Saturday, April 28, 2012

Going to California


I'm now committed.

On Friday my friend Pirooz, director of Shoplifting from American Apparel, signed a lease for an apartment in Los Angeles, California that he and I will move into in June, 2012. On that very same day — perhaps at the exact same moment — I signed a contract with New World Library to publish my next book There Is No God And He Is Your Creator. This could come out as soon as Spring 2013 or might be pushed back to Fall. We're not sure yet.

In the meanwhile, the audiobook of Hardcore Zen is on sale right now. Just in case you've forgotten.

And a new eBook collection called Hardcore Zen Strikes Again will be out any minute now. I think they're still working out some kinks in formatting. I realized I couldn't do it myself so the fine folks at Cooperative Press in Cleveland are handling that part. Up till now they've only done books about knitting. But Shannon, who runs the company, is a fan of my writing. So this will be their first non-knitting related title.

Hardcore Zen Strikes Again is a collection of essays I wrote for the old Sit Down and Shut Up webpage. Many of the articles I wrote for that page ended up reworked into chapters of Hardcore Zen: Punk Rock, Monster Movies and the Truth About Reality. Many did not. Others were so thoroughly reworked you wouldn't recognize them. It is articles from the latter two categories that I chose for Hardcore Zen Strikes Again. I've also included a chapter that was cut out of Hardcore Zen and an article I wrote for a Japanese monster fanzine consisting mainly of things I wrote about my work at Tsuburaya Productions that were also removed from Hardcore Zen. So the book is sort of like the bonus disc for Hardcore Zen. Hence the title. The essays are each accompanied by new introductions and afterwords talking about how my views on things have totally changed now and why the essays are shit.

Not really. But I am not nearly as loud in my writing as I was in 2001. I say pretty much the same stuff, just in a different way.

Those of you without Kindles or iPads or Nooks need not fret. There will be a print version as well. But the print version will be produced in limited quantities. Whether you'll be able to find it in stores or not is still an open question. Probably you will.

Going to California is a big move for me, and, in some ways a thoroughly stupid one. It's stupid because I could have saved myself a lot of hassle and just stayed in Los Angeles. But, really, things there at the time had become un-workable and I needed a change. It's also stupid because I'm now making way less money than I was when I moved away and am going to a place where the rent is more than twice what I'm paying in Akron.

But it's also a good move because I liked living in California. It's sunny. It's warm. It's L.A., with all the weirdness that means. I'm going to try getting a teaching gig out there or maybe work in the film industry. Pirooz has a company, which is mainly just him right now, called Sangha Films. Years and years before I ever met Pirooz I had the notion that maybe there could be a Buddhist sangha whose livelihood was supported by making movies. Lots of Buddhist sanghas support themselves with commercial endeavors. Some sanghas make tofu, some bake bread, San Francisco Zen Center runs a luxury tourist resort (Tassajara). So why not movies?

I'm hoping to talk Pirooz into moving in this direction with me. But every time I say something about it he just sort of grunts noncommittally. We'll see. I envision it as sort of a Zen version of Troma Films. Not in terms of the gore and splatter. But in terms of the way Troma is fiercely independent, knows its audience thoroughly, and makes its way in the world by producing movies that will never be big hits but always sell to its loyal core audience. Pirooz wants to make a zombie movie next. I'm trying to convince him to make it a Zen zombie movie. We'll see...

Every choice a person makes in life affects their future in ways large and small, foreseeable and unforeseeable. Even a smile or a frown can make a huge difference. But some decisions seem more momentous than others. Signing that book contract and committing to a huge move in the same day seem pretty momentous to me. To be honest, I'm scared shitless. Maybe a year from now you'll find me living in a cardboard box on Venice Beach trying to sell CD-Rs of my audiobook in order to buy burritos. But maybe not.

Sometimes you just gotta make a move.

166 comments:

Harry said...

Won!

Harry said...

...do i get a burrito?

Daniel J said...

Good luck with the move! Looking forward to the next book. Take care

Moni said...

new place, new impressions. nice :)

PhilBob-SquareHead said...

"Every choice a person makes in life affects their future in ways large and small, foreseeable and unforeseeable."

Lol...yeah, I remember when I believed in free will and choice.

TEXT

Misha said...

Millions of people find a way to live and survive in California. Because there are millions of people, there is a big economy. Don't be put off by finding a "day job." Buddhism may never reach the profit margins that Joel "Prosperity Gospel; ie send me money and God will send you some" Osteen has realized, so many in the Buddha biz will need to find real, mundane, pay-the-rent-jobs. In your free time, write, play music, and teach what you teach. That way, you'll have a real life, as an you approach 50 (soon), you'll be grounded so that the next 20 years will be meaningful and manageable.

Anonymous said...

Hope Crum can adjust!

Seagal Rinpoche said...

Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.

david angstead said...

nice man! well, this means we can book you to come up to Sacramento more likely than while your in Ohio.

david angstead said...

nice man! well, this means we can book you to come up to Sacramento more likely than while your in Ohio.

Angrycity said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Idiot said...

May I offer the cautionary tale of the Joad family?

California ain't the promised land, if that's what you're hoping for (and it's pretty obvious that it is).

david angstead said...

nice man! well, this means we can book you to come up to Sacramento more likely than while your in Ohio.

Brad Warner said...

May I offer the cautionary tale of the Joad family?

California ain't the promised land, if that's what you're hoping for (and it's pretty obvious that it is).


I lived in Los Angeles for five years. So I know what California is and isn't.

Anonymous said...

WTF, did Seagal say something on point????

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to your next book. Good luck to you! (There's no such thing as "luck" in my mind. It's just something I say to try and make the other person feel good.)

