The expansive and spiritual Zen Gardner issued from upper-middle-class suburbia and was slated to become a fancy PhD, but bucked this to wander around the world in his powerful personal awakening process. I knew of Zen for several years but was never able to speak to him until very recently. In this interview, I give him a hard time! -- yes, about his "ever-optimism" -- compared to my own "greater pragmatism." Zen is a good sport, I must say, and here we wrestle with terms and concepts that many of you might also want to put to the test. Example: "consciousness shift" (where?). Zen's own path was arduous; many would have quit long before they became what he is today! A writer, speaker and ponderer, he is more nuts-and-bolts than I thought. Visit ZenGardner.com for more. And for the most unbelievable mountain-climbing story, Touching the Void, now a documentary by Kevin Macdonald (2003), click here to watch.