Monday, August 25, 2008

Readings: Frot with Pain

In my previous post I wrote that I would be following up with some excerpts from Jack Kerouac's Buddhist notebooks which resonate with the excerpts from Cervantes and Plato offered there. The first of these is:


which is the analog of the circular motion described by Plato.

Next is

Society is a system of lures,

which relates directly to Plato's cautionary

When a man is always occupied with the cravings of desire and ambition, and is eagerly striving to satisfy them, all his thoughts must be mortal...

which insight is reflected in Kerouac's desperate pledge:

No more the cupidity and self caress of “hearing about me” in articles of critics and chitchats of friends---The complete cessation of all striving and effort in the system of lures which is the society of the world…

Finally, Platonism and the Buddhism in which Kerouac was striving to immerse his pain share the concept of reincarnation, of the incorporal soul being lured back into time and materiality by the lust for flesh that is perhaps the most potent of all the appetites aroused by the five senses. Thus Kerouac wrote:

A B C’s of Truth:-

A Creamy thighs of beautiful young girl =

B Baby crying because it doesn’t want to be born =

C Corpse decaying in grave

Seen from this perspective, time is merely an aspect of the pain it takes, after innumerable tumbles down the fleshly chute into error, to finally turn the soul away from that vision of opening thighs and the musky, pheromonal fragrance that escapes along with the siren song of a narcotizing moan. Time, duration, is as illusory and unreal as the flesh into which we plunge again and again, only to have it melt away into the void of eternity: Où sont les neiges d’antan?