July 03rd, 2009

Allen Ginsberg and the Mind


In the declaration below, Allen Ginsberg explains why it is vital to write.

I’ll let you read it for yourself, but add simply this. Similar to the how the ego is targeted as a pariah within the psyche’s field, the mind also is devalued and maligned as a function that sidetracks us — prevents focused attention. Especially in the Buddhist traditions, there’s too much oppression against the mind.

Ginsberg reminds us that the mind is a mirror. And when we remember this I think we’re aligned in the right way with our apparatus.

I discovered this entry today on a site I’ve been visiting, reading and enjoying very much lately, Luke StormsIntense City.

Luke gathers together a diverse collection of material — and mixes it alongside his own writing. He keeps things fresh that way, and, similar to what I’ve tried to do with Astroinquiry, finds inspiration by placing his own thoughts alongside the material that is most influencing and informing him in the moment. I think you’ll discover that Luke’s site is a place you’ll want to visit again and again. Like repeating a favorite long walk on a spring (or winter) day — along with the familiar road, there’s always something new to discover.

“Proclamation of the actual mind, manifesting your mind, writing the mind, which goes back to Kerouac but also goes back to Milarepa, goes back to his original instructions: Don’t you trust your own mind? Why do you need a piece of paper?

So writing could be seen as “writing your mind”, observing your own mind, or observe what’s vivid coming to mind. For the purpose of relieving your own paranoia, and others’, revealing yourself and communicating to others. It is a blessing for other people if you can communicate and relieve their sense of isolation, confusion, bewilderment, and suffering by offering your own mind as a sample of what’s palpable, visible, and whatever little you’ve learned.

In other words, if you can show your mind it reminds people that they have got a mind. If you can catch yourself thinking, it reminds people that they can catch themselves thinking. If you have a vivid moment that’s more open and compassionate, it reminds people that they have those vivid moments.

By showing your mind as a mirror, you can make a mirror for other people to recognize their own minds and see familiarity and not feel that their minds are unworthy of affection or appreciation. It is appreciation of consciousness, appreciation of our own consciousness.”

— Allen Ginsberg

Photograph: William S. Burroughs. 1953.

Comments are off for this post 'Allen Ginsberg and the Mind'
Filed Under: Buddhism and Prose