Buddhism at Millennium's Edge - Seminar 2

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Copyright 1998 by Peter Matthiessen - Unedited Preview Cassette


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yeah i'm forced to had a wonderful phrase he said good writing is
the administering a series of tiniest punishments
and what does that mean really it means finding of a fresh way to say to say something
a new way beginner's mind way of saying
i talked earlier about to would have golden words
on food and stuff and them
the and research notebooks
and i think really the greatest and again you must treat everything i've heard of the highest suspicion and may not apply to you or to your work or work you would like to do and they're all cause writings for all sorts of occasion as all varied in i find it hard to believe though that you could write well without paying attention
and of course that's the heart of our practice as well
yeah attention
pay attention
pay attention
moment after moment moment after moment freshening and mind we caught
and that fresh mind that you may have noticed we were discussing out this morning at breakfast to i think come
when you sit and when you meditate your vision your vision actually seems to widen you know an ordinary life you're concentrating on this you really are looking down at the tube but when you meditate and you start opening out the spawning when we began i said open out and your vision actually starts
opening out until finally you really think you will see if you you can see out here on your certainly aware of everything
out there nothing gets by and assure issue that i think com that opened mind which is or should be the writer's mind you don't miss much henry james said that you don't miss anything
you really are aware of little intonations will figures of speech little colors sounds smells
you take it in and you use which you can but all of those things of course are in that moment are very fresh and the depends how you to transcribe them into your notebook or into your mind use as new notebook if it's vivid enough ah you will never forget it i saw something in antarctica art will never forget i abs
literally astounded how we were up on the bridge of this chip looking south towards us you know but the ocean just east of just west of the and arctic man master and the sun was going down into the ocean and there's you know that time of you down there at summer there isn't much darkness and
the sun actually itself scenery having a very hard time getting below the horizon and seem to hit the rise in than cannon ball out and flat mountain and wasn't going under
i thought that's extraordinary and what would it look like through binoculars i put my bird glasses on it and the gold that came through those lenses was so it was absi pierce the heart and seemed appears the brain just i know seems that gold gold guns my
data and tathagata togheter at such as the softness of that goal you know and i went i naturally on of our clients was extra massive butcher binoculars on the certainties are candle burn my eyes out and few numbers i said no no one you'll see something very beautiful and he did and he put
his glasses up my granny did because at that moment that son on the horizon turned an absolutely piercing turquoise green
it was like having a green needle piercing your brain as how and some sharp was how extraordinary and a flat out no color green rectangle and then it went down below the horizon and i've been hearing about this green flash i never took it seriously at all i've seen her greenish sunsets in africa done on
the gulf is it is always at the sun has to be going down below the horizon it wouldn't happen even going behind iceberg on it's just when at last moment
well how do you describe that moment you see i'm taken how many words by five hundred words here to describe something that was a split second experience how do you how do you boil it down
how do you find that detail that stands for the whole thing this is what the writer is always searching for you're looking for that detail that really represents the whole
and that town
and sometimes it's a bit of dialogues and memes as a conversation i once i was i was looking birds and o'keefe loki swamp and bit o'keefe gnocchi and i was rolling around and out of the trees of his use swamp cypress came as old guy
rowing leaning on as was he been in there all day long you we just see it he rarely when they used up a six pack in as bait never ever he was really tired and and he paused on is rested on his wars as we kind of coast and past each other and he said
you run end any fish around here that might care for a ride my boat
know well if you're a writer you know you struck a little rain if your goal that's the kind of thing you put your notebook it just says the whole thing about his day in the swamp and the fishing
so you unused you just you your open those things you should be economical now i don't i don't particularly like some of the modern novel writing this day by the economical lead to the point of transparency i love transparency but it should be used as a tool not as
a out as an end you i'm all for storytelling and will admit that i think if you go into traditional people's winter count of the indian people these stories are very important and i have a feeling that you sure that dispenses with story not plot plan or something as parts or construction
uranium but story as a story my story it's our story and some universal human story and somehow this writer as a will tap into that i think we need stock is now in books
nonetheless you shouldn't bang on a great length as i have done and my trilogy
i feel that length is necessary because what i'm doing is i'm constructing the sounds extremely pretentious on the first to admit it but i haven't found a better analogy but
what i wanted a kind of up symphonic structure for the introduction of themes and then you have a movement is faster and a movements or on today i allegro owner and then you need but you keep coming back to that central the even at risk of repetition verbiage m
it's important because developed in different ways each time from different point of view on the the last book of the children will leave from the the dead man's point of view actually always not the cordelia
he will be a
but you do when and others unless you have a good reason not to be for artistic or structural reasons there are reasons were you don't want to be economical and novels by the way you know they are somebody said big saggy things i can that novel can absorb a lot of extra can have the like the gresham's and diversions and pocket
so this nat a short story cat a short stories construction is much more like upon you really cannot waste a word mature store and you mustn't pick the wrong one i had a student or writing student one time this guy wrote of very touching really elegiac thing about first love for this beautiful girl
