Trungpa Rinpoche's "Crazy Wisdom": Padmasambhava's Crime

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Re: Trungpa Rinpoche's "Crazy Wisdom": Padmasambhava's Crime

Postby ronnewmexico » Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:46 pm

This is applying present culture and mores upon a prehistoric one..."Let's see ..... he abandoned his wife a newborn son (after naming him "Fetter") and snuck out in the middle of the night. Of course that isn't drunken philandering and but abandoning one's wife and child generally qualifies that person as Scum of the Earth. When he was first approached to ordain women the Buddha refused and aquiessed only after persistent entreaties by Ananda. I don't know about you, Caz, but where I'm from that's called Chauvanism. It's something else that usually qualifies someone as Scum Of The Earth.....

He did not abandon his family, they were left in the care as royalty in a kingdom. He produced a male heir as was necessary benefiting his postion as a heir to a kingdom and abandoned no one. They were the royal family. A heir to a kingdom in such a situation may abandon his necessity to do such if he determins it is not suited to such as long as he produces a male heir to continue the royal lineage.

He did not state women were inferior in this context but that the sangha would not remain as long if this was done....In other words the situation of prehistoric india was not conducive to such not that women were inferior in any manner the circumstance was a inferior one. Not one of todays standards. That one would abandon caste and gender were unheard of in the day this was spoken of.

Scum of the earth...think of what you are saying. Think about that.
I agree with the notion of not judgeing, I certainly will not that person. I am not qualified. But this is a poor manner to express that sentiment, comparing the buddha to the scum of the earth in manner however discrete. There are buddhists here, this may cause them to doubt their faith in a unwarrented manner.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Trungpa Rinpoche's "Crazy Wisdom": Padmasambhava's Crime

Postby Chaz » Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:26 pm

ronnewmexico wrote:This is applying present culture and mores upon a prehistoric one..."Let's see ..... he abandoned his wife a newborn son (after naming him "Fetter") and snuck out in the middle of the night. Of course that isn't drunken philandering and but abandoning one's wife and child generally qualifies that person as Scum of the Earth. When he was first approached to ordain women the Buddha refused and aquiessed only after persistent entreaties by Ananda. I don't know about you, Caz, but where I'm from that's called Chauvanism. It's something else that usually qualifies someone as Scum Of The Earth.....

He did not abandon his family, they were left in the care as royalty in a kingdom. He produced a male heir as was necessary benefiting his postion as a heir to a kingdom and abandoned no one. They were the royal family. A heir to a kingdom in such a situation may abandon his necessity to do such if he determins it is not suited to such as long as he produces a male heir to continue the royal lineage.

He did not state women were inferior in this context but that the sangha would not remain as long if this was done....In other words the situation of prehistoric india was not conducive to such not that women were inferior in any manner the circumstance was a inferior one. Not one of todays standards. That one would abandon caste and gender were unheard of in the day this was spoken of.

Scum of the earth...think of what you are saying. Think about that.
I agree with the notion of not judgeing, I certainly will not that person. I am not qualified. But this is a poor manner to express that sentiment, comparing the buddha to the scum of the earth in manner however discrete. There are buddhists here, this may cause them to doubt their faith in a unwarrented manner.



I think you miss the point.

Yes, The Buddha's wife and child were most likely well taken care of after he left. He did not think women were inferior. Those were examples of how things viewed under the lense of modern day sensibilities look a lot different and people aren't always willing to consider the whys and wherefores. There are people who actually think that the Buddha was a total deadbeat for leaving the way he did. He wasn't of course. That sort of thing probably occurred a lot in the India of that time period. Context is everything.

If we are going to condemn CTR based on modern sensibilities without bothering to examine what actually happened within the context of that period of history, then we must, in all fairness, apply that same sort of scrutiny to other teachers, including the Buddha. While we're on the subject, how about Tilopa hitting Naropa in the head with a sandal? Sounds like assault, doesn't it? How about Marpa forcing Mailrepa to build and tear down not one but several towers - classic abuse of a student, if you want to look at it in those kinds of terms.

