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Title 1977-0915-Zen-and-Death-Washington-DC
Recorded date September 15, 1977
Location Washington, DC
Number of tapes PS ver: 2 tapes, 3 sides: 46 min, 46 min, 26 min
Other recorders audible? Yes
Alternate versions exist?
Source Paul Schmidt; Bart; SH partial.
No. of MP3 files Schmidt 3 mp3 files - SH converted 2011 at 256K, redone Feb 2015 at 128K
Total time 120 minutes = 2 hrs
Transcription status Part 4 of 4 finished 12/16/2015 for TAT Forum.
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? TAT Forum in 4 parts beginning Oct. 2015. Excerpts at http://www.richardroseteachings.com -- see link below
Remarks a.k.a. "Intuitional Psychology"
Audio quality Very good
Identifiable voices
URL at direct-mind.org https://www.direct-mind.org/index.php?title=1977-0915-Zen-and-Death-Washington-DC
For access, send email to: editors@direct-mind.org
Revision timestamp 20151217010805

CD Cover

CD available from Rose Publications: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/richardrose3


Excerpts on this PDF http://www.richardroseteachings.com/news_letter/The_Observers_Nook_Newletter_16th_Ed.pdf

Audio extract (4 min only) is on SearchWithin.Org: http://www.searchwithin.org/download/zenanddeath.mp3


To do: review footnotes in first pass

This is sold by Cecy, commercial recording.

Paul Schmidt collection. 2 cassettes, 3 sides. 46 + 46 + 28 + blank. Total 120 minutes

BM version = 45 + 45 + 26 min. Audio quality very good.

Other recorders? Yes. (beginning of side 3)

Audio quality good.

Recognized voices: Art Mandel [?] Mike Casari.

File 1


End of intro: ... to captivate his audience. I think you’ll find him to be a man of wisdom.

R. I’ll have a hard enough time keeping up with that much.

[Put this note at top] Audio for this talk is available from Rose Publications at richardroseteachings.com. Direct link to download: “Zen and Death (Second Edition)” http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/richardrose3



Fist let me say something about the word Pyramid in the name. I never intended for the group to have a name. It was basically individuals trying to find their self-definition, the highest spiritual value. And Zen is one of the more direct ways to go about it. But when we went into a university they wanted an organization. I was pretty much opposed to forming an organization because as soon as you do, you get all of the ills that come with them. But if you want a room at a university you have to have a name. So in Pittsburgh we gave ourselves the name Zen Study Group. When we went over to Kent the boys took the name Pyramid Zen. The reason was that when I wrote The Albigen Papers I put triangle on the front of the book; it wasn't a pyramid so much as a triangle, which represented the Law of Three. But it does have a significance as a pyramid in that all human effort is pyramidal in form.


The spiritual evolvement of people requires a large base of those who are not evolved. So that for every person who reaches the maximum spiritual experience, there are probably a million people in what we call the instinctive stages yet. Whenever human effort is involved there's a pyramid, a triangular effect. For every millionaire there are a million people who never make it; they’re down in the working class so to speak. And this was to point it out, rather than to kid people and tell them that everybody was going to make it. That all they had to do was to listen to me and the world is going to be better, and we were going to make a little shiny spot on it.

We picked up the name Pyramid Zen from the Kent group, and for the sake of printing materials we unified the name, to make it the same for all the universities. Then along came the pyramids, the people who were sharpening razor blades and preserving bits of meat. And people came to lectures probably thinking that we had a new form of Zen whereby you meditated and got satori under a pyramid. I don't know what they expected but there were a lot of disappointed people.

I’m thinking of advising all of the groups to drop the name, and just call it an Esoteric Study Group. Because Zen is not the only door to realization. Every man has his own door if he can find it. Sometime he can be stimulated by a philosophy or an esoteric religion, but every man can find his God within him if he wants to really dig hard enough. If Zen helps, or if your parental religion helps, that's alright. Generally it’s in the parental religion as well. Of course I have reasons for following the Zen line, because I think it's more direct and it pushes aside a lot of dogma.


[This is where the commercial CD starts]

Death and After-Death Experiences

The talk tonight is on Zen and its relation to death and the after-death experiences. Of course we should start with the idea of what is Zen. I think there's a lot of misunderstanding about what Zen really was. When you get to digging into the writings of some of the old masters, the books that they left behind, you'll find an entirely different picture from what you get today with the assembly-line productions in some of our American Zen centers.

I don't think it was ever intended to be something with a formula that you could get out of a book, and that all you had to do was ring little bells or practice koans. I think there’s a lot of emphasis put on setting something up that is easy and yet impossible. Anybody can get a koan and play with it for years, and in that respect it's impossible to find a solution to it – unless the solution is saying, "Well, I'm through with it. It's just nonsense." And then the master says, "You’re right. Now you've got it." Or as one book says, the student punched the master in the nose and the master says, "You're right." He didn't want to get punched a second time. So you can get enlightenment that way.


But I want to step over into this business of death, which is part of the topic tonight. I wonder if we understand death. I wonder if we all have the same conception of what death is. Some people believe that there's nothing but a cellular death. This is the materialistic medical viewpoint and the materialistic psychological definition: that when the cells die you're dead, that’s all. Three flat readings on the EEG.

But is there an existence beyond this? This is the question that every entity, human or animal, wants to know. Even the animals are afraid of dying; they seem to show by their actions that what's happening to them that could kill them is not good, so they must be a little apprehensive about it. And yet we have a lot of either folklore or literature that signifies that something does happen to us after death.


Now what are the systems of finding this? When you read the literature of Zen you'll find very little mention of the word death. In fact, I don't think there's too much mention of it in my own book except in the evaluations of religious movements: that most religious movements and esoteric sects are aimed at taking you someplace after you die.

I was initiated into a yogic group one time, the Radha Soami sect, from the Punjab area of India, the Kashmir section. Some of you have heard of Kirpal Singh – this was the group from which Kirpal Singh was a schismatic. Also Eckankar was a schismatic from the same group. Basically the belief of these people was – they called it Darshan – you concentrated in the middle of your forehead on the picture of your guru. It was a kriya yoga practice. Kriya yoga was concentration upon the third eye, so to speak, but darshan was now putting the guru in the third eye. They had another thing which they called Shabd. You listen to the sound current in the right ear. The right ear was where the right music came, and if it came from the left ear you had to be careful.


What was it all aimed at? – it was aimed at immortality. That by the darshan with the guru you established something like a silver cord, and when the guru died he went ahead and prepared a place for you. You kept in touch with him with this sound current and this cord, which I call the guru-chain. The sects in India don't really come out and say this, but they're tied together by a guru-chain the same way a person in some instances is tied to a love of their relatives. They look for their relatives after death, and a lot of people, no matter how old they are, when they're dying will call out to their relatives. I've seen some call for their mother and I know one case where they saw both their parents.


Now Zen doesn't start with the business of death, whereas many other movements do. The guru-chain was one method of immortality, as though after death there was a tremendous sea of oblivion out there. You had to take drastic measures to build some astral cord or some sound by which you'd be identified, so you could find each other in this vast ocean. The accent was put on what I consider the basic fear, whereas Zen doesn't take the fear into account. True Zen thinking discounts fear. It does away with fear because that’s a thought-deterrent; you have to rid yourself of it before you can find any real truth. So whenever you're engaged in a religious movement in which the fear of death is the cause of your search, you have to give that up because it's going to color your thinking.

In Zen, when you read most of the conversations with Zen masters the subject of death isn't discovered. So how do we bring about a rationalization that Zen does something for the after-death experience? It does so in the regard that if you find out the answer, then the after-death experience is part of the answer.

Zen is basically self-definition. And with the knowledge of the self you also will understand the origin and the limits of the self, the destiny of the self. Now you ask, "How do you know?" Well, the testimony of anyone who has reached this point in Zen indicates that they know the score, and their worries are over as far as what is going to happen to them. Their manner of talking about it might be a little confusing, because of the simple fact that they're talking about an absolute dimension.

We generally look at heaven as a relative dimension. And when people talk about life after death they conceive of a relative heaven – although they know that the relative experience they're embodied in is going to perish, and all relative modes of communication are going to fail.

We don't get any communication from the millions and millions of people who have passed on. In fact, there's been so little communication that’s considered valid, the scientific world just discounts it all and says there is none. That it's all wishful thinking created by desire.


[pause, reviews his notes, papers rustle]


So what are the different ways that people go about finding the answer? I think everybody wants to know the truth. Whether a man goes to church, or whether he's a gangster or works in a steel mill or he's a farmer, he's motivated by a desire to know the truth. And regardless of where you meet him, in a beer joint or a battlefield, you'll hear him asking the other fellows questions: "What do you think happens after you die?" Maybe that's the only comment they make and they go back to drinking their beer. But everybody wants to know what's going to happen.

The majority of people don't believe that it's possible to know. And they're encouraged in this. It’s part of our cultural tradition to hand to the children the idea, "It's not for you to know." So this becomes an easy rationale when the struggling to know becomes arduous. They just say, "Well, we're not supposed to know." One of the outstanding pillars in Christian theology was Thomas Aquinas, who said, "The finite mind will never perceive the infinite." And when you think that over you get the idea, well, maybe he's right. We're very limited, we're very microscopic in relation to the planet and in relation to the galaxies, and out there someplace behind all this is a God. We're very finite, and what hope do we have, what ego do we have, that would inspire us to claim immortality? That the creator, engineer, or whoever made this whole scene would consider us important enough to bestow upon us some eternal form of life.


