The following first appeared in the private email list IVy-subscribers,
which was available to all those who subscribed to the
printed magazine, International Viewpoints.

Undeserved but gratefully accepted acknowledgment
by Phil Spickler
31 Aug 00

       Many thanks to Ant for his posting entitled "Praise to Spickler from
Japan."  And further thanks to Ant, and Tom Fielder, and Homer Smith, all of
whom have made possible the archive that contains my mainly-poor and
inconsequential offerings.  Further thanks to Ed Dawson and Ray Krenik for
making my aged and palsied body tremble with joy at their kind words.

       As one who has failed in the pursuit of Zen, or should I say the
non-pursuit, a few years ago Julie and I spent some time in Japan looking for
those things that exist and claim their attributes from the Zen influence.
Needless to say, we found a great deal in terms of art, architecture, music,
and whether it's flower arrangement, tea ceremony, gardening, martial arts,
the game called Go, and many other things I can't recall, given that Zen
really isn't anything, it sure has had one wild effect on that which we call

      It's also had a tremendous effect on that which we call People.
Reading the history of Zen masters in Japan and China and the anecdotes of
their lives and students can provoke quite a bit of humor and insight.  I
always, and possibly for perverse reasons, love the idea of a student
approaching a master and asking a question, and in return getting beaten up
-- but all in a very good-natured way.  Nevertheless, the bruises of body and
ego are real.  I've found it's best not to approach such people with much

        At different times I've thought that Ron Hubbard could have been, or
is, a Zen master, in that the only way you could get through the labyrinths
of his Church and its paramilitary group was to definitely not have very much
ego, and in the end, no ego at all.  At that point, you really had conceived
mind-essence, and would soon find yourself outside his group, having
completed all that he had to teach.  Those who continue to stay in his group
seeking answers to questions of wisdom and enlightenment will continue to get
beaten up and kicked around until they have the big cognition and get the
idea, and then will truly be free.

       In any event, and in the spirit of Japan and perhaps the Zen
influence, I officially thank the aforementioned kind people for their
kindness to me in the following manner: O noble and exalted ones, thank you
for bestowing such undeserved kindness to my unworthy and degraded self.

       As ever,
        No one