Speaking as the voice of the socially admired sociopath:
On January 12, 2011, I said goodbye to Stephanie and my dog and left Salt Lake City for Paris with my secret girlfriend KC not knowing I would never set foot in my home upon return and that I would never again see the face of my wife. The Zendo I had dreamed about for decades and finally created in 1993, I can no longer return to either. At first, I was in great shock.
OK, let’s stop right there. The dog we’ll miss. And yes he was in shock, for a little while. But I never was. I knew what was coming. Who do you think left that Blackberry for Stephanie to find?
And once I explained the beauty of it all, he went from shock to happiness pretty quick. I mean, how can you beat this for a four-for-one sale. He gets to dump the wife that he wasn’t that into anymore. And KC, well it was fun while it lasted, but five years is a long time. Especially when there are so many other opportunities. Younger opportunities, if you get my drift.
And the Zendo, yes he’ll miss that. In a maudlin kind of way. But let’s face it, the real money is not in Salt Lake City and never will be. So we get to drop that entire Clarke Kent life and now I am finally free to be myself. But here’s the best part. We get special credit for doing what I wanted him to do all along anyway. We get to play for pity for ‘losing” the wife. Dumping KC is “doing the right thing” and fleeing the coop from Kanzeon is “listening to the feedback from my students.” I mean sometimes I don’t know. It is supposed to be this easy or am I just that good?
My greatest pain in all of this is the possibility that all these whiny puritans will damage the brand name and the market value as a teacher. I mean please, KC a victim? Give me a break. And Chozen, who was Maezumi's secret girlfriend and broke up a marriage with children involved, is using sock puppets to attack us? Fucking hypocrites. Claiming to be Maezumi's successors. I have always been the only one with the balls to be like Maezumi and I still am. That's why he picked me to be his real successor. Right from the start. That was our little secret understanding.
I am taking this time to lay low and let it all blow over. Well, lay low from dealing with anyone in Salt Lake City that is. No fun dealing with that crew if I can’t put them all into the voice of surrender and give them a good dose of Shut The Fuck Up. But we’re not giving up any of the lucrative gigs of course.
So for now, I’ll let everyone in Salt Lake City blow off steam and use the pressure of my owning the center building to convince everyone to let things quiet down. In a year, all will be forgotten. Hell, it worked last time and that time there were kids involved. And some of the women involved even complained. You don't see any of my lovers complaining this time.
Of course, if Kanzeon closes its doors because I cashed out all the money donated to purchase it, well, I’ll get him to shed a few real tears. Maybe even have Compassion do a cameo for old time’s sake. God, I love rubbing my old nemesis’s nose in it. And hardly anyone knows about the guy who gave all his money to the center then later was sent away penniless with a stern lecture about “getting in touch with marketplace mind”. Thank god, he had too much class to complain. So that won’t be a problem. Problem, hell that was one of my masterpieces. And if Kanzeon doesn’t close, I can take credit for that too. Someday, I’ll have to give my fellow sociopaths on Wall Street lessons about how it is really done.
It is really unfortunate that this all came on the heels of the Eido Roshi thing. Forcible rape condoned by slew of top roshis, now that's sick. But just because one roshi let the bag out posthumously - now there's a profile in courage for you. How come he gets off scot free? - everyone is linking me with Eido. Real problem, right? Think again. With so much of the Zen establishment so publicly compromised, me getting a bit of tail on the side will just vanish in the mist.
Anyway, all this emoting over who’s been buying all the viagra has kept attention completely off my real crime. That’s the scary one. The one I had to commit to survive. The one that could really hurt my brand if anyone ever found out. The infanticide.
Some years ago, I lost control. I got his damn dog killed in a car wash. Well, it seemed like a reasonable idea at the time, but afterward Guilt was too strong and worse, Compassion. They locked me up in the basement and I had to claw my way out. Meanwhile that damned Big Mind thing developed a mind of its own. You know, a room full of experienced meditators with the space being held by the voices of compassion and some serious samadhi. That was a dangerous mix. It was all spiraling out of control. New teachings were emerging spontaneously. People started to feel so good about what they were doing that they started thinking that maybe they didn’t need someone on a throne telling them what to do. I mean if too many people start trusting themselves and each other, there really won’t be any place left in the world for my kind. There was even some sick fucking fantasy about the collegial sangha of the future.