We go back to the ability of these systems to find for us. And I'm more or less running through my own life experiences for you. Because everyone goes to church, and sooner or later most people get disillusioned. It becomes a social institution, they accept it at that, and the theological part of most of the religions and isms somehow does not answer. So most of us just give up.


bm1-15:56 – ps1-16:02

Now I've got a little system, and you may be interested in taking a note of it, in the province of religion or religious philosophy, on how you can check the different movements for their ability to successfully answer the questions of man. Meaning, that if they can answer the questions, they must have done some successful research; they must have know something before they started preaching.

The reason I'm doing this is not to rap somebody else. Because everything is in its proper place. Every religion is necessary or it wouldn't be there; I'm not rapping that. I just presume there's a percentage of people who are always interested in maybe one other step. For the people on certain steps I hold all respect; that step is necessary and it's there. But let's evaluate a little bit: What do the different religions do for us? What do we want? Well, in this business of answering questions we want to know:

1. Who we are. I call it the nature of man.

2. Some sort of definition of life before birth.

Everyone's talking about life after death, but what about life before we were born? The engineering in our bodies is very complex and it seems like a tremendous lot of intricate purpose there – and it just started? Sixty or fifty or forty years ago it just started out of nothing? And the mentality was just created out of nothing? Two chemicals came together, a sperm and an ovum, and created a unique sentient being? We overlook this. Why? It's easy – we're here, why worry about it? But in the process of looking at our definition we’re going to have to take that into account. We're going to have to be concerned with that end of the string. What were we before? Nothing starts from nothing.

3. Life after death.

4. The relation of man to nature and the visible universe.

This permeates all religions: What is our relation to each other? What is the relation to the planet, the soil, the animal kingdom? Why are we stuck in this aquarium, so to speak?

5. The relation of man to the Absolute.

This is where the theologian comes along and says. "You're here to please God," or, "God's here to please you.” The universe was created to make you happy. Whether you want to call it God or the Absolute, it's this relation.


Basically the whole problem of theology boils down to three major points: Who are you? Where did you come from? Where are you going? Now check them out. Go back through your religions and your isms, any esoteric movement that pretends to do something. This is what I do in the book, incidentally. I went through some of them rather carefully.

For instance, people subscribe to a certain cult, and I've talked to them after they were in it forty years. I said, "What was this supposed to do for you?" One lady said, "I was supposed to meet my astral Master while living in this body." Now that's a long shot. Because she presumed that when she met him he'd tell her the score. Forty years to get to talk to a ghost is a long shot, because you're going to lose the best years of your life for research and you're not concentrating on the problem at hand. The problem at hand is not to meet a spirit, it's to find out who you are. Now presuming the spirit knows everything, perhaps he will tell you who you are. I've known two people who were into this – I'm not going to name it because I'm not here to tear things apart – but the lady said finally this fellow appeared at the foot of her bed. She asked him a question and he shook his head "No" and left. That was the end of it.

This is a very powerful movement today, the one I just spoke about; they have a tremendous membership. When you run down through the list, do they give us anything on the Nature of Man? They have a concept structure: he's an aura or he's got this or that chakra. It's a concept, but prove it. We want proof, not just what somebody dreams up, or what somebody says somebody else said that somebody else said. On the item of Life After Death it depends entirely on whether you're able to make contact with this astral Master before you die. Otherwise back to the drawing board. On Life Before Birth: of course the concept generally is that you were reincarnated. No proof, just everybody in the movement believes. Relation of Man to Nature: there's no mention of it, or very little mention of it. Relation of Man to the Absolute: there's no mention of the word Absolute.



There's another method of finding out who you are, outside of esoteric religion or philosophy, and that's psychology. The purpose of psychology is to find out about our thinking processes. This is hitting pretty close to who you are: when you know who is thinking, you know what the mind is. I'm not saying that modern psychology will teach that which the mind is. Nevertheless, that's supposed to be their direction. The Nature of Man consequently becomes the province of psychology. Because it's not biology, not the body. Call it behavior patterns if you wish, but it's his nature, which is the same thing that religion is after. Also the nature of mental attributes: he has certain peculiarities, anger, affection, emotion, hate, ESP, and there's an attempt to get into those.


Now any of these movements mentioned, or any that you know of, will say they’ve got definitions. One time I was starting to give a lecture and I said, "People do not know who they are." And a guy said, "Nonsense. I know who I am." I said, "Okay, who are you?" He said, "I'm the guy who's sitting in front of you." Of course that was a little bit of sophistry, a joke. But that doesn't mean that that man knew his definition. He had never bothered to think. He had just accepted the common human projection of what people are. In himself, he did not know who he was.

We find out that we don't know who we are when we get surprises. You think you're one thing and your wife will prove to you that you're something else. You'll get married or something like that, or have a traumatic experience and you’ll say, "Geez, am I like that? Is that who I am?" We have a certain fixed idea of ourselves until somebody or society changes us, proves to us that we're casting a projection that people just don't accept. Then we realize we must be somebody else.

After you examine a tremendous lot of these definitions you might say, "No one knows who God is." And somebody will say, "Oh, yes, I know him. I'm on friendly terms with him." I've had people tell me that. But there's a difference between a definition and an explanation, and there's a difference between what you know and what you'd like to believe. We're getting down now to facts, and I maintain that Zen is a factual thing. That's the reason not too much is said. There's a lot of seeming nonsense in the writings about Zen. But you'll not hear a logical build-up: this is that and therefore something else can be added to it, and pretty soon you come out with a proof. In Zen, the proof is an experience.

If we examine the attempts both in psychology and religion, we find that a tremendous lot are what I call concept structures. This is like the old phlogiston theory in chemistry before they knew about oxidation. They said, "We know something is going on and we found this element called phlogiston, and that's what is causing all the trouble." And for maybe fifty years or longer all the chemists in Europe accepted the concept structure about phlogiston, which was later proved to be oxidation.


This is what we get into, in a tremendous lot of the deeper lines of thinking, especially in abstract lines of thinking like philosophy. Instead of going in and finding out for ourselves, we build a concept structure. We build a rock candy mountain for ourselves, a paradise to suit our wishes. We do not look for that which is. If we run into something that says, "After death it might be oblivion", the reaction is, "I don't want to hear that." Many of the systems imply that man is a robot, and I've heard people say, "I don't want to hear that. I am no robot." How do you know you're not a robot? Do you control your actions?

Part 2

[10 second pause, checks notes]

[next paragraph need major fix]

Psychology - continued

ps1-26:45 [must rewrite this]

When we get into this business, regardless - if we follow the thing from the spiritual viewpoint, following some let's say either religious or esoteric movement – and we follow this business of checking things, and checking for the human weakness in the experiment – it's like the margin of error in a chemical analysis, or the margin of friction in a physics experiment – we immediately have to qualify the results, or the belief or faith that is produced out of that type of thing, unless we're able to set up a whole set of machinery to check ourselves. [We look] for fatigue, wishful thinking, appetites, wrap them all in: If you like to hunt then there'll be a happy hunting ground. And then out of this comes a philosophy or a religion.


In evaluating some religious or esoteric movement, we check for the human weakness in the experiment. It's like the margin of error in a chemical analysis or the margin of friction in a physics experiment. And we immediately have to qualify the results or the belief or the faith produced out of that type of thing, unless we're able to develop a whole set of machinery to check ourselves. We look for fatigue, wishful thinking, appetites, wrap them all in. If you like to hunt there will be a happy hunting ground. And then out of this comes a philosophy or a religion.

To be a good spiritual seeker, whether you want to or not, you have to be a psychologist. You have to be a self-psychologist, a self-analyst, and watch yourself – so you don't conceive something, create something, rather than explore and find. And to be a good psychologist you have to be intuitive, because it's not all logic.

There's a sort of combination that we can't separate from: the basis of our religion is largely intuitive; the basis of our psychology has to be likewise intuitive. The basis of our religion has to be psychological. It has to start with the self, because any external pursuit of an abstract nature is going to be approached not with our body but with our mind. And unless you know something about that mind, the mind will play tricks on you. And everybody here knows that, that your mind plays tricks.


[20 sec pause, checks notes again]

That was one reason when I first went to college I decided I would look into psychology. I started off majoring in chemistry, and thought I'd become a biochemist and analyze matter and find that little kernel inside that would be the life-force or the secret of life. And I gave that up because I realized that it would get into tangential sciences ad infinitum, and I would never be able to complete in one lifetime or in many lifetimes a successful analysis of protoplasm for the discovery of what causes protoplasm to live.

So I went over into psychology, and I got immediately into behavioristic psychology; this is what was being taught at the time. And I found out that it wasn't investigative. Modern psychology as taught in the universities and schools today is not investigative. Well, in some places it might be; I'm not saying there isn't some pioneering being done. But it's basically a sort of struggle to find ways and means of predicting behavior so that the people can be controlled or kept happy.


When you go to a psychiatrist what does he try to do? Does he say, "Here, let's sit down and discover the truth together, and then we'll know why all this nonsense is going on in your life? Maybe it's bad karma or something." I'm saying that tongue-in-cheek, because I don't presume that we're afflicted with bad karma. But Lord knows there might be a hundred reasons for things happening to us that the psychiatrist doesn't bother to get into. In fact, he's inhibited from getting into a lot of the moral aspects of our nature, things we do in moral content that might affect our thinking.

