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Crazy Wisdom of Existentially Grounded Cynicism

frJitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins was the second book that I read in English (the first one was The Future Shock by Alvin Toffler). Robbins’ style helped me fall in love with English. It was a long time ago (late 80s). Now the guy has come out (reluctantly) with a memoir, Tibetan Peach Pie. Here’s an excerpt from a recent interview.

Tom Robbins: “What I’ve learned along the way is that existence is cosmic theatre, but paradoxically, we should play our roles to the absolute best of our ability while having the wisdom not to take them too seriously.”

RL: “Would you call yourself a cynic?”

TR: “Basically I agree with the existentialists, but the difference between me and, say, Camus and Sartre is that I don’t let it snow on my fiesta.”

Crazy wisdom, originally a Tibetan concept, according to Robbins is “the opposite of conventional wisdom.” Viewed as such, all wisdom is crazy since all wisdom is a non-cliche pattern break.  Crazy wisdom is half-asleep enlightenment in frog pajamas…

Reference: interview with Tom Robbins by Rob Liguori, The New York Times Magazine, May 2014

Crazy Wisdom of Existentially Grounded Cynicism

Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D.

Pavel Somov, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice and the author of 7 mindfulness-based self-help books. Several of his books have been translated into Chinese, Dutch & Portuguese. Somov is on the Advisory Board for the Mindfulness Project (London, UK). Somov has conducted numerous workshops on mindfulness-related topics and appeared on a number of radio programs. Somov's book website is and his practice website is

Marla Somova, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Pittsburgh, PA. She is the co-author of "Smoke Free Smoke Break" (2011).

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APA Reference
Somov, P. (2014). Crazy Wisdom of Existentially Grounded Cynicism. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 21, 2019, from


Last updated: 2 Jun 2014
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