Jenny Ferry said...

May the force be with you!

proulx michel said...

Troma films, eh?
虎うま映画。。。

Pirooz M. Kalayeh said...

We're going by ILIKENIRVANA now.

http://ilikenirvana.com/

Pirooz M. Kalayeh said...

ilikenirvana.com

Brad Warner said...

PhilBob,

Sam Harris is a pretty convincing speaker, isn't he? I plan to watch that entire video soon. But I watched about a minute of it & it seems pretty clear where he's going.

The problem is it's all up in the head. This is what trips up people like Harris. They are far too clever for their own good. They can convince themselves of anything they choose to because their brains are so sharp and efficient.

I actually LIKE Sam Harris' stuff. So don't get me wrong here. Among his crowd of self-satisfied über atheists, he's definitely the best. Richard Dawkins has nothing on Sam Harris.

The best koan I know of that addresses the issue is the one about the guy who stubs his toe and says, "I had heard that the body is an illusion, where does this pain come from?"

It's a slightly different angle on the same problem. "I had heard (from Sam Harris) that freedom of choice is an illusion. Where does this freedom of choice come from?"

Nishijima Roshi always said that determinism and free will are both true. It depends on which angle you look at things from.

Thoughts may be conditioned. But that doesn't negate freedom of action. This is something you see through actual experience, though. Not through thinking.

Robin said...

Sunshine! Always good. I just wanted to ask you how you felt about living in Southern Spain. I have been thinking of going there lately myself. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ttSMefBdAM

Anonymous said...

What's happening to Crum?

Mumon said...

Re:Harrs & "free will": Reminds me of when the mice offered to replace Arthur Dent's brain with a computer. "I'd notice it," Dent said. "You'd be programmed not to," one of the mice replied.

It's that way with"free will."

Anonymous said...

A reference to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy? For real?

Nice.

Anonymous said...

I'm just glad that Brad didn't name his new book "God Is The Most Obvious Thing."

If he formats the title on the cover similar to this

THERE IS NO GOD
and he is your creator

he might sell a few more copies to people who don't already buy his books. There are people on both sides of that argument who will at least pick up the book in the store to see which side he is on.

(I tried to do BIG and small text for the two halves of the title but blogger doesn't accept those HTML tags. I think you get the idea.)

Anonymous said...

THERE AIN'T NO GOD
But we should pray to Him

Charlie Cardoza said...

Good for you! That's good stuff!!

Charlie Cardoza said...

Good stuff! That takes guts. Good for you!!

john e mumbles said...

LA, Akron, can you possibly find another town ready to fall off the map to relocate to? Guess you could've moved to whats left of Detroit.

Well, good luck. Takes balls to take the leap -again- at almost 50, with no prospects other than another non-lucrative book deal, and pipe dreams of another career in the film industry.

But what the hell.

Go for it.

anonymous julie said...

Whatever it looks like to you, it still looks courageous from this vantage point. Cheers to you.

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

Some noodlings on free will -

Well before watching that very good Sam Harris talk (a couple of months ago when an anonymous linked it – thanks for linking it again, PhilBob) I'd come to the conclusion that free will makes no sense. Not if you believe 1) in cause and effect and 2) in no self/soul/spirit apart from the physical material and processes of the body.

If you do believe that an immaterial soul inhabits your body and directs your brain cells, limbs, organs etc to do stuff, then you can believe that you have a will that is free. For that's what a free will must be; an agent apart from the material stuff of the Universe that operates outside the law of cause and effect (the law that determines every other observable event) and freely decides what's going to happen next. Perhaps every one of us does have a soul, a self independent from the body that directs the brain to make thoughts and move limbs. But that idea makes no sense to me.

So I’m left with: No soul. No free will. Most likely.

That’s where thinking about it gets me. And I’m perfectly happy with thinking as a method for deciding what makes sense. But rejecting free will as an explanation of the way things really are doesn’t affect the way I feel about my life. I don’t feel like a robot. I feel as though ‘I’ am the author of what ‘I’ do. I feel responsible my actions. So I understand there to be two truths about free will: 1) The ‘real’ situation and 2) My experience.

Gudo’s attempt to resolve these incompatible truths is to say that from the perspective of time regarded as a process (past - present - future) cause and effect is absolute. No free will. But, he says, from the perspective of the instantaneous present moment there is no past – present - future and so no process of cause and effect. And so, in this instantaneous moment there is room for free action. As I see it, Gudo’s ‘two views’ explanantion misses the point. It doesn’t at all address the issue of the freely acting agent; the separate, independent of the body self/soul that is still required to move the body around if the idea of ‘free will’ is to have any meaning. What is it? Where does it come from? By including an acting agent in his present moment ‘action’ scenario Gudo still assumes an actor and the operation of cause and effect. In fact, that’s what he’s trying to account for! Still, I have a suspicion that Gudo may be trying to say something a little different from what I think he’s saying. But I’ve yet to find someone who can nail it for me.

Daniel Dennett’s take on the ‘problem’ of free will makes some sense to me (I’ve read nothing. I’ve seen a few videos. I may well have misunderstood him). Dennett says that what we call “free will” is that experienced phenomenon which is the result of the purely physical, entirely caused, processes of our brain/body. It’s no more than that, but that will do just fine. We don’t have to decide whether we have a ‘separate’ soul/self; what we call the self, or free will, is a description of an aspect of our experience, not a description of an 'ultimately true' situation. We have created, or imagined (as with “consciousness”) the illusion of a self-existent thing. We ascribe characteristics to this fiction and are then surprised when it contradicts other fictions. We forget that it didn’t really exist in the first place. We just made it up and gave it name.

john e mumbles said...

