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from Shunryu Suzuki lectures - 2014-5
[laughs] = Suzuki laughs [laughter] = students laugh
All Will Be Lost
Excerpt from interview #1 of Suzuki by Peter Schneider On Zen Center History, Personal History, and Nona Ransom, September 1969.
1-06-15 - In these interviews about his life Shunryu Suzuki's English gets worse. Reminds me of a study of George W. Bush's grammatical errors and fumbling use of English coming up mainly when he was talking about subjects he was uncomfortable with or not interested in, like taxes, peace, poverty, oh yes - and his past. And found that place mentioned yesterday where Suzuki totally disses the value of looking at him in terms of his life history. The "all will be lost" quote. I see it like we're out on a boat, everyone saying Suzuki did this and Suzuki said that and a storm comes up and we all go down with the ship screaming and flapping our arms. Oh darn. Missed the liferaft.
PS: Do you think it would be interesting Roshi for the students to know - is it best to give your biography very simple?
SR: Maybe so.
SR: Just facts? It doesn't make much sense.
SR: It doesn't make much sense, I'm afraid, you know, until - If they don't understand what is - what kind of thing is going on (phone call - horrible background noise starts) - I don't know what to do with some things.
PS: Yeah I'm trying to think what I do with it. How much I should put into the history. It's interesting to your students, but maybe -
SR: No. Maybe for someone who is not a student. I don't know - to announce to students
SR: I know. So maybe I should just -
SR: Because of this kind of experience [discussed earlier] I decided to come to America. No interesting thing in it. Just talking to you. (I'm not interested in this kind of thing. This is record. Just confusion. [inserted]
SR: This is big job. I'm, not interested in this kind of thing. I have no record, accurate record of my life. -
PS: Is there any meaning at all in having something about you in the Wind Bell?
SR: This sort of thing?
PS: Some sort of history, some sort of biography, not too elaborate, but some sort. Not a book though. Maybe about four or five pages? Is that a mistake?
SR: Four or five!
PS: How much do you think? One? Half a page? A paragraph? One sentence? Suzuki biography: “I do not think much of this sort of thing and have not kept any records.” End biography. You have the right to decide. This is your direct concern. How do you feel about this?
SR: I don't find answer to this kind of question.
If you see my record in this way, everything will be lost.
From 69-09-16-IA. Entered onto disk from tape audio by DC -1996 or so and checked against Katherine Thanas' earlier transcription. Revised by Bill Redican 9/01. For more go to this entry on the Suzuki lecture archive found on Shunryu Suzuki dot com. - Edited by DC, posted 1-05-16