September 30, 2012

From David Lourie:

Re: Concept of “cool” has warmed, veered from its origins (June 8, 2012): I have come to understand the meaning of “coolness” in spiritual terms, from a Buddhist perspective.

A person is `cool’ when he or she is free from pressing desires (grasping) which always produce dissonant emotions (uncoolness).

An uncool person squirms with needs, waiting for the next coffee or cigarette or a chance to break into the conversation, and thus is in a state called “senseless agitation.”

On the other hand, a cool person is free of cravings and repulsions, and is thus in an empowered state of equanimity.

Being cool and detached is not being cold and uncaring. I’ve noticed that when I’m feeling cool and requiring nothing from the situation, it seems to clarify my thoughts, and in this state I tend to respond to other people’s agendas more, instead of my head being too full of my own agenda to be responsive to others’ agendas.

To me, coolness means more compassion and less “self-ness” – the opposite of being heated, or hot-headed.

Interestingly, the ultra-cool Buddhist who has realized nirvana is often referred to as “fully blown out,” referring to the flame of desire he has extinguished within himself.

David Lourie