Editors and Translators:
Thank you very much for your wonderful letters concerning my
work and also your experience about translating my magnum opus.
Let me take the time to welcome our newest member to our team.
Our new Japanese editor, Kenta-san. Better late than never I
I will be leaving for a two day monastic retreat on Sunday.
I need to take a badly needed rest and I need to also consult
my spiritual superiors. But before I go, I would like to address
some important issues concerning the creative process and how
it relates to Harvest of Gems and its translation. I have recieved
many letters from all of you concerning this critical issue.
So let's begin.
think a good place to start this discussion is with the idea
of ritual itself. The creative process is a ritual. It's a puja.
It's a sacred kind of incubation where psychic energies are
exchanged for the purpose of multi-level transformation on all
levels of the mind. Sound, symbol and meaning are worked upon
by the imagination of the creative writer. In this case the
translator who is taking an original work and making a new one
while staying faithful to the spirit and style of the old work.
this difficult process the imagination starts to see rythms
and works with them not just on the computer screen, but in
the mind's eye. This process becomes a ritual for the translator.
A ritual where the mind can flow and relax and perform the necessary
symbolic, linguistic and sematic transformations. The translator
captures and rides the rythms of the original work and mutates
them successfully into the target language.
difficult process needs a safe haven. That haven is the translator's
personal rituals. They allow the word and mind alchemy to generate
the necessary word and mind collage. It's all about psychic
energy exchange and its ultimate TRANSFORMATION. The more mind
levels that are engaged--the greater the transformation in the
collective unconscious of the population of the target language.
Since this is a global project--the target population is vastly
bigger. This process demands responsibility and integrity because
it's a spiritual process created by the spiritual rythms in
the newly sacred space of the translator. The translation ritual
guarantees this if the intention is pure and big enough.
Harvest, filming the action from different angles and distances
while an ascent to heavan is made is the chosen creative ritual
of this writer. The translator is invited to join this peculiar
ritual and to make up a few personal rituals of one's own to
aid in transfering the original vision of the work to the translator's
target audience. This is translation magic at its very best.
A truely liberating feeling. A great translation is like a great
photograph. The translator as photographer not only captures
the subject writer, but also his or her own emotions in the
subject. If the translator is lucky he or she also captures
the Universe in the photographic translation.
translator is often like a master calligraphist. The incubation
is slow at first and then fast as the brush-work is substituted
for the key-strokes. History shows that the translation adventure
has often had global incubation features. Big energy was tapped
and released when translators opened up the lost knowledge hidden
in Arabic texts during the Crusades in the Middle East and in
Spain during the 1200's. In the 1500's another translation revolution
was started when Martin Luther translated the Bible into German
and English scholars translated the Bible into the now famous
King James version. So far the translation of the Gita, the
Tao Te Ching, and Zen and Tibetan works works has yet to ignite
an equivalent cultural revolution. But the day is still young.
Translation revolutions can be powerful, but short-lived. The
translation of Marx into Russian and Chinese shook the world,
but now this revolution is running out of steam.
these translation miracles are products of the human imagination
at work. So let's take a closer look at this process. You will
be amazed. The imagination has its own rythms inside the its
secret incubation pod and symbols are the DNA of this rythm
ride. Words are the servants of these symbols. Sounds too. The
subconscious mind works through pictures and symbols. Stop for
a moment and ask yourself. What are these pictures and symbols
saying to your inner-being? What images do they bring up? What
memories do they unlock? This is using your imagination. This
is a kind of creative day-dreaming. It's a powerful mental tool.
Use it. Cherish it. This is creative incubation. So you create
what you imagine.
symbols and the imagination come together then the magic begins.
Ask yourself. When the writer's symbols flood into my mind.
What did my imagination do with them? Ask yourself. Did the
symbols change? did they become more clear? Don't be surprised
where you and your mind end up. The mind is a rich and fertile
place. It is the playground of the spirit where anything is
possible. If you wake-up from this creative day-dreaming with
a start. That's a good sign. You're getting the hang of it.
