Tuesday, September 06, 2011

The Dharma of George Carlin

The other day this video popped up on my Facebook page:



Those of you who aren't seeing that link, click here or type http://youtu.be/R37zkizucPU into your browsers. The clip came courtesy of Waylon Lewis who posted it as part of this article in his online journal Elephant.

Lewis drew the connection between what Louis C.K. says in this clip and the idea of having a teacher in Buddhism. I thought it was a brilliant and very apt connection. What Louis C.K. says he learned from George Carlin reminds me a lot of what I learned from my teachers Tim McCarthy and Gudo Nishijima. Louis C.K. did not set out to remake himself in the image of George Carlin. He didn't copy Carlin's offstage behavior. He didn't tell jokes that Carlin made up. He didn't set himself up as the new George Carlin.

And yet he learned the deeper truth embedded in Carlin's work and he learned how to make that truth his own. He learned how to express George Carlin's approach to comedy in his own way. If Carlin had had a lineage to pass on, he would have been right in passing it on to Louis C.K.

As Shunryu Suzuki said in 1962:

"If you want to meditate you must have (the) instruction of (the) right teacher, especially when you want to meditate at home. It will take at least six months before you get your own right posture. Everyone has their own right posture but without instructions you cannot find it. For it to be your true posture, there must be (the) spirit which is called (the) Essence of Mind. Without spirit it cannot be your own. So we say, 'When you become yourself then Zen becomes Zen.'"

190 comments:

anon #108 said...

Erm...

gniz said...

That's actually a really sweet clip. I think Louie C.K. is hands down one of, if not the, funniest comedians of this generation--and ranks up there with George and the other all-time greats.

The kind of comedy he does actually feels like it approaches "zen" or Buddhist comedy, if there was such a thing.

It's funny because there's been a ton of stuff over on Zen Forum Internationa (where I lurk) about teachers and submission to authority, etc.

I tend to side with the anti-authority types.

And yet I've had pretty much one teacher of meditation for over a decade. Just spoke to him yesterday and he always inspires me, much like what Louie said about Carlin in that clip.

I do think it's been lovely, it's been quite wonderful for me to have access to a person that inspires me the way my teacher does. And I think that is the best a teacher can do for their student.

The student HAS to do the work, has to see the things and have the understandings on an experiential level. Nobody can give me anything, nobody can just mind meld and hand it over--at least, not yet anyway. Maybe when the iPhone 6 comes out...

But we can inspire one another. And seeing a living breathing person who does what I want to do--in this case, lives life with freedom and joy and clarity and mindfulness--that is incredibly inspiring.

Lately I've started to actually believe that there is no difference between me and my teacher, except for time and work and effort. That's the only separation.

And yes, it's a big difference but I keep working and keep sticking to it, just like Louie did with his standup.

great clip.

BC Richardson said...

Hi Brad

"Throw it all away each year & start over" - how zen like

Thanks
Brian

Stinks of Zen said...

I might be wasting my time, sitting without an instructor at hand. But, I think I'll just sit anyway. I don't know.

gniz said...

Hey Stinks of Zen,

One thing to consider, if we use the Louie C.K. analogy with George Carlin...

Louie didn't specifically intern with Carlin or sit at his feet. He just listened to the guy's comedy and heard him talk on a CD about his process.

I think in this day and age we have access to enough literature and video, etc., to get a glimpse of what a good teacher has to say.

Of course I think it's probably easier in many ways to really have personal interaction with a teacher--but I think if you are really working at this, you can find words and instructions from someone just like Louie did with Carlin.

But remember, Louie also was out doing standup for 15 years in the clubs...

Seagal Rinpoche said...

You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger

Mark said...

Did that Buddha fella have a teacher? Submission to authority figures of whatever religious stripe seems unwise, although having someone around to check on mechanics isn't a bad idea.

Anonymous said...

So now you're comparing yourself to the fictional Buddha, Mark? LOFL.

anon #108 said...

Hi Mark,

The Ariyapariyesana Sutta records that the Buddha studied under two meditation teachers: Alara Kalama, who reportedly taught him to attain ‘the sphere of nothingness’, and Uddaka Ramaputta, who guided him towards ‘the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception’...it says on the internet.

anon #108 said...

...not that the Buddha was too impressed with them.

gniz said...

I don't understand why we constantly run in this circle about whether Buddha studied with a teacher or not.

It feels to me that most (perhaps not all) teachers say that Zen and "spiritual practice" in general points us back to just being ourselves.

Just like Brad says in the aforementioned post.

Louie C.K. became himself as a comedian, found his own voice. He did not just do an impression of George Carlin.

Brad sounds NOTHING like Gudo.

We each have our own style, our own voice, our own perspective. That's how it is. I've seen teachers that encourage true "mimicking" of their behavior, tone of voice, word choices, even how they dress.

That is a path which leads absolutely nowhere, imo.

We are already ourselves. We have access to who we are no matter what. if you don't see that a teacher isn't strictly a necessity than I feel you may have missed something along the way.

However, a teacher helps. Seeing it in action helps a lot. But some people just need a glimpse of it while others need to study that person inside and out for a lifetime...

Granted, I don't have all the answers here. But it feels like we sometimes miss the point of this whole thing. The teacher is not it. It can't be it. The teacher is simply themselves, and that's what we're learning.

BTW, very few people are truly themselves in this world, which is what makes it difficult to figure out.

Blake said...

Louie C.K. had two teachers: Carlin and the audience. Finding a Zen teacher is not just finding someone from whom you can learn but someone who can be your audience.

gniz said...

Is a "enlightened" teacher the only one who can serve as our audience?

That is the question.

I suppose I don't really know the answer since my experience has been with a teacher. But somehow I dont like the insistence that the teacher is the only way.

Something about it sticks in my craw.

gniz said...

By the way, I'm sure Louie C.K. had lots of other teachers/mentors and friends (a comedy sangha of sorts) coming up.

But then I see this kid, an internet phenomenon named Bo Burnham.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bo_Burnham

This kid is really, really sharp. Sure, he might have watched some George Carlin tapes or whatever, but basically he's self taught. I don't see any reason why this type of person can't exist in the zen world.

Blake said...

First of all, run away from anyone who is "enlightened." They are full of shit.

That being said, are you asking about a bunch of people interested in Buddhism getting together and talking about Buddhism online? I think it has its merits. Do I think it's enough? No. I really don't.

gniz said...

" are you asking about a bunch of people interested in Buddhism getting together and talking about Buddhism online?"

No, not necessarily.

