oday, serious heresy, and rather peculiarly in the United States, is a deviantstate of consciousness. Not so much deviant opinions as having a kind of experience which is different from "regular" experience. And as RonaldLang..has so well pointed out, we are taught what experiences are permissablein the same way we are taught what gestures, what manners, what behavior ispermissable and socially acceptable. And therefore, if a person has so-called"strange" experiences, and endeavors to communicate these experiences,because naturally one talks about what one feels, and endeavors tocommunicate these experiences to other people, he is looked at in a very oddway and asked "are you feeling all right?" Because people feel distinctlyuncomfortable when the realize they are in the presence of someone who isexperiencing the world in a rather different way from themselves. They call inquestion as to whether this person is indeed human. They look like a humanbeing but because the state of experience is so different you wonder whetherthey really are. And you get the kind of.. the same kind of queasy feeling insideas you would get if, for example, you were to encounter a very beautiful girl,very formally dressed, and you were introduced, and in order to shake handsshe removed her glove and you found in your hand the claw of a large bird.That would be spooky, wouldn't it?
his weekend seminar is devoted to Buddhism .. The center of Buddhism, theonly really important thing about Buddhism is the experience which they call'awakening.' Buddha is a title, and not a proper name. It means "awake".
t would be, of course, much better, if this occasion were celebrated with notalk at all, and if I addressed you in the manner of the ancient teachers of Zen, Ishould hit the microphone with my fan and leave. But I somehow have thefeeling that since you have contributed to the support of the Zen Center, inexpectation of learning something, a few words should be said, even though Iwarn you, that by explaining these things to you, I shall subject you to a veryserious hoax.
(aka Zen Bones)