This webpage is based upon the idea that the SMiLE album is in essence a Zen koan, or riddle, 
an expression of spiritual enlightenment.

"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 laughter."
~Brian Wilson
"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. 520."
~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
"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."
~Soyen Shaku, 
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 moral standards."
~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 experience."
~Wilson Van Dusen, "LSD and the Enlightenment of Zen." 
Psychologia 4:11-16, 1961.

"Satori is in fact remarkably similar to psychedelic experience, 
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."

~Brian Wilson




Home | Introduction | A New Interpretation of SMiLE | Zen and Pet Sounds
The Elements | The Koan | Bio Based SMiLE | The Opposites | Ego
Zen and The Beatles' Revolver | East Or West Indies | Cool Links
The Good Humor SMiLE Site!


Bill Tobelman

The Zen Interpretation
The one and only, since

website designed & maintained by :
mt design

This Brian Wilson Ring site owned by Bill Tobelman
Previous 5 Sites | Skip Previous | Previous | Next | Skip Next | Next 5 Sites | Random Site | List Sites
 The Beach Boys Webring
Ring Member
This site is owned by
Bill Tobelman

*Earth, water, fire and air.