Like I said, I can't imagine how my practice would have gone without a teacher--likely not very well.

But I do think some people are capable of doing it using a wide array of resources and "audiences."

Doug said...

Reminds me of something from the Analects of Confucius:

"[7:22] Confucius said: 'When three men are walking together, there is one who can be my teacher. I pick out people's good and follow it. When I see their bad points, I correct them in myself.'"

Quoted from Prof. Muller's excellent site.

Anonymous said...

How come when Mysterion disappears, Gniz starts posting a lot?

Doug said...

As for me, I admit I've had trouble finding a teacher in my area, and gave up to pursue other Buddhist paths. I agree that Zen and other meditation-oriented sects work best when a reputable and experience instructor is there to help guide you. The same is true for esoteric sects like Shingon or Tibetan Buddhism.

Having someone as a teacher/mentor whatever, seems to really help point out one's own "blind spots" among other benefits. It's not about submitting to one's authority, it's more about benefitting from someone else's "professional" expertise.

gniz said...

Or is it that when I start posting a lot, Mysterion disappears?

Anonymous said...

it sounds like brad is looking for a teacher

Mark said...

"Comparing myself with the Buddha" is a nonsensical phrase. For a bunch of reasons.

Anyway, here in the west our understanding of a religious teacher is informed by our social and spiritual traditions. Approaching a teacher with any expectation of "receiving" something or of seeing the teacher as possessing some special knowledge is missing the mark by miles. Better to sit with your back straight in a room with other practitioners and leave all that teacher nonsense behind.

Anonymous said...

haha, well please keep posting then.

spice said...

Thanks for sharing this Brad! I've recently started to watch Louis CK's tv show and have been consistently impressed. There were some moments that felt very distinctly buddhist, though I can't remember specifically right now. If you watch it let us know what you think!

gee said...

Just found out he was in Melbourne LAST WEEK and I missed him, joshu's dog damnit.

Mysterion said...

Blogger Mark said...

Did that Buddha fella have a teacher?

Sandy Beck sez:

"Like the sages of the Upanishads, Siddartha practiced yoga and meditation. At Vaishali to learn meditative concentration he studied with Alara Kalama*, who was said to have had hundreds of disciples. Siddartha soon learned how to reach the formless world, but still having mental anxieties he decided not to become a disciple of Alara Kalama. Nor did he become a disciple of his second teacher, Uddaka Ramaputra, after he attained the higher state of consciousness beyond thought and non-thought.

Still not satisfied, Siddartha decided to practice the path of extreme austerities, and in this quest he was joined by the sage Kaundinya and four others. He pressed his tongue against his palate to try to restrain his mind until the perspiration poured from his armpits. He restrained his breath and heard the violent sounds of wind in his ears and head. He went into trances, and some thought he was dead. He fasted for long periods of time and then decided to try limiting his food to the juice of beans and peas. As his flesh shrank, the bones almost stuck out of his skin so that he could touch his spine from the front; after sitting on the ground his imprint looked like a camel's footprint."
http://www.san.beck.org/EC9-Buddha.html

Sorry, it's not my answer... a wiki cop-out.

Chas

* Buddha's lecture (discourse) to the Kalamas:
"Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it."

Pete Hoge said...

Does he mean more than what
he is saying when he talks
about "posture"?

Mysterion said...

Blogger gniz said...
"Is an "enlightened" teacher..."

I want to say that it's rarely the teacher that is "enlightened" and often the student that is "enlightened."

Brad often alludes to this. How can a guide take you to where you are standing?

Beginner's mind... (Rev. Suzuki)

IMO, most teachers (me too???) are experts and therefore incapable of even remembering what "enlightened" might have been like (as if they were ever there*). Mileage may vary, batteries not included.

Therefore, I reserve the right to fail another 9,999 times** - if necessary. To be reborn a cabbage, a fox, or whatever...

The serious answer is NO.

The Buddha's last words were: "Decay is inherent in all things! Work out your own salvation with diligence."

cheers,
Chas

*enlightenment, realization, awakening, understanding is essentially that first awareness you are alive - somewhat immediately after taking your first breath... then it happens again when you realize (around age 7) you are a independent entity... then it happens again when (usually around age 14) you realize you are dependent - and have a rebellion to the same - and it happens again when you see all things connected and dependent (age 21 to 36, for most).

**See: "Buddha, Truth and Brotherhood" By Dwight Goddard
Chapter 4

Jundo said...

I'm enlightened and I offer real dharma practice online. Come check it out for yourself. Don't rely on what you read about it here.

Mysterion said...

Jundo did us all a favor and went to Joya-no-Kane last year.

He is a student and teacher both!

chill a little,

Chas

Anonymous said...

O.K. Enough of this childish behavior. Mysterion with his Non-sequitor self indulgences. Brad forming misinformed OPINIONS about John Loori. I say we VOTE!!

ALL IN FAVOR OF MYSTERION AND BRAD BEING BANNED FROM THIS BLOG AND COMMENTS SECTION SAY ( I ). ALL AGAINST SAY (NAY)

Anonymous said...

I

Anonymous said...

I

Anonymous said...

ANY I

Anonymous said...

"How can a guide take you to where you are standing?"

Having walked the path to where he is standing and having lived in
both Nirvana and duality, form and
emptiness, the Self, setting itself
out in array, sees itself.

Anonymous said...

I

Daido Loori said...

I

How many I's are there?

dos said...

two

two eyes

proulx michel said...

Troll said:

ALL IN FAVOR OF MYSTERION AND BRAD SAY ( I )

It ought to be spelled "AYE".

Anonymous said...

Brad said... "Lewis drew the connection between what Louis C.K. says in this clip and the idea of having a teacher in Buddhism. I thought it was a brilliant and very apt connection. What Louis C.K. says he learned from George Carlin reminds me a lot of what I learned from my teachers Tim McCarthy and Gudo Nishijima. Louis C.K. did not set out to remake himself in the image of George Carlin. He didn't copy Carlin's offstage behavior. He didn't tell jokes that Carlin made up. He didn't set himself up as the new George Carlin.

And yet he learned the deeper truth embedded in Carlin's work and he learned how to make that truth his own. He learned how to express George Carlin's approach to comedy in his own way. If Carlin had had a lineage to pass on, he would have been right in passing it on to Louis C.K."


If George Carlin had had a lineage to pass on, he wouldn't have been George Carlin. The same applies to Louis C.K. This is obviously just an example of someone who's inspired by someone, but who can think for himself. In other words, someone whose mind is not polluted by the idea of any 'lineage'. That's just how the real world works outside the fishbowl, folks.

