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Kevin Thornley


During the days at 77th Street, I didn't write much about Zenarchy, but I contemplated the notion of a periodical by that name. I was experiencing considerable frustration over lack of editorial freedom as managing editor of the libertarian newsletter. My fascination with the counter-culture was not shared by the publisher. But then nearly everything was getting on my nerves by the middle of the summer.

Degenerating under police pressure and media hoop-de-la, the hip culture was becoming steadily more difficult to defend as my enthusiasm for promoting it increased. Smog-ridden Los Angeles with its maze of freeways kept bringing to mind Timothy Leary's advice to "turn on, tune in, drop out". (Or as Camden was to phrase it: "fly up, freak out, fuck off".)

Everyone was saying urban existence was not for heads. I was turned on and I fancied that I was tuned in, so I began making jaunts to the woods to see what smoking a number there was like. A whole new drug experience seemed to result in nature's universal living room - both overwhelming and comfortable.

As did many before and after me, I searched for a place to live in the outskirts of Los Angeles - only to discover there were none. Expensive hill property or desert comprised the major alternatives to the megalopolis. So my wife, Cara, and I decided to sell our Volkswagen and use the money to move to Florida. Our ultimate aim was to purchase or build a houseboat and plunge into the Everglades.

As it happened, we never got any farther in the direction of unspoiled wilderness than a cottage on a farm near Tampa, Florida. Then, I got a job across the bay and we moved into town. At least there was no smog.

After becoming immersed in the writings of Chuang Tzu - the only person in history besides Diogenes whose reincarnation I would care to be - I began publishing a sporadic newsletter in flyleaf format called Zenarchy. Principally this was to keep in touch with my California friends.

Usually I would type up a page or two when the mood suited me, paste a dingbat or two swiped from another publication between blurbs, and then pay the local offset printer to run off two or three hundred copies.

My original ambition in California had been for a monthly or quarterly journal, but the sparse format proved serendipitous. Most of my friends were inspired to begin issuing newsletters of equally simple design, stimulating their friends in turn to do the same. In the early Seventies there emerged a whole network of one-person journalistic efforts, most of them well worth the reading.

Following are portions of the Zenarchy broadsides, beginning with the August 19, 1968 issue published in Tampa:

ZEN is Meditation. ARCHY is Social Order. ZENARCHY is the Social Order which springs from Meditation.

As a doctrine, it holds Universal Enlightenment a prerequisite to abolition of the State, after which the State will inevitably vanish. Or - that failing - nobody will give a damn.

"Having said that zen study is knowing yourself, the roshi went on: In America you have democracy, which means for you government of the people, by the people, and for the people. I in my turn am bringing democracy to Japan. You cannot have democracy until people know themselves. The Chinese said that government was unnecessary and they were right. When people know themselves and have their own strength, they do not need government. Otherwise they are just a mob and must be ruled. On the other hand, when rulers do not know themselves, they push the people around. When you do not know yourself, you busy yourself with other people. Zen study is just a matter of getting your own feet on the ground." (from Matter of Zen by Paul Wienpahl, New York University Press, 1964)


STONED SERMON #1: Dogen's Hole Editar

Having as little as possible to do with the powerful - that was Dogen's splendid Way of Buddhas and Patriarchs. So when one of his followers accepted for his Zendo a gift of land from a grateful Regent whom Dogen had instructed, the fool was driven by the master from the monastery.

Moreover, Dogen ordered the portion of floor where the erring monk customarily sat in zazen torn out - and in the earth beneath it he had his students dig a six-foot-deep hole.

Zenarchy is new in name alone. Not only is it the Bastard Zen of America which has grown to flower over the recent decades in nearly everybody's pot - it is the heretofore nameless streak that zig-zags back through the Zen Tradition, weaving with delirious defiance in and out of various sects and schools - slapping the face of an Emperor here, rejecting a high office there, throwing a rule-blasting koan at a bureaucrat elsewhere - and coming to rest finally in the original true words of Lao Tzu (from a translation in Laotzu's Tao and Wu-wei by Dwight Goddard, Thetford, Vermont, 1939): "When the world yields to the principle of Tao, its race horses will be used to haul manure; when the world ignores Tao, war horses are pastured on the public common."