Very well said, Malcolm, and for what its worth, I couldn't agree more...

Harry said...

Our will, Buddhism says, is conditioned by our previous karma (bearing in mind that the Buddhist teaching on karma is that it is solely a law related to human volition). So there is no such things as 'free will' when we think with our karma-conditioned minds and act accordingly.

Buddhist practice presents us with another sort of will which has different implications for our 'karmic mind'... different, but not seperate or removed (this is what the 'wild fox' koan is about).

That there is a strong element of uncertainty/ non-determinate freedom in physical/explicit/observable reality can be demonstrated in how bookies make lots of money from people who think they have it all sussed: Although we like to think we have it all sewed up regarding the physical laws of the universe, we're not really very good at making our millions by betting on the horsies even though the favourites may seem like the obvious choice, statistically speaking.

Regards,

Harry.

anon #108 said...

Hi Harry,

I think all you've said there is that we appear to be conditioned by the past and we can't predict the future. Well, I agree. Is there something I'm missing? What is this "other sort of will"?

(Thanks, John. Always nice to be agreed with :))

Harry said...

So, in relation to 'free will', it gives rise to the question 'free from from what?'

Remember that Master Nishijima's explanation observes that, in the present moment of realised-time, the past and the future are only thoughts in our heads and actually exist nowhere else wheresoever. We are actually already free from the illusion that we exist in a linear progression from past through present to future (otherwise we'd be stuck and couldn't exist as we do) but we don't generally realise this fact.

Regards,

Harry.

Harry said...

108,

It's the will to sit upright and not automatically give in to our mental/emotional conditioning, or the arising karmic results of previous volitional actions. It is to be free of the unreal narratives we create in our head about a linear past-present-future time continuity etc etc etc.

Regards,

Harry.

Danny said...

Hi Brad,

do you breath slowly and deeply (abdominally) during zazen?

I don't mean if you do so by intention but if you check while sitting for half an hour, do you do so?

Thank you,

Dany

Danny said...

@Brad: "Thoughts may be conditioned. But that doesn't negate freedom of action. This is something you see through actual experience, though. Not through thinking."

Sorry but isn't that a bit too simple way to see it? You also see through experience that the sun moves around the earth right? Does that make it true? The point here is that OF COURSE you feel like "you" are making decisions but that doesn't mean that's the way things are. It just makes things look that way to us and it's good that it does! But to close the case with this is far too easy I think...it's not that just your thoughts are in your brain, it's also your other "experience" of the world. I don't want to imply with this that there is no real world but we're always living in a representation of it...

anon #108 said...

H,

You're describing being free from a way of thinking and I understand what your saying. But that’s not what I’m taliking about.

You ask “free from what?” I’d answer “free of prior determination. Free from cause and effect.”

I think we're defining the problem differently, and so we're not commenting on the same thing. Which is fine.

Kyle said...

Enjoy your move! If such a thing is possible, as experience tells me it is always something shaky....

On point of 'free will vs. determinism' I think Alan Watts addresses it quite nicely and on point here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsNyLvzhJJo

PhilBob-SquareHead said...

As they say in A.A., "Let go and let God".

Jinzang said...

The so called problem of free will is the result of trying to see a first person issue through a third person lens.

anon #108 said...

Alan Watts is cool.

The reverb and the f***ing string quartet...not so much.

Harry said...

"free of prior determination. Free from cause and effect"

Malcom,

Are you talking solely about 'cause and effect' as a physical law as would a scientist who seperates mind from matter?

Well, science is far from cracking all the secrets yet and, 'below' the ordered (but not particularly predictable) laws of physics there seems to be an... unorder... that is a bit whacky and that doesn't quite add up as we might hope.

I appreciate the irony in that, an in the idea that at least two 'truths' may be seen to be operant at the same time and throughout each other.

Regards,

Harry.

Jinzang said...

Moving is always stressful. Wishing you and your new room mate the best of success in LA. And hope Crum adjusts to his new life as an alley cat.

anon #108 said...

Malcom,

Are you talking solely about 'cause and effect' as a physical law as would a scientist who seperates mind from matter?


I'm no scientist, Harry. I'm talking about cause and effect as would an ordinary, rational person.

Not being a scientist, I don't presume to understand the implications of what's being discovered about goings-on at the quantum level.

(My noodlings didn't stop at "Cause and effect is true. There is no free will.")

Jinzang said...

Oh, Mr. Warner, you are going to get so much bad karma from dissing the Dalai Lama in your ebook that I shudder to think of it.

Harry said...

Erm...okay. Well, for the purposes of discussion, what is cause and effect, or what exactly can we say is being caused into effect (so we know what we're talking about)?

Regards,

Harry.

Jinzang said...

There is no cause and effect in physics. The laws of physics are acausal. Otherwise, they couldn't be time invariant. And the laws of physics are not deterministic. That's what all the fuss about quantum mechanics is about. Don't you think you should know what science actually says before arguing what science proves?

From the Buddhist point of view cause and effect is an illusion. Don't you recall the first chapter of the MMK?

anon #108 said...

Harry,

It's late - not my fault! I have decided - of my own free will - to crash. I may have a think - can't tell yet - and see if I can come up with anything you don't already know about cause and effect. But - factors beyond my control - I have a busy day tomorrow. We'll see.

Nite nite :)

Harry said...

Hee hee...The MMK, like Shobogenzo, must be a terrible book for literalists looking for simple truths to rhyme off what with all those things that seem like contradictions.

The physics were were taught in school was so comfortably boring.