Christ, we even have former students of dead teachers, like Kalu Rinpoche (the dead one) coming forward with accusations of sexual abuse and even slavery. The poor guy doesn't even have the ability to defend himself and his honor.

Now we have people who actually refuse to read any of CTRs books because he had sex with some of his students. That won't fly in today's world, but 40 years ago the US and especially Boulder, CO was a MUCH different place.

I don't agree with scrutiny within those rule. It's unfair. It's poitntless. It's uninformed. It's blinkered, phillistine, pig-ignorance. I hate it. Yes, CTR drank way too much. Yes, he had sex with many of his female students. So what? As it says in the Good Book, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."
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Re: Trungpa Rinpoche's "Crazy Wisdom": Padmasambhava's Crime

Postby ronnewmexico » Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:35 pm

I don't miss the point not for a minute a second even.

You make the point in a poor fashion. Back in the day(Buddhas day)...such actions as he performed them were not within the realm of chauvinistic at all...quite the opposite.
You contend our judgement of Trungpa is in the same way...it is not. Faulted it may be but not in similiar contextual consideration. Trungpa was in this day.

Don't prejudge nor judge after the fact...I agree 100%
Putting the phrase scum of the earth in the same paragraph nevertheless in the same sentence with the Buddha is inappropriate on a buddhist board no matter in how discrete a fashion.

I can think of a thousand other examples of judgements made in error some of which you now perhaps mention which are more appropriate for this context.
This is not even done in dharma debate of some other more appropriate place where one may make such claim as a point of debate but in Tibetan buddhism, and thusly is even more inappropriate.

Trungpa rinpoche...who can judge him and to what point would be such judgement...I agree it is quite pointless and thusly not speakable by me.
It is a defilement to do such things as talk in that fashion, it is gossip. That is the point I agree with.

The other no....this is not the place to assert such contentions or connotations, even discretely.
Last edited by ronnewmexico on Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Trungpa Rinpoche's "Crazy Wisdom": Padmasambhava's Crime

Postby Dechen Norbu » Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:36 pm

I think his intention is that we should be careful when criticizing someone for his behavior without having all the information, especially if that someone is held as a great master by others widely recognized as such (and free of polemics). To such effect he used the behavior of the historical Buddha himself. It's true that there are people who would criticize him for leaving his wife and child behind, not mattering the circumstances. Yet we, as Buddhists, understand why he did that.
Perhaps there are people who really know why CTR did what he did.

Perhaps he wouldn't be my cup of tea if he was to teach me personally, I don't know. However, some of his works deeply inspired me when I was starting my path and helped me dropping the "nice Buddhist act". By this I mean I was soon alerted to the fact that we can very easily use Buddhadharma to build another layer of our already overly nurtured "ego". I never cease to recommend his book "Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism".
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Re: Trungpa Rinpoche's "Crazy Wisdom": Padmasambhava's Crime

Postby ronnewmexico » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:08 pm

This is simply not true..."It's true that there are people who would criticize him for leaving his wife and child behind, not mattering the circumstances".

The words speak to the assumption. IN the world of kings queens lords and such all are not necessarily found by birth suited to their positions of inherantance.
Some may for instance perhaps in a european context join a monestary instead. In the situation in which there is no other male heir in a kingship where the realm must go from or to a male only a male heir must be produced to extend the reign.
As this was such in the day so he did such.

A commoner thinks a male father is abandoning and leaving behind, as that is their frame of reference.
To a lord or king a male heir(in which such is the line of progression by gender) is produced and a necessity or obligation is fulfillled.
No one is abandoned as this is a royal family nor left behind.
So these things may be claimed or felt but did not occur.
Trungpa did get drunk a lot and did other things.
Wrong or right I nor anyone else can say so.
But he did those things.
The buddha did not abandon nor leave behind.
It is factually incorrect.

