Alan Watts and Zen-TV: Stanford Zen +%

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Disbasing Zen Stories

Jul 29, 2021, 3:05:22 AMJul 29

Toxic Zen Story #24: Stanford Zen: Alan Watts and Zen-TV on KQED National Educational Television (PBS).

| 'So the counterculture had moved by way of
| color, free sex, civil rights, rock music,
| brotherly love, LSD and other psychedelics, and
| innovative lifestyles toward --- at least for some
| people --- a serious interest in meditation. A few
| years later Watts was to say that people who had
| experimented with psychedelic chemicals might find
| that they had left them' behind, "like the raft
| which you use to cross a river, and have found
| growing interest and even pleasure in the simplest
| practice of zazen, which we perform, like idiots,
| without any special purpose.' - Furlong on Alan
| Watts

____ Background for Toxic Zen Stories ____________________

____ Introduction ________________________________________

We know the basic story of D.T. Suzuki, and the fact that he had one face showing towards Japan's Imperial Way Zen, and a different face showing towards the West. And that, for obvious reasons, never the twain would meet.

We know that Suzuki went to America as a young man, to accompany his master, the Rinzai priest Soyen Shaku, to LaSalle-Peru, Illinois, at the behest of Dr. Paul Carus, a German who was the managing editor of Open Court Publishing, which was owned by Zinc magnate Edward Hegeler.

We know that after leaving America, Suzuki influenced people around the world and was one of the stalwart supporters of the Japanese War with Russia, and then in China.

We know that Suzuki's influence in academic circles in Europe was profound, and particularly in mentoring Eugen Herrigel. Herrigel's work erroneously describing the Zen influences on Japanese archery was a twisted mirror to Suzuki's work describing the Zen influences in Bushido swordsmanship.

We know that he had a variety of collaborators, a flock of followers, and influenced many others:

Collaborators in the propagation of Soyen Shaku (D.T.'s Master)-D.T. Suzuki Zen:
Beatrice Lane (wife), Paul Carus, Edward Hegeler, Martin Heidegger, Frederic Spiegelberg, Father Thomas Merton, Alan Watts, Eric Fromm, Carl G. Jung, Richard de Martino, Karen Horney, and a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to lecture extensively at Columbia University and other East Coast schools in the 1950's.

Followers of Shaku-Suzuki Zen:
John Cage, Jack Kerouac, Alan Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, and Philip Whalen.

Those strongly affected by the Shaku-Suzuki Zen Influence:
Aldous Huxley, Karl Jaspers, Arnold Toynbee, Gabriel Marcel, Herbert Read, and Lynn White Jr.

What is basically wrong with Zen Buddhism? The problems become apparent when you look closely at the Buddha's own words, relayed in the Buddha's highest teachings (Sutras) and writings (Gosho).

In the Nirvana Sutra it states "Rely upon the Law and not upon persons".

On the topic of "evil friends", who are a "friend" to you, but an enemy of the Law, and who gradually pull you away from the truth and into hellishness, Nichiren writes:

. 'The Buddha states: "Have no fear of mad
. elephants. What you should fear are evil friends!
. Why? Because a mad elephant can only destroy your
. body; it cannot destroy your mind. But an evil
. friend can destroy both body and mind. A mad
. elephant can destroy only a single body, but an
. evil friend can destroy countless bodies and
. countless minds. A mad elephant merely destroys an
. impure, stinking body, but an evil friend can
. destroy both pure body and pure mind. A mad
. elephant can destroy the physical body, but an
. evil friend destroys the Dharma body. Even if you
. are killed by a mad elephant, you will not fall
. into the three evil paths. But if you are killed
. by an evil friend, you are certain to fall into
. them. A mad elephant is merely an enemy of your
. body, but an evil friend is an enemy of the good
. Law." (Nirvana Sutra) Therefore, even more than
. venomous serpents or malevolent demons, one should
. fear the evil friends who follow Kobo [japanese
. true word/shingon founder: tantric buddhism],
. Shan-tao [third chinese nembutsu patriarch], and
. Honen [japanese pure land/jodo sect founder]. This
. is just a brief clarification of the error of
. holding distorted views.'

"Reply to Hoshina Goro Taro" - Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, p. 159

On the topic of Zen, and "transmissions" apart from the teachings of the Buddha. Would these somehow not constitute teachings, in and of themselves? Actually, they are a hidden supplemental teaching, added to the Buddha's golden words. Because of this, they can only serve to distort Buddhism. Nichiren writes:

. The sage replied: "You must first of all set
. aside the doctrines for the moment and consider
. the logic of the matter. Can anyone, without
. inquiring into the essential meaning of the
. Buddha's lifetime teachings or investigating the
. basic principles of the ten schools, presume to
. admonish the nation and teach others? This Zen
. that you are talking about is something that I
. have studied exhaustively for some time. In view
. of the extreme doctrines that it teaches, I must
. say that it is a highly distorted affair.
. "There are three types of Zen, known
. respectively as Thus Come One Zen, doctrinal Zen,
. and patriarchal Zen.[72] What you are referring to
. is patriarchal Zen, and I would therefore like to
. give you a general idea of it. So listen, and
. understand what it is about.
. "It speaks of transmitting something apart
. from the teachings. But apart from the teachings
. there are no principles, and apart from principles
. there are no teachings. Don't you understand the
. logic of this, that principles are none other than
. teachings and teachings none other than
. principles? This talk about the twirled flower,
. the faint smile, and something being entrusted to
. Mahakashyapa is in itself a teaching, and the
. four-character phrase about its being 'independent
. of words or writing' is likewise a teaching and a
. statement in words. This sort of talk has been
. around for a long while in both China and Japan.
. It may appear novel to you, but let me quote one
. or two passages that will clear up your
. misconceptions.
. "Volume eleven of The Supplement to T'ien-
. t'ai's Three Major Works states: 'If one says that
. we are not to hamper ourselves by the use of
. verbal expressions, then how, for even an instant
. in this saha world, can we carry on the Buddha's
. work? Do the Zen followers themselves not use
. verbal explanations when they are giving
. instruction to others? If one sets aside words and
. phrases, then there is no way to explain the
. meaning of emancipation, so how can anyone ever
. hear about it?'
. "Farther on, we read: 'It is said that
. Bodhidharma came from the west and taught the
. "direct pointing to the mind of man" and
. "perceiving one's true nature and attaining
. Buddhahood." But are these same concepts not found
. in the Flower Garland Sutra and in the other
. Mahayana sutras? Alas, how can the people of our
. time be so foolish! You should all put faith in
. the teachings of the Buddha. The Buddhas, the Thus
. Come Ones, tell no lies!'
. "To restate the meaning of this passage: if
. one objects that we are hampering ourselves with
. doctrinal writings and tying ourselves down with
. verbal explanations, and recommends a type of
. religious practice that is apart from the
. teachings of the sutras, then by what means are we
. to carry on the Buddha's work and make good causes
. in this saha world of ours? Even the followers of
. Zen, who advocate these views, themselves make use
. of words when instructing others. In addition,
. when one is trying to convey an understanding of
. the Buddha way, one cannot communicate the meaning
. if one sets aside words and phrases. Bodhidharma
. came to China from the west, pointed directly to
. people's minds, and declared that those minds were
. Buddha. But this principle is enunciated in
. various places even in the provisional Mahayana
. sutras that preceded the Lotus Sutra, such as the
. Flower Garland, Great Collection, and Great Wisdom
. sutras. To treat it as such a rare and wonderful
. thing is too ridiculous for words. Alas, how can
. the people of our time be so distorted in their
. thinking! They should put their faith in the words
. of truth spoken by the Thus Come One of perfect
. enlightenment and complete reward, who embodies
. the principle of the Middle Way that is the true
. aspect of all things.
. "In addition, the Great Teacher Miao-lo in the
. first volume of his Annotations on 'Great
. Concentration and Insight' comments on this
. situation by saying, 'The people of today look
. with contempt on the sutra teachings and emphasize
. only the contemplation of truth, but they are
. making a great mistake, a great mistake indeed!'
. "This passage applies to the people in the
. world today who put meditation on the mind and
. various other things first, and do not delve into
. or study the teachings of the sutras. On the
. contrary, they despise the teachings and make
. light of the sutras. This passage is saying that
. this is a mistake.
. "Moreover, I should point out that the Zen
. followers of the present age are confused as to
. the teachings of their own school. If we open the
. pages of The Continued Biographies of Eminent
. Priests, we find that in the biography of the
. Great Teacher Bodhidharma, the first patriarch of
. Zen in China, it states, 'By means of the
. teachings one can understand the essential
. meaning.' Therefore, one should study and practice
. the principles embodied in the sacred teachings
. preached by the Thus Come One in the course of his
. lifetime and thereby gain an understanding of the
. substance of the various doctrines and the nature
. of the different schools.
. "Furthermore, in the biography of
. Bodhidharma's disciple, Hui-k'o, the second of the
. six Chinese patriarchs, it states that the
. Meditation Master Bodhidharma handed over the four
. volumes of the Lankavatara Sutra to Hui-k'o,
. saying: 'Observing this land of China, I find only
. this sutra to be of real worth. If you base your
. practice on it, you will be able to bring
. salvation to the world.' Here we see that, when
. the Great Teacher Bodhidharma came from India to
. China, he brought the four volumes of the
. Lankavatara Sutra and handed them over to Hui-k'o,
. saying: 'When I observe the situation in this
. country, I see that this sutra is of outstanding
. superiority. You should abide by it and put it
. into practice and become a Buddha.'
. "As we have just seen, these patriarch-
. teachers placed primary emphasis on the sutra
. texts. But if we therefore say that one must rely
. on the sutras, then we must take care to inquire
. whether those sutras belong to the Mahayana or the
. Hinayana, whether they are the provisional
. teachings or the true teaching.
. "When it comes to making use of sutras, the
. Zen school relies on such works as the Lankavatara
. Sutra, the Shuramgama Sutra, and the Diamond
. Wisdom Sutra. These are all provisional teachings
. that were preached before the Lotus Sutra,
. doctrines that conceal the truth.
. "These various sutras expound partial truths
. such as 'the mind itself is the Buddha, and the
. Buddha is none other than the mind.' The Zen
. followers have allowed themselves to be led astray
. by one or two such sentences and phrases, failing
. to inquire whether they represent the Mahayana or
. the Hinayana, the provisional teachings or the
. true teaching, the doctrines that reveal the truth
. or the doctrines that conceal it. They merely
. advance the principle of nonduality without
. understanding the principle of duality,[73] and
. commit an act of great arrogance, claiming that
. they themselves are equal to the Buddha. They are
. following in the tracks of the Great Arrogant
. Brahman of India and imitating the old ways of the
. Meditation Master Sanchieh of China. But we should
. recall that the Great Arrogant Brahman, while
. still alive, fell into the hell of incessant
. suffering, and that San-chieh, after he died,
. turned into a huge snake. How frightful, how
. frightful indeed!
. "Shakyamuni Buddha, with his understanding
. that had penetrated the three existences, and by
. the light of the clear wisdom-moon of perfect
. enlightenment and complete reward, peered into the
. future and, in the Sutra on Resolving Doubts about
. the Middle Day of the Law, made this prediction:
. 'Among the evil monks there will be those who
. practice meditation and, instead of relying on the
. sutras and treatises, heed only their own view of
. things, declaring wrong to be right. Unable to
. distinguish between what is correct and what is
. erroneous, all they will do is face monks and lay
. believers and declare in this fashion, "I can
. understand what is right, I can see what is
. right." You should understand that it is people
. like this who will destroy my teachings in no time
. at all.'
. "This passage is saying that there will be
. evil monks who put all their faith in Zen and do
. not delve into the sutras and treatises. They will
. base themselves on distorted views and fail to
. distinguish between false and true doctrines.
. Moreover, they will address themselves to men and
. women believers, monks and nuns, declaring, 'I can
. understand the doctrines, but other people do
. not,' in this way working to spread the Zen
. teachings. But you should understand that these
. people will destroy the correct teaching of the
. Buddha. If we examine this passage and observe the
. state of the world today, we see that the two
. match each other as perfectly as do the two halves
. of a tally. Be careful! There is much to fear
. here.