well he obviously donate officers basing it on zone experience he was shy to describe her face and you did a pretty good job of it to and she was attractive anyway from whole context she was attractive
and then he brought the whole thing tumbling down by referring to i know exactly remains it was very vivid he said he referred to her something in her eyes no teeth in her mouth and a perfect ski jump knows
you know in certain contexts that would be wonderful if you're doing something else at ski jump knows if you try and describe some kind of horsey athletic girl with our a ski jump knows who work very well i would bring the whole thing and the focus you know company but in a romantic mood piece
in butter it just and that's why say one word it just brought it all down luckily that's easily easily fixed but you know in england they say
a gentleman has never rude except on purpose
well a writer should never be wordy except on purpose was be spare do your homework i know many many bodies whose work consistently needs another draft their extra words they're soggy words or cliche stale express
so put the time and you put a lot of time and already put that extra time and you can also overwork no question about that you can do in painting and you can do it writing and out but there are little things that he at those of you i know everybody here has but i when you knew making bread
versus connor
amorphous and then you shape it and you need it at and it suddenly comes to life that has his real last plasticity and flexibility him enormous life on it and what happens you keep working and because more and more brittle and it starts to crumble and your fingers and you can't go back this
same thing can happen writing you have to ah judge that life you have to know that life is and numb

ya again then the detail that stands that stands for the rest suzuki roshi hum
and him that my beginner's mine are wonderful book i read so many times i was read it with a different color pencil or pen and underline and korea where my mind is that and it's really fascinating i never underline the same things you know you look back and back to that books like the well but at some point in there he says something like it
if you've understood a frog you understood everything kind of course for does he mean to on truly understand a frog argued mr everything understood the whole you a fraud represents everything so you could say that you could replace frog with almost anything
but that detail and a sense stands you know stands for the rest stands for whole indra's net the whole universes echoing behind residents behind
so we are always searching for that i'm detail i'm gonna home do it now but after lunch i'll read you couple of short passages and where and i'll i'll put up to you as if you see what detail is there that is the key one some as we missed but as the key key thing
the key word we talk sometimes about the memory but master by shows famous
you know
old pont or ancient pond frog jumps him
splash is
that is the keyword there isn't frogger holder is that
this moment that's for the life is right there we say we chant at the heart sutra form is emptiness emptiness is form it's the is the key are not among the i is is is is that's what our life is and
think of all it is as we trample you know we're already regretting the past are always looking for to the future we we will be resent our work whoever may be our drudgery not realizing that if you're in that moment even washing dishes can be thrilling if you're aware of the mechanism in your hands is extraordinary
motors and processes and apparatus apparatus and apparatuses hum
that are it worked there and the sensory feeling of your skin the heat and hot and he's really is quite astonishing with that depends on keeping your attention
even at so-called painful moments
if you really pay attention to the pain in your knees you know you find yourself going into that is all one and you don't make these value distinctions will be honest you don't you know militate against the pain is just pain red green metal hair smell from the kitchen
it's just a phenomenon like that you don't say it's good or bad just like the violence has talking about last night it's just there is the fact
jump up and when you'd emilio demonize pain anymore you can handle lot more of and up to a point i agree there is a point when you realized your horror that the bell ringers falling asleep
ha ha that's for known to happen to know
so as this truly seeing one time i don't mean to dwell on saw on roshi too much but i remember one session ah we were we had to because there was construction of our monastery we went to a catholic retreat house up in litchfield connecticut
and there's a huge spruce there in the east east of the building and you can see it most kelly from the stairwell and great big window there and so on roshi called for tyson again he didn't he didn't wanna talk to us and all she is when running up the stairs and
he'd stopped you on the landing and you turn around and they're behind this bruce was this sun coming up through a needle's he was just telling the whole enough
can he bring the bath send you down again well i it was such a shock you know there was as an and master who saw the sun for the first time and that was as enlightened expanse you know we speak of seeing the sun for the first time how ridiculous we see it every day the sun as i don't see much here in california lately but still you see it but you
don't truly see it you don't truly see the treasonous of the tree for the suddenness of the sun and but causes was a long way into a long session everybody's mind was very very open and i burst into tears and i'm a lot of people that he just ring the bell go down again that is that mama
hum hum hum
the other foot is that colon and on a view remind reminder have taught the scorn for a long time but
master has a stick caught soon how's it up when he says if you say this is a stick i will give you thirty blows if you say it is not a stick i won't give you thirty blouse
a wonderful time and i will up i knew you working on that gone
before i go any further
a but downward anyway we're talking about such snus stiffness
this moment ness and these moments when you really pay attention to this moment it just expands expense span and all the mystery is there
you suddenly see that mystery that hiding behind everything and as part of a writers task to see that see that mystery
always there everything right here now
he's unjust are not in some sort of days i've and hunching over my notes like it i can't see through my glasses at all and i can to lean over to see from my i saw a selector
ezra pound had a wonderful image as your pounds
not such a great rider but he had a great sense of writing and what it was and he did do some very fine writing to but we don't remember flat remove as an influence on other people and as somebody who recognize good writing way ahead of its time but he did have one image i really remember and he says it said
