Personal experience of non-aggresion

This is a video by Chögyam Trungpa about aggression and giving. He’s a pretty controversial Buddhist who escaped Tibet at 20 in 1959ish, moving to the USA in 1970. (He has a pretty thick accent so I recommend reading the transcript below)

“One of the basic points we are going to get into is that your understanding of reality is approached by your desire to learn more constantly. That you want to learn more and more and more is questionable because there is a lot of aggression taking place. Aggression not in the sense that you are angry, that you lose your temper, but aggression in the sense of a fundamental obstacle.

“If you really see this city of Boulder, if you really see the mountains, and if you really see the skies of Boulder, there is no aggression. But I am doubtful that you really have actually seen it. And this particular remark is not necessarily condescending, or putting down your honorable existence. But this is a reminder: I doubt you’ve actually done it. Maybe you’ve tripped all along, since the other day’s talk, and you’ll be tripping all the way. And maybe you haven’t got anything together to experience what you should experience, are supposed to experience. That’s highly possible because aggression is very powerful. It’s projecting towards an object that you want something, great desires, to grasp, recapture a particular experience. And when it’s captured properly, as a spider does to its flies, then you can actually clutch it and suck its blood. And then have some sense of easiness and freshness take place. And that is a very big problem we have.

“One definition of the dharma is ‘personal experience of non-aggression’. The aggression acts as a big veil to see the preciseness of the functions of absolute reality we discussed the other day, as well as relative reality. The only sense of remedy that we can think of, according to the traditional approach, is surrendering–it seems to be the only way to overcome aggression. Surrendering from this point of view is not so much that you reduce yourself to a child jumping on someone’s lap asking them to be your parents, particularly. But surrendering at this point is a sense of wanting to give, rather than to whom you’re giving, but you want to give, and to let go. There are all kinds of personal trips involved individually, spiritually, economically. Economically because you might be economic conscious, and spiritually because you might have something you want to work on and you don’t want to give that up, and so forth. There is a lot of holding back on us which makes us more blind, when aggression is involved. And giving up, opening, surrendering from that point of view plays a very important part because you finally begin to let go of your aggression. And you begin to say ‘Get the hell out.’ You’re allowed to give, open, take a leap.

“That might mean giving into your own aggression, ‘Let aggression take over me, but I couldn’t care less.’ Or you have some kind of faith and trust in some kind of basic truth that comes from your lineage which actually speaks the truth of non-aggression. It depends on your understanding of the whole thing.

“It is such a relief when you begin to give and give and give. Giving free from the conventional idea of giving. The conventional idea of giving is ‘how much can I give with 10 dollars in my bank account? I might give 5 if I’m so generous. I might have to keep the rest for my own upkeep.’ Thus we give, it depends how much you can hold back. (Not to say I’m trying to raise money from you people particularly, but that’s just the idea that came to my mind.) You spend 50 percent of your aggression on giving, and you’d like to reserve the rest of the money as part of your mentalness, holding up your trip, so to speak. That doesn’t seem to be quite enough, absolutely not enough. You have to give the whole thing. Give up the whole thing. And each time when you give your vision begins to clear, there’s less wax in your ear drums, and you begin to hear much better and see much better when you give more and more of this holding back and resentment and uptightness. Begin to give much more. You are not doing a favor to anyone particularly and there’s nobody to say ‘thank you you have given me so much’. You don’t give to anybody but you give it away anyway, without anything expected to return. You just give give give give let go, each time you give more clarity takes place so you’re able to see the real meaning of reality.

“Giving and opening oneself is not particularly painful when you begin to do it, but the idea of it is very painful. When you’re asked to give and take a leap it’s so terrible feeling. You don’t want it. Some of you are tickled by ‘what will happen to me? Maybe I’ll make some kind of breakthrough, maybe I’ll lose my whole thing in this world.’ It’s very ticklish, the idea. And let us go along with that inquisitive mind and give. And open. Open more. open further. open greater. OPEN COMPLETELY!”