Gershom Scholem

[Gershom Scholem (1897-1982)]

Gershom Scholem,  from  On Jews and Judaism in Crisis – Selected Essays

“The poet Allen Ginsberg once visited me. A likeable fellow. Genuine. Strange, mad, but genuine. I took a strong liking to him.My wife and I had a very interesting conversation with him, and in her inimitable way she asked him. “Why don’t you come to live here?” (I never ask anyone this question. People know whether and when it is time to come; that’s basic. If people want to come then it’s possible to talk to them about it. But I don’t have it in … Read More

Buddhism and The Beats (Ginsberg 1993 – I – Introduction)

A real treat this weekend – with gratitude to Robyn Brentano and students from the NYU Ethnographic Film Program – “Buddhism and the Beats.”. “In 1993, Allen Ginsberg spoke to a gathering of students of the Tibetan Buddhist monk, Lobsang Samten, about the impact of Buddhist thought and practice on himself, the Beat writers, and American culture at large”. The full hour-and-a-half tape is transcribed below (continuing tomorrow, and with the Q & A session to be featured here next weekend)

AG: Well, good evening, Rinpoche [Lobsang Samten Rinpoche] and I met very recently at the house … Read More

Martin Buber (1878-1965)

1961 – Allen sought out “all the holy men I could find”. “I wanted to find out if they had any suggestions. And they all did, and they were all good ones.” – “First one I saw was Martin Buber, who was interested (interesting). In Jerusalem, Peter (Orlovsky) and I went to see him – we called him up and made a date and had a long conversation. He had a beautiful white beard and was friendly, his nature was slightly austere but benevolent. Peter asked him what kind of visions he’d had and he described some he’d had … Read More