Regards,

Harry... or is it John?

Harry said...

... I think if we study MMK, and/or Shobogenzo for that matter, and, more importantly, bring our own practice to bear on them, we might find that both Dogen and Nagarjuna resolved the nihilistic philosophical fallacy that cause and effect, or anything for that matter, is 'an illusion'. Otherwise we might be whiling away our hours in a sort of remote, subjective dreamworld.

Regards,

H.

Anonymous said...

good luck brad!

hope it works out for ya...

Jinzang said...

Like a tiny drop of dew, or a bubble floating in a stream;

Like a flash of lightning in a summer cloud,

Or a flickering lamp, an illusion, a phantom, or a dream.

So is all conditioned existence to be seen.


Who was the nihilist who wrote that?

Anonymous said...

Like sands through the hour glass...

Harry said...

I see we've moved away from Nagarjuna.

Yes, that's a classic negation of *conditioned* existence or, as it might be rendered positively, an affirmation of 'unconditioned existence' (i.e. real things as they are).

Nagajuna was concerned about the misinterpretation of this taken as merely an intellectual/philosophical negation of everything, and rightly so. It seems to be a persistent weakness in Buddhist philosophy:

30. The victorious ones have said
That emptiness is the relinquishing of all views.
For whomever emptiness is a view,
That one will accomplish nothing.


Regards,

Harry.

Anonymous said...

Good luck in Cali, Brad.

It's possible that we live in a completely deterministic universe. Even if that is true, it's also possible that our tiny little brains have absolutely no chance of holding all the data needed to see this determinism. Thus, from the point-of-view of a tiny little brain, we appear to have free will.

Anyone who wants to describe the difference between "real" free will and the "false" experience of free will, knock yourself out.

Harry said...

"Thus, from the point-of-view of a tiny little brain, we appear to have free will."


Hi, Anon.

Now there's someone using our tiny littel brain. I like it!

It's sometimes said that we have an infinite amount of choices at our disposal, but maybe they only appear 'infinite' to us because, well, as you say, we're pretty dumb.

We are limited beings in our bodies and minds in terms of what we can do relative to other observable beings who are limited in their conditions/ways; so it follows that this determines limits on what we can do in any situation.

But how much more dumb is someone that is dragged around by their ingrained mental habits and habitual responses to various stimuli...?(people just like me! I'm not being preachy here) maybe at least we can achieve some sort of level of relative freedom compared to that?

Regards,

H.

Ray Mustard said...

Good luck in California and with the new material coming out. If you decide to walk from Ohio to cali stop at the Denver zen center

Anonymous said...

Free will is a product of ego, so is thought. When you attach to thought, you attach to ego and you will never be free. When the ego dies so does the debate involving freedom and determinism. Allow yourself to dissolve into the great cosmos without fear or doubt. Freedom is only that.

john e mumbles said...

Blasts from the past:

http://www.worldcat.org/identities/nc-mumbles%20publications

Mark Foote said...

"That which we will..., and that which we intend to do and that wherewithal we are occupied:--this becomes an object for the persistance of consciousness. The object being there, there comes to be a station of consciousness. Consciousness being stationed and growing, rebirth of renewed existance takes place in the future, and here from birth, decay, and death, grief, lamenting, suffering, sorrow, and despair come to pass. Such is the uprising of this mass of ill.
Even if we do not will, or intend to do, and yet are occupied with something, this too becomes an object for the persistance of consciousness... whence birth... takes place.
But if we neither will, nor intend to do, nor are occupied about something, there is no becoming of an object for the persistance of consciousness. The object being absent, there comes to be no station of consciousness. Consciousness not being stationed and growing, no rebirth of renewed existence takes place in the future, and herefrom birth, decay-and-death, grief, lamenting, suffering, sorrow and despair cease. Such is the ceasing of this entire mass of ill."

(SN II 65, Pali Text Society vol. 2 pg 45)

So how does one act in the absence of will, intention, and preoccupation? I would contend that what we truly believe causes us to act, like the hypnotist's subject responding to suggestion, and that such action can take place in the absence of will, intention, or preoccupation, just as a hypnotist's subject can be moved without the exercise of their will or intention.

If you grant that this is possible, then the collection of experiences and that make up what we believe cause our action. We think it's our exercise of will or intention that sets us in motion, physically and mentally, because we have never watched ourselves move without volition, but actually we have no more choice about it than the subject in a deep trance.

Those who think they can resist hypnosis are generally the easiest to hypnotize, that's my understanding. Those who think what they believe has no relationship to their actions, haven't realized what it is that they truly believe.

(Good luck, Brad!)

Anonymous said...

The cat - what about the cat - is he coming with you Brad?

anon #108 said...

Pictures, John! Where are the pictures?

anon #108 said...

We cannot know how things really are. But we can develop and modify models that work – representations of how things appear to be. I’m content to recognise how things appear to be, while understanding that the way things appear to be is only the way things appear to be. That goes for a quantum acausal Universe, too – just another model of the way things appear to be. Not to be confused with 'how things really are'.

anon #108 said...

- With pictures.

Anonymous said...

Crum on June 1?

King James said...

Jinzang said...
Don't you think you should know what science actually says before arguing what science proves?


That is just homeopathetic.

Matthew 7:1 "JUDGE not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."

Jessica said...

"Up till now they've only done books about knitting...."

Really?

john e mumbles said...

Malcolm, a year ago or so the fellow that put together my website took a pile of old Mumbles Pubs (many that are not accounted for in the collections w/that link) with the intention to post facsimiles of at least some of the covers. Occasionally images accompany comix that wind up for sale on E-bay and other sites...
Thanks for asking!