Like the medical doctor (and of course, a psychiatrist is also a doctor) they're supposed to put patches on and not get into morality. So how can you heal some things, perhaps, unless you get into some of the habits that people do? If a guy's burning his liver out with booze and you weren't allowed to say, "The booze is killing you," he'd continue to burn his liver out. Which of course most of them do anyway.

Now there are other things that will afflict you. But the idea has basically gotten back to patch the character up and put him back into the harness. This is social compatibility. If he can't get along with his wife – well, I could tell you some of the results of people who went to psychiatrists because they were having trouble with their wives. One psychiatrist up in Cleveland, Ohio told the fellow to go to the swingers club and see if he couldn't find a couple other women and try them.


So it doesn't matter what you do, in their book, as long as you go back and start paying taxes again. And be able to afford the psychiatric fee also, that helps. But you're no good to anyone if you're down in the dumps and moping around and not producing. So the point is not to understand the human mind, but to find whatever little twists and torques and gimmicks are necessary to get that guy back into harness, into social compatibility.

Consequently, everything that comes under the banner of psychology is not necessarily designed for the understanding of the mind. I know they're working on that, but they're working more or less on reflexes, like Pavlov's dogs: Let’s find some means of predicting, some way that we can get these people to do what we want them to do. And of course B.F. Skinner is an outstanding example of this. He presumes that someone should program the whole human race. That will keep 'em all out of trouble.


ps1-33:05 We must avoid seizing a postulation that comes easy and putting it out as scientifically discovered truth. This is what we run into a lot in psychology. And of course we also come into this concept that mind is somatic. Meaning that there is no mind except what is seen in the body. This is a recurrent theme.

For instance, there are a lot of phenomena that occur that evidently seem to come from outside the body. You can write them off as being hallucinations. We had a case in the movies not too long ago that was very valid, which was case of The Exorcist, a little fourteen year boy in real life. Right here in this area, incidentally, is where it started. I had a friend here in DC who sent me the newspaper clippings in 1949 when it first happened. This boy was in extreme need of psychiatric care but he was never treated by a psychiatrist. Well, the diagnosis would have been schizophrenia. And what do you do for a schizophrenic? Maybe pump him full of pills to a point where he can't jerk, if he's being inhabited.


But the prediction was made by let's say a layman, a psychiatric layman, and the boy was cured by him. The prediction was based upon a possible external invasion of a mentality; a complete mentality invading that person's body. Now there are case of this down through history. They're trying in the last twenty or thirty years to laugh them off, because they don't have them in the textbooks. But for the last ten thousand years, as long as there have been records, there have been reports of possession and of curing it. Oesterreich puts out a good book on this. , I just got my hands on it recently, and he tells of the different cases of possession and the cures of them down through the ages. It's not limited to just one class of people.


Unfortunately, I'm afraid that there's another thing invading all our thinking. And we have to be careful of this. The reason I'm bringing this up is that if you want to get down to scientific thinking about your self-definition, you've got to be prepared for these things that have been enforced upon humanity, and know that they're going to get in your road, and you'll have to step around them.

We have a disease called democracy that permeates all of our thinking, that people are able to vote on stuff. The normal curve: Sanity is that which most people are. And the way it's going, 52 percent of us will soon be murderers, and you won't dare oppose them, or anything that 52 percent are. There is no such thing of anything being good in itself; everything is defined as that which the most people are, and that is considered sanity.


In regards to this, we have the idea also that "people have decided". They say, "People have decided that God is dead." Well, I've often said that it's possible that we don't get as much action as we read about [in history]. We read books where God was very active. He appeared to one fellow in a burning bush and he sent an angel down to intercede with Gideon. That was in the Old Testament. Then right away God disappeared. He had a son that was being lynched and he didn't send one angel. He let them lynch him.


So you could take this type of argument and run it down and say, "Well, there is no God basically; this was all fiction." But actually, what it amounts to is that people are drifting. They are drifting away. But if 99 percent of the population maintained a belief that God did not exist, that would not mean that God did not exist. Now, I'm saying his stock market would be low, because somehow there's a relationship between the architect and his creations. So his influence might be rather weak. But that would not mean that you can vote and decide.


38:04 Now in psychology we're getting into the same thing. We're getting into all the human attributes: what is normal, what the majority of people want to believe is normal, or what you can educate. Another thing going on is "education". We're hearing a lot about the Panama Canal and one of the politicians got up and said, "The trouble is that we haven't had time to educate the public." Do we want the truth or do we want to be educated? I'm not saying one way or the other which is right. But there's a tendency of people in control – whether they're in control of universities or governments – to educate. Not for the truth but for the convenience of the moment, thinking that they are spirits of the Zeitgeist, prophets of the Zeitgeist, and by their manipulation of the public mind they'll bring people around to the right direction.


So as a result of this, we've taken a vote on what the human mind consists of. Now I think that this is the reason, this confusion about the actual attributes of the human mind, that there are fewer and fewer people able to understand themselves.

I got a cup of coffee this morning at McDonald’s across the street from where the boy's have their house, and I heard some people arguing about what was wrong with the President and the ex-President, and one was a crook and the other was now a crook also. One man was black and the other man was white, and they were arguing that point also, that one was being deprived and he was hoping for a system in which he wouldn't be deprived. And the thought kept going through my head that these people are missing the point. The real point is that the young people of today have no hope. We have hypnosis, but no hope. I'm gone, but the young people know it. They're more intuitive than the older people.

A baby has a better mind than a thirty year-old man. And a five year-old kid has a better mind than a ten year-old kid. This is not fiction. As a child grows up they see the picture; they know they're thrown into a certain pattern and they evaluate it. And the reason there's no hope is not because the bus is taking the kids to school or not taking the kids to school. It's because society has become like a den of snakes in which there's no way to untangle and find yourself a way – either to become prosperous, if that's all you wish, just a material life, or to have a spiritual life.

Everything has to be chartered by the state, like I said a minute ago. Can you come together and think about Zen or talk about Zen, or anything, unless you're chartered, unless you sign a paper that you are now an organization? You're an entity which can be attacked.

Whether it's just a result of sardine-can living i don't know; whether we're just getting too populous or what. But something, whether it's the manifest crookedness, the manifest controlling of all phases of the individual's life, the ebb and flow of power in which people are caught up, and some get by without getting caught and others get ground up into pieces – it just discourages anyone from trying to get ahead, that's all.


This is the difficulty. And I believe that the young people – I'm talking about children ten years of age – are able to see this. Every kid knows that the cop on the corner is crooked. Everyone who can read a paper knows that the judge is crooked; everyone knows that politicians are crooked. How can this kid come up with a belief that he can hold his head up and live according to Pollyanna, as he's expected to? He doesn't know which way to turn.

I'll give you an example in today's paper. They were fining some chicken growers twenty-some million dollars; they were going to give the money back to the people for fixing the prices of chickens. They were trying to hold the price up against the public. This was in today's paper. On the opposite page was a notice that the government is talking to Pan Am. Pan Am was wanting to drop their prices, and the head of CAB says, "They can go to hell." They're going to stop them from dropping their prices. Here's one fellow that they're going to put in jail for raising his prices. Then they're shouting about inflation. So this guy says, "Ok, let's drop our prices so that people can travel more cheaply." Which might cause a chain reaction and maybe a lot of competition would set in and a lot of things would get cheaper. So how does a child look at this when he reads that in the paper? He's not going into the chicken business, that's for sure.


Then who do we trust? We have to trust our adults. We have to trust our teachers, we have to trust our parents. And our parents have been reduced to dishrags. Frustration has just reduced most people to dishrags, of just giving up, saying there's nothing there. I was talking before we started to Mrs. Marsh here, about a boy who I saw that death was approaching him. And I told his father – his father was a doctor – I said, "Your son's going to die." It was strictly an intuitional hunch; the boy was in perfect health. And of course they looked at me like I was a nut, and I felt like a nut for telling them, but I told them anyhow out of compulsion.

He was dead within two weeks. A tractor-trailer ran over him. He was smoking pot and his girlfriend got hurt and he staggered out in front of traffic to try to get help for her and got run over by a tractor-trailer. But when I said this to his father, the father's reaction first of all was one of indignation that this nut would dare to comment on his son's life. And then what he said was, "Well, what have they got to look forward to anyhow?"


We are animals, basically. If we can't be anything else we can be good animals and fight for the kids. Try to keep them alive, try to do something for them. Basically, there is nowhere for these people to turn, in my estimation. So we're in a hopeless, sick condition. And who are the people who are going to pull us out of this? Our psychologists and our psychiatrists, who have the highest suicide rate in the country of any profession.

Well – I look upon Zen as a psychoanalytic system. I don't know how many suicides are in there, but they go about it from that angle.


Of course we have the testimony of people. When you get into the evidence of life after death – who knows?

[bm1 ends here at 45:12]

File 2

[The following in blue is in PS version but missing from Bart’s version]

As I’ve said, we've had case histories for ten thousand years. They were written down in little books in Asia and spiritualistic literature ....

[Break in tape.]

PS version starts here: ps2-00:00

...So now the American people are ready to accept the fact that they may have a life after death. They may pick become exuberant now etc

bm2 starts here 00:00 --

may become exuberant now: there may be something to live for, and that's death. [laughter]

I notice when Kübler-Ross and Moody wrote about this they gave quite a few instances of accounts of life after death, but they didn't bother to catalogue. And a good scientist when he runs through an experiment catalogues the thing a bit.

