Thursday, January 29, 2009

REBUTTAL TO SOCK MONKEY'S LATEST RANT

Sock Monkey has put another video up on YouTube, this one concerning my new book:



I would like to make some corrections to what he has said in this video. While the book Zen Wrapped in Karma Dipped in Chocolate: A Trip Through Death, Sex, Divorce, and Spiritual Celebrity in Search of the True Dharmadoes contain some material concerning sex, it does not contain "dirty parts" as Sock Monkey says. The book is in no way pornographic at all. I admit that at one point I wrote a somewhat pornographic version. But even there it was more an attempt at parodying a naive Fifties style one might find in an old dime store sex novel than actually trying to be "dirty." This didn't work so I revised the text and eliminated those portions.

He says there are scenes of drug abuse. It is true that drug use is mentioned, but not in such a way as to glorify or condone it. This is a very important point. I have made my stance on drug abuse abundantly clear both in this book and in other writings. I am 100% against the use of drugs especially when it comes to the so-called "meditative" or "enlightenment-producing" qualities of these substances. They have none. Drugs have no place at all in the true quest for one's original nature.

Finally he states that the book contains, "insults towards many Zen teachers who are nice people who should not be insulted." This is completely false. No Zen teachers are insulted in the book. I wrote about certain trends that worry me in American Zen. But I did not mention anyone specific save for a few references to the late Frederick "Zen Master Rama" Lenz, who couldn't really be called a Zen teacher in any case.

As to his allegations that he wrote the book while I "sat in (my) room picking (my) nose all day" this is patently absurd. Sock Monkey did not write this or any of my books. All allegations that my books have been "heavily ghost written" are completely false. One can compare the writing style in this blog to the style in my books and see that they are all the work of the same person.

Furthermore his statement that he played all of the bass parts on the new Zero Defex CD, this is also a lie. I played all of the bass guitar on that CD and there are numerous videos available to prove it. Does Sock Monkey appear in any of this video material? No.

Sock Monkey also ignores the rest of the contents of the book, which is a sincere attempt to look at how the Dharma fits into real life in the 21st century. The material he talks about is there only to give examples of how Zen practice and Zen teaching is a real activity done by real people, not by cartoon-like "Enlightened Beings" who couldn't possibly exist in any case. To ignore this material is to ignore 90% of the book while focusing only on the small portion that is controversial. This is an immature response to the work. Though I would hardly expect maturity from a stuffed animal made from undergarments, I did expect better from Sock Monkey, who I have known and respected for a long time. I am sincerely shocked and saddened by his reaction.

Frankly I find it very odd that he first insults my books and then attempts to take credit for writing them. His position is indefensible.

All I can say to Sock Monkey and his threats is, "Bring it on!" I will not be silenced by the likes of you.

P.S. Don't forget about my appearance on February 1st (Sunday) at Dharma Zen Center in Los Angeles. All information is in the post just below this one.

206 comments:

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Moon Face Buddha said...

I wonder why Brad feels the need to use the words 'drug use' and 'drug abuse' interchangeably? The one is not the same as the other.

Anonymous said...

well, after all, who cares if the book is really written by brad warner, as long as it got some value for one`s life ..lol

werdnA said...

mediation is a mechanical analogue of self reflection

self relection however has no context and is not mechanical


I suggest,
line 1 indicates a deeprooted but worthless mechanism-psychological dualism.
meditation is (perhaps closer to) full embodied relaxation of reflection into the prereflective in the context of which mechanism & mind are not meaningfully distinct (as if they are actually).

"Self" and its reflection absolutely cannot be de-contextualised, and any mechanism-mind distinction in its context cannot be made meaningful.

k said...

> I am 100% against the use of drugs especially when it comes to the so-called "meditative" or "enlightenment-producing" qualities of these substances. They have none. Drugs have no place at all in the true quest for one's original nature.

While I'm in no position to tell whether drugs can or cannot have in "the true quest for one's original nature", its simply a fact that some of them have mental health benefits. Ayahuasca (DMT), eg, used in many brazilian religions, has recently been considered incomparable in the treatment of depression and in create coese, cooperative communities.

I just hope to see in the new book a more serious critique than the dogmatic opinion based in a single experience with a synthetic drug as a middle-class north-american kid found in the previous ones.

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