Mark Foote said...

From article 3 on the physics of free will linked above:

"The thing Einstein overlooked was that his very act of weighing the box translated to observing its displacement (say, dr = r2 - r1) within the Earth's gravitational field. But in Einstein's general theory of relativity, he'd found that clocks actually do run slower in gravitational fields (a phenomenon called 'gravitational time dilation')

(...formulas here...)

In other words, after the displacement (r2 - r1) arising from the measurement, the clock is in a gravitational field different from the original one." -"Copernicus"

I'm no physicist, not even much for mathematics, but it's interesting!

I think it says Crum's a star, although the gravity of his & Brad's situation will be different after any measurement, such as by the stars and aliens in the L.A. basin.

Mark Foote said...

and welcome to California, a place where a primitive can write a rocker and get a shout out, out of the blue:

Ride my Llama

Anonymous said...

You move will, in part, compensate for the thousands that are leaving California every month.

"It's one big step for Brad, one small step for California."

"in 2007, 6% of California's population moved out of state" and, of course the republicans were in power.

now, the neoCONS want to blame the democrats for the damage that the neoCONS did... and the unions.

neoCONS have no reflective thinking, thus, they will remain failures forevermore.

LL Cool Jundo said...

Going back to Cali?
I don't think so.

john e mumbles said...

William T. Vollmann possibly talking about free will -or not:

Is death not that scary for you?

Well, it's always scary and it'll get you sooner or later, and since it's going to get you sooner or later and it's scary, then why not do what you want to do. You're not going to be immortal by refusing to take chances…

I think it's kind of liberating to be mortal and it really it can't be much worse than it already is; therefore, why worry?

Anonymous said...

if you choose not to decide you still have made a choice.

Mysterion said...

Is death scary?

Not in the least.

Been there, done that, bought the tee shirt, wore it out.

Of course, it depends on how you define "dead." What we once called dead (e.g. 20 years ago) isn't death at all. As long as you have alpha waves, somebody is home.

Al those "near death" experiences that were written about in the 70s, 80s, and 90s were not even close! The brain chemistry was chugging along - especially the endorphins [human beta-endorphin (beta h-EP)].

I spent 4 hours in an 'alpha only' state and it was nothing. No body thetans, spirits, aliens, or other beings entered or left my body. I was not visited by god, mary, jesus, Jack Kerouac, Hadda-laff-yet Hubbard, Jibraaiyl (Gabriel), or even the Comte Saint-Germain! And I have a vast amout of respect, relitively, for gurus like Guy Ballard!*

Birth is more traumatic.

You have something to complain about afterwards!

*"Absence of proof is not proof of absence."**


**sarcasm - recognize sarcasm???

Mysterion said...

But (some) people want to believe!

want = desire

desire = EPIC FAIL

But go for it! There is nothing 'wrong' with turning the wheel of birth-death cycles 10,000 times.

Anonymous said...

well they give me all kinds of advice...

designed to enlighten me

Jinzang said...

That is just homeopathetic.

I don't understand what you are trying to say. I'm not allowed to comment about science because I use homeopathy? And to make your point, you quote the Bible? How does any of that make any sense?

laporie said...

Sometimes you just gotta make a move. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

jinz - trolls fishing for u. swim on by
brad - new book title might land you on colbert or maybe charlie rose

Anonymous said...

Are you taking Crum? If you're coming through St. Louis, I'll take him!

Anonymous said...

Brad you need an agent. Why don't you have one already? Never mind, just get an agent.

Anonymous said...

Brad's agent

Mysterion said...

Homeopathy, like the Bible, is based on belief rather than a preponderance of the evidence.

A long time ago, I recall MacWorld giving Apple some sort of award for an internet 'server' that fed the web to Mac Weenies (Classics) via AppleTalk.

Of course Homeopathy Trade Journals would endorse homeopathy just as christian trade journals would endorse the bible.

It is "preaching to the choir!"

Well, Apple is a big technology company based on Consumer Electronics. They are completely out of the server business and almost out of the Desktop business.

Just as there are many who never "converted" to Apple, so too there are those who never "converted to homeopathy, christianity, or catholicism.

Belief is belief whether you package in in a book, a bag, a box, or cocoa.

There is just something "organic" about it!

Michael Gibbs said...

Good luck in Cali, Brad! I need to move some place more tropical someday. Winter in Ohio becomes a little less tolerable to me each year (though this very strange winter wasn't to bad).

If you ever need a mildly handsome fat guy to be in your movies, contact me. Ha!

Sam Harris's The Moral Landscape is really good. I have't read Free Will yet.

Anonymous said...

Brad-san, I believe the title for your new book is a quote from Joshu Sasaki Roshi. You will give him credit for this, yes?

http://quotingquotes.com/34821/

Congratulations on the book contract, and good luck on the move back to Cali,

Mysterion said...

Michael Gibbs said...
"(though this very strange winter wasn't to bad)."

It's called the tipping point.

A friend of mine that works in Earth Sciences over at Menlo Park said:

"the next 8 years will be an 'E' Coupon ride and then REAL weather disasters (e.g. hyper hurricanes*) will start."



*500 mph winds

Jinzang said...

Mysti,

First, on the subject of Apple, they are still very much in the computer business and will be so as long as they are in business. Phones, mp3 players, etc. are synched to a home computer and Apple would be crippled without a presence there.

Second, my belief in homeopathy, is not mere belief. it is based on my personal experience using homeopathy. It is exactly the same as my belief in meditation. If I had waited the usual important people to tell me meditation works, I would still be waiting. And the same is true for homeopathy, even more so, as it competes with the most profitable industry in America, except for the oil business. Expect a backlash against meditation, yoga, etc. when doctors start to suggest patients use it instead of drugs.

