Monday, August 8, 2011

Kerouac Day 14: On Dogs Being Wiser Than Their Masters

Day 14 in The Beat Handbook is titled, "On Dogs Being Wiser Than Their Masters," and references the below passage from The Dharma Bums.

I'm breaking pattern here and have provided the entire entry from my book (between the asterisks). Keep reading, though, I have some more to say.

Day 14
Today’s Kerouaction: On Dogs Being Wiser Than Their Masters

Spiritual teacher and author Eckhart Tolle says in The Power of Now (1999) that he has known several Zen masters in his life: all cats.[18] Likewise, Kerouac points out that our egos and our intellect get in the way of enlightenment. Look to animals for clues on being. Or little children. Hmmmm . . . . Become as little children? A very famous man is credited with saying that a couple thousand years ago. Perhaps he studied the dharma?

Suggested Kerouactivity:
Find a cat or a dog and watch them "be" for 10 minutes without any mental images or comments.

[18] As I edit this page on May 31, 2007, it occurs to me that a couple of days ago a friend, Heidi, gave me a little plaque with this quote on it: "If cats could talk, they wouldn’t." Which reminds me of an interchange credited to Winston Churchill. A woman said to him that if she were his wife, she would poison his coffee. He replied, "If you were my wife, I’d drink it."


Here's the picture referenced in the above footnote. I chose not to bother with graphics in my book (more expense and complication), but nothing prevents me from sharing them here.

Given today's passage, I feel compelled to point out that Jack was really more of a cat person than a dog person. We'll get to that on Day 72. In case I forget to share it 58 days from now, here's a classic picture of Jack.

It graces the cover of an excellent collection of essays about Jack, The Kerouac We Knew by John Montgomery. I paid a pretty penny for my copy and I highly recommend getting your hands on one if you get the chance.

Closing thought: Treat animals well. It's the beat thing to do.

1 comment:

Baltimore Colts fan said...

"The Kerouac We Knew" is certainly a great, entertaining "sleeper" of a book, and I also highly recommend it to all!