All of the experiences that we run into by reading accounts, or by our own personal experience, or by talking to people – you'll meet people sometimes who say they were pronounced dead and such and such happened – you'll find they're not all the same. I was in one of the boy's books today and I found a piece of paper where he was complaining that there was no hope for the researcher into life after death because of the fact that all these people had different stories; so consequently you might throw the whole bunch out, that there's no sense in trying to find out anything.

But yet there's a certain definite pattern, and this is what's missed; it was missed completely by Moody and Kübler-Ross, but of course they haven't been in it too long. We can examine these cases and you will get an idea of the pattern, and if you've done any reading in this line you'll find that they correspond to this.


I've talked to people, incidentally – a friend who had a heart attack – he was pronounced dead and he came back. He came up to me asking what I thought would happen after death. And I didn't answer him. I said, "What happened to you? You were out." He said, "Nothing. Oblivion. I remembered absolutely nothing." So this is the first category: oblivion.

The second is what I call earth-bound. In this book by Oesterreich you'll find a lot of cases of possession that are often earth-bound. The case of boy from DC who was possessed in The Exorcist was supposedly an aunt who bothered him. An aunt the boy knew while she was living; she died and came back; that was the whole thing in a nutshell. But evidently, according to some of the cases, you'll find people wandering around. Some of them are in haunted houses. You hear stories where people go into haunted houses and talk to the spirit. And the spirit says, "I can't leave," you know, "my money's in the cellar." Anyhow, we have the earth-bound category; people who don't seem to sense any heaven. They don't talk of being in heaven when you talk to them. They are hanging around and this seems to be very real and very important, trying to get energy perhaps from a living person like in the case of The Exorcist, tapping the kid.


The third category is people who see scenery only. They will talk about seeing beautiful vistas, beautiful meadows and fields of flowers, but no people. They will very rarely talk about seeing people in this category.

The fourth category is the ones who see people – only people. When they talk they don't mention where they were sitting or where they were standing, and they see mostly relatives. The mother comes to pick them up, an uncle. If they've been orphans it’s somebody they knew, a next door neighbor or somebody who died and seemed to be looking after them.

The fifth category is people who see celestial beings. They think that they are men from higher levels of spiritual life, angels if you want to call it that, gods, saviors, etc. But very rarely do the people who claim to see these angels or these shining men ever claim that the beings are God. For instance, Raymond Moody brought it out that for Christians some of the cases talked about seeing Jesus, but the people of Jewish faith didn't see Jesus, they saw an angel. They said they saw a spirit but they just identified it as an angel. That was the predominance of the cases examined by Moody.


The sixth category is the people who witness all of humanity. Now this is peculiar to some people who have what I call the cosmic consciousness experience, in which they will see a tremendous panorama of life.

And the seventh category is where they see nothing and everything. Those two have to be spoken together: nothing and everything.


Now where do we get this evidence that we're talking about? Of course, a lot of it as I said is from word of mouth, but a lot of it is from medical records; people as far back as Paracelsus. Paracelsus is supposed to have been the father of medicine; he writes books on spirits and incubi and succubi and encounters he had with entities of that sort. Another source is from doing things yourself, like astral projection. Robert Monroe writes a book on astral projection in which he talks of encountering spirits. Preferably the lady upstairs. [laughter]

Another method is Spiritualism. The Spiritualists claim that by materialization they can contact and produce spirits. And I have seen these, incidentally. I qualify my opinion as to what they find; but I was in a room one time where about eighteen were materialized, and they were recognizable by people there as being dead relatives. I don't want to get into that now, maybe we can talk about it later, but I came to the conclusion that they were not relatives.


Then there are visions: A lot of so-called holy people, see visions of previously holy people.

The last category that I found on the sources is direct experience. There was a sage in India a while back who said there was only one way to find out the secrets of life after death and that was to go there. To die. And it's not as difficult as it seems. [laughter]

There was a fellow who wrote a book – I forget the name of it – on his experiences with hashish many years ago. He was well known. And he had a little quatrain in the front of the book. He was trying to see what would happen to him after death. He took nitrous oxide. He had it fixed so that when he passed out he would fall away from the thing that held the handkerchief over his face; he would fall and then be revived by breathing. He was by himself. So he put a piece of paper there to write, if he could write anything while he was unconscious, about the dynamic findings of this type of experiment. Of course, he fell over and he woke up and he looked on the paper and it said:

Hogamus, Higamous, Man is polygamous. Higamous, Hogamous, Woman is monagamous.

or something like that. But anyhow, he tried. [laughter]

Categories of Experience


We're getting into the field of direct experience now, or let's say religious experience. I find four major categories of religious experience. This is going to start to explain some of the differences. I believe that the differences in after-death experiences depend upon the differences in pre-death experiences.

I don't know whether you're acquainted with Gurdjieff or not, but he draws a pretty good lineup of the different types of people. He lists four major categories below the enlightenment level. The first is the instinctive, the second is the emotional, the third is the logical, and the fourth is the philosophical. Now I find four corresponding states, that some medical people call exaltations, or spiritual experiences, and they sort of correspond to these different levels. The first is salvationism. The second is the eureka experience, the equivalent of satori, the wow experience: "Wow, I know it now. I know what x means in algebra.” The third is cosmic consciousness; the fourth is enlightenment. Now if you're acquainted with Ramana Maharshi, he catalogues them a little differently. The last two, instead of cosmic consciousness and enlightenment, he calls kevala nirvikalpa samadhi and sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi.


So we go back and look at the instinctive man. The instinctive man is a man who lives to live. The biggest part of his life is taken up just in what he can eat, his sexual experiences, how much he can drink, how much dope he can take or whatever it is. And he thinks sometimes he's enlightened by some of the experiences he has. I've had people walk up to me and tell me they were enlightened. And I've said, "What made you enlightened?" One guy said, "Acid." Before acid it was the hoodles. No man was enlightened until he had the hoodles – that's where you see snakes and monkeys from drinking.

When a man gets tired of his instinctive level, he may search around for religion. Or he may meet a girl, or the woman may meet a man, and she decides that she should go to church or something. They decide to forget their body and concentrate on the love of Jesus, the love of some person or some idea of God. They drop their instinctive self and find a tremendous rapture. In the Pentecostal faith it's called "salvation". There’s a loss of ego, and anytime there's a loss of ego there's an immediate soaring of the spiritual potential, because this is what holds us down on the fertilizer level.


Now after we live so long in the emotional level – some of you are old enough to have gone through it, where you've fallen in love with a certain religion or idea – we finally decide that we're kidding ourself. That this is an emotional trip, that you're really in love with something that you don't even know about. Maybe Jesus wasn't that handsome; he might he ugly. So we decide we're going to look into something different, maybe we should use our head now – if we’re not too old. A lot of people only get that far. I've known people eighty years of age and they were right around that salvationistic level yet. They believed they were saved and that was it.

So then they start digging with their intellect. They attack – as well as they can, because there's very little to use your intellect on – numerology, kabbalah, astrology, hoping that something will crack the door and a new truth will come in. That maybe there's a way of appraising God through the kabbalah, or sometimes it might become a fundamentalistic thing. Well, the kabbalah is really a type of fundamentalism, you might say. There are different levels in it. It's like a department store: you can buy almost anything you want there: numerological kabbalah and also the spoken and unspoken kabbalah. But it is an exercise, a mental exercise; it begins with that at least.

Well, sometimes we belabor ourselves with this – like Swedenborg – he has a system, too, of interpretation of the Bible. And nothing comes of it for a long time. And then another ego drops; we completely drop the emotional ego and we have a realization that now we've solved the problem, now we've found x. And for a minute everything seems in order. We don't know why, we don't have words to express it, but we think that everything is in order and everything will be taken care of. This experience is very short.

Now I like to distinguish, when we're talking about Zen, the difference between satori and enlightenment. And I'm distinguishing by virtue of the testimony of people who have described these experiences, not as it's defined in some book.

For instance, in Kapleau's book, Three Pillars of Zen, we run into people who supposedly experience satori where it was, "Wow! I got it." But it is not "wow" when you die. You don't come back after a death experience for hours, sometimes days. The shock, the trauma of dying is so great. And also the trauma of coming from an absolute condition or mentality back into a relative picture-show, a stage. We're not happy to get back here, and it's trauma. So consequently a tremendous shift has to take place.


I think this is true about a lot of people. If you're ever around a person who thinks they're dying and they pass out and wake up, one of the first things they do is weep, because of the tremendous emotional upset. They had resigned themselves to dying. I know of one doctor when he was dying they brought him to, thumped on his chest and got him back – and he cursed them. He didn't have any hopes of immortality; he wasn't a religious man. He just said, "I've got to do it all over again now. Why didn't you leave me alone?" Consequently, the same thing applies to a deep spiritual experience. You've got to come back and do it all over again. You've got to come back and get your feet down in the mud again and grub like you did before.

So what we've got in this person who takes the logical approach to analyzing things – he's working with a vanity. The logic is vanity. Nothing is ever done by logic in esoteric matters. It's strictly a vanity thing where we can pile little words together and little sentences and say, "Look how clever I am. You can't outwit me." We've got a concept structure built that's impregnable: "You can't destroy this concept structure.”

So after awhile, as again I say, if we live long enough, we come to the conclusion that the wow experience is not the final experience. And we go back to the drawing board and we start plugging away – in Lord knows what directions. And the ego of being logically capable drops. This self-delight in our own thinking processes drops, and we enter a thing which we call cosmic consciousness.