Nevertheless, there was never a greater Zenarchist than old Dogen Zenji - for in that astounding hole of his can be found a monument to Freedom as enduring as the very Void.

Such gentle tolerance as he displayed is a rare thing, too, in the world of men and Buddhas. But then his Compassion for the foolish monk was no doubt boundless, as befits an Enlightened One.

That was followed by a September 4, 1968, flyleaf titled "QUOTATIONS FROM CHAIRMAN LAO" containing these statements from Lao Tzu:

"It is taught in books of strategy: 'Never be so rash as to open hostilities; always be on the defense at first.' Also: 'Hesitate to advance an inch but be always ready to retreat a foot.' In other words, it is wiser even in war to depend upon craft and skill instead of force."

"When well-matched armies come to conflict, the one which regrets the need for fighting always wins."

"The good commander strikes a decisive blow, then stops. He does not dare assert and complete his mastery. He will strike the blow, but will guard against becoming arrogant. For he strikes from necessity, and not out of a zest for victory."

"Both arms and armor are unblessed things. Not only do men come to detest them - but a curse seems to follow them. Therefore, the True Man avoids depending upon arms."

"I am teaching what others have taught - that the powerful and aggressive seldom come to natural deaths. But I make this wisdom the basis of my whole outlook."

"If one attempts to govern either himself or another, he is sure to become frustrated. For it will seem that whatever he tries to grasp, slips away. The Sage makes no such attempts, makes no failures, has nothing to lose - is therefore at peace with himself."

"He who wants to take over the country and remake it under his own reforming plans will fail. 'Mankind' is an abstract concept that cannot be remade after one's own ideas. Under any system of reform, a ruler must make use of different, real-life people - some as they seem and some not, some who will assist and others who will resist, some strong and some brittle and unsafe to rely on. That is why the Sage never tries to take over things and reform man, but is instead content to reform himself - letting others follow his example, but never forcing them."

"Nothing is more fragile, yet of all the agencies that attack hard substances nothing excels water. Likewise, the powerless can wear down the mighty and the gentle survive the strong. (Everyone knows this but few can practice it.) So the Sage accepts the disgrace of his country and in so doing becomes a true patriot; he is patient under the misfortunes of his cause and is therefore worthy to lead it." (Translated from the Tao Teh Ching of Lao Tzu by Ho Chi Zen.)

Appearing promptly on September 16, 1968, the next Zenarchy began with a verse from a poem I had written just before the 1967 Easter Love-In:

Come and play the poet game with me! Let's call out the cries of anarchy! Let's be happy; let's be soft, and free; Come and play the game of liberty.

"Totalitarian states, however, know the danger of the artist. Correctly, if for the wrong reasons, they know that all art is propaganda, and that art which does not support their system must be against it. They know intuitively that the artist is not a harmless eccentric but one who under the guise of irrelevance creates and reveals a new reality. If, then, he is not to be torn to pieces like Orpheus in the myth, the liberated artist must be able to play the countergame and keep it as well hidden as the judo of Taoism and Zen. He must be able to be 'all things to all men', for as one sees from the history of Zen any discipline whatsoever can be used as a way of liberation - making pots, designing gardens, arranging flowers, building houses, serving tea, and even using the sword; one does not have to advertise oneself as a psychotherapist or guru. He is the artist in whatever he does, not just in the sense of doing it beautifully, but in the sense of playing it. In the expressive lingo of the jazz world, whatever the scene, he makes it. Whatever he does, he dances it - like a Negro bootblack shining shoes. He swings." (from Psychotherapy East and West by Alan Watts, Random House, 1961)

Spin your inhibitions off and see Flowers in your heart and let them be. (Come and play the poet game with me!)