"Conversation between a Sage and an Unenlightened Man" - Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, pp. 117-119.

There is the Fivefold Comparison as described in the Soka Gakkai Dictionary of Buddhism:

. Fivefold Comparison (Jpn goja-no-sotai): Five
. successive levels of comparison set forth by
. Nichiren (1222-I282) in The Opening of the Eyes
. (Gosho) to demonstrate the superiority of his
. teaching of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo [The essential
. form of the Lotus Sutra for the Latter Day of the
. Law] over all other teachings.
. (1) Buddhism is superior to non-Buddhist
. teachings. Nichiren takes up Confucianism and
. Brahmanism, and concludes that these non-Buddhist
. religions are not as profound as Buddhism in that
. they do not reveal the causal law of life that
. penetrates the three existences of past, present,
. and future.
. (2)Mahayana Buddhism is superior to Hinayana
. Buddhism. Hinayana Buddhism is the teaching for
. persons of the two vehicles, or voicehearers (Skt
. shravaka) and cause-awakened ones
. (pratyekabuddha), who aim at personal
. emancipation; its ultimate goal is to put an end
. to the cycle of rebirth in the threefold world by
. eliminating all earthly desires. It is called
. Hinayana (Lesser Vehicle) because it saves only a
. limited number of people. In contrast, Mahayana
. Buddhism is the teaching for bodhisattvas who aim
. at both personal enlightenment and the
. enlightenment of others; it is called Mahayana
. (Great Vehicle) because it can lead many people to
. enlightenment. In this sense, the Mahayana
. teachings are superior to the Hinayana teachings.
. (3) True Mahayana is superior to provisional
. Mahayana. Here true Mahayana means the Lotus
. Sutra, while provisional Mahayana indicates the
. Mahayana teachings that, according to T'ien-t'al's
. system of classification, were expounded before
. the Lotus Sutra. In the provisional Mahayana
. teachings, the people of the two vehicles, women,
. and evil persons are excluded from the possibility
. of attaining enlightenment; in addition,
. Buddhahood is attained only by advancing through
. progressive stages of bodhisattva practice over
. incalculable kalpas. In contrast, the Lotus Sutra
. reveals that all people have the Buddha nature
. inherently, and that they can attain Buddhahood
. immediately by realizing that nature. Furthermore,
. the provisional Mahayana teachings assert that
. Shakyamuni attained enlightenment for the first
. time in India and do not reveal his original
. attainment of Buddhahood in the remote past, nor
. do they reveal the principle of the mutual
. possession of the Ten Worlds, as does the Lotus
. Sutra. For these reasons, the true Mahayana
. teachings are superior to the provisional Mahayana
. teachings.
. (4) The essential teaching of the Lotus Sutra is
. superior to the theoretical teaching of the Lotus
. Sutra. The theoretical teaching consists of the
. first fourteen chapters of the Lotus Sutra, and
. the essential teaching, the latter fourteen
. chapters. The theoretical teaching takes the form
. of preaching by Shakyamuni who is still viewed as
. having attained enlightenment during his lifetime
. in India. In contrast, the essential teaching
. takes the form of preaching by Shakyamuni who has
. discarded this transient status and revealed his
. true identity as the Buddha who attained
. Buddhahood in the remote past. This revelation
. implies that all the Ten Worlds of ordinary people
. are eternal just as the Buddha's are, and confirms
. that Buddhahood is an ever-present potential of
. human life. For these reasons, the essential
. teaching is superior to the theoretical teaching.
. (5) The Buddhism of sowing is superior to the
. Buddhism of the harvest. Nichiren established this
. comparison based on the concept of sowing,
. maturing, and harvesting that T'ien-t'ai (538-597)
. set forth in The Words and Phrases of the Lotus
. Sutra. In The Profound Meaning of the Lotus Sutra,
. T'ien-t'ai cites the process by which the Buddha
. teaches, described in the "Parable of the Phantom
. City" (seventh) chapter of the Lotus Sutra, as
. well as the relationship of the Buddha and his
. disciples from the remote past explained in the
. "Life Span" (sixteenth) chapter of the sutra. All
. these ideas illustrate how the Buddha begins
. teaching his disciples by sowing the seeds of
. Buddhahood in their lives, helps those seeds
. mature, and finally harvests their fruit by
. leading them to the final stage of enlightenment
. or Buddhahood.
. The Lotus Sutra [28-chapter comprehensive form]
. describes this process as ranging over countless
. kalpas. The sutra does not, however, explain the
. nature of these original seeds, though it is clear
. that the seed of Buddhahood is essential for
. attaining Buddhahood. Nichiren identifies the seed
. as Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and states that it can be
. found only in the depths of the "Life Span"
. chapter. By implanting this seed in one's life,
. one can attain Buddhahood. From this viewpoint,
. Nichiren identifies his teaching as the Buddhism
. of sowing (the teaching aimed at implanting the
. seed of Buddhahood) and Shakyamuni's as the
. Buddhism of the harvest (the teaching aimed at
. harvesting the fruit of enlightenment borne from
. the seed planted in the remote past). He explains
. that Shakyamuni appeared in India in order to
. harvest the fruit of Buddhahood borne from the
. seed he had sown and caused to mature in the lives
. of his disciples until that time. The people of
. the Latter Day of the Law who have no such seed
. implanted in their lives cannot harvest its fruit.