It is applying a conmmoners sort of consideration to a royal family.

Inherant to the terms abandoning or leaving behind is the presumptive judgement of the culture and the standing within that culture.
Trungpas actions may be indecipherable to us, right if you are his follower, and that is a valid point.. but it not on the same basis of cultural adherant.
Better example of such things may be found especially within Tibetan Buddhism. The teacher buddha serves as poor example in this specific,as he never did those things of abandonment nor leaving behind in that culture at that time
Trungpa did those things spoken about for the most part.
We shouldn't judge him but that does not equalivize with the buddhas story of life.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Trungpa Rinpoche's "Crazy Wisdom": Padmasambhava's Crime

Postby Thug4lyfe » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:36 pm

Argument on the internet is a very seductive thing :(
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Re: Trungpa Rinpoche's "Crazy Wisdom": Padmasambhava's Crime

Postby Tilopa » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:41 pm

Chaz wrote: While we're on the subject, how about Tilopa hitting Naropa in the head with a sandal? Sounds like assault, doesn't it?

Sure but I only did that to knock some sense into him and later he was very grateful so in the end it was all ok. :tongue:

FWIW I think it's common for people to think of Trungpa Rinpoche and his successor in the same breath which can create a distorted view of the former. IMO Trungpa was a visionary genius whereas Osel Tenzin was a total disgrace but unfortunately CTR carries the responsibility for putting OT in a position where he was able to inflict so much damage. One of the great mysteries is why he did it and why, when he came to regret it, he did nothing about it.
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Re: Trungpa Rinpoche's "Crazy Wisdom": Padmasambhava's Crime

Postby Tilopa » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:50 pm

Food_Eatah wrote:Argument on the internet is a very seductive thing :(

And when balanced with maturity often very informative.
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Re: Trungpa Rinpoche's "Crazy Wisdom": Padmasambhava's Crime

Postby ronnewmexico » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:52 pm

The answer to that mystery may be that he found it necessary to include a fault in a thought unfaulted thing.

IN the end we must all test that gold to find it worthy of goldness by ourselves. That being the greater teaching then that what was taught was gold itself.
The teachings should stand by themselves with no person structure nor heirachy to stand for it.
An end to a absoluteism which may have arising or been ariseing. So maybe the current thing represents a better thing.

To posit a answer to that mystery. If one holds the view absolutism which lead to eternalism as threat to the spiritual as much as nihilism may be.
JUst positing....I am not a follower..... finding however many tools within his teachings of great use.

There being a necessity to impart a thing of uncertainlty into a thing of perceived spiritual certainity, to prevent the spiritual from becoming simply dogma which extends into the nonspiritual and a degregation of the spirit.
One who can present circumstances may do so quite intentionally for necessary effect.
So that may be the thing....or not...I don't know him in the slightest of ways.

I suspect it was but suspicion only I hold.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Trungpa Rinpoche's "Crazy Wisdom": Padmasambhava's Crime

Postby Dechen Norbu » Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:04 am

ronnewmexico wrote:This is simply not true..."It's true that there are people who would criticize him for leaving his wife and child behind, not mattering the circumstances".

The words speak to the assumption. IN the world of kings queens lords and such all are not necessarily found by birth suited to their positions of inherantance.
Some may for instance perhaps in a european context join a monestary instead. In the situation in which there is no other male heir in a kingship where the realm must go from or to a male only a male heir must be produced to extend the reign.
As this was such in the day so he did such.

A commoner thinks a male father is abandoning and leaving behind, as that is their frame of reference.
To a lord or king a male heir(in which such is the line of progression by gender) is produced and a necessity or obligation is fulfillled.
No one is abandoned as this is a royal family nor left behind.
So these things may be claimed or felt but did not occur.
Trungpa did get drunk a lot and did other things.
Wrong or right I nor anyone else can say so.
But he did those things.
The buddha did not abandon nor leave behind.
It is factually incorrect.

