20 Matching Annotations
  1. Jun 2018
    1. flashes of meaning persist

      Flashes of meaning persist despite an attempt to eliminate meaning. Perhaps this suggests that meaning is impossible to eradicate?

    2. making a new book with the same words

      Connection to Underworld, "hope of finding patterns where there seems to be nothing but noise".

    1. many of the authors cited are real and the articles and books noted have actually been published

      Interweaving real and made up authors could be another form of haunting. Mark Taylor describes "the real" and "god" as synonymous in Rewiring the Real. Sparsely including the real may be a way to draw attention to it.

    2. nothingness haunts the text

      In Re-writing Freud by Simon Morris, words are randomly selected from Interpretation of Dreams, although "flashes of meaning persist, haunting the text."

    1. the boy patiently works away at twisting his joints and loosening the body’s grip on itself

      Foster Wallace contrasts the boy's work here with working at the IRS. While both are impossible to complete, the boy's repetitive actions are working towards a spiritual goal: loosening the body's grip on itself.

    2. a desk, a chair, a pencil, some memos, some forms, an unending stream of tax returns in need of examination, and a clock.

      Collecting objects, here in an act of boredom, removes them from their function.

      Craig Dworkin wrotes Arcades in Zero Kerning: "What is decisive in collecting is that the object is detached from all its original functions in order to enter into the closest conceivable relation to things of the same kind. The relation is the diametric opposite of any utility, and falls into the peculiar category of completeness."

      The act of collecting has the potential to transform objects into a function outside of everyday utility and monotony, and fulfill a spiritual need of completeness.

  2. Feb 2018
    1. years

      "Howl" provides plenty of instances of this. See also, for instance, the line "who cooked rotten animals lung heart feet tail borsht & tortillas dreaming of the pure vegetable kingdom" (52), with a reference to Hinduism (in vegetarianism) which clearly connects to spiritual aspirations.

      https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/49303/howl.

    2. 130). This naked, mystical consciousness was to be induced through whatever means possible - madness, criminality, sexual indulgence, drugs, exhaustion, ner- vous collapse, directionless travel, free-form musical improvisation, or the Beats' own spontane

      This is a central point. Criminality and madness are means to get to a consciousness which is spiritual in nature.

    3. be as coherent as the category ("r

      A clear division into different categories seems to be central to the argument of why Beat spirituality has not been taken seriously. Not only eclectic/synchretic faiths range across different "categories" of religion (e.g. monotheistic and politheistic, perhaps), but their beliefs probably did not conform to the rules which define different categories.

    4. hors as evidence that the Beats didn't take Buddhism very seriously because it w

      This connects to the idea of syncretic faiths.

    5. ecognizable to the Western scholar, one might conclude that what the Beats practiced was spirituality (a messy, individualistic affair of no relevance to students of religion) rather than a properly Durkheimian religion (which requires overt signs

      Again, some theoretical/anthropological background considering distinctions between spirituality and religion would be useful, although it would admittedly take much space.

    6. "Religion" is not a native category. It is not a first person term of self-charac- terization. It is a category imposed from the outside on some aspect of native culture. It is the other, in these instances colonialists, who are solely respon- sible for the content of the term. -Smith 1998: 269

      Again, this would be interesting to include when considering more anthropological notions. The writer here seems to be Jonathan Z. Smith, an American historian of religion (contemporary: he died las year). This could be an interesting essay by him on the topic of religions (quote comes from here): http://www.iupui.edu/~womrel/Rel433%20Readings/SearchableTextFiles/Smith_ReligionReligionsReligious.pdf.

      This would support my view of religion as applied to the Beats.

    7. y learned elites rather than practitioners, and a Durkheimian assumption that religion is somehow at its most genuine when it is organized into church or sect rather than personal or familial in form (a "societal" element that somehow distinguishes "religion" from other categories such as "magic" and "spiritu- a

      This could be very interesting and useful to my argument. In fact, if I want to make a point about Beat "embodiment" of their philosophy and literature, I might consider some anthropological notions which go back to performance and embodiment of abstract things by figures such as the shaman or the fool. Including anthropology (in this case anthropologist Durkheim) in ways which would oppose my thesis could be interesting as well, especially if I illustrate how this has been done by other scholars.

    8. ent as a literary phenomenon, the only book-length treatment of Beat Buddhism I w

      The book is called "Big Sky Mind: Buddhism and the Beat Generation" (Carole Tonkinson). Consider finding or getting: https://www.amazon.com/Big-Sky-Mind-Buddhism-Generation/dp/1573225010. It contains essays, poems, photographs, and letters between different authors: seems very interesting and useful!

      How does this relate to my thesis? Spirituality would need to be an essential part of my thesis, since I wish to consider how the lifestyle of authors of the Beat Generation blurs the defines between what is usually considered "life" and what is usually considered "literature". If I aim to show that they were "practical artists", or "performative artists" in some way (need theoretical background here), their spirituality would be an essential part of this definition, as it was an essential part of their life.

      See how in the essay "Prose Contribution to the Cuban Revolution" he says "That's the karma I wanted, to be a saint" (The Essential Ginsberg). Being a saint comes before being a writer.

    9. Protest" (1991), the Beats and their pilgrimages have most emphatically not been

      Why have they not been taken seriously? This could be an interesting question to ask. Some ideas could be:

      • Beat religiosity has not been taken seriously because it did not usually focus on one religion only, but moved across different faiths (in Kerouac's case, mainly Buddhism and Christianity, and in Ginsberg's Hinduism was an influence as well as Buddhism, if I remember correctly).
      • It has not been taken seriously because of the lifestyle which the Beats were known for, which was somehow often lascivious.

      It is then interesting to include these aspects in an evaluation of Beat spirituality and then prove that it was nonetheless taken seriously by the authors.

  3. Jan 2018
    1. Miranda suggests "being honest about where we don't always tell the truth" to others or to ourselves, because of shame, fear, or other long held pain.

      She talks about her spiritual experiences, including a challenging experience of "dark night of the soul" and how she navigated that by continual acceptance practice: "feeling everything".

      The partial truth of the self-talk of "I'm not good enough", is that the separate self actually cannot, because it is illusory.

  4. Oct 2017
    1. Dr. Wendy Bui was an NIH postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Andres Buonanno, Chief of Molecular Developmental Neurobiology, NICHD; she has left science for life in a monastery.

      would be interesting to find and talk to her. Left a NIH postdoctoral position for a life in a monastery

  5. Dec 2016
  6. Nov 2015
    1. spiritually-orientedpeople are less likely to experience depression. Nowthose findings beg the question of why: what is it about feeling like you have a spiritualpractice? One hypothesis is, it’s really community.

      (paraphrase) it could also be awe