Unknown Date, Serial 00217

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Well, by the way, there's another abstract for Tracy up here from Martin Fairholt's paper. If I could, I'd like to begin with a poem by Thomas Merton. And this is not just any poem that happens to fit the question. I know from a friend who is writing yet another biography of Merton that this came out of an affective crisis. It's called One in the Soul of the Serene Disciple. One in the soul of the serene disciple with no more fathers to imitate, poverty is a success. It is a small thing to say the roof is gone. He has not even a house. Stars as well as friends are angry with the noble ruin. Saints depart in several directions. Be still, there is no longer any need of comment.


It was a lucky wind that blew away his halo with his cares. A lucky sea that drowned his reputation. Here you will find neither a proverb nor a memorandum. There are no ways, no methods to admire where poverty is no achievement. His God lives in his emptiness like an affliction. What choice remains? Well, to be ordinary is not a choice. It is the usual freedom of men without visions. Oh, wow. Merton had the last word. I don't know, I was going to change it like that. Do we know what year that was written? No, I don't. Before he went to Asia? Oh, yes. Yeah, that's right.


I don't remember. I don't remember. I don't remember. No, I don't remember. I don't remember. All right. To introduce our next talk, the title is Mystical Experiences, Texts, the Literary Expression of Transcendent in the Cloud of Unknowing and the Platform Sutra of the Six Patriarchs. The Cloud of Unknowing is often called the greatest classic of Western Christianity, and the Platform Sutra is certainly one of the greatest of the East, so it's a very important question. And our presenter is Fr. Nicholas Haas, a monk of St. Vincent Archabbey in Metro, Pennsylvania, who was assigned to St. Vincent's Priory in Tapei, Taiwan. He did graduate studies in the heritage literature, emphasizing Chinese-Western literary relations.


His research interests are Chinese, American, and English fiction, interdisciplinary study of literature and religion, and Western narratives of China. As a Benedictine, he is involved with the Benedictine Commission on China, and also with the Organization of Benedictines in East Asia. Fr. Nicholas teaches at Julian Catholic University in the English Department and teaches comparative literature in the Comparative Literatures Program. Fr. Nicholas. Thank you very much, Sister, for your kind introduction. I've passed out copies of the texts that I'll be discussing. There weren't quite enough, so a few more copies are being made. They should arrive shortly. I've also passed out Chinese copies for those who read Chinese.


Does anyone else need a Chinese copy? Thank you. So, Heche Kwanbongwon, how good it is to be here. I've often heard of the place. In 1966, I passed by Route 1 and looked up this mountain and saw some buildings here. It's a great honor for me to be here today. The Hermitage, to me, is very much a place of dialogue. And to begin with, I would like to thank the community of the Hermitage for allowing your Fr. Joseph Wong to participate in the dialogue with the Church of China. What he is doing as an individual monk is so extremely impressive. Last year, someone who visited the seminary in Shanghai told me, you should see how the seminarians pray now.


It's just like Benedictines. There was a teacher there this past semester, and he taught the seminarians how to pray. So I knew that they were referring to Fr. Joseph. So his influence will spread throughout China just in this one way. And the Church in China speaks about how great the need is for the Chinese Church to learn how to pray. And Fr. Joseph is playing a very important part in teaching the Church of China this. On the topic of dialogue, my first night here, I woke up in the middle of the night, and there's a large window in our room. And I saw the stars. I had never awoken from a sleep before to see the tens of stars before my eyes. So my room was filled with starlight, and I saw stars.


And it was a completely new experience for me to awake in this situation. But then in thinking about the stars, I started to wonder, are these Buddhist stars or Protestant stars or Catholic stars? Then I realized they're simply stars. And then in the morning, I came here before the first day, and I started to think, am I looking at Buddhists or Catholics or Benedictines or Chinese? Who are these people? So I decided just to see you also as stars, not necessarily representatives of one tradition or another. And perhaps this is what dialogue means. Eventually, we come to see each other simply as other creatures of the view that Norman was speaking of.


The theme is purity of heart. I would like to begin with a few comments about purity of heart. For me, this is very much a monastic term, and it does not refer to a virtue, but it's more an interior disposition with external manifestations in action and demeanor. I think in my years of monastic life, I've seen senior monks with purity of heart. I can't define it, but if I see it, I think I know what it is. And it's something that's manifested in the action and demeanor of a monk. And what is special about it is that it's not a single instance, but it's something that is seen year in and year out.


And so part of this purity of heart is the fact that it can be maintained over a long period of time. So in my talk today, I'd like to look at the Chinese monk, Hui Yang, and ultimately see, can we speculate as to whether or not this Chinese monk had what we call purity of heart. Hui Yang was a monk of the 8th century from the Tang Dynasty. The text that deals with him was created before the age of printing. So it's a text that exists originally in manuscript 4. I think you all know manuscripts of the same text can differ considerably. This is because the copyists would not necessarily copy a text exactly the same.


