Talks by
Chogyam Trungpa
The Nature of Mind: Berkeley, Ca
May 11, 1971
(1 Talk - Audio)
Talk on Meditation in Davis, Ca
May 10, 1971
(1 Talk - Audio)
C.U. Talks
Jan/Feb 1971
(5 talks - Audio)
Karmapas: Holders of the Mahamudra Lineage
April 1976
(5 talks - Audio)
Practice of Meditation
January 1971
(5 talks - Audio)
Battle of Ego
December 1970
(7 talks - Audio)
Jewel Ornament of Liberation
July-August 1970
(17 talks - Audio)
One Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa
August 1970
(13 talks - Audio)
Meditation and the Buddhist Path
October 1970
(5 talks - Audio)
Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism
December 1970
(6 talks - Audio)
Zen and Tantra II
February 1974
(3 talks - Audio/Video)
Zen and Tantra I
January 1974
(4 talks - 4 Audio/3 Video)
Life and Teachings of Marpa
August 1973
(4 talks - 4 Audio/1 Video)
The Question of Reality/Don Juan Seminar
August 1973
(4 talks - Video)
Tibetan Buddhism and American Karma
October 1973 (1 talk - Video)
Tibetan Buddhism and American Karma
October 1973 (1 talk - Video)
True Meaning of Devotion
August 1973
(4 talks - 1 audio, 3 video)
Message of Milarepa
July 1973
(7 talks - 3 audio, 4 video)
The Open Way
May 1970
(1 talk - audio)
Work Sex Money: Seminar Three
April 1972
(3 talks - audio)
Work Sex Money: Seminar One
September 1970
(3 talks - audio)
Journey Without Goal
(14 talks - video)
Tibetan Buddhist Path
(14 talks - video)
Community Talks
Mindfulness and Awareness
(three talks - audio)
Cynicism & Warmth
(one talk - audio)
(one talk - audio)
Techniques of Mindfulness
(six talks - audio)
Milarepa and the origins of the Kagyu Lineage
(one talk - audio)
Training the mind
(6 talks - audio)
The Path of the Buddha
(6 talks - video)
Jamgon Kongtrul
(6 talks - audio)
Six States of Bardo
(9 talks - audio)

These recordings are from the Shambhala Archives audio and video recovery projects. @ 2009 by Diana J. Mukpo. Used here by arrangement with Lady Diana and the Shambhala archives. All rights reserved.

Talks by
Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche
Online audio and video presentations of CTR's lectures and seminars


These talks are presented in collaboration with the Shambhala Archives and the Chogyam Trungpa Legacy Project.

Thank you to the Shambhala Archives Audio Recovery Project for preserving these audio recordings of Chogyam Trungpa's teachings.

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Karme Choling: January 23, 1973

Listen to
Cynicism & Warmth


The following transcript of this talk is reprinted from Selected Community Talks. @ Diana J Mukpo. Used by permission of Diana Mukpo and Shambhala Media.

What I'm going to say tonight may be new or old. But disregarding the chronological background, we could look straight ahead in terms of spiritual practice.
It seems necessary in the beginning to develop some sense of an undoing process. This undoing process takes one general pattern, but with different shapes. The first style of undoing is simply unmasking what has been taught, what has been presented to you in terms of indoctrination. You set that aside or turn it off. But other times, although you would like to set that aside, to turn it off, it won't unstick. It hangs onto you like extremely powerful glue, stuck to you by suction. Then you have to use another means of undoing. You have to go so far as to perform an operation or use some kind of force. For the purpose of unmasking, that measure seems to be absolutely necessary.

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So there are two kinds of unmasking. The first unmasking process is extremely easy. You begin to realize that everything in your spiritual practice is repetitious and familiar. It doesn't make sense anymore. You've heard it over and over again. You've read it over and over again, and it doesn't make any sense at all. So you grow tired of it. But it's not quite enough that you grow tired of hearing the same things over and over again. You have to develop a defensive mechanism so you won't be tempted to listen over and over again--the second time or the third time or the fourth time. The mechanism of preventing yourself from doing the same thing over and over again is cynicism, the cynical attitude. You have to develop a satirical attitude towards spirituality in general, as well as towards your own particular school of thought. Whatever you have learned, whatever you have studied, is futile because the effect has begun to wear off. The only thing left is a corpse, a mask, purely an image hanging out, which has ceased to have life to it. So the cynical attitude is not only willingness to unmask but willingness to defend yourself from remasking. The point is that you are defending yourself from spiritual materialism so that you cannot be tricked again. You cannot remask in the same familiar pattern as before. You can't be conned again. So there is a clear perception and understanding of spiritual materialism, as well as having an offensive approach towards it.