he was talking seen as subway car pass and the dark as a famous dinesen he said
something like
faces in the passing subway petals on a wet black bough
quantify you see the white face going back
this is momentary as that that was great now that his metaphor and most good writing is full of wonderful metaphor that stops you in your tracks not really ah vivid and fresh and new whatever i try writing a book without hum metaphor and go far tortuga
that was my zen type book i tried to eliminate 'em metaphor tie i tried to read the whole book without any symbol nothing like so on so just the thing itself and maybe i'll hold out and i might call my maybe at lunchtime i'll find a little passage from there to show you show you what
i mean that was a wonderful exercise because if you truly see the thing itself you don't need a metaphor you just adding is just extra
so much for our life is just extra and as we miss the thing itself
and writing hell least for a fanatic like me is sort of my life we say then as our life but anything you truly do wholeheartedly is your life that is your life your life as they're going by
moment after moment can we must may take advantage of his moments not live in the future or in the past think of the mayor's laments we've
ignored or trampled on or blurt out didn't notice and and this life is extraordinary
very mysterious business
so i really it's like teachings in i think if i were trying to teach riders i don't quite believe in them writing classes which you can teach a writing class is no sense what not to do is have a negative proposition you couldn't save new riders a lot
what's for example to avoid that canister and to be economical and to be and and put in the time putting the time of is worth doing as you've heard many times it's worth doing well
know about that but i think i would really just teach that
this paying attention to his moment add freshness that's what we want and writing were not interested in abstractions generalities and so forth we really are interested in a fresh way of seeing our own life and that's what good writing is you recognize something that somebody is saying that you would be true and you've never seen in writing before
and in the old days as angeles norman king and the old days in library books new got books out of a library there's a new that the older ladies have made a little notation and will check park and the margin saying how true
ah but that's true
happy that his head is
that's what's happening is that moment of recognition that writer has pierced into the universal well experienced that which we all share male or female
and i think that really isn't much good writing is that's what it breaks your heart of if the the the hero of the idiot just as is the idiot com such as it really hurts what happens to that person because the writer has managed to convey the imagined in the pain that the heroes going through
i think that's what writing isn't i'm not going to a i'm very happy to answer questions about technique or whatever i can help with of it happens to
be something i know been so i think i'll open amount of questions for about ten minutes and marked as i will be actually go to see how it goes for goes into questions run out we can sell
are you to find yourself working ninety three miles
where you can write an outline i recommend not doing that with a short story generally speaking a short story you can hold in your own and unfiltered long story or or near novella maybe not but a short story is really an impression and one could almost say the faster you ride at the better than you'd go back and and polish it but it is more like a pie
am i had a friend who was a poet who actually had that technique he would write about really i mean really fifteen or twenty poems and night at top speed but then he went through the next day ruthlessly and gently through them all out now and again he'd say one analysis technique her and amounted to about the same
time is other pupils technique but i think his principal was correct
it's spontaneous you're not letting your notions ideas of what's literary what is and what people will like all that stuff will only get near way and good writing you don't care what people think you're really trying to clarify something for yourself clarify an idea and if you really do it everybody will care about it can be that perceived
that everybody can share learned a novel novel you can wander around a bit and sometimes it's very good to wander around but some novels wander and
i always do i not off i usually write an outline and then i wander away from it because if a novel as any good it'll take on its own life in the characters will to and you can't control it with that with an outline they're going to be sprawling you know all over the place i generally know how the law was going to
and as often the first thing that occurs to me
come and i'm i'm working toward that most effective way i can and and it and killing mister watson as i say i put it right in the beginning so it was new nanny is that the and have but i do use an outline simply because which you can do if you'd get if you get a great big piece of artists doing a drawing paper when a biggest piece of paper you for a new tack
up on your wall and then you make a rough outline just add between lot of space chapter one chapter two you put in her first as general topics and how it goes then as you think of things you can write them right and they are they will be in the right place that it'll be a terrible mess and you may have to remake that shot but you're accumulating your ideas that my place on you say this is real
ductless as whole chapter should be down here
your orders all and then we talk about structure structure is fact very important how the book is structured and the problems are always different to me as much the most fascinating part of doing a novel how you structure it's really is like sculpture and what is the shape that will bring this feeling or emotion i
idea out most clearly you know ah that is it is truly a fascinating how to happen then you have to worry about the voice was the best voice to tell a story and acid can be if you hit the wrong boys showed the whole thing will come down you have to off new a mirror at three chapters in third person say no
this has to be a first-person narrative or the reverse or omniscient or have everybody thinking at once i mean every every character you mention he's doing something yeah
why that structure when you didn't like the actual time
national story when possible statues
there is no limit to your options and i'm not you shouldn't limit yourself that way
you can do anything you please if you can do it
the question is can you do it i think for a new rider to the first person in a way as harder to do without seeming kind of monitor
in for new riders it takes a certain amount of experience to jump around and be experimental and try things but damn there's no rule about it all a rule i suppose is to hold your reader but no way not a don't even care about that you know