A great deal of editing and redaction occurred to these texts. The Platform Sutra is one of the important texts for Chan Buddhism. Some people say it's the only sutra in the Buddhist canon, where it's the most important sutra in the Buddhist canon produced in China, or written in Chinese originally. The text that I'll be looking at, the version of the Platform Sutra, is the one from the Dunhuang collection. Dunhuang is a place on the Silk Route. In this century, many manuscripts from I think the 9th and 10th century were discovered in a cave there. It's very similar to the Dead Sea Scrolls. So for over a thousand years, no one had access to these texts. Even though this text is from the 9th or 10th century,


the tradition itself began three centuries before, so there was ample time for redaction, editing, rewriting. My approach to the text is highly influenced by my familiarity or my reading of biblical studies. I am not a biblical textual scholar, but I'm very influenced by what biblical scholars have done in the past two centuries. I'm also interested in the structural analysis of the work of literature, so I've been influenced by people like Vladimir Propp and Gerard Genet. But what I'll be presenting is my reading of one section of the Platform Sutra. This is my reading before I've gone to look very carefully at the commentaries. There are many, many commentaries on the Platform Sutra.


Also, I'm not an expert in Buddhism, so it's very likely I've entirely misread the document. So I'm very happy that I have so many distinguished students of Buddhism here who can correct me in my many misreadings. The Platform Sutra has a complex literary structure and combines the genres of autobiography, biography, sermon, disciple-master dialogue, doctoral exposition, and so on. But what I'm going to focus is simply on the first part of this sutra, which presents the autobiography of the monk Quenang. Before he gives the doctoral part of his sermon, he speaks in the first person about his life.


So the structural high point of the biography is on page 113 of the English text. No, that's not right. 131. No, 133. So at the top of the page here. So at midnight, the fifth page, you're on the hallway, and this paragraph. So four important things happened in this scene. Quenang, or excuse me, were you able to make copies? Who needs a copy of the text? Could you please raise your hand? I think they are. Okay, does somebody? So four important things happened in this section.


Quenang is awakened. He received the Dharma. He is given the robe, which makes him the Sixth Patriarch, and he is commissioned to awaken others through the Dharma. So altogether, in this paragraph, Quenang has three roles. For one, he's one who has been awakened. The second, he's one who teaches others to be awakened. And the third role, he assumes the patriarchship, the Sixth Patriarchship. However, in the text, this is not the first time Quenang has been awakened. If you look on page 127, at the beginning, at the top of the page there, the second line, And so this experience of being awakened does not show the three roles discussed in the second experience.


It's simply a personal experience of being awakened. But the replication of being awakened then raises a question for textual scholars. Would a single author of a narrative have two scenes of enlightenment, or does this suggest that the text itself went through a period of evolution that, for whatever reason, decided to include both experiences of enlightenment? So it's the first suggestion that we might have a text of multiple authorship rather than single authorship. Then the next question is, which description of enlightenment came first? If they represent two different descriptions. For me, the first passage has a simplicity of expression that suggests it's based on the actual experience.


It could be close to something that the historical Quenang might have said in describing his experience of being awakened. I suppose one of the things I'm doing, I'm looking for the historical Quenang in the text, just as biblical scholars have spent so much time in trying to find the historical Jesus. The second passage at the end of the autobiographical section has the account of being awakened too. But it is also about the direct teaching of sudden enlightenment, and the primary purpose of this passage is to establish Quenang as the six-page yacht, wherever the instruction to teach others is given in the imperative form. Furthermore, the late-night setting is given to the moment of enlightenment, and the event is described as unknown to others.


So clearly the author of this passage had much more in mind to present than just a simple description of enlightenment. For me, at least, the text has many characteristics of interpolation. So the autobiographical section itself can be removed from the sermon without harming the logic of the sermon. If you look at the opening few words said by Quenang, they connect very nicely to the doctrinal part of the sermon. So it's entirely possible the autobiographical section itself was inserted into the sermon. So why would this be done? And I think there are political, doctrinal, structural, and rhetorical concerns that could be used to explain why the redactor would want to insert this section.


In analyzing the text, the first thing I looked at was the time structure, the use of time in the autobiographical section. The sermon, you're probably familiar, there's narrative time and fictional time. Narrative time is the length of time it takes to tell a story. The sermon part, for instance, perhaps would take two hours. And what is presented here in the sermon part is what can be said in two hours. The autobiographical part has a fictional time that's probably 30 years. So it covers 30 years in the life of Quenang. But it doesn't say this. This is based on speculation as to how old Quenang was for the first experience of enlightenment.


One reading of the text would suggest that he might be a child, but my reading would have him more as an adolescent or young man when he had his first experience of enlightenment. But from the first enlightenment to the second, it's a period about a year. So in the autobiographical account, even though it covers 30 years, only one year is emphasized. And in this one year, there aren't too many time markers itself. Only the span of eight months is set. This is the time he spent working at the pestle in the monastery workshop. But whereas times of span or spans of time are not given very much, in the second part of the narrative, there's great attention to the time of day.