The intellectual approach to spirituality is seemingly delightful, sensible, and convincing. The rhetoric of the preacher is beautiful. The beautiful smile of the love-and-lighty person is exceedingly sweet. Often there is a big flicker of thought that goes: "How could I reject this beautiful man, who is actually asking me to accept him and join him? How could I reject such a beautiful thing? This man is good, basically. He's spreading the message of goodness and has the invitation of a smile and everything, and he says, 'Join us, we are one.'" But your sense of cynicism triggers off a new sense of humor. At the beginning you see the sense of oneness that he's speaking of, but then you also begin to see that there is a reason why he said, "We are one." Because he thinks there is a possibility of two, he is denying the twoness of it, and therefore he says, "We are one." All kinds of cynical attitudes develop. And once the sharpness of your cynicism develops, it is extremely uncompassionate and powerful. You cannot miss noticing that seemingly naive goodness is full of holes.

... it's not so much that the doctrine has converted you, but that you have converted the doctrine into your own ego.

The second part of the unmasking process is more difficult. It's not easy to unmask: you have to use force to unstick, to unglue yourself. The reason why it is so ingrained is because you took it so faithfully, so completely; and something slipped into your system before you knew where you were. That kind of involvement comes from trusting enormously that such and such a spiritually materialistic trip will be able to save you. And you become part of some organization, some ingrown situation because: "I feel there is truth. The truth came to me. And my total being is part of that truth, I'm completely soaked in that truth, that particular structure of whatever." You don't realize that you have become a slave of that belief. And that makes it much harder, because there is less room for a sense of humor, since you are so honest and earnest. That whole system, that spiritual organization or philosophy, seeps into your system inside out, outside in. Because that system seems so helpful, unmasking is seen as almost a suicidal process of rejecting your blood system, your bones, your heart, your brain and everything. "How could I regard this as spiritual materialism, as just a trip, when the whole thing has become such an integral part of my existence?" Well, you may have made a tremendous relationship with something. Maybe it's true that you have found the path. But at the same time, what is this approach of, "It will be good for me."? What is this falling in love with something? If you look at the heart of that from a subtle point of view, the basic fact is that you have fallen into a gigantic trap of needing a rescuer, needing a savior. Also, you adopted the message of this particular doctrine to suit your own needs rather than hearing the doctrine as speaking the truth. You are a spokesman for the doctrine for your own sake; therefore you have manufactured the truth of the doctrine. So it's not so much that the doctrine has converted you, but that you have converted the doctrine into your own ego. Therefore it becomes an integral part of your being. Of course, at the same time there is a sense of separateness, that you are seeking various attainments: happiness, enlightenment, wisdom and so forth.
If you're told: "I think you're on some kind of trip. Why don't you relax the seriousness of it and develop some sense of humor, some cynicism?"--that becomes almost an insult. The obvious answer is, of course, "You don't know what I'm into, and therefore how could you say such a thing? You're tripping, not me. You are just a pure outsider who doesn't know the intensity of this integral feeling." But no matter how much of a layman the other person may be, there is still a grain of truth in his criticism.
At this point, a sense of humor has become a tremendous threat. Taking something lightly seems almost sacrilegious. But nevertheless, that sense of humor is the starting point of the ultimate kind of savior. You could develop an extraordinarilly cynical attitude when you begin to realize your own foolishness, then you can begin to turn around and see the whole plot: how you are sucked into this and used and how all the juice of your energy is taken out. And you see that your conviction and your approach to a savior and liberation are being distorted. All of this is because the teaching has taken advantage of you, rather than your relating to the teaching as a freeway or highway. And when you begin to realize that, you turn around completely and take the revengeful, cynical approach, extremely super-revengeful. You bounce everything back, and nothing is accepted. Everything is a world of cynicism. When someone says, "This is good for you", even that is questionable. If you are extremely thirsty, and before you even ask for anything, someone offers you some water, saying: "Would you like some water? I see your thirst." --you are extremely cynical. "Oh, Oh, there it goes again." You become extremely unyielding to any kind of help, any kind of forward gesture. You are like a highly paranoid squirrel, that is paranoid of the sound of its own chewing of nuts--as if somebody else were doing it.