Ron said...

I have read Eastern philosophy for close to 30 years. After reading Hardcore Zen I bought a zafu and have been sitting everyday for over three years now. I keep on reading if you don't have a teacher it aint going to work and if you really were serious you would find one, etc. Now I read this post and quite frankly I'm over it, I'm convinced about the teacher thing so good by zazen and thanks for all the fish.

anon #108 said...

Yesterday @ 10.3am I wrote, re the Buddha's two teachers, "...not that the Buddha was too impressed with them." I should have written "...not that the Buddha was too impressed by the results." The teachers were most likely very decent, capable chaps. It was ‘the sphere of nothingness’ and ‘the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception’ that didn't cut it for Gautama, says the sutta.

Here's the sutta: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.026.than.html

I've found teachers very useful for clarifying things that have confused me - and I've found plenty of things in the theory and practice of Buddhism confusing. If you're not confused, I guess you don't need a teacher.

Anonymous said...

Open your ayes.

Anonymous said...

Ron,

Have you ever tried japa?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japa

R I DD L E said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I vote "AYE"

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

"I" see what "you" did there.

It actually looks more coherent than "your" usual ramblings.

Stinks of Zen said...

Thank you gniz.

Mysterion said...

Blogger proulx michel said...

It ought to be spelled "AYE".

OUCH!

Bringing literacy into the equation...

you will upset the balance!

ROFLMAO

Chas

Mysterion said...

Ah par­lia­men­tary pro­ce­dure. There’s no mean­ing­ful dif­fer­ence be­tween Yea and Aye, and Nay and No. They both mean “I vote in favor” or “I vote against”. The dif­fer­ence is just a mat­ter of pro­ce­dure. The Con­sti­tu­tion ac­tu­al­ly re­quires “Yea” and “Nay” for votes on the pas­sage of bills (Ar­ti­cle I Sec­tion 7), and so the House and Sen­ate both do that for those par­tic­u­lar votes.
http://www.govtrack.us/blog/2009/11/18/aye-versus-yea-whats-the-difference/

No tea-baggers in this crowd.

Mark said...

Grumpy old Gotama, as he lay dying, specifically disavowed the notion that you need a teacher to understand your own true nature:

"It may be that after my death you will think that you have no teacher. It should not be seen like this, Ananda, for what I have taught and explained to you as the Dharma and training will, at my passing, become your teacher."

It seems to me that he never intended a successor. But I'm fairly certain Jesus never envisioned St. Peter's Cathedral either. Shit happens.

Anonymous said...

What is zen practice?

Mysterion said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"How can a guide take you to where you are standing?"

Having walked the path to where he is standing...

**********************************

It's not about where he is.

It's about where YOU are.

**********************************

It's sort of like: "I want to be like ___________________ (Bill Gates, Eric Clapton, Richard Nixon, Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Donald Trump, &c.)

**********************************

Sorry, that spot has been taken.

**********************************

Brad Warner said...

Ron said:

I have read Eastern philosophy for close to 30 years. After reading Hardcore Zen I bought a zafu and have been sitting everyday for over three years now. I keep on reading if you don't have a teacher it ain't going to work and if you really were serious you would find one, etc. Now I read this post and quite frankly I'm over it, I'm convinced about the teacher thing so goodbye zazen and thanks for all the fish.

I guess I'm supposed to react with great concern and try to convince you to stick with it. But I suspect that won't be necessary. If you stop after 3 years of daily practice the subsequent state of your own body & mind will be enough to get you started again. It always worked with me that way, anyhow.

Some people get upset at the insistence that you need a teacher. I imagine that they suspect the next line is, "And I'll be your teacher for just a small monthly payment."

That's not going to happen with me. Just ask all the people who've said they want to be my student. I don't take students. This is not a come-on.

I've explained a number of times in print and on line why I feel one needs a Zen teacher. So I won't do that again here. What I will repeat is that you can sit by yourself for a long time before this comes up.

You also don't need to live with a teacher. You don't need to be initiated by a teacher. You don't need to serve a teacher. The teacher is not an authority figure anymore than a painting teacher is an authority figure to someone who wants to paint (which means perhaps & perhaps not).

Still, it's not something one does by oneself. I, for one, often wish it were. Because I'm pretty anti-social. But it's not.

Khru said...

This is probably the worst comment thread I've ever seen on Bradley's blog...

gniz said...

Hey Brad. I'm going to push you further on your analogy with Louie C.K. and George Carlin.

There was absolutely no indication from that video that Louie even knew George Carlin. He apparently heard some of his comedy and watched some of his performances.

This was not a personal student/teacher relationship, and yet the "dharma" was still transmitted.

proulx michel said...

Mysterion said...

Ah par­lia­men­tary pro­ce­dure

It may be so in the USA, but there are still regions of the anglosaxophone world where "aye" is the current way of saying "yes". This is how I learned English, and I still tend to answer "aye" instead of "yes".

Anonymous said...

There is no mirror, there is no
dust to wipe, there is no student, there is no teacher, there is no
path, there is no one to postulate, there is no self, there
is no one to be enlightened, there
is no one sitting, there is no You.

Mysterion said...

In the USA, when we threw out the Brits (1776) and the Anglicans (a.k.a. church of england) with them (Anglicans went to Canada to remain Loyalists), our founding fathers wanted to differentiate agreement "Yea" from the Brit. "Aye."

A good read (written at the time) is "Fart Proudly" a collection of Franklin's writing you don't read in school.

Witch trial at Mount Holly [a PDF] (Holy Mountain) is another franklinism.

stupa troll said...

The Dharma of George Carlin

(if it works for you, you pick it up and run with it)

Anonymous said...

for a good time, check out the top 100.
http://www.amazon.com/best-sellers-books-Amazon/zgbs/books

what is being read, these days?

or watched?
Louie: Season One
http://www.amazon.com/Louie-Season-Blu-ray-Packaging-Format/dp/B005ATZDZI

Anonymous said...

Make sure you type your letters in the right order if you want to post here!

Anonymous said...

Mysterion must be very nearly retarded in real life. It's unreal, the shit he types here.

Jundo said...

Mysterion, I would like to extend you an offer to become a teacher at my sangha. We need one more good teacher to put us over the top. We're hoping to add both you and Chet to round out our faculty of enlightened teachers.

gniz said...

Lol. That was a good one.

Brad Warner said...