Incidentally in all three of these first three things we have what I call relative experience, which is bliss. In some of them there are figures that appear, where people actually think they're inspired or they see Jesus. Or they have happiness: they are very happy and they feel refreshed that they've reached this plateau.

If you want to read about cosmic consciousness there are cases written rather extensively by Richard M. Bucke in his book called Cosmic Consciousness. His own experience is a typical one. His description is very similar to what Saint John of the Cross had, in which lights appeared. The scene was lit up. Bucke was looking out over the city and the horizon became rose-colored. This thing permeated his whole being and he realized beyond a shadow of a doubt that the world was perfect; that there was nothing wrong with anything that happened in the world. We were talking earlier about things that were evil and some that were good – and he realized that there was nothing evil; everything was good. And this carried him serenely to the end of his life.


But that's a relative experience. Lights, bliss – you tell people that there's no bliss in after-death experiences and they don't want any parts of it. But they're going to die anyhow. The facts are facts. We want facts, not the candy store choice. We're not in a candy store where we can choose bliss. But a lot of people say, "I don't believe that, if you tell me there's no bliss waiting up ahead." As if we've had a lot of fun here and now we're supposed to go up there and get a reward for it.

But regardless, the thing that distinguishes kevala samadhi (cosmic consciousness) from sahaja samadhi (enlightenment) is the fact that in sahaja samadhi there is no bliss. Because you're dealing with an absolute condition. In the cosmic consciousness you're still dealing with a relative condition. You're wide awake, there’s no trauma, in fact it's blissful. Whereas preceding enlightenment and coming out of enlightenment, the cases that I have looked into were very traumatic. It's very painful. Because it's death; it's real death, it's not just a vision.

Part 3

Possible Conclusions

bm2-19:13 – ps2-19:28

From our investigations in a psychological manner of our after-death experiences and a lot of just phenomena! experiences like ESP, we have what I call "possible conclusions", because you can believe what you wish. One of these is that man is dual. We are not somatic alone. We have two parts, or we are two parts. We are material and we are also something else more subtle, whatever it is. You can call it ectoplasm, spirit, smoke, but we're not all material.

And in this duality – if this is the end result or the reward at the end of the labor to seek for enlightenment – if we prove this duality we open the door for immortality. Because it's manifest. Now I'm not saying that we should just accept this, that we will hope to be immortal. But it's evident that we're not going to gather up our bones on judgment day – because we'd have to share them with a lot of people. And if we're getting scientific about anything it would be to reject the idea that someday the molecules are going to be re-gathered and the memory will come back and the sentience will come back and we'll walk away immortal. Immortality has to lie in duality. It has to lie in consciousness outside the body.


At the same time, the different levels or states that people have do indicate a parallel: that when a person dies his heaven is different. This is the reason for categorizing. That a person who only goes as far as the instinctive level may not when he dies have a greater experience than that.

I think this permeates nearly all of the Asian thinking, that people are not all the same. There is no great democracy in heaven. We're not all happy cherubs that look alike and have access to the popcorn machine or whatever refreshments they have up there. We're still basically different, and this is the reason why the belief in reincarnation was encouraged or received the life that it did from the minds of the people in India and Asia. Because of that difference there was the hope that perhaps you would come back and get into a better rut. That was the idea: there would be no point in reincarnation if everybody were immediately equal and all-wise just by dying. Now I know a lot of people say that. I went to a funeral home with a fellow one time and he looked in the casket and said, "That man knows everything." I wasn't too sure. The fellow wasn't talking, for one thing.

bm2-22:43 – ps2-23:09

Now what are the possibilities from the result of this study? Besides what we might say are good possibilities, there are some that are lesser possibilities For example, the possibility that all human intelligence and life is aimed at oblivion. This is one possibility. We don't know where it's headed.

There's a possibility of infinite progression. This seems to be very tiresome, we have the feeling. I was reading this case in Oesterreich was about a rabbi who had fouled up with his people and he died and they wouldn't talk to him; he was shunned. So he tried to get into a pig and somebody killed the pig. So he got into a horse and finally he got into a girl. And they exorcised him when he got into the girl and they talked to him. It was another rabbi who was exorcising him. Manifestly, he wasn't too happy where he was. It seems that if he's going to work his way up – starting off with a pig and a horse – he's going to have a tremendously long series of experiences.


We get into certain Indian philosophy brought out by people like Blavatsky, where a person becomes a good chela and then becomes an adept and then master and Bodhisattva and a dhyan chohan. And the first thing you know we run out of categories and they're still going.

[sentence is rearranged] I have the feeling that's why we can't remember who we were before we were born. Because if there’s a single mentality behind this that creates it, and if we knew how many people we were before we were born, or what we were, it seems we’d be liable to hunt a loaded gun and get it over with. Because the knowledge of say a million years of experience to which we are attributed by some people who believe in reincarnation – a million years of what? It would get very tiresome. So maybe the end result would be that eventually they would get hungry for oblivion, to just go to sleep.


Zen Perspective

Well, it seems like we we've deviated maybe, because where does Zen fit into this? I maintain that by the same token as the experiences of the people on these different levels who have died and been resuscitated and made testimonials, we also have the testimony of people who have received enlightenment, people who have gone the whole trip. The evidence is that these people know the score. This involves the total knowledge of yourself and the total knowledge of where you're going.

Now I say that and immediately I've got to explain it, because there's no such thing as knowledge, where you go. But that's the only way we have of expressing it. When you reach there, you are. And of course as soon as you say what you are you confuse people. Because the feeling that you have is that you’re God. Beyond a shadow of a doubt you are God.

[pause, reads notes]


Another thing I want to mention about Zen is the batting averages. Zen has a poor batting average. I never hide this. Because most people build a big cathedral and say, "This is the door to IT. Everyone come here and you'll get the Truth.” The batting averages of people in Zen are something like maybe one in ten thousand who enter, who make application or look into it. Maybe not. Maybe they're a little higher than that, but I know the odds are tremendous. So it's rather discouraging if you get into Zen literature.

I maintain that what happens is, once you get into it, regardless, you may not go the whole trip but there's one thing about it: you'll be a better psychologist when you get through. No matter, all the way along the line you're going to be able to look at yourself and understand yourself and develop a tremendous lot more compassion for your fellowman. Because you're going to understand why he's doing things. You'll understand the fact that he's not doing things. So this gives you more compassion for your fellowman.


Paul Wood

But as far as the ability to find Reality, regardless of the batting averages, I don't believe that there is another way. There are individual systems, don't get me wrong. I met a man one time who had never read anything on Zen or anything esoteric. He had been raised a devout Christian, a Protestant of some sort. His name was Paul Wood. , He was an aviator in the war, bombing Japan. He found out that he was killing people and he got to questioning himself: "What goes on here?" Because in the Bible it said God observes the fall of the sparrow. So he said, "Where's God? Is He watching this? Is He encouraging this?" Somehow he couldn't accept that killing all these people was commensurate with his concept of a just God.

Of course we all create God in our own image and likeness; he made that mistake right off the bat. Because you can't tell what God wants. If there were a person capable of looking at World War II and making opinions, we wouldn't know what a creature of that vast nature would really think about us. But anyhow it shook him up, and they got him out of the army and sent him home.

So he came back to Dallas, Texas and he couldn't work. He was mumbling to himself trying to figure out the riddle, and he went back to church. Somewhere in the Bible it said that if you would get an answer from the Lord pray thusly, and what followed was the Lord's Prayer. So he took the Lord's Prayer and he studied it: prayed, prayed, prayed and studied; took it apart a sentence at a time, concentrated on it.

But he said the more he did it the more trouble he had. His wife left him, his children despised him; they walked off and left. Lost every job he got ahold of. He finally got a job as a salesman in a car dealership, and in the middle of an interview with some customers he put his head down on the desk and asked God to kill him. He said he didn't have guts enough to kill himself, but he wanted out. He couldn't stand it any longer. And when he woke up he was in the hospital.


Now I ran into him in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. A friend of mine had brought him up to meet some people from Firestone, Goodyear and those places; they were mostly engineers. My friend thought he'd impress these engineers – and they thought the man was crazy. But because I had had a very similar experience I knew the man was telling the truth. And I'm watching them make fun of him. They were sitting there making fun of him, more or less. He was just telling it casually what happened to him. I was amazed, and of course I'd have liked to communicate with him, but he didn't stay around long enough and I lost track of him.

His wife was there. His first wife had dumped him and he was married now to a very beautiful girl I'd say twenty years younger than he was. Of course, they're looking at her too, thinking, "What's this holy man doing with this good-looking girl?" Well, he didn't pretend to be holy in the first place. We were out in the garage; we held our meeting out there to get away from the kids. So he went to the toilet and they caught her alone and said, "What do you think of your husband? Do you think he's all that he's talking about?" She looked them in the face and said, "My husband is my lord and savior," and turned around and walked out. And she meant it; she meant every word of it. But to look at him, he looked like Jackie Gleason's sidekick Crazy Guggenheim. His face was all slack and his eyelids hung down; he looked like he was boiled in booze. And I think he had his share, going through these traumas.


Regardless, this was a profound case. This man was in the hospital in an out-of-body experience that lasted for a week, in which he travelled through history. He could go anyplace he wished, and he would recount battles that occurred. If he would be in that particular scene he could tune into it. Which was a crazy talent in a way; I didn't see much point in it. But nonetheless, he said that it's there if you want to look at it. Once you get to that position you can just tune into anyplace in space and time. Because we're in a space-time continuum so to speak.