You see, the psychological development is that at the beginning you are domesticated into this very snug, beautiful, and smelly stable or nest, which is very homey. You're thriving there and appreciating it, when someone tells you how dirty the place is--and you begin to have second thoughts about it. And when you begin to see that this message makes sense, you begin to react to everything the other way around completely. So then any suggestion, even to sit on a chair or get into any kind of comfortable situation, is also regarded as smelly and dirty. Now, ...instead of things being snug and cozy, they are very sharp and brittle. Things don't bend, they only chip.
Such a cynical approach is exceedingly powerful and, we could say, somewhat praiseworthy, but nevertheless you are being too harsh on yourself. You become so smart that you even exceed the smartness itself. At that point you begin to bite your own tail. In your cynicism, you are somewhat reliving the past, rather than approaching towards the future. So that cynicism is a kind of weakness: since you are so defensive and so extremely paranoid towards the rest of the world, you are afraid to create your own world. You may have been criticized by somebody else; in turn you are being critical towards others--you are all the time tiptoeing. It is such a heavy-handed approach.
At that point it is time to develop some element of warmth. That world of cynicism is not the only world, and, as we already know, creating a cozy nest is also not the only world. Other possibilities exist. There could be a world of complete warmth, and complete communication, which accomodates the cynical as well as the primitive mind. The world is not necessarily a big joke, but it is also not a big object to attack. So there is another area of newfound land, an entire continent that we haven't looked at, we haven't discovered. We might have found it, but we haven't looked at it. That is the world of mystical experiences. [Laughter.]
Mystical experience in this case has nothing to do with astral traveling or conjuring up ritual objects in your hand or turning the ceiling into the floor. Mystical experience in this case is discovering a hidden warmth--the larger version of home, the larger version of new realm. An analogy for that is the pure land that traditional buddhism talks about: the land of Amitabha, which is the land of the padma family. It is filled with padma-ness, richness. Everything is inviting, drawing in, seductive. But at the same time, that which makes this seduction different from samsaric seduction is the quality of spaciousness in it. The ordinary sense of seduction automatically suggests that you are trapped in a two-way journey: either you have to be sucked in or you have to reject it. But in this case, in the land of Padmapani or Amitabha, while there are possibilities of seduction everywhere, at the same time there are punctuations of space all over. So at least you can read the whole pattern intelligently.
You might say this is kind of a new phase. We seem to have gone from extreme cynicism to believing something, developing some kind of devotion, the bhakti approach. At some point the extremely cynical vajra-style approach becomes a process of eating your own body, biting your own tail again and again. You don't get anywhere. Whenever you feel comfortable, you have one more bite of your tail to make sure you are awake and critical. But in this case you are giving up that continual biting, that continual punishing of yourself. You let the snowflake fall on your head and melt. You do not just brush it off, but you let something relate to you. That does not mean that you have to con it, or to go forward and try to grasp it at all. You are simply accepting the existing situation. The idea of bhakti or the devotional approach is the same. It is not a question of developing faith in someone's mystical power or believing in some person as a savior, a magician. Instead, the idea is that you manufacture the whole world. And since you manufacture the whole world, you don't have to regard it as something bad, just because you made it. Why don't you manufacture a world that is okay? Get into your own dream, there is nothing bad about it. You are a manufacturer, you don't have to get imports from foreigners. Live your own production, enjoy your own production.

The whole approach here is that you have extremely adequate resources within yourself, whether you regard yourself as insane or sane. You have tremendous resources in any case. Whether you take advantage of your insanity or sanity is up to you.

