there's three elements in there someday, I don’t know. Because of all? our? small "t" truth changes. Capital "T" Truth is that which Is.
[bm2 - 12:37] [mj2 - 27:58]
We have to start [by] saying, “Let’s define what we're talking about.” But regardless, as soon as you do this you have to start making definitions – like the word "enlightenment." If you use the word "enlightenment" you have to start to use some words, [sentence] and words in themselves are self-defeating. Because, unless a person's ears are at a certain pitch, they don't pick up a certain sound. And unless they've gone through a certain amount of digging, they don't appreciate what you're talking about.
[bm2 - 13:08] [mj2 - 28:29]
So consequently, I feel that, I'm willing to tell anything that I value to somebody else on the path, somebody who's looking for something. But to say that it’s important to someone else – the only thing that's important to an individual is to know that he’s ignorant: to know that you know nothing. Then you can start to do something. But if you say, "God said to me to tell these suckers to get in line, and go to this church, or listen to me," – no. And I say, my little routine I went through may be entirely alien to what you’ll go through. And I find that the different cases are different.
[bm2 - 13:55] [mj2 - 29:16]
I'll give you a case, an outstanding case I ran into by accident in Akron, Ohio. Incidentally, I was supposed to talk about esoteric Christianity and Zen. This man had never heard about the word Zen. He never heard of anything, except the Lord's Prayer and the Bible. Yet he had one of the most profound experiences that I've ever encountered. , I've never read anything like it in a book even. The account is like Ramana Maharshi’s.
[bm2 - 14:26] [mj2 - 29:48]
He had been a pilot, not a pilot, a bombardier or a pilot. Regardless, he bombed Japan. He dropped some of those big bombs on Japan. He was a Christian, a devout Christian. When he brought his plane back to the base he
[ gap in tape -- bm version – at 14:46 – the next few paragraphs are missing] [mj2 – 30:08]
said, "The Bible says that God observes the fall of the sparrow, and if he observes the fall of the sparrow, where was he when 80,000 people got wiped out?" So he started questioning the religion of his parents. And he kept this up until they heard him talking to himself. So they sent him home. "Take a vacation. Go back home, so we don’t have to have a casualty from? this?"
[mj2 - 30:40]
So he went back to Texas – he was from San Antonio or Dallas, Texas. Well, his wife says – he was still mumbling to himself, he was still brooding over this: "Where's God? Where was God when the bombs fell?" So his wife says, "You're going to have to get back to work." He couldn't work. He had to have the answer before he could go back to work. So she dumped him. She went and got herself another husband. He had children by her, and the children kind of looked down their nose at him, and took off, “Dad’s blown his lid.”
[mj2 - 31:12]
He kept it up, though. He says he went back and he realized that he couldn't lose the faith of his childhood; that somewhere there must be an answer in the faith of his childhood. And he picked up the Bible and started reading it. In the Bible he found a statement that, "If you would pray,” – if you would know, you’ve got to pray – “If you pray, pray thusly." And what followed was the Lord's Prayer. And this fellow took the Lord's Prayer, and prayed it and prayed it until he practically got
[bm version resumes here at 14:48]
[mj2 – file ends at 31:51 – no loss or words]
[mj3 – starts here 00:00 – no gap, some overlap.]
obsessed – using it as a crutch or whatever.
He took a job. He was losing one job after another, but he took a job in a car dealership, he had a job selling automobiles. And it seemed as though the more he prayed the more hell he got, the more trouble he got into. But he kept it up. He decided that that was the only thing left for him: the only hope for his sanity was to keep on praying.
[bm2 - 15:112] [mj3 - 00:26]
And he said he had some people come in to look at an automobile one day, and he couldn't take it. He said he had tried to kill himself two or three times but didn't have the courage. He said he just laid his head down on the desk and prayed for God to kill him. And he said he never took his head up off the desk. They hauled him to the hospital – he passed out, or maybe he was rambling? I don’t know, or ?? [ranting and raving.?]
[bm2 - 15:35] [mj3 - 00:46]
But they took him to the hospital, and he was in the hospital for seven weeks [a week or ten days] . And in those seven days in a week [the time he was out] the man saw the beginning and end of history. He saw everything that had ever happened. He knew the totality of experience. And when he came out he was at peace. There was no more struggle. He never had to worry about a job [after that]. If he worked he had money, and if he didn’t work he had money. He would talk to little groups and stuff; he never charged anybody. It seemed there were always opportunities, and some of them seemed utterly fantastic, incidentally; I heard him talk about them.
[bm2 - 16:14] [mj3 - 01:29]
But the thing that I noticed about him, is that this man's experience was more complete, and more sensational, if you want to put it that way, than anything I've ever read about in the spiritual research, of the spiritual experiences. And he had done it absolutely without any knowledge of Zen or any knowledge of esoteric philosophy – it was just by going inside himself.
[bm2 - 16:44] [mj3 - 01:57]
Q. How do you define your term intuition?
R. Well, intuition is like refined emotion. In other words, because we are relative creatures, we have to approach everything with two tools, so to speak. If we just used our cold logic, nothing much would be solved. If we just used our emotions, nothing much would be solved. And intuition is somehow a sort of emotional mathematics, a sort of orderly form of emotion, emotional thinking. In other words, we feel. We learn to feel instead of reason every little step of the way. To me, I consider it something that is the new faculty that we develop for the computer. And incidentally - in my writings I mention this – this is one of the major steps that you have to have if you’re going to do spiritual work. Because we can't afford – we can't read every book. We don't have time to read every book.
[bm2 - 18:05] [mj3 - 03:18]
I made the remark in the book that a person can go to church for twenty years – and I've known this to happen, where a person went to church and hung on every word the preacher said – and to find out later that this man didn’t even believe what he was saying. And he'd tell you so, when you got him with a few beers down at the bar. He'd say, "Oh that's for the old ladies, don't bother me with that stuff." So these people were spending their lifetimes in this church listening to this man, because they had no intuition.
[bm2 - 18:35] [mj3 - 03:47]
But you have to develop this to save yourself fifty or a hundred years of time – if you’ve got the hundred years to spend – by logically diagnosing every little book and every word. So that when you read a book with the intuition now, you don't just read words on a line, you read between the lines. You say, "Oh. I bet this fellow is sincere,” or, "I bet this fellow is just printing books, just selling books – that’s all he's interested in so he’s writing stuff people what to hear,” or whatever. So consequently, intuition is something almost – if it isn't natural, it has to be developed.
[bm2 - 19:14] [mj3 - 04:27]
I maintain that a man, the male, is more inclined toward orderly thinking. The female is more inclined towards intuition. Which – she calls it intuition, but it’s basically feeling. And you somehow have to get – I think that for the female to become more spiritual herself, she has to be more orderly in her thinking. And he has to develop more feeling. And then he’s able to accomplish much. I know there is a lot of disagreement on this. ?? ??
