The Society For Creative Maladjustment
Hello from scenic Pokhara, Nepal! I hope you are happy and healthy. What’s new where you are? We are on temporary virus-related house arrest here. They say it may go on for a week or two. They said that last year during the first lock down. It continued for several long months. This situation sucks, but also has positive value. It leaves everyone here with the choice of either becoming a walking whining factory, or finding the silver lining in the clouds and being happy. This is a no-brainer! Time to enjoy the quiet and do the extra things that time will now allow. Fortunately, most folks here look at being miserable on the inside due to miserable circumstances being forced upon them from the outside as a non-option. Many Nepalis consider happiness to be a serious social obligation to the local and global communities, as well as an obligation to their own immediate family and self. This notion is a regular part of everyday life, but even more pronounced now that the immediate family and the self will be stuck indoors with each other for who knows how long. I still have some pre-lockdown Pokhara material that will be polished and posted soon. Meanwhile, please enjoy another little bit from Tribute to Teachers, my favorite section of the new book-in-progress. I’m pretty sure that everyone alive is familiar with the folks mentioned here. No further introduction to the modern masters that inspired this piece is necessary. Thank you for reading, and thank you for clicking the backlinks. Please stay well and stay happy. Most other options will be less pleasant for you—and much less pleasant for everyone around you. Love, Tenzin “It’s all in your mind.” George Harrison p.s. The same crew as last year is again called to action in order to feed the hungry families that are again isolated from their incomes. Please help if you can. If you can get us the support, the crew can defy lockdown for long enough to deliver the food. Thanks very much for whatever you can do. https://www.gofundme.com/f/keep-kathmandu-from-starving?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_campaign=p_cf%20share-flow-1&fbclid=IwAR2f5767GP3_ydBmbGmSnWXkKwGjT6tVsL3-KEpPRE8Ajb6BYxbc-bHFE3w Keep Kathmandu From Going Hungry, organized by Zak Aldridge Hello friends, a brief intro: I'm Zak, a language student from NY and recent Columbia U… Zak Aldridge needs your support for Keep Kathmandu From Going Hungry www.gofundme.com ***p.p.s. As always, if you find these weekly bits bothersome, let me know and I’ll stop sending them to you. If you find the reading at all enjoyable, please—it literally takes only seconds—click one or more or all of the highlighted backlinks following this paragraph. This simple process is completely without risk, cost, or difficulty. All it does is bring you to the site that is highlighted. Each click is a big help in pushing Fearless Puppy up in the Google rankings. Whether you browse the sites or close the windows immediately, your help has been delivered when you click. Thank you! FEARLESS PUPPY WEBSITE BLOG FEARLESS PUPPY ON AMERICAN ROAD/AMAZON PAGE REINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE/AMAZON PAGE FEARLESS WEBSITE THE SOCIETY FOR CREATIVE MALADJUSTMENT
Based on a speech by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Dedicated to him, the Giraffe Society, human Giraffes everywhere,
and to the Giraffe that lives in each of us.
Most institutions, including government, religious, and economic ones, share a stance that profits when the public craves stability and fears change; when the public clings religiously to as many aspects of status quo as possible and to all the things that are considered “normal.” These institutions promote as well as embody a deep aversion to diversity, change, and progressive thought. Their main priority and concern is always the defense of their place at the top of the social hierarchy. Even while they are manipulating the most drastic social changes throughout the general population, the stability of the power structure that controls that population remains as solid as a mountain. Those on top of the cultural food chain will often do whatever it takes, no matter how cruel or how kind, to maintain their positions and possessions.
In a vain, ridiculous, and doomed quest for permanence, status quo attempts to avoid the growing pains and paradigm shifts required by progressive change. One very popular method used to accomplish profitable stagnation is to downplay anything new and better. Status quo has tagged brilliant folks throughout history with some pretty dubious titles in an attempt to trivialize the importance of what these people had to say. We’ve heard “fruitcake,” “crazy,” “heretic,” “lunatic,” “revolutionary,” “hippy,” “traitor,” “on the fringe,” “dangerous,” “weirdo,” “loose cannon,” and “commie” every now and then, but the label most often used in polite society to describe those who would rock the boat is “maladjusted.”
Status quo itself is something that lives in a glass house and really shouldn’t be throwing stones. Fear, bigotry, war, poverty, and poisoning the biosphere as well as its inhabitants are all stones with which our established systems could easily and justifiably be hit. Many popularly accepted societal trends are certainly not well adjusted. The same could be said of the people who blindly follow these trends. Not so long ago, our society considered owning other people to be well adjusted.
It is unfortunate that so many of our better, kinder, more humane citizens suppress or even amputate their feelings in order to fit in and gain acceptance. They are often frozen into non-action. They accept the unacceptable in fear of being ostracized, ridiculed, or facing other social penalties for being thought maladjusted. This frightened, impotent intelligence may be even sadder than the brutal ignorance it complies with.
Some folks believe that even the most intense degrees of human suffering can be tolerated—as long as they themselves are not the particular folks doing the suffering. Most of us are better than that. Most of us cannot comfortably adjust to seeing others suffer brutality. Some of us are courageous enough to speak out in a maladjusted manner against such injustices.