There is a message coming out of all this. In other words, you can be kind to yourself. In that case, surrendering to a teacher or lineage is not shifting gears into a new approach. The lineage is an example, from this point of view. The lineage is an example of successive people surrendering to themselves and beginning to find the expression of the guru in themselves. And finally the expression of the guru in themselves turns into universality, naturally and automatically. It is not that you have a guru and then, because he can't give time to you or because he is too busy or distant physically and you can't communicate to him, deciding from sheer frustration to regard the universe as your guru.
There's a different way of looking at things, if you look very closely. The whole approach here is that you have extremely adequate resources within yourself, whether you regard yourself as insane or sane. You have tremendous resources in any case. Whether you take advantage of your insanity or sanity is up to you. Relating with the insanity is extremely powerful, mystical; and at the same time, relating with the sanity is mystical as well. So the approach here is that in going from extreme cynicism to warmth, finally you are not biting your own tail in order to keep awake. Instead you feel comfortable with your body and falling asleep. Not analyzing what kind of body you have, you are comfortably sleeping: huge tusks, big tail, fat belly or whatever.
QUESTION: Must one first go to the most extreme point of cynicism before some warmth can be injected into the attitude?
RINPOCHE: That cynicism seems to be necessary. It's like having to make your journey away from home. You make a journey of thousands of miles before you return home. Only then do you begin to realize that returning home means a lot to you. It is purely setting up a kind of idea, the right perspective. It seems inevitable and absolutely essential that you begin to confuse the little home and the larger home, the confused home of ordinary seduction and the universal home.
Q: Is the degree of that extreme cynicism similar for everyone? Is it more outrageous for some people than others?
R: It depends on how keen you are on developing some kind of ascetic trip.
Q: Would a more vajra person be liable to have a more extreme cynical trip?
R: Quite possibly.
Q: Is cynicism an ascetic trip?
R: Yes.
Q: The more outrageous, the more ascetic?
R: Yes--in that you are not allowing any help. Any help is regarded as suspicious.
Q: Is there any difference between that warmth and self indulgence--from a cynical point of view? (Laughter.)
R: Well, we could say that self-indulgence is very quality oriented, and enjoying the warmth is more journey oriented. In other words, warmth is not regarded as home but it is regarded as part of a luxurious highway--as opposed to a Howard Johnson's. [Laughter.]
Q: How does this tie in with meditation?
R: How does it tie in with meditation? Well, it seems that the whole thing is tied together, because in order to relate with everything that goes on in your mind you have to relate with your own state of being, or state of mind. Meditation practice brings out your deception, or your cynical attitude. And it also brings the possibility of being willing to settle down and let yourself go with a technique.
The whole thing makes a general picture. If a highly cynical, or an exceedingly, unnecessarily cynical person would meditate, he or she would find all kinds of unnecessary things going on in the mind. Even meditating itself would be questionable. It is something that one shouldn't be doing, because there is something funny going on there. Whereas if you develop this attitude of warmth, then whatever goes on in your mind is part of the picture. So then you don't punish yourself, cut yourself off, or alienate yourself from your meditation or from your mind. So the basic question is whether you alienate yourself from your mind or not.
Q: Rinpoche, is it possible to go back and forth between both states of mind all the time?
R: It is not cut and dried, the same as any experience. It's like light and color: you have yellow color here and you have intense blue color over there, and in order to transfer the yellowness into blueness you have to take a journey, which makes green. So there is always that kind of border situation, which makes the whole thing possible.
Q: Could you say something more about the guru and the lineage as it relates to this warmth idea?
R: Well, to make the whole thing very simple, the guru and the lineage--everybody, without exception--at some point are kind to themselves. And they appreciate their own dignity. They are not cowards, so they relate with themselves--not as enemies but as resourceful future lineage persons, lineage holders.
Q: Were you saying that at some point when you loosen up in this regard there were seductions of space all over the place, permitting you to see the whole thing as intelligent?
R: There is alternating seduction and space. Yes.
Q: Alternating seduction. What is the seduction?
R: The seduction is a kind of invitation: your life situation is not just constantly harsh and mocking, but there are all kinds of invitations, as well. But if you get completely seduced by that, you end up in a dungeon-like situation. So, in order to make the invitations valid, you have the other aspect, which is the space. Space puts the whole thing in the right perspective.
Q: The dungeon is being completely involved in that to the point of being trapped?
R: You become your own prison.