Nichiren states,

. "This teaching was not propagated in the
. Former or Middle Day of the Law because the other
. sutras had not yet lost their power of benefit.
. Now, in the Latter Day of the Law, neither the
. Lotus Sutra [28 Chapter comprehensive form] nor
. the other sutras lead to enlightenment. Only Nam-
. myohorenge-kyo [essential form of the Lotus Sutra]
. can do so. This is not my own judgment.
. Shakyamuni, Many Treasures, the Buddhas of the ten
. directions, and the bodhisattvas who emerged from
. the earth as numerous as the dust particles of a
. thousand worlds have so determined it. To mix
. other practices with this Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is a
. grave error. A lantern is useless when the sun
. rises. How can dewdrops be beneficial when the
. rain falls? Should one feed a newborn baby
. anything other than its mother's milk? No addition
. of other medicines is needed with a good
. medicine."

from "The Teaching for the Latter Day", Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, p. 903

____ Toxic Zen Story ______________________________

| 'Even though Suzuki brought Zen Buddhism to a
| wider audience, the technical nature of his
| writing made his version difficult to access. Alan
| Watts (1915-1973), once called the "Norman Vincent
| Peale of Zen" [Roszak], paved the way for Zen
| teachings to a larger public, inspiring many young
| Europeans and Americans to consider Zen practice.
| [Furlong]'

Alan Watts was for many people, their first human contact with oriental philosophy. He was on television and radio, not just words on a page, talking deeply about Zen Buddhism. Watts was an Episcopal minister, who fell into studying oriental Philosophy by family connections with his first wife. Then, he had an encounter with Frederic Spiegelberg, which was the gateway encounter leading to his final seduction by D.T. Suzuki.

From Furlong's book on Watts:

| 'Christmas Zen'
| ' ... In the years that followed, Watts was to
| show little interest in politics; rather, his two
| principal interests would later be psychology and
| religion, and both of these were foreshadowed by
| his youthful adventures in London. He became
| friends with the Jungian analyst Philip Metman and
| an even closer friend of the psychiatrist Eric
| Graham Howe. (It was typical of Watts that years
| later he clearly remembered what Howe had given
| him for lunch at their first meeting --- a fine
| potato baked in its jacket and smothered with
| butter.) Perhaps what psychology seemed to offer
| was yet another form of arcane secrets, knowledge,
| or power. One day Howe introduced Watts to
| Frederic Spiegelberg, an Oriental philosopher who
| was to be important in Watts's life years later in
| California. Spiegelberg made an indelible
| impression on Watts: "He wore a hat with an
| exceedingly wide brim, spoke English with a
| delicate German accent which always suggests a
| sense of authority and high culture, and was
| propagating the theory that the highest form of
| religion was to transcend religion. He called it
| the religion of non-religion." '

