Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) was een Amerikaanse dichter en schrijver. In zijn Indian Journals doet hij verslag van zijn verblijf in India in '62/'63.
Jaipur March 25, 1962 — on Morphia —
Lying trom 8 PM to 11 on charpoy (rough rope spring woven on wooden cot frame) in Tourist Bungalow, after spending the day in bazaar and streets Jaipurish —
As lying there in my familiar body, a subtle detachment took place as usual and I lay outside my fleeting life surveying its twinkling away — that now more and more as this life approaches its meridian of 37 years and being half gone by becomes more sure of its mortalism, the chance of the life tho marked by shows and pageants, poetical & airborne — consisting in sexualities & all sorts of fame — as it were — were not much to go by. After all, what's all that experience limited as it is, to a Henry James of the entire Kosmos? So flit as I go by — all I've seen is my own life go by, swift as a mosquito with climactic buzzings of aestheticism & self congratulatory Rhapsody & morphia inactions & musings furthermore. An open closet door — I'Il return to the States, take an apartment — where with thinning hair & more tentative soul, arrange my possessions, type up my notes, discharge them for posterities, place my statues in order — one Japanese scroll of medium quality, one Korean print of an awakening Roshi, several cheap Nepalese tantric small figures, Tara, Avaloketesvara, the 1000 armed Destroyer of Death, Ganesha with a red belly button, Hanuman Pious & praying, Krishna fluting, Shiva whirling his arms & dancing, Kali with a necklace of skulls on Shiva's belly astride — an orange wool Tibetan Blanket, a few Amazon cloths & pipes, a Mexican basket, a straw hat and whatever other Persian type miniatures I collect — and that's the accomplishment of a life searching and travel wherever I can go on my earth.
Kali, Durga, Ram, Hari, Krishna, Brahma, Buddha, Allah, Jaweh, Christ, Mazda, Coyote, hear my plea!
Avaloketesvara, Maitreya, St. John, Ho-Tei, Kuan-Yin, Satan, Dipankara, Padma Sambava — whoever there is — is there ever anyone but me?
Lying in bed in Jaipur on morphine, lone in Denver awake on Benzedrine, flat on my back in Puccallpa wrapped in Death Vines, Valparaiso or Santiago enthralled with atropine — Shamans' herbs or modern Somas absorbed & vomited — not yet comprehended to any Eternity. A mosquito buzzing near my ear again. My face sweating having covered itself with thin film of mosquito repellent.
There is no direction I can willingly go into without strain — nearest being lotus posture & quiet mornings, vegetarian breathing before the dawn, I may never be able to do that with devotion. And if it is a matter of Karma and reincarnation, when will I ever learn? All the saints like Shivananda handing me rupees & books of yoga and I'm no good. My hair getting long, wearing a huge thin silk shirt, useless to perfect my conscience. A smoking habit my worst Karma to overcome.
Ill the other day, my bones in flu or grip of ache, sleeping from 5PM to 9AM with supper break & a few cigarettes & dreams and barefoot it down twice to pee — I didn't fear death or think of it. Maybe that's an improvement.
Self Conscious, I have nowhere to go. Maybe might as well leave it at that, continue to travel and die as I am when I die.
Avaloketesvara, Kuan Yin, Jaweh, Saints, Saddhus, Rishis, benevolent ones, Compassionate Superconscious ones, etc, what can you do for me now? What's to be done with my life which has lost its idea?
If it's a matter of each being has to create its own divinity, far be it from me to know what to do or be. I don't even have a good theory of vegetarianism. As for love & sex, I don't know what to say, Peter sleeping on his side in the next bed, still faith-ful tho I must be poor company to old beauty. And lying on my own back in the dark, the world just keeps revolving as before.
At least I'm down in possessions to Peter & a knapsack. I still am loaded with Karma of many letters & unfinished corres-pondence. I wanted to be a saint. But suffer for what? Illusions? The rain, were it to rustle the leaves, would seem more friendly than before & more reminiscent of an old dream. But all the con-nections are vague, machines make noise & lights across the road I've never investigated. Next the rest of India & Japan, and I suppose later a trip: England, Denmark, Sweden & Norway, Germany, Poland, Russia, China & then back home again. And thatll be the end of that world, I'll be about 50, the relatives'11 all be dead by then, old ties with the boys of yore be loosed or burnt, unfaithful, in so many decades it's best to let it all go — is Jack drunk? Is Neal still aware of me? Gregory yakking? Bill mad at me? Am I even here to myself ? I daren't write it all down, it's too shameful & boring now & I haven't the energy to make a great passional autobiography of it all — for who's all that autobiography for if it doesn't deliver heaven or reason-able equivalent? Anyway, who is that autobiography for? Young kids after the movies? I guess I have nothing to contrib-ute to general edification by this vague haphazard slow motion death. "Red Cats" a fine title anyway.
Noted on edge of Bombay map —
Stop trying not to die
fly where you can fly
What do you want to know about your mother?
Anything that gets you high,
eat an orange with your eye,
any movie you see is as good as any other.
It is your business what you buy
Picture postcards apple pie
aren't such a bother
— Upside down the birds are floatïng thru the sky.