[bm2 - 19:54] [mj3 - 05:02]
Q. [long question about stages, mostly inaudible] ??? seems to be those two types of people ends with: I know it’s very difficult.
[bm2 - 20:30] [mj3 - 05:41]
R. There's one thing, I’ll tell you, I don't like to discount any effort. Like, I had a sister-in-law – I ?? thinking I’m above the instinctive level. So I can talk about the instinctive level. And I think that nearly everybody here – if they’re here, who would be curious enough to come. [sentence] But I see things that to me would be a waste of time, like going into church and pounding my head on the floor and telling God how sorry I am that I drank a beer or something like that. To me that form of religion is almost unnecessary – but I don't want to make fun of it. Because – I had a sister-in-law and I know what it did for her. She threw her cigarette away, she threw her booze away, and then she was "saved." So, consequently, this is a level of development.
[bm2 - 21:24] [mj3 - 06:36]
Now, the same thing is occurring today in Zen. And one of our great contributors to it – I think he's responsible for nearly all the young people who are interested in Zen today – I know that nearly all the young people I've talked to have read Alan Watts. And he gives what I consider to be an erroneous philosophy, and that is that there's nothing that can be done. But if there can't be anything done, what the hell did he write a whole shelf of books for, to tell us that we’re going to find nothingness? This is absurd. If I thought that all you were going to find is oblivion, I wouldn't be here talking. You could find that out without me talking. ?? go out and ...
[bm2 - 22:05] [mj3 - 07:15]
In fact, it’s like when I stood by my mother's bedside when she was dying. She was raised a devout Catholic. She believed that the saints were going to come and an angels would take her. And when she died I leaned over and kissed her and I kept my mouth shut. I didn’t say anything. And this is what we must do with people who have no capacity, just allow them to die peacefully. And if a certain brand of Zen is going across and it's doing something for somebody, okay, but to me this is not the final answer.
[bm2 - 22:34] [mj3 - 07:46]
Q. What I got from Watts is he seems to be indicating not that everything isn’t, but that everything is – we are sort of the eternal IS. And you don’t draw a line between “is” and “isn’t”, that everything sort of always has been and always will be, and that we sort of – we pass through that particular ah, that particular importance, outside of the importance of everything else that is also, ?? that will be happening ?? I sort of got the impression that ?? ?? that everything is, and that you are part of it.
[bm2 - 23:29] [mj3 - 08:41]
R. Well, sure, but you can at best only do that intellectually. Now I’ve had people come and repeat this. See, these are two little emanations of Watts. One is that there is nothing you can do, and the other one is that we are already there, that we are already enlightened. Now this can be a massive rationalization unless you’re pretty well convinced that you’re already there. This to me is almost like a man doesn't know the answer, doesn't know how to get there, so he just tells you, “Well, you’re already there. Forget it." And the people who are lazy, or don't want to put out a lot of energy say, "Oh well, we're enlightened. Everybody is enlightened." And it stops the argument, if they can convince you that everybody is enlightened. You don't have to work.
[bm2 - 24:31]
Q. His point isn’t even there are levels. His point is that – he sort of subscribes to the Taoist sort of water? question? is that you are never at any one particular place, and that there is no point to understand, and say here I am. Because – he compares it to the river ...
R. I know all that, but that's poetry unless you experience it. In other words, we have to be, by virtue of the nickel for Kroger’s – we can indulge in all sorts of little sayings like one fellow said to me the other day, "I'm the center of the universe." That’s sophistry. Because, sure, everybody is the center of the universe. Wherever you stand is equidistance around the globe back to where you are. So everybody, going all directions around the globe, you’re the center of the universe. But this is sophistry. It’s the same way as saying, "I'm part of Pan" [?] or "I'm the Atman and the Brahman." It’s alright. That may be true – but you don't know it. You don’t know it. That’s what’s important. The difference is finding it out.
[bm2 - 25:52]
Q. I’m not in defense of him or against him. I think I’d like to express what was important about Alan Watts to me, or a lot of people – was the fact that they could never seem to grasp the idea that they are a part of things rather than a separate thing called an ego. Which – he makes an interesting distinction, saying that to a large extent the ego is [just] a symbol for reality, much like language is, and that the symbol itself mistaken for the “reality. It’s like the impression that we have of ourselves is not the real self. It is the symbol, like Christ himself is maybe the symbol of the absolute idea, but is not in fact – people get down on their knees and pray to the image and take the image seriously as a God. It’s the same thing as we worship our ego.
[bm2 - 26:55] [mj3-12:06]
R. Right. Well, that may be. I don’t say – I found when I read Watts, that I found him very interesting. But what it goes back to is that although a person expounds a philosophy and it sounds very good, you are putting your life on it if you don't investigate it.
I'll give you an example. There's a theory that’s called the "space-time continuum theory," in which Einstein and Ouspensky and some of these guys supposedly collaborated and developed this – in which we find that there is no space without time and no time without space. In our head this sounds very plausible meaning that nothing is happening. Meaning that we are like a frozen light strand in an icescape, in which our consciousness is running down this strand, experiencing sixty years of extension, or eighty years in extension. Now this is plausible and it’s understandable to the head, but we still go about getting into our car and fixing the motor when it breaks down, so that we can indulge in motion which doesn't exist. We have to. So consequently this thing cannot apply to us unless we experience it for ourselves. There's a difference between a concept and visit.
[bm2 - 28:15] [mj3-13:27
Q. Do you have any ideas on reincarnation, life after death, etc.?
R. Well, I think that reincarnation, first of all, can be a massive rationalization. I'll tell you why. I think, for instance, the Christian concept of things can very well be almost a weapon by a priestcraft, who would say, "If you don't listen to me you're gone forever. If you don't burn three candles a week and pay your ten percent, and do whatever is necessary with these rituals you're gone forever." Well, perhaps this thing wouldn't be enforced so well if it weren't for this drastic threat.
Now if we go across into India we find that their reincarnation belief – by possibly more people or as many people as Christianity's claims. It sounds to me and when I was younger it came to me as a more of a just system: here is someone who is damned forever. Somebody who is perhaps born an imbecile or has an incomplete mentality, maybe idiotic or something, and this guy is supposed to find God, guess his name, guess how to worship him, and all this sort of thing, when he's dealing with a God who is supposedly omnipotent and all-powerful, and could take this poor idiot and say, "Hey, here I am." So he's going to hell if he doesn't find out all about this God. This is unreasonable.
[bm2 - 30:03] mj3-15:15
Now so we go over to India, and this guy says, "Yes, that’s unreasonable. This man gets another chance. This idiot in his next life will be a three-quarter-wit instead of a half-wit. And he’ll be reincarnated – unless he's done a lot of damage – he will be reincarnated and get another chance.” The result is that millions of people do nothing, except wait for another chance. This is the danger of it. And then spirituality is – just like I say, it's alright to accept a concept, but when you make that concept your life-pattern without exploring it, that's dangerous.