Gniz, I think there's some indication that Louis C.K. knew George Carlin personally. He says Carlin's daughter called him on the phone. It is unclear, I grant you. But I took it as evidence they knew each other.

I think you need some kind of in-person relationship in Zen practice. Books and videos don't tell you to get over yourself. Or, if they do, you can pretend they're talking to somebody else.

Anonymous said...

You're the good kind of weird, Brad. You're a geeky egomaniac and I love you. Thank you for all you do.

Bob Carson MMA said...

Warner is discussed at Treeleaf. Yawn.

Anonymous said...

I think you need some kind of in-person relationship in Zen practice. Books and videos don't tell you to ((get over yourself )). Or, if they do, you can pretend they're talking to


Projection?

Mysterion said...

Re Bob Carson's link...

"The first is the cheapening of knowledge and wisdom."

JFC!

knowledge can be, and is stored in books.

Your brain is for THINKING, not remembering.

Besides, there are a couple of kinds of "knowledge."
Declarative knowledge is like: "Xmas is a holiday in America." (So what?)

or:

"Buddha said belching is rude."

Both of those can be looked up in books.

Procedural knowledge like "Sitting posture in Zazen."

THAT can not be learned from a book. It is learned by DOING - perhaps with "guided practice."

Wisdom - LOL.

Wisdom is what old huxter gurus claim they have and try to sell to the foolish - like snake oil.

Wisdom is defined in terms like: "Reasoning, resilience and responsibility (e.g. the three "Rs") are key problem solving skills that, when learned, can benefit individual goal achievement and help formulate general life success strategies."

You develop and grow the three Rs. They are not handed to you like Athena, fully formed from the head of Zeus.

Mysterion 2 said...

I need you to learn about the hucksters shilling their product shamelessly.

Mysterion said...

Where is your Avitar - - Mysti - - #2?

(notice the satan fish tatoo... LOL)

Stinks of Zen said...

I think I'll just sit teacherless. Better than not sitting at all I suppose.

I go back to one of Brad's posts from months ago and my comment.

The headline: "Zen is Not in the Business of Helping People" (or something)

My response: "I'll buy that in the absolute sense, wherein nothing is gained or lost. But then again, maybe not."

and I said something like,"Teaching people that they are originally in the white ox cart isn't a help?"

Mysterion said...

Stinks of Zen said...
"I think I'll just sit teacherless."

The local Yoga franchise can help you with your sitting posture. That is a necessary thing to do.

This link is good because: "Before we take a look at these seated meditation postures, let me emphasize that while meditation is great, it can cause pain in the body, especially if you try to sit in full lotus without preparing for it. So, learn from my mistakes…"

It gets better (but you kinda don't notice it...)

I'll throw this out for what it's worth. My heart valve was getting a little less effective month by month over the last 4 or 5 years but I didn't notice it. The incremental change was so slight that I didn't notice any change at all. It took an external observer to see the change.

So, after a couple of years habitually sitting Zazen someone you have known for a while might just walk up to you and say: "Wow, you handles that stressful situation rather well."

Go for it (or as our Eastern Brothers say) Peace be upon you.

love handles said...

Alikum salaam.

PhilBob-SquareHead said...

My zen poem for this morning:

This floor has carpet
These walls have paint
Sitting zazen straight
Rest on my TAINT

George Carlin was a crazy zen rebel. I believe I've said that somewhere on this blog in the past.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mysterion,

What do you think about the understanding of "Heaven" in Christianity versus Buddhism?

Stinks of Zen said...

'preciatecha Mysterion.

Stinks of Zen said...

*Thanks mysterion

(my last post may have been unclear)

Anonymous said...

mysterion said: "Your brain is for THINKING, not remembering."

Yes, you don't remember that you have formed a set of conclusions that have nothing to do with thinking anymore. You are now a closed system and your "thoughts" are nothing but beliefs.

Anonymous said...

"In the Greek of Paul’s day, mysterion was primarily understood to mean a religious secret confided only to the initiated and withheld from ordinary mortals. Such secret religious sects were typical of the ancients, both Roman and Greek."

Is this the context?

Anonymous said...

The Searcher can not see the One,
because it is the One that is doing the seeing through the fiction's eyes. To say that "you"
will be free if you sit in a
particular manner with guidance from a teacher is utter nonsence.

And charging $50,000 for this
activity is funnier than any of Mr.
Carlin's jokes.

Manley Hall said...

"(mysterion was)a religious secret confided only to the initiated and withheld from ordinary mortals."

Yeah and alot of good thats done everybody, huh?

All cabals and secret societies, mystery schools and etc. and on & on with their "specialized knowledge" have done what exactly to change humankind, suffering, and general conditions of life for the better?

Hogwash.

Asshole #1 said...

Can someone please answer a serious question for me?

I've arrived at a point in my zen practice that I truly realize the importance of making this world the paradise all humans want by simply being compassionate to my fellow beings. But a few certain people in my life continue to rub me raw. And I continue my selfish coldness towards them in response. How does one handle this dilemma? Please, I need some wisdom. Gimme sum truth!

Anonymous said...

"I've arrived at a point in my zen practice that I truly realize the importance of making this world the paradise all humans want by simply being compassionate to my fellow beings. But a few certain people in my life continue to rub me raw. And I continue my selfish coldness towards them in response. How does one handle this dilemma? Please, I need some wisdom. Gimme sum truth!"

You sound like a fool.

Anonymous said...

Dear Asshole #1, you can start by
loving yourself and refrain from
labelling yourself as an asshole.

When you let go of your ego, nothing will bother you.

gniz said...

"Gimme sum truth!"

Help me, daddy! Tell me what to think and say. I'm totally helpless, like a baby, and I need someone to tell me how to live and act.

Look, kid, no one can simply type up a few words here and fix everything for you. Grow some balls and live your own life.

Stinks of Zen said...

There is something about this practice that draws out these children. They think that there's some pattern to follow or some flow chart to life, and that some online "words of wisdom" will fix them right up. Inevitably, these same people end up jacking each other off at sites like Treeleaf.

gniz said...

Now, now, Gniz. Don't be so harsh.

I think the way we treat others better is to first begin treating ourselves better.

Over a long, long time, it starts to pay off. But then again, I'm just an asshole myself.

gniz said...

"I think the way we treat others better is to first begin treating ourselves better."

With respect, that has little to no relevance with respect to what we're talking about. Is your message to this guy to treat himself better? Is that the "wisdom" that you think he needs? I happen to believe that my words are more what he needs, the cretin.

gniz said...

