The Dharma Bums – Jack Kerouac – Quotes

Japhy and I were kind of outlandish-looking on the campus in our old clothes in fact Japhy was considered an eccentric around the campus, which is the usual thing got campuses and college people to think whenever a real man appears on the scene – 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 Japies of the world go prowling in the wilderness to hear the voice crying in the wilderness, to find the ecstasy of the stars, to find the dark mysterious secret of the origin of faceless wonderless crapulous civilization.

Dharma Bums refusing to subscribe to the general demands that they consume production and therefore have to work for the privilege of consuming, all that crap they didn’t really want anyway

…go off somewhere and find perfect solitude and look into the perfect emptiness of my mind and be completely neutral from any and all ideas. I intended to pray, too, as my only activity, pray for all living creatures; I saw it was the only decent activity left in the world. To be in some river-bottom somewhere, or in a desert or in mountains, to in some hut in Mexico or shack in Adirondack and rest and be kind, and do nothing else, practice what the Chinese call’do-nothing’.

I bought a molybdenum bottle, with screw top, which could be used (I said to myself) to carry honey up to the mountains. But I later used it as a canteen for wine more than anything else, and later when I made some money as a canteen for whisky.

But now I wanted to tell him all the things I’d discovered that winter meditating in the woods. ‘Ah, it’s just a lot of words,’ he said, sadly, surprising me. ‘I don’t want to hear all your word descriptions of words words words you made up all winter, man I wanta be enlightened by actions.’

Photo by Violetta Kaszubowska 

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