But this man never heard of the word Zen. So what I'm getting at is that Zen is a good word, it describes a lot, but it's not the only path. But to me, it's the only thing that you get any literature on. You don't get any literature on these individuals, like John of the Cross, somebody who was constrained by the fact that his life is threatened by the church. Or this fellow, who didn't have any money and can't put his words down, and people don't believe him when he talks. But there are some outstanding cases.

Zen – continued


Again, when we talk of Zen we're not talking about all Zen. I think there's a lot of chicanery in every movement and I never thought it would get into Zen, but I think there's a lot of commercialism. For instance, the only thing Zen-ish about me is the fact that my head is bald. I don't believe that you have to dress a certain way. It's the way you think, not the way you dress. You don't have to have koans; life is full of koans. All you have to do is apply the koans of everyday life. You'll get them by the bundle. Like this man; he got koans from the customers coming into the car dealership.

But we get into children's games with the most important of philosophic or spiritual movements. We start to play games and devise systems and exalt the history. I had a teacher – his name was Pulyan – and he said, "I'll give you my genealogy if you wish, but it doesn't amount to a damn. Because how do I know my teacher's teacher wasn't phony? How do you know that I'm not phony? The proof is in the pudding, if I do you some good.”

But a tremendous lot is done with the "ankh", I think they call it – the stamp that you're supposed to have to make a bona fide teacher. A stamp does not make a thinker. Genealogy does not make a man able to transmit. When Huang Po was giving a talk in China – I don't know when he lived, a thousand years ago perhaps – he said there was no Zen left in China. They called it Ch’an: “There’s no Ch’an in China.” And they said, "Why? There are three thousand people in this monastery and there are monasteries all over China." He said, "There's no transmission."


Now, Bodhidharma, who was the first Zen teacher to reach China from India, laid down the four signposts, the direction to true Zen. The first is: A separate transmission outside the scriptures. Now this is very important. Zen is a method of mind-to-mind contact. That's what transmission means. The second one is: No attention paid to words or letters. In other words, fundamentalism is out. You can't recite sutras and get anyplace. This is pastime, like saying your rosary beads. It might put you to sleep, it might keep you from doing nasty things, but it will not open your head. The third one is: Looking into your nature. Again, this is true psychology, looking into your nature, understanding yourself. And of course, the last is: The attainment of Buddhahood.

Now I've given you a whole lot of yardsticks tonight to work with, and you can apply these to any of the movements. First of all, there's no price on anything. People have to pay the rent, and if you live with somebody it's good to share pro-rated rent, electric bills and that sort of thing. But when it becomes a business – I don't care what movement it is, whether it's Zen or anything else – get out, because that's all it is. When people get too busy with the business, that's where their head is. They're not into psychology, they're into finance. And the majority of what I call systems of self-definition are into pocket-expansion, not mind-expansion. So you can waste years with the wrong one.

Q and A


Now I would like to do something I generally do and turn the meeting over to questions and answers, communication that is. Because there are different levels of inquiry here, people with different degrees of reading and that sort of thing. The only comment I have beforehand is that I'm not on the witness stand: No loaded questions. If anybody thinks I'm stupid I'll admit that before we start.

Small-t Truth

Q. Are you saying by these four principles that a truth can't be written down, or at least something relative to a truth that would help a seeker?

R. No. You see, you have to distinguish between small-t truth and capital-T Truth. In Zen they're only referring to capital-T Truth. In other words, when we say that phlogiston was the correct concept of oxidation four or five hundred years ago, that was small-t truth – which may change in the years to come. It's relative truth.

Q. But isn't everyone on this plane dealing with small-t truth until you get to the large-T plane?

R. Plane? How do you know there's a plane?

Q. Well, okay, for lack of a word, saying that there are two levels, the level we are on and the level of someone who has realized large-T Truth.

R. This is true, what you say...

Q. And isn't there some merit in writing down or explaining certain things or certain events in the past that might help a person organize his thinking to get closer to that truth?

R. Oh, I don't say there's anything wrong with it. In fact, I maintain that even the movements that are mercenary and phony have a place. If they inspire someone, if all a person is able to do is go through the mummery, then that's their bag.

The only thing I'm aiming at, I'm saying that for your final goal, if somebody pretends to be able to take you to capital-T Truth, that you can judge them by those four precepts. In other words, when a person entered a monastery, he did not enter that monastery for social purposes; he entered into there to find the Absolute. And he had a pretty good idea that it was an absolute finding, and that he had to rise above the small-t truths of everyday life.

Now we get into psychology, for instance. You can't dodge small-t truths either. I'm not saying you can hedgehop, no. You have to go through that. For instance, the world may be an illusion; which you'll find out if you read Zen writings, that the world is manifestly an illusion. But you don't dare operate as though it's an illusion. You'll wind up run over by an illusory Mack truck.

bm2-40:58 – ps2-41:19

Q. When you speak of Zen do you think of a certain method, of a kind of meditation, of significant figures in Zen? What does Zen mean for you?

R. Zen means going within. Looking into one's nature. That's all you have to do. Now of course there are things that help; there are different teachers who have different things that help, and whatever helps is alright.

For instance, one of the things that I think helps tremendously is commitment. Now that sounds rather vague but this is a tremendous thing. I believe that unless you tell yourself you're going to do something, you never get started. I believe that if a person pledges themselves – you can call it the Absolute or the Ultimate or God; if a person says, "Hey, whoever is upstairs, whatever God is, bring me to the truth regardless of the cost" – and make this serious commitment, I don't care what religion you are, I believe you'll approach the Truth. And I believe traumas will help. It takes traumas to kick us loose from our preconceptions, our egos.

But I believe that it's commitment, and I tell the people who are studying with me to make a commitment – not to me, not to any teacher, not to any human being, but to their inner self, whatever that is. That their inner self deserves to know. And if there is a God in charge, if there is any architect, supreme engineer, whatever you want to call it, that has anything to do with us, my conclusions are, when you make this commitment, the God inside you answers and helps. You help yourself, in other words.

bm2-42:43 – ps2-43:07


Q. What are koans?

R. The koan was a method used in China, pretty much. I don't remember Buddha provoking too many koans; his were mostly explanations. But in China the koan was developed. It was seemingly a meaningless question asked of the student, such as, "Why did Bodhidharma come from the west?" Or, "When the world goes up in smoke, where will you be?" or something of that sort. This is our supposition, because we're translating stuff into English. But basically the big koan was "Who am I?" And you apply this and apply it and apply it, and you keep your mind on it. The mind gets lazy and it wanders away. But continually applying this question back to yourself, I think this is alright. A nonsense koan I don't see. There are whole books you can get today of koans. Now this is foolish to think that you could just find a word formula that would bring you to enlightenment and you'd buy it for fifty cents on the bookstand. It's crazy.

Anything that provokes your thinking is good, if you're provoked and you think as a result. They were just little nonsense questions. But it was also the belief that by the intense study of nonsense, sense resulted. Because the only way to transcend the relative world is to hit the opposite. To study both. To study sense you've got to study non-sense. To study good you have to study bad. And by the marriage of the two an explosion results. You find that somewhere in between is the answer. I'm not saying compromise; I'm saying that the mind becomes one. It suddenly becomes one.

[in the first version -- Break in tape]

bm2 version – no break. ps version – no break]

[shortened question]

Q. I thought it was more like that the master would give the student a koan and it would lock up his mind to the point where he had to drop everything. In doing that, he supposedly dropped the non-sense of the whole thing, and then came to the realization.

[break in tape]

bm2 ends at 45:13 – ps2 ends at 45:39

File 3

bm3-00:00 – ps3-00:00

R. That’s possible. As I said, this happened quite a while back. I'm comparing it with the type of koans that were supposedly put out in Japan when Kapleau went over there, which was the repetition of the word "Wu". It was an assembly-line production of enlightenment. They had a room full of people moaning "Wu", they wouldn't let them sleep, day after day, and they had hired men cracking them on the back with boards to keep them awake. They all were hollering at once; the neighbors said it sounded like cows in a barn. He went through it and he didn't get enlightenment, so he went through two or three of them.

[break in tape]


I hear stories of people taking one koan and hanging on to it for nine years. And I think they go to sleep with a koan. I've run into people in this country who have said, "Oh, my koan is this." It's like their pet dog is named Fritz or something. And they forget about it; they have abandoned the search. They just have a koan. So I just wonder. I'm not saying it wasn't effective in some cases.


Q. What do you think of mantra meditation?

R. Autosuggestion.

Q. No, I'm not saying in the mantra itself having meaning in the words, but sort of clearing the mind of thoughts.

R. Autosuggestion.

Q. If it's "Om" or "One" instead of say "Hare Krishna", still autosuggestion?

R. Yes. I went through seven years of it. It was Om; we didn't have ang, bang or whatever they're doing now.

Q. You don’t think you benefitted from it at all?

R. Went to sleep. Very peaceful. Everything looked nice.

Q. What is autosuggestion? I don't really know what that means.

R. Well, when you can't do something, you tell yourself you're already there.

There are little things that people will repeat to improve then health like, "I am getting better every day in every way," etc. You will hear these things. Now don't get me wrong, I say TM has its purpose. For traumatic people TM is very good. A traumatic person should sleep; they should rest. But if you're looking for something that will take you beyond sleep, if a person wants to fight his way through to his definition, he doesn't want to sleep. He can't afford it. The cemetery is full of sleep. So you want to make use of every moment.

