“Wow. You hear that? That’s the sound of minds being blown.”
That’s a quote from my latest video uploaded to YouTube, ‘James Joyce’s Ulysses, Six Tips for Better Reading, Understanding and Enjoying.’ Riveting stuff, and it can be found on the Omphalos Cafe’s channel now.
And what’s more, it’s the best kind of mind blow there is: the kind you have to work for. Anything else is merely temporary, with the inevitable downer following in its train. That’s why the sixties came to such a bleak and crashing halt.
But just trouble to do the work, take an active part in what leads to the mind blow and it will stay with you, become part of you. You’ll carry it with you wherever you go and the world will be transformed in the process.
That’s the aim, whether you know it or not, when you crouch down into the lotus position and engage in meditation, when you stretch and contort yourself in yoga.
But I don’t do yoga nor do I meditate beyond piloting an eighteen wheeler through the early morning hours with the sun not yet up. I’m more of a Zen practitioner you might say. Smashing through to something in a flashing moment or series of moments.
That’s been my experience at any rate. And it’s definitely stayed with me.
So what was doing all that mind blowing in the video?
It had to do with James Joyce’s Ulysses, not an easy book to read and one that virtually everyone misunderstands. The reason they misunderstand it is because there’s an inordinate amount of focus on the character of Leopold Bloom, hence the yearly quaffing of a pint come June 16th, Bloomsday. Brooding Buddha-to-be Stephen Dedalus is almost universally dissed and dismissed.
In the video I strive to redress the travesty, I offer as one of my Six Tips number three:
“Pay closer attention to Stephen Dedalus, without him Bloom and Molly as a couple are finished, they’re done for.”
And then I add, careful now:
“If Stephen Dedalus does not meet Leopold Bloom as he does late in the book, the book Ulysses by James Joyce does not get written.”