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The Dharma Bums Quotes

One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.
It all ends in tears anyway.
I felt like lying down by the side of the trail and remembering it all. The woods do that to you, they always look familiar, long lost, like the face of a long-dead relative, like an old dream, like a piece of forgotten song drifting across the water, most of all like golden eternities of past childhood or past manhood and all the living and the dying and the heartbreak that went on a million years ago and the clouds as they pass overhead seem to testify (by their own lonesome familiarity) to this feeling.
Down on the lake rosy reflections of celestial vapor appeared, and I said, "God, I love you" and looked to the sky and really meant it. "I have fallen in love with you, God. Take care of us all, one way or the other." To the children and the innocent it's all the same.
One man practicing kindness in the wilderness is worth all the temples this world pulls.
Happy. Just in my swim shorts, barefooted, wild-haired, in the red fire dark, singing, swigging wine, spitting, jumping, running—that's the way to live. All alone and free in the soft sands of the beach by the sigh of the sea out there, with the Ma-Wink fallopian virgin warm stars reflecting on the outer channel fluid belly waters. And if your cans are redhot and you can't hold them in your hands, just use good old railroad gloves, that's all.
Pain or love or danger makes you real again....
Are we fallen angels who didn't want to believe that nothing is nothing and so were born to lose our loved ones and dear friends one by one and finally our own life, to see it proved?.
The closer you get to real matter, rock air fire and wood, boy, the more spiritual the world is.
colleges being nothing but grooming schools for the middle-class non-identity which usually finds its perfect expression on the outskirts of the campus in rows of well-to-do houses with lawns and television sets in each living room with everybody looking at the same thing and thinking the same thing at the same time while the Japhies of the world go prowling in the wilderness to hear the voice crying in the wilderness, to find the ecstacy of the stars, to find the dark mysterious secret of the origin of faceless wonderless crapulous civilization.
Let the mind beware, that though the flesh be bugged, the circumstances of existence are pretty glorious.
I see a vision of a great rucksack revolution thousands or even millions of young Americans wandering around with rucksacks, going up to mountains to pray, making children laugh and old men glad, making young girls happy and old girls happier, all of 'em Zen Lunatics who go about writing poems that happen to appear in their heads for no reason and also by being kind and also by strange unexpected acts keep giving visions of eternal freedom to everybody and to all living creatures ...
Aw I don't wanta go to no such thing, I just wanta drink in alleys.'... But you'll miss all that, just for some old wine.' There's wisdom in wine, goddam it!' I yelled. 'Have a shot!.
my karma was to be born in America where nobody has any fun or believes in anything, especially freedom.
I don't wanta hear all your word descriptions of words words words you made up all winter, man I wanta be enlightened by actions.
The human bones are but vain lines dawdling, the whole universe a blank mold of stars.
Jumping from boulder to boulder and never falling, with a heavy pack, is easier than it sounds; you just can't fall when you get into the rhythm of the dance.
i wish the whole world was dead serious about food instead of silly rockets and machines and explosives using everybody's food money to blow their heads off anyway.
Suppose we suddenly wake up and see that what we thought to be this and that, ain't this and that at all?.
The first sip [of tea] is joy, the second is gladness, the third is serenity, the fourth is madness, the fifth is ecstasy.
I felt like lying down by the side of the trail and remembering it all.
It was all completely serious, all completely hallucinated, all completely happy.
I felt free and therefore I was free.
The yard was full of tomato plants about to ripen, and mint, mint, everything smelling of mint, and one fine old tree that I loved to sit under on those cool perfect starry California October nights unmatched anywhere in the world.
Rocks are space, and space is illusion.
Mind is the Maker, for no reason at all, for all this creation, created to fall.
I have all the time in the world from life to life to do what is to do, to do what is done, to do the timeless doing.
The woods do that to you, they always look familiar, long lost, like the face of a long-dead relative, like an old dream, like a piece of forgotten song drifting across the water, most of all like golden eternities of past childhood or past manhood and all the living and the dying and the heartbreak that went on a million years ago and the clouds as they pass overhead seem to testify by their own lonesome familiarities to this feeling. Ecstasy, even, I felt, with flashes of sudden remembrance, and feeling sweaty and drowsy I felt like sleeping and dreaming in the grass.
...do you think God made the world to amuse himself because he was bored? Because if so he would have to be mean.
Though the flesh be bugged, the circumstances of existence are still pretty glorious.
Believe that the world is an ethereal flower, and ye live.
Happy. Just in my swim shorts, barefooted, wild-haired, in the red fire dark, singing, swigging wine, spitting, jumping, running -- that's the way to live. All alone and free in the soft sands of the beach....
I'd rather hop freights around the country and cook my food out of tin cans over wood fires, than be rich and have a home or work.
That's the story of my life rich or poor and mostly poor and truly poor.
Dharma Bums refusing to subscribe to the general demand that they consume production and therefore have to work for the privilege of consuming, all that cramp they didn't really want anyway such as refrigerators, TV sets, cars, at least new fancy cars, certain hair oils and deodorants and general junk you finally always see a week later in the garbage anyway, all of them imprisoned in a system of work, produce, consume, work, produce, consume...
It was the work of the quiet mountains, this torrent of purity at my feet.