Would you like to indicate the exact first experience or maybe you can read so that we can know where it is? Okay, very good. 126, you have a double underline on the left side. Can I have that one? Before looking specifically at the text, just to mention the concept, in a narrative, there are realized scenes and unrealized scenes. A realized scene being one that presents in a certain amount of detail what happens in a particular event. So for this section, the autobiographical section, in the one year of time, or approximately one year, there are nine realized scenes.


And they basically correspond with, you see, two, three, four, five, six in the text. These are mainly the realized scenes. And so for the time structure of these scenes, scenes seven through nine all occur on the same day. And scene seven begins with one day. This is the start of narrative three on page 131. It says, one day, an acolyte. 131, I have narrative three, it begins one day. So from here, narrative three, the eight, until the end of the text, the one day is presented. Now this day is after the several days that Shenshuo has had to write a new verse, or to write a verse.


This is scenes three through six, what I call narrative two, beginning on page 128. So narrative two happened a few days before narrative three. And narrative two begins again one day, unexpectedly one day, and covers a midnight, 129, what happens at midnight, and a dawn on page 130. Then scene one, what I call narrative one, encompasses one day and the traveling time to see Huiyuan. And scene two is also one day. There's about eight months between what I call narrative one and narrative two.


So my identification of these three narratives within the autobiographical account is based on the time structure. But the time structure of the second two narratives is much more precise than that of the first narrative, which again suggests different authors were working on these different parts of the text. So the author-redactor-editor of narratives two and three had a very precise concept of the time of day when things were happening. But the author of narrative one did not pay a great deal of attention to time of day. So with the division of the text into these three narratives, this is part of narrative theory.


A narrative can be divided, but often a narrative is a sequence of related plots. So each of these narratives would have an individual plot that is then connected with the next narrative. So in narrative one, the main happening is the enlightenment of Huiyuan. In narrative two, the content is the failure of Shen Xiu to write an acceptable verse. Shen Xiu is, in a sense, the monk who is in competition with Huiyuan to become the sixth patriarch. The narrative three is the success of Huiyuan's verse, his enlightenment, and his going south. Looking first at the Huiyuan in narrative one,


Huiyuan, in the first and second stages of narrative one, is a filial energetic worker. His energy is first seen in his carrying firewood to wherever it is needed. He then receives financial recompense for this work. What's not explicitly stated in this narrative, but seems to be essential to the plot of the story, is that the money he received for his work was not sufficient to make him happy. He needed more in his life than just supporting his mother and making money. He needed something else. Then it is at this point that the narrative resumes with Huiyuan seeing and hearing the recital of the Diamond Sutra, an event that occurred through no cause of his own, but it is this event that leads to his enlightenment.


Interestingly, it doesn't say in the text how much of the Diamond Sutra he heard. Was it just a passage or was it the entire sutra? In the second account of enlightenment, it's stated very clearly, listen to the entire sutra. But here, in what I would take to be the earlier or the primitive version of his enlightenment, it's entirely possible that just a passage from the Diamond Sutra was sufficient to cause his enlightenment. Where the redactor begins to take place, or begins to go to work, is on page 127, immediately after the experience of enlightenment. So the third line, I was awakened.


And then, after the process of being awakened, it said, I asked him, where do you come from that you have brought this sutra with you? This sentence suggests that now the redactor has entered in, and he wants to begin the process of establishing Huiyuan as the sixth patriarch. I've not had the experience of enlightenment, but my impression at least is, one who goes through this experience, within minutes of it, would not begin asking factual questions to someone who is standing near. There is no polite prelude to this dialogue, in which Huiyuan might have respectfully asked the name of his interlocutor, and so on. Rather, he abruptly requests personal factual information, hardly what is to be expected from one who has just been enlightened.


And so, here I see the beginning of the work of the redactor to make Huiyuan the sixth patriarch. Then, on the same page, after Huiyuan hears what this man has to say, he says, hearing what he said, I realized that I was predestined to have heard him. This presentation of the thoughts of Huiyuan, where he's given a realization, the suggestion here is Huiyuan knows he is going to become the sixth patriarch. I see the process very similar to what happens in the Gospels, when the Gospel writers give to Jesus ideas that could only belong to Jesus as a Christ. Where Jesus in the Gospels is given foreknowledge of what's going to happen to him after the crucifixion.


And likewise, the redactor here is giving Huiyuan foreknowledge or a premonition of the role he's to have as the sixth patriarch. But I don't see this as thoughts the historical Huiyuan himself would have had at this time, but what the redactor who wanted to make him the sixth patriarch put in his mind. For the second narrative, this for me is very much by the redactor. The account is supposed to be first person. Huiyuan is describing events in his life. But everything in narrative two is basically third person. Huiyuan was not present at any of the events described in narrative two. So he would have had no knowledge of what had happened there.


So for me, this is another sign of the redactor at work. And each event in narrative two is related to establishing Huiyuan as the sixth patriarch. So again, it's very much a redactor who wants to show Huiyuan is the sixth patriarch at work, creating this situation. I don't have time to go into analysis of how each section of narrative two relates to this. But another function of narrative two in my reading is it presents examples of people who are not able to obtain enlightenment. So the monks who refuse to write a verse out of respect for Hsuan-hsiu are not candidates for enlightenment.


