Excerpts from +quot;Zen Without Zen Masters+quot; Camden Benares Copyright 1977 by Camden

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Excerpts from "Zen Without Zen Masters" Camden Benares Copyright 1977 by Camden Benares Falcon Press From I. Guides and Lovable Fools Solitary System There are many individuals who are liberated or who appear to be so. Some of them seek disciples because they have not heeded Nietzsche, who said, "What? You seek followers? You would multiply yourself by ten, by a hundred, by a thousand? Seek zeroes!" Remember this and know that any system of liberation may work once, for one individual. Masters And Teachers When asked about masters and teachers, Ho Chi Zen always had this to say: "The Old Fox can learn more from the young Fool than the Young Fool can ever hope to learn from the old fox." Mal's Truth When an interviewer asked Mal if his teaching was serious or humorous, Mal replied, "Sometimes I take humor seriously and sometimes I take seriousness humorously. Either way it is irrelevant." The interviewer responded by proposing that Mal was crazy. Mal grinned and said, "Indeed! But don't reject these teachings just because I am crazy. I am crazy because they are true." Ben and The Fanatic In his teachings, Ben stressed that Zen was his path because it allowed him to be himself. All the other routes that allegedly lead to cosmic consciousness seemed to put him in conflict with his own nature. He advised all seekers to examine carefully what each system asked of the potential initiate, keeping in mind three rules: 1. What you are required to believe is what the system cannot prove. 2. Anything that you are asked to keep secret is of more value to the teacher than to the student. 3. Any practice that is forbidden offers something that the system cannot successfully replace with an alternative. One listener asked, "Don't you believe that giving up the pleasures of the senses will produce a different consciousness?" "My personal experience," Ben replied,"was that it produced the consciousness of fanaticism." Audience Response Ben was once asked how he expected anyone to take some of his teachings seriously when they provoked so much laughter from his listeners. he replied, "Laughter is the only genuine form of applause." A Common Disease By surrounding himself with true believers, Waldo fell into the trap of taking himself too seriously. This led to unhappiness and ill health. When he asked Ralph, one of the few who had penetrated his multilevel cover stories, what he thought the problem was, Ralph replied, "You're suffering from hardening of the orthodoxies."

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