When the day-dreaming becomes a translation ritual then the
magic starts. You relax and get into your work through your
imagination. Your private gestures, tools, and workings in your
translation ritual generate safe and exciting rythmsfor your
imagination to do its work. The repetition of your rituals trains
your subconscious to prepare for what comes next in the narrative
and in the multi-plex structure of the text at hand. The ritual
provides the necessary safety and comfort for the mind to let
go. So that the imagination and the symbolic elements it is
working with can EXPAND and GROW.
of Gems' message is that life is always changing. That experiencing
something is knowing it. The quality of the experience and the
knowing become the manure for an expanding wisdom and this wisdom
is always tested. The translation ritual's rythms and patterns
become a resource for the translator. Symbolic and linguistic
cycles start to manifest on all kinds of levels and the subconscious
of the translator harnesses them effortlessly. This is symbolic
reincarnation at work right inside the translation ritual. This
rapidly becomes a process then of personal and collective self-discovery.
Since the discovery is personal for the translator it becomes
more authentic to the translator and the future reader. This
kind of learning and self-discovery is active and not passive.
It's also great transformational fun.
the transformation is messy, difficult, and slow. Yet translation
remains a constant form of self-examination aswell as a perpetual
process of release and synthesis. Especially in Harvest of Gems
as the translator continues his exploration into the hierarchy
of awareness. Yet there is much more to speak about in this
incubation process. Indeed the translation ritual like any other
creative ritual needs to engage many kinds of logic. There is
a dream logic and a dream language that is always being integrated
with an awake-time logic in a very creative way. Both kinds
of logic are harmonized and this harmony creates a third logic
that is mirrored in the creative fusion of the completed piece
of work. This is the big miracle of any creative ritual.
different cognitive logics are always at play in any kind of
creative ritual. In dream logic different subjects are connected
by unusual similarities both surprising and shocking. An insane
person can see these similarities but cannot transfer these
insights with awake-time logic. Only an artist can make the
leap. The insane person is arrested in any attempt to integrate
this primary dream logic with a secondary awake-time logic.
Thus the insane person generates no tertiary logic that is the
synthesis of both dream and awake-time forms of perception.
Only the creative artist reaches this point. It is the creative
artist who shares this third logic with his fellow humans.
Once more it is through a creative form of disassociation or
incubation that the translator contacts his inner resources
for long periods of free-thinking and day-dreaming that are
later put to practical use. This dream incubation allows the
translator to cultivate great vision. Unusual insights and explorations
into irrational and illogical worlds soon generates new visions
for doing things in new and radical ways. This process starts
with ritual and creative disbelief. Similarities between different
things are no longer accidental and coincidental. A primitive
appreciation for suprising similarities is cultivated. Absurd
similarities start to have deeper meanings.
and creativity are different. Intelligence absorbs the external
enviornment too quickly. There is no depth because there is
no incubation. No ritual. Let us look now at an artistic product
that was created from a most profound sort of incubation process.
An artistic product that is related to Harvest of Gems. An artistic
product made by one of the West's greatest literary masters.
Jack Kerouac and James Joyce are prominent in Harvest of Gems,
but it is to Dante Alighieri that we must now seek inspiration
from. For he constantly casts a massive shadow over Harvest
of Gems. Thus the product of Dante's incubation is a big divine
recycling drama with multiple meanings on every level.
creates multiple meanings from a jazz language that resonates
on multiple levels. A cinematic vision is used with an arc-like
architecture. Harvest uses this too. There is a jumpy and episodic
quality to Dante's literary action just as there is in Harvest.
Recyclings and recapitulations abound in Dante's dream fugues.
So also in Harvest. Powerful descriptions alternate with moving
confrontations of bleak and ecstatic psychological states. This
is how the Harvest narrator's beliefs, trials, and visionary
hopes are ultimately discovered. A house of memory is then explored
with wit and intellectual intensity as the Harvest pilgrim fulfills
his own prophecy.
Harvest narrator recycles his own imagery and his output forms
a unity of resonant recapitualtion. The fugue vision has no
entry and exit. The verbal and visual shape-shifting is constant
and transformational. All the visual and verbal mutations and
reincarnations evolve from a higher and partially hidden logic.
This logic then works symultaneously on multiple levels of the
mind and it works its way into the imagination of the reader
as it soon moves and spills into different worlds. All the levels
echo off each other in an infinite kind of regression. This
is incubation ritual at its highest level. Dante was a Tantric
Buddhist in midireview Tuscan clothing. He practised a Christian
kind of Buddhist Tantra. Dante was indeed a Catholic Kabbalist.
Dante's incubation was a wrathfully sweet form of womb gestation
before the most apocalyptical kind of birth imaginable. This
was also translation ritual at its highest peak.