Hsuan-hsiu, for various reasons, and this is the Hsuan-hsiu of this account. The historical Hsuan-hsiu might very well be or is an enlightened person, I think, according to the tradition. But the Hsuan-hsiu of this narrative is someone who's not qualified to become enlightened. Then another thing happening in the second narrative. The fifth patriarch is presented in such a way that he's much less a person than the sixth patriarch will be. So there's also the redactor does not hold the fifth patriarch in the same respect that he holds the sixth patriarch, Huiyuan. For narrative three, the main thing I want to point out, again we have a double account of the same thing.


And it's here Huiyuan twice hears the verse that Hsuan-hsiu wrote. And again, it's probably something that only happened once, but for various textual reasons, where probably the earlier version had one description. Then the redactor, again for purposes of making Huiyuan the sixth patriarch, had to add a second time when Huiyuan heard the verse of Hsuan-hsiu. So the second example, or the second description of this experience is on page 132. And I would take this second example on 132 to be the earlier tradition.


That this passage very possibly could go back to a sermon given by the historical Huiyuan in which he described what happened to him in his competition or in his becoming the sixth patriarch. So this simple yet saintly description is premise first on the narrator being enlightened. So this description requires the enlightenment of Huiyuan at the beginning of the autobiography in narrative one. So it is his enlightenment that allows him to describe the situation as he does. There is also a saintly simplicity to his remarks in his acceptance of his lowly exterior situation of being illiterate, even though he is already enlightened.


Also, what he had to endure in the monastery, even though he was the one who was enlightened, he dealt with those unenlightened ones around him in an extremely generous way. So in terms of purity of heart, I would see this section as perhaps suggesting the way that we from the Christian monastic tradition can see Huiyuan as one with purity of heart. So it would be in this passage on 132 that I would place at the very beginning of the tradition of Huiyuan. So it's only this passage and the passage marked on page 126 that I would place close to the historical Huiyuan. Then if these passages are not from the historical Huiyuan, they then come from an early author who created a very fascinating picture of Huiyuan, or of a Huiyuan.


So to conclude, I would like to look at passages from The Cloud of Unknowing, which I think can be used to help us understand Huiyuan. Thank you. First, some general comments from The Cloud of Unknowing about the real contemplative.


The word contemplative, I think, in The Cloud of Unknowing, is used as one who has seen God, one who has experienced God, or I suppose one who has had a mystical experience. Just to read some of these. For the perfect contemplative holds no man as such, this is the first one in chapter 24, in special regard. Be he kinsman, stranger, friend, or foe. For all men alike are his brothers, and none strangers. He considers all men his friends, and none his foes. This is very much the stance of Huiyuan in his dealing with the people around him. He treats the fifth patriarch in no more special way than he treats the acolyte who is reciting the verse of Xianxiu. So Huiyuan has this same approach to others.


Then on chapter 54, all who engage in this work of contemplation find that it has a good effect on the body as well as on the soul, etc. So it describes how one who has had the contemplative experience is the center of attraction for others. So Huiyuan, in attracting disciples to himself, in becoming an important teacher in the Chan tradition of Buddhism, is showing this same qualification. Then chapter 71 describes how a person who has had the contemplative experience reacts in daily life. And I think even though this is not said about Huiyuan in this text, we could probably apply this to what he would have been like if we would have had the experience of seeing him. Then Huiyuan is associated, of course, with the school of sudden awakening, and it's interesting in the Cloud of Unknowing in chapter 4.


This work of contemplation does not need a long time for its completion. Indeed, it is the shortest work that can be imagined. It is no longer no shorter than one atom, and so on. So this seems to be a description of the experience that Huiyuan himself went through. Then on page 2, the experience of awakening came from the Cloud of Unknowing. It says we cannot talk about inside, outside, up or down, but just having to use human words. Huiyuan's awakening, at least from the text, from hearing the Diamond Sutra, it seems the one source is outside of him. And chapters 34, chapters 1, chapters 2 talk about the experience of contemplation as coming from outside of the one.


And here it's outside because it comes from God. So it is indeed, chapter 34, it is good for you to realize that I cannot teach you. It is not to be wondered at. For this, the work of contemplation is the work of God alone, deliberately wrought in whatever soul he chooses, irrespective of the merits of that particular soul. So in many ways, Huiyuan, I'm not able to describe the process, but from the description in the text, he was chosen to have the experience that he did by a force outside of him. He is not, again, from the text itself, he's not personally responsible for the experience he had. In Narrative 2, Hsien-Shou is presented as one who does not receive enlightenment. And chapter 52 describes those who are unable to reach the highest stages of contemplation.


And I would see this perhaps a description of what Hsien-Shou experienced. This autobiographical section is famous for the verse that Huiyuan composes. And as you see, there are two verses there. It's on page 132. The fact that there are two verses represents to me simply just part of the textual history. That one version had one verse, another version had another. A redactor seeing value in both of them insisted on having both in the text rather than selecting one. Much has been said trying to interpret these two verses, but I think they have to be seen in light as being in response to the unsuccessful verse of Hsien-Shou.


