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Title Undated-WCUE-Interview-Akron
Recorded date unknown
Location Cuyahoga Falls radio station
Number of tapes 1 x 60 but interview is only first 22 min. See notes below.
Other recorders audible?
Alternate versions exist?
No. of MP3 files 1 x 22 min
Total time 22 min
Transcription status
Link to distribution copy http://distribution.direct-mind.org/
Link to PDF http://distribution.direct-mind.org/ Or try http://selfdefinition.org/rose/
Published in what book?
Published on which website?
Audio quality telephone spectrum, maybe recorder next to a radio
Identifiable voices
URL at direct-mind.org https://www.direct-mind.org/index.php?title=Undated-WCUE-Interview-Akron
For access, send email to: editors@direct-mind.org
Revision timestamp 20150123114224


Have 3 versions:

MJ – Only the 22 min. interview.

DM “Interview is first 22 minutes. Unknown talk on rest of side 1, and on side 2. May not be same on 1 and 2”

SH-dm – orange cassette purchased from DM: 1 x 60, same as DM.

WCUE statement ends: “On behalf of Ed Richards, this is Eric Thomas.”

Tape was made by putting a tape recorder next to a radio. Voices can be heard in the house, perhaps Mr Rose’s also, in which case the program would have bee prerecorded.

Possible date: In 1975-0206-Kent-State (a.k.a. "in Akron") on Side 1 minute 10 Rose may mention this talk.

File 1

R. … that would have to employ, because I’m describing an absolute thing in relative terms. But I would have to use two statements, to say that it might be the understanding of the void or nothingness, simultaneously with the understanding of everythingness. They are one and the same in the final analysis

Q. Okay. Is there any way our origin can be traced through Zen, and this state of mind?

R. Well, yes, you could put it that way. You’re not speaking of reincarnation are you?

Q. No. Just our origin.

R. Actually, when you arrive at your destination, your destination and your origin are the same. Because you’re in a dimension, or let’s put it that way, a condition or state of being, in which there is no time. So the origin and destination speak of or take into consideration a lapse of time.

Q. Okay. In our script here, it says the group employs a meditational technique. How does this differ from say Transcendental Meditation, or is it along the same line?

R. No, it’s quite opposite. It’s quite opposite. Because, there are various meditational techniques to arrive at a state of peace of mind, quietude, or an escape from troubles, harmony with your fellowman in business and that sort of thing. To us, this philosophically detrimental, because invention is the result of adversity. Thought, and the protoplasm itself, deteriorates under too much peace of mind. ?? activity results from irritation and action, so to keep yourself thinking you’ve got to irritate yourself a little bit, you’ve got to be confronting yourself.

In some Zen writings they use the word koan, and this koan is an irritational technique or gimmick, if you want to call it that, a little method of keeping the mind irritated, so that it will be forced to examine its own definition, its own self.


And I would give you a little definition of Zen that Suzuki puts out, and it will give you a little better idea of the whole thing. I think this definition of Zen will apply to almost any Zen group. A special transmission outside the scriptures, not depending on the letter, but pointing directly to the mind, and leading us to see into [the] nature itself, thereby making us attain enlightenment. Now when this says outside the scriptures, it means outside of any dogma. So that actually there is no dogma. And of course you get into this a little bit in Zen too, where there are many books written on it. And the books ultimately or inescapably become dogma with some people. There should be no dogma at all, there should be no procedure, except looking at the mind with the mind.


And any meditational technique that aids that [is good]. Now we believe this, that certainly you have the koan, but there are other systems. The koan that is described in Zen writings as this practice in Asia maybe doesn’t suit the western mind or the western daily life. We can’t bottle a man up and have him sit in a cabin or a zendo for three years or five years with one koan until he solves that koan. He has to go to work and earn his nickel for the grocery store, and he has to function in society. So that there has to be some compromise with it, and yet no compromise of quality or value in a spiritual or philosophic system. And it’s a matter of adjusting, or finding methods of applying the same principle to the American or western mind. To keep him moving, but not pen him up in a monastery or take him out of circulation, so to speak. I don’t think it would work with him, in fact, ?? function that way.