[bm2 - 30:42] mj3-15:53
Q. Is it necessary for middle ?? It says, ?? ?? final philosophical questions like reincarnation. But I would like to ask a very simple question: Did you ever learn anything from a book?
R. I’d say yes.
Q. I heard a Zen story where the Zen master tells his disciple that writing books about Zen is like putting legs on a snake.
R. That’s true. But you see, if we did here – now prior to – you’re probably pretty close to my age, but you know [that] when you were twenty years of age, the only thing we had about Zen was in books ...
Q. I’ve read thousands of books, but it’s fair to say I didn’t learn anything..
R. Well, right, it depends upon what you mean by "learn." We can learn – for instance, you can get the kabala and you can learn, you can grow in wisdom by studying the kabala - that’s learning.
Q. That's "small t" truth.
R. That’s right. It’s all "small t" until you pop through the top, whether you’re studying ...
Q. I should have asked the question: Did you ever learn anything about yourself through a book?
R. No. No, I didn't. I learned about books from books. That's true. About the science of books.
[bm2 - 32:14] mj3-17:25
Q. [long comment, mostly inaudible
[bm2 - 33:23] mj3-18:35
R. In other words, it’s possible that people are, what you’re saying is that it’s possible that the whole thing is an ego-trip. Is that the idea?
Q. No, I’m only questioning, whenever there is a motive for it. If there’s any motive [coughing] ?? something that could be tied into it ??
R. Well, I agree with you. I don’t know exactly what you’re getting at but I'll give you my own reactions on this.
The experience I had occurred when I was 30 years of age. I didn't talk to too many people about it until – I learned very early that I should keep my mouth shut. In other words, I was talking to people who had no comprehension, and it was only after I had read some books about it and that other people had blissful experiences and that sort of thing, that I realized that these people were on instinctive-emotional levels and that sort of thing, and they didn't know what I was talking about.
[bm2 - 34:23]
So I finally gave up on this, I just said "That’s it." In fact, I got married, I raised a family. And I never had any hope that I would ever be talking to anybody about the experience or the possibilities of somebody else having an experience. But I had this urge – and it may be rooted in ego, and I won't deny it – I had this urge to talk about it. I felt – the reason I had this urge because when I was 21 years of age I started out as I told you, rambling all over the country looking for people who knew something, looking for books that would tell me something – and I was beset with tricksters, hucksters, perverts who wanted my body and they were going to trade something for truth, and I thought, "Dammit. if I ever find anything, by God I'll put it out where someone can read it." That was my motive. Now if that is ego, then that's my angry little ego.
[bm2 - 35:19] mj3-20:30
But I didn't do anything. I was 52, 53 years of age – I'm now 58 – and I got sick. And I had a whole pile of papers that I had written, ideas that I’d had about spiritual work. I thought some of these hadn’t been written before, that nobody had advised this type of formula. So I thought, "I've got a farm out in the country, and I'm going out there, and I don't care if I don't make a cent. I'm going to spend the necessary time to get this book written, the pile at least in manuscript form, and If I kick the bucket, somebody might pick it up and look at it. If it is supposed to be looked at, somebody may pick it up and look at it."
[bm2 - 36:03] mj3-21:15
Well, circumstances started to happen. I live in West Virginia and there are not many people there who are interested in doing anything but fighting. And amazingly enough, while I'm typing I'm being pestered by young people who are coming out – some of them just to smoke pot, but some saying, "Hey, can I help you do that typing?" One of them has a book of yoga tucked under his arm. I rented some rooms in the farmhouse to them.
And the next thing you know, somebody got word in Pittsburgh at the Theosophical Society that I knew something about Zen or spiritual work, and they invited me up for a lecture. People came to the lecture from the University of Pittsburgh, and said, "Hey. How about coming over to the University and giving a talk?" And then a university group started. The book was now – I said, “Hey, I found a few people,” who were interested in reading the book. It was printed on typing paper, stapled with a roofing staple gun. The cost was outrageous and poor quality, because I had to go to the local printer. Eventually so many people got to buying this, that I had to print it in paperback form.
[bm2 - 37:19] mj3-22:32
The result is now – every place I've been, has been by virtue of somebody hearing about it and saying, "Hey, come out and talk." Incidentally, I do not derive a penny. I came into California at my own expense. I do not charge and I refuse to attend a meeting if they charge – unless it’s a university paying it, and I believe they’re financing people like Jane Fonda, and so why shouldn't they pay me my gasoline money? That's the reason. I will accept that type of money if it’s coming from the public treasury, but not from individuals.
[bm2 - 38:04] mj3-23:17
Q. ?? ?? A lot of people I know who are involved in a spiritual search have tried to impress on me the importance of having a teacher, a guru. And I was wondering if this is the same trip, how much can – does it pay to study? When I say “pay” that’s the wrong [word] Is it that useful? At what point can a person sit down and expect that by studying somebody he's getting some direction, some point of departure that’s worthwhile and not just another ego trip?
R. Yes, now first of all I want to comment on the vibration of this man laughing. I want to assure you – this fellow over here – that I know what he's laughing about, and he's laughing with us, not at us. He's not critical. But, to get back to your question or your comment. Teaching of course may seem – and I thought it at the time. I resented when I was younger, I resented the idea of anybody telling me what to do. Because I had good reason to. I found that there were a lot of strange teachers.
[bm2 - 30:01] mj3-25:08
I’ve got to admit though, that if it weren’t for some good soul – of course they get paid – teaching us the abc's we couldn't read a book. And this goes on up the ladder – somebody taught her or him. High school teachers teach, and then they go to college, and then they teach grade school, and somebody else teaches high school, somebody teaches college. It’s just a matter of going down to the woods and, "Hey, there’s Indian Joe over here, he knows the way through that woods." That’s all it amounts to.
Q. What does your – okay, I don’t know if he’s in the same category, but another widely-read person I guess is Krishnamurti. At the same time that he seems to be a teacher, he turns around and says, “There are no, I’m not a teacher. ?? don’t look for me.” I’m a little confused. I’m pretty limited in my experience. The books that I read tend to be heavily influential. The people who tell me not to view them as teachers, but nevertheless [they] have a tremendous influence on me. I’m getting to the point where I’m ?? the true data, reading and listening, and I’m not quite sure I’m not being batted around.
