”Fa”, also known as “Dharma”, or transliterated “Dharma”, comes from the Sanskrit word Dharma. It first appeared in the important ancient Indian classic “Rig Veda”, which refers to the ethics and behavioral norms of Hinduism. Later, its connotation was continuously perfected in the religious and political life of Hinduism. Brahmins of higher castes want to use “law” to correct people’s behavior and moral norms in society to maintain their caste privileges, so they emphasize that people should act in accordance with “law”. As an important ideological and moral concept of ancient Indian culture, “law” had a broad and profound influence on ancient Indian society. Surprisingly, over two thousand years, the “Beat Generation” that emerged in the United States after World War II was also influenced by the idea of ”law”. The American novelist Jack, who is known as the “Beat King”. · Cruillac’s important novel is called “Dharma Wanderer”.
It is by no means an accident that the idea of ”law” received a distant response in a foreign country in the United States after more than 2,000 years. So, what is the reason for this ancient thought to cross the barriers of time and space and have such a profound impact on a generation of American literary youth in the 20th century? How did this idea evolve in them into a new social meaning that gave them a place in the history of world literature?
Krouac was born in 1922 in Lowell, an old textile town in Massachusetts. When he was 4 years old, his brother Gerald, 5 years older than him, died of illness. Gerald is gifted and intelligent, and he is especially fond of small animals. Therefore, his brother’s death left a severe trauma to his young mind, and he saw the impermanence of life when he was almost ignorant of life. Shaken his faith in Catholic “universal love” and in God. Because his parents were French immigrants, Krouac didn’t start learning English until he was 6 years old, so in the English-speaking world of the United States, he was arranged as an outsider and a marginal person from the beginning. In 1936, the family suffered a major change. The Merrimack River flowing through Lowell flooded, destroying many buildings in the city, and the father’s printing factory also suffered serious losses, and the debt was high. The father had to work to maintain the family’s livelihood and the family’s economy. The situation began to deteriorate. The military experience in his youth and the unsuccessful love affair in his early years made him recognize the reality of society earlier. Unique personal experience, as well as the social reality of inflated material desires and lack of spirituality, made Krouac believe that only with his own knowledge and intuition can overcome all the misery and absurdity of the world, and finally seek an indifferent, peaceful, lofty and sacred way of life. Therefore, he began to look for ideological resources and support in Buddhism, and hoped to show his rebellious attitude through writing.
In Krouac’s correspondence with Ginsburg, some Buddhist content and understanding of the Dharma are often mentioned. In fact, as early as 1953, Krouac had already shown his interest in Buddhism: “Having spent a mad summer with desperation and sadness . In a book about Eastern philosophy, there was a story about the Buddha inadvertently, and while reading my original heavy heart, I became relaxed, so I ran to the library to borrow more Buddhist books.” Interest soared, and he wrote to Ginsburg, “It can be said that I have crossed the sea of misery and finally found my way.” Organized his own notes on studying Buddhism, namely “Thus Said Bodhidharma”, which was unpublished when he was alive. In a 1955 letter to Ginsburg, Krouac asked Ginsberg to study “classics and poetics” at Berkeley because America would soon have “an eastern future” . He intentionally used capital letters, especially urging Ginsburg to write “poems with a Buddhist tone.” And after The Dharma Wanderer was published in 1958, “Ginsburg wrote a book review that praised The Dharma Wanderer as ‘a wonderful exposition of Buddhism’.”
To practice his legal concept and realize his ideal of rebelling against reality, Krouac not only resists the mainstream values ideologically, but also adopts a way of life that is different from traditional concepts. Krouac was the first to put forward the concept of “BEAT GENERATION”. In fact, it is not accurate that “BG” is translated as “Beat Generation” in China, which undoubtedly casts a decadent color on it. Explaining the origin and meaning of the appellation in the article “The Origin of the Beat Generation,” Krouac said: “The word Beat originally meant poverty, down-and-out, nothing… stray, sleeping in the subway. .” But he also traces the origins of the “Beat Generation” in different ways, most importantly from the independence of his ancestors to the profundity and persistence of Indian sages and Chinese Taoists. John Holmes’s “This Is the Beat Generation” also elaborates on the word “Beat”: “The meaning of the word ‘Beat’ is originally ambiguous. However, for Americans, its meaning is not. Clearly, though. The word is not just tiresome, exhausted, stuck, restless, it means to be driven, used up, consumed, utilized, exhausted, left with nothing; And candor, a feeling of returning to the most primal natural perception or awareness. A ‘BEAT’ is always at full power wherever he goes, refreshed, and focused on everything, like It’s like making a bet and betting on fate. This young generation has been doing this since they were sensible.” These can well explain the origin of “BG” and its original meaning, in terms of the value of the mainstream society at that time, “Broken down” may mean decadence, but in terms of their “fa-rectification” purpose, they are positive, aggressive, and persistent. This kind of attitude towards life is reflected in the works and also in the life. In the works and the life, there is a relationship between one and two and two and one. In this way, writing itself is a kind of life practice, and life also has a positive “subversion” to reality because of its isomorphic tendency with works. Due to the subsequent enthusiasm of “BG” members (including Krouac, Snyder, Ginsburg, etc.) for Buddhism, the meaning of “BG” was further supplemented, which made the words and deeds of “BG” members and the characteristics of their works more clear.
