Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Recently, I read an article from the N. Y. Times in which the author commended the writings of Anne Carson. I confess I did not know her work, and looked up some of her poems. I was quite surprised by what I found. Her work appears, on the surface, to be a jumble of memories and musings, none cohering into a comprehensible text, until one examines more carefully and sees the connecting patterns. She is definitely a poet of highly experimental technique. She is also quite gifted intellectually, and has won all sorts of honors and rewards, including a prestigious genius award from the McCarthy foundation. As if often do, I wrote a personal reaction to her poems, which were fascinating and somewhat frustrating.
What does all of this have to do with Kundalini? Very little, at least at first glance. However, once Kundalini visits us in all its power and glory, we achieve a more coherent view of our universe, and our experience falls into more comprehensible patterns. Her work illustrates (I think) the confused eclecticism of the high critic and creator, one whose mind moves rapidly through a melange of events and memories, but who finds no sustaining vision in her life.
For me, intellect alone will not suffice. Mind must be fused with heart for significant spiritual progress to occur. Hers is the plight of the contemporary "intellectual," who possesses great knowledge but lacks connection to great "Soul."
Look her up on google to get a taste of what I am describing here.
Anne Carson's poems are highly experimental, quite unlike the work of most of those who came before her.
To read her is as if you took a brain box and shook out all its contents, then reassembled them randomly as they “fell out” or emerged into consciousness. Thus lost lover, mother’s carping, demented father, cold moor, Emily Bronte, dream scraps, faithlessness and pain all equally occupy the field of awareness together or separately, each demanding attention of the moment, and thus creating a chaos of knowing more like actual consciousness than that "stream" of thinking artificially constructed into sentences, paragraphs, or pages. Shades of James Joyce! This is the stream of consciousness carried to its full limit, the disorganized, unsorted debris of awareness as it reels ahead, moment to moment, undirected and seemingly devoid of ultimate meaning or purpose, other than to reflect the relentless flow of the raw landscape of the mind.
One follows with a kind of masochistic fascination, not expecting meaning or point to emerge, but rather to enter, temporarily, this reeling display, a fireworks of language and image captured from this outpouring of the unfettered “self.”
This is the reflection of a mind that has not found its center of organization—not connected with the “Thou” that exists as stabilizing force, but rather subsists in the turmoil of the unsorted responses of the “lost” spirit, turning hopelessly in its maelstrom of confused memory and sensation.