Daumal & Soyinka

I tend to tag-team read, that is, I read about 3-4 books at a time. This past week, every morning on the train, I’ve cracked open the Rene Daumal book, Le Contre-Ciel (The Counter-Heaven) that Simone bought me for my birthday. Daumal is a self-destructive 22-year old at this point, one who is raging with life questions, specifically how to bring about the realization of the inner-self. Daumal found the teachings of Gurdjieff and with them, took on his approach: to bring out the true inner-self, man must rise up against himself and eliminate any aspect of his extrinsic reality which is not fundamental to what he is. His method was described as “metaphysical suicide”.

According to this philosophy, “man must separate himself from those limits by systematically negating the reality of the mind-body complex.”

I’ll let you know how my voluntary destruction to get my essence is coming along after I read some of the poetry.

In the meantime, I also have been reading A Shuttle in the Crypt by Nobel Prize winner Wole Soyinka, Nigerian poet, playwright and novelist.

The first line of the introduction: “The shuttle is a unique species of the caged animal, a restless bolt of energy, a trapped weaver-bird yet charged in repose with unspoken forms and designs. In motion or at rest it is a secretive seed, shrine, kernel, phallus and well of creative mysteries.”

Somehow I felt my inner weaver-bird stir as I began to draw an atom-like structure/diagram in my notebook of all the men who have hurt me in my life.

Poems that will flow from Daumal and Soyinka to come.

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