[bm2 - 41:34] mj3-25:51
R. Well, regardless, I presume there are people that couldn't stand Krishnamurti, and I have read some who are very much addicted to him. I know there are people who will fly clear from Los Angeles to Switzerland to hear him talk. But I think that if that carries them, if that just keeps them on the path – if Krishnamurti keeps them thinking – then that’s good. I don't think he is consciously rejecting people. I don't think he wants to get into the business of running groups, that's the idea. Although I do know there are people associated with him. We have a man who attended some of [our] lectures in Pittsburgh. His daughter is or was traveling with Krishnamurti all the time. I presume if she was traveling with him, she was getting something, from being close to him, some training. This was for quite a few years.
But I wondered [however] why Krishnamurti of course takes the many poses he takes. He makes statements, for instance that we can “change the world," by – if we all act nice. It seems as though there's a pollyannic strain that runs through Krishnamurti, that by acting nice we can change the world. This is actually verbalized, and it’s in those words, "We can change the world." I can't see, first of all, the importance of it, and I can't see how the "ants" can change the world.
[bm2 - 43:18] mj3-28:31
Q. Why did you write your book then?
R. I don't pretend that I’m changing the world. See, I labor under the impression – for instance, Bucke, in his book on cosmic consciousness, says that only one in a million receive cosmic consciousness. His book was manifestly written for one in a million – that’s the reason it’s got poor circulation. Consequently, I don't pretend – and this is another thing that I'm up against. I would be a fool to try to submit that book to one [bm version loses one channel here] of these big presses, like E.P. Dutton or one of those, because they don't [wouldn’t] have the circulation. There are not that many people interested in the subject material. I know it is very difficult to find a publisher that handles, or a distributor that handles Krishnamurti’s books. [channel returns] And there are other authors even rarer, like J.J. van der Leeuw, who writes The Conquest of Illusion. You can only find him in the Quest book libraries.
[bm2 - 44:29] mj3-29:45
Q. I can the difficulty in changing ...
[bm2 - 44:34 - gap in tape] [ mj3-29:53 – gap in tape also]
R. Well, there are things that ...
Q. If Jesus said it, then it must have been intensely? a tendency? [laughter]
R. I was talking to one of the Krishnites one time, and we were talking about the Absolute, and he said, "Oh, Krishna has that too." [laughter] So I thought there’s no use talking any further, this guy’s got it all. If we want to do any Zen work we’ll have to get a franchise from the Krishnites.
[bm2 - gap in tape] mj3-30:21
[the following is missing from bm version ... The only thing I can figure is that there is an inclination, there is a desire to help somebody else. Why it is, I don't know. They call it a spiritual law. I witness it in almost every place I go. I see that wherever there’s a person who finds out something, there is someone hanging around trying to find it out. Or else he’s going out, as they say in Zen, selling water to the river. He’s down there trying to tip somebody off, to save a little time. Now that was my point, and possibly as was said, it might be an egotistical point.
Talking about Christianity, it has a massive spread since the time of Christ, and we think, "Oh. this man changed the world." But I just wonder - did it change the way he wanted it to change? Or is it just another accident? We could say that Adam and Eve changed the world too.
[bm2 - resumes] [bm2 - 45:10] mj3-31:21
If they hadn’t got curious, we might all be flying around with wings on or something.
Q. My suggestion is that the poet changes the world. ?? ?? in a poetic state. [somebody else?] Automatically, change anything that ... ?
R. No, no, no, no. Don’t you realize that it could well be that they are being
[mj3 ends at 31:43] [mj4-starts here 00:00] [overlap] change anything that ... ? R. No, no, no, no. Don’t you realize that it could well be that they are being changed. In other words, if you explode something in front of me, you’d say that would change the world: we’d all have to go out and take a bath. But that doesn't mean that you changed the world. That means that a circumstance happened.
[bm2 - end of side 2 at 45:26]
[bm3 - 00:00]
... that doesn’t mean that you change the world, that means that a circumstance happened.
I live, not by virtue that I chose to live, or talk. I live by virtue of the fact that something happened 58 years ago, that's all. And all the stuff that I produce is a result of an accident that happened 58 years ago.
So I don't think it necessarily – in other words, if there were an atomic explosion – we say that changed the world. No, no, that's part of the world. That atomic explosion is part of the world. Sometime in space-time history there is a nuclear fission or something – that’s part of the scene, that’s part of the picture.
[bm3 - 00:42] mj4-00:53
So I think that no matter what you do, as soon as you – in other words, we can argue totally from the fatalistic viewpoint. I don't. Because if I did, I wouldn't be talking; I’d say it’s no use. So we have to somehow carry both on our shoulders. We have to realize that we are perhaps under the thumb of God, but we also realize that we’ve got to struggle, because something inside us says we are an individual, and we can struggle. But ?? ?? [crosstalk] the same.
Q. Are you familiar with the writings of H.P. Blavatsky, and what is your opinion of them?
R. They're good. ?? ??
Q. You mean – many of the ?? It’s just that there seems to be a tendency of many of them?? [who follower] Blavatsky’s writings to accept what she describes at face value, that you accept? research?
R. I wouldn't say she doesn't have deeper meaning. So does Anna the Empress. [?]
Q. But I mean many people when they find, I’ve noticed, they find, ?? particularly things like lost continents, or don’t? feel? like they have secret meanings, yet they take them at face value.
[bm3 - 01:57] mj4-02:08
R. Oh, well, that’s possible. I think there’s possibly a double meanings to the alchemical sciences too, but again, I don't have time to look into them.
Q. You mentioned earlier about the death experience being truly? ?? other? maybe? that?
Q. The turning of the river into the ocean. When that occurs, you are now in the process of changing the world. Which is going along with it, not resisting change of the world. Where the person who hasn’t had this total experience is practicing corrupting? by not changing, not allowing the world to change. But keeping one’s self ??
[bm3 - 02:46] mj4-02:58
R. I see what you think, but here’s what I believe: We're actors on a stage, much ado about nothing. Then there are a few who get philosophical, and they leave the stage and go sit in the audience. But the man who reaches enlightenment goes out on the street, that's all. When he enters the ocean, he just leaves the drama. That doesn't change the world. In other words, what’s going on, what's projected onto the void, this drama that is projected onto the void, I can't see how he can change it. He may even change his lines, because as soon as he does it that’s part of the one that’s fated.
[bm3 - 03:27]
[At this point a crazy-sounding guy starts interjecting questions and talking loudly over Rose and other people, so it’s difficult to hear. (one minute)]
Q. What is your opinion of spiritual groups that emphasize the rules for living, in particular abstinence from liquor and so on? What is your opinion of the rules for abstinence?
R. Yeah, okay.
Q. I wanted to ask you one last question about Blavatsky. The last time I spoke to her, she said don’t pay any attention to anything I’ve read, I’ve changed my mind about everything.
R. Well, let’s? worry? about that?
[crosstalk] [laughter] [?]
[bm3 - 04:12]
Q.?? ?? I answered your questions, but still you’re not satisfied with that, or you want to answer questions about me now. This? is? Blavatsky ?? ?? [laughter, crosstalk]
[bm3 - 04:29] mj4-04:41
Q. If we could get back to the “changing the world” question, I think at times that something about Krishnamurti, ?? somewhere important.
