Crazy wisdom belongs neither to wickedness nor goodness…

Picture of Jamgon Kongtrul watching the 16th Karmapa empowering with gold leaf handprints the back of Vajradhatu’s Vajradhara thangka for Chogyam Trungpa the old man instagramed to illustrate this episode of Pulp Buddhism in which the Naropa Prairie Dog Players do a dramatic reading from volume five of Chogyam Trungpa’s collected works, as it pertains to crazy wisdom, in his own words…

Jonathan begins.

“To begin with, we have to let go certain fallacious notions connected with holiness, spirituality, goodness, heaven, godhood, and so forth.”

Allen replies.

“What makes these fallacious is the belief in a self, ego.”

Allen continues.

“That belief makes it so that ‘I’ am practicing goodness; thus, goodness is separated from ‘me’; or it implies some kind of a relationship in which goodness depends on ‘me’ and ‘me’ depends on goodness.”

Jonathan replies.

“Thus, fundamentally, since neither exists on its own], there is nothing there to build on at all.”

Allen replies.

“With this ego approach, a conclusion is drawn because of ‘other’ factors that prove that the conclusion is so.”

Virginia replies.

“According to the Buddhist outlook, ego, or self, is nonexistent.”

Virginia continues.

“It is not founded on any definite, real factors at all.”

Sally replies.

“It is based purely on the belief or assumption that since I call myself so-and-so, therefore I exist.”

Sally replies.

“And if I do not know what I am called, what my name is, then there is no structure there on which the whole thing is based.”

Allen replies.

“The way this primitive belief works is that believing in ‘that,’ the other, brings ‘this,’ the self.”

Allen pauses.

“If ‘that’ exists, then ‘this’ must also exist.”

Allen continues.

“I believe in ‘that’ because I need a reference point for my own existence, for ‘this’.”

Virginia replies.

“In the tantric, or vajrayana, approach my existence in relationship with others who exist is based on some energy, associated with how we live our lives.”

Sally replies.

“It is founded on some sense of understanding, which could also equally well be some sense of misunderstanding.”

Allen replies.

“When we ask ourselves, ‘Who are you, what are you?’ and we answer, ‘I am so-and-so,’ our affirmation or confirmation is based on putting something into that empty question.”

Jonathan replies.

“A question is like a container that we put something into to make it an appropriate and valid container.”

Virginia replies.

“There is some energy that is there between the two processes of giving birth to a question and producing an answer, an energy process that develops at the same time.”

Virginia continues.

“The energy that develops between the question and the answer is connected either with complete truth or complete falsehood.”

Sally replies.

“Strangely enough, those two do not contradict each other.”

Sally continues.

“Complete truth and complete falsehood are in some sense the same thing.”

Caroline replies.

“They make sense simultaneously.”

Caroline continues

“Truth is false, falsehood is true.”

Virginia replies.
“And that kind of energy, which goes on continuously, is called tantra.”

Virginia continues.

“And because it does not matter here about logical problems of truth or falsehood, the state of mind connected with
this is called crazy wisdom.”

Allen replies.

“Our minds are completely and constantly fixed on relating to things as either ‘yes’ or ‘no’; ‘yes’ in the sense of existence, ‘no’ in the sense of disproving that existence.”

Jonathan replies.

“Yet our framework of mind continues all the time between those two attitudes.”

Allen replies.

“‘Yes’ is based on exactly
the same sense of reference point as the negation is.”

Virginia replies.

“So the basic framework of mind involving a sense of reference point goes on continuously, which means that there is some energy constantly happening.”

Sally replies.

“What this means is that we do not have to negate the experience of our lives.”

Caroline replies.

“We do not have to negate our materialistic or spiritually materialistic experiences. ”

Sally replies.

“We do not have to negate them as being bad things; nor for that matter do we have to affirm them as being good things.”

Virginia replies.

“We can relate this to the simultaneous birth into existence of things as they are.”

Sally replies.

“Coemergence.”

Jonathan replies.

“Our negations or affirmations as to whether it belongs to ourselves or the others do not make any difference at all.”
Sally replies.

“All the time we are affirming or negating, we are standing on this ground anyway.”

Caroline replies.

“This ground we are standing on is the place of birth as well as the place of death, simultaneously.”

Virginia replies.

“We are talking about a particular energy that permits crazy wisdom to be transmitted.”

Jonathan replies.

“Crazy wisdom belongs neither to wickedness nor goodness; it belongs to neither yes nor no.”

Caroline replies.

“It is a principle that accommodates everything that exists in our life situations altogether.”

Allen replies.

“The birth of tantra takes place from this nonexistence of belief in ‘this’ and ‘that’.”

End scene. Fini.

Another episode of Pulp Buddhism brought to you by the Naropa Prairie Dog Players and by viewers like you, thank you for your support.

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