What is the difference between crazy wisdom and just being crazy? ~ Chögyam Trungpa

In the case of ordinary craziness, we are constantly trying to win the game. We might even try to turn craziness into a credential of some kind so we can come out ahead. We might try to magnetize people with passion or destroy them with aggression or whatever. There’s a constant game going on in the mind. Mind’s game- constant strategies going on- might bring us a moment of relief occasionally, but that relief has to be maintained by further aggression.

In the case of primordial craziness, we do not allow ourselves to get seduced by passion or aroused by aggression at all. We relate to these experiences as they are, and if anything comes up in the midst of that complete ordinariness and begins to make itself into a “big deal,” then we cut it down- without any special reference to whether it is good or bad. Crazy wisdom is just the action of truth. It cuts everything down. It doesn’t even try to translate falseness into truthfulness, because even that in itself is corruption. It is ruthless, because if you want the complete truth, if you want to be completely wholly wholesome, than any suggestion that comes up of translating whatever arises into “your terms” is not worth “looking into.”

On the other hand, the usual crazy approach is completely up for that kind of thing – for making whatever comes up to fit into your thing. You make it suit what you want to be, suit what you want to see. But crazy wisdom becomes completely accurate out of the moment of things as they are.


Chögyam Trungpa

from the book Crazy Wisdom


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