R. Yes, good.
Q. The idea is for me, that the world I am changing is the world that I am creating, the world-image that I call the world obviously must be different from what you call the world. The change of the world to me is the change in the way I see the world, the way I am in the world, or the way the world is in me, or however you want to say it.
R. Yes, that’s true.
Q. Now since I am the world, and in that sense, I am the center of the world, any change, in any respect in me, is immediately seen by me as a projected change in the world. So from an inner and external point of view, if I still have that division in me, everything changes, because this [himself] changes. Now I fully agree that that has nothing to do with “The World” in capital letters ...
Q. Where if it does have, I can’t know if it has ?? ?? But subjectively, I am the world, and as this subject changes, everything changes. Now that’s what Krishnamurti seems to be saying – in fact he wrote the book, You Are the World.
R. Yes, I know.
Q. So when he talks about changing the world, he’s not talking about changing the candle power of the light that’s casting the shadows on the walls of the cave, he’s talking about changing this candle power.
[bm3 - 06:22]
R. Macrocosm. [?] But the thing is – let me pose a question now. I’m going to give you something, because I've gone through this thinking. In other words, when we realize, when we look at this curtain here, it looks like it’s blue. Scientifically they say it's not blue, it’s every color but blue. That white is not white, it's every color. That black is not black, it is no color. Now we don't know this, we have to learn it, and when we learn it, we change. When we learn for instance that we’re not what we thought we were – when the day comes when we think we’re a rooster, and then later on somebody proves that we’re not a rooster, we seem to change. [But] we don't change, we only get a better reality of that which already was. Now there's a difference between changing and getting a better idea of what already is.
[bm3 - 07:12] mj4-07:23
[Disruptive/crazy guy whom Rose has been ignoring gets into a debate with audience. Q: What is your opinion of rules, especially of the concept, spiritual teachers and groups that require their disciples to abstain from things like certain foods? What do you think of rule-orientated.]
Q. [to the crazy guy] May I ask you a question? If I give you my opinion, in what way will that make any difference whatsoever in your world? [etc]
Q. I don’t know.
Q. Then why ask it?
Q. Because I’ve read a lot of spiritual books [etc, etc, etc]
Q. YTou asked for his opinion. What point is there in his [Rose] opinion?]
Q. Then why ask? I came here to dialog ...
[bm3 - 09:07] mj4-09:22
R. The idea is that when you ask a question, ordinarily you either ask it to learn something, or else to lay the groundwork for a tricky argument. These are the two points, and of course I'm always alert for that. Or else, sometimes – I’ve noticed this when I give lectures – there are people who also like to use questions as speeches. In other words, it’s a means of getting their philosophy into the podium. I like to think that everybody who is asking questions is saying, "Hey, tell me about this next bend of the trail. You've been down this trail, tell me about one of these bends and how I can run down the trail without getting hurt." But it doesn't matter. A lot of the questions you have asked, it doesn't matter seemingly whether you believe them or not. It doesn’t matter to me. I don't think I can advance your cause. I don't think I can help you by any information that is developed.
[bm3 - 10:15]
Q. [Same guy continues to rant.] I think in one of Krishnamurti’s dialogs – I think Krishnamurti is one of the finest spiritual teachers around. He has said among other things, in regard to the question whether you should eat meat or not, he replied that, well that made you a vegetarian. That’s probably a good way, that’s probably the way you would answer my question.
[bm3 - 10:57] mj4-11:04
R. The way I would answer your question is with a question, and that is, Do you take drugs?
Q. I've taken marijuana a few times.
R. Now see, I expect people to ask questions of me along that same line: Am I crazy? Is this guy crazy? If I’m going to listen to him I’d like to know is he – do I know something or am I just up here spoofing somebody? Or am I gassed? Maybe I’m drunk.
[bm3 - 11:29]
[chit-chat and laughter]
[bm3 - 11:54] mj4-12:03
R. Where were we?
Q. Why don’t you finish that, what you started to say, it was very interesting.
R. What’s that?
Q. I forgot too. [more laughter]
R. That was a very catalytical interlude there.
R. [To the older man, who spoke about Krishnamurti] What have you been into? Are you a Sufi?
[bm3 - 12:28] mj4-12:46
Q. I’ve been into many, many things. It appears to be – as I asked in the first question - ?? I have evolved a theory that I can’t read a book, I can only write it.
R. Well I find it, it’s very difficult for me to read, I know that. I’ll tell you frankly ...
Q. ?? ?? allegedly reading a book, than actually writing it. Just as the way I’m allegedly listening to you, I am giving the meaning to all the words that I am hearing. Unfortunately, you can’t put things in here.
[bm3 - 13:20] mj4-13:28
R. Right. Right, that is true.
Q. That’s what I think, when I saw I can’t ?? a book.
R. Right. Well, I was very – as I told you, I would have liked to have run into somebody when I was younger that knew something and I thought could have expedited my trip. And I was never completely satisfied with the books, because I sensed – I read some books which I thought were very good, like Paul Brunton. Of course it was only years later I was able to get hold of some of these other books, like van der Leeuw. They were – it was almost impossible to find them; not that many people demanded them and you couldn’t get them.
I ran into various teachers too, that they claimed had a lot of power. What’s his name, Yogananda was still living. I know Kripalvandana was still living. He was over here on the west coast when I was here. But I rejected them. Because there was always something lacking. I felt that they didn’t know the answer, number one, or I thought they were too dictatorial.
[bm3 - 14:26]
But the thing that happened to me happened without any provocation from anyone else. Consequently, I don't owe anything. The idea of me owing anything is not there. I do? not?. The only thing that I owe is the fact that I was angry when I was 21-22 years of age. And out of this anger I made certain determinations and they may have been imprinted in my mind ?? I want with knowledge? based? on? it?
[bm3 - 14:52] mj4-15:02
Q. I think where you left off, you were talking about the color of the drapes and so on, and that that changes ...
R. Oh, that was the ?? and the relative experience, yes. We start – I think that your path to truth must start with mundane things. And of course a person – I don't deny that you change, but a lot of the stuff that I think is interpreted as change, is you forget? that? your period of wising up. [?] So that first we get the idea that white is white and black is black, and things are good and things are bad. But there's no such thing as good and bad. And I don't tell this to people generally, especially if their children are with them. Because they have to go through a process of believing that certain things are good and certain things are bad.
[bm3 - 15:42] mj4-15:52
I was writing one time to a minister's wife, and she said, "Mr. Rose, do you believe there is any such a thing as evil?" And I said, "No. I'm too stupid to do anything wrong." I don't know what it is, what the factors are in doing something wrong. Who am I to say what's wrong? This is foolishness. Much less to say, to drop a name and say, "I'm committing a sin." That means that God's impotent. If I commit a sin, God's impotent. How can I offend somebody who's almighty? See? All this sort of thing. We got to get these things straight in our head.