you will know if it's good
i have experience and up
losing the magnet in corresponding novel and wonder you have as well and if there's any way to find again no i don't think it is if you lose that magnet you've grown away from your material and you just have to cut your losses as my experience and a certain point i've done that with a couple of books i got
in too far and i just know i lost it and i knew that was good material and often you what you do as you go back to an earlier draft dot you can do if you keep your drafts and on the computer had makes it's way easier to then you'll probably have a better sense of which which your true direction was or is am i give you a clue but i don't think you know
it from scratch now although far toward to go which is my own favourite of my books to date
i worked on for twelve years often on doing a lot of non-fiction a lot of travel it was yesterday was experimental and i had so much fun trying to work out the problems and i had lot more fun than some of the reviewers seem to an apple or banana there were those who are writers really liked that book and and some of us liked it
by much but some really hated it
accidents are thinking me
not comply
that the that does happen it does happen and some writers make a mistake of waiting that
beautiful accent and might happens you count your blessings of allah and the same issue of a good working day there are days when you just can't seem to put a foot wrong the thing just a my first short story that was published as like at is virtually first draft why that store i'm never able to repeat that thirty five stories late
yeah i'm still waiting for to happen again but somehow again certain scenes will do that but you can you cannot wait for that you just have to write everyday plug along you're gonna hate some of the material i think i think there's probably true of most riders some days i'm really suicidal by the end of the day and other days i'm so elated that i am a up
other you know and you just don't know what it's going to happen and after while if you're a pro you just take the bad day and the good day you go along and just thank god for the good days you can always those days that are really bad later on in the second or third or fourth draft over you're doing you can always clean up stop the span sometimes it's better to to go ahead because your hope your my
and will rethink that passage you had trouble with hemingway the immortal hemingway
a very good thing i voiced use this has been very helpful he said are always and with a difficult passage pastures that's been giving you trouble and your workday with that one when you know exactly where you're going the next morning
i was the first passage of the day isn't easy on a patch of dialogue you gotta have it your mind something like that the prime the pump it gets you rolling sometimes up blank page and morning as i can be in a fuck ah i think that's excellent advice to do that
crystal wow
new revelation
and battles
the office food supplies
at work
or it
an imagination
back to
not great fishing
i don't know yet
i know dumb
the question i rick i don't have that experience i have i used have such a problem in especially early days of package for some reason that like sitting in a session the dawn sitting
structure would just come to me you mine had been so clearing up in the days before and is very clear structural solutions would come now many structural solutions but patches of dialogue and story and area characterization it was so strong and it with by sitting as i finally went to edinburgh
she that wasn't i went to him so what do i do at my isa know and he is quite right he said you're doing zazen you are fully into the structural problem than your novel and that as your zaza for the moment he said go upstairs and write it all down and then your empty your mind of that and then come back and new your ordinary you normal zazen but i
find i find us on very very good for structural palms and i'm ashamed to say that i've used many of sitting period to work out money

how about me seen on lot was no wrong
the state
i've been using that for reading
home yesterday
i'm excited excitement
he find my own homes
i wrong
well i really hadn't thought of it but the book the novel i wrote before for tortuga was i play the views of the lord and that was full of metaphors similes metaphors all over the place and it seemed to me at that time and then i took
zen after i'd finished that book and has seen me then that it was overwritten an ornate and extra i don't think it really was it was just a different way about a going after work that seem to me so it seemed to me that those metaphors were in the way i was love with spanish them and no no doubt i reeked of the stink of them
i had this austere view in other thing now on the contrary on the contrary i think it's all on i embraced the spanish and the
over rich erotic things to of that's all part of my life as part of our existence so i don't make that distinction anymore
you start out loud wrong ideas on everything's decided
first lines just want your thoughts about and sometimes gelatin i find out and see what i'm in a bookstore to cap novel and green resign and judging the book on that but when you read something might go and perennial the first line william really gets up and yeah really regime a key
you talk a little bit of i feel about that about first lines in the novel about really getting on okay
i think i always think and i think most people do it that may love the first line and you want to have but you cannot have to avoid having a grabber if you know what i mean you're a hook i don't think that i get very rarely comes to the first line and a lot of the so-called famous for its lines are lines that have become famous because the book
was so good and we think it was a great you know first-time as a general rule when you're teaching writing as a general rule with people who have more or less even people who have more or less experienced ah
i would say that it's true for times out of five that if you eliminate the first paragraph and the last paragraph you will improve the star
the first paragraph is the grammar as the it knocks you out people are the writers scared that the reader will follow him past the first paragraph so he tries a dazzling in the first paragraph with a burst of fine writing let you know which is almost always extra and the real story begins in the second kira and the last paragraph is a
wrap up in case they missed it
a good story needs neither so i'm i'm a little suspicious of that great for islam yeah i think i think i often do too i can skim through a book i think i'm going to be wrong though sometimes but most of the time you can skim through a book i know whether i want to read it or not good i don't you know yo i don't want labour through