It is applying a conmmoners sort of consideration to a royal family.

Inherant to the terms abandoning or leaving behind is the presumptive judgement of the culture and the standing within that culture.
Trungpas actions may be indecipherable to us, right if you are his follower, and that is a valid point.. but it not on the same basis of cultural adherant.
Better example of such things may be found especially within Tibetan Buddhism. The teacher buddha serves as poor example in this specific,as he never did those things of abandonment nor leaving behind in that culture at that time
Trungpa did those things spoken about for the most part.
We shouldn't judge him but that does not equalivize with the buddhas story of life.

Hi Ron,

Kings did this, in that culture they did that...it doesn't matter. Some people criticize the Buddha because they ignore your arguments (and others) and even if they knew them they would criticize what kings did and that sort of culture in which such things were acceptable. This is a fact. Some people do criticize the Buddha for those actions. They aren't, of course, Buddhists. They care little for the arguments you present and consider those actions wrong, period. As I've seen this happening more than once... things are what they are.
So the point I'm making is that there are people who judge solely based on their own frame of reference. This may lead to poor judgment. That's all I'm saying and it doesn't seem difficult to understand. It happens and there are reasons for such events. :smile:
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Re: Trungpa Rinpoche's "Crazy Wisdom": Padmasambhava's Crime

Postby Silent Bob » Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:12 am

Tilopa wrote:
Food_Eatah wrote:Argument on the internet is a very seductive thing :(

And when balanced with maturity often very informative.


As long as all concerned understand that "it don't amount to a fart in a windstorm".
"All the sublime teachings, so profound--to throw away one and then grab yet another will not bear even a single fruit. Persevere, therefore, in simply one."
--Dudjom Rinpoche, "Nectar for the Hearts of Fortunate Disciples. Song No. 8"
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Re: Trungpa Rinpoche's "Crazy Wisdom": Padmasambhava's Crime

Postby Karma Dorje » Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:26 am

Tilopa wrote:
Food_Eatah wrote:Argument on the internet is a very seductive thing :(

And when balanced with maturity often very informative.


"I dislike arguments of any kind. They are always vulgar, and often convincing." - Oscar Wilde, 'The Importance of Being Earnest'.
"As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."
~Arthur Carlson
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Re: Trungpa Rinpoche's "Crazy Wisdom": Padmasambhava's Crime

Postby Heruka » Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:12 am

Tilopa wrote:
FWIW I think it's common for people to think of Trungpa Rinpoche and his successor in the same breath which can create a distorted view of the former. IMO Trungpa was a visionary genius whereas Osel Tenzin was a total disgrace but unfortunately CTR carries the responsibility for putting OT in a position where he was able to inflict so much damage. One of the great mysteries is why he did it and why, when he came to regret it, he did nothing about it.



its funny to see from one side of the mouth, poetry and hyped mythos, full of puffed up pride, and the other side of the mouth spitting out bad taste and contempt..

praise and scorn/ duality manifest from a single mouth.

tilo would be proud?


reward and punishment is dog training no?
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Re: Trungpa Rinpoche's "Crazy Wisdom": Padmasambhava's Crime

Postby Heruka » Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:20 am

if we can get back on track...

guru rinpoche apparently also killed troublesome bonpos with an avalanche.

all in the name of...

even today nato killed many innocent libyans with peace bombs for the greater good.....gaddaffi also felt the NWO love...
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Re: Trungpa Rinpoche's "Crazy Wisdom": Padmasambhava's Crime

Postby Tilopa » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:54 am

Heruka wrote: its funny to see from one side of the mouth, poetry and hyped mythos, full of puffed up pride, and the other side of the mouth spitting out bad taste and contempt..praise and scorn/ duality manifest from a single mouth.


Unless I've misunderstood your post it's arrogant of me to have:

a. called a teacher who was instrumental in establishing dharma in North America a genius, and

b. called a dharma teacher who knowingly infected people with AIDS a disgrace.

