Jack Kerouac Question #4 - Live your lives out

by Edgar Allen Poe, William Saroyan, Jack Kerouac and Hunter S. Thompson

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Jack Kerouac Question #4 - Live your lives out

Unread postby Liz » Thu Nov 12, 2009 8:19 am

In Beatific: The Origins of the Beat Generation, Jack orders us to

“live your lives out? Naw, love your lives out.”

What do you think he meant by this statement?

What does this statement mean to you and to the future?
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Re: Jack Kerouac Question #4 - Live your lives out

Unread postby gemini » Thu Nov 12, 2009 7:54 pm

With Jack the word love covers at lot of territory. At first glance I took it to be a sexual connotation but reading a lot of his work, he did love life, people, his country, his friends etc. so he may have meant it in a more general way. I would take it like Johnny thinks. Live life to the fullest. :cool:
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Re: Jack Kerouac Question #4 - Live your lives out

Unread postby nebraska » Thu Nov 12, 2009 8:00 pm

I got a sense in some of this week's reading that Jack was concerned with respect and concern for individuals. It reminded me of Johnny always stopping to talk to fans, taking time to get down on his knees to converse with a child -- he gives of himself. To me that is "loving your life out."

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Re: Jack Kerouac Question #4 - Live your lives out

Unread postby sweetchia » Thu Nov 12, 2009 8:29 pm

What I took from that comment was that he was asking that we live our lives. Live OUR lives! Live as WE believe, not as others do. Love WHO we wish...believe what we believe and stand by it proudly and fearlessly. Society norms be damned...being "beat" is not simply to take up for a cause or go against establishment. It is to live openly, honestly, truthfully. To live with tolerance and arms open. To live by that crucifix he wore. That is, "do what Jesus would do". To accept ALL people. To be open to ALL beliefs. In short, simply to love humankind.
What he hopes for is a world where each individual is prized for who they are and not for what social circle they fit in to, or what God they bow before, or what economic level they have achieved. Jack speaks of a world where each person can live and love in exactly the way which is right and well for them and still be wholly welcomed, accepted and embraced.
That is what I feel he means and I would say...I'd love to live in such a world.
During a day, if you don’t make someone smile or feel good about himself, you’re not a man! I don’t think you’re fulfilling your part of the bargain as a human being - Johnny

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Re: Jack Kerouac Question #4 - Live your lives out

Unread postby Buster » Thu Nov 12, 2009 11:22 pm

Perhaps he means that rather than just existing, we should embrace and relish every moment we have.

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Re: Jack Kerouac Question #4 - Live your lives out

Unread postby Liz » Thu Nov 12, 2009 11:27 pm

sweetchia wrote:What I took from that comment was that he was asking that we live our lives. Live OUR lives! Live as WE believe, not as others do. Love WHO we wish...believe what we believe and stand by it proudly and fearlessly. Society norms be damned...being "beat" is not simply to take up for a cause or go against establishment. It is to live openly, honestly, truthfully. To live with tolerance and arms open. To live by that crucifix he wore. That is, "do what Jesus would do". To accept ALL people. To be open to ALL beliefs. In short, simply to love humankind.
What he hopes for is a world where each individual is prized for who they are and not for what social circle they fit in to, or what God they bow before, or what economic level they have achieved. Jack speaks of a world where each person can live and love in exactly the way which is right and well for them and still be wholly welcomed, accepted and embraced.
That is what I feel he means and I would say...I'd love to live in such a world.

Amen, Sweetchia!

I took it to mean the same thing. Living out to me seemed similar to being gay and being “out”. In other words, living your truth openly for all to see…..which brings me back to his definition of “beat” in Lamb, No Lion…..living “sincerely”.

I agree with you, too, Buster & gemini. Jack certainly knew how to do that (enjoy the ride)--in On the Road at least.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Re: Jack Kerouac Question #4 - Live your lives out

Unread postby deppaura » Fri Nov 13, 2009 2:03 pm

Ah, LOVE the magic word..really..and the hardest somehow to live by. Wonder what gets in the way..Everything and everyone?? It's an art and style to be able to "love" all and maintain respect and dignity. Not to fall into "nice guys always finish last" or "the good die young" I think religious organizations in their positive moments help folks to maintain somewhat a "loving" attitude, or at least remember to apply it to their lives. Wonder why the struggle?? The simplest things are so hard to achieve. Follow your bliss...another one!

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Re: Jack Kerouac Question #4 - Live your lives out

Unread postby sweetchia » Fri Nov 13, 2009 2:27 pm

Too true Deppaura. These seemingly simple pleasures, that bring such great joy to our soul and the souls of others are so often near impossible for us to achieve on a daily basis. We get caught and tangled in life's struggles and then become buried in our own sorrow. That clouds our true vision and limits what we can see of the world around us. It IS a difficult task, to love unconditionally, openly, tolerantly and I agree that religion, when it's at it's best, is a fine place to gain the strength to support that love. I think too...that strength can be found without religion, in the way Kerouac found it in his later years, through living a more spiritual life. But either way, it is still a moment to moment struggle. Something we must constantly remind ourselves to do...to open our hearts and keep them open. We have our days...we are not perfect...we will not always succeed at it, but the only true loss, is to stop trying.
As disenchanted as Kerouac was, he never stopped trying. He never stopped believing that love was possible. And he struggled, I think, 'til his last breath, to live up to his own standards. Something tells me, in the end, he may not have felt he did...but that would be the alcohol talking. The alcohol and the fact that he lived during a time where those changes he so strongly spoke of, were just beginning to take seed. He would see only the very tip of the iceberg he was building through his thoughts and sharings with the world. At least now, from where he is, he can see that he did have a positive influence on the world and that, while we have far to go, we have come far.
During a day, if you don’t make someone smile or feel good about himself, you’re not a man! I don’t think you’re fulfilling your part of the bargain as a human being - Johnny

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Re: Jack Kerouac Question #4 - Live your lives out

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:11 pm

Truly wonderful posts. :applause2: I see a connection back to the intro to The Time of Your Life...

In the time of your life, live...
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -
Wow! What a ride!


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