STONED SERMON #2: The Way of Play Editar

It is no coincidence that the cultural currents of Zen and Anarchism immediately joined when Zen came to the West. For nowhere in recent Western history is the life of the Eastern renunciate more closely paralleled than in that of the dedicated revolutionary, forsaking all attachments for a single goal. And no Eastern sage comes closer to the zestful life sense of the Anarchist than the Zen Master.

But the deeper fruits of this union, speaking at least with reference to the Anarchist, are yet to be realized. What Zen has most to offer Anarchism is freedom HERE AND NOW. No longer need the Anarchist dream of a utopian millennium as he struggles to outwit the State - for he can find freedom in the contest, by simply knowing that freedom is everywhere for those who dance through life, rather than crawl, walk, or run.

For if a man has renounced inward ownership of property, renounced possessive attachment to his loved ones, and is cheerfully detached from time, with no fear or hope for what the future might bring - he is immune to all threats and pleadings of any State in the world. On the streets or in prison - indeed, on his very way to execution - he can play!

That is, he can become aware of his true nature as a player in the cosmic maya game, and can therefore openhandedly let his karma play itself out. He can blend with the life forces around him, as a dancer to his music, and prance boldly into the collage of events - with no fears, no regrets, and no compromises - turned on, tuned in, and made One.

Come and cry the cries of anarchy! Running through the streets of history, Let's be happy; let's be nice, and free.

"In the year 326 the persecution of the Christian ceases. Emperor Constantine becomes a Christian and raises the Christian Church to become the State Church. Christianity, which for three hundred years had borne a shining fruit in the darkness of the catacombs, could blossom on the surface. The Christian is liberated from the permanent fear of death. The church of the early community, whose power lay in prayer and the formation of the ascetic personality irradiated by Christ, becomes now a power which also carries weight in the world. Dogma is fixed, wonderful churches are built, the magnificent liturgy develops. But the face of the Christian alters. Where formerly a Christian was a Christian, now he is Everyman. Where formerly there had been a community of saints, now saints become more and more rare in the community. They flee into solitude, to prayer, meditation and need of union with God. Thus in the fourth century ends the wonderful experience of a closeness to God, a bringing down of heaven to earth, a general spiritualization of the cosmos with healing divine forces, a joyousness and peace which we can no longer imagine, because the organs to understand and experience these conditions are blocked." (from Meditation and Mankind by Vladimir Lindenberg, Rider and Co., London)

Come and play the childhood game, and be! Oh the peace you'll know, the ecstasy! Spin your inhibitions off and see! Come and play the poet game with me.

As you can see, in spirit I was still issuing invitations to Love-Ins. That was my gospel, and in no way was it intended to be taken the least bit esoterically. Authoritarian psychology was also of interest to me, for it was our failure to make appropriate psychological warfare against the bureaucratic mentality that was our undoing in California. So I addressed myself to that issue in the October 5, 1968, Zenarchy, briefly, as follows:

HOW TO REASON WITH THE AUTHORITIES

"Hold up!" said an elderly rabbit at the gap. "Six pence for the privilege of passing by the private road!" He was bowled over in an instant by the impatient and contemptuous Mole, who trotted along the side of the hedge chaffing the other rabbits as they peeped hurriedly from their holes to see what the row was about. "Onion-sauce! Onion-sauce!" he remarked jeeringly, and was gone before they could think of a thoroughly satisfactory reply. Then they all started grumbling at each other, "How STUPID you are! Whey didn't you tell him --" "Well, why didn't you say --" "You might have reminded him--" and so on, in the usual way; but, of course, it was then much too late, as is always the case. (from Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, The Heritage Press, 1944-66)

