Thursday, March 29, 2012

Allen Ginsberg on that dangerous word: Should

Click here to read a short piece by Richard J.McCarthy about the time he saw Allen Ginsberg speak at UMass Amherst in 1969.

I've long railed against the word, "should." It's especially dangerous when we use it against ourselves, as in "I should be [insert various judgmental adjectives or participles]. When we should on ourselves, we are resisting "what is," which leads to suffering, and we are laying down a guilt trip, which likewise leads to no good. I wrote the following in my LiveJournal (long since abandoned) on November 13, 2006:
I think I have written about how using the word "should" - aloud or in our mental commentary - may well be a sign that we are in the land of judgment, which means resistance to what is, which leads to suffering. 
Today, listening to Eckhart [Tolle] on the trip to campus (and he was NOT discussing this point but because I was conscious my creativity emerged), I realized that "should" is a past and future word! Any time we say "should" we are either saying something about the past (what "should" have happened) or the future (what "should" happen). I just cannot figure out a way to use "should" in reference to THIS moment. Even if I say "This moment right NOW should be different," by the time I utter or think that statement, it is too late to apply it to the present moment.

I think Jack Kerouac would dig my analysis, as it aligns nicely with Buddhist teachings.

In McCarthy's article, he recounts how after repeatedly peppering Ginsberg with questions, the beat poet said:
Should. Should. Should. Should. Should. You keep making this sound, "Should." I don't think anybody "should" do anything.

McCarthy got the point.

Do you?

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