”The Dharma Wanderer” is another important work of Krouac after “On the Road”, which tells the story of two passionate young people – Jaffe Ryder and Raymond Smith indulge in nature and pursue the truth (that is, to knowledge of the rational world). The work takes Raymond’s “Three times up the mountain” as a clue to describe his life and his understanding of the rational world with a group of friends who are keen on Buddhism. Like “On the Road,” Krouac’s novel is strongly autobiographical, with scenes such as Ava Goodbao (based on Alan Ginsburg) in 1955 Poetry readings at the Sixth Gallery in New York, Jaffe Ryder (based on Gary Snyder) as a mountain fire watcher and eastward travel to Japan, etc., are all real events. Moreover, by the time of writing The Wanderer of Bodhidharma in 1957, Krouac was already quite familiar with Buddhism. In the novel, “‘Bodhisattva’, ‘previous life’, ‘karma’, ‘waiting, concentration, samadhi’, ‘reincarnation’, ‘Buddha nature’ and other Buddhist terms are even more numerous. The words and deeds of the characters in the book are of great significance for us to deeply understand the thought of “law” in Buddhism absorbed in Krouac’s creation.
In “Dharma Wanderer”, the protagonists Jaffe and Raymond acted as “reverse-type” images that were very different from the mainstream social life concepts of the American middle class. They do not have a fixed job, nor do they pursue the ideal of fame, fortune and wealth; All of this was almost incompatible with the traditional American values and morals of the pursuit of pleasure and a good material life at that time. On the surface, they not only did not follow the concept of “law”, but were instead playing the role of destroying “law”. However, in Krujak’s eyes, his ideal society is not like this. In fact, in the early 1950s, the ills of the post-industrial period in the United States had also become apparent. There is such a description in “Dharma Wanderer”: “If you pass a house in the street of a suburban residential area at night, you will see the golden lights in every living room of the houses on both sides of the street. There are small blue screens of TVs, and every household may be watching the same program attentively; no one is talking, and the yard is quiet; dogs bark at you because you don’t drive, but you walk by on human legs. You should understand what I’m trying to say, the day will come soon when people all over the world will think the same way. But Zen lunatics are all dusty and laughing with dust on their lips.” In his opinion , American society is tending to assimilate, people are bound by material desires that can never be satisfied, and modern civilization is quietly eroding people’s thoughts. They watch the same TV shows, accept the same cultural and moral values, and gradually begin to think in the same way, while those with independent minds and unique personalities are seen as lunatics and outliers. The “law” in American society has been chaotic and has lost its true colors. The behavior of the protagonists Jaffe and Raymond is to rebel against this already chaotic society with actions, and to return the “law” to its original face.
So, what is the true face of “law”? How is it expressed in the work? In fact, in “Dharma Wanderer”, there is a concept that is easily overlooked but extremely important. It is explained in Chapter 21 of the novel: One day, my nephew, little Louis, went with me to the “Buddha’s Stream”. After arriving, I picked up an object from the ground and sat quietly under the tree. Little Louie asked me, “What is that?” “That’s ‘it’,” and I said, raising my co-authored hands up and down, “It’s ‘it-it-it’, it’s the Tathagata, it’s ‘it’ ‘.” It wasn’t until I told him that I was picking up a pine cone that little Louis had an association from the word “pine cone” and an image of a pine cone in his mind. The Buddhist scriptures say that “emptiness is consciousness”, which is not wrong at all. Regarding the meaning of the word “it”, the translator, Mr. Liang Yongan, said in the commentary: “The ‘it’ the author said here also means the ultimate truth. Seeing the ultimate truth from a pine cone is like seeing the ultimate truth. Buddhists say ‘one flower, one world, one leaf, one bodhi’.” The “it” here is very similar to the “law” in Buddhism, and we can understand it as the essence and law of things, that is, returning to the original and harmonious Naturally, return things to their original appearance.