Anonymous said...

mysterion said: "A friend of mine that works in Earth Sciences over at Menlo Park said:

"the next 8 years will be an 'E' Coupon ride and then REAL weather disasters (e.g. hyper hurricanes*) will start."

*500 mph winds"

Hahahaha mysterion.. The funny things you silly Californians want to believe! 500 mph winds?? You sound like Harold Camping!

Show us the science or keep your ludicrous beliefs in the Bay Area.

Anonymous said...

brad, your book's title is Joshu Sasaki's quote! I hope you truly will give the credit to him!

Anonymous said...

Mysti,

You love to tell us how you are a non-believer when the truth is your faith and belief put most xtians to shame. It's too funny!

Dean Taciuch said...

Anon, I came up with the title in the mid 80s. Brad stole it from me without permission or accreditation.

http://www.discogs.com/artist/Dean+Taciuch

Anonymous said...

Spent my days with a woman unkind, Smoked my stuff and drank all my wine. Made up my mind to make a new start, Going To California with an aching in my heart.
Someone told me there's a girl out there with love in her eyes and flowers in her hair. Took my chances on a big jet plane, never let them tell you that they're all the same. The sea was red and the sky was grey, wondered how tomorrow could ever follow today.
The mountains and the canyons started to tremble and shake
as the children of the sun began to awake.

Seems that the wrath of the Gods
Got a punch on the nose and it started to flow; I think I might be sinking. Throw me a line if I reach it in time I'll meet you up there where the path runs straight and high.

To find a queen without a king,
They say she plays guitar and cries and sings... la la la
Ride a white mare in the footsteps of dawn. Tryin' to find a woman who's never, never, never been born. Standing on a hill in my mountain of dreams, Telling myself it's not as hard, hard, hard as it seems.

mekong46 said...

Troma! Zen Troma, ha ha only in Los Angeles!

Dean Taciuch said...

I would like some credit for coming up with the title "There Is No God And He Is Your Creator" over twenty years ago. I copyrighted the phrase and have a song by that title.

I will be talking to my lawyer.

http://www.discogs.com/artist/Dean+Taciuch

Anonymous said...

"Thete Is No God And He Is Your Creator" is such an uninspired, non-creative title that I think Brad would prevail in a case filed by Sasaki or Dean, under the unoriginal works exception to copyright.

Anonymous said...

There is no Brad and he is a writer.

Mysterion said...

Anonymous said...
"There is no Brad and he is a writer."

very good...

There is no Anonymous, but he.she/they post comments.

re: Hyper-Hurricanes and the like...

"wait, and see."

The proof is in the pudding*.

Cheers,

Chas

*conventional wisdom from the days 'home-making' was taught in high school.

Anonymous said...

The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

Anonymous said...

Brad has actually used the quote "There is no God and he is your creator" in previous books, and credited it to Sasaki, and so I have no doubt he'll give the man credit. As for these other claims...sorry guys.

Anonymous said...

I am an intellectual property lawyer and I think that Dean Taciuch has a valid claim. I would imagine that Brad's publisher will not allow this book to go through with its working title.

Anonymous said...

mysterion said: "re: Hyper-Hurricanes and the like...
"wait, and see." The proof is in the pudding*."

mysterion, I don't hate to say it but that was very weak comeback. You have no proof for your belief based comments. You are a typical belief based person. Worse than a liar, you spread your illogical beliefs.

Jinzang said...

I am an intellectual property lawyer and I think that Dean Taciuch has a valid claim. I would imagine that Brad's publisher will not allow this book to go through with its working title.

You can't copyright a title.

Jinzang said...

Sam Harris's The Moral Landscape is really good.

I hope this was said in jest. The man clearly slept through his college philosophy classes.

Jinzang said...

In case my comment about Sam Harris's book seems a little sharp, read this Amazon review.

Anonymous said...

In Sasaki Roshi's book Buddha Is the Center of Gravity, put out in the 70s, he says, quote, "There is no God and he is your creator." That would preempt Dean's claim, if indeed you could copyright a few lines that would constitute a title, which as Jinzang pointed out, you can't. In any event, Dean had a great title for what I'm sure is a great song (I haven't listened to it yet), Sasaki Roshi had a great line in a great book, and now Brad's got a killer title for his new book -- which I'm sure he is already writing the script adaptation for so that he and his director roomie can produce, the ambitious rascal...

Dean Taciuch said...

Jinzang said, "You can't copyright a title."

Wrong. I have the rights to that title. Copy written in 1987 as a piece of music. I have a limited duration monopoly of that title specified in Circular 50 under the heading “Collections of Music”.

Anonymous said...

Dean is going to OWN everything Brad has by the time this is all over.

Welcome to Dean Taciuch's Hardcore Zen™ motherfuckers!

Anonymous said...

mysterion is anon 5:43

Anonymous said...

I like Dark Dark meat.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

"I like Dark Dark meat."

That crosses a line. There is no place for racism on this blog outside of mysterion's comments. Please apologize so we can move on.

And, so does your Mom.

Mysterion said...

Wait, and see...

It's not a belief. It is a reasonable probability based on global warming trends and a high-resolution global climate model (computer projections).

Either way - or any other - is fine with me. I placed my bet* back in 1973 when I made the informed decision not to father any offspring (lest they suffer the consequences of gross overpopulation).

*a bet is based on probability

Anonymous said...

Dean, did you know that Sasaki's book wherein the quote first appears predates your copyright by a few decades? Great minds think alike, I guess.

