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Response to Beringia (Reply #12)

Sat Sep 30, 2017, 01:55 AM

13. Frankly I don't think his drinking much mattered

Well given that he is dead now, I can't crawl inside his head and know the extent of how drinking affected him. I can however look at what he accomplished and the legacy that he left behind. As a young man of about 20, he was in a terrible car accident that left him paralyzed on one side of his body and in a lot of pain for the rest of his life. Alcohol seems to have helped with his pain. It didn't interfere with his writing about thirty books, establishing a translation group, founding 2 monasteries, founding a number of meditation centers, or founding Nalanda University in Boulder. He was also a master caligrapher and did floral arranging. Plus he was married and supported a wife and children. So he certainly wasn't a slouch. He was very accomplished. He was also a mortal man with certain flaws, just like the rest of us. He is probably most famous for his book, "Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism." I regret not meeting him when he was alive, as we both were in the SF Bay Area at the same time in the 70s. But back then, I simply was not ready to learn what he had to teach. I can now however read what he wrote. Back in the 70s, I too was shocked when I heard about his drinking. I jumped to a lot of conclusions without ever meeting him. Silly me.

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