Q: Would the possibility of that warmth increase as one's ambition starts to wear down, one's ambition that there is something to achieve?
R: Well, that is already taken for granted: your initial training in cynicism would take care of that in any case. In other words, you can't just switch off one area and switch on another one. Some element of cynicism continues.
Q: Is that cynicism really necessary in order to counter ambition? It seems to be just another form of ambition, itself.
R: The cynical approach is not exactly ambition alone, but it is an amalgamation of ambition and trying to find holes in the other approach. So it sort of protects yourself from trying to find any way of bouncing back on others.
Q: Rinpoche, I've got this problem. Even though I'm cynical, in living in the city and working with people and all that, although I see all the crap that goes on, I play along with it. I don't show them that I see through them and that I don't want to play their games and do their trips. I just play along with it. But what should one really do?
R: You see, we are not trying to work out a manual on cynicism or a textbook on warmth--do it yourself style. The situation is different each time, and you have to improvise as your intelligence permits. There does not seem to be a rationale.
Q: Rinpoche, would you say that the small home that you are talking about, the first one, is when the teachings and the practice become sort of a hidden place, an occupation, something you can occupy yourself with, a nest?
R: In the beginning? Before the cynical approach?
Q: Yes.
R: Definitely, yes. You have all kinds of confirmation--the holy books, gurus, comfortable temples, meditation halls, zazen bells, all provided for you. Yes, definitely so. It's kind of a little nest.
Q: And how does the cynicism develop out of that?
R: It's seeing through the trippy quality of that. You know that it's absurd--you've created your own little opium den.
Q: This warmth that you are talking about--it seems to me it can coexist with the hopelessness that you were talking about during the crazy wisdom seminar.
R: I suppose so, yes, somewhat. The impossible becomes the possible. Yes. Yes. Yes. Good and slow.
Q: But in general the hopelessness precludes warmth? You said [inaudible]
R: I didn't say that. Not in the slightest. Hopelessness could be an extremely warm thing, extremely inviting. For one thing, it is cheap. [Laughter.] It doesn't cost you anything.
Q: It's probably no good then.
R: Oh, no. I didn't mean it that way. I mean cheap in the sense that you get your money's worth. [Laughter.]
Q: Is it more appropriate to work out this problem in interaction or in retreat?
R: Anything--both, either. [Laughter.]
Q: How can you not be at it?
R: Well, there are a lot of possibilities--slipping into a little alley, a little home. One of those. [Laughter.]
Q: Is part of the warmth accepting little trips you see you're on? "Well, I know it's a trip, but I won't blow it exactly right now?" Is accepting the trips part of the warmth?
R: Are you referring to your trips or others' trips?
Q: Anything. Either. Let's deal with my trip.
R: If it's your trip, I think you have to blow it. If it's another's trip and you blow it too early, that may not be appropriate. It's like retelling a joke: it doesn't make sense. So you have to do it at the proper time; you have to be skillful. But if you realize that it's your own trip, it's easy to blow it. You are your own closest friend--or your closest enemy.
Q: Blowing my own trips, I feel more like my own closest enemy.
R: That's okay.
Q: I still don't see how warmth could come into that situation.
R: You make a journey together with yourself.
Q: This self that's always blowing my trips?
R: Sure. It's like two people snowed in together. They feel extremely friendly with each other.
Q: That's like saying, "It may be crooked, but it's the only game in town."
R: Whatever you want to say! [Laughter. Several minutes of silence.] It seems to be extremely unusual. We have had an extremely quiet question period for a long time.
Q: Rinpoche, at one point you were talking about unmasking and then you said, deception--that first of all you were putting on a mask for yourself and then it became a deception for others. I can't even capture the ambiguity there. Unmasking couldn't possibly be a deception. Well, I suppose it could, but not if it's really unmasking. By putting on a mask you fool yourself, and then by taking it off, it changed into deceiving other people. It changed perspective from the inner view to the mirror view, but it was the same thing. And it changes all the time, back and forth. They sound as if they are entirely different, but actually they are the same event--you just see it from a different perspective.
R: We are talking about taking part in an unmasking ceremony--taking part in the ceremony of unmasking.
Q: Yeah.
R: And that heroic gesture of unmasking becomes another projection. That seems to be the style of some people. To begin with you confess how bad you are and how terrible you are--that you are no good. And then you find a way out of that condemnation of yourself, because you see yourself so clearly. That's why you are an intelligent person and you are a somewhat high being, an awake person--because you saw your trips. That's why what you say makes sense.
Q: I think I picked up on that one. But there's something else--there's kind of a gesture. A certain gesture exists in a situation, or in a conversation, as a friendly gesture. But a mirror flash takes place, some kind of doubt comes in, and it takes the form of exactly the opposite. As soon as it is understood as friendly, at that very moment, it suddenly takes the opposite value and becomes a suggestion of hostility. You know what I mean?