With respect, yes. Treating oneself better is the first step. How can I treat others better if I'm constantly engaging in self-abuse, self-criticism, etc?

From what I've seen in life (including my own experience), most people that are cruel to others are most cruel to themselves.

But I could be wrong.

gniz said...

But your comment about living your own life did have some validity too...now that I think about it.

gniz said...

That's a cop out, my friend.

He's not looking for platitudes, is he? You could also tell him to meditate more, to observe the Golden Rule, to observe the Grave Precepts or anything thing else that might serve to take up space yet help nothing. (Much like a Mysterion post!)

gniz said...

"But your comment about living your own life did have some validity too...now that I think about it."

And I'm certainly not denying the validity of your comments, even when it sound like I might be.

As always, I, the real gniz, reserve the right to appear hypocritical at points.

gniz said...

Yeah I see your point. But then when someone asks for your help with ANYTHING, are you going to always just give that same reply?

gniz said...

Well from one Gniz to another, I'd like to say I've enjoyed hearing your thoughts on this.

I, the fake Gniz, feel that this has had a happy ending after all.

gniz said...

"But then when someone asks for your help with ANYTHING, are you going to always just give that same reply?"

Well, my usual response is to challenge them to a fight. I just didn't think that was appropriate for this fella.

One must tailor one's response to the circumstances, I always say. ;)

gniz said...

Enjoyed it. Take care and have a great evening. :)

- gniz

mysterion said...

I think we're paying a little bit too much attention to Gniz. What say we steer the conversation back to ME.

Jackson Browne said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

proulx michel me thinks the poster got you with the "I"
Aye bit. Look again

I vote "I"

Anonymous said...

Yes "I"

Anonymous said...

Absolutely brilliant, awesome exchange between gniz and gniz, someone has a real handle on how banal this blog commentary really is.

The only thing missing is the insipid gniz who experienced metanoia regarding Brad who now defers and constantly fawns over him.

Try harder!

Korey said...

So I just ordered your book Sit Down and Shut Up Brad. This will be the third book from you I've read. Will it be as disappointing as the others? haha just playin brother keep doin your thing

Anonymous said...

I've read all of Brad's Zen-related books and really the last one is the only one I didn't care for. It was way worse and felt forced, relative to the other three.

Mrs. Eddy said...

"There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all. Spirit is immortal Truth; matter is mortal error. Spirit is the real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal. Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness. Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual."

Science and Health, page 468, lines 9 - 15

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Eddy, the Buddha did not speak about God.

道元

Anonymous said...

Brad...lil question..
I had a pretty regular teacher for couple years but no longer due to circumstances. I met a local teacher who I chatted with and the 1/2 hr talk filled me with doubt and frustration that I've 'gotten nowhere'.. I wanted to quit but of course I can't ..theres no quitting this path - and I wonder if I needed to be thrown for a loop like this, or maybe this is not the teacher for me. He seems to put up a wall of separation like HE knows but all the students are clueless... But we ALL go thru the delusion before we see clearly--most teachers seem to also talk that way but this guy doesnt and I dunno if its just me and my insulted ego or maybe I"m just not used to his teaching style..
augh. I pondered asking him re this.. what do you think? Thanks:)Georgia

Anonymous said...

Georgia, who is the you that has gotten nowhere?

Actually, if you are nowhere, you
have progressed quite well.

The conditioned fiction can't see
the ineffable and despairs. Let go
of the known and become the
ineffable.

Anonymous said...

Also see: gniz (above) from 6:22 - 7:09 PM

kristien said...

Everyone , please consider the following words of this Great Teacher of our time on the subject of Teachers...

His Divine Presence, Parama-Sapta-Na Adi Da, Says:
“Everyone transmits. All of you are transmitters. Each one of you emits invisible forces. Those forces are locked up in your limited messages, and they reinforce the same limitations in others. People are all indulging in a kind of ‘communion’ with one another, and the state of the ‘world’ proves the potency of this ‘transmission’. Realizers of one or another degree of Spiritual development likewise (by nature) spontaneously Transmit What they Are. What they have Realized Transmits Itself, subtly as well as grossly, by what they do, by what they are, by what they feel. Those less developed, Transmit their Realization, and those more developed Transmit their more advanced Realization. Because I have Realized That Which Is Inherently Perfect, I Transmit That Condition to you. Such Transmission is inevitable, and It is an absolute Law. This is why traditionally it is said that the best thing you can do, among all the things you must do--and you must do many things--the best among them, the chief among them, is to spend time in the Company of a Real-God-Realizer.” Lord Adi Da goes on to Say: “Everything transmits: the stones transmit, the sky does, the TV does. Since everything and everyone transmits states of ‘existence’, since life, or ‘existence’ itself, is participation in transmissions of all kinds, the best thing you can do is to associate with the greatest possible Transmission. Since everything is transmission, spend time in the Company of the One Who Spontaneously Transmits That Which Is Inherently Perfect and Ultimate. This is the great rule, the Great Law, the Ultimate Principle of the Great Tradition.” -Adi Da Samraj-

Anonymous said...

Lord Ladi Da, how much money should we bring. Will $50,000 be
enough?

AAMCO said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Big fan of AAMCO here. It was great on "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

Anonymous said...

Sure you're cheaper, but are you
a Real God-Realizer.TM.

Anonymous said...

That sounds like some Real-Good-Fertilizer to me.

Anonymous said...

What if God was one of us?

Anonymous said...

In reply to Kristen I offer this bon mot from Tozan:

Wonderful! How wonderful!
Sermons by insentient creatures;
you fail if you listen with your ears;
Listening with your eyes, you hear them.

Anonymous said...

Hey Gniz,

Look at this comment stream. Towards the top you have comments that refer to the post for the most part. This moves into comments referring to each other. And finally there's us anonymous just comment spamming all over the place.

This is what thought is like, right? There's some foreground stuff that the mind likes to think is meaningful and important because it's "relevant" or "on topic" then there's a trail of associated thoughts that play off each other. Then there's a background hum of half formed bad ideas and pieces of things sticking up from the deep murk of that which must not be thought in the light.

It's the micro in the macro.

No more comment moderation if you please, Brad.

Anonymous said...

love it! too much truth for you there :) you had to dissociate.

see more.

Mitch hedberg said...

