My wife and I just got a heart-warming email from an old friend (who shall remain anonymous), with just the sort of thoughtful, soulful reaction to my book that I was aiming for when writing it:
Wow. Just read the Salon bit. Had me crying and laughing. (I was reading it over morning coffee before 7 am, when I am prone to be emotional.)
I have to admit, for these several years, I never quite “got” what Andreas was on about with this whole Hannibal thing. And now, in those Salon paragraphs, it has all become so damn clear. Through Andreas telling that individual, personal narrative, seeing it reflected in my own life, and then seeing up, with ever greater reverberations, expanding out to the great truths of all lives.
Been thinking a lot about the narratives of my own life these days. A lover of nature. A scientist. Successful conservationist. […] Failed Buddhist. Living in the heart of a loving community of friends, even if it is a geographically dispersed community of friends. Me not maintaining that community of friends as much as I used to, as much as I should. Me craving romance, yet terrified of sex, terrified of intimacy. Neurotic, bordering on psychotic.
What are my successes? What are my failures? Has one come at the cost of the other?
Chogyam Trungpa once said something about how our brilliance, in that Buddhist, primal human sense, is the direct result of our neuroses. It is not despite our neuroses that our most beautiful and generous properties come, but because of them. In Kipling’s terms, “brilliance” and “neurosis” are two imposters, to be treated the same…
4 thoughts on “Thoughts (not mine) over coffee before 7AM”
Brilliance as the direct result of neuroses. Now there’s a Buddhism that speaks to a Jewish temperament. I’m taking it with me.
This really is a fine letter.
Happy January 5!
That reminds me: Abe Maslow: his philosophy was called (at Esalen, where he and I once hung out) “Jewish Buddhism” or “Buddhist Judaism”.
Don’t think my brain could create that anytime during the day, let alone before 7am.
Neurosis. Brilliance. It’s all about that thin line.
And about vulnerability.