Montreal – 1969 – ( Q & A – Krishna and The Void – Metaphysical Speculation)

Q: Do you think that the void could be incomplete?

AG: I don’t know if the void could be, the philosophy might be incomplete, but I don’t think that the void is incomplete.

Q; But if you say that the void is the ultimate truth then how can you.

AG: I ain’t saying the void is the ultimate truth. I’m just saying that’s one of the… You know what I would say? – All ideas as to the nature of the self , as well as to the existence of the self, as well as all ideas as to the existence of a supreme self, as well as all ideas as to the non-existence of the self, as well as all ideas as to the non-existence of the supreme self, are equally arbitrary, being only ideas. An experience of void, or an experience of supreme self are nameless experiences that really can’t be argued about one way or the other, or discussed rationally even. I’ve had experience of a supreme person and I’ve had a contradictory experience of the void . I’m not even in a position to know whether the experiences were even contradictory finally. It’s not emotionally satisfying entirely to say that we are empty phantoms entirely and there’s no.. that even Krishna is empty, which is what the Buddhists would say. But, on the other hand, I’m afraid of attachment, even to Krishna, as being an attachment also.Not that I’m that detached from everything. But if we’re talking philosophy…

Q: Previously you said you’d like to be detatched from the material. So an attachment to Krishna would automatically mean a detatchment from material…?

AG: Yeah, but then, except, you would have to be attached to the whole material structure of the Krishna consciousness too.  See, the Buddhistsin a way, are hipper because they say if Buddha gets in your way on the road to Enlightenment, cut him down!- or, they say “the Buddha is a stick of shit”. It’s an old Zen koan  [Editorial note – traditionally attributed to 9th Century Buddhist master, Linji]

Shaktyavesa Avataras, Sesa Naga, Lord Brahma, Narada, Christ, Bhaktisiddhanta, Srila Prabhupada, Bhaktivinoda, Mohammed, Kumaras (clockwise), Buddha (center)

Q: What do you think about the prediction in the Shaktyavesa camp, that Krishna will reincarnate as Buddha…?

AG: Well, yeah, okay.. but there is an element of insistent provincialism in that, there’s a humorlessness to that – (and a humor to it, but there’s also an element of insistency). It’s like, “What if the Buddhists say that Krishna was a bodhisattva?, you know, one of the forms of Buddha? There would be a kind of insistency that one would find humorless.

Q : But  the Srimad Bhagvatam was written five thousand years ago, the Buddha only appeared twenty-six hundred. One has the..

AG: Srimad Bhagvatam was written when?
Q:   Five thousand years ago
AG: The Bhagvad Gita or Srimad Bhagvatam
Q:  Srimad Bhagvatam was spoken after Bhagavad Gita.
AG: Yeah. and when was Bhagavad Gita written?
Q:  Five thousand… Approximately the same time but Srimad Bhagvatam was…

AG: Yeah…well..I’m not enough of a scholar to know if that’s rationally correct or not, but, I mean, it’s..See, I remember all the arguments I used to have with all the Christians – “The Bible’s the Word of God!” – I  just don’t believe it. I mean, I don’t even understand it in those terms. That’s so literalistic as to be…
I mean, I was(mock shrug) “Yeah? Is it? – Is it really?
– And what does “five thousand years old” mean?

Post-Magdalenian cave-paintings have gods from the year forty thousand BC. I mean, they got pictures of Gods way back from forty thousand BC if you want an authority, if you want a shastra, go back to the caves in the Pyrenees, because, if age is going to be the criteria like that. Besides which, the Buddhists.. the Buddhist theology also has the idea of  Adi-Buddha and the Buddha of the dinosaur-era too, which goes back before, too.

AG: What time is it?
Q: (It’s time, just before four (o’clock))
AG: Is there anything special we have to deal with? –or anything that we haven’t… Is there anything sensitive that we haven’t done?
Q: Would you like to come for a Shabbat, Sunday?
AG: I’ll be leaving Sunday morning for Baltimore. I’ll try and get by the temple before I leave though.
Q: I was wondering if you could you pass on Gary Snyder’s address?
AG: Well, if you write him care of City Lights, he’ll get letters.
Q: And it’s the 24th of November (in New York)?
AG: Yeah..except I think they’ve sold out already.  It’s (at) the Y, yeah..

Student: Once again – Mr Ginsberg will be appearing at the Union Ballroom (Montreal) tomorrow at eight o’clock ..thanks very much..

Audio for the above can be heard here,  beginning at approximately twenty-threeand-a-half minutes in (fifth segment) and concluding at approximately twenty-nine minutes in

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