Saturday, January 31, 2009

Opening Salvo

Right, so let's start at the beginning. Zenarchy is a catchy phrase borrowed\stolen from Kerry Thornley, perfectly summed up in this excerpt from his book (wait for it) Zenarchy (which can be found here
"Now Zen struck me as the natural lifestyle implied by anarchist politics - and from the Taoistic perspective of Zen, anarchism seemed the logical political option. Like the Yin and the Yang, they belong together in a dynamic synergy of creative power." Kerry Thornley was one of the founders of a religion disguised as a joke (or a joke disguised as a religion) called Discordianism and may have been involved in the Kennedy assassination. This is probably the last we'll hear from him, as I've more or less co-opted his word and concept. Also, he's dead.

I recently became a Buddhist after long stints as both a Catholic seminarian and a practicing occultist. I left the Church when I began to feel bogged down by dogma and realized that prayers seem to only be answered about half the time. I began practicing a sort-of post-modern interpretation of Golden Dawn and Thelemic ritual before I began to feel bogged down by dogma and realized that long and intense rituals in secret languages only work about half the time. Funny that. During my time with both schools of thought, I was an anarcho-syndicalist political activist and did things like scale fences and get beat up by cops.

One of the things that first attracted me to Buddhism, and the philosophy of Zen in particular, is that it's focused very much on the objective reality we all see every day. Yes, there's obviously some mysticism involved, but in general most of the philosophy deals with things that you can look out your window and see for yourself.
I also appreciate that the historical Buddha, Siddhartha, was not anyone metaphysically special at the outset. He wasn't the son of a god or in contact with secret ascended masters, he was just a normal person who realized some things about the nature of reality and then passed them along. Unless you delve into Pure Land Buddhism or some of the other more esoteric schools, spiritual fulfillment doesn't come from any outside source, it comes from inside of yourself. The very idea of that makes the little anti-authoritarian in my heart the happiest little anti-authoritarian ever.

I made this blog to catalog some of the thoughts that go through my head in regards to Buddhism, Anarchism, and that little area where they meet called Zenarchy. But for now it's late, so let's just hope that I update here again.

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