Shun proposed to resign the throne to Shan Chuan, who said, "I am a unit in the midst of space and time. In winter I wear skins and furs; in summer, grass-cloth and linen; in spring I plough and sow, my strength being equal to the toil; in autumn I gather my harvest, and am prepared to cease labor and eat. At sunrise I get up and work; at sunset I rest. So do I enjoy myself between heaven and earth, and my mind is content: --why should I have anything to do with the throne? Alas! that you, Sir, do not know me better!" Thereupon he declined the proffer, and went away, deep among the hills, no man knew where. --Chuang Tzu (from Volume II of The Texts of Taoism, translated by James Legge, Dover Publications, 1962)

In the October 21, 1968, edition of Zenarchy I followed this thinking a step further, stressing now the positive aspects in this way:

The Only Solution Is a Yin Revolution

"What is really being said is that intelligence solves problems by seeking the greatest simplicity and the least expenditure of effort, and it is thus that Taoism eventually inspired the Japanese to work out the technique of judo - the easy or gentle Tao (do)." (from Psychotherapy East and West by Alan Watts, Random House, 1961)

"The True men of old waited for the issues of events as the arrangement of Heaven, and did not by their human efforts try to take the place of Heaven." --Chuang Tzu (from the Texts of Taoism by James Legge, Dover Publications, 1962)

"It is interesting in this connection to recall Dr. Reich's distinction between matriarchy and patriarchy, as given in The Mass Psychology of Fascism. According to Dr. Reich, work-democracy and self-regulation of primary drives were characteristics of primitive matriarchy, and both were destroyed by the rise of authoritarian patriarchy. Recent anthropology has cast doubt on the existence of the 'primitive matriarchy,' but, as G. Rattray Taylor shows in his Sex in History, there can be little doubt that cultures do show more Matrist tendencies in some periods of their development, and more Patrist tendencies at other periods. Patrist periods are characterized by sexual repression, limitation of freedom for women, political authoritarianism, fear of spontaneity, worship of a Father God, etc. Matrist periods, on the other hand, are characterized by sexual freedom, high status for women, political democracy, spontaneity, worship of a Mother Goddess, etc. This agrees with Dr. Reich's picture of the distinction between Patriarchy and Matriarchy.

"Chapter 6 of the Tao Teh Ching says:

The valley spirit never dies She is called the Eternal Female

"According to Needham, Blakney and other Sinologists, this Eternal Female is the goddess of pre-Chou China forgotten by the conventions of the Patrist Chou State and official Confucian philosophy. Blakney considers the early Taoists to have been recruited from peasants who remembered the Shang State and its Matrist orientation." (from "Lao-Tse and Wilhelm Reich, Prophets of Inner Freedom" by Robert Anton Wilson in the September 1963 issue of A Way Out, School of Living, Brookville, Ohio)

"The True men of old did not reject (the views of) the few; they did not seek to accomplish (their ends) like heroes (before others); they did not lay plans to attain those ends. Being such, though they might make mistakes, they had no occasion for repentance; though they might succeed, they had no self-complacency. Being such, they could ascend to the loftiest heights without fear; they could pass through water without being made wet by it; they could go into fire without being burnt; so it was that by their knowledge they ascended to and reached the Tao." -- Chuang Tzu (from the Texts of Taoism by James Legge, Dover Publications, 1962)

So Follow the Way Of the True Men of Old: Find Shade in the Summer; Grow Fur in the Cold.

This was followed by a portrait of the archetypal counter-cultural woman drawn exclusively from my old New Orleans French Quarter friend, Loy Ann Camp. Therein I compared her to the woman in Bob Dylan's song of whom he says, "She's got everything she needs; she's an artist; she don't look back..." For in the most literal sense Loy, like so many of the hip females of the early Sixties, was an artist by profession who was "nobody's child" and who never stumbled because she had no place to fall - a perfect balance of gentleness and strength. Like a waiter I once met who acquired a reputation as a karate expert because he slipped and kicked his opponent just as he was beginning to get in a fight, I inadvertently gave the impression that I knew what I was talking about - at least in relation to what I have since gathered about intelligence community secret societies based upon matriarchy, etc. Since, in order to add a sense of universality to the image of the modern-day Eternal Female, I did not mention Loy by name, many people seem to have assumed that I understood the deeper levels of Dylan's lyrics, up to and including who he was really singing about. As a matter of fact, I assumed it was Joan Baez. Here is what I had to say:

