Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Kerouac on Lust

Simplifying drastically, Jack Kerouac (1922-1969) started out a Catholic, became a Buddhist, then returned to Catholicism. Some of the Dharma, first published in 1997, was begun in December, 1953 and finished in March of 1956 during Jack's Buddhist period. This was before the success of On the Road when Kerouac lived for his art without monetary reward. I seem to recall John Clellon Holmes describing him during this period as "pure as the driven snow."

Some of the Dharma is a huge compendium of notes on Buddhist study and practice, poems, haiku, conversations, resolutions made and broken to give up booze and girls, prayers, meditations, journal entries, sketches, stories, thoughts on and doubts about writing, fragments of letters, and more.

Some of the Dharma, Viking 1997, p. 252:

The reason why lust is unadvised
is because a man led around by his dong
will not have a mind free to realize that the dream of life is only an arbitrary
conception and so he will go on perpetuating occasion for rebirth
and seeking rebirth himself

and thus the Ocean of Suffering rolls on and on
through Kalpa after Kalpa.