Recent Reads….

Recently finished reading The Catcher in the Rye, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and Notes from Underground. I re-started reading On the Road.

What do all of these books have in common…?

First Person. Stream of Consciousness. Psychological and Philosophical themes. All but Notes from Underground in some way involve travel… and use travel as a metaphor for dissecting life…. All involve a quest for understanding of self… and in that sense are have a “religious” base…. A Quest for Meaning… or Purpose….

Notes from Underground is a work of Christian Existentialism…. One of the first great literary works of Existentialism….

All of the works involve a struggle against angst…. A struggle of the individual against Societal Norms…. A struggle for identity…. Self-actualization…. Self-knowledge….

For Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye is searching for REALITY… in a world infested with phonies…. He is depressed/suicidal…. Basically… he concludes that he will press on… today….

The narrator in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance has two distinct identities following Electroconvulsive Therapy….

The narrator in Notes from Underground clearly criticizes Utopian Socialism… stating that true happiness can never be gained through self-delusion… only through introspection…. That seems to clash with much of the message of Zen… which focuses on the differences between Gestalt Psychology and the Scientific Method… concluding that true happiness requires a synthesis of the two… through Buddhism apparently….

Can’t really comment on Jack Kerouac yet, other than to say… that he seems to think partying and not worrying about anything will make him happy… but he never seems happy…. Just ceaselessly… aimlessly wandering…. Which I guess makes some people feel happy… at least for the moment….

Everyone seems to be searching for meaning…. Searching for something more….

Most of us seem to start out negatively…. Rejecting what we think in phony about our parents…. About our upbringing…. Rather than rejecting what the society we choose… our friends… thrusts into our faces…. The relentless pursuit of pleasure….

Why is that…?

The Dopaminergic Reward System that is hard-wired into our brains…? The key to behavioral learning…?

Why do we even have such a thing…? To grow the bonds of marriage…? To create oneness…?

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One thought on “Recent Reads….

  1. Pingback: Recent Reads…. | Wright-Wang Extreme Mystery, Inc.

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