INCARNATIONS: Everything She Needs

"And upon this day I say unto you: Each Sentient Being is an Incarnation of Me, and whosoever upon hearing this Truth shall come to know it, is blessed; and twice-blessed are they who shall be unable again to forget it; but thrice-blessed is that Man or Woman who needed never to be told." --Visitations 13:5 The Honest Book of Truth

You know her. We all do. Anyone who has ever lived in the Haight or North Beach or Taos or Old Town or the French Quarter or the East Village or anyplace like that has met her, because that's where she belongs, and she knows it from childhood.

She has a horsey angular face and long straight hair and is dedicated to her art, whatever it may be. Bob Dylan had to be thinking about her when he wrote that song about how "She's got everything she needs; she's an artist; she don't look back..."

So serene is this chick that everybody wants her - for friend, lover or just to have around - and it is that serenity which so transcends her features (that on everyone else would be homely), making her the center flower in every bouquet of Beautiful People.

Usually she hangs out with heads. Not because she is necessarily a head herself, though she may or may not blow a little pot, but because she has that thing about her - that cool. And she never goes around boasting about not needing a crutch to get there (and thereby revealing a far greater dependency than anyone ever develops for drugs). But you know she's turned on by her ways - just watch her pet a cat!

I used to sit up all night with her once in awhile. She'd sketch and I'd write. Maybe between us we'd have a dime and so we would buy a coffee or Coke and relax in a place where they didn't care how long we sat around. When our asses got numb, we'd go for a walk and go up and sit on her balcony in the summer night air.

No matter what her name is, her voice is always soft - except when she expels that hyena laugh. And then it doesn't matter because what she is laughing about is really very funny.

She is so thin and frail, and you think her blood must be ten degrees cooler than yours. You worry about her because you know that she is a poor judge of character, accepting as friend everyone who comes along, no matter how bad their scene. This gets her into an occasional creepy situation and sometimes puts her through some drastic changes. But when it is all over, you feel silly that you got uptight, because she'll be the same as before.

Maybe some night when you're talking, she'll tell you that the squaw boat, made from hide stretched over a light wooden frame, is the safest way to go - because in a storm that'll sink the mighty battleship, the little saucer-like vessel just rocks up over the biggest waves and down again on the other side.

In the next Zenarchy newsletter, I decided to be cute. Here is the entire content of the November 25, 1968, edition:


STONED SERMON #3: The Dharma Made Simple Editar

Our text for today is a quotation from Chun Chou which appears in The Zen Teaching of Huang Po (Grove Press, 1959): "Stepping into the public hall, His Reverence said: Having many sorts of knowledge cannot compare with giving up seeking for anything, which is best of all things. Mind is not of several kinds and there is no Doctrine which can be put into words. As there is no more to be said, the assembly is dismissed!"

There followed a page and a half of blank paper.

As Christmas was nearing, I decided with the December 1, 1968, issue that it was time to say a thing or two about Jesus. What follows continues to this day to seem to me an accurate representation of the personality that comes through when I read the Gospels:


STONED SERMON #4: Laughing Buddha Jesus Editar

In his book, Zen Catholicism (Harcourt, Brace & World, 1963), the Benedictine monk, Dom Aelred Graham, says: "The word 'Buddha' means simply the 'Enlightened One'; so understood, there have been many 'Buddhas'. As Dr. Edward Conze points out: 'In the official theory, the Buddha, 'the Enlightened', is a kind of archetype which manifests itself in the world in different personalities, whose individual particulars are of no account whatsoever.' From this point of view, Jesus of Nazareth would undoubtedly be accorded the title 'Buddha', since He is revealed, according to St. John, as both uniquely 'Enlightened' and the 'Enlightener'."

