Well, it seems William Cassidy is at it again, this time trying to get his readers to believe that his erratic, deceitful and harmful activities are not those of a conman but rather of a crazy-wisdom teacher. Recently, Cassidy posted this quote on his blog:
“In the scriptures, a crazy-wisdom person is described as ‘He who subdues whatever needs to be subdued and destroys whatever needs to be destroyed.’ Whatever your neurosis demands, when you relate with a crazy-wisdom person, you get hit with that. Crazy-wisdom presents you with a mirror reflection. A mirror will not compromise with you. If you don’t like what you see, there’s no point in blaming the mirror.” — Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
The quote is indeed from Trungpa Rinpoche. But crazy-wisdom is a method used by authentic Vajrayana teachers, not spiritual charlatans like Cassidy.
As Trungpa Rinpoche explains, crazy-wisdom looks like whatever our minds look like. Since our minds are a cornucopia of habitual tendencies, a Teacher’s crazy-wisdom can take on an infinite variety of appearances, some of which are downright shocking to Westerners who lack the cultural understanding that Eastern practitioners possess. In an earlier post we discussed some examples of authentic teachers using crazy-wisdom with Western students and the difficulties they’ve sometimes encountered as a result.
While we cannot predict what their display might look like, what is never absent from a teacher using crazy-wisdom is compassion–Bodhicitta. Through countless lifetimes of diligent practice the teacher has already freed him/herself of the ego and the subsequent need to control or manipulate others. The teacher is focused solely on guiding the student towards liberation and is willing to engage with them in any way to accomplish this, even if it appears “crazy” by society’s standards. Our teachers mirror our neuroses over and over until we are finally able to see them and begin the work to uproot them. Without such intervention we could take eons to attain realization.
Sadly, those whose egos have not been conquered may decide that their ordinary neurotic tendencies are actually crazy-wisdom. This seems to be the case with William Cassidy. Obviously this man lacks authentic qualities only obtained through authentic practice. He has no ability to know the minds of others and subsequently mirror their neuroses for them. He is neither motivated by compassion nor respectful of those who are. He is driven by ego alone. He is filled with hatred and the wish to harm others. He is abusive to women in particular, constantly cycling between violence and tenderness towards them—a pattern associated with psychopaths that is clearly devoid of both wisdom and compassion. The great crazy-wisdom teacher Drukpa Kunley was never imprisoned for violence towards women, but William Cassidy sure was.
Cassidy seeks to destroy the dharma and the reputations of noble dharma Teachers. A true crazy-wisdom teacher would never attack the dharma or other Teachers in order to teach students, as Cassidy has done on countless occasions. A true crazy-wisdom teacher would never engage in hateful activity, period.
What we are seeing is William Cassidy trying on the clothes of a crazy-wisdom teacher like a little boy dressing up in Daddy’s clothes. Like a child he sees only the outer appearances and not the inner truth of what is happening. But unlike a child playing dress-up, Cassidy’s activities do real harm to himself and others. He is a skilled conman who is capable of leading others off the path of true dharma. Some of those followers are naïve and some are as ego-filled as Cassidy, but all of them are headed straight for the cliff.
We can only hope that those who encounter his lies will examine his words and actions and see that there is no wisdom there, just a whole lot of crazy.