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Did the Buddha have a sense of humor?

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Re: Did the Buddha have a sense of humor?

Postby bokki on Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:32 pm

oh, yes..
bout the flower
and
Mahakasyapa

iv heard some questions,
like
what would have happened with zen
if no one smiled.
or
if all of them smiled.
?

but im not really interested in that.
id like 2 ask a live1:
what would have happened with zen
if Mahakasyapa
broke into hysterical
all out
obnoxious
laughter.
?
seriously?
LOL
b :lol2:
Another log on the fire,
10,000 frogs singing in the rain
burst into flames

-Linda Anderson, aka LA Chef
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Re: Did the Buddha have a sense of humor?

Postby desert_woodworker on Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:34 pm

Çao.,

Caodemarte wrote:
desert_woodworker wrote:
I mention this latter bit because the modern German-American Buddhist scholar Edward Conze (1904-1979) wrote that:

    "Zen is Buddhism with jokes".
--Joe

Anglo-German please!

Aha. Thanks!, and wonderful, if true. I (mistakenly?) believed he had become an American citizen, as he taught for years at The University of Washington (the state). So of course we "claim" him. Really rather a National Treasure, I'd say. And maybe so for several nations... . ;)

If there's the Anglo connection, that would explain how his speech and writing is so impeccably precise and economical (elegantly so, I'd say). And, also, how he may have come to know about Battersea power station (if not just through "travel" and tourism), which, at the time of his publishing Buddhist Thought In India (1962), I think was still serving London and had not yet been decommissioned (Op. cit., p.18-19).

--Joe

ps BTW, if you happen to know about a source for audio recordings of any of his presentations, would you please advise us here? I have never heard him speak, but have followed his writings on Buddhism closely since the early 1970s. Also, his (privately-published) autobiography is nearly impossible to find (at affordable price for this pensioner): do you know of a source for copies? Thank you... . -J.

EDIT:

Çao.,

I got lucky with a Google search on the string "voice of edward conze audio". I've listened to one minute of the first mp3, and will now settle-in to hear more, and will now try to connect my image of Prof. Conze as I've gained it through his writings with these recordings of his voice. I think I stand to learn and appreciate a lot. If you know of other recordings, please let us know! -J.

http://www.cuke.com/audio%20files/conze-nr-1.mp3
http://www.cuke.com/audio%20files/conze-nr-2.mp3
http://www.cuke.com/audio%20files/conze-nr-3.mp3
http://www.cuke.com/audio%20files/conze-nr-4.mp3

These are from the site http://www.cuke.com/people/levine-rick.htm

(the archival site on the life and world of Shunryu Suzuki and those who knew him - Home to the Crooked Cucumber Archives (Cuke Project, etc.)
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Re: Did the Buddha have a sense of humor?

Postby Caodemarte on Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:28 pm

Conze lectured in Canada and the US. Due to his refusal to renounce his Communist past, his admiration for Stalin, and, frankly, opposition to the Vietnam War he was not allowed to stay in the US. I am sure his denunciations of democracy as well as capitalism (and pretty much every form of modern life) did not help. For those who don't know you cannot visit or immigrate to the US (and may be expelled) if you advocate the destruction of the US government by violence or belong to a party which does, specifically membership in a Nazi or a Communist party. Oddly, so does advocating polygamy. That was apparently aimed at keeping Mormon converts out, about 200 hundred years ago, not Muslims or "swingers" although some people have been denied visas if they announce their desire to spread the gospel of plural marriage or group sex in the US. Of course, there are exceptions. Academics tried to get an exception for Conze as a distinguished academic. I doubt the self-described "elite anarchist" Conze was much of a threat to either monogamy or the peace. Sadly, the immigration and naturalization service has and had no sense of humor. Conze, rather amused at the whole thing, retuned to England.
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Re: Did the Buddha have a sense of humor?

Postby desert_woodworker on Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:56 pm

Thanks, Cao.

I'm sorry he was not welcomed (or allowed) to stay in USA longer.

Another factor may be the following when it may have come to his welcome at universities: I read that he was not only a scholar and an academic teacher, but that he also became something more, among his Public -- a proselyte. Perhaps that impulse is difficult to suppress, since it's known that he was a practitioner, himself, maybe styled more after a pratyekabuddha than a bodhisattva (something like an Alan Watts type, in effect). After a while, university administrations ceased to excuse this, and then sent him down the road (as I've read). Oh, well.

Fortunately, we have his books.

--Joe
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Re: Did the Buddha have a sense of humor?

Postby Caodemarte on Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:30 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:Thanks, Cao.

I'm sorry he was not welcomed (or allowed) to stay in USA longer.

Another factor may be the following when it may have come to his welcome at universities: I read that he was not only a scholar and an academic teacher, but that he also became something more, among his Public -- a proselyte. Perhaps that impulse is difficult to suppress, since it's known that he was a practitioner, himself, maybe styled more after a pratyekabuddha than a bodhisattva (something like an Alan Watts type, in effect). After a while, university administrations ceased to excuse this, and then sent him down the road (as I've read). Oh, well.

Fortunately, we have his books.

--Joe


Although Conze was an advocate of Buddhism, he was not really a practitioner according to his own account. He did try to meditate and follow the Pali canon commentarial tradition in a solitary retreat in his residence at one time with what he felt was some succes, but did not sustain his practice. He was, as he admitted, a difficult, angry man who was loudly hypercritical of others. That said, he was a great scholar and could easily have gotten a position in academia where that sort of behavior can be tolerated. However, the immigration services said "no." I am sure his attitude towards that notoriously humorless group could not have helped.
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