life is very short and they're a great many wonderful books and i wanted not wanna waste time on bad writing you know but you can do that but it's risky you might miss a very good one and there are people who write one for books and the hundred and i don't think tolstoy was a great prose stylists please one of the great fighters that ever lived ah he
just because of the material on the substance was so extraordinary and he's a very good writer but if not a a great stylist and in this case didn't matter
i just i'm a morning writer and in the days when i can and i did i didn't to i wrote all the books through through sixties and seventies i always wrote two books at a time i wrote fiction in the morning because that's my best time i gave it a fiction
and i wrote nonfiction and the afternoon and i was able to make that by going back in on for lunch or something or maybe going for walker doing something an hour or so after lunch i can make that break and and go but now i can do and i'm gonna say with i'd go back and forth by can do to in one day i got i work from i
always work about from eight thirty to twelve thirty break for lunch go back with coffee for another maybe two hours that i try to get some exercise in the afternoon and depends how things on an ordinary day than after that i would maybe do some research as reading not just whatever but when things are really rolling i'll go back on a right
through supper and over and past supper i worked are often on him on a real role or to nine thirty or ten starting at eight in the morning by tom but i am fanatic sure i'm i'm a travel a lot but i'm home i really do work i'm a workaholic my wife says it i i wasn't
workaholic i be an alcoholic and i'm sure she's right

that will take every last word
well as necessary isn't well ok google guy real christian romance as i sit down
haha thing within a community of writers are reports are having a rural area in your career amazon lovers
that and that is really the key point who dependable reader
well as as i say writing you know i think suzuki roshi said or somebody said at some point in sending are you not here to learn anything your hilda go of things
and maybe the writing teacher can teach you what to drop in your style are unfortunate are cumbersome mechanisms or whatever that of course those mechanical things can be taught you can teach tata talent you can't teach a determination you can make somebody a thick skin if they can handle criticism and
he won't make it very far there are people who really knew talking about you will last night i mean critics are there who just waiting to do your heart
and say truly vicious think you know
about you so if you can't handle that than than now you'd better watch out and in my head when i was teaching writing i always made a very strict rule no sarcasm
but no namby pamby criticism either don't handle a person is a trivet tendency among new students they know their own stories might be coming up next week and they want careful handling so then own gushing oh that's wonderful you're hearing is awful dragon and she is a wonderful and why you're tying these persons wonderful so that your the earth
a heavy you bust them to that say no no no bluntness is what you want to see what you really want from a reader even though as a rudder you will probably hate it and maybe hate them for few days you will recognize that this is true and it helps the work and that's what counts and would i always encourage as a don't don't listen to me i'm just the guys are try
you know administer this thing make up your own critical group among your peers if you have a good writing class if you can instill as spirit of bluntness but no sarcasm you will hear among the other people around that table you will hear some who are very good critics and they aren't always the best writers i just have a
very good critical eye and you learn to value them and lot i always encourage new his form up their own group so after the teacher has left than they had this encounter group and they really because there you have you will never have it again you have maybe twelve people who are seriously interested in improving
in your prose and you're writing in your chances of getting published and so forth where you gonna get that actually there so from that point of view i think it's extremely a resource everybody should lips should use but these are these running programs his mfa and so forth they go on and on on a you see these
people staying with his writing programs year after year the same people will see coming to zen practice where they're also going to six other just disciplines that kind of your shopping around they are staying in it's like spending your entire life with your shrink you know i mean you know when it is one is a real life again you have to
form that mole that cocoon at some point and i think i'm a little bit hostile to the mfa programs i seem too many good writers kind of go dead and stale they've been just hanging around the you know the hadn't but they will wean themselves they won't get away so i think that can do it can do guy serious damage and so you just have no
when to quit just like in the writing itself
way back

is or that on your writing
that was alone
to your
well no because i don't really make that much a distinction one of the tibetan school like car dupa i think so is very very close to zen practice anyway and so the really isn't the conflict and in fact i think the further you look into traditions and religious traditions
and i know the american indian my and making new friends that used to hang out with they say or don't use and teaches mind you hanging out with a bunch of skins as they always go home skins short for redskin
ah and i said absolutely not we don't see any conflict and i don't see you know tibetan buddhism as much more tantric as much more ornate ha in all that and a and for our tastes is a little bit overwrought that way but the essential teachings are really essentially this
same they came without the origins of the same they all came from the same place no i don't see it just a matter of more matter of appearance and taste you know to the difference and anyway i've never been really i'm i'm i read a lot of tibetan buddhist
texts and books about tibetan buddhism a wonderful book that dejong blofeld usually right here number that one is called and tantric mysticism of tibet terrific book we can all learn from that one or trumpets books which she didn't write himself that's neither here nor there he was a spirit behind it
with that awful title cutting through spiritual materialism but that wouldn't send you running from the bookstore i don't know
why use no words
the other way as social
a hair of the dog that bit you
you are drafted into the illusion by a social conspiracy and you can be released by a social conspiracy involving a girl and a community of like minded devotees
there are many many other variations to this plan these are the two general ways by which liberation from our artificial sense of identity can be found