A lot of people interpret that as change, but it's more or less the liberation from the fetters of dark thinking imposed upon us by our parents, or by generations of thinking, that’s all. But there is a time I think when you start to change – I think when you start to change, when you start to develop a faculty. When you first go to school you can't read; you can only read maybe one word every five seconds or ten seconds, it’s so difficult for a child to concentrate. And after a while, you get so you can learn – they tell me now you can read The Exorcist in 58 minutes.
[bm3 - 16:56] mj4-17:08
Q. You might regret that though. Better 58 seconds.
R. Yeah, right. [laughter] So consequently, this is the result of a change in the mechanism of reading, and the same thing occurs in the mechanism of thinking, and the same thing occurs in the mechanism of bringing in power or force, or something of that sort.
Now – a person can heal. You can heal people. This is a mechanism. But you have to change a little to do it; you have to grow a third arm. You have to develop a new faculty. And it’s caused by the transmission [transmutation?] of energy, and then the ability to project it out of your body. And if you do that, then you can change them. But first it has to happen by virtue of you changing yourself, or being changed by circumstances, whichever you want to call it. That you get into a certain line of thinking, and you suddenly develop a new third arm, so to speak. But it's possible and it can be reasonably expressed, how it goes about.
[bm3 - 18:01] mj4-18:11
But the thing that a lot of people think – and I think Krishnamurti talks of this too – this business of changing, and changing the world – is more or less learning to live with that which is. To learn to know that black is the absence of color, that evil and good are two sides of the same coin. You know. And that our concepts of divine – the characteristics of God and all this sort of thing – are subject to politics, the politics of the time.
For instance, the God of the Old Testament, was a petty creature. Very, very - if you read the book, he was very jealous and angry. And he had a habit of sending the angels down to help Gideon. See? But then they nailed his son to the cross, and there wasn't an angel that showed up. See? There was no bolt of lightning, nothing. No miracles happened to take this guy down off the cross.
These are the things that somehow we have to face and say, "Hey, what happened there?" Are we kidding ourselves? Or can we be free from this superstition of our ancestors about things that happened? Of course then when we do, we feel free. We do this, we throw off this type of thinking, we feel free. And that may be called becoming or changing, or you may call it just wising up.
[bm3 - 19:34] mj4-19:43
Q. I’d like to find out, from your experiences, what part did meditation play for you, or has it, in your so-called wising up?
R. Are you talking to me or to him? I see you pointing.
Q. Well, either one of you. It seems like you’re both involved in the search ...
[bm3 - 19:57] mj4-20:07
R. I don’t know. Maybe it happened accidentally to him. [laughs] Well, I think everybody meditates. It depends on – if you accomplish that which you meditate upon. Now we ought to have some marvelous genetic changes in this area because everybody around here seems to be meditating on pornographic literature. [laughter] So if you meditate upon spirituality, or if you meditate on your essence, then nine chances out of ten you'll get closer to a knowledge of your essence, that's all. I think everybody does it automatically – whether you want to or not.
If you're interested and you’re going down – when I'm going down the street I see things that other people don't see. They are there, but I have a different perspective. Somebody else goes down the street and all he sees is the particular sex that he wants to see, or the beer joint, where’s the closest beer joint – he’s dry. This sort of thing. So they are both meditating, believe me. Or they’re meditation on how to stop – which guy he thinks he can stop and get fifty cents from, so he can go into the beer joint and get a drink. That's meditation.
[bm3 - 21:11] mj4-21:21
Q. I already mentioned the poets will try to start ?? sentimental ?? ?? represents ?? ?? I suggest that that is the only change. There is a change, that is the only change there is. Now the rest of? those? changes, which people attempt to pass on to others, which is – heltering? telling people not to change this part of them. You know, they’re called experiences, which there’s no change ...
R. Yes, but you see ...
Q. ... change is life ...
[bm3 - 21:56] mj4-22:02
R. Let me tell you something that I discovered very early on the path. Maybe it will bring a little bit of a light to what we're talking about. I found that in all spiritual seeking – reading, studying, progressing – whatever you want to call it – the paradox permeates everything. Now, I was up at Niagara Falls. There was a young fellow who supposedly lived there, like a hippie, fifty years ago or so. He had a shanty down at the foot of the falls. One day he jumped in and drowned himself. And before he died, the only thing he left behind on this earth, he scrawled on the wall with chalk: "All is Change."
[bm3 - 22:34]
So that we can say – it is paradoxical – there is, what is going on is, who was it, Alan Watts, who called it a pond scum, the divine pond scum, a ferment. Perhaps – that which we see. We have to live in this world. Looking at it from the Absolute viewpoint, then, once you reach the Absolute, your immediate reaction is "I." This is the validity of the "I" [that is] observing change, but the "I" does not change. That is my belief. All we do is observe the change in the Absolute, something of that sort. Because if that is you, when you reach the Absolute, you are God. You experience being God.
[bm3 - 23:21] mj4-23:32
So consequently this is all pretty much like a projected game, like as if you’re the playwright, the actors, the author, everything. But if you change it, it seems like it's inconsequential. It’s just like a bunch of kids saying, "Well, we'll get a new version? of Little Red Riding Hood," or something of that sort. That’s how significant any sort of change is. But yet the world we look at, this viewpoint, the relative viewpoint – which is the only thing we have – there's no use of us talking about Absolute viewpoints. The only thing we can talk about is from this point, yes, things seem to change.
[bm3 - 23:54]
Q. See, Krishnamurti stresses very nicely, I think – I pick? Krishnamurti because it’s not absolute maya? mind? like yet.
Q. I sense that what he’s saying is true of my life, although I spent? to? avoid? ?? He suggests that living, dying ?? are exactly ?? absoluteness ?? That is all that there is. That living, loving and dying is the one event, one thing. And to suggest that there’s anything else going on, is to not see into that – in and out of that – when? and? you’re into something. Now if you’re into something, you are not changing, with the absolutcy [?] you are not lifting up others, as you are. If you are lifted up in that way, only, you are avoiding in all kinds of other ways and are sometimes helping others to avoid ?? ?? ? But if one is absolutely in the process of living, and one is absolutely in the process of dying, that’s what’s going on. And if there is any idea that if anything else is going on, even to yourself. Do not make any attempt to share it, [other Q interjects] Well, as I said, this is all that I’m in. If you’re not in that thing. So I’m saying this is the point [claps hands loudly] and if there’s anything more than the point claps]
[Another Q. interrupts: (is this Fitzpatrick?)] Yeah, but I think what the speaker is saying is, it sounds to me like common sense: Are you alive or are you dead
Q. No, no, no. Any of that is bullshit. And distortion. And it’s fine for people who are not teachers. And of course the teacher listens to the bullshit and then [claps] snaps them out of it. But for the teacher ? have any bullshit ? If he has any bullshit – I don’t care about his good intentions, if he has any bit of it, any ? at all, it’s better that he be shot.