Interesting what people think is funny. This is a guy trying to make a career by making people laugh. Because he wanted to be like someone else. Sad.
Some people just are funny or have humorous moments. Now that people plan careers on being funny it's not funny. It's aggressive and gross. Not funny at all. This guy is the sad clown because he didn't get the attention he needed or wanted or was denied. Things that are funny are not planned. Pretty much why brad lacks a lot humor.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ofko6NG0HQI&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxWtuCkI-P4&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtjx-yplqTw&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWeV8ZR3wUg&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMe8-pINEGs&feature=related

No notice how someone who is funny handles this situation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Di5j13t5xnE&feature=related



Maybe brad can go on tour with Sock monkey and do Genpo jokes. Oh. ....wait , that what he does...

Steven Wright said...

Mitch Hedberg said...

"This guy is the sad clown because he didn't get the attention he needed or wanted or was denied."

Can you see any dust on that mirror?

Jackson Browne said...

Here come those tears again.

Demetri Martin said...

Steven Wright

Do you know why comedians have a high suicide/overdose rate?

because they wanted the last laugh.

Anonymous said...

Owch.....Demetri martin schooling

Anonymous said...

I don't know if that sent brad, about me not kidding about taking dirty to me, please let me know if you are interested at all... I find you super hot and am down for some fun....

Anonymous said...

Lemme know if you wanna fuck, I'm tired of trying to post on my phone. I'll show you anything.

Anonymous said...

Ah, one of Gimpo's groupies

Anonymous said...

I don't know Genpo or anything about him . my only information comes from Brad

Brad Warner said...

Brad...lil question..
I had a pretty regular teacher for couple years but no longer due to circumstances. I met a local teacher who I chatted with and the 1/2 hr talk filled me with doubt and frustration that I've 'gotten nowhere'.. I wanted to quit but of course I can't ..theres no quitting this path - and I wonder if I needed to be thrown for a loop like this, or maybe this is not the teacher for me. He seems to put up a wall of separation like HE knows but all the students are clueless... But we ALL go thru the delusion before we see clearly--most teachers seem to also talk that way but this guy doesnt and I dunno if its just me and my insulted ego or maybe I"m just not used to his teaching style..
augh. I pondered asking him re this.. what do you think? Thanks:)Georgia


Uhhhh... It's hard to tell what you're asking here. The feeling of having gotten nowhere is pretty much universal. There isn't anywhere to get to, really.

A teacher who puts up a wall that he knows but students are clueless, that sounds not so good. However are you sure that's what he is intending? If he is, that's a problem. But sometimes students think that about teachers who are not intending any such thing.

Harry said...

"...whether people are following a good spiritual teacher or following the Scriptures, all such persons are following their True Self. The Scriptural texts are, naturally, the Scriptural texts of Self, and good spiritual teachers are, naturally, good spiritual teachers of Self. Thus, you should investigate through your training that thorough training means thoroughly training oneself, that studying the hundreds of things which sprout up like grass means studying oneself, that studying the myriad things that take root and branch out like trees means studying oneself, and that this self is, of necessity, synonymous with making such an effort. By exploring like this through your training, you drop off self and you promise enlightenment to yourself.
Shobogenzo, Jisho Zammai, Hubert Nearman trans.

... and just to add mention that the criteria Dogen laid down for recognising a 'good teacher' is that they should be 'stout' and practical... as opposed, say, aloof and 'mystical'.

Regards,

H.

Anonymous said...

I see a line of coke on that mirror steven

Anonymous said...

"you drop off self and you promise
enlightenment to yourself"

Having experienced the formless
non-duality one integrates
emptiness with form.

That which is, is, and is also
void. Put that in practical terms.

Carl Georgian said...

Speaking of mirrors...

I wonder if George Carlin ever performed in Carl, Georgia.

George Carlin in Carl, Georgia.

Harry said...

"you drop off self and you promise
enlightenment to yourself"...

Yeah, not sure how faithful that is to Moses' stone tablets, and it might be a waste of time checking it against the Gudo/Cross trans. as one of the quirks of that fine effort is the avoidance of the 'E' word, or anything that might be construed in translation as resembling it as a sudden event (ala the spiritual bling of dirty, heathenish 'kensho').

Still, despite that dirty 'E' word that makes baby Jesus cry and has my eyes swelling with puss (if we can see into and past the word, that is), it's an interesting way of putting it: Dropping off the self as a promise of enlightenment to the self... what 'self' is left to 'get it'? ;-)

Regards,

Harry.

Anonymous said...

15 years of avoiding the E word or
any likeness or hint of it. No
wonder Mike ended up pissed off
with fixity.

anon #108 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anon #108 said...

"you drop off self and you promise enlightenment to yourself"...

Yeah, not sure how faithful that is to Moses' stone tablets, and it might be a waste of time checking it against the Gudo/Cross trans...


You tease, Harry! I couldn't resist...

This must be the same bit, Dogen Sangha stylee:

"(In this learning in practice,) we get rid of the self, and we experience the self as exact accordance."

Whaa?? Happily, there's a footnote:

"JIKO o SHOKAI suru. SHOKAI means to experience the state which is essentially the same as the state of Gautama Buddha (see, for example chap 16, Shisho, chap 48, Sesshin-sessho)."

Selfs and non-selfs aside, I'm none the wiser. What on earth can that be - that state? Enlightenment? Fair enough.

I dunno, Harry. Really, I don't.

Anonymous said...

"What can that state be?
Enlightenment?"

It's a nice place to go for a swim

Harry said...

Malcolm,

Check this out:

http://shokai.blogspot.com/2008/12/blog-post.html

...Often simply translated as 'enlightenment' or 'realisation' with a strong whiff of 'being aligned with/to'; but there's no consensus on it.

Interesting to see Okumura, a straight-up Soto dude, translate it as "accords with enlightenment".

Regards,

Harry.

anon #108 said...

Thanks, H! Check it out I will.

While we're pondering translations...

I'm afraid I can't trust any of the results of Hubert Nearman's immense and sincere efforts. Seems to me he makes it all up as he goes along. I prefer my translations of difficult old texts to be as literal as possible - allowing me to make it all up as I go along. Just sayin.

Anonymous said...

My penis is almost cartoonishly long. I'm talking like 17 inches. Rail thin, but long as hell. Two heads on the thing.

anon #108 said...

Fascinating link, Harry. Thanks again.

Harry said...

Hi Malc,

Thankfully, what all of these wonderful calcified old farts are pointing to is something more reliable than your or my trust... or faith, for that matter.

Sadly, The Sect mentality seems to win out on occasion. Probably unavoidable.

Regards,

H.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said, "My penis is almost cartoonishly long. I'm talking like 17 inches. Rail thin, but long as hell. Two heads on the thing."

