dammit, i couldn't hang onto the password again

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It comes in my sleep and is very insistent. Usually two words... very short snippets in any case... and I'm crazy to get it, hold onto it, know it. I know I'm sleeping and wish to bring it through to when I'm awake. The intensity of my determination seems to be the very thing that makes the whole thing go away, evaporate back into the cosmic mists when I'm hauling out in the "morning". All I can say about last night's lesson is it was two words and involves at least one C, but I think both of them started with a C.

Anyway, I think now is a good time to mention my frustration with Alan Watts. I am so grateful there's so much of him down on tape. It is so lonely the evidence of someone out there, even when long gone, is powerful medicine for the aching nerves. But I can never decide if his understanding was purely intellectual, a masterful recapitulation of the ancients' message, or if he was like me, stuck, shedding like mad, except the crucial bit. I go back and forth on this because it seems to break down that his earlier talks are more correct and then the later ones start getting pretty fouled up by sex and LSD.

If you want to be coarse about it, he was your basic drunk womanizer, but that's just bitterness. He was far from your basic anyone. He helped thousands and thousands and thousands of people... still is helping them... from keeping them company to helping knock loose things that are sticking. He was very like the great Chögyam Trungpa in this respect. Impeccable understanding with blazingly peccabble execution, if you catch my drift. That's the part about men that vexes me the very most, their clarity, their capacity for such detailed memorization of ornate, nuanced, fractal information.

See egos are tough. They are thin air, yet so nearly impossible to extinguish you want to go screaming naked off a cliff. But the male ego is by far the toughest nut. The male ego takes all that virtuoso clarity and detail retention and puts it in its bag of tricks, uses it as its armor, encrusts itself with it, goes around exposing this confection to the world, forces everyone to believe that's who it is.

I don't say Watts and Trungpa did this; I never met either. I can say that 99% of men do this, whether they're into Zen or oblivious to it. 99% of women do this too, but it isn't the same with women. We don't process it the same way. It's not the same going in and not the same coming out. It is the same critter of thin air in both cases, but the anatomy is fairly remarkably different.

I like to make people go back and watch A Beautiful Mind again. If they want to get a real idea of how the ego problem works for enlightening beings, watching that movie is an excellent, excellent, excellent learning aid. You should have seen this movie already, so that when you watch it again, you just bear in mind that "Charles" [played by Paul Bettany] is the ego, you just watch it with the protagonist, John Nash [played by Russell Crowe] in mind as the enlightening being and his wacky college roommate is his ego. You turn this from being a story about a brilliant man dealing with the hallucinations of schizophrenia into a story about a brilliant man dealing with the hallucinations of normal mental conditioning... with his ego... and... dang... Bob's yer uncle. If you do that, you get what I'm talking about here.

That old mistaken identity, that ghost, that hallucination which has forever seemed completely real, never stops trying to get back front and center, get back pretending to be your best ally who's really doing your life for you. You are so utterly identified with it and reliant on it and related to it and it has been so much a creature of your every minute since you have minutes to remember, waaaaay before college, that the project of recognizing it for what it is and detaching from it is something your body and brain, which were literally wired by it, keep forgetting to kick out. The second you do anything on automatic pilot, pft, Charles is back doing it for you, and you are so lucky if you catch yourself even too late, but that is lucky and you just have to drop it — trying not to hold too big a party over your remorse — maybe settle for a swig of champagne in recognition — because that is another trap — and move on from it. It may never stop hanging off in the periphery... like Nash's momentary recognition of Charles off on the sidelines at his Nobel Prize ceremony... but you just leave it off at that distance and continue living without it, having a true human life, a real human being.

Somebody, maybe Joe Rogan, but probably Duncan Trussell, said on a podcast recently that if you want to awaken spiritually you start by turning into the guy you pretend to be when you're trying to get laid. It isn't that you don't know how. It's that you never catch yourself faking, and even when you get old enough to joke around about faking, you still are too sleepy to connect that this means the fake isn't real. That is real schizophrenia and that is what runs the whole world. That is the entire problem. Everyone's pretending. Everyone is completely convinced they're not pretending. Everyone's hallucinating. Everyone's completely convinced hallucination is reality.

So, for all the inconceivably great good they did, guys like Alan Watts and Chögyam Trungpa also left the world able to defeat their work... which is either due to their supremely excellent imposture or their incomplete shedding... the ability of their egos to get back in charge... encasing them like plastic wrap very, very tightly, making them fail. Close, but no cigar. Really excellent fake masterpieces. There are real masters out there, still, whose addictions and predilections do not drag them back into samsara, to thence defeat or impede seekers on into the dimly imaginable future of recorded history, but they are almost entirely unknown to the general public.

They are crucial and they pick their seekers. The current imperative is: Buddhism, and Zen maybe most of all, needs to turn into something completely new because so many impostors and defeated masters and total charlatans have ruined it as a viable path to enlightenment. Somehow the truth has to find a new means to make itself known to humans.