Audience member (AM): Hi.
Krishna Das (KD): Hello.
AM: My question is: Do you consider yourself as a spiritual person? Because, I would say that your sense of humor, seems to me quite cynical for a spiritual person.
[Audience breaks out in laughter]
KD: It’s me, it’s not you.
AM: I wouldn’t expect that …
KD: Would you define spiritual person since you don’t think I am one?
[More laughter from audience]
AM: A spiritual person in my mind …
KD: Wears white, talks very sweetly …
AM: … Yeah!
KD: Those are the people who wind up … [hesitates, looks down and smiles]
AM: … About unconditional love and …
KD: Those are the people who don’t have any shadows in their life, and they’re happy all the time, well then that’s wonderful, but that’s not me.
AM: Like, would you … uh … think of changing that in you? Or … like …
[Laughter resumes loudly throughout audience]
AM: … Some person to be spiritual.
KD: I’m not concerned with whether I’m spiritual, or worldly, or anything like that. There is no … those words mean nothing to me. I am looking for love. I am looking for unconditional love. Everything in my life is leading me toward that place of unconditional love that is God, that is the Guru. And that’s what my life is about. I don’t define it any other way … whether it’s spiritual or not.
I can say shit and fuck and all that stuff and still be perfectly happy. [Loud laughter from audience, especially me;)] My Guru said that as well … so.
AM: You seem to be too realistic.
KD: I don’t think you can be too realistic. If you don’t deal with reality, it’s going to deal with you. You need to be honest with yourself about who you are and what you are, and you can’t tell stories to yourself, because you have to live. And if your lying to yourself about who you are, what’s going to happen? So I try to deal with myself with as much honesty as I can.
Because lying to myself, why? Why would I do that? Who does that hurt besides me? It hurts everybody around me if I’m not honest with myself. So I try to be honest with myself and I lean toward the cynical side [big grin spreads across his face] for a little self protection. It keeps people a little further away, because they look at me and go ‘he’s not spiritual’ and then they go away, and I love that.
[Laughter and applause erupt from the crowd]
KD: My Guru never put us in any shape. He never made us wear white clothes and be good little boys and girls. The beauty was that he loved us as we are. That was so liberating and so wonderful, because he knew everything [whispers:], everything–and he loved us, just as we are. So that’s what I’m trying to do, I’m trying to love myself as I am. Not some fantasy about what spiritual is or anything like that.
(I will post more bits from Krishna Das’ talk during the workshop over time and publish excerpt sound clips on YouTube.)