this morning we were discussing
society to the outcast
the people who are beyond the pale
in other words
what are the the ways
of being liberated from the suffering and the tension which the social game involves
by really two ways
going right out altogether into solitude
i'll stay in the game
and seeing through it and i was describing do the whole history of the
from hunting couches to agrarian couches
from rolling unsettled unfixed people to city or set people
and ah
showing how
the way of liberation
is in some sense a return to the hunting culture
now it's not of course an actual return
in india a person who remains in the settled culture is called a great hostel which means a householder
now when you
become advanced in years and you have done your job in society and you have raised a son who can take it over
you go into a stage that has called varna pasta
and that means forest dweller you see it is in effect it means simply that the head of the house moves to a cottage in the backyard
and i supposed to be practicing meditation and studying the bhagavad gita
whatever else heaps probably sleeping but i you know how things become and because of time
but to call this stage of life van or pasta or forest dweller indicates that it's a return to the jungle

now look at this
on the one hand
we come from the hunting culture we go into the agrarian culture
and we seem to go back to the hunting culture
here in the center is what is in the pale
what is in the influence of the social game
now likewise outside the pale does the outlaw
was a criminal
and then
i won't say the in-law and how they also
but then there's a kind of a higher outlaw
who is different from the lower outlaw
and he is also beyond the pale
but in this sense
the the outlaw there's a criminal
is fighting one sort of game
the outlaw who is a site is beyond the pale and the sense that people can't understand them
his experience is ineffable
that means what can't be asked
how smokers
from the greek creamy
ah so notice them this curious companionship
the st
the no good
they've always been associated
it's a very odd thing jesus as we know sought out as his friends the disreputable people and the community
the hawes
and are people who are now called notorious evil livers
oh they i say not now that they were in the product of the episcopal church
there's a passage about notorious either livers who should not be admitted to communion
but you'll see the funny on queer thing is that it is precisely
the notorious evil livers that people like jesus cultivated
because they were interesting
because there is something in people like that
that is money arish feisty that somehow cultivates a new thing
as the book of the revelation says because thou art neither hot nor cold but lukewarm i will spill the out of my mouth
see the fact of sad sad fact of the matter is that most people are look one
their squares as we say
whereas on one the what you have a strange combination of the very evil person and the very saintly person both of them beyond the pale both having a curious alliance
don't remember all you can just well it's what it really is it just you go through again and you polish and you get the extra words and you may be restructure and you look at your paragraph new see that this sentence at the end really is more effective if you put it the beginning that the the placement of material is really
portant if you have a bunch of good images on a certain page you don't want a bunch them all together like they're like a bunch of dinosaurs clashing you know you want to give you will away you would instead a jewel you if you have a truly good image or a good metaphor have some ordinary not not bad prose would just play
ain't clear lucid prose around upset it all don't i don't jumble up your post with your metaphors will weaken each other about a how strong each one as they take away from a distract your attention from the other so placement and so the structure isn't only the whole book it goes right down to the paragraph and even the sentence
yeah i use here i don't think it i mean that many differences maybe i'll talk about some later while to under say something right now actually
i like fiction because i find fiction energizing i could never work on a nonfiction book to nine o'clock in the evening
i worked on fictional nine o'clock and only because i start to do bad stuff because i'm blurry and i probably had a drink or two and the supper ah then i know i'm doing horrible stuff i better equipment wait till the next morning non-fiction is battery drainer and we would you have a certains if you're a good journalist and you
a certain set of facts and you're stuck with those facts and you must be you must stick to the facts you can twist their story just because it be much more effective that way ha you have and there you are so what you're doing for me that of i always use the image of a of a cabinet maker you're making a beautiful cabinet but it is
according to pre-design and tradition architecture and so forth and the matter how fine your craftsmanship is still kind of an order to thing you can bring certain things about a jelly wrote extraordinary things to know interior effects whatever but nonetheless and be beautiful it can be very beautiful
but it cannot be my view art ah whereas a piece of sculpture which has his own life which is original which is long form which takes over you work with a materials you work with everything
last differences between a piece of sculpture and a beautiful cabinet
and i find the cabinet making arduous and takes away from my energy hum a book like the snow leopard because it was kind of of michigan land and everything else the kind and the so strange that element of mystery makes it for me much more fun to write the much more and adjacent right hum
on the other hand i really i resent the snow leopard of all my books because it's put me in and and the pigeonhole your agent your mother your fans and they all want you to write another snow leopard as the heat to write this stuff which has come from more comfortable makes more money
he and safer you're not offending people you're not stepping on toes which is very easy to do
so and the snow leopard kind of put me in that box and many many many reviewers just now with always begin i i'm second to no one in my admiration and peter madsen non-fiction may begin a new up on it
and i know it's really hit the fan as lamp any second out here and
you know and i and i don't feel as is true i feel that i've unfortunately written more non-fiction because i've gotten interested many causes not want to write about the environment and social injustice and stuff but i don't think is the heart of my works and it takes me three or four it three or four times longer to write a novel and does work of nonfiction