Anonymous said...

"mysterion", what's wrong with dark dark meat?

Jinzang said...

The US Copyright Office says, "Copyright does not protect names, titles, slogans, or short phrases."

Anonymous said...

mysterion, you didn't make any informed decision not to father any offspring. That decision was made for you by GOD. Sorry to burst your bubble but you are not the one in control. There Is No God And He Is Your Creator and programmer.

Anonymous said...

The title of this blog entry is "Going to California." I'm telling Robert Plant. We'll see what he has to say.

Anonymous said...

Jinzang pasted, "The US Copyright Office says, "Copyright does not protect names, titles, slogans, or short phrases."

Introducing, Anon's Hardcore Zen! A Large Collection of Short (and Sequential) Phrases About Brad Warner and his Take on Zen. It has the same number of pages as Brad's HCZ, and costs a buck less.

Anonymous said...

And she said, hey ramblin' boy, why don't you settle down
LA can't be your kind of town
There ain't no gold and there ain't nobody like me
I'm the number one fan of the man from Ohi-eee.

Anonymous said...

From Minister To Atheist: A Story Of Losing Faith

http://www.npr.org/2012/04/30/151681248/from-minister-to-atheist-a-story-of-losing-faith

Anonymous said...

Jinzang said...

Second, my belief in homeopathy, is not mere belief. it is based on my personal experience using homeopathy. It is exactly the same as my belief in meditation. If I had waited the usual important people to tell me meditation works, I would still be waiting.


after he said

There is no cause and effect in physics. The laws of physics are acausal.

Therefore, homeopathy and meditation could not have caused any so-called "effects" that he may have experienced. The laws of physics, according to Jinzang, prove it.

But that's just my hypothesis.

Jinzang said...

Therefore, homeopathy and meditation could not have caused any so-called "effects" that he may have experienced. The laws of physics, according to Jinzang, prove it.

It would be more accurate to say there aren't any things that could participate in causation. So, there is no homeopathy and no meditation. And we were speaking of the viewpoint of Nagarjuna and the MMK, not of modern physics. But I'm sure you know that and were only joking, and I am just being tediously pedantic.

Anonymous said...

Jinzang said...
...and I am just being tediously pedantic.


Of course you are. You're almost as bad as Mysterion.

Mysterion said...

J:

I didn't say COMPUTER, I said DESKTOP.

I predict Apple will cease making Desktops on Q4 2014 (right after Xmas). iPads (for iPeriods), Netbooks, Notebooks, and Laptops will continue for perhaps another decade.

There are already $129 competitors for Apple's $500 iPad.

Apple was always really good at making overpriced under-performing memory hogs. They will, no doubt, continue to do so as long as there is a flock to be fleeced.

Anonymous said...

Futurama said it best about homeopathy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swDpWNKB5Co

Anonymous said...

The tragedy of that Futurama clip is that diluting that guy's degree in Homeopathic medicitne with a stream of water only makes it stronger...:3

Anonymous said...

Dean Taciuch said...

Anon, I came up with the title in the mid 80s. Brad stole it from me without permission or accreditation.

http://www.discogs.com/artist/Dean+Taciuch

Dean, See this from Brad's blog. “In any case, I am now completely mortified by what has happened with regard to the title of the book. I am truly sorry for having accidentally copped your title. It wasn't meant to confuse the marketplace. It was just due to my own ignorance that this occurred.”

Anonymous said...

Jinzang said...
And we were speaking of the viewpoint of Nagarjuna and the MMK, not of modern physics.


That is not, at all, an accurate assessment of your previous comment. First you wrote about cause and effect solely from the perspective of your understanding of the laws of physics:

There is no cause and effect in physics. The laws of physics are acausal. Otherwise, they couldn't be time invariant. And the laws of physics are not deterministic. That's what all the fuss about quantum mechanics is about.

At the end of the same comment you added a statement that Buddhism in general, and Nagarjuna in particular, essentially agrees with physics:

From the Buddhist point of view cause and effect is an illusion. Don't you recall the first chapter of the MMK?

But that does not contradict, nor is there any ambiguity in, the sentence "There is no cause and effect in physics."

Jinzang said...

But that does not contradict, nor is there any ambiguity in, the sentence "There is no cause and effect in physics."

Oh. There isn't cause and effect in Physics because it's based on conservation laws, which are time reversible. Cause and effect laws are not time reversible. You can't interchange cause and effect.

If you believe that everything is ultimately physics, and most arguments against free will seem to assume that, that blows a pretty big hole in your argument.

Anonymous said...

"We must believe in free will - we have no choice." Isaac Bashevis Singer

Anonymous said...

the hardcore-zen audiobook, just wondering when it will be sold out.. nice piece of work..!

Mysterion said...

The Second Law of Thermodynamics has a great deal to do with cause and effect.

understanding of the Bernoulli effect

You may be wrong or I might be wrong or - the better choice - we might BOTH be wrong.

Anonymous said...

I think I may have figured out how Brad really pays his bills.
Brad moved back to Ohio last year. Today, the FBI arrested 5 alleged anarchists who allegedly planned to blow up an alleged bridge in Ohio with the help of a paid FBI informant who allegedly infiltrated or recruited them last October. Now, Brad is planning to move back to California to live with someone named Pirooz Kalayeh. Ever since 9/11, the FBI has been constantly investigating and entrapping people with names like "Pirooz Kalayeh".
Watch your back, Pirooz. Heed the warning of that great Muslim freedom fighter Admiral Ackbar. "It's a trap."

Mysterion said...

there is something awfully wrong about being right - politically

Anonymous said...

Mysterion said...