Your mind makes out the orange by seeing it, hearing it, touching it, smelling it, tasting it and thinking about it but without this mind, you call it, the orange would not be seen or heard or smelled or tasted or even mentally noticed, it's actually, that orange, depending on your mind to exist! Don't you see that? By itself it's a no-thing, it's really mental, it's seen only of your mind. In other words it's empty and awake.
To the children and the innocent it's all the same.
I have nothing to do but do what I want and be kind and remain nevertheless uninfluenced by imaginary judgments and pray for the light.
Try the meditation of the trail, just walk along looking at the trail at your feet and don’t look about and just fall into a trance as the ground zips by. Trails are like that: you’re floating along in a Shakespearean Arden paradise and expect to see nymphs and fluteboys, then suddenly you’re struggling in a hot broiling sun of hell in dust and nettles and poison oak… just like life.
The secret of this kind of climbing, is like Zen. Don't think. Just dance along. It's the easiest thing in the world, actually easier than walking on flat ground which is monotonous. The cute little problems present themselves at each step and yet you don't hesitate and you find yourself on some other boulder you picked out for no special reason at all, just like zen.~ Japhy.
The silence is so intense that you can hear your own blood roar in your ears but louder than that by far is the mysterious roar which I alwas identify with the roaring of the diamond wisdom, the mysterious roar of silence itself, which is a great Shhhh reminding you of something you've seemed to have forgotten in the stress of your days since birth.
Ah Japhy you taught me the final lesson of them all, you can't fall off a mountain.
The closer you get to real matter, rock air fire and wood, boy, the more spiritual life is. All these people thinking they're hardheaded materialistic practical types, they don't know shit about matter, their heads are full of dreamy ideas and notions.
In all this welter of women I still hadn't got one for myself, not that I was trying too hard, but sometimes I felt lonely to see everybody paired off and having a good time and all I did was curl up in my sleeping bag in the rosebushes and sigh and say bah. For me it was just red wine in my mouth and a pile of firewood.
What a horror it would have been if the world was real, because if the world was real, it would be immortal.
And he had a nice home in Ohio with wife, daughter, Christmas tree, two cars, garage, lawn, lawnmower, but he couldn't enjoy any of it because he really wasn't free. It was sadly true.
Sometimes I’d get mad because things didn’t work out so well, I’d spoil a flapjack, or slip in the snowfield while getting water, or one time my shovel went sailing down into the gorge, and I’d be so mad I’d want to bite the mountaintops and would come in the shack and kick the cupboard and hurt my toe. But let the mind beware, though the flesh be bugged, the circumstances of existence are pretty glorious.
You can't live in this world but there's nowhere else to go.
What does it mean that I am in this endless universe, thinking that I'm a man sitting under the stars on the terrace of the earth, but actually empty and awake throughout the emptiness and awakedness of everything? It means that I'm empty and awake, that I know I'm empty and awake, and that there's no difference between me and anything else.
But on top of all that, the feelings about Princess, I'd also gone through an entire year of celibacy based on my feeling that lust was the direct cause of birth which was the direct cause of suffering and death and I had really no lie come to a point where I regarded lust as offensive and even cruel. "Pretty girls make graves," was my saying, whenever I'd had to turn my head around involuntarily to stare at the in­comparable pretties of Indian Mexico.
I nudged myself closer to the ledge and closed my eyes and thought 'Oh what a life this is, why do we have to be born in the first place, and only so we can have our poor gentle flesh laid out to such impossible horrors as huge mountains and rock and empty space,' and with horror I remembered the famous Zen saying, 'When you get to the top of a mountain, keep climbing.' The saying made my hair stand on end; it had been such cute poetry sitting on Alvah's straw mats.
After all, a homeless man has reason to cry, everything in the world is pointed against him.
you know when i was a little kid in oregon i didn't feel that i was and american at all, with all that suburban ideal and sex repression and general dreary newspaper gray censorship of all our real human values but and when i discovered buddhism and all i suddenly felt that i had lived in a previous lifetime innumerable ages ago and now because of the faults and sins in that lifetime i was being degraded to a more grievous domain of existence and my karma was to be born in america where nobody has any fun or believes in anything, especially freedom.
The little flowers grew everywhere around the rocks, and no one had asked them to grow, or me to grow.
Look at that party the other night. Everybody wanted to have a good time and tried real hard but we all woke up the next day feeling sorta sad and separate.
and the stars were icicles of mockery.
a fool forgetting all the ideals and joys I knew before, in my recent years of drinking and disappointment, what does he care if he hasn't got any money: he doesn't need any money, all he needs is his rucksack with those little plastic bags of dried food and a good pair of shoes and off he goes and enjoys the privileges of a millionaire in surroundings like this.
...I didn't feel that I was an American at all, with all that suburban ideal and sex repression and general dreary newspaper grey censorship of all our real human values...
Now the mountains were getting that pink tinge, I mean the rocks, they were just solid rock covered with the atoms of dust accumulated there since beginningless time. In fact I was afraid of those jagged monstrosities all around and over our heads. "They're so silent!" I said. "Yeah man, you know to me a mountain is a Buddha. Think of the patience, hundreds of thousands of years just sitting there bein perfectly perfectly silent and like praying for all living creatures in that silence and just waitin for us to stop all our frettin and foolin.
equally empty, equally to be loved, equally a coming Buddha.
Your Buddhism has made you mean Ray and makes you even afraid to take your clothes off for a simple healthy orgy.