So Hsien-Shou did not have it quite right, but Huiyuan did, in setting forth the situation for the process of enlightenment. In turning to The Cloud of Unknowing, I selected passages. The unknown author of The Cloud continually is saying or pointing out what the problem is for those who do not become enlightened. So I simply raise a question on page 3. These quotations that I give on page 3, it's what the author of The Cloud criticizes most in those who are unsuccessful in reaching the highest peaks of contemplation. So I simply raise a question, is this similar to what Huiyuan is criticizing? Or just in the way, if this verse is a criticism, is Huiyuan making the same type of criticism?


So thank you very much. Thank you. Peter J. Holmes, MA in History of Christian Spirituality from St. Louis University, and has done doctoral work at GTU Berkeley in Christian Spirituality.


Having taught at university in monastic settings, he has published two books, another book translated from the Italian, and numerous articles in monastic and spiritual journals, as well as poetry. He is presently editing a book on Monopoly's Benedictine Spirituality. As I told you privately already, Taigen, I really enjoy reading your paper, as I'm sure the others will when I get to it in its entirety. Since you asked at the end of your paper for parallels in other traditions, I've centered what words I have here on the fool figure, the sacred fool figure in other traditions. I think most people enjoy eccentricity in a sort of detached way, bracketed off from everyday life.


Judging by the general output of television and cinematic industries, people gain both comic and cathartic relief from watching the antics of eccentric and rebellious characters who dare to be themselves without compromise and without any pretension. Monastic life, it seems to me, draws and, dare I say, even produces a good share of eccentrics who bend the rules and who challenge the status quo about what is really important or necessary in life. And on the monastic scale, I suspect that most monasteries and convents have their cherished oral traditions about deceased eccentrics who played the fool for the King Edward. Monasticism is by its nature, as you referred to at the end, counter-cultural, marginal, and monks and nuns are marginalized people, decidedly so.


The sacred fool figure within the monastic ethos seems to be on the outer edge of that margin, on the frontiers of marginalization, where the grace, it seems to me, of luminality reigns. And anything can happen there, and often does, for that's the threshold of the pure heart, the threshold of transparency and holiness, at least one of the thresholds. Anyway, my initial reaction to reading your paper was to recall two stories, not from my own Christian tradition, but from Tibetan Buddhism. After hunting down the volume in our library, I found both stories connected with the same lama, Drukpa Kundli of the Drukpa Kandyu School of Tibetan Buddhism, who is more than a bit of an iconoclast, who seemed to devote his life to unmasking hypocrisy, especially monastic hypocrisy.


The first tradition pictures an assembly of monks gathered in a courtyard, decided to dine in a soup shop. Dressed like a tramp, as he usually was, but beaming with joy, Drukpa Kundli climbed the flagpole, which was situated in the middle of the courtyard. When he had reached the top, he started to flap his arms, calling out crow calls, mimicking the monks chanting below him. He shouted to the assembly, parrots cannot concentrate or understand anything. He slid down the pole, and off he went. In addition to breaking up monastic assemblies, Drukpa Kundli was particularly known for his itinerant mendicant lifestyle, the rags he wore, and his habit of playing with children in the public marketplace for hours on end.


The second tradition about Drukpa Kundli depicts a solemn assembly of monks in a temple for some liturgical ceremony, and their chanting, and the chant master was wearing one of these high-pressed yellow hats. Drukpa Kundli was on a journey, and he reportedly interrupted the journey to bring his old donkey into the temple with one of these big yellow hats. And he sat, not sat, he had the donkey kneel down right next to the chant master, and pray, stopping the entire liturgy, stopping the monks. And Kundli, once he got his donkey to stop praying, laughed uproariously, evidently, and there wasn't a peep of sound, just his laughter ringing in the hall, and he led his donkey back out and on their way, on their journey.


Evidently, Islam was also known for his compassion, and for his purity of heart, other themes you can imagine. Anyway, to my own tradition, I think some counterparts to the sacred fool figure in Zen will be found in the monastic traditions of Eastern Christianity especially. And for my purposes, I refer to the Syrian monastics of the 5th to the 7th centuries who feigned madness in order to become fools for Christ's sake, of 1 Corinthians 4.10. Now, I'm not referring to the stylites who lived on top of pillars or towers, I'm not referring to the browsers who grazed on all fours like cattle as their practice, or the dendrites who lived in trees, or the statics who stood on one leg as their practice. I refer, rather, to that body of monastic fool-for-Christ literature, or sacred fool literature.


And the figure, the fool figure in this type of monastic literature is usually a monk of high social status with a good education who decides to go foolish, for Christ's sake, in order to wake other people up. And his sanctity is hidden from everyone except the one who reveals it to the Christian assembly later on for the purposes of revelation. Often the monk would play the daytime role of a beggar or a doorkeeper, hoarder, prostitute, even the town idiot, while spending the entire night on prayer. And no one knew except this one confidant. One of the didactic purposes behind the tradition was to teach compassion because holiness is not always where it is expected to be. My example is the 6th century Syrian Saint Simeon Salus, or anyone who might know Saint Simeon, so-called the holy fool, whose life we know through one Bishop Leoncidus of Neapolis in 7th century Cyprus.


