Monday, April 30, 2012


An excerpt of Jack Kerouac´s Wake Up! A Life of the Buddha //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// By nightfall he (the Buddha) resposed (under the Bodhi tree) peaceful and quiet. He entered into deep and subtle contemplation. Every kind of holy ecstasy in order passed before his eyes. During the first watch of the night he entered on "right perception" and in recollection all former births passed before his eyes... Knowing full well that the essence of existence is of onesuchness, what birth could not his Bright, Mysterious, Intuitive Essence of Mind recall? As though he had been all things, and only because there had never been a true "he" but all things, and so all things were the same thing, and it was within the purview of the Universal Mind, which was the Only Mind past, present, and future... It had been a long time already finished, the ancient dream of life, the tears of the many-mothered sadness, the myriads of fathers in the dust, eternities of lost afternoons of sisters and brothers, the sleepy cock crow, the insect cave, the pitiful instinct all wasted on emptiness, the great huge drowsy Golden Age sensation that opened in his brain that this knowledge was older than the world... In the ears of the Buddha as he thus sat in brilliant and sparkling craft of intuition, so that light like Transcendental Milk dazzled in the invisible dimness of his closed eyelids, was heard the unvarying pure hush of the sighing sea of hearing, seething, receding, as he more or less recalled the consciousness of the sound, though in itself it was always the same steady sound, only his consciousness of it varied and receded, like low tide flats and the salty water sizzling and sinking in the sand, the sound neither outside nor within the ear but everywhere, the pure sea of hearing, the sound of Nirvana heard by children in cribs and on the moon and in the heart of howling storms, and in which the young Buddha now heard a teaching going on, a ceaseless instruction wise and clear from all the Buddhas of Old that had come before him and all the Buddhas a-coming. Beneath the distant cricket howl occasional noises like the involuntary peep of sleeping dream birds, or scutters of little fieldmice, or a vast breeze in the trees disturbed the peace of this Hearing but the noises were merely accidental, the Hearing received all noises and accidents in its sea but remained as ever undisturbed, truly unpenetrated, and neither replenished nor diminished, as self-pure as empty space. Then in the middle of the night, he reached to knowledge of the pure Angels, and beheld before him every creature, as one sees images upon a mirror; all creatures born and born again to die, noble and mean, the poor and rich, reaping the fruit of right or evil doing, and sharing happiness or misery in consequence... The groundmist of 3 A.M. rose with all the dolors of the world. Birth of bodies is the direct cause of death of bodies. Just as, implantation of its seed was the cause of the cast off rose. Then looking further, Where does death come from? he saw it came from life-deeds done elsewhere; then scannning those deeds, he saw they were not framed by a creator, nor self caused, nor personal existences nor were they either uncaused; he saw they themselves obtained along a further chain of causes, cause upon cause, concatenative links joining the fetters binding all that is form- poor form, mere dust and pain. Then, as one who breaks the first bamboo joint finds all the rest easy to separate, having discerned the cause of death as birth, and the cause of birth as deeds, he gradually came to see the truth; death comes from birth, birth comes from deeds, deeds come from attachment, attachment comes from desire, desire from perception, perception comes from sensation, sensation comes from the six sense organs, the six sense organs come from individuality, individuality comes from consciousness.... In him, thus freed, arose freedom and he knew that rebirth was at an end, and that the goal had been reached...

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