Aphorisms of a Derelict Yogi
Sayings of a modern mystic who was down-on-his-luck
(more about the Yogi)

"Blah f*cking blah"

"Blah f*cking blah"


The Yogi was pretty impatient with long philosophical discussions. Because people had heard he was "wise" (a label he rejected,) they often came, not to learn from him, but to show off how much wiser they were.

He'd cut them off at the knees. They'd start going, and he'd interrupt them with "Blah f*cking blah."

Sometimes, if they kept going, he'd keep repeating it, or even shout it in their faces, until they got frustrated and either shut up or went away.


This is a less elegant tactic than the one used by Nan-in in the famous story, but it was probably just as effective.

A university professor had come to ask Nan-in about Zen. He was typically arrogant, full of opinions and speculation.

So Nan-in served him tea. When the professor's cup was full, Nan-in kept pouring. The professor watched, calmly at first, but then he became agitated.

"The cup is full!" he said. "Nothing more can go in!"

And Nan-in replied, "You, like this cup, are full of your own opinion. I can't show you Zen until first you empty your cup."

Another idea in the Yogi's saying is that words are provisional; in India they call the Absolute "That before Which words fail."

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  1. Does such a technique seem wildly inappropriate to you? How do you think the Yogi would justify it?
  2. Do you think Nan-in's technique was any more appropriate? Why or why not?
  3. In what respect do "words fail" when describing God?

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