Simeon was an educated young man who decided to be a fool for Christ and he spent his life breaking rules, committing taboo and flaunting convention in order to wake people up to compassion, especially for the most destitute and most poor of the people, as well as to call them to conversion to gospel principles. How did he go about this? By walking around naked, by babbling insanity to people, by dancing naked in public squares, by entering the women's bath area, by defecating in the open marketplace. This is a monk. By humbly accepting an accusation of rape for many months until his accuser owned up to her lie that she was trying to protect her secret lover. By handing out market wares in the marketplace to all the poor. He began what we call his public ministry by extinguishing the candles in church on one Sunday at Sunday Eucharist, jumping up to the pulpit and pelting the rich ladies in the front rows with nuts.


By laughing, running out of the church and overturning all the pastry tables that were set up outside the church to do their business post-Eucharistically. I should ring a bell to you, though. By turning over the tables. All of these actions were meant to express St. Simeon's apatheia, one of the key words reading its way through this week. And most of his actions were modeled generally on Christ's own actions from Gospel accounts, although his Simeons tend to be a bit more colorful. We should also note that the Russian Orthodox tradition has a long history of the wandering baker saints, the fools, colorful holy fools, abounding in their spirituality. In 1980, John Sayward published a book entitled Perfect Fools, Falling for Christ's Sake in Catholic and Orthodox Spirituality.


In addition to the Eastern traditions then already mentioned, he also treats Francis of Assisi as you mentioned this morning, Celtic monks living in self-exile, a very surprising number of French clerics, and the hermits of the 11th century among others. This should ring a bell to a number of us. Although I find Sayward's case for Peter Damian's, quote, holy extravagance, this is my namesake, holy extravagance, calculated extremism, and impossible personality, all of which is true, unquote, fitting the mold of the sacred fool figure is somewhat lacking. But his remarks about Romul, playing the fool, by taunting demons, by joking with his confers, by kidding around the fool with thieves, by generally playing the clown for Christ's sake, his remarks are well taken. Romul does seem to have been quite a joker, a bit more than eccentric, or more than a bit eccentric, rebellious in his own fashion, quite compassionate, and most importantly, undeniably, transparently, holy.


And so I think we Cumaldolese evidently have a sacred fool figure as our founder, and I'm very proud of the fact. Given, then I'll close with a quote from Sayward, given the location of this present symposium, I think it, pithy, I know they're a key word for this. Hermits. Hermits have nearly always been written off as fools. Their austerities have been regarded as destructive to health, their rigor as fanatical, their desire for uninterrupted silence and solitude as subversive and antisocial. If there is a fool in the church, it is the hermit. He has left all prudence and wisdom behind, unquote. I would personally add, perhaps the hermit has seemingly left behind some prudence, but wisdom, I don't think so. Thank you, Frieden. Well, I see a rich opportunity here for sharing stories.


We've probably known a few. So, let's open it up to Kevin. I think one of the things that I would like to underline, perhaps, might be the role of the sacred fool to shake the monastic out of the mentality that our world and our way of life has everything to it. No, if we live the rule perfectly, we're going to be perfect monks. And just two that I would like to bring to mind, which is probably very well known among us Christian monastics. The first one is Frederick Joseph Love, who tried to be a monk, of my tradition, three times and failed miserably.


And then, finally ended up living in Palestine, Rome in the 18th century, which was a well-known den of iniquity, and was among a dirty people known for his dirt. In fact, they tell a story that with him, the lice used to try to escape. And he brushed them back in, and it was closed. But was the last spontaneously acclaimed saint in the Catholic Church. When he died, the people of Rome carried him around the city saying, the saint has died, the saint has died. And the second one is the very well-known Charles April Cole, who, when he left the very contained, self-satisfied French aristocracy,


and he also became a Trappist, and left the Trappists because they also, in their way, were very, very self-satisfied. But this role of the fool as being the, I would say, the funny house mirror that shows us professional monastics the distortions that we don't see when we're in our own parents. We should be very, very aware of. Professor Kang? Just a question that I just privately brought to Tegan, that is, when Dorgan translated the rules of monastery life from the Chinese, of course, that would include those rules regarding celibacy. So, how in later time, when the Japanese Zen Buddhism developed, how that rule has been changed?


Yeah, that's a very complicated question. Actually, Dorgan, so there's a difference between the Vinaya regulations and the monastic regulations. So, it has to do with precepts. The precepts that were taken in China, which are still taken by Chinese monks, include the 350 for nuns, which include celibacy and many other restrictions. In the Japanese tradition, well, in early Japan, in Nara period, that was transmitted, but in Tendai and Dorgan's tradition, there was the 16 Bodhisattva precepts, which are taken by both lay and priest. So, historically, first of all, Dorgan himself and his monks were celibate. He didn't take those precepts, but as far as we know, he did follow those precepts. But there was a whole issue of the Bodhisattva precepts as opposed to the full monk precepts.


