Awakin.org

Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

The Golden Eternity

--by Jack Kerouac (Aug 18, 2014)
Listen To Reading!

I have lots of things to share now, in case we ever meet, concerning the message that was transmitted to me under a pine tree in North Carolina on a cold winter moonlit night. It said that Nothing Ever Happened, so don’t worry. It’s all like a dream. Everything is ecstasy, inside. We just don’t know it because of our thinking-minds. But in our true blissful essence of mind is known that everything is alright forever and forever and forever. Close your eyes, let your hands and nerve-ends drop, stop breathing for 3 seconds, listen to the silence inside the illusion of the world, and you will remember the lesson you forgot, which was taught in immense milky way soft cloud innumerable worlds long ago and not even at all. It is all one vast awakened thing. I call it the golden eternity. It is perfect.

The world you see is just a movie in your mind.
Rocks dont see it.
Bless and sit down.
Forgive and forget.
Practice kindness all day to everybody
and you will realize you’re already
in heaven now.
That’s the story.
That’s the message.
Nobody understands it,
nobody listens, they’re
all running around like chickens with heads cut
off. I will try to teach it but it will
be in vain, s’why I’ll
end up in a shack
praying and being
cool and singing
by my woodstove
making pancakes.

Jack Kerouac was a literary iconoclast in the mid-1950s, and sent the text above in a letter to his first wife, a decade after their marriage had been annulled. Excerpted from The Portable Jack Kerouac -- a short collection of his stories, poems, letters, and essays.

Add Your Reflection:

Send me an email when a comment is added on this passage.
Name: Email:

11 Previous Reflections:

 
On Aug 20, 2014 Rebecca McCarty wrote:

 In theory, the mind belongs to us, not we to it. When we appear, as babes, in this world, mind is a near blank, we are fascinated by it at once, all those sensations rush in to it, noises, tastes, colors, shapes, touches, all are new, each one a fantastic direct experience . Slowly, the mind sorts them out for us, gradually the mind comes to cognize the world for us, it  interprets the world, assigns concepts to our sensational impressions. Language arises in for us, in the mind. The mind begins to "think" in concepts, in words...we slowly forget to experience the world directly, or even that we ever even did experience the world directly, without having the mind conceptualizing "meaning" for us. As God let Adam do, in the bible, we allow the mind to assign everything in the world a name. "Bird", "tree", "ball", "house", "dog", "mommy", "eat", "food", "hungry","yes", "no", "me", "you"... everything, from the simple to the abstract. Nouns, verbs, every experience is duly cat  See full.

 In theory, the mind belongs to us, not we to it. When we appear, as babes, in this world, mind is a near blank, we are fascinated by it at once, all those sensations rush in to it, noises, tastes, colors, shapes, touches, all are new, each one a fantastic direct experience . Slowly, the mind sorts them out for us, gradually the mind comes to cognize the world for us, it  interprets the world, assigns concepts to our sensational impressions. Language arises in for us, in the mind. The mind begins to "think" in concepts, in words...we slowly forget to experience the world directly, or even that we ever even did experience the world directly, without having the mind conceptualizing "meaning" for us. As God let Adam do, in the bible, we allow the mind to assign everything in the world a name. "Bird", "tree", "ball", "house", "dog", "mommy", "eat", "food", "hungry","yes", "no", "me", "you"... everything, from the simple to the abstract. Nouns, verbs, every experience is duly cataloged, by the mind. The mind fills up with ways we "should be", it chooses our opinions, based on what "sounds good" according to its programming, even if direct experience would demonstrate otherwise. The mind says "I", "me"...as if, it were "the master" of the being, who is the true "us". Where are we all this time? We are  fascinated by it's doings, so much so, that we come to believe we are the mind, and rarely, if ever, question its validity. Finally we use the interpretations, the concepts provided us by the mind almost exclusively to discern the world,  and barely take in enough direct perception to navigate our bodies amongst the objects of this world.
Then one day, something quite extra-ordinary happens, (while we sit beneath a tree in North Carolina for instance), for some reason,which the mind can not fathom, we "come to" have a moment of lucid awakening. Something in a particular moment penetrates through the mind's veil of conceptual interpretation, it touches us to our core being, and like an infant, we have a direct experience once more. When this happens, the mind, quickly begins to do everything to distract us, from having more direct perception, it starts to "explain"  the experience away, reducing the experience to a "concept". Yet if we realize what we have forgotten, that is our true "High Self", and its true vocation, which is to experience the world directly,  we can wrestle the mind, make it take a second seat to the real us, insist that it assume it's correct place, as our tool, not our master. 

To master the mind, requires constant vigilance. It is simple. We gain strength over it every time we directly take in impressions. When we feel our own self, really there, looking out our eyes, at the tree, seeing afresh, allowing the veritable flood of direct impressions  to deliver to us the different textures of the bark, shades and tints of color, the changing patterns of the leaves,  the tracing of twigs out to the leaf ends, each different, unique. Being here, in the ever-changing moment is our true vocation, recording for us,( like a camera,) the impressions of direct experience, is the job of the mind.

Hide full comment.

On Aug 19, 2014 AJ wrote:

 "Some" understand and listen.  When this connection is made, the "golden eternity" begins.