This “it” does not only appear in “The Wanderer of Dharma”, but is also expressed in other important works of Krouac. Professor Lu Yalin has a deeper understanding of “it” in a paper on the theme of “On the Road”: “All Dian’s seemingly absurd behavior is actually based on his own mysticism philosophy, and The core of this philosophy is the experience of “it” (IT). Dian never gave a clear explanation of “it”, and Thrall realized the essence of “it” only after experiencing a period of confusion. “It” is an indescribable living condition that transcends the limitations of time and space, a life experience that achieves epiphany without being affected by the external world and the past and future. In other words, “it” is when people abandon their identity, status, and race. The realization of the unity of human nature after waiting for various differences, and the great pleasure brought by this realization. In fact, “it” is the highest pursuit of the “Beat Generation” represented by Dian, because “Beat” “The word doesn’t just refer to the rhythm of the natural flow of jazz music or the boredom, exhaustion, and distress that people feel in the dull and oppressive modern society. As a concept “derived from the “Old Testament”, “Beat” is more important is meant a state of bliss and bliss, a return to primal and natural intuition or consciousness. Dian has practiced his philosophy from beginning to end; and because “it” or “beat” must be obtained by denying history Therefore, Dian’s behavior constitutes the most thorough and subversive rebellion against the value tradition of the middle class.” Whether it is Dian, Sal, Jaffe or Raymond, their purpose is to resist the supremacy of real materialistic desires. Social and indifferent interpersonal relationships, therefore, they tend to be bohemian, ignoring the law and discipline, but have a huge affinity to integrate into the lives of the lower classes and even the homeless. They are all charitable and take pleasure in sharing their belongings with others. For example, Raymond distributed wine, bread and cheese to the old tramp who was on the same train with him; the Sinn family invited friends to dinner without charging any fee; Jaffe always gave Raymond and others the clothes he just bought from the “Good Heart” store. They are all eager to build a harmonious society where people are equal and love each other, and hope to attract more people to join it through the pursuit of rationality.
Because they have a firm and persistent belief in their own belief in life, they can constantly renew themselves. And he can always come up with some constructive ideas to create harmony everywhere around him, which is loved by many girls. Jaffe is surrounded by girls like Prins, Polly, Przyva, and Christine, who is fascinated by him, and he never suppresses his sexual instincts. “This kind of thing is often seen in Tibetan lamasery. It is a sacred ceremony where the lama recites the mantra ‘Om Mani Pad Ni Go’, which means ‘death to the lightning of the dark void’. I am Lightning, and Prince is the dark void, understand?” Jaffe said. In Jaffe’s view, any religion of asceticism suppresses human nature, and in order to achieve the ideal state of Nirvana, one should obey human instincts. And this is precisely one of the main reasons why Dharma Wanderer was attacked after its publication. One critic said: “If there’s one thing Krujak and his pals find particularly appealing about Zen, it’s the indiscriminate erotic content that Zen brings to the table from the Kama Sutra and Tantra. “For this question, which has always been criticized, we can use the concept of “self-nature”, the second meaning of “dharma” in Buddhism, to explain it clearly. Regarding “self-nature”, Yinshun discussed in “The History of Chinese Zen Buddhism”: “The ‘nature’ mentioned in the “Tanjing” is that all dharmas are embodied (changed) by nature; ‘, ‘All dharmas are in their own nature’, not separated from their own nature but not of nature. Therefore, nature is transcendent (separate from all appearances, pure in nature) and internal (all dharmas are not different from this).” These The idea of Zen is very different from the mainstream society’s conservative understanding of sex, and it is easily accepted by Krouac as a powerful weapon to subvert the mainstream values of the society at that time. Moreover, while accepting Buddhism, Kruyak also accepted the influence of the Indian Kama Sutra, and believed that sex had an irreplaceable important position in religion. Some tantras in India and my country’s Tibet require the complete fusion of ideals (female primordial prajna) and reality (male primordial convenience). Only this fusion can produce “Bodhicitta”, and “Bodhicitta” means “Great Enlightenment”. In this way, this kind of sex, which is insignificant to outsiders, is seen as unusually natural and unusually sacred. And this is precisely what “BG” can and are willing to accept. Since they oppose the freedom to suppress individuality, the issue of sexuality—whether homosexuality, heterosexuality or bisexuality, in their view, is a very natural return to “self-nature”. This not only will not be contrary to their “law” purpose, but also becomes a useful weapon for them to challenge secular morality. It is for this reason that Krouac, and of course other “BG” members, are quite open about sex. In their view, this is also a practice of their own Buddhist philosophy, and it is a concern for authenticity and human nature.
After understanding these, it is not difficult for us to understand the idea of ”law” that Krouac expresses intentionally or unintentionally in his creation. Although, Krujak’s good wishes were short-lived, and finally had to face reality (Raymond left Lonely Peak and returned to the city; Thrall took a Cadillac to live a middle-class life again). However, the “backpack revolution” caused by his works in the 1950s and 1960s in the United States and even around the world has enabled countless young people who yearn and pursue freedom to find a way to the other side of freedom, and the remaining waves have continued to this day. . This is undoubtedly positive.