Grace-1, Karma-0

My previous post mentioned a recently completed book, ‘God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater’ by Kurt Vonnegut. Reading is something I’ve enjoyed since childhood but more recently came to realize there were many authors/works/topics I should have read but had missed out on enjoying. Wanting to remedy the situation I made a goal for myself last year of reading one book per week. I was surprised to discover how easy it was and ended up reading 76. (2005 List Here) Finding myself drawn to 20th century writers and their work I suspected I might run out of books to enjoy but I’m beginning to believe that won’t happen anytime soon. Staying with the same goal in 2006, ‘Rosewater’ was my 52nd book so far this year which means I’ve read two a week. (2006 List Here) Exactly what was I doing with all my time before this?

The current book I’m reading is ‘Grace Beats Karma – Letters from Prison 1958-60’ by Neal Cassady. Neal was a true “character” having been portrayed by Jack Kerouac as Dean Moriarty in ‘On The Road’ and later profiled by Tom Wolfe in ‘The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test’ where Neal, known as “Speed Limit”, drove Ken Kesey’s day-glo psychedelic bus. Along the way Neal was also Allen Ginsberg’s lover and a long time railroad man for Southern Pacific. In his first prison letter, while serving a “5 years to life” sentence (he was out in 2) for handing three ‘joints’ to undercover cops as payment for having given him a ride, Neal makes the following statement – “so I’m well up in spirit, hi-est ever; only Grace beats Karma, etc. However, ahem, uh & gulp”. Probably a comment on the one time Buddhist leanings of Kerouac. Cassady also seemed to be infatuated with Edgar Cayce. As a teen I once had many of Cayce’s books having “borrowed” them from my next door neighbor’s “Psychic Science Library” as he called it. I eventually dumped the Cayce books but kept all the Erich Von Daniken related titles. (to give you an idea of the stuff that warped my brain earlier in life)

Next on the waiting list is the Charles Mingus autobiography, ‘Beneath The Underdog’.

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About Marcus

Who me? Introverted, neurotic, self-absorbed, increasingly cynical observer of human nature and part time social critic in hiding. Most of my life spent avoiding growing up. The naive idealistic passions of youth have evolved into the eclectic eccentricities of adulthood. Northeast Florida small-town native, related to people I can't relate to. Simultaneously my own best friend and worst enemy. Politically and spiritually unaffiliated, my personal ideologies put me all over the map or off it completely.
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One Response to Grace-1, Karma-0

  1. Anonymous says:

    Edgar Cayce.
    I have enjoyed the works and “readings” of Edgar Cayce as well. I love to visit the Edgar Cayce Foundation. Its always a highlight of my vacation in Virginia Beach. Enjoying the meditation garden, the massage, and of course walking the labrynth help to renew me to continue sharing my own personal gift. Its interesting to note, Edgar Cayce was born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky.
    My personal thoughts on “Psychic Science”…..I think its a Spiritual gift of discernment. Knowing how to use it an even bigger gift.
    Bev in KY

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