Moreover, the Edgar Cayce readings (quoted in Many Mansions by Gina Cerminara, New American Library, 1967) inform us that "Those who walk closer with the Creative Forces should indeed be full of joy, pleasure, peace, and harmony within," and that "the principle of the Christ life is joyous!" "Remember," they urge, "He laughed - even on the way to Calvary - not as so often pictured; He laughed." Yea: "This is what angered them the most." So: "Cultivate the ability to see the ridiculous and retain the ability to laugh."

Wow! Can you dig that Jesus was a Buddha? Can you grok a laughing Savior? A Zen Buddha from Nazareth?

Nothing is more heretical. Nothing is more treasonous. Jesus had a sense of humor. That idea will destroy Western Civilization as we know it.

Come, brothers. Come, sisters. Let's all join hands and enter the Church Invisible of the Laughing Christ. Let's all join hands and find the Hidden Temple of the Happy Jesus. Let's all join hands and giggle.

Another Zenarchy flyleaf did not appear until May of 1970. By that time we had moved to Atlanta, but it concerned an experience in California in 1967. One night as I sat in the half-lotus position stoned on grass and listening to an Indian raga, my eyes rolled up behind my eyebrows, the images I saw enacted the following drama, which I now titled "BUMMER":

God appeared.

He looked off in three directions at once. His four arms flew out. Time to dance!

A display of Divine Majesty - lightning steaks, planets on His fingertips - a Cosmic Juggler, moving so fast He became a still pattern, humming. (Like a rock whirling on the end of a string becomes a ring or a fast-spinning wagon wheel turns into a disc.)

Then -- disintegration! A skull-headed machine gunner popping people open.

I fear. Drop out - down into the body. Into a cell. Cell. With rats underneath! Or worse - reptilian rats, gnawing upward.

Fangs of steel break through the floor.

The floor is a door.

And I am a poor Jew, clinging to the wall.

The door gave way.

The drum was silent.

Outside was Nothing, the Void.

Hung Mung, laughing madly, turned my way and said:

"There is no enemy - A N Y W H E R E."


A Character from Chuang Tzu, Hung Mung was just an embellishment. But the rest of it actually happened with the plot resolving itself precisely at the final drum beat of the raga. In those days I was doing a lot of LSD and, as any head will attest, acid heightens the marijuana experiences that occur immediately afterwards. Rolling the eyeballs back enhances your ability to perceive internal images in psychedelic states of consciousness, as simply pressing them with your fingers - applying pressure against your closed eyelids - will also do. Such images are a natural phenomena of consciousness and are to be seen, albeit less vividly, in ordinary states of mind. But that was the only time they ever enacted a drama for me as well plotted as a nocturnal dream!

In July of 1970 I published a parting shot before turning my attention as a Zenarchist to politics. Aimed at the excessive seriousness that by then was transforming the open-minded spirituality of the hippies into a regular occult reich of competing and increasingly fanatical cults, this Zenarchy was titled "LILA YOGA", meaning: the discipline of play:

Laughter is the Universal Salute of the Cosmic Mind. It is how the Mind greets Itself in Ten Thousand new Incarnations every moment. IT IS LOVE'S LOUDEST VOICE.

"Humor and cheerfulness not only do not interfere with the progress of meditation but actually contribute to it." --Meher Baba

"Humor is not sinful, unless it be cruelly directed against one who is helpless, honest, and sincere. When directed against hypocrisy, stupidity, and error, humor can be a flaming beautiful weapon in the cause of light and beauty.

