Are you curious about the truth? The truth about reality? What this really is? So am I.
Are you an armchair philosopher? Are the answers your parents gave to you when you were a child… well… a little simplistic?
I have spent most of my adult life with a narrow mind that I closed to certain ideas. But now, after deciding to explore new ideas (new to me anyway), like Zen Buddhism, I understand how important it is to keep asking questions. I began to think differently about everything: me, you, education, sports, parenting, government, the earth, and the universe. This doesn’t mean I believe I’ve found some perfect answer for everything, far from it. It doesn’t mean I’m a Buddhist; I’m not. It’s just given me another way of looking at reality and I want to share it with you.
I love it, but I can see why some people hate it. Some of it isn’t about Zen at all; it’s about Brad. But that doesn’t bother me, because I want to learn about a Zen Master who plays Hardcore Punk, loves Black Sabbath, and makes “B” monster movies.
On the back of Brad Warner’s book, he writes:
Question Authority. Question Society. Question Reality. Question Yourself. Question your conclusions, your judgments, your answers. Question this. If you question everything thoroughly enough, the truth will eventually hit you upside the head and you will know. But here’s a warning: It won’t be what you imagined. It won’t be even close.
Brad Warner does not sugar coat anything and his style is fun, irreverent, but at times a bit cynical.
Brad opens with this:
Nothing is sacred. Doubt – in everything – is absolutely essential. Everything, no matter how great, how fundamental, how beautiful, or important it is, must be questioned.
It’s only when people believe that their beliefs are above questioning, that their beliefs alone are beyond all doubt, that they can be as truly horrible as we all know they can be. Belief is the force behind every evil mankind has ever done. You can’t find one truly evil act in human history that was not based on belief – and the stronger their belief, the more evil human beings can be.
Later, Brad goes on to share two of his beliefs:
Everything is sacred. Every blade of grass, every cockroach, every speck of dust, every flower, every pool of mud outside a graffiti-splattered warehouse is God.
Everything is profane. “Saving the planet” is a waste of time and preserving the environment is a waste of energy. Flowers stink and birdsong is irritating noise.
Hmmm…does that pique your curiosity?
Brad on enlightenment:
Some people think enlightenment is some kind of superspecial state without questions or doubts, some kind of absolute faith in your beliefs and the rightness of your perceptions. That’s not enlightenment. In fact, that’s the very worst kind of delusion.
On religious conflict:
Killing someone in God’s name is ridiculous. If we do that, we are killing God and killing the truth.
On the current state of the world:
The world is in deep shit right now. The only thing that can save us from our own self-induced destruction is direct knowledge of the truth. And I say that without any reservation at all. Mankind cannot survive unless the truth dawns – from within – in each and every one of us. No political solution, bellicose or peaceful, will ever save us. No law. No pact. No treaty. No war.
Every single human being in the world at some time thinks that “if only” this or that one of our conditions could be met then we’d be happy… Think again.
Drugs are extremely destructive to your physical body, and they can leave emotional psychic wounds that can form permanent scars. They do not aid you in usefully discovering the truth in the least. I’m amazed I even survived my experimentation with that poison. My advice to you: Don’t bother.
You can communicate with Brad on his blog at http://hardcorezen.blogspot.com/.
If you are interested or curious about Zen, try these books:
- Hardcore Zen: Punk Rock, Monster Movies, and the Truth About Reality by Brad Warner
- The Way of Zen by Alan Watts
- Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig
- Zen Mind, Beginners Mind by Shunryu Suzuki
The above blockquotes were granted by:
(c) Brad Warner, 2003. Excerpted from Hardcore Zen: Punk Rock, Moster Movies, and the Truth About Reality with permission from Wisdom Publications * http://wisdompubs.org