Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Salinger, Trungpa, and Spiritual Materialism

Essay to be written on J.D. Salinger's articulation — in The New Yorker in 1957 — of Chogyam Trungpa's central concept of spiritual materialism — as delivered to the American public in a series of lectures in 1970.

"As a matter of simple logic, there's no difference at all, that I can see, between the man who's greedy for material treasure — or even intellectual treasure — and the man who's greedy for spiritual treasure. As you say, treasure's treasure, God damn it, and it seems to me that ninety per cent of all the world-hating saints in history were just as acquisitive and unattractive, basically, as the rest of us are."
-J.D. Salinger, from "Franny and Zooey", from the mouth of Zooey

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