"We must learn to love so deeply, widely and purely that our instincts for laughter will always be true ones, and our capacity for humor another facet of our joyous sense of power and being." --Gina Cerminara

"I shall be a tornado of laughter, toppling the timbers and towers of sorrow. Zooming over endless miles of mentalities, I shall demolish their troubles." --Paramahansa Yogananda

"Cultivate the ability to see the ridiculous, and retain the ability to laugh." --Edgar Cayce

"It is time to come to your senses. You are to live and learn to laugh. You are to listen to life's radio music and to reverence the spirit behind it and to laugh at the bim-bim in it. So there you are. More will not be asked of you." --Hermann Hesse

"In the year 1166 B.C., a malcontented hunchbrain by the name of Greyface got it into his head that the universe was as humorless as he, and he began to teach that play was sinful because it contradicted the ways of Serious Order. 'Look at all the order about you,' he said. And from that, he deluded honest men to believe that reality was a straitjacket affair and not the happy romance as men had known it.

"It is not presently understood why men were so gullible at that particular time, for absolutely no one thought to observe all the disorder around them and conclude just the opposite. But anyway, Greyface and his followers took the game of playing at life more seriously than they took life itself and were known even to destroy other living beings whose ways of life differed from their own.

"The unfortunate result of this is that mankind has since been suffering from a psychological and spiritual imbalance. Imbalance causes frustration, and frustration causes fear. And fear makes a bad trip. Man has been on a bad trip for a long time now.

"It is called the Curse of Greyface." --Malaclypse the Younger


LAUGHING BUDDHA JESUS STILL LOVES US ALL!





Unfortunately, the Meher Baba people and the Edgar Cayce enthusiasts and the Hermann Hesse fans of my acquaintance, as well as the Hare Krishnas and the Jesus freaks, not to mention the Paramahansa Yogananda devotees, were all victims of the Curse of Greyface. Worse, my Zenarchy about lila yoga did nothing at all to expand their personalities.

In this chapter I have used some words with which some of you maybe unfamiliar. So I'll explain what those terms mean as I also relate what I learned from publishing the Zenarchy newsletter.

Rational arguments alone, together with quotations from the arguments of others, are insufficient to transform "the human mind and everything that resembles it" - in the words of Andre Breton, the Surrealist - so in Zen there is zazen (sitting in meditation). As Gary Snyder points out this is a natural function of all higher mammals except for humans of the civilized variety. We might gather that it is therefore a manifestation of, as well as a means of attaining, unconditional consciousness. Cats and dogs are excellent examples, readily at hand, of animals who practice what the Zenji (Zen people) sometimes translate as "just sitting". Zazen is usually practiced in a Zendo (Zen center), and is particularly emphasized in the Soto sect.

Within the Rinzai sect more attention is paid to the koan (a paradox or riddle of sorts for contemplation), designed to stop the student short of a superficial understanding that goes in one ear and out the other without affecting the nervous system.

Nothing is less inclined to cultivate spontaneous gifts, of which humor and intellectual generosity partake, than pointing out to anyone their lack in that department and advising them to correct it. All it does is put them on the psychological defensive. For as Alan Watts said in Psychotherapy East and West, an essential ingredient of the countergame is tact - and I must admit that I am as tactless today as I was then, especially when it comes to lecturing and scolding those who do not display tact. As Watts also observes in that most valuable book, the one condition where spontaneity becomes next to absolutely impossible is when one person puts another on the line and orders them: "Be spontaneous!" Zen masters understand this, but they do it anyway - for the poor monk is likely to be in their clutches for a good many years and when he finally aquires the knack of responding unselfconsciously to an order like, "Show me your freedom!" he is absolutely free forever.

Another word I have used in both this and the first chapter is raga, a form of Hindu music that illustrates the balance of spontaneity and discipline, of chaos and order, that we are talking about very much as jazz music attains the same effect.

As propaganda, the Zenarchy flyleaves were very successful in preaching to the converted. And for that reason I guess they served a purpose in raising the morale of the people who already knew what I was talking about. After a student of Zen attains satori (enlightenment) it is necessary to undergo further training to become a master skilled in the art of transmission.


Zenarchy
Face of the Unborn The Birth of Zenarchy Son of Zenarchy



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