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Journeys Toward the Original Mind

The Long Poems of Gary Snyder


Robert Schuler

At the heart of Gary Snyder's poetics rests the concept of «original mind» that state of mind which has been sensually, morally, and spiritually purified so that it can directly experience the universe. The powers of «original mind» are most fully displayed by the Shaman, the Bodhisattva, and the poet - figures which play major roles in Myths and Texts and Mountains and Rivers Without End. Myths explores one of the fundamental issues of our time, the destruction of nature, and sets forth a series of sophisticated steps by which humans can achieve moral and spiritual harmony with it. Mountains and Rivers comprises a series of experimental poems that expand upon themes adumbrated in Myths.