[bm3 - 26:26] mj4-26:38
R. What you’re saying is basically those who don’t agree with you, of course, because you’ve got a ...
Q. Does that sound like a
R. No. Or if you don’t agree with this concept of Krishnamurti, that you’re either living, dying or loving ...
Q Oh, of course, I have to mention that ...
R. You know, I’d have to admit I’m vague about what you mean. I know you’re trying to say something that is probably coherent, but I don’t pick it up. Because, see, I have a different evaluation of living. In other words, I don’t quite – from my viewpoint, I don’t see death and I don’t see being born – except as an eternal experience. Being born is an eternal experience, and dying is an eternal experience. [crosstalk] [bm3 - 27:21]
Q. You’re always breaking form. As one form changes into a new form, the old form dies, and a new form broke out of the old. In other words, it’s an ?? process.
Q. And I think that’s what he means by saying you can’t evolve, you can’t grow, unless – I mean I’m not sure what Q. [more of the same, very boring, audience discussion]
Q. [old guy – mostly inaudible] It seems to me, the truth is that there’s nothing but change.
[bm3 - 28:31] mj4-28:41
R. The man who starts on the path may not be the same man who finishes.
Q. The idea that there are some things that are mundane and some things are infinite is a little lie. The truth is that everything is infinite.
R. Yes, but everybody doesn't know that. That has to be established. You can say that's the truth, but nobody knows that, and you don't know that unless you're infinite.
Q. But I am. Everybody is.
R. Well, yeah, but you see, of course, this is the difficulty with this sort of [concept] – but is it an infinite reality, or an infinite illusion?
Q. Everything, all that is, is.
R. Yes, but aren’t you playing on words a bit?
Q. It’s not word games. It goes in very much with your previous remark that the man who doesn’t know, who’s totally ignorant, who is really, truly helpless, that’s the man who has a chance. Now if we are in the presence all the time of infinity ?? then in the face of that, we must be ?? ???
[bm3 - 30:01] mj4-30:09
R. Oh yes, oh yes.
R. What you say is very true. Of course, the idea is that the average person takes a long time before he admits that.
Q. Well I never met an average person. The only person I ever met was ...
R. Well, I know, but the idea of understanding, the idea of things being ...
Q. The only thing I hear in the word ...
[bm3 - 30:20 – gap in tape – no gap in mj4 ]
Q. The only thing I hear in the word ...[inaudible] finite. This is finite ?? Can’t understand the word infinite. I can’t understand the word.
R. Well, this is the ? proposed that we are getting into the paradox. This is the paradoxical part of this thing. [mj4-ends at 30:58]
start bm4 here? check R. ... time. And the universe is sunk into a black hole. And if it’s sunk into a black hole, it may not be infinite. It? may? be? immanent?
Q. I had a terrible experience yesterday. I found out that my God? at? play had seen? the book.
[bm3 - file ends at 30:54]
[bm4 - total time 8:56]
[bm4 - 00:00]
Q. [woman, inaudible] ... that which dies and that which lives is ?? kinds of levels ?? about the fact that man is mortal ...
that the dying that takes place is the recognition of oneself with some kind of ?? conscious relationship, which is a ?? and which has no ?? too separate one’s recognition, that one is the ?? with no real reasons ?? The minute one seeks oneself ?? and a rebirth takes place. And a woman can do those things. And I’m always ?? And I think that it has to ?? And this moment of self-?? , this moment of self awareness IS the moment. Life and death are one, and it’s the moment of love. And at that point there is no possibility of judgment, criticism ...
R. Oh, I agree with you.
Q. [to the lady] Bullshit. [laughter]
Q. [lady] it’s true, to keep it out of your mind, that part of the mind, ?? operating on pure intelligence Q. [Woman gives some lengthy point about living and dying and living in the moment, about not being judgmental, and then reads something, mostly inaudible.]
[bm4 - 02:10] mj5-03:05
R. Well, this is the difficulty. The thing is that, from what I’m hearing, I realize that, it sounds like they are talking from an absolute viewpoint. This is just like – for instance, Ramana Maharshi wrote a book about an absolute experience. We have no way – Ramana Maharshi is dead, I can't talk with him, all I can do is read his book. But we have no way of knowing whether Ramana Maharshi didn't just copy somebody else's book, that he never had the experience. This is one possibility.
[bm4 - 02:44]
R. As long as it’s truth, this is true.
Q. To you, all that matter is whether you are genuine.
R. No, no. What matters is whether you know that it matters whether I’m genuine or not. [ try “it’s genuine or not.” ] Do you know that that matters?
Q. When I say “you”, I’m speaking of me, whether I’m genuine. That’s all that matters.
[bm4 - 03:08]
R. I see a parallel. The thing is, I can see a parallel. I think I can see now – bringing this to let’s say an up-to-the-moment résumé – But – that you are talking about, it sounds, especially the lady who said this, it sounds like an enlightenment experience that you're speaking about. Because this is exactly what occurs in an enlightenment experience: You drop all relative evaluations. You drop thoughts, the mind dies, in this experience. The mind actually dies. Now the realization is still there, in – she used the words "pure intelligence." I say you transcend even that. That's my comprehension. Now, but what I'm questioning is, how do you know this? Where are you coming from?
[bm4 - 04:07] mj5-05:08
Q. It has nothing to do with knowing.
R. But how do you know it has nothing to do with knowing, unless you've been there and are quite sure that you don't have to know? Or are you just spinning something? This could be spun. It sounds like the guy who made the invisible robe out of gold, you know.
Q. But the questioner knows that he cannot know.
R. Why can’t he know?
Q. Because it cannot be communicated. You cannot say for sure what I am talking about.
R. Well then you are still talking about an absolute experience, though.
Q. But it makes no difference what you label it as.
R. No, no, no. If you tell me that you've got a wallet in your pocket, or that you've got a map to China in your pocket, and you produce it, then I know you've got a map to China. This type of knowing is transferable.
Q. But this is not the kind of knowing that we’re talking about.
R. How do I know that you know about this other type of knowing?
Q. You don’t have to know.
R. But then we are of no value are we to each other, unless we somehow have this – knowing about not knowing as being valid. What you’re saying is – you’re talking about two rocks in the desert that don't have to have anything. They don’t even have to know the other rock is there.
[cross talk, Rose laughs]
[Jaqua transcription ends here]
Q. It just sounds like this life, this experience you are speaking of [other fellow interrupts, he backs him down] You mentioned that, this sounds like the enlightenment experience. However, what else is there? See, that’s the point.