Very interesting. Thanks for the information.

anon #108 said...

Very fair points, H, particularly about the sectarian thing.

Your link is a salutory reminder that I've little or no idea what a "literal translation" of SBGZ might look like. I've taken the word of others that, by and large, the N/C translation is pretty close to literal. But sure, consideration of everything else out there can only be a good thing.

anon #108 said...

Did you mean: salutary

Turns out I did.

PhilBob-SquareHead said...

"Dropping off the self as a promise of enlightenment to the self... what 'self' is left to 'get it'? ;-)"

Harry is a gentleman AND a scholar!

Anonymous said...

There is no one left to see that there is no one left.

Last one left shut. the lights off and lock the door on the way out.

Gummo said...

Anonymous said...
Anonymous said, "My penis is almost cartoonishly long. I'm talking like 17 inches. Rail thin, but long as hell. Two heads on the thing."


Nice. I'd like a taste of that.

Anonymous said...

can we have a link to your 17"

Anonymous said...

Brad who are your favorite Writers of fiction?
Thank you.

Brad said...

"Brad who are your favorite Writers of fiction?
Thank you."

I don't if you were asking me but I like the kid with the 17 incher. Which Brad were you asking?

Anonymous said...

Penis size is not very zen to talk about. For shame on you people.

Anonymous said...

Hey Suzuki roshi wasn't called the "Crooked Cucumber" for nothing..

merciless said...

"Penis size is not very zen to talk about. For shame on you people."

I seriously distrust anyone who comments, "shame on you." That is possibly the most un-zenlike thing anyone could ever utter. IMHO

anon #108 said...

Quoting Dogen, Harry asked:

"Dropping off the self as a promise of enlightenment to the self... what 'self' is left to 'get it'? ;-)"

Many Zen types seem very enamoured of this "no self" business (I don't know about Harry - he just asked the question) and often chime in approvingly whenever 'no-self' gets a mention...As if post-satori/kensho the sense of self - or even your 'actual' self(?) - melts away...As if that's a good thing...As if the goal of Buddhism is to cease to have a self; an 'ego'; any sense of being a separate individual; any sense(s)! Perhaps such people believe they themselves(?!) have experienced(!) such a state. Perhaps they enjoyed the feeling(¿) and want to get it back(???). Such views make no sense to me.

Here's a view of "no self" that does makes some sense to me:

http://www.dogensangha.org.uk/PDF/theoryofnoself.pdf

Any individual selves out there got any dissenting personal opinions about all this?

Anonymous said...

If I attained "no self" would that make it impossible to "play with myself"?

Is all of this talk about "no self" just mental masturbation?

Mental masturbation seems like a poor substitute for "the real thing".

anon #108 said...

"True Self" - that's another one!

Harry said...

Hi Malc,

From several perspectives the doctrine of anatta is a very valid view (when it's realised directly, that is): for example, in counterpoint to the conventional view that there is an abiding, autonomous being that is separate from everything else; the 'self' that is constructed in clinging to the skhandas. This 'self' does not exist in the way we generally think it to and perceive it to... so, I wouldn't discount the whole 'anatta/no-self' thing off hand.

One of the interesting things about Dogen is that he expressed things very positively (not exclusively so tho) where Zen had tended to be obscure and negate things philosophically, and so he enjoyed expressing the state of practice as realising 'non-buddha', as our realising real, concrete things as the self (tiles, pebbles, stone lanterns, fences...), and asking who it was that 'held up the head of buddha' in practice etc etc. This need not be at odds with the theory of anatta when its realised directly in our own practice, because it is not a philosophical point essentially. As we know, nothing exists on such simple, binary terms.

Regards,

H.

anon #108 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

harry & 108...

have a peek at Stream Entry

It's called 'first path' & it's when the meditator directly knows the sea of energy that includes all processes our awareness attributes to self. If everything is drawn on graph paper, it's like seeing the graph paper. The 'self' collection keeps happening afterwards but the awareness doesn't cling to it as much. This is from Theravadan tradition.

anon #108 said...

[Small edit to 4.59am]

Yes, H.

The view that there is no separate, permanent, immaterial essence/self inhabiting the material body makes sense to me, particularly as I live in a rational, scientific age - an age heralded by such thinkers as Gautama Buddha. But neither that view, nor any other, can express the actual/real situation.

And so Gautama Buddha, as I understand him, taught the middle way, the true dharma, in order that such views and their 'binary'/dialectical opposites might be relinquished: 'neither self nor no-self'. That makes more sense to me, and seems in accord with the actual/real situation.

But some are enticed by "the relinquishing of views", by "emptiness", by "no-self" into a black cave of phantoms as unreal as the city of Ghandarva - a magic city with no fences, walls, tiles, lanterns or pebbles.


- I will peek, 5.01am.

Anonymous said...

from Anon #108's pdf link:
"...and so he decided to give no more lectures."

That's right. Escape the carousel of thought and you can flush this goddamn zen right down the shitter.

Anonymous said...

Merciless ,
Not very zen like? What is zen like?
Get over you your "imho" bad self!

Harry said...

M,

The world is full of bloody infidels, no matter how much my pet theories seem to make sense to me personally. Thankfully that needn't be a barrier to my practicing it sincerely.

I think when I start judging the efforts of others (in comparison to mine, say, as opposed to from the genuine perspective of my more sincere efforts, which are not done in reference to a 'self' or 'other') I fall from the realm of sincere effort into the realm of my very own stone-dead religion.

Regards,

Harry.

Anonymous said...

The Dead Void heretic floats in the
Samadhi bliss. Suppose ritual, formalized interactions, Boddhisattva vows, etc. exist to
keep one from snuffing out the
candle flame and drifting off.

anon #108 said...

Escape the carousel of thought and you can flush this goddamn zen right down the shitter.

Well yeah...but no, but yeah, but no, but...

Did I express a view, H? I'm damned if I'll apologise!

Harry said...

It doesn't matter one way or t'other to me, Malc. Apologies are cold comfort after the fact. I was just pointing out a tendency in myself , and this non-thing called 'Dogen Sangha', that you piqued in our talking of our wonderful sense-making theories of everything.

People should be aware of the tendency towards embattled philosophical intransigence and superiority in this sangha, and in themselves, if it's the Buddha-dharma they're really interested in. The buddha is a thoroughly homeless bum, a beggar with nowhere to go/hide everywhere he goes. Nests are so easy to build, in comparison (I do it all the time).

Regards,

Harry.

