Holy madness : the shock tactics and radical teachings of by Georg Feuerstein

By Georg Feuerstein

Holy insanity explores the non secular phenomenon known as loopy knowledge -- the purposefully outrageous, conventiondestroying habit of non secular adepts in each nice culture, from Christian Fools for Christ in the course of the Sufi course of Blame, to the charismatic leaders of recent religions. the writer explores the middle of the non secular method via 8 serious indepth cameos of holy insanity in motion within the lives of 8 contemporaries, together with Chgyam Trungpa, Bhagwan Rajneesh and Aleister Crowley. This revised and elevated version encompasses a new review of the yankee guru Adi Da (formerly Da unfastened John) and the psychopathology of blind religion, utilizing the instance of Shoko Asahara (founder of Japan's notorious terrorist sect AUM). the writer deals instructions for selecting a sensible, enlightened advisor or guru, and assistance for heading off the exploitative.

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The motives may not always have been clear to the fools themselves. They simply did what they felt moved to do within the logic of their chosen life. Perhaps it would be correct to say, however, that the primary thrust of their eccentric lives was to maximize the conditions that would allow them to demonstrate and to school themselves in the art of what the great German mystic Eckehart calls geMzenbeit, "letting go. " This is the same attitude that Hinduism celebrates as the "vision of sameness" (sama-darshana): to regard a gold coin and a clump of dirt with the same indifference and equanimity.

First of all, the word "clown" originally meant "clod" or "clot," and, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, made its appearance in the second half of the sixteenth century. A clown is an individual , usually a man, who gives the appearance of being dull or otherworld­ ly but, as in the case of the trickster, possessing a good portion of wit and cunning. The ritual clown is a highly ambiguous and ambiva­ lent figure: He, or more rarely she, is human, yet quite unlike any other human being, inhabiting the threshold between idiocy and saintliness.

Ashamed of his teacher's bizarre behavior, his young disciple apologized to the villagers and advised them to return home since the old man had apparently lost his mind. When the eremite emerged from the water, his disciple asked, "Why did you do that? " Whereupon the old man replied, "That's exactly what I wanted to hear. "13 In the thirteenth century, the respected notary Jacopone da Todi took up the lifestyle of a fool after the death of his beloved wife. One day, during a celebration in the city of Todi, he was grasped by such religious fervor that he stripped off all his clothes and crawled about 15 Holy Madness on all fours, with a saddle strapped to his back and a bit set in his mouth.

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