This idea of the religion of non-religion allows you to implicitly throw away all religions, and with them the Buddha's teachings: the storehouse of sutras, and with all of those, the Buddha's highest teaching, the Lotus Sutra. Since the Lotus Sutra is the purpose of the advent of the Buddha, and contains the compassion of the Buddha, throwing away that teaching implicitly or explicitly accomplishes the same goal, the removal of compassion in your own Buddha-life, and the opening of your life to evil. This is the action of an evil friend, who likes you, but is an enemy of the Law: attachment to an evil friend always draws you away from the Law, and everything that is good in life, towards darkness.

Furlong continues ...

| 'The religion of non-religion . . . It so
| happened that about the time he was considering
| Spiegelberg's ideas, Watts was being introduced by
| Humphreys to D. T. Suzuki, a tiny Japanese, with
| pebble glasses and a bow tie, who was to influence
| Watts and -any other Westerners in an
| extraordinary way. Then in his late sixties,
| Suzuki had led an interesting and varied life.
| Born of samurai stock, he had nevertheless grown
| up in near poverty because of the early death of
| his father. ...'
| ' ... combined some of these essays with new
| ones to bring out Suzuki's Essays in Zen Buddhism.
| It was this remarkable book that more than any
| other was to attract Westerners to Zen.'
| 'It was not an easy book to read. The mixture
| of learning and playfulness, not to mention the
| unconventional subject and the ideas surrounding
| it, left readers interested but baffled. Many
| people bought it --- it soon went into second and
| third volumes of essays --- but few, seemed to
| know quite what to make of it. Japanese scholars
| at Western universities seemed to resent Suzuki's
| success and accused him simultaneously of
| "popularizing" Zen (they meant cheapening it) and
| of being impenetrably obscure. The American
| Oriental Society, famed for the austerity of its
| approach, gave the opinion in its journal that he
| was a dilettante, and others complained that he
| was not keen enough on "discipline." '
| 'Watts, however, following Christmas
| Humphreys, felt love, admiration, and reverence
| for Suzuki. One of the first times Watts ever saw
| him was during a particularly boring meeting at
| the Buddhist Lodge. Suzuki was playing with a
| kitten, and something about the old man's total
| absorption in the tiny creature gave Watts the
| feeling that he was "seeing into its Buddha-
| nature." '

Now that is a clearly a sexual encounter. And a very mixed-gender reaction, I must say. I wonder if he got hard or wet?

In Buddhism, the greatest evil is associated with the Devil King of the Sixth Heaven. The Sixth Heaven is a rapturous place in the spirit of a person, and this is why a great corruption of an individual is always a rapturous experience for the corrupter and the corrupted, both.

Furlong continues ...

| 'Something in Suzuki the man, as well as in
| his writings, told Watts that he had found the
| principal teacher for his private university, the
| master he had been looking for. Suzuki had none of
| the expensive, ostentatious habits, the easy
| cosmopolitan airs, or the cultural aims of Watts's
| other models, but his stillness and his smile
| touched something lonely and lost in Watts,
| offered a hint of a way out not merely from acting
| instead of being oneself, but also from the
| predicament of being isolated and human, from what
| Watts often thought of as a "bag of skin." ... '

This denigration of his own humanity goes hand in hand with his descent into evil. Further on in this Zen Story, an analysis of one of his speeches is made, and that topic is delved into much more deeply.

There is more on Alan Watts, as well as Frederic Spiegelberg, at the American Academy of Asian Studies in Toxic Zen Story #23.

Watts went on to become a major figure in television propagation of Zen thought and his beliefs: that Zen was the Buddhist way.

It all began in San Francisco at the end of the Fifties and into the start of the Sixties ...

From the web article: "KQED made its mark by making programs", by David Stewart:

| 'Meeting adversity with creative programming
| was to become a characteristic of KQED. The
| telethon and auction were themselves examples of
| innovative, attractive live television.'
| 'As the San Francisco Chronicle reported at
| the time, "Without realizing it [KQED] put on the
| best show that has been on a San Francisco
| station." The telethon had featured, along with
| civic leaders, physicist Edward Teller and
| stripper Tempest Storm. During a later auction,
| someone bought the (unlaundered) sheets in which
| Kim Novak had slept the night before at the Cliff
| Hotel for $250, cut them up and made them into
| ties--in which form they were auctioned again.
| Shirley Temple, a frequent guest, once led the
| bidding for a boa constrictor. During his auction
| stint, Dick Gregory remarked, "One hundred years
| ago I would have been for sale." In 1963, the year
| WGBH sent its first French Chef programs to a
| national audience via National Educational
| Television (NET), Julia Childs' cooking knives
| became KQED's first membership gifts. '

So things at KQED started with great promise. This was going to be a station for artistic and positive humanistic expression in the Bay Area. This was going to be the beacon of freedom and open-mindedness for Northern California.