Soft Troll said...

do not-self? Doing
this not-self is not-doing
self grasping what is

Anonymous said...

a nest called life
the other side of not-self
awash in an array
of here now

Anonymous said...

"Literal Translation" = "true meaning?" Impossible. Thats a "black cave of phantoms."

You're chasing the rabbit, Alice.

shameless censor said...

"Brad who are your favorite Writers of fiction?
Thank you."

I don't think Brad reads much fiction anymore. I could be wrong but there is only so much time in the day and he has You-tube, listening to music, collecting figurines, reading and writing zen books, his girls, his talks.. Whew! And then there are his favorite TV shows to watch.. Who has time for literature?

Anonymous said...

"Brad who are your favorite Writers of fiction?
Thank you."

Dalai Lama, Genpo Roshi, Ken Wilber
and

Anonymous said...

Brad,
Who are your least favorite writers of fiction aside from the people who post comments on your blog?
Thank you.

anon #108 said...

7.57am wrote:

"Literal Translation" = "true meaning?" Impossible. Thats a "black cave of phantoms."

Quite, anon. But no one wrote "true meaning" did they?

There may not be a "perfect" translation, but there are certainly translations that aim to render the vocabulary, grammar and syntax of an original text into another language as closely as possible. Most folks call those translations "literal" - to contrast with "free" or "interpretive" translations.

I'm given to understand that literal translation is very difficult - perhaps impossible - to accomplish from medieval Chinese/Japanese to any modern European language. But a comparison of any passage from the Nishijima/Cross Shobogenzo (or, from what little I've seen of it, from the Tanahashi version) with the same passage from the Hubert Nearman version will clearly demonstrate the difference between 'literal' and the 'interpretive' approaches. It's no mystery.

Of course, a literal translation is no guarantee that a reader stands a better chance of inferring an author's intended meaning. I was merely stating my personal preference for a translation that allows me to come as close as possible to the experience of reading the original. That way, I feel, I stand a better chance of understanding the text, unhindered by the efforts of an intermediary wanting to do the work for me; to save me the bother of 'getting it wrong'. I want to do it myself. It's a kind of arrogance.

And so I wrote, "I prefer my translations of difficult old texts to be as literal as possible - allowing me to make it all up as I go along."

Brad Warner said...

Favorite writers of fiction are Philip K. Dick and Kurt Vonnegut. I just started reading PKD again after years of not reading fiction.

I used to really like Philip Jose Farmer as well. But I haven't read his stuff in a while.

I don't read much fiction. But I do read an awful lot. Maybe too much.

Anonymous said...

"allowing me to make it all up as I go along"

Jeez, now who would that be? Are
you Ken Wilber? Nope, he didn't
take the trolley. Let's see now...

Anonymous said...

Brad,
Thank you for the reply.

Kurt Vonnegut had a great quote that went something a long the lines of " The most interesting people seem to be forty something year olds that don't know what to do with their lives". I love that being I'm in that age range and have no idea.

Brad, you say you read a lot so I take it that would be non-fiction. What non-fiction writers do you like to read?

What about painters/artists any favorites? We know what music you like but any painters?

I love charles bukowski. I don't drink but I still love his writing.I think the guy really understood how to write a line. The beauty of the line. Like on his grave stone " Dont try" .

Have you ever read David Foster Wallace? If you so what do you think of his writing?

Thanks Brad!

Not Brad (sorry) said...

Interviews With Hideous Men was flat, IMO. Much prefer William T. Vollmann for the post-modern schtick. DFW, Infinite Jest, et al, er, go read Gravity's Rainbow..

Lately a great hit has come from Donald Ray Pollock. Start with Knockemstiff.

Anonymous said...

Hey " Not Brad",
Thanks for the turn on of Donald Ray Pollock. I just read a great review and will grab it tomorrow. I need a good read. Thanks

Not Brad said...

Dude, I love Bukowski, -he's cool, but DRP's Knockemstiff col of short stories is ice cold.

Brace yourself.

Anonymous said...

Thanks again Not Brad. Wow, I'm excited . Everything I seem to pick up lately just falls flat. I can't even finish half of them. I'm not a big fan of DFW but found" him" more interesting. There's a Charlie Rose interview with DFW and the guy just can't sit still. Tons of stuff going on. That's when I went back to him and for some reason had a clearer experience. As for Bukowski well, I'm a old time Angelino and bought all my Books from Red's books store off of Hollywood blvd. Not there anymore. Buk wrote about Red and stocked him full of his books. Red went to Buks wedding.Red turned me onto Fante and " Ask the dust" and more and more. They wrote about the L.A. I knew. not the Hollywood of today. Ellroy's My dark places hit home too. I left L.A. Five years ago now. I'll never go back . Not even for a visit.

Anonymous said...

here's link to Red
http://antebellumgallery.blogspot.com/2011/05/dedication-to-red.html?zx=4cce84fae51e29ec

Anonymous said...

better link picture
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1a7HRuwzLVM/TdXumu1av-I/AAAAAAAAKfo/RiWFy8qN3Vk/s1600/Red%2BIn%2BFront%2Bof%2B%2BStore.jpg

Not Brad said...

I just reread Ask The Dust this summer, after (what, 20?) many years. It held up well. Looking around, I found his son Dan Fante writes. I got a copy of 86'd, & its on a pile somewhere around here. Check out his website sometime.

Yeah I remember Buk writing about Red. Thanks for the links!

I really got into Vollman this year, if you check him out (assuming you haven't), try Rainbow Stories or Expelled From Eden before getting into the longer stuff.

Another very good recent read was Charlie Huston's The Mystic Art of Erasing All Signs of Death.

Cheers.

Anon #2 said...

If I may chime in ... here is a link on DFW about humor http://tinyurl.com/Dfwhumor.
I think it relates well to the poster who didn't think Louis is funny but a sad clown. I agree . He is not funny. Most Americans think he is funny. a lot of americans drink coke. For the most part Louis is just regurgitating Carlin. Modeling him for his own consumption. I too question brads intent. As should he. Or at least brad should look into good literature. Other wise he's just writing infomercial for zen http://tinyurl.com/5s8uc8g

1000 Names of Vishnu said...

Carlin's crass zaniness is not buddhism.

the Dharma forbids levity.

It's more 60s pop-Freudian -zen--ie, anything goes, tune into yrself,etc

The real dharma--whether one agrees or not- is an ethical code, not merely materialist psychology. A point continually overlooked by the ..popularizers, Sam Harrises, etc.

Even Deeprok understands that. As did Schopenhauer back in the day .

Phumbling said...

beautiful.