Q. Could we say that Zen is an absolute state of mind?

R. Zen isn’t, no. Zen is just a method. For instance in that definition, “a special transmission” implies that it is able to be transmitted. That another person can help you get this. It comes from something as well. You can get it ourself, but it is possible that other people can help you to get it. And that is the reason for having groups, or having – in other words, you have sort of reinforcement and reminding from other people in the group, if you have a group. If you’re working by yourself, just out of a book or something, I’d [you can] tend to ignore it for weeks at a time. And then of course, naturally, this transmission wouldn’t occur either, because you wouldn’t have another person from which it could be transmitted.


Q. How long have you been practicing Zen?

R. Ah, you might say all my life, from the time I was quite young. I didn’t always practice it under the name of Zen. Prior to my 30th year it was just – I found, I bought a farm when I was about 25 years old and I went out and sat on that farm. The taxes didn’t amount to much, and I would get a few dollars ahead and a few groceries ahead, and I would go out there. And I found that I seemingly had the type of mind that was self-inquiring; that is, I was always wondering why I was doing things. And eventually you come down to some answers. They’re not always things you can put down on paper. But you begin to realize that you’re more and more of a robot, that you’re being taken over by certain different programmings that are put into your old? own? whole? computer. And as you realize these programmings, you’re somewhat inclined to free yourself from them. And if you don’t free yourself entirely from them, they sure don’t have the significance that they had before.


Well this enables you to go a little deeper into this self analysis. [people talking in room] And of course, you can do it entirely in this way. You can reach this state that we speak of entirely just by going within yourself. Now you don’t have to sit to do it. See I maintain that a lot of these things are – if a person is undisciplined, and can’t think without being forced to, then you go to somebody and you say, “Tell me what to do.” And he says, “Sit down here, cross your legs and repeat after me.” This is chanting koans or something. To me this is a tremendously arduous way for a person – it’s a non-individualistic way of finding an individual. The individual should be able to find himself. Of course, I’m saying that if you can get some help, or if you can associate with people who remind you, that’s good. But each person should try to be dynamic within himself to question his motives and question his makeup and question who’s questioning.


Q. Perhaps I’ve been practicing this all my life without knowing it. Especially lately I’ve been doing a lot of very deep thinking. Nothing spurred this; I mean it wasn’t the fact that you were coming in, but this has been going on for about a? month. ? eight? months? I’m using this as a personal example. I’ve been thinking about myself, the influences on myself, how they motivate me to do things. You know, it’s like the old chain reaction: you’ve got to eat to live, to eat you’ve got to make money, you have to work, that whole cycle. And I think I’ve been going within myself, and going, well, not so much back to the basic idea of human life, but maybe just for a moment sitting there and just being devoid of all influences, just in a totally quiet, peaceful room, and thinking, very deeply going into myself. I can relate to what you’re saying. Now have I been practicing Zen?

R. I would say that you have been practicing a form of Zen meditation, certainly.

Q. Okay, is that more or less a primary step?

R. Yes, yes. That’s all you have to do, is find let’s say an interest. I don’t think you should have to force yourself necessarily.

Q. No, I never, this is a natural thing ...

R. Right. The thing is though, you should, let’s say you can be glad that you’re able to do it. And once you’re able to do it, you’ll be naturally impelled to continue, or to prolong those periods, of self-observation we call it. I speak of people being a robot.

Q. I would have to agree with that. Watching TV and listening to radio, and the outside influences ...

R. ... yes, we talk about this all the time. You can almost, you can watch people on the street and you can see their motions. That they are moving exactly – they smile on schedule, and if it’s required of them, if they think it’s required of them to smile, they smile. And if a certain thing is visited upon them and they are convinced that society thinks this is proper, their individualism never crops out; they just submit to it. We submit, especially the individual in a condensed society like we have, submits to more and more invasions of his individuality, to a point where it’s almost impossible to find time to think.


Our system here demands a constant state of employment, we can’t take off. We’re just cogs in the machine. So it’s very difficult to do anything. But in some ways you can use this. I maintain that you can turn this about, all of these restrictions that society puts on us, he can turn them about. So that the man who has the steady job, if he’s not trying to take over the factory with ambition, why, he can set himself up a schedule, he can do a meditative process in the evenings, providing his family tolerates it; he can set up a time of thinking.