The problem is, that whenever this kind of naive and open spirit becomes universal, one that is all-embracing and without any fear or sense of toxicity ... the result is never good. So, Alan Watts moves from radio into television.

Stewart continues ...

| 'Ready for the '60s'
| 'As part of KQED's original staff, Richard
| Moore was hired as membership director. Moore, who
| had been a ballet dancer (with Jose Limon) and
| poet, was one of the early associates of Pacifica
| Radio and an executive and announcer at its first
| station, KPFA in Berkeley, where community support
| for noncommercial radio had been invented. At
| KQED, he soon became a TV producer and an
| accomplished filmmaker. As a poet he had been
| associated with Kenneth Rexroth's anarchist
| libertarian group. "Coming to KQED in 1952 was my
| version of going straight," he says. '
| 'It was Moore who suggested the series,
| Eastern Wisdom and Modern Life and recruited its
| host, Alan Watts, who had been presenting--also at
| Moore's request--a regular Sunday morning program
| on KPFA entitled Way Beyond the West. Those who
| may have considered Japanese brush painting an
| esoteric and unlikely alternative to commercial TV
| (until its undisputed popularity) must have been
| truly bemused by Eastern Wisdom, another one-
| person presentation.'
| ' "Alan Watts was very intellectually
| important to me and others," says Moore, "both at
| KPFA and KQED. We thought there should be opinions
| expressed that were not the products of western
| civilization. I remember bringing him into the
| KPFA studios and telling him the programs needed
| to be exactly 15 minutes long. I asked him if he
| wanted a countdown. 'Oh, no,' he said and ad
| libbed a perfect 14-minute, 30-second program.
| Quite astonishing." '

Astonishing indeed. Let's get a non-Western opinion, irregardless of how erroneous it is.

Stewart continues ...

| 'Watts, a former Anglican priest and leading
| exponent of Zen Buddhism in the U.S., illustrated
| his talks with Asian art objects as well as
| drawings and diagrams that he created with Chinese
| ink and brushes. By far the most impressive
| production element in these half-hour programs was
| Watts, himself; his deep and resonant voice, his
| piercing eyes and graceful movements. Though many
| viewers may have understood little of what he said
| as he examined contrasting concepts in Eastern and
| Western philosophies, few would forget his
| enthralling cadences and riveting presence.'

Ooh, sexy. Hard or wet? Or both?

Stewart continues ...

| 'Watts was born in England in 1915 and
| educated at Kings School in Canterbury. He
| published his first book (of many), The Spirit of
| Zen, when he was 20, three years before he came to
| America. His slight British accent and ascetic
| features did nothing to diminish his
| attractiveness. By the time he began his talks on
| KPFA he had been a guest professor at Cambridge,
| Harvard and Northwestern universities and dean of
| the Academy of Asian Studies in San Francisco.'
| 'Alan Watts' KQED debut on June 1, 1959,
| followed Kaleidoscope, by now the station's most
| popular program. "Death" was its singularly
| inauspicious premier theme. Sitting cross-legged
| in the lotus position, Watts discussed the wheel
| of life and the Buddhist idea of reincarnation. It
| was, most agreed, mesmerizing. Once again, KQED
| had created a success from what many thought was
| improbable material. The audience grew as Watts
| contrasted Hindu, Buddhist and Taoist concepts of
| physical and moral pain, Zen gardens, Zen in
| fencing and Judo, and the relationship of Zen to
| psychiatric techniques.'

What, no Herrigel Zen in the Art of Arch-Fakery? A student of Suzuki should stick to swords, not arrows, I guess.

Stewart continues ...

| 'For audiences on the cusp of the counter-
| culture '60s, these were pregnant topics. In some
| sense Watts brought to Zen what Max Morath was
| then bringing to ragtime music (The Ragtime Era),
| produced at public TV station KRMA in Denver: a
| command of his subject, a quick wit and an
| intensity that many would (and did) call
| "showmanship." '
| 'Moore and Watts, near neighbors in Mill
| Valley north of San Francisco, were friends for
| many years. "As much as I respected him," says
| Moore today, "he was not in the same league
| [intellectually] as Lew Hill [founder of
| Pacifica]. By the time he got into his second year
| at KQED, I began to have misgivings about Alan's
| increasing interest in his self-image and the
| softening of his inquiring mind.'
| 'Alan Watts continued to write and lecture
| long after his Eastern Wisdom series had been run
| repeatedly on the public TV circuit. ...'

So his broadcasting career petered off quickly. But the evil was done, America was infected.

But he stayed on the radio, until the end ...

| 'In 1953, Philosopher/author Alan Watts begins
| a regular program on KPFA that continues until his
| death in 1973.'

On a personal note ...

I was nine years old in 1960, and my older brother was 12. He was a very bright and well read boy, reading Kant and Sartre. I was more interested in dinosaurs.

With our parents being teachers, there was great excitement in our Northern California household around KQED and the goings on. So, my brother began watching Watt's show, and reading "The Way of Zen". My parents thought it was great that we got such exposure to the world, such an educating experience that could not have been had previous to this time. Doors were being opened ...