and am and i just love it i hope i will never i have to i'm going to assemble a couple of books full of short pieces on asia and on islands around the world been to lots of islands and the violence but i hope i will never undertake a nonfiction book again that's my hope it's only hope i know task skin rocio
have made me do something awful
is there a book that you wish you hadn't you mean that i admire so much posher latin
one hundred years of solitude for for example yeah oh there's lots of wonderful books wonderful bucks now
ah you were talking about you write non-fiction you just have the facts deal with the happiness project that way in a crazy horse at the end when you have the interview with the government will supposedly in one go i don't you at that point cross over from to study the facts will actually be a participant in
the backs at point i have a holder on that information while ease and when we how you feel about that crossing over at that point compete in the whole i'm not well you know i didn't do that and you're quite right it's a good point i did in this leonard peltier case you know the young indian guy who allegedly killed two fbi agents and a shootout on pine ridge
nineteen seventy five and i would work out that case forever
he still in jail course and all a giant lawsuit to no good
i did become partisan but i said so so at several places in the book you know i read in says had some other extreme things in fact i said at one point i said
it doesn't really matter or something like that who actually pull the trigger and that game app to your case because of the fact rover a number of facts one of them being that peltier had no record of violence whatsoever he wasn't a croaker a criminal or a thug he was a young indian hood and long history of working for his people
and there are over twenty young indians involved and the fbi now admits having put him in jail for two consecutive life terms and they don't know that me the us attorney's office
don't know who shot a so we don't know who the shooter was they only have him on aiding and abetting but they convicted him on first i'm first to be murder he is a shooter he is the cowardly thug that went down there and shot these two young agents and they didn't know that ah so there there are many many inconsistencies in the case and
even his own judges think that he should have a commuter sensor least one i'm actually wrote a letter to the president about it feels it's a twenty three years is long enough if the victims have been anybody but fbi agents either been out long ago from the to people who were convicted with him who indicted with him originally they both were acquitted and flint
it had been there for that trial he'd be a free man he would have been a free man for the last two twenty three years so i think maybe since his whole life has been blown away he was twenty seven when he i think when he went in is no is almost fifty now about fifty
maybe enough is enough but we go an appeal every year and the the president knows all about this case he's waiting for janet reno to pass on and she's waiting for him they never come down with a decision for this commutation of sentence and and i feel and perhaps you did on mastering a minute
to identify your interest in this case
i feel it's holding it up is the retired agents
ah i retired fbi agents who have people who remember the case you probably knew some of the young agents bob or whatever and they are represented by very very right wing people very fanatical people and but the fbi rigor and louis free has at first set of use it wasn't not take any opinion on this case you didn't know about
to he was too young and so forth but then he was kind of obliged to take a position and to attack county and attack the idea of releasing him and the somehow happen right after i got myself smuggled into the white house was able to press a copy of the book into the large soft friendly hand of our president
am in front of many witnesses but those witnesses included a i'm sure our secret service people in hiding the word got out hey this commie matheson has got loose in the white house news doing this awfulness i don't know that are that may be paranoia but
somehow suddenly when that happened right after that happened those free takes an ad out the washington post is that director of the fbi and a blasting peltier a here's a guys when and jeff over twenty as well as he suddenly attacking him he's been he's been judged convicted why as the fbi director attacking him
and pret and ad paid for by your tax money and it's kind of odd and the same time i was really smeared in an article guy who's had obviously very good access the agents he quoted where people we can never get to i couldn't interview he's his field interview anybody in africa he always had very good contacts d
read and he has a way of attacking peltier he attacked me he attacked my integrity and so forth and i as a writer was been working all these years i really did not like to have my integrity he cause a euro a boob and you know look bleeding heart jerk even all those things i certainly heard that many times
hunker down but this was different he really went after my integrity and he said that i am a oliver stone who's good at times your interests making a movie we had purposely pulled up fraud on the american people and we're trying to disregard this footage of the sky was that i killed the agents a young indian guy in a hood
god that on sixty minutes yet a lot of attention but it wasn't time it was very speculative i've met in that way yes i was partisan i took go but i said so and i said this is my view this guy really needs some compassion here yesterday you read about the fbi there and trouble yet again they had to give money to this guy who blew the whistle
on their laboratory work which was notoriously sloppy well it was very sloppy and and had found his case so i am delighted when they have to do that because it backs up what we've been saying all along he was real whether or not use the killer he was railroaded into prison on fake ballistics evidence sloppy work that disdain for indian people
now i know i really i'm afraid i wandered back up onto my soapbox i feel i feel very strongly about this case i feel this is a great blot on a national discussion i really do and i'm gonna work for him to the the eyedropper i won't pretend i'm not partisan and in my book i
i i listed the sources which argue the other way i listened the fbi documents the various judgments against him i put em all their that i said do i had to the reader please avail yourself of the opposite evidence but it led me to say that when his own judge judge judge haney on the eighth circuit court
says it's time to a commute this man sentenced and has also said as how all the judges were involved there was evidence of fbi misconduct throughout the case the the judges the us attorney's office or knowledge this case is shot through with a prejudice and sloppy practice
are you in iowa and fbi person