But what I wanted to get back to was that we are heavily programmed. And of course we like to blame the outside. But I don’t want to blame society alone, because society is also a result of programmed people trying to program further. But we are composed of egos or voices, strong drives – which we look upon as our possessions. Our reproductive drive, we look upon that as a possession, and that’s us, doing that. I maintain that often the fish catches the fisherman. The fisherman thinks he’s out there catching fish, but he’s becoming obsessed with this business of ...

Q. That’s an interesting viewpoint.

R. And the same way with our survival drive. We have to eat to survive, but sometimes we get carried away with this ego, this thing of satisfying the taste buds, or satisfying the mucus membrane or something of that sort. And [this is] coupled will all these implanted fears that this organism has programmed into it. At first this was looked upon as superstition, until people came up, like Gurdjieff. And some of the later biological discoveries, the DNA molecule and the chromosomic implants and that sort of thing. So we can see that not only are we programmed individually, but that we’ve been programmed, we can only take what is genetically sent down from our parents, so to speak. So that we’re pretty well locked in.


And yet there’s a manner, by watching this, there is a manner. This is what we claim. this is one of the maybe unique parts of our system, is the idea that it’s possible for a robot, first of all, to become less of a robot once he knows he is a robot. Now that might sound paradoxical, but once he knows that he’s hooked, that he can, that’s the old story of Frankenstein comes to life. So he pulls out his electrodes and takes over for a few minutes before things catch up with him. 12:59

We’re programmed, there’s no doubt about it, we’re not programmed to control this earth; we’re going to die. We’re going to have to eat and function organically until we die. So we’re not going to – we’re never going to become supernatural creatures; we’re not going to become that powerful. But there is a chance for us to know what’s going on, to know who’s being taken, so to speak.


Q. Do you think you are made aware of all the materialistic things in life? Are you more aware, by practicing Zen, of all the material ///

R. What do you mean, more appreciative of them, or just aware thaat you’re ...?

Q. Aware of them moreso than ever before.

R. Well, I think that you’re, everyone who gets into this group is aware sooner or later that we live in quite a hog pen, and that there’s quite a bit of scrambling for these material things in life ??? much value ascribed to them in life. You lose the appreciation for them.

Q. See, this is something else I wanted to discuss with you. I’m not sure whether I can actually hang a name on this mental experience I’ve been going through. And it’s a natural thing; it’s not influenced by drugs or anything such as that. It’s that I’m aware that I am a speck in the universe somewhere, and I look at myself and I realize all this stuff that has influenced me – for a moment.

R. Yes.

Q. And I realize that I am programmed in a lot of ways, and I realize that somewhere along the line maybe I was just a basic type of free-will individual, before I had all these outside influences forced on me, by my parents through no fault of their own, nor through no fault of mine.

R. Yes.

Q. Now that could fall into Zen. Because I think people get hung up too much on terminology, such as “Pyramid Zen”, and some of the stuff. they really get hung up on terminology and they miss the point of it. What I’m saying is, maybe what r. Rose is trying to say is that we are all programmed, we are all influenced in many, many ways, and it actually takes a certain time that we can set aside and look back and realize what’s happening to us.

R. Right. There’s something else too.

Q. I’m hope I’m not too far off base.

R. You aren’t. There is a very simple thing: I maintain that there’s garbage and there’s common sense, and it’s that simple. We don’t have to go to church and beat our head on the floor to find the truth. And nine chances out of ten, if we went to church and beat our head on the floor, we’d just be indulging in an emotional release.

Q. It’s like what they call the fire-engine religion. It frees your mind of all your wrongdoings, temporarily. But then you have to go back next Sunday to more or less be pardoned.

R. A lot of it is the creation of a complete interior drama, in which you blame yourself for the things that happen in the world and then forgive yourself.


Q. I can understand that. I can relate to that. The other night I was watching a religious TV program and they were preaching their thoughts and their concepts and everything. And the way I took that into analysis, and saw how even twisted that can be. Do you know hat I mean?

R. Yes. I wanted to say something on this business of the inconspicuousness of man. I’m afraid that a large percentage of the young people today – and the reason I’m here today – and I’m no longer young – but the reason I’m talking is that a good percentage of the young people today have ears. And that the young people say thirty years ago did not have ...