Historically, well, Shinran, the Jodo Shinshu Pure Land founder, who was roughly contemporary with Dorgan, took upon himself marriage as part of his practice and openly proclaimed it. And that kind of was the start of that in Japan. Officially, priests were not supposed to be married in Japan until the 19th century, when the rules were changed and priests were forced or encouraged to not be celibate. And that was actually just done as a way of recognizing the reality of what had been happening going back to before Dorgan's time, when there were some women living unofficially in temples with some of the priests. Anyway, it's a very complicated subject. Still in Japan today, when monks are training in monasteries, they're celibate. Later on, when they become the temple priests, they have families.


And actually, as probably most of you know, the temples are passed down from priests' fathers to priests' sons in Japan. That's in all Japanese Buddhism now, the convention. Anyway, it's a very complicated subject, and we can talk about it more if people want to. Well, this is similar, too. You know, I go to Gethsemane a lot, and Thomas Verdon is an enigma. He's not exactly the fool, but he's definitely a challenge to many. And I was asking Dunstan Morrissey, who's a hermit out here. Norman Fisher, see him? Yes. Yeah, Norman Morrissey. Yeah. And I asked him what's his take on that. He talked about the tiger's lair. The tiger's lair. Is there something similar in the Buddhist tradition on that? I'm not sure what you're referring to. Well, again, Thomas Verdon wasn't celibate. At the holiest time of his life as a hermit, and at the ultimate, it seems like he would be at the peak of holiness.


He'd be at the peak of... It's a little discrepancy here. And is it... To fool for Christ, they're really good, but they don't look good. And then the next stage is you're not good, but it is good. And I just heard the term, the tiger's lair. And it's just kind of the last challenge of a breakthrough. Norman, do you have anything to add? Well, there's a famous book called The Tiger's Cave. Trevor Lincoln's early book, translated into English, a collection of Zen writings. Is that where you get the term from? I don't know where it's got... Is it a Christian term, the tiger's lair? I've never heard of it. Christianity, is it? Or beginning of Buddhism? I don't think it's a Christian term. So you're saying that, like... I'm not actually... To tell you the truth, I don't know what you're speaking about in the case of Merton. Well, it would be apparent that it was like, you know...


So is there the final challenge? Yes, the final challenge towards the end. It's an enigma for us. And yet, you want to judge not, and you'd like to think it's all for the sake of the spiritual life, but for the sake of turning the heart. Yeah. In a relationship, marriage, children is, we find, a difficult practice. And I don't really know how to respond to this myself. All of my teachers have been married with children. So I don't have that model myself. And actually, I was raised Jewish, so I have the model of the rabbi in this community, who's a family man. So... But I recognize... But certainly it's challenging. Relationships and sexuality are part of our practice, and the difficulty of practice. I'm talking Afro-American Zen people. And... In the Japanese traditions.


And there are some of the people at Tatsuhara who want to do an intentional, sullivant, monastic path. So we're talking about that too. And how to do that. I'm not sure what else to say. Thanks. Ask Colleen unless somebody else wants to say something about the Merton issue. Yes, Emily. When I first heard about this relationship with M, I've been surprised. Because he's a lover. If you look at how he speaks about humanity, his experience that Sister Meg is going to be talking about tomorrow, where everyone is a point of light, and where God is manifested in everyone, I'm not surprised that he fell in love with this person. I'm a little bit disappointed about his language after. And he kind of eschewed it and condemned it. But... And of course, I'm reminded a little bit of the misogyny that is operative sometimes


in our monastic tradition. But I, again, I'm not afraid of that. I'm not afraid of that. And I think that was very much a part of him. I don't know that we're necessarily talking about the same thing, though. You know, Thomas Gert is a whole fool in one aspect. His affair is a whole different issue. To me, I don't think they necessarily coincide. I see Merton, in a sense, as a figure like some of these stories, in that he was constantly goading monasticism of getting beyond the rigorous adherence to antiquated forms. But I think the affair was a whole different thing that even humbled his, perhaps, arrogance about being a holy fool. If I could just say something, I would like to say


that maybe it was the greatest grace that there's love, and that there's a poem of his called When in the Soul of the Disciple. Take a look at that poem. I think that says something about his inner working of that. William? Just a brief question. I'm just wondering if in Buddhist tradition, or in Christian tradition for that matter, are there any notable examples of fools for Christ who are married? Or is it always a celibate monastic kind of thing? Well, I want to say something about Shinran. He started this in Japan. He was a Tendai monk, and struggled very much with his own desires, and went and did a retreat and a fast based on that. I wouldn't call him a fool, exactly, in that motif, but he was very humble. Eventually, at the end of his 100-day retreat, he had a vision of the Bodhisattva of Compassion, Kanon,