Why?
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Re: Trungpa Rinpoche's "Crazy Wisdom": Padmasambhava's Crime

Postby Silent Bob » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:47 pm

Tilopa wrote:FWIW I think it's common for people to think of Trungpa Rinpoche and his successor in the same breath which can create a distorted view of the former. IMO Trungpa was a visionary genius whereas Osel Tenzin was a total disgrace but unfortunately CTR carries the responsibility for putting OT in a position where he was able to inflict so much damage. One of the great mysteries is why he did it and why, when he came to regret it, he did nothing about it.



Tilopa--I was a student of CTR's and an active member of his Boulder sangha for 12 years and find myself generally in agreement with your comments. I often wondered (and fumed about) how OT and the Vajradhatu Board of Directors were able to run amok for so long, enjoying the trappings of power and privilege without being called to account by The Boss. The only halfway satisfactory answer I could come up with, as I was heading for the door, was that CTR's "hands off" leadership style was to put subordinates in positions of great responsibility, then stand back and see what happened. It worked out fine with some people; with others, not so much, and it became a bigger problem later in the game. By the time the big move to Nova Scotia took place, Rinpoche was getting ill and didn't have much to do with day-to-day operations. I've also been told by some who know that OT was scheming to displace CTR in a coup d'etat, but that his own illness and subsequent disgrace interfered with the plan.

Sad, all those dirty machinations, but they're history now and it's doubly sad that CTR is tarred by some clueless people with the same brush as the unfortunate OT.
"All the sublime teachings, so profound--to throw away one and then grab yet another will not bear even a single fruit. Persevere, therefore, in simply one."
--Dudjom Rinpoche, "Nectar for the Hearts of Fortunate Disciples. Song No. 8"
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Re: Trungpa Rinpoche's "Crazy Wisdom": Padmasambhava's Crime

Postby Greg » Thu Oct 27, 2011 4:08 pm

Chaz wrote:
Greg wrote:
That's an oversimplification. "Vocal condemnation" is one thing, but there have been a few of his students, close and not so close, who have written books expressing both admiration and deep misgivings. Everyone knows about the open boozing, but it would seem that there was also much that was kept hidden from both the community and public at large - the coke habit, for instance.

I am not saying he was a saint or a charlatan, all I am saying is, knee jerk reactions either way are not helpful.


What coke habit is that?


There was a book written by John Steinbeck IV and his wife Nancy, titled The Other Side of Eden: Life With John Steinbeck. Here it is:
http://www.amazon.com/Other-Side-Eden-Life-Steinbeck/dp/B004JZWN7A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1319727717&sr=8-1

They were close students of his, members of his inner circle. They allege that he was doing $40,000 a year worth of coke and Seconal and that his "staggering coke habit was well concealed from his students." These are just allegations, it's true, but I find them very credible. I've asked a number of people who would know whether or not this was true and no one was willing to deny it. Additionally, the Steinbecks were the ones who went to the NY Times with the news that Osel Tendzin was HIV positive and having unprotected sex with a number of men in the Vajradhatu community, at a time when Vajradhatu was desperately trying to cover it up. Otherwise the story may never have even gotten out.
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Re: Trungpa Rinpoche's "Crazy Wisdom": Padmasambhava's Crime

Postby Silent Bob » Thu Oct 27, 2011 4:32 pm

Yes, I knew Nancy well, back in the day, as well as all of the principals in her mean-spirited, vomitous little memoir. Fortunately, no one takes her seriously, least of all the people who know her.

My friend John Steinbeck IV had passed away long before her book was written and had nothing to do with its actual content and it was solely on the strength of his father's name and reputation that it was published at all. Moreover, both she and John were "scene-makers" rather than practitioners and her book was mostly about settling scores with all the many people in Boulder whom who she hated--lots of venom spilled finding nasty things to say about the many women her husband consorted with.

