Saturday, March 27, 2010

Zen Master Alfred

Next to Ikkyu and Bankei, I consider Alfred E. Neuman one of the greatest Zen Masters of all time. I do know he is fictional, but, well, aren't all of our story lines fictional?

What we tell ourselves about what has happened to 'us' is nothing more than a story fabricated from fractured memories, is it not? Think about it. Our ego makes up the stories where we are the hero, the villain, the victim and the trickster. It is all fictional. They are all fairy tales and cartoons in your head.
But don't let that disturb you too much. Master Neuman would just tell you to chill, have a good laugh and scratch your ass. I believe Ikkyu and Bankei would have read Mad Magazine and perhaps would even place a copy on their altars...or used it to stuff their zafus.
Master Neuman's greatest Koan is, "What, Me Worry?" Contemplate it and may it's teaching penetrate to the marrow of your bones.

Hands palm to palm,


  1. Ah, yes ... it is all fictional, the idea that 'I' am what I think I am...only to eventually realise nothing is everything being nothing, which is everything, being nothing that is .... ;-)
    Nice post!

  2. Yet it is through experiencing the fictional storylines One can Remember :)

    I wonder if Homer Simpson would count :p

  3. Homer counts! mmmm..donuts. the favorite of all zen is the enso you can eat!

  4. Mad magazine was my first inkling that things were not what they appeared to be. I pasted "What, Me Worry?" stamps in my bedroom. I sorrily did not apply the dictum. Forgetting the precise positioning of the comma, I read it as "What? Me Worry!" with the ensuing predicaments that entailed.

  5. Same here...little did we know we 'knew' Alfred was onto something until we developed a little gray hair.