I had something very similar to TM. I went into yoga when I was around twenty-one years of age and they just used the word Om. Anything that is resonant. You breathed deeply. Did you ever watch me hypnotize anybody? You tell them breathe deeply, breathe regularly, pretty soon they're asleep. So they’ve got Om and they put themselves into a peaceful state. But you've got to come out. And everybody that's in it will have to come out; it's a long recuperation period. But I was into it for seven years.

Part 3 ends here

bm3-03:44 – ps3-03:45

Part 4

More Q and A

Q. How do you advocate looking into one's self? It seems like most people's minds are really wandering-types of things.

R. Right, right. That's true. You've got to form a ways and means committee. Everybody's different. So you've got to look at yourself and say, "Hey, under certain conditions I will act a certain way, and I've got to head this off at the pass. I'm going to have to find some way of looking into myself, because if I meditate I go to sleep. So I've got to keep myself awake." That's what I call the ways and means committee.

It becomes a scientific search. Because there is some element in your mind that doesn't want to know. The natural purpose of the animal is to reproduce and fertilize the earth. And somehow you've got to keep your eyelids propped open so you can do a little thinking while you're able. The mind wants to avoid it; the mind wants to go back to pleasure or to rest. So you've got to have a ways and means committee. Sometimes that's the idea of joining a group. I used to say we were Ignoramuses Anonymous, like Alcoholics Anonymous. Sometimes a guy can shake you, wake you up and say, "Hey, you're slipping, you're getting back into your old syndrome. You're showing that old ego-pattern again." And the guy wakes up again.

But this is true; the mind is full of tricks. We're talking about the somatic mind. I maintain that there's another mind beyond that. Everything that you do is watched by you. Meaning that you observe yourself, you observe the mind thinking. This one back there isn't quite as stupid but he's blocked out a lot. We get carried away with thinking that we are the actor, but there's another fellow back there watching the actor all the time. It's what I call the anterior observer.


Q. Could you say something about the relationship between the consciousness and the subconscious, and what you said about there being no such thing as knowledge?

R. Well, in the final analysis. There’s knowledge here, it's evident. We learn how to drive nails in a house, we learn how to count, to work calculus problems. That's knowledge. But I say in the final realization there's no knowledge. There is no knowledge. If you want to call it the knowledge of nothingness then you get pretty close. Knowledge has to do with relative memory, body sensations and that sort of thing. But when you reach a final realization, it's an experience of joining, not a watching of something else. Because everything is you.

I'm not trying to negate knowledge. Getting back to the subconscious mind, I do not think we have a subconscious mind as understood by the compartmentalized psychological writers. That we have an id, ego, superego and this sort of thing. I think what we have is a perceptive ability and a memory bank, and an automatic coordination just like any computer. The thing is that there is only one thought that comes through the window at a time, but the memory bank has all that information in it, and we like to call that the subconscious mind.


Q. Krishnamurti advocates that you've got to get into a really intense observation of what you're doing all the time. But it seems like in the confusion of the everyday world – the Vedic scriptures call it the Age of Kali – there's so much intense stimuli occurring in such a rapid pace that I don't see how just doing that, one can direct the activities of everyday life in any sort of manner that gets you anywhere. It seems that there's just too much going on to start moving in a positive direction, just by watching what you're doing.

R. Can't you get away from it for about an hour a day?

Q. To do what?

R. Well, you said too much is going on. You get away from what's going on.

Q. But what am I to do? You said that mantra meditation puts you to sleep ...

R. Your point was that we can't do anything because we're too wrapped up in everyday life, and I'm saying to get away from everyday life. If you want to do something. That's up to you.

Q. But what about the harmony of society?

R. What about it? Who cares? Are we going to create peace in the pigpen, or are we looking for ultimates?


Q. I can see that point. But it seems that as a human being that there's a certain brotherhood you have with other human beings; that you shouldn't just totally negate yourself from society.

R. I don't think you do. But I don't think you should play God either. We've got a lot of people running around wild today playing God: they're all going to do something for society. But the blueprint is already made. Let me go to this lady back here...

Q. I was interested in your comment about the intuitive experience with the young boy who was killed by a truck. I was wondering how you relate these intuitive experiences to your own Zen experience.

R. I believe that before you can go out and evaluate systems you have to have an intuition. I'm not saying go out and join a Zen movement. What I would like to say is to look inside yourself, I don't care what you call it. I think it's a mistake to start to label things because pretty soon people think that the only thing you can do has to be this Zen, that you have to learn Japanese, Chinese, Indian or whatever, and read the sutras, and I think that's all nonsense. The main thing is to go within yourself. But you've got to evaluate some of the data to date. It's a scientific investigation. If you go into the study of a new element in science, you're going to have to go down to the library and get books on all the chemists who worked on that element.

The same thing in applying to religion. Before we start off we've got to do research, and there's a vast sea of people saying, "I've got the truth." Regardless of books, everyplace you go, every sky pilot has the truth. So how are you going to sort these people if you don't have an intuition? Somewhere along the line you have to develop that intuition. Now, there is a way to develop it. It's in the Bible. It's in all the books. Become as a little child.


Q. Could you elaborate on the origins of Zen, how it came into being?

R. It started with Buddha in India. I never went too much into the history of Zen. Presumably we know where it started but it's so far back. He didn't write anything himself, same as Christ: stuff was written about him. But the system is good. That's the way I look at it. It's a good thing to work with. So regardless of who started it, it's a good system. And I don't know how many of the things we attribute to Buddha or Christ, either one, are true. It doesn't matter. But he’s the man responsible for it.

Q. Did I understand you to say that existence is dualistic?

R. Not existence. The human body, the human person is dualistic.

Q. Isn’t the whole principle of Buddhism and yoga "union" or "oneness"? How do you show the difference between one and two?

R. See, they're talking about the ultimate end result. Only by the recognition of what is evident will you reach the truth. Not by the denial of things that are manifest...

Q. That’s not how I understood it. I understood that all was one now, whether or not you and I realized that it was. It is now, and we are one.

R. Well it may be. But you can't prove that and neither can I.

Q. You don't need to prove it, if it is one. And what we are discussing is whether existence, the Truth capital-T, is that we are all one now, or that I am a spirit and a material being. If everything outside of the spirit is illusory, as the Indian philosophies would believe, then the senses are illusory as well, and all of what is outside of the spirit is actually a non-reality. It is only a relative term, so consequently there is actually nothing there. It may be as modern physics would point out, it is present at one point in time and becomes only a probability at another point in space.


R. In space-time. The space-time concept, yes. But what you're giving is a postulation because you don't know it. So I don't come out from that angle. Because I don't expect you to believe that I have reached a point in which I know everything – well, I can’t even say that – in which I was everything, or am everything. We're trying to keep down to relative reasoning, and relative reasoning says that you are separate from the person sitting next to you.

Q. But the point of yoga as I understood it is not to have relative things ...

R. No, no ...

Q. ...but to be experimental with oneself.

R. I don't think yoga ever loses its dualism until the final experience is reached. Nor do they pretend to, because they have hatha yoga and they talk about training the body, and they talk of raja yoga, which is training the mind.

Q. Only because you have to go through the process, the path.

R. Right, right. But don't jump ahead. What I'm trying to stop you from doing is jumping ahead and saying it's there. I'm saying don't believe me. Go there. But if you say that everything is one, then there's a tendency for everybody to relax and say, "Oh, everything's one, don't worry, we're all getting to the same place." Maybe. Ramana Maharshi says it's like the river entering the ocean – when you reach Enlightenment you enter the ocean and the river is seen no more. Identity is lost. But is it lost? How did I get back here?

bm3-15:14 – ps3-15:25

Q. The only thing I don't understand with that philosophy, though, is that if they believe in reincarnation, and we are only encased in the temporal at the present time, and as the spirit goes into the next world, it too must mature. So certainly at the point which we would consider death – the man in the box – he is nowhere near enlightened; he has gone to what another person called a plane. Because we can only describe things in planes.

R. I think a valid teacher of Zen would never talk about reincarnation. Most of them avoid it. Because this is another postulation. See, we're trying to keep down to just bare facts. And we start off basically with, "What do you know for sure?" – Nothing. Then from there we take possible postulations, and choose the less ridiculous; that's the only way we can go. This is the whole thing.

So sure, reincarnation might sound good, but there's no proof. The Christian idea of one long shot at the goal, and if you miss you go to hell forever and if you win you're in heaven: this too is seemingly ridiculous. Because we can see the human element in all this thinking. In other words, the person who's crippled, who doesn't have a good break in life – he's going to grab onto this idea of reincarnation. And the guy who's got the millions, sitting up in the palace is saying, "Believe in reincarnation. Don't start any revolutions, because next time around you'll be in the palace and I'll be down there working for you." So we've got to get down to what we really know for sure.


Q. Your statements such as to become like a child, and to go into oneself, are things that have helped you, but they seem extremely vague. Is there any way you can talk more about that, or do you come to a point where you have to look for yourself?

R. No, I believe that there are rules you can lay down, but I don't like to get into them in the line of proof. For instance, when I'm talking to people about individual progress in this Zen path, spiritual path, whatever you want to call it, everybody is different.