R. You can say that only if you have been enlightened.
Q. Only if it’s happening.
R. Only if you have been enlightened.
Q. What else could be happening? [i.e., that everything is enlightenment]
R. You don’t know it’s happening. You might be prattling.
Q. Don’t argue with it. What else could be happening right now?
R. Well ...
Q. If there is something else happening
R. Anybody else’s interpretation could be happening.
Q. Right. And this is stupid to pass on.
[Q. [somebody else] How much do you charge? us?]
Q. This is stupid, to pass on.
R. Well, I’m not passing it on. I’m thinking it’s equally stupid maybe for you to be pass on something that I can’t find any roots for.
Q. [the woman] The thought that what I’m doing is spinning a yarn out of a whole cloth – just assume that this is so – what difference does it make? To whom?
[bm4 - 06:55] mj5-08:08
R. It doesn’t matter to anybody except you [bm4 - gap in tape --- mj5 no gap] unless you’re afflicting somebody else.
Q. They hear what they hear.
Q. They hear what they want to hear.
R. What they want to hear, this is true. This is true. It’s like the soundless dog that barks in the woods, where nobody has ears, therefore there’s no sound. But regardless, if the dog is wise, he’ll bark somewhere where somebody can hear. That’s my point.
Q. It is to know, to be able to know what we’re going to hear. Even the wisest dog. [?]
R. Well, yes, but this is the point. What you’re saying is that there’s no use in doing anything.
Q. I didn’t say that.
R. Doesn’t it come to that?
Q. No, I didn’t say there’s no use in doing anything. I said there isn’t anything to do.
R. Well them, I grant what you’re saying – [but] it’s the manner in which you say it.
Q. What matters is what you hear.
R. Well ...
Q. Really, it’s total and utter and absolute insanity.
R. Yes, but dammit, man, you came here to communicate, didn’t you?
R. Oh, well then excuse me for talking to you.
Q. No, I have no such illusion.
R. Then excuse me, I can’t talk to you.
Q. Obviously, but I appreciate your effort.
R. Well, if no one else has anything to say, I guess we’d better get out of here.
Group member: If there’s anyone else interested in what we’re doing, we’ll be up on campus.
[Meeting wraps up. One lady says thank you.]
[bm4 - file ends at 08:56]
Url: http://www.direct-mind.org/index.php5?title=1976-0126-Zen-and-Esoteric-Christianity-LA For access, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Originally transcribed by Mark Jaqua in 2004; thanks to Mark for his work.
Does not claim a cause-effect relationship.
See 3rd paragraph:” Hazur says that in fact Kal cannot and does not wish the jivas to return finally to their original abode, because then his grand sport of exploiting the spirit entity will be over for ever.” http://www.radhasoamisatsang.org/rsfaith/radhasoamifaith_5_1.htm
Ironically, some of the audience later get into a huge discussion on these points.
Rose’s father-in-law, a Pentecostal preacher. See: 1980-0313-Are-Your-Values-Working-Pitt
Rose erroneously says Bucke’s experience occurred in Montreal, but it was during a visit to London, England. ttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Maurice_Bucke#Cosmic_consciousness_experience
Page 10, Bucke writing about himself in the third person: “For an instant he thought of fire, some sudden conflagration in the great city; the next, he knew that the light was within himself. Directly afterwards came upon him a sense of exultation, of immense joyousness accompanied or immediately followed by an intellectual illumination quite impossible to describe. Into his brain streamed one momentary lightning-flash of the Brahmic Splendor which has ever since lightened his life; upon his heart fell one drop of Brahmic Bliss, leaving thenceforward for always an aftertaste of heaven.”
Presumably authored by the Ramana ashram, as he wrote very little himself.
There is a Phil-worthy pun lurking somewhere, with Bucke and bucket.
The Ashram biography doesn’t mention any witnesses to Ramana Maharshi’s death experience at the age of 17. http://www.sriramanamaharshi.org/ramana-maharshi/death-experience/ However, Rose may have been referring either to Ramana’s catalepsy-like meditations that occurred after he went to the temple and caves in Tiruvannamalai, or to Sir Arthur Osborne account: “Sri Ramana’s Second Death Experience”. Here Ramana is quoted as saying his respiration and circulation stopped. http://the-wanderling.com/roaming.html Paul Brunton may have been the source (Rose read Search in Secret India). Also for this topic see “The Lost Years’ of Ramana Maharshi” by Peter Holleran quoted here: http://www.mountainrunnerdoc.com/page/page/5213285.htm
The term “philosophic” is Rose’s take on Gurdjieff’s man number four, which according to Ouspensky is a man not identified with or immersed in a single center (moving-instinctive, emotional or intellectual) but who has achieved a balance among the centers. See “Seven gradations of the concept ‘man’” from Chapter 4 of In Search of the Miraculous..
Where “the pieces fit”.
See Story of Paul Wood: http://selfdefinition.org/Christian/paul-wood-story.htm
More details are provided on Wood by Robert Martin in his book about Rose, Peace to the Wanderer. PDF here: [search on Leon Wood] http://selfdefinition.org/rose/Bob-Martin-Peace-to-the-Wanderer[Richard-Rose].pdf
Not the atomic bombs, according to available lists of those aircrews..
Matthew 6:9-13. and Luke 11:2-4.
In the newspaper article, Mary Wood says ten days.
See The Albigen Papers, chapter 7, “Discernment”, and chapter 8, “Maximum Reversal Technique”. Also see Energy Transmutation, Between-ness and Transmission (1975), and Psychology of the Observer (1979).
Albigen Papers, chapter 5: “We may sit in a church or lecture hall for twenty years listening to the same preacher and never know the most elementary thing which we need to know -- namely, the veracity of the speaker.”
Watts’ first book on Zen was published in 1932 when he was 17.
See TV series, 1959, “Alan Watts: The Void” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BV3iLso-GTk
Rose erroneously says 32 here.
After Rose placed ads in West Coast publications. See Alan Fitzpatrick, Retreat From Untruth, 2013, which contains biographical information about Rose.
PDF here: http://selfdefinition.org/van-der-leeuw/
Kundalini yoga master. (1913-1981) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kripalvananda
See Retreat From Untruth by Alan Fitzpatrick for details on Rose’s travels to California and elsewhere. http://www.rosepublications.net/Retreat_From_Untruth.html .
A central characteristic of Rose’s system.
Francis Abbott, the hermit of Niagara, June 10, 1931, died at 28 years of age. “All is Change, Eternal Progress, No Death."
Actually “cosmic pond scum”. Reprinted transcripts of Alan Watts’ radio presentations, published 1997 in Zen and the Beat Way, p. 15 and 25.
At that time, the only biographical information available to Rose was in the book.
The individual most expressive of Krishnamurti’s freedom turned out to be the most dogmatic.