Up@dawn 2.0

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Second Installment - Jack Kerouac

I've already discussed briefly about Jack's life fictionalized in the novel On the Road, so I will now discuss why I think he thought the way he did. In a course at MTSU, we talked about the rebels of American literature. I learned in this course, that Jack was a very sad man at the start of the On the Road adventure. The death of his father and discharge from the war accelerated his depression. During this low time in his life, he needed a form of escape. This is where I empathize with Jack. When faced with difficult tasks or struggles in life, it is easier to escape them than to tackle them with thought. Jack escapes the dark spaces of his mind with pharmaceuticals, alchohol, marijuana, jazz music, and strangely enough writing. Although writing involves deep thought, if you focus on the events you're currently having rather than the past, you can escape the feedback loop of negative thoughts. This brings me to another simple philosophy Jack had. He was in the now. The present is the place to be. Nostalgia is a cruel mistress and will ultimately leave the heart longing for what it can't have. Similarly, worrying about the future will leave a person paralyzed. One should focus on what they can control over. Jack was pragmatic in that way.

I will discuss about Jack's interest in Buddhism in my next installment.
1st installment:  http://cophilosophy.blogspot.com/2015/11/first-installment-jack-kerouac_24.html
3rd installment: http://cophilosophy.blogspot.com/2015/12/third-installment-jack-kerouac.html

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