In Praise of Holy Madness

Page 3 of 3 pages < 1 2 3 - Full Article

Trim your beard

“If the scissors are not used daily on the beard, it will not be long before the beard, by its luxuriant growth, is pretending to be the head.”
— Sufi mystic Nur ad-Din Abd ar-Rahman Jam

Joe, it is all about the center. Getting away from the destructive, divisive periphery (the beard growing out of control, ritual, dogma, concepts, arguments) and right to the universal core germinal point (the face behind the beard, out of which the beard grows) “from within which all religion arises and back to which, ideally, it should lead us.” When I occasionally pass through center while on my way from one periphery to another, IT IS HEAVEN. But today it is warm and raining. The chlordane is reeking. I am having much trouble now, especially opening the mail. Still, those who have been to the center, who have at least perceived, if only for a moment, the face behind the beard, have a responsibility to be critical of those who remain at the periphery with their beards growing out of control.

Meanwhile, the sheer carnage of our terrible national enterprise is staggering! Yet no one mentions the back rooms of research facilities filled with mutilated tortured beings kept alive for study or force-fed Drano to see how long it takes fifty-percent of them to die. I am always astonished at how very few people know what goes on in medical and corporate research labs, not to mention the meat industry. “For every action…” It’s the nature of reality. It’s physics. There will be a reckoning for the culture that creates a holocaust of that magnitude. The fact that there is something terribly wrong with anyone who does such a thing, and that this same “lack” will therefore affect EVERYTHING he/she does, eventually creating magnificently awful problems. Elevating carnage to cultural protocol is very dangerous. And official rationalization of it is disastrous. Why isn’t someone talking about these things? We have no examples. We have no ideals. We have only corruption and self-justifying silliness in service of capitalism as it runs further and more terribly amok.

And to the forces on the left trying to combat all this I say: The realization IS compassion.” “Consciousness” and “heart” arise together. They are one thing. The compassionate try to help even their most despicable brothers. That’s why it is written: “Without love, I am nothing.” Yet the left throws it all away. Though the left is so often correct in principle, it becomes merely the other side of that one counterfeit coin we have been offered. True spirituality is the answer. Therefore, I say to the left, “don’t throw religion away; find out what it’s about”. And intelligent smug people on the left will answer, “There is no God!” Yet that statement is unperceptive, pointless and offensive.

Be compassionate, but be careful. I saw a fighter pilot on the 700 Club who described what sounded like an homoerotic orgasm experienced while shooting down some enemy planes killing the pilots. He interpreted the rush of killing them as “finding God”. God had visited him there in the cockpit. But he and Danuta talked glowingly about it. We have to be careful around these people. Very careful.

Anyhooooo . . . It is raining tonight and right now I am finishing off my liver with orange soda and vodka. The wind is blowing so hard there’ll be no roof left tomorrow. And to that I offer a hearty, “GOOD FUCKING RIDDANCE!” Last night I was getting together my mother’s “next-day’s” medicine—her prescriptions and other pills. But I forgot what I was doing, drew a glass of water and took them myself. HA! THERE’S NO HOPE! I have a case of beer and a pizza, so LOOK OUT, MOMMA!

And so this is all very surprising to me — in fact, shocking -— what you are doing. Respecting me like this. I’m a little scared you’ll find out who and what I really am. Nobody has ever taken me seriously. All my words are a humble attempt to point at the moon. Like the Buddha said, “my teaching is a finger pointing to the moon, but all of you are looking at my finger.” Of course, the finger pointing to the moon is analogous to “trimming one’s beard”… the teaching, the teacher, the ritual, the dogma, the practice, language, even the concept of “god” . . .  all of that is also the beard which “grows out” of the face and obscures it. Trim it daily.

Now I ask you this: What do you call the opposite of someone who is out of his mind? A poet? A divine monster? We do not much acknowledge horror in this country, except the petty stage-managed kind for which we have developed such an appetite, such as Terri Schiavo’s morbid gurgling, etc. Yet none of it comes close to the type of horror and grandeur that’s lacking in our life, the kind from which we flee, such as our own graves or the sight of the things we do to sentient others so long as they are poor, voiceless, out of sight, or perhaps have four legs. And even then, the only way we can keep up the ghastly charade is by deeming the saints amid us as madmen, and anointing the truly depraved among us kings, avoiding at all costs our divine monsters.

About Joe Bageant:

Born 1946 in Winchester VA, USA. US Navy Vietnam era veteran.

After stint in Navy became anti-war hippie, ran off to the West Coast ... lived in communes, hippie school buses… started writing about holy men, countercultural figures, rock stars and the American scene in 1971 ... lived in Boulder Colorado until mid 1980s ... 14 years in all ... became a Marxist and a half-assed Buddhist ... Traveled to Central America to write about third World issues…

Moved to the Coeur d’Alene Indian reservation in Idaho, built a cabin, lived without electricity, farmed with horses for seven years ... tended reservation bar (The Bald Eagle Bar), wrote for regional newspapers… generally festered on life in America ... Moved to Moscow, Idaho, worked on third rate newspaper there ... Then moved to Eugene Oregon, worked for an international magazine corporation pushing insecticides and pesticides to farmers worldwide.

Then back to hometown of Winchester VA to settle some scores with the bigoted, murderous redneck town I grew up in. I love’em but they need a good ass kicking.

Died in 2000 when George Bush got elected ... died along with 275 million other Americans ... Plan to rise again from the dead when he is tossed out ...maybe reincarnate as a Commie terrorist on Wall Street ... maybe as a sex worker in Amsterdam ... can’t decide ... both have their advantages.

Joe Bageant

Email Joe Bageant at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Page 3 of 3 pages < 1 2 3 - Full Article

“How has Deepak Chopra managed to express such Republican conservative values with no criticism whatsoever from the left? Chopra is the ultimate example of the wolf in sheep’s clothing, a denizen of Oprah, and a spiritual guru for the superficial, self-serving rich in a miserable, dying world. Listen to him carefully. It’s the Benny Hinn/Robert Tilton/Creflo Dollar “gospel of prosperity”. (If you’re poor, you’re ungodly, and you got what you deserve. God prospers his people.) Chopra states overtly that material success is directly related to spiritual attainment. Oh, really? It would be news to Christ and Buddha.”

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you, my friend!!

I have never even read anything by him, in all honesty, but my deepest gut instincts tell me to stay the fuck away.. Thank you for providing the reason. I knew I wasn’t crazy. Well, maybe just a little.

I also have a deep love for Holy Madmen.
I am reminded of the guy I met on the bus once, who told me, “I am Jesus!”  Yes!! My friend, you are!!  I understood that, that epiphany of prior unity, only my head went somewhere else with it, so that I don’t tell strangers on the bus about it, but live it as a moral duty and a spiritual necessity, in the way we all should, if we cared.

Posted by Chandira  on  02/11  at  09:45 AM
Page 1 of 1 pages





Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Submit the word you see below:


Pages {pagination_links}

{/simplepaginate} {/exp:pagination}
Click Here!
© Dharma Cafe'   |  RSS Site   |   Top of page