Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Gary Snyder

Two pieces of inspiration from Gary Snyder, a major figure in the Beat movement who lived in Japan for 12 years studying Zen Buddhism and is immortalized as the character Japhy in Jack Kerouac's book Dharma Bums. He now lives and writes in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. The first paragraph is from Snyder's own writing, the second is a speech off his as remembered by Kerouac and included in Dharma Bums.

"The wilderness pilgrim's step-by-step breath-by-breath walk up a trail, into those snowfields, carrying all on back, is so ancient a set of gestures as to bring a profound sense of body-mind joy. The same happens to those who sail in the ocean, kayak fiords or rivers, tend a garden, peel garlic, even sit on a meditation cushion. The point is to make contact with the real world, real self. Sacred refers to that which helps us (not only human beings) out of our little selves into the whole mountains-and-rivers mandala universe. Inspiration, exaltation, and insight do not end when one steps outside the doors of a church. The wilderness as temple is only a beginning."

"...see the whole thing is a world full of rucksack wanderers, Dharma Bums refusing to subscribe to the general demand that they consume production and therefore have to work for the privilege of consuming, all that crap they didn't want anyway such as refrigerators, TV sets, cars, at least fancy new cars, certain hair oils and deodorants and general junk you finally always see a week later in the garbage anyway, all of them imprisoned in a system of work, produce, consume, work, produce, consume, I see a vision of a great rucksack revolution thousands or even millions of young Americans wandering around with rucksacks, going up to the mountains to pray, making children laugh and old men glad, making young girls happy and old girls happier..."


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Anonymous prinsnipal skipper said...

tim timmy
i'm sorry most of your comments are advertisments. i promise i'm not the one doing it.
dharma bums is fantastic.
and yes, adventure is more of a mental thing than a physical/geographical one. remember those mushrooms?

1:25 AM  

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