In the realm of mystics and philosophy I often hear talk about outrageous behavior by (supposedly) wise and enlightened people. You’ve probably heard stories about figures that ignore and act against social norms, at times outrageously, despite their supposed spiritual nature. In many cases, such strange or even abusive behavior is supposedly a lesson from someone more enlightened than the person their being strange or abusive to.
I usually hear this called “Crazy Wisdom,” that I think entered the American spiritual lexicon via Buddhist practitioner Chögyam Trungpa. Trungpa also has a documented history of rape, abuse, and other allegations so I rightfully figure I have no reason to listen to the bastard.
And why should I trust someone claiming they are “enlightened” and thus “beyond it all” so “they can teach me?” If they’re going to be cruel and abusive, it’s far easier to just assume they’re an asshole and save yourself the trouble. If you’ve got great cosmic wisdom to share and then give me every reason to call the authorities, then you don’t have anything to teach me.
“Crazy Wisdom” certainly sounds like an excuse to abuse people.
So nope, I don’t trust Crazy Wisdom I’m-So-Enlightened types. Know who I do trust spiritually? Clowns.
Give me people who can make fun of themselves and the human condition. Give me people who wittily point out the problems in the world, the obvious solutions, and the sadly hilarious gaps between them. Give me someone who makes me laugh at them and myself, often for the same reasons. Let me laugh at you and with you.
Best of all, we can all be Clowns – we can be stupid, silly, wacky, and poke fun at everything including ourselves. When a person of spiritual wisdom is a clown, they’re right there with me, being foolish alongside me. I can relate to them – sometimes by accident.
I don’t trust Crazy Wisdom. I trust someone who I can laugh with. They can teach me something with a trustworthy foolishness.