Tintin in Shambhala

December 27, 2009 by     Print This Post Print This Post

A comic, anonymously inserted into the meme-stream, has been making the rounds recently:

Click the image above to get the full-sized version on the web page where it originally appeared.

This cartoon was first brought to the world’s (well, the Shambhala world’s) attention in a sangha-announce message posted December 6, 2009 by “gremi” at mail.com, titled Need help with this puzzles!:

Dear Friends,

My wife and myself are back home, and are so much appreciative of the North American Sangha contributes to Europe, where we study and do Shambhala dharma practices. 

We hope you will tell us what is the meaning of this cartoon that we also got from the internet and want to know if we did not receive something written down explaining. What is the message please?

Here is the cartoon: http://lambda.lunariffic.com/~jandd0/

What does this mean?

Yours, Gordi and Lyske Remi

This was followed by several more messages by “George Remi” (as the Shambhala member site identifies “gremi”), including a compilation of various responses to and speculations on the cartoon .

A Tintin aficionado would know that “George Remi” is the name of the Belgian individual who used the nom-de-plume of Hergé to author the world-famous Tintin comics. Many of us grew up with those, and Chögyam Trungpa himself was a big fan of the young bodhisattva.

The comic is ambiguous enough to elicit reactions true to a person’s proclivities. The final, mostly blank conversation balloon invites readers to put their own response in Tintin’s mouth.

Please go ahead! Rules of the game:

  • first, post a short phrase or sentence to go in the final conversation balloon. Let’s say the same length as for Twitter: 140 characters max!
  • then, if you wish, comment on your contribution and/or the comic
  • we will insert a copy of the final panel, customized with your wording, into your comment


24 Responses to “Tintin in Shambhala”

  1. Jigme Chowang on December 28th, 2009 2:28 pm

    WTF?.. Is this what Trungpa Rinpoche meant by “super samsara”?

  2. ashoka on December 29th, 2009 10:28 am

    “Boy, that guy’s father was a lot stranger than his books made him sound.”

  3. Chris on December 29th, 2009 1:05 pm

    Oh NO! , Here comes another fund-raising appeal!

  4. Suzanne T on December 29th, 2009 1:41 pm

    Chris: LOLOLOLOL that is perfect! Including the “….?”!!!

  5. tsering on December 29th, 2009 6:01 pm

    Hey relax! It’s all karma…right

  6. John Tischer on December 29th, 2009 8:35 pm

    Let’s go…..I”ll buy you a cheeseburger.

  7. tsering on December 29th, 2009 9:59 pm

    John best yet!

  8. tsering on December 30th, 2009 2:50 am

    Hey! Bubble just got popped!.It’s great news! .What about that cheeseburger

  9. John Castlebury on December 30th, 2009 9:24 am

    “Are you going to let a little thing like that disturb your samadhi?”

    To the maker of the Tintin comic panels: this is a miniature masterpiece — a brilliant stroke of art and magic. Bravo!

    Captain Haddock falls to his knees surrendering to the pomp and circumstance of his own mind — created in reaction to the pomp and circumstance he has just observed — [why O why did they look, not supposed to look!]

  10. Michael Sullivan on December 30th, 2009 10:29 am

    “Is that what they mean by ‘regard all dharmas as dreams’ ”

  11. Larry on December 30th, 2009 6:18 pm

    SURPRISE!! ………WHAT!? You didn’t like that!?? DO HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT A SPECTACLE LIKE THAT COSTS!??? Whatever. Happy freakin’ birthday, dad.

  12. John Tischer on December 30th, 2009 7:04 pm

    Hey….Larry…Happy Birthday Dad! I’ll buy you both a cheeseburger!!

  13. Mark Szpakowski on December 31st, 2009 12:57 pm

    Hey… Larry… Captain Haddock is not Tintin’s Dad!

  14. Larry on December 31st, 2009 3:16 pm

    Hey….Mark….TinTin wasn’t a Buddhist!

  15. Mark Szpakowski on January 1st, 2010 4:51 pm

    We can only speculate. In “Tintin in Tibet” he does get a (refuge?) name, “Noble Heart”. The extension to him and Haddock sitting by the side of the road with a begging bowl (Snowy’s bowl originally?) is quirky and humorous, but not outlandish, and doesn’t do violence to the existing story line.

  16. John Castlebury on January 1st, 2010 6:13 pm

    Okay, but what is the mystery of this…

    In the first two frames, Tintin sits to Captain Haddock’s left, and they turn to their LEFT to see the approaching procession…

    In the 3rd, 4th and 5th frames, Tintin now sits to Captain Haddock’s right and they are looking to their RIGHT to see the approaching procession…

    And, by the 6th and final frame, Tintin is once again seated to Captain Haddock’s left.

    Why has Tintin leapt up [off-screen] and sat down on the other side of Haddock while the procession is passing?

    And why has Tintin then leapt up again [off-screen] after the procession has passed and sat back down in his original place?

  17. tsering on January 2nd, 2010 1:24 am

    John, give the creator a break! “mystery”somewhat in the mind of the beholder, no?

  18. John Castlebury on January 2nd, 2010 4:42 pm

    More mystery for the mind of dear tsering the beholder:

    How can the procession at one moment be approaching from the left, and in the next moment be approaching from the right?

    I mean, how does that vast procession switch over to the other side and re-assemble itself – in the blink of an eye? Gasp!

    And because of that huge switcheroo, maybe Haddock is experiencing motion sickness! Or else maybe he thinks he is having a flashback of delerium tremens!

    Or maybe he curls up in a fetal position out of exasperation with Tintin’s jumpiness, always jumping to a conclusion?

    If that is the case, then tsering’s admonishment would fit in Tintin’s mouth:

    “Hey, [would you] give the creator a break?”

  19. John Tischer on January 2nd, 2010 9:05 pm

    Haddock’s old….he’s haddock…
    Tin Tin is Maitreya…”Always look on the bright side of life”.
    …different aspects of the same mind…?

  20. John Castlebury on January 4th, 2010 2:11 pm

    No one-upmanship of the cartoonist intended, at all; on the contrary. Anyway it’s doubtful it’s even a mistake, but rather an instance of artistic license, for aesthetic reasons.

    Think of the picture as a transparency like a negative – if we turn the picture over, we see the opposite image, what was on the left is now on the right and what was on the right is now on the left…

    Chances are that orientation better suited the artist’s sense, that’s all, and let consistency be damned. Still, if someone notices the trick, it piques curiousity and raises funny conundrums…sort of like POP

  21. Dan Taylor on January 26th, 2010 2:31 pm

    Hey Nick and Gabrielle,

    This is my attempt at goosing a response from you to my letters from late December posing my questions to your own letters re. the TinTin cartoon. Has anything been solved that I don’t know about. I’m in Oregon.

    I used to have pretty good sources in the Halifax sangha, but don’t now, when somebody there (or where) produces this altogether engaging allegory saying what? Or asking what? Surely the author or authors of the thing have been sleuthed out by now and the riddle busted. What have I missed?

    Meanwhile, my letters to you still await an answer, unless somehow you never got them. If so, I hope this corrects whatever glitch happened, and I’ll hope for your responses.

  22. Sherab Gyatso on February 15th, 2010 9:54 pm

    Where did that path suddenly come from?

  23. ash on February 19th, 2010 12:57 pm

    One day at a time, one day at a time, Captain.
    So what was it this time?

  24. Suzanne Duarte on April 2nd, 2010 6:44 am

    Jeezus! While we’ve been sitting here practicing all these years, KOS has been turned into SHAMALOT!