"there is something awfully wrong about being right - politically"

anonymous said...

"there is something awfully right about being nondualistic - politically"

Loveless said...

blah blah blah

Moni said...

about cause and effect

http://www.dogensangha.org/downloads/Pdf/Lecture2.PDF

anon #108 said...

Cause and effect may be an illusion at the quantum level. But it's surely a fact at the macro level. Why prefer one level, one truth, to another?

anon #108 said...

("String theory...." is not an answer.)

Anonymous said...

Cause and effect may be an illusion at the quantum level. But it's surely a fact at the macro level. Why prefer one level, one truth, to another?

Apparently some people prefer to be "tediously pedantic" and "unjustifiably condescending". It's probably because of that pesky old "ego" again.

Anonymous said...

The biggest problem with preferring one level of "reality" to another is that what is "true" at one level may not be "true" at a different level. What makes quantum physics so startling and difficult to grasp is how much it differs from classical physics which conform with human observations. But that does not mean that everything in classical physics is wrong and obsolete.

Anonymous said...

"While physics aims to discover universal laws, its theories lie in explicit domains of applicability. Loosely speaking, the laws of classical physics accurately describe systems whose important length scales are greater than the atomic scale and whose motions are much slower than the speed of light. Outside of this domain, observations do not match their predictions."...and vice versa.
Wikipedia (stop making that face)

Cool diagram.

Anonymous said...

Dan Savage discusses bible at High School Journalism convention

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alXxsKLVofM

Moni said...

I like the metaphor of the pearl on a razor`S edge in that lecture I linked before. And also when Nishijima Roshi says that even though we can be free in the moment, we should not be so arrogant to think that we are standing above the laws of cause and effect (compared to everyday people who are less than us and for them those laws still exist).

Clamato said...

As long as you conceptualize yourself as different from "everyday people who are less than us" you have fallen on the razor and cut your pearl self in half.

Huang Po said...

The One Mind alone is the Buddha, and there is no distinction between the Buddha and sentient things, but that sentient beings are attached to forms and so seek externally for Buddhahood.

Moni said...

@Clamato i agree, just wrote the same what you said now

seekr said...

Hey Brad,

I found This spiritual program online which seems pretty interesting but I'm not sure if it's something I should follow through on it. If you have a moment to peek at it, could you give me your take on the 'sincerity level'?

Thanks,
seekr

anon #108 said...

Hi Moni,

Thanks for linking the article. Many of the questions at the end about the pear/razor metaphor are my questions too. And Gudo answers don't satisfy me.

I once put to Gudo on his blog that his metaphor does nothing to explain the free-will v determinism problem. In fact, it can be read as a confirmation of determinism: What determines whether the pearl falls to the left or the right - or whether it falls at all? If causes and conditions, then no free will. For free will to play a part there has to be an unconditioned agent acting on the pearl, outside of cause and effect, choosing to push the pearl one way or other. Gudo agreed that an agent was necessary to cause the pearl to fall one way or the other. So the question remains: What is this agent, this thing that does the choosing, and how is it able freely to control its environment?"

anon #108 said...

...even if the razor edge is very thin indeed, there is still an event - movement - occurring. Gudo's metaphor doesn't help me understand how any movement, any event in time/space can happen outside of cause and effect.

- Unless Gudo's very thin razor's edge is the quantum level? But I am not a quantum pea. The metaphor doesn't relate to the macro level and human experience, so...

anon #108 said...

pea/pear?/pearl.

Moni said...

@anon

yes, we might have our own interpretations when we read this article for example. My own with really simple words is the following: life "happens" and according to Buddhist practice we should live consciously and our actions should be in accordance with our Buddhist values.

I do not think that it is possible to be conscious in every moment, but there are moments when we recognize the possibility of free choice and are aware of that we have a chance to make a choice through choosing our action and acting according to that at the same time (pearl right or left).

Even though Buddhism is stressing the importance of the existence in the moment, somehow our human nature is still storing memories and we have thoughts towards the future and I do not think so that any of us can live only 100% in the present moment. The people who know us remind us of the past, if we park the car in a wrong place we have to pay the parking fine afterwards etc. Even if we would like to live in the present moment only, social rules, personal relationships, people remembering what we did etc. are most of the time generating the laws of cause and effect around us and we do the same with ourselves.

Like we can not separate ourselves from a world, but with the right choice in the present moment we have the power to influence the law of cause and effect through compassion, forgiving etc etc.

anon #108 said...

So for you The Razor and the Pearl is a kind of parable? Fair enough. People are different, for sure. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hardcore Zen the Movie by Troma Entertainment. I would watch that!

Regarding free will and the cause and effect, it’s all good and fancy till you remember that according to current understanding of how things stand, the universe is not deterministic.

john e mumbles said...

I've been trying to think of other catch-phrase titles Brad might use for future books. Any help is welcome, please post suggestions here. So far I have come up with one title:

OH MY GOD, WHERE'S THE BABY? (subtitle:) No Room For Mindfulness In Zen

Anonymous said...

God Shit The Bed

Anonymous said...

hey 108, do you live near Bristol? My friend Anna is playing the last show on the uk tour there tonight with her band and could use some old school support!

anon #108 said...

Annabella Lwin?!!! Off of Bow Wow Wow?!!! I live in London, anon, so can't be there. But when you see her, tell her Malcolm thinks they were truly fine.

Anonymous said...

A Zen Master, because of samadhi addiction, get severe neurosis and went to psychotherapist:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/26/magazine/26zen-t.html

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Dean Taciuch said...

I just stumbled across this in Google. I am Dean Taciuch, and you can use the title.