In very short order, everything changed in my house. My brother started having problems with school and at home. He had to switch to another school, where special emotional support was available with smaller classes. His teacher tried to be supportive of his interests, even the Zen. He had an accident in the front yard, where a chain saw bounced back off of a nail and ripped his face open right across the middle of his mouth and nose.

My brother's dealings with the world were one calamity after another. Never experiencing the ease of social acceptance that I had, even though I was nothing special in any way. He must have wondered, what is it?

It was the Zen. People have a sense of evil, and only approach if they are corrupted or destined for corruption. Either way, it is never a happy encounter.

So, my personal gratitude and appreciation to Alan Watts ... is the void.

Watts moved into the late Sixties as an aging guru, but still a staple of the underground culture.

More from Furlong's book on Watts:

| 'Counter culture'
| ' ... in New York, indifferent to vision and
| spiritual experience, but unashamedly into "booze,
| speed, downers, ... drugs that provide escape,
| that turn off, toughen, and callous the nerve
| endings." '
| 'Leary's original hope (never fully shared by
| Watts), that if people could experience the sense
| of meaning, unity and wonder given by LSD, then
| social problems would be solved, began to look
| very naive. Mental hospitals bore pathetic witness
| of practical "jokes" played on unsuspecting
| victims who had drunk a soft drink or a cup of
| coffee containing the drug, and were full of
| people who could not "come down" after one or
| more trips.'
| 'The more idealistic among the young had begun
| to think in terms of moving to the country, of
| growing their own food, of starting their own
| farms, and a number moved out into Marin County,
| California, and beyond.'
| 'Others, influenced initially by Watts and
| Snyder, moved on from drugs to Zen. Snyder quoted
| D. T. Suzuki as saying that people who came to the
| Zendo from LSD experiences showed the ability to
| get into god zazen very rapidly. Snyder told the
| English Benedictine monk Dom Alered Graham in 1967
| that "LSD has been a real social catalyst and
| amounts to a genuine historical unpredictable.
| It's changing the lives of all sorts of people.
| It's remarkable and effective and it works in
| terms of forms, devotions, personal deities,
| appearances of bodhisattvas, Buddhas, and gods to
| your eyes. It doesn't work in terms of non-forms,
| emptiness. ("This isn't form is the same as
| emptiness," one Zen teacher who tried it reported,
| "this is emptiness is the same as form.")'

What a pack of idiots. I was an acidhead as well, sad to say, just out for the party, though, not the metaphysics.

Furlong continues ...

| ' "In several American cities," Snyder also
| observed, "traditional meditation halls of both
| Rinzai and Soto are flourishing. Many of the
| newcomers turned to traditional meditation after
| an initial acid experience. The two types of
| experience seem to inform each other. (D. T.
| Suzuki later appeared to go back on the qualified
| respect he had shown for the LSD experience and
| announced that the meditation experience was quite
| distinct from Zen.) '

Actually, I don't think the difference amounts to much. enlightened wisdom without compassion is a great evil, however it is obtained.

Furlong continues ...

| 'Many who had used LSD as an opening to the
| inner world were attracted to formal meditation.
| By the fall of 1966, according to Rick Fields,
| "close to a hundred and fifty people were sitting
| zazen and attending lectures at the San Francisco
| Zen Center; fifty or sixty sat at least once a
| day, and eighty people, twice as many as the
| previous year, had attended the seven day sesshin
| . . . As Zen center itself grew, it naturally.
| spawned a number of satellite centers run by
| senior students . . . in Berkeley, Mill Valley and
| Los Altos.'
| 'San Francisco Zen Center raised a large sum
| of money to buy land at Tassajara Hot Springs in
| the Los Padres National Forest, and the Tassajara
| Zen Mountain Center was founded. More than
| thousand people contributed money.'

What a catastrophe for America. This is 1966, just when things are going to really turn sour in Vietnam.

Furlong continues ...

| ' "It is for us in America," wrote Watts, "to
| realize that the only action is contemplation.
| Otherwise we are caught up in mock progress, which
| is just going or, toward going on, what Buddhists
| call samsara - the squirrel cage of birth and
| death. That people are getting together to acquire
| this property for meditation is one of the most
| hopeful signs of our times.'
| 'So the counterculture had moved by way of
| color, free sex, civil rights, rock music,
| brotherly love, LSD and other psychedelics, and
| innovative lifestyles toward --- at least for some
| people --- a serious interest in meditation. A few
| years later Watts was to say that people who had
| experimented with psychedelic chemicals might find
| that they had left them' behind, "like the raft
| which you use to cross a river, and have found
| growing interest and even pleasure in the simplest
| practice of zazen, which we perform, like idiots,
| without any special purpose.'

No, actually, with very defined goal and purpose. The destruction of America. The ultimate goal of the devilish function is to wreak the greatest havoc possible.

____ Epilog _______________________________________

The Buddha's highest teachings were the purpose of the Buddha's advent on this earth.

The Buddha did not appear on this earth to drain people's compassion with discussions of the emptiness and meaninglessness of life which is just a void.

The Buddha did not appear on this earth to teach people to live in such a narrow and momentary way, that there would be no context for self-examination and conscience.

