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The Bardo of Waking Life


The Bardo of Waking Life Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An avant garde set of improvisational essays, Richard Grossingers The Bardo of Waking Life is a meditation on the Tibetan Buddhist bardo realm which, in popular culture, is viewed as the bridge between lives, the state people enter after death and before rebirth. This book examines waking life and its history and language as if it were a bardo state rather than ultimate reality, and thus seeks a context for life (and dreams), even as it addresses more "mundane issues" including genetic theory, the war in Iraq and George W. Bush's presidency, North Korea, advertising, global warming, Prison Industrial Culture, childhood trauma, even country western music. Written with playfulness and precision, Bardo takes a new, probing approach to all the important questions of creation, destruction, and existence. In these intellectual field notes, Grossinger proves thematically fearless as he crosses quantum mechanics with totemic hexes and draws transcendental insight from the ephemeral space-time we call daily life. If, as Tibetan cosmology holds true, all conditional realms are bardos, then the state we all share is nothing less than the bardo of waking life.

About the Author

Since the issuing of Solar Journal: Oecological Sections by Black Sparrow Press in 1970, Richard Grossinger has published some twenty-five books, most of them with his own press, North Atlantic Books/Frog, Ltd., but also titles with Harper, Doubleday, Sierra Club Books, J.P. Tarcher, among others. These have ranged from extremely long explorations of science, culture, and spirituality (The Night Sky, Planet Medicine, Embryogenesis) to memoirs and nonfiction novels (New Moon, Out of Babylon) to experimental prose (Book of the Earth and Sky, Spaces Wild and Tame) and science fiction (Mars: A Science Fiction Vision). Grossinger received a PhD in anthropology from the University of Michigan in 1975 and lives with his wife Lindy Hough in Berkeley, California.

