We were never really born, we will never really die. It has nothing to do with the imaginary idea of a personal self, other selves, many selves everywhere, or one universal self. Self is only an idea, a mortal idea. That which passes through everything, is one thing. It’s a dream already ended. There’s nothing from staring at mountains months on end. They never show any expression, they are like empty space. Do you think the emptiness of space will ever crumble away. Mountains will crumble, but the emptiness of space, which is the one universal essence of mind, the one vast awakenerhood, empty and awake, will never crumble away because it was never born.
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
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 (Penguin Books, 1996)