Posted by site admin under Archive - Beat Generation
, Daniel Sf.Comments Off
In all of our studies of Beat literature this semester the recurrent theme of appreciating one’s reality and coming to understand it no matter what it is comprised of has been firmly conveyed. Bill Lee saw his junky lifestyle as a metaphor to all life and the fact that everyone has an addiction or driving force in their life from which they cannot escape, try as they may. Jack Duluoz comes to realize that all Maggie really wanted him to be was himself, since her love was not contingent on some perceptual cliché of an idealized relationship, as he thought it was. Japhy Rider and Ray Smith are in a continual quest to find out how their religious and philosophical beliefs in Buddhism can be manifested correctly in their lives, with differing outcomes for both. Each finds that by simply embracing experience with a Buddhist mentality free of over interpretation, their lives represent the Buddhism which each emulates in there personal studies and practice. Ken Kesey and the Pranksters find powerful conclusions about experience through their use of Acid and other psychedelics. In their ending failure to actualize some of their more extreme interpretations, they come to realize that while many of their observations hold important avenues of understanding in experience, nothing is absolute and change is the true characteristic which defines experience. The good times are good and the bad are bad, but nothing truly ever stays the same.
In all these realizations, the Beat Philosophy of appreciating all and any type of experience is represented. The Beats saw that in the hypocritical conformist society of their time certain aspects of society were shunned and labeled as unacceptable or lesser. Yet, in there literary expressions of their own outcast/counter-culture experiences they came to powerful conclusions about life and living it well. Turning away from the mainstream, they realized that experience in and of itself cannot be judged or labeled. It must be appreciated and understood for its own sake. The same lesson can be learned through two different occurrences in life. There is no better or worse, there is only existence and the continuous human pursuit to understand it at its core. But, to understand it we must accept it, not trying to control it, going with the flow and continuing our journey on the road with friends and those with whom we can appreciate the beauty of our experience as it is, for its own sake.