happened on the has also frequently and reach out to brilliant from this cases here in california the cry case and and another one just recently i am on in california where about native americans were charged with murder
and cry casey was actually sentenced him and eventually that awful i were in the other one more recently there was actually an ambush set up on sheriff's officers who later testified that they was they were attack unfortunately man who was charged with murder was acquitted it's all too unfortunately the situation in the country
and i know that your working directory summer was the it was really is to one of the things on peltier was attempted assault on a police officer in milwaukee and but when they bought at trial the police officers girlfriend testified that this guy had been boasting how he they were going to set peltier up and you know for the fbi the fbi would
reward him later for doing this you know they had so much stuff that faked stuff saying and peltier was an incipient killer and he just wasn't piece of the hey nice guy talked to him about once a week we have a laugh or try to give you know he's at his humorous and the spirit is absent daunted he just on great guy he liked ah
i shot
what what time do we have you far we have a she might be a couple more questions yep
we made irrevocable biomedical muscles and sprout
henry was killed you
the environment yeah well i think mainly we have to educate ourselves now include everything now include education i mean i'm sorry that would include population
it's too easy to say that the excess human population is the cause of everything that all but one could argue at least that all other problems a corollary to too many people and again we forget we are big animals and were big heavily polluting animals are huge mammals push
everything else off the globe and was shown no inclination you know and the doctors discovered things had cut down the incidents of child mortality well that's great and away but your heart also partly sinks you know when we brought malaria cures to africa put that do as population explosion in country was really can't support that
number of people in countries
we have to think about who we are what we are doing we don't know when we push a tiny species off the globe we don't know what that species role is in that balance of nature that it's mobbed and we not know that the whole thing may not come tumbling down known to insane we talk about indra's net how everything is
interrelated and connected in some way and it really is any biologists and physicists would say the same so you pull out one part and if you have ever run an outboard motor you know by the sheriff ten and sciences it's the tiniest part on the whole outboard motor and you bust that and you're outta commission ah
how do we know we're pushing hundreds literally hundreds of species out of existence every day
it's really very scary and i have a magnon friend on and daga some as you probably know him oren lyons because he works a lot with his own people now and aren't always says we he said for indian people we are just amazed that you are willing to do this to your children and grandchildren
if you're willing in the name of profit and comfort
should we don't need do we really need upgrade everything every year these cds and scott fantastic manufacture of stuff stuff stuff you know he said we think in terms of seven generations of is not good for the seventh generation along it is not good
and i could not agree more and weekend we can turn this around
cesar chavez said if everybody did something very of i did something for the public good and so just standing around talking about in the same what can one little person to let me tell you up
story about a lady and and holiday is one of my heroes and i don't know her name i've gotta go to track down something
she was riding into work and honolulu one day and she saw on an island and queen command may a park whatever it was there was an island in the park the all the highways went past and they're on the middle of a subtle lion was a great big sign saying heights thirty nine varieties in the city park everybody had to see it it was a wonder
awful pace the add people must be going nuts with joy when she didn't go that the joy she got to her office and she used her power enraged she called up her council men or somebody has at what do you people doing this is completely outrageous that public property why do we have to look at this ice or every time we come in after he said
well i'm sorry ma'am he said actually personally i of course agree with you but one could but c'mon of a person do ha you know and it's it's written in stone weekend winning about or the contract the contract
she said not to me and she got on the phone and she called ten of her friends she started a telephone china instructed them to content of their friends heights didn't move can all that day that's when while i went around hello don't like that and the next day the sign was down written stone or not
see that's the kind of thing have some liquid cesar chavez did this great california as i said this morning far greater than mister reagan and mr nixon
he he had no education no money his own church was against him the whole organization was against not just the doors everybody was against him he was a troublemaker and he just went from door to door to door to door and horny put in his time he put this work is enormous passion to change these horrible and in his people
are suffering what can one little person do here's a guy had not only didn't have much going for him he just one person but had everything against him and he still beat him and he made some mistakes he made mistakes later cause he was guy of delegation of authority was very hard for hum
but nonetheless i think the migrant workers in this state will never go back to the way they weren't for chavez i don't think the public would permit it
great great victory so if we all thought that way we could really turn we have a great country here and yet we seem to permit our leaders are politicians do you know that they're all the polls have shown i think it's some like fifteen or eighteen years of the american people actually are willing to be taxed more to
pay for clean water clean air they said yes we want that and we will pay for but the politicians know we are soft and we're not gonna get mad or not going from out of office they can smell that like a shark and smell blood you know that and they listened to lobbyists and get free trips do whatever they do and that legislate
she will not pass until we get mad when doing what we have to have here an inversion were a numbers of old people die know something i got that would be that would move things you know but short of that we don't seem to be willing to move but we could move it
but will we at in time for not sure
i don't want to get another gloomy speech like last night
i think it's probably one o'clock of i would be happy to sign books if if somebody has what am i will do it right here so
how about