Look at the folks who were considered maladjusted by most of the people who shared their era! Jesus, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Saint Francis, John Lennon, Huxley, Copernicus—there’s no end to the list. Isn’t it amazing that more people aren’t excitedly running toward becoming creatively maladjusted rather than being frightened away from it?
When Mother Teresa first began on her mission “everyone thought she was cracked.” (This quote is from Father Gabrich, a fellow Albanian expatriate and a fifty year friend of Mother’s. He said the first Mass given in the first rooms where Mother Teresa began her care of the sick and poor.) There are now very few people of any religion who do not recognize her as a Saint. She bucked the traditionalists with an inner strength that a “well adjusted” person cannot access. She didn’t just sidestep, but actually defied conventions of the very church that her life was based upon. Mother did so with a revolutionary attitude that leaned on ferocious courage and dismantled even the most liberally minded ignorance. She made the world a better place by sticking her neck out.
It’s not just famous people that do the creatively maladjusted thing. The Giraffe Society recognizes people worldwide who stick their necks out for the good of us all. They have a long list of regular folks just like you and I that are charter members of their own special branch of Dr. King’s Society for Creative Maladjustment.
An older couple walks to the bank. They have spent most of their long lives fighting off frosty winters in the northernmost reaches of America. They are going to their bank in order to transfer accounts to a sunny retirement spot and arrange for the sale of the home they will leave behind.
Before they can get to the bank, they meet a cold, hungry, homeless man with a heart-wrenching true story. They listen. The couple never makes it to the bank that day. Instead, they take the man back to their home.
The couple’s next trip to the bank is to refinance the mortgage on their house, not sell it. They open a homeless shelter in that house and never move south. Their sunny retirement spot is now internal. They have never been happier.
They are publicly acknowledged and awarded membership in the Giraffe Society by virtue of their spiritual membership in Dr. King’s Society for Creative Maladjustment. At one time, the suffering man they met on the way to the bank was a member too. He got lost, had some bad breaks, slipped downhill, and had his membership lapse. He has pulled himself back together, now helps to manage the homeless shelter he inspired, and is once again a member in good standing of The Society—and society at large.
He got by with a little help from his friends.
It can be said that many of the Monks and Nuns I see every day here in Nepal are full time members of The Society for Creative Maladjustment. They live without many things that you and I consider essential. There are folks among us that see these choices as signs of maladjustment, but the result of these sacrifices increase the ability of the Nuns and Monks to help other people. It helps them to focus on things they believe to be more important than physical comfort. They practice this focus with an inspired altruistic intent, inspiring dedication, and no thought of reward—aware that every action contains its own inherent automatic reward or punishment that is inseparable from that action. Both instant and long-term karma are facts of life. (“Your karma is not what is happening to you. Your karma is how you experience and respond to what is happening to you.” Sadhguru)
Reading and talking will only take us so far. Only the doing gets a thing done.
Thinking, talking, or reading about doing is like trying to scratch an itchy leg through leather pants. It is a start, but doesn’t get the job done. People have talked about wanting to live on a peaceful, happy planet since the beginning of people. It hasn’t happened yet. The only chance for the survival and happiness of our loved ones, ourselves, and future generations is being defined by what we are doing to increase cooperation, happiness, well being, sanity, love, inclusiveness, and respect for each other right now.
The Society for Creative Maladjustment has shampooed the red carpet in anticipation of your arrival. This society’s door is always open. When anyone joins, everyone gets stronger. Any and all approaches to a better world—whether they are scientific, spiritual, economic, or political—must pass through this door eventually. There is no sensible option to the compassionate cooperative effort that is inspired by constructive, creative maladjustment to the world’s evils.
“Every society has its protectors of the status quo and its fraternities of the indifferent who are notorious for sleeping through revolutions. But today our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Among the most remarkable features characterizing Zen we find these: spirituality, directness of expression, disregard of form or conventionalism, and frequently an almost wanton delight in going astray from respectability.” D.T. Suzuki
“Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot un-educate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore. We have seen the future, and the future is ours.” Ceasar Chavez
“Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.” Frank Zappa
Many thanks to our wonderful friends at Pema Boutique Hotel for their help and support.
***The books Fearless Puppy On American Road and Reincarnation Through Common Sense by this same author are also available through Amazon or the Fearless Puppy website, where there are sample chapters from those books. Entertaining TV/radio interviews with and newspaper articles about the author are also available there. There is no charge for anything but the complete books! All author profits from book sales will be donated to help sponsor an increase in the number of wisdom professionals on Earth, beginning with but certainly not limited to Buddhist monks and nuns.
***If you missed the Introduction to the new book that will be titled Temple Dog Soldier, or would like to see several chapters of it that are available for free online, go to the Puppy website Blog section. This is a book in progress. You will be reading it as it is being created! Just like you, I don’t know what the next chapter is going to be about until it is written. As the Intro will tell you, this is a totally true story—and probably the only book ever written by and about a corpse journeying completely around the world!