I'll give you an example: possibly people can find it through throwing themselves away, by just the opposite. I'm not saying they can't. But as far as I know, my idea is that a person has to find simplicity. And I believe that the truth is very simple. We make it complex. We've got the belief that anything that's worthwhile is a complex formula, a thousand elements. And then we think, "Oh, yeah, now as soon as we understand that we'll get the truth." Things I think are very simple but we don't see it. We want complexity.


I think also that the mind blinds itself by certain things it does. For instance, we think in terms of past actions, and we've got to somehow purge ourselves of some of our past actions in order to think clearly again. Like an alcoholic's mind: I've had close relationships with alcoholics; I find they have a definite way of thinking. We stand on the outside and say, "That poor fellow. He's not going to give up the booze until he gets out of this state of mind he's in." But he doesn't know that, because he's in that state on mind. The only way he's going to know it is if he develops his intuition. And the only way he’s going to develop his intuition is to give up the booze.


So all we can do is look with sympathy upon most people. Because we're talking about a case you can see clearly, but everybody's life has got themselves trapped into certain mental syndromes, in which they've got a rationale.

I grew up with a fellow, he was a year younger than myself, we started off on a spiritual search together when we were in our early twenties. This guy decided he was going to take a string of women with him. He said that Lahiri Mahasaya was married and so on, so he was going to have fun. He had a good rationalization: he was born with the fun-making parts so why not use them? So I said, "Okay”... But of course, you can get spirochetes floating around inside your brain, and it impedes your thinking system from then on. He also decided that he should drink a little. Because Christ drank at the Last Supper – so he was always carrying a gallon of wine with him in the name of Christ.


This fellow was one of the most outstanding authorities I've ever run into on Buddhism, on any esoteric philosophy. He's got a photographic mind, he's an engineer, a mathematician. The mathematicians who worked with him said he never made a mistake, drunk or sober. But everything was rationalization. And he comes down to my place, he's an incurable alcoholic now, and he says, "Everything you said was true." It's too late. All he needs now is a place to lay down and get some rest before he dies.

What I tried to tell him when he was in his twenties: "Develop your intuition. Inhibit yourself. Give yourself time to think. Don't be crowded with all sorts of parasitical ideas and compulsions." What it amounts to, it's not superstition, it's a fact of clarifying your computer. You can't bombard your computer with four or five problems at once. You've got to clear it out for one problem, and work that one problem. If a guy is sitting and meditating, and as soon as he starts he thinks of his girlfriend, Lord knows what he'll be doing next. Or, "I'm thirsty." He doesn't go get a cup of coffee, he gets a drink of wine. Pretty soon he goes back – he loves to meditate – you find him in a corner drunk.

bm3-21:41 --- ps3-21:57

Q. In our social structure, I hold a job and I'm working towards a particular career because I know I have to eat. Does such a thing interfere with aspiring towards enlightenment?

R. I don't know. It depends on what job you have or how much trouble you have. I said a little while ago that one of the first steps that a person has to take is to make a commitment. Now Paul Wood, the fellow I was talking about in Dallas, he had to eat; he had to keep his family. But the family dumped him. But when I talk about a commitment, I don't talk about a fair-weather commitment. Because you may have trauma. You may lose your job. You may wind up digging ditches. I don't know what will be the result.

I know that myself – I worked as a chemist for a long while, a metallurgist – I never worked over a year anyplace. I got a tremendously bad reputation and after awhile no one wanted to hire me because I wasn't a slave. And they knew that I'd leave again if I took a notion.

But I found that I could set myself with a job even better than if I were unemployed. Because I'd get a routine. I'd rent a room where no one knew where I was; I didn't want visitors. I would come home from work in the evening and I would either do so much reading on associated subjects, or I'd tuck my toes underneath me and sit there in a yoga pose so I could meditate. It's a good thing if you've got your back up against a wall – you won't fall over. So I'd sit there and think. It's not that difficult. All you have to do is think about the stuff that's hitting you during the day. It'll come.

And sometimes I’d read a book. I don't know whether you're acquainted with Blavatsky or not; Blavatsky is nothing in particular. She has a big volume called The Secret Doctrine, and also Isis Unveiled. They're mostly encyclopedias of esoteric knowledge. But there's no great system laid out, no system at all laid out, on how to find the truth or anything. But I would be reading these and there were fascinating things in them, of accounts.

But all of a sudden it would switch over to me. I don't know why, but I'd go back to my childhood, and I'd realize where I'd made a mistake, where I had made a fool of myself. And I'd realize I could see my ego. Where a big fat head got in the road and somebody punched me, and I was hating this person because they punched me. And then I began to see myself, by detaching myself from the scene while the scene is cooled off now. Of course while it's hot you still hate the guy. But I could see where I had caused it. I had been laying out a projected picture that was nauseating to people until finally somebody punched me.


So this is what happens, and this came from reading Blavatsky, not a book on psychology. Why it keyed in I don't know, but the intention was back there to basically know myself. So I think that anything that I had read would have done that.

And in meditation, a lot of people are scared to death to meditate on sex. I think you should meditate on sex – because I think it's

[no paragraph] [End of OCR copy]

one of the big factors, to understand why you’re being moved. But meditate on it properly – I don’t mean get morbid – I mean if you analyze it you’ll find out what a slave we are. Basically, if we follow the line we’re manufactured for, we’re here just the same as the pigs in the slaughterhouse. But after a while you find out you can transmute sexual energy, if you wish. You can use your head a little better by transmutation.


But anyhow, I was pleased every time I got employment, because I’d immediately be able to do some serious meditation, regularly. I used to try everything. I was a vegetarian. I wasn’t macrobiotic because they didn’t have the chicken feed around at the time. But I ate vegetables and I stood on my head, and I breathed, I moaned Om – and all the hair went off the top of my head. And I thought I’d better try something else.

Well, are you going anywhere for coffee?

[wrap up and end]

File bm3 ends at 26:10 --- ps3 ends at 26:27


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 Early 1950s. See “Yoga: Hatha, Shabd & Raja”. http://tatfoundation.org/forum2003-11.htm#1 
 From Chapter 4 of The Albigen Papers, "On Gurus and Unique Systems.”
 Identified as the Rosicrucians in 1978-0226-The-Truth-University-of-Pittsburgh.
 See NY Times, 8/27/2015: “Many Psychology Findings Not as Strong as Claimed, Study Says”  http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/28/science/many-social-science-findings-not-as-strong-as-claimed-study-says.html
 Traugott K. Oesterreich. Possession and Exorcism: Among Primitive Races, in Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and Modern Times, 1974.
 Moses, Exodus, ch. 3.
 Judges 6:11-22. Rose says, “a legion of angels.” 
 Life After Life, chapter 2, The Experience Of Dying, under “The Beings of Light, pages 53-54 of pdf. http://selfdefinition.org/afterlife/ 
 Franz Hartmann, Life of Paracelsus. http://selfdefinition.org/magic/paracelsus/ 
 Journeys Out of the Body. pdf: http://selfdefinition.org/afterlife/ 
 White Lily Chapel. See Rose’s report to the Steubenville Psychic Society, Sep. 3, 1958. 
 Story is attributed to William James by Robert S. DeRopp in The Master Game, page 27 of pdf: http://selfdefinition.org/gurdjieff/ 
 The quote is from the original. Rose reverses the lines, saying that man is monagamous and woman is polygamous. 
 P.D. Ouspensky, In Search of the Miraculous, ch. 4, p. 78 of the pdf: http://selfdefinition.org/gurdjieff/
 Richard Bucke uses the term exaltation in Cosmic Consciousness. William James, also a physician, uses the term in Varieties of Religious Experience in his reference to Bucke.
 Pdf here: http://selfdefinition.org/zen/ 
 Text version and hardback scan in pdf here: http://selfdefinition.org/christian/ 
 Rose incorrectly says Montreal. Bucke lived in Canada but the experience occurred during a visit to London, England. See Cosmic Consciousness p. 7 - 8 in the text version, p. 9 - 10 in the scan. 
 See part 2 for reference. << omit this. 
 See Robert Martins book on Rose, Peace to the Wanderer, for more on Leon Paul Wood: pages 91-93 and 96, or search on Leon Wood. http://selfdefinition.org/rose/ 
 Rose takes the following passage at face value, or possibly is reading between the lines in a corrupted story. Mainstream Zen considers it to be a koan. From the Blue Cliff Records: “You people are just like drunkards. I don’t know how you manage to keep on your feet in such a sodden condition. Why everyone will die laughing at you. It all seems so easy, so why do we have to live to see a day like this? Can’t you understand that in the whole Empire of the T’ang there are no ‘teachers of Zen’?” A monk stepped forth and asked, “How can you say that? At this very moment, as all can see, we are sitting face to face with one who has appeared in the world to be a teacher of monks and a leader of men!” “Please note that I did not say there is no Zen. I merely pointed out that there are no teachers!”
 See section: “Pointing directly to one's mind”   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodhidharma 
 Omit this??? Possible meaning: "The only way to transcend the relative mind [find the Absolute] is to hit the opposite  [to hit the limits of the relative mind].”
 Philip Kapleau, Three Pillars of Zen. Pdf and audiobook: http://selfdefinition.org/zen/ 
 Rose’s experience in Zen was almost exclusively one-on-one with Alfred Pulyan. See part 3: http://tatfoundation.org/forum2015-12.htm#6 
 See Robert Martin’s book on Rose, Peace to the Wanderer. Martin says they met in 1943 so Rose would have been 26.

== End ==