A week or so ago I ordered three books: The Dharma Bums and On the Road, by Jack Kerouac (see his picture at right) and a book on Zen and the Art of Happiness. Since I started thinking about the mystical experience and near death experiences, I have gotten really spiritual again. I find myself again seeking spiritual truth, as I did when I was 19.
The Dharma Bums and On the Road are both classics from the Beat Generation of the 1950’s. Kerouac could write and I am enjoying The Dharma Bums now. I bought the books because I remember reading an excerpt of The Dharma Bums in my freshman year in college. The excerpt was included in a collection of essays to be read in my English 1-A class. I remember that Kerouac described his own mystical experience in that excerpt, though I didn’t know that was what it was at the time. I want to find that passage in the book and transcribe his mystical experience to my blog.
However, reading Kerouac’s prose is a treat in itself. Although the book was published 50 years ago (in 1957), it seems timeless in many ways. What I like about the Beat Generation that he describes is the same spiritual quest I am on myself, people with open minds seeking truth but enjoying life and nature with exuberant joy.
I should have read these books years ago, but better late than never.