R: I don't think so.
Q: I don't either, I guess. I guess I'll have to give up.
R: Don't. Pursue it.
I was listening to one of Ram Dass's early talks on the tapes, and there was a tremendous humbleness, describing how fucked up he was--and that in itself became a message. The description of how fucked up he is somehow became words of wisdom. And he seemed to handle himself that same way when I met him in Wyoming. His approach was that he found it extremely uncomfortable in the beginning to talk about anything. The only introduction that he had was passion and aggression. And gradually, other things happened to him that were slightly better, and he worked with people and gave darshans to people. So it's a very gradual maneuver. That makes sense somewhat, but the whole picture is that you can only give the answer that you are okay, in spite of these problems. And you are left somewhat speechless if you have to start a new chapter of deception or being friends with yourself. The whole picture is painted in a very blurry sort of way.
Q: Do you think that is from a lack of vajra pride?
R: I would say so, yes. It's a lack of vajra pride, as well as a lack of separating neurosis from sanity. I mean, they do belong to different camps, so to speak, and you can't just jumble them together.
Q: It seems kind of like conning spirituality: you don't really have to unmask, you just say how fucked up you are. It's like protecting yourself from spirituality by saying that you're fucked up.
R: Yes, it's sort of one-upmanship: before someone else can say that you are fucked up, you've said it already. [Laughter.]
Q: Is that conning yourself?
R: In a very cultured way.
Q: Well, how is that different from your describing the work of an artist, based on saying, "I am the lowest of the lowest of the lowest of the low."?
R: [Inaudible]--as they are--and they don't make sense. [Inaudible.] They are no good, or fake, whatever.
Q: And therefore you need to maintain a sense of humor about the...
R: Yes. Automatically, when you criticize somebody, a smile goes along with it--unless it's a court case or something.
Q: You were saying that if you see your own games, you have to [inaudible]--how do you do that without getting caught in the trap of being spiritual by saying you're fucked up?
R: Well, it seems that you're communicating with yourself rather than making a declaration.
Q: Yes. But you can make a declaration to yourself.
R: Sure. But the whole point is to see the confused nature of yourself, not to strategize it--how to do it, how to blow yourself up. There is not a plan. But, whenever a point comes up, just hammer it down as it arises.
Q: Repress it?
R: No, blow it up.
Q: I don't understand.
R: Short-circuit it by not giving into yourself or further conning yourself. Just acknowledge what's happening and deliberately break the continual flow of thought patterns. That is quite different from suppressing or converting. The whole point is that there is a continuity which you think is very worthwhile, because you would like to hear your own chronological background: how you developed, how you handled yourself. You would like to keep track of that and say "I am sane." But you are breaking that barrier, breaking that continuity, so that there are no possibilities of chronological reports or any kind of recognition from yourself. It's intense condemnation--so intense that it doesn't seem to be condemnation, but purely cutting. It has to be abrupt and sudden. If you strategize, you can't cut through it. The whole thing becomes a game again.
Q: Rather than seeing situations and thinking about how you should act in situations--you naturally see it.
R: Yes. [Inaudible.] Sort of instinctive, almost.
Q: What happens if that strategy comes right out there, if you see it coming right back after you condemn it. You know that you're condemning yourself, and you know that it's good to condemn yourself and to cut it off and...
R: Well, that's what I mean. There's no preparation. It's got to be abrupt.
Q: Yeah, but there's something that comes back, even after you do that abruptly.
R: Afterwards--that's another matter altogether. That's a child building a sand castle.
Q: I know. But you can't help doing it. You know it's foolish, but it happens anyway.
R: Sure. That's a foolish thing to do.
Q: Yeah, but it just happens anyway.
R: Let's leave it that way.
Q: The same thing happens again and again and again.
R: So what? It's a child's game.
Q: So you short-circuit it and new wires grow back.
R: In other words, after you short circuit it, you have a philosophy about that. You have a philosophy of what's been happening to you, and you have put it all into a logical language. That doesn't seem to be particularly important. The whole idea is that we are not trying to work with an extremely secure, insurance policy approach. Once you cut, what you cut should never be regained. Once somebody is crucified, he should never be resurrected. That idea doesn't apply. We know samsara is endless--confused and endless. So we go on. But so what? It happens--goes, comes. That's how the world works.
Q: You just do it somehow, instead of thinking about it so much? You just scan the space to see what's open and what's cluttered?
R: That's interesting. [Laughter.] It sounds like we're having this conversation in New York City.
Q: Next week.
R: So soon. The year's getting old. Maybe we should stop.


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