On Aug 19, 2014 Syd wrote:

 This golden eternity to me is learning to accept uncertainty and ambiguity.  This acceptance is letting go of being obsessed with defending myself and living within my nothingness.  It is like an inner light is going out and my acceptance offers this faith in my powerlessness.  This acceptance is to even feel how everything seems futile and dying.  This faith is my hope and it has nothing to do with beliefs or even trying to convince myself that certain beliefs are true.  This faith is the actual recognition of support and presence within Being.  Faith emerges in this acceptance and it feels like what is true, this inner Essence, cannot be harmed.  The Golden Eternity, Essence, gives this unshakable confidence even when everything is going wrong.  This faith is “given” and creates this opening to allow life to emerge in deaths grip.  The gold is Essence and she offers this confidence to rest in Hope.       See full.

 This golden eternity to me is learning to accept uncertainty and ambiguity.  This acceptance is letting go of being obsessed with defending myself and living within my nothingness.  It is like an inner light is going out and my acceptance offers this faith in my powerlessness.  This acceptance is to even feel how everything seems futile and dying.  This faith is my hope and it has nothing to do with beliefs or even trying to convince myself that certain beliefs are true.  This faith is the actual recognition of support and presence within Being.  Faith emerges in this acceptance and it feels like what is true, this inner Essence, cannot be harmed.  The Golden Eternity, Essence, gives this unshakable confidence even when everything is going wrong.  This faith is “given” and creates this opening to allow life to emerge in deaths grip.  The gold is Essence and she offers this confidence to rest in Hope. 
 
 

Hide full comment.

1 reply: This | Post Your Reply
On Aug 18, 2014 Sanjay wrote:

 The world is an illusion and yet my story seems so real . Before the story and after the story is nothing , silence . I am so caught up in this story of my life , the pain , the suffering the happiness the joy and yet this story ends. What remains is nothing . 50 years from today all those who read this will be gone , maybe just some pictures on some walls may remain . All the load of worry we carry will mean nothing , the world will still go on without us.  Nothing before birth , nothing after death .



On Aug 18, 2014 ratnakar s wrote:
 Jack Kerouac says- "no body understands, no body listens, all running around like chickens with heat cut". My observation is who gave permission to Jack to comment on others? by comparing with head cut chickens, is he implying he is over and above that state?  I liked up to golden eternity; if the realisation has come than looking at  activities in the world is not fun; it is an object view. One cherishes each and every activity, the learned never condemns nor makes fun of activities. It is concern, it is love, if no one listens the learned strives that much harder to make others listen.

On Aug 18, 2014 david doane wrote:

 For me, the Golden Eternity is another name for the Undefinable, the Incomprehensible Mystery, Eternal Being, Awareness, God, Great Spirit.  I see all those terms as interchangeable.  Golden Eternity is beyond space and time and manifests through each of us, and in some moments, when we get beyond our thinking and our delusions, when we are still, we get a glimpse of Golden Eternity.  It is already here with us, and we are with it, and we don't see it due our busyness or ignorance or whatever.  Like the fish that doesn't see the water.  I've had a few brief experiences in my life that I guess I was in Golden Eternity and felt everything was alright.  Those are wonderful moments.  I get my thinking to stop getting in the way of this awareness mainly by being present -- present to what I am experiencing and present to those with me. 



On Aug 17, 2014 Abhishek Thakore wrote:

The tricky thing about nothingness is that to describe it is to not describe it, to speak about it is to not speak about it....so being anchored in the 'absolutely nothing happened' includes letting go of the words 'absolutely', 'nothing' and 'happened'....

The other level is existential - where all meaning is created....

I wonder where Kindness sits in both these levels - because in nothingness there is nothing anyways, and at the existential level, all meaning is created (including kindness and its value)

Another level is where there are unintented consequences - where one can never tell. So a locally mean act may have a ripple of good (or we have too narrow a time frame and a space frame to define what is 'good' or 'bad')

So for me to accept the first part of the passage (Nothing ever happened) makes it harder to accept the next one.... :)



On Aug 15, 2014 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Golden Eternity is being here Now. It is not worrying about past or future. There have been countless times when everything was alright forever and ever; those times when I allow myself to truly BE in the moment, to feel the Love than I am and to be Enough in that moment. To share LOVE from the Heart and Kindness is key. To get from the Thinking mind is to Listen more to the Heart; the heart often has far better answers than the head. Our heads may think too much while our Heart feels and knows what is the correct course to take. Love is always the correct course. Hugs from my heart to yours. I LOVE this passage from Kerouac as it truly shows his humanity. 



On Aug 15, 2014 Jagdish P Dave wrote:

 Jack Kerouac's poem evoked a poem in my mind.

It is an echo, not the sound.
Do not chase it and call it your call.
Your legs will be tired and your voice will be lost.

Who is to forgive and what is to forget.
It is all the mind's game.
The loser is the winner and the winner is the loser.

Still the body and quiet the mind.
Let a smile flicker on your face.
Let it come and let it go.

Nothing is here for ever.
Even the time!
Nothing to do, 
Nowhere to go.
Be here and now-the ever present present.

Jagdish P Dave