Zen Master Still Bonkers After 30 Years

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/26/magazine/26zen-t.html

I read this article on the Zen master who went to psychoanalysis.

He had the classic “satori” experience and as a human being is still all fucked up. He did Zen for 30 years. He had a HORRIBLE childhood, four marriages, and wasn’t better after 30 years of staring at a wall.

In fact, he was worse.

Yup. That’s “satori” for you. Or “clear,” if you are into Xenutology, or “enlightenment” or “filled with the Spirit” if you are into the Jesus thing.

In my experience, Zen (including Renzai’s “Satori”) really doesn’t FIX anything. If you drive to a Zendo in a bad car, you will leave the Zendo in a bad car.

And “Crazy” is more like a car then people want to admit. Even in this age of science, people are still denying that mental illness is “real.”

I just smile and tell such people “good luck with that” because I’ve learned over the last few years, that deep seated beliefs do NOT go away when one is introduced to deeply repeatable and demonstrable science.

In this article, I think the Zen Master was trying to “fix his crazy car” with Zen. Deep emotional wounds need professional help and time to heal. Can Zen help? Sure. But …

Zen won’t fix the crazy car.

And Zen is an easy way to “avoid” dealing with the crazy car. And that is just what this guy did. He tried valiantly to deal with his inner turmoil with Zen but it wasn’t enough. He over-relied on his Zen training and found his life still a pounding pile of pain.

I think Zen can help life suck less. I think it can help a person make their life suck significantly less. But Zen is not a cure. It’s a tool and that is all.

BOTTOM LINE: What do you call an emotionally scarred man who becomes a Zen master?

Easy. An emotionally scarred Zen master.

 

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