Q. The causes of it are political and social ...

R. Right. People? are forced to think. They’re on the firing line all the time, for one thing. But regardless, a lot of them are faced with this: they maybe smoke a little pot or drop a few pills and they immediately see he immenseness of the cosmos and the insignificance of themselves, and they say, “Well, I’m going to vibrate and die; that’s all there is to do.” And thirty years ago I wouldn’t have had any sensible answer for them. I would have said, “Well, that’s, unfortunately I can’t? argue? to? the contrary. Yes, it’s just we’re microscopic things in an infinitely large cosmos.”

But once you’ve reach this experience, you’ll still be surprised looking back that you had say the guts and the stamina to push through and find it. But again once you reach it you find out that you’re not a microscopic part of the cosmos, you are the cosmos. Now this is the difference, that there’s no point on giving up hope because somebody sees an immense outside. This immense outside is a projection. It’s basically a projection.

There’s? a real Self, and this is another thing that I don’t know how well it’s explained in the various writings on esoteric philosophy or Zen, but the amazing thing is that there is a reality – I differentiate between the two, so this table is small-r reality which answers to laws of physics and gravity and chemistry and all this sort of thing, But which in relation to large-R Reality, or the absolute state of experience, this table does not exist except as a mental projection.


Q. Right, exactly. One of my colleges and I got into that. He was discussing that everything you see is just an image or more or less of a mirage. In fact this is rather – it goes over people’s heads and perhaps you could explain it better, I think you just did, like matter and anti-matter.

[guys laugh in background]

R. Well, I don’t know much about anti-matter. I’ve heard of the theory. But I know this, that for instance a person will immediately come back and they’ll say, “Well, yes, you might have had this state of ultimate reality and all that sort of thing in which this doesn’t exist. But if I reach over and I rap you on the head and put a know on your head, you’ll believe that know exists.” So this is the thing that we’re faced with all the time. Is that these things, when we, our consciousness is focused, our awareness is focused in this dimension. It is very real. So that if you sit in a picture show and it’s a tragedy, you may weep with the tragedy. You may get psychosomatic illnesses if the suggestion is projected from the screen.

Q. You’re programmed to react that way, are you not?

R. Yes. So that this, the equivalent of what we’re doing, we’re sitting in a picture show, we’re believing, we’re not only sitting in it, but possibly projecting ourself into the act.

Q. I know a lot of people get into stuff like that.

R. And we just believe it has to be that way, that’s all. And a lot of this world is the result of people projecting things up onto the stage, so to speak, projecting a life? act?


Q. How has this changed your life?

R. Well, I don’t know ...

Q. It’s very tough to put a finger on it ...

R. Well, I have to be honest with you, I don’t know what I would have been like if I hadn’t taken this track. Because see I’ve been doing this since I was quite young. Andy may have told you, I was into the ministry, I studied to be a priest when I was younger. And I had this inclination to find answers. [somebody says “Hey”] I went through every major religion that had anything written on it or that had any representatives in this country, when I was between 20 and 30 years of age.


I looked under every rock, so to speak, for any clue. So that I have pretty much been let’s say a direction in itself. I mean it’s just been me. The whole thing has been a searcher, so to speak. So what would have happened had I not experienced this, I don’t really know. It’s impossible for me to, at this moment, to visualize. Probably I could have been a lot of things. I don’t think, of course, this is another thing I think too that, perhaps I haven’t changed at all. This is possible. That – you hear this said in some Zen descriptions that before a person reaches an enlightened state, the mountains are mountains and the valleys are valleys. But once he reaches it, the mountains are no longer mountains and the valleys are no longer valleys. but then once he returns, the mountains again become mountains and the valleys again become valleys. Meaning that – this is like we were talking about capital-R Reality: he goes to a dimension which is different entirely. But his personality when he comes back is the same.

[spliced-in announcement] We’d like to thank Mr. Richard Rose, founder and teacher of the Pyramid Zen Society, for being with us this morning. “Akron Now”, a weekly presentation of the WCUE news department. On behalf of Ed Richards, this is Eric Thomas.