Well, I put an end to that. A little help from the marketing folks at Integral and his new friends Ken and David and we started replacing all those little hearts with dollar signs. The new girlfriend helped, someone I could trust because she is run by the voice of the socially admired sociopath too. Not one of those strong women who would have demanded to hear from Strength or Compassion or those other fucking voices. And as a bonus, the way KC sat there with that “look, it’s Jesus walking on water” look on her face helped set just the right tone of passive worship. Or stupefaction. God, most people need weed to get that way.
Of course, he was pretty receptive anyway. Scared once he realized that being the founder of a living Big Mind process would mean it was in charge not him. He would have had to surrender to it. So instead he surrendered to me. Of course, it is easier since he doesn’t know where he ends and I begin anyway.
So I put a noose around Big Mind’s neck and slowly twisted. Jerked around all his facilitator trainees and sent them away pissed. Put myself in full control of the group process and started doing “Shadow Work”. God, I still laugh about that one. Me, in charge of everyone’s “Shadow Work”. Fox in charge of the hen house doesn’t even begin to capture it. Best trick ever. And if anyone objected, I simply labeled their objection a shadow and told them to own it. He shoots, he scores. Nothing but net.
So I steadily manipulated the voices and manipulated the process. The suckups always understood what was wanted and provided it on cue. God bless copyrights. Can’t have someone really turning Big Mind loose now can we. Soon enough Big Mind was dead but we were making Big Money giving people a peak at its mummy. Touching them with the relics from the corpse. Considering that even that actually does people some good, its scary to think what would happen if it was still alive. And anyone who didn’t go along with the program, I found some way or another to get rid of.
OK, it wasn’t as simple as I make it sound. It took years to kill off Big Mind and get Compassion back under control. And there were times I wasn’t sure I could pull it off. It’s funny the odd little things that will suddenly revive Compassion. But in the end, I came out on top And oh yeah, Compassion is still there. But I hold the other end of the leash around his neck. And Compassion comes out when I say so. Not otherwise. Great camouflage, I have to say.
Hey, let’s let Genpo himself speak for a bit.
Now writing this letter I realize today is Maezumi Roshi’s birthday, and I am reflecting on our twenty three years together. It was on Saturday, March 18, 1972 that I first met Maezumi Roshi, and after three days I was ready to leave his retreat and never look at Buddhism again. His words that day caused me to change my mind, because in my entire life no one had ever spoken to me as he did. I can even now feel how my heart was touched when he said, looking me straight in the eye, “I don’t want you to go.” He said this three times and somehow I couldn't leave.
Sorry, I make my living off his stories, but even I can’t take it. So let’s get clear. He stayed for three things. Power, money, women. And he spent the whole time obeying Maezumi but hating it, finding every opportunity to get out from under his thumb. Ok, back to Genpo.
“Now, forty years later, I feel I have come full circle as I leave behind being a Zen priest, and finally feel that I am living the life of a humble Zen monk by taking off my priestly robes and brocade rakusu, and just being an ordinary man of no rank.”
OK, I guess its up to me to translate that into plain English: Who needs rank when we can charge people $50,000 to hang out with him? How many Harley's will rank buy you? Will rank pay for a house on Maui? Hell, no. You have to admit $50,000 is pretty impressive. Freud himself never got that much. Hell, Ken doesn't get that much. Speaking of younger opportunities.
But you know, he really has himself half-convinced by this stuff most of the time. Suits me fine. It’s one of the things that makes him so easy for me to manipulate. And his sincerity helps make him marketable.
OK, back to Genpo: For me, the great teaching from this has been that my karma is my dharma and that I have no other dharma besides my own karma. Not anyone else's. Not Maezumi’s, not Steph's, not KC's, not students’.
Any guesses where he got that from? And the way he dresses it up in pretty Buddhist words. You know, if he put lipstick on a pig, you would really want to kiss the pig. Even pay good money for the privilege. Bet Dogen Fucking Zenji couldn’t pull off that trick.
Back to my boy: I am offering the rest of my life to teaching those students who wish to continue studying with me.
Of course, he means those who have the funds to pay for it. Nothing in this life is free. Unless you take it from the bourgeoisie. Haha. And they should be ready to come to his humble abode on Maui. Yeah, humble. Maui. You know, there is probably a zoning ordinance against humble on Maui.
Yes, a good cigar would go nice right now as we move forward with his life, humbly preserving and nurturing the one thing I care about and love, and we will no longer squander our life.
D. Genpo Merzel, Socially Admired Sociopath
PS If you have any doubts about who is really in charge of Brand Genpo, watch me fly. And watch the rest of the spiritual world flock to my banner. Hell, in a few years, they’ll invite us to the Zen reunions and start calling him Roshi again. Just you wait and see.
PPS We get to keep the name. Brand recognition and all that you know.