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Crazy wisdom

Posted by Henry on November 23, 2003

In Reply to: crazy wisdom posted by hiroko on November 23, 2003

: Is crazy wisdom an idiom? If so, what does it mean?
: A Google search yields thousands of web pages but I just cannot find the definition.

: The author of the book I'm translating into Japanese says Antonin Artaud is "the standard bearer of theater's crazy wisdom."

It's not a phrase I've heard in England. It was the title of a book published in 1990 by Wes Scoop Nisker. Here's one mention of a later edition;
Road-Testing Crazy Wisdom
Learn how to harness own crazy wisdom (sic)
-By Jon Spayde, Utne Reader,May/June 2002 Issue

Crazy wisdom is more than a tradition-it's something you can taste and try. A good place to begin is with The Essential Crazy Wisdom, by Wes "Scoop" Nisker (Ten Speed Press, 2001). It's a somewhat sketchy history of the crazy wisdom tradition around the world-but its strength lies in its wonderful assemblage of life-changing quotes and stories.

Tidbits like "Reality is a wave function traveling backward and forward in time" (physicist John L. Castri), "Only the shallow know themselves" (Oscar Wilde), and "God has no religion" (Mahatma Gandhi) keep your brain nicely off-balance, and Nisker's Buddhist-tinged skepticism about ultimate issues like God is bracing, even though it gives somewhat short shrift to the devotional side of crazy wisdom.