The Buddha did not appear on this earth to possess people's minds with such illogic as to befuddle their ability to choose correctly between what is good and what is evil.

The Buddha did not appear on this earth to teach people how to commit atrocities and genocide, in the exploration of their "infinite possibilities", or "new states of being".

The Buddha did not appear on this earth to teach people how to maim and kill with their hands efficiently, quietly, loudly, with increased terror inflicted, or to maximize their subjugation to control the public sentiments for political ends.

These are all profoundly evil distortions of the Buddha's true teachings, which introduce infinities in the variables holding good and evil, removing all shades of gray in the propositional calculus of value.

Simply stated, the Buddha made his advent on this earth with the purpose of teaching the compassionate way of the bodhisattva, which is at the heart of the true entity of all phenomena, which is the eternal Buddha at one with the eternal Law. Which is how to navigate the sea of sufferings of birth, aging, sickness and death. He originally set out on his path, because of his observation of the sufferings of common people and wanting to understand the source of those sufferings (enlightened wisdom) and how to transform those sufferings into unshakable happiness (enlightened action).

When you embrace the void and acausality, your initial intention to experiment with and learn about Eastern philosophy doesn't matter ... the result is always the same: chaos and misery, and utter ruination and emptiness to you, your family, and your country.

But things don't have to be that way ...

Nichiren Daishonin writes (Encouragement to a Sick Person, WND p. 78):

. "During the Former and Middle Days of the Law, the
. five impurities began to appear, and in the Latter
. Day, they are rampant. They give rise to the great
. waves of a gale, which not only beat against the
. shore, but strike each other. The impurity of
. thought has been such that, as the Former and
. Middle Days of the Law gradually passed, people
. transmitted insignificant erroneous teachings
. while destroying the unfathomable correct
. teaching. It therefore appears that more people
. have fallen into the evil paths because of errors
. with respect to Buddhism than because of secular
. misdeeds."

Because Bodhidharma discarded the Buddha's highest teaching (the Lotus Sutra), and due to his lazy nature turned to shortcuts to enlightenment, he came to the distorted view that life is acausal and empty, that the true entity is the void.

This erroneous view really comes from a misunderstanding of the Sutra of Immeasurable Meanings, where the True Entity is described by negation (the only way it can be): "... neither square, nor round, neither short, nor long, ..."

The description of the True Entity is logically voidal, but the True Entity itself is not. Bodhidharma was simply confused, due to the slander of negligence (laziness), and false confidence. The truth of life is that at the heart of the True Entity is the compassion of a bodhisattva for others.

Non-substantiality does not mean empty. Life has value. Humans are respectworthy. There is a purpose to everything. And every cause has an effect, so we are responsible for our thoughts, words and deeds. Zen is acausal. Zen is the greatest poison, which compares to the even greater medicine of the Lotus Sutra.

Suffice it to say: the purpose of Zen in the world is to corrupt and undermine everything that is not based upon the truth and the true teaching. All religions, disciplines, institutions and organizations which are undermined by Zen will eventually fall after glaring revelation of their worst defects, sooner rather than later.

If there is some good in your family, locality, society and culture, or country that you would like to retain, then cease the Zen, and begin to apply the medicine of the Lotus Sutra to heal the Zen wound in your life.

"Zen is the work of devilish minds." - Nichiren


. a prescription for the poisoned ones:
. The only antidote for the toxic effects of Zen in your life ...
. be that from Zen meditation, or the variant forms: physical
. Zen in the martial arts, Qigong, Acupuncture, Falun Gong,
. Copenhagen Convention of Quantum Mechanics, EST,
. Landmark Education, Nazism, Bushido, the Jesuits,
. Al Qaeda, or merely from having the distorted view that life
. is acausal, and that the true entity of all phenomena
. is the void ...
. with the effects of the loss of loved ones, detachment,
. isolation or various forms of emptiness in your life ...
. is the Lotus Sutra: chant Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo
. at least 3 times, twice a day, for the rest of your life,
. in at least a whisper ...
. and if you can, chant abundantly in a resonant voice !!!
. The full 28 Chapters of the Lotus Sutra,
. Nichiren Daishonin's Gosho volumes I and II,
. the Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings
. (Gosho Zenshu, including the Ongi Kuden) and the
. SGI Dictionary of Buddhism are located at:
. To find an SGI Community Center:

LS Chap. 16 .....

At that time the World-Honored One, wishing to state his meaning once more, spoke in verse form, saying:

Since I attained Buddhahood
the number of kalpas that have passed
is an immeasurable hundreds, thousands, ten thousands,
millions, trillions, asamkhyas.
Constantly I have preached the Law, teaching, converting
countless millions of living beings,
causing them to enter the Buddha way,
all this for immeasurable kalpas.
In order to save living beings,
as an expedient means I appear to enter nirvana
but in truth I do not pass into extinction.
I am always here preaching the Law.
I am always here,
but through my transcendental powers
I make it so that living beings in their befuddlement
do not see me even when close by.
When the multitude see that I have passed into extinction,
far and wide they offer alms to my relics.
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