Table of Contents

Preface by Mary Stark xix

Foreword by Rob Brezsny xxiii

Grace Before Meals by Robert Kelly xxx

First Cycle

Museum of the Milky Way Galaxy 3

On Andy Goldsworthy 5

Hurricane Katrina 6

All Creatures Are Little Machines 6

Family 7

Webb Pond 7

Long Pond 8

Consciousness Is More Luminous Than the Night Sky 8

Elements and Archetypes 9

The Stems of Lily Pads 11

The Skatalites 11

On Not Killing Insects 12

Alphabet of Animals 13

Light 14

Eggshells 15

Spider Webs 15

Latency 15

On Huckleberries 16

Marriage 18

Cosmic Definitions: Universe, Creation, Existence, Mystery 19

Corollaries of Creation 1 19

Mortality 22

Getting out of Scranton 23

Fixing the Problems of Our World 26

Inheritance/Money 27

Water Pollution 32

Population 34

Cooperation 35

Recycling/Renewable Energy 35

Wheels 37

DNA 38

Global Warming 39

Prisons 39

Slaughterhouses 45

War and Peace 47

Shamanism 48

Paraphysical Energy 51

The Dead 54

Gangs 58

Farewell, Red Army 58

Theocracy 62

Language 62

The Real Game 63

Pre-Socratic Philosophy 64

An Essay on Fame: Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg,

Charles Olson 64

Hopi Punctual and Segmentative Aspects 71

Zen Moment 71

Superman of Krypton 72

The Cry of the Earth 72

Mendocino versus Maine 73

Reality 1 73

Down the Dungeon Stairs 73

Computers 80

Just as True Now as It Was Then 81

Second Cycle

Three Meditations on Grief and Bitterness 83

Three Meditations on Dreaming 84

Colors: Yellow, Blue, Green, Red 87

Three Riddles about Infinity 88

Loud Voice 91

Three Animals: Dog, Cat, Groundhog 92

Dialogue with a Neighborhood Raccoon 93

Three Cats 94

Romance 95

Reality 2 95

Eternal Life Would Be Eternal Death 96

Pluto and Charon 97

Embryos 98

Gurdjieff s Law: Molecules and Consciousness 100

Bardo Realms 1 101

Gods Camouflage 101

Secular and Sacred Worlds 102

Karma 1 103

Ground Luminosity 1 104

The Thoughts of Hugh Selby, Jr. 105

Stray Conversation on the Path to Inspiration Point 105

The Word “Fuck” 106

On Sexuality 107

Amos n Andy 117

Food Vandalism 118

Shock and Awe 119

Black Magic (Neocon Version) 120

Solar System Chi Gung 121

The Way You Look Tonight 122

Reality 3 122

Reality 4 122

Reality 5 123

Review of Grizzly Man, a Film by Werner Herzog 123

Corollaries of Creation 2 131

What Is a Gene? The Yi Factor 133

Donning the Body Suit 136

Karma 2 137

Atom and Cell 137

Caterpillars on Buddhas 137

The First Lesson in the Power of Advertising 138

UFO Dream 144

Meteorite Crater 146

The Archetypal Christ 146

Maybe Times Are A-Changin 148

The Silence of Turtles 148

Chalice of Lunar Chi 150

Hedgehogs Landscape of Other Lifetimes 151

Reality 6 151

Why Cant It Be Like This All the Time? 152

Synchronicity 152

Give It Up 152

Third Cycle

The Latent Universe 153

Roadtrip 155

Vermont 155

Gloucester, Massachusetts 156

Two Lights State Park, Cape Elizabeth, Maine 158

Slaid Cleaves Concert, South Berwick, Maine 158

Broadway and 83rd, New York City 162

Mount Desert Island 163

The Cosmic Papyrus 165

The Benefits of Shitting in the Woods 168

9/11 Conspiracy Theories 172

On Healing 176

Terma 196

The Interior of an Atom 197

The Cities of Antares 199

The Origin of Language 199

Reality 7 201

The Cries of Wild Animals 202

Osama bin Ladens Creed 202

My Brothers Suicide 203

Twirling 231

“Youre The One That I Really Miss É” 232

Homesickness 235

Pontecorvos Burn! 236

Hummingbird 236

Dusk at Seawall 236

Meteorite 237

Dwipada Viparita Dandasana 237

Karma 3 237

Reality 8 239

George W and Saddam: A Comparison 239

Suicide Bombers 243

Writing into the Akashic Record 246

The Fate of the West 260

What Is an Archetype? 263

Predation 264

The Science of Bardo Realms 268

Martial Arts and Video Games 271

The Marsh: You Should Not Be Here 272

Meditation to Change the Universe 275

Fourth Cycle

A Fight with a Pig 281

The Only Way the Dead Can Speak 281

Reality 9 283

Life Is Wasted on the Living 283

Bardo Realms 2 283

Emmas Revolution 284

Bush and Barrabas 293

Dream of a Mission to Mars 295

Positively Fourth Street 296

The “Diplomacies” of George W. Bush 297

Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons 310

Dave Insley and The Careless Smokers 311

The Memory of Past Lives 314

Thoughts on the Virginia Tech Shootings 321

Buddhafields 336

Don Edwards: Cowboy Balladeer 337

Beauty and Politics 341

“Nothing” 348

Mirages on the Trail 350

Ground Luminosity 2 350

New Mantra for Anxious Moments During

Turbulence on Planes 350

Reality 10 351

Even the Most Obscure Feelings 351

Grief and Transference: A Dialogue 352

Exile 355

Science and Zen 355

Best Website Disclaimer/Best Answering-Machine Message 359

Psyche: Kayaking on Great Long Pond 359

The Sun 362

The Last Humans 363

Wars 366

Freedom and Death 366

The Universes Final Judgment 369

Fifth Cycle

Suicide Bomber on the Brooklyn-Manhattan Subway 379

The Neutrality of Nature 381

Baseball Joke 384

Patricia Foxs Yoga Class 384

Grandson Leo 387

Three Neglected Figures: Gurdjieff, Crowley, Reich 387

The Earths Major Religions 389

Some Thoughts on HBOs Big Love 390

Polygamy and the Church 390

The “Principle” 390

Millenary Religion 391

Mormon Cosmology 393

Cargo Cults 394

Polygamous Families 395

The Happiest Girl 395

Ground Luminosity 3 396

Ground Luminosity 4 398

Loons 400

Ground Luminosity 5 400

The City on Pluto, the City on Ceres 401

Fishing 401

No Traction 411

Notes on Rescue Dawn, A Film by Werner Herzog 411

Blakes Crow 412

Synopsis 414

Creation: The View from Mansell Mountain 416

Quebec Notes 420

Arriving 420

Quebec City 422

Politics 424

Montreal 425

Quebec to Vermont 428

Secondhand Smoke 429

Overwriting the Text 429

Sanity 429

Literature 439

Enthusiasms 441

Being Jewish 442

Being American 446

Spiritual Practice 447

Number 449

Marriage 457

Esoterica 460

Life 466

Future Shock 476

Dream of a Tangled Tree Stump 478

Medical Gaze 478

Islam 479

New Global Snacks and Lost Crops 479

Underworld and Pulp Fiction 480

Negative Capability 481

Conventions 481

The Universe Is a Machine of Love 481

Reality 11 483

Children of Light, Children of Darkness 484

Flash Between Abysses 488

Heresy 488

Enlightenment 489

Notes 491


Product Details

Grossinger, Richard
North Atlantic Books
Brezsny, Rob
Stark, Mary
Kelly, Robert
American - General
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8.49x5.52x1.59 in. 1.58 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Essays
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General Medicine
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Metaphysics » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

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