Diana Mukpo's memoir, "Dragon Thunder" is much more interesting and factual, unless your taste inclines toward gossip and character assassination.
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Re: Trungpa Rinpoche's "Crazy Wisdom": Padmasambhava's Crime

Postby Chaz » Thu Oct 27, 2011 4:52 pm

Greg wrote:
Chaz wrote:
Greg wrote:
That's an oversimplification. "Vocal condemnation" is one thing, but there have been a few of his students, close and not so close, who have written books expressing both admiration and deep misgivings. Everyone knows about the open boozing, but it would seem that there was also much that was kept hidden from both the community and public at large - the coke habit, for instance.

I am not saying he was a saint or a charlatan, all I am saying is, knee jerk reactions either way are not helpful.


What coke habit is that?


There was a book written by John Steinbeck IV and his wife Nancy, titled The Other Side of Eden: Life With John Steinbeck. Here it is:
http://www.amazon.com/Other-Side-Eden-Life-Steinbeck/dp/B004JZWN7A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1319727717&sr=8-1

They were close students of his, members of his inner circle. They allege that he was doing $40,000 a year worth of coke and Seconal and that his "staggering coke habit was well concealed from his students." These are just allegations, it's true, but I find them very credible. I've asked a number of people who would know whether or not this was true and no one was willing to deny it. Additionally, the Steinbecks were the ones who went to the NY Times with the news that Osel Tendzin was HIV positive and having unprotected sex with a number of men in the Vajradhatu community, at a time when Vajradhatu was desperately trying to cover it up. Otherwise the story may never have even gotten out.


Thanks for offering your source. It's one I was unaware of.

I tend to trust Chris' belief that the alledged coke habit is just that - an allegation. Certainly possible, though.

That said, I know a number of CTR's former students in Boulder. They are always very free and up front about their guru's "eccentricities" (my term not their's). They make no qualms about his drinking and sexual activities and one would think that considering their honesty about his other shortcomings, a coke habit wouldn't be out of bounds for discussion.

Also,CTR's widow, Dianah Mukpo, doesn't mention cocaine abuse in her memoir, Dragon Thunder. She is quite free in her discussion of his drinking and it's effects on him, her and their family. She also tells an interesting story about CTR, the Regent and some others doing Acid in the middle of the night. As I recall, she also said CTR didn't like Pot (something I find a bit strange). She also tell of how, towards the end, CTR had serious misgivings about the Regent. I would find it strange that had CTR developed a cocaine dependency, she would have covered it up by not discussing it in Dragon Thunder. She talks about everything else.
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Re: Trungpa Rinpoche's "Crazy Wisdom": Padmasambhava's Crime

Postby ronnewmexico » Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:02 am

WE must be careful when we judge what may be realized peoples.
Ram Dass years and years ago gave a massive dose of a hallucigen to his guru of the time. Unbeknowest to the guru.
No effect whatsoever was noticed by anyone.

I am no realzed person at all, not even spiritual but had occasion to be in what was described as a catatonic coma for a period years and years ago, back in the day.
After that for quite some time alcohole had no effect upon me. I would suspect my reactions were slowed but no disturbance of mentation was present.
That was a accident but I have no reason to believe a realized person of spiritual advancement would be affected by any substance.

I am not saying this was the case, but I would not discount that this may have been a tool utilized to provide a imperfect aspect to a perfectly considererd thing...for purpose.
Americans are theists through and through tending to ideolize and push the absolute aspect to things...this may be found in many discussions here.
They find it easier to be told good or bad and right or wrong. You must be a pacifist under any circumstance. YOu must be a strict vegetarian under any circumstance...it is much easier on their psyche if things are qualified as such.
If the message of primary concern to americans spiritually is that all needs to be considered in a noninherantly existant fashion or qualified by circumstance what better way then to combine as perfect thing with a imperfect vehicle.

I don't know but I would not summarily discount the possibility.
What he consumed is really not to important he was known by behavior as faulted.
The question is....was it intentional?
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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