who apparently said to him that she would come and be his wife. And he married, and apparently his wife was very influential in his teaching. But also, his humility, his practice was just chanting the name of Amida Buddha, Amida Butsu, and he said, if you just do this once, it's enough to enter the pure land. And he also said, if a good person can enter the pure land, how much easier for a bad person? So, a very, very humble man. John Morelli? Thomas Merkel replaced Thomas de Kempis as the person that was read by Catholics second to the Bible. We didn't read the Bible until the Council. And if we read something else, we read Imitation of Christ by Kempis of a spiritual nature. And suddenly, through the 50s and 60s, we began reading Thomas Merkel. Now, this business that I first encountered


through Michael Mott's biography, I guess, where this was brought up, his relationship with him. And it seems to me, taking the whole thing, and especially the piece afterwards, which I think is very important, he looked, you know, it's true, monastics can be lovers, but I think he did see that he allowed himself to be humbled by this. And that, in a way, it sort of helped us to see this is a real person, this person that replaced Thomas de Kempis on the bedside, our spiritual reading, that he himself is human, like the rest of us. But I've never been fully satisfied for anything. I don't know if it's still with the question about Burton or Paschaline's been waiting. David, you? I just want to know what the fact of the form is.


A form in this context is extremely important. You should tell me what it is, I can't remember the title exactly, but the first line is, One in the soul of the secret disciple, poverty is a success, there is no more house left, not even a room. Do you know what book it is? I just dissected the rest of it. I dissected the rest of it. I don't remember it. Oh, I have it with me. I have it down in my heritage, I can bring it here. Maybe you can read it to us later. Yes. Search your passport. What does it mean to you personally to have the Buddha historically coming and you don't know it, you won't know it, or can't know it? Well, that's a whole... You're talking about Maitreya, the future Buddha. Maitreya is a very complicated figure. There's a part of the lore and the history


of how the Maitreya cult has happened, in China particularly, there's a kind of messianic quality, and yet Maitreya is not the same as the Messiah. Maitreya is the next future Buddha, there will be Buddhas after him, there were Buddhas before Shakyamuni, this is the understanding of Mahayana Buddhism. And then beyond that, there are also Buddhas everywhere in every dimension, so the Malakirti Sutra, which is, speaking of lay and monk, is the Sutra of the Great Enlightened Layman of the Malakirti, supposedly also a student of Shakyamuni, who challenges Maitreya, saying, how can you be the future Buddha? You cannot be the future Buddha unless you're a Buddha now. How can you be the future Buddha if everybody isn't the future Buddha? And so, the whole question of who is Buddha, and the whole question of incarnation, I'm interested in getting into, talking with someone about Trinity and the different aspects of Buddha.


There's the historical incarnation of Buddha as Shakyamuni Buddha 2,500 years ago, Maitreya is supposed to be the next historically incarnated Buddha whenever. And yet, in Mahayana Buddhism, when we say Buddha, there are Buddhas everywhere, and we see all beings as Buddhas in process. So it's very complicated there. In the Flower Ornament Sutra, it talks about Buddhas, myriad Buddhas on the tips of every blade of grass. So, what Buddha means is very complicated. In the Lotus Sutra, it says that anybody who holds a phrase of the Lotus Sutra will be a Buddha in some future Buddha field. Part of what's important about it, to me, theologically, is that when someone does become a Buddha historically incarnated, they create a Buddha field in which there is this resonance of Buddha wisdom with all beings. So, anyway, there are many layers of this. Can I add something?


Just a follow-up question. How do you feel about not knowing when he's coming? Shakyamuni Buddha is said to be the fourth Buddha in a line of a thousand Buddhas of the Adorned Kalpa, the Alankara Kalpa. So, the lifespan is determined by vows. Shakyamuni Buddha lived 80 years. Maitreya is said to be going to be here for three days. His entire teaching period as a Buddha is going to be compressed into three days. And so, there's a phrase, there's kind of a problem around the monastery which is to say, make your vows now to be sure to be there. Maitreya Buddha, don't miss it. So, one would be reborn in time by Maitreya Buddha by vows. And so, how do you feel about a person


who's made the vow? But you make the vow, but there is a historical place. There's definitely a place in time, but when you get into time, in the Lotus Sutra, it's mind-boggling. It's not linear time, it's circular time. So, you have Manjushri Bodhisattva describing, in fact, in past lives, he was, in fact, the teacher of Shakyamuni Buddha as a Bodhisattva of wonderful light. Now, Shakyamuni Buddha has gone ahead and become a Buddha. Maitreya comes back as a Bodhisattva to support him, to help his teaching. And he talks about there being a seminal moment with eight sons of the king. And the king was the father, and the king made a Bodhi resolve to become a Buddha. And impressed his eight sons, so they too followed that, and they made vows. Among those eight sons are included Shakyamuni Buddha, Amitabha Buddha, Maitreya Buddha, who was seeker of fame and so fell behind the others.


And so, this time just expands and expands. And I envision the past circular. Somehow it's proceeding from thought, between the timeless thought, that was the seed, and then the ripples go out. So, it frustrates the story. Thank you. I'm going to have to end, but Chaitanya, do you have any last comments? No, just, I'm sorry we can't. Anyway, if you have anything, any other feedback or questions, I'd be glad to talk with you after this. I don't really have any comments. Thank you.