A New Interpretation of SMiLE
Zen and Pet Sounds
The Koan/The Hallucination
Heroes And Villains
I Love To Say Da Da
Zen and The Beatles' Revolver
East Or West Indies
The Good Humor SMiLE Site!
This webpage is based
upon the idea that the SMiLE album is in essence a Zen
koan, or riddle,
an expression of
"I remembered Loren once explaining
that hallucinations were comparable to Zen riddles, mysteries
full of meaning."-Brian Wilson, Wouldn't It Be Nice(pg.129)
"It is perfectly
possible, under certain conditions, to indicate the present reality
of God, and that with great effectiveness, without resorting
to formal religious terminology. It has been done for centuries
in a type of Buddhism from which we have much to learn..."~Alan
Watts, Behold The Spirit(pg.107)
"I'm writing a teen-age symphony to God and
"Ordinarily if any one should declare that
divinity may be eulogized by means of laughter, he would be called
sacrilegious or considered a lunatic....As far as I can see,
Zen is the only religion or teaching that finds room for laughter."
~D.T.Suzuki, Sengai: The Zen Of Ink And Paper(pg.11)
"The history of Zen is worthy of Zen.
It is said that once, when the Buddha was seated with his Bhikkhus,
a Brahma-Raja came to him and, offering him a golden flower,
asked him to preach the Dharma. The Enlightened One accepted
the flower, and holding it aloft, gazed at it in silence.
After a while the Venerable Mahakasyapa
smiled. Such is the origin of Zen
Buddhism, for it is said that this smile
was handed down by twenty-eight successive Patriarchs, the last being
the Indian philosopher Bodhidharma, who arrived in China in A.D.
~Christmas Humphreys, Buddhism(pg.181)
The Buddha is the above story's
Dumb (silent) Angel.
There are twenty-eight smiles inside
the album cover's SMiLE Shop.
"When the bird sings, it transmits God's voice. When the
Buddha held out a golden flower, Mahakashyapa smiled."
~D.T.Suzuki, The Essence Of Buddhism(pg.25)
The Buddha said:
You should think of the four elements* of which the body is composed.
Each of them has its own name, and there is no such thing there
known as ego.
As there is really no ego,
it is like unto a mirage.
~from The Sutra of Forty-two Chapters,
Zen For Americans(pg.13)
"True humor is, indeed,
laughter at one's Self--at the Divine Comedy, the fabulous deception...."~Alan
Watts, The Book(pg. 156)
"It (Buddhism) has certainly a God, the highest
reality and truth, through which and in which this universe exists."
Zen For Americans(pg.25)
"We believe in God as a kind of universal
consciousness.... God is love - God is you - God is me - God
is everything right here in this room. It's a spiritual concept
which inspires a great deal of our music."
~Carl Wilson(LLVS pg.26.)
"Zen brought God in Heaven down onto the earth...God
ceased to be something outside us and consequently his kingdom
was to be conceived as our own and its inhabitants were no less
than ourselves, including all that makes up this universe."~D.T.Suzuki,
Zen And Japanese Buddhism(pg.34)
"Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys is a religious
conscientious objector who believes in God and holds the view
that the taking of life is against God's laws and against all
~Derek Taylor(LLVS pg.192.)
'"The meaning is God himself, the ultimate
Reality, not as an idea conceived but as a reality experienced.
When apprehended by man this meaning is a state of consciousness
which might be called "the mind of Christ" in the sense
of St. Paul's words, "Let this mind be in you which was
also in Christ Jesus."'~Behold The Spirit(pg.xxv)
"Like a lot of people in the mid-'60s, I took
the LSD, the acid, and had a lot of revelations about myself.
And I developed a Jesus Christ complex, which was weird. I mean,
a lot of people do, though, because to live is to be a Christ,
to be alive."
~Brian Wilson, 1991.
"It has been called
satori in Japanese Zen, moksha in Hinduism, religious enlightenment
or cosmic consciousness in the West....The drug LSD appears to
facilitate the discovery of this apparently ancient and universal
~Wilson Van Dusen, "LSD and the Enlightenment of Zen."
Psychologia 4:11-16, 1961.
"Satori is in fact remarkably similar to psychedelic
if not indeed identical..."
~William Braden, The Private Sea, pub. 1967. (pg.49.)
"Now, he thought, that all these transitory
things have slipped away from me again, I stand once more beneath
the sun, as I once stood as a small child. Nothing is mine, I
know nothing, I possess nothing, I have learned nothing. How
strange it is! Now, when I am no longer young, when my hair is
fast growing gray, when strength begins to diminish, now I am
beginning again like a child. He had to smile again. Yes, his
destiny was strange! He was going backwards, and now he stood
empty and naked and ignorant in the world. But he did not grieve
about it; no, he even felt a great desire to laugh, to laugh
at himself, to laugh at this strange foolish world."
~Hermann Hesse, from Siddhartha.
'"...I had what is called a "toehold". I got that from a book "A Toehold On Zen". I learned from that book and from people who had a toehold on...say somebody had a grasp on life, a good grasp - they ought to be able to transfer that over to another thing. That's what happened with me; I got good with a great many things in my life."' ~Brian Wilson, 1988 interview.
"I think pop music is going to be spiritual....
that's the direction I want to go."