How Gabriel Garcia Marquez Helped Manifest NOW.
I. These Are Amazing Times
“We live in amazing times. We can build big buildings, invent the internet, send people walking across the moon, create fancy i-phones… make vitamins to give you energy… Build bombs to wipe out millions in a second… yet we still live in a world where children are starving, millions are homeless, we don’t teach kids how to love or truly communicate… bigger bank accounts but less fulfillment, faster cars but less time… more education, less sense…”
New Age Entrepreneur and Life Coach Kute Blackson in his song, Love Now
Hard as it might be to believe because of all the dissonance, polarities and turbulence of these times, this is the New Age. Or, as Nobel Laureate, *General Gabriel Garcia Marquez jested, “If God hadn’t rested on Sunday, he would have had time to finish the world”.
I know it to be the so-called New Age because cultural and spiritual leaders as Oprah Winfrey, Eckhart Tolle, Bernard Michael Beckwith, Mooji, Deepak Chopra and Adyashanti say so with not only their non-agenda agendas but very presences, spiritually and gracefully. I guess their billion dollar sales volumes also seem to suggest it is the times they suggest it is. I remember my wonderment in 2008 at how counter culture of the 60’s and 70’s had ‘all of a sudden’ become the standard-bearer and establishment. However, I have also had my own personal run-ins with these New Age characters.
My son Christian said out of nowhere when he was three and his mother and I were trying to recover from the challenging affairs of the day, “Daddy, do you want to know how I found you and Mommy?” He was lying down between his mother and I and his toddler voice was filled with authority and knowing. So, I looked at his mother and said in my characteristic non-committal “sure”, quasi-fascinated and quasi-expectant.
“I was upstairs” he continued matter of fact, “in the house in Ethiopia and I saw a bright light shining downstairs and I heard yours and Mommy’s voices so I came downstairs and went out the door to see you.” We never lived in a home in Ethiopia. My heart aflutter, I didn’t miss a beat though – I looked at his mother… then at Chris… “That’s cool dude. I’m glad you chose to join us. We were waiting for you to come.” In that moment our family was instantaneously healed from any so-called hardships of the day, joined by gratitude, love almighty, flights of wonder and being present with one another.
I suppose I was just trying to be “Daddy” with my ‘knowing’ response. But according to New Age Philosophies on Crystal Children, there are really no reason for us to do so. Our children chose us as much as we chose them. And his awww- shucks moment seemed to suggest somewhat more than the ‘Kids Say the Darndest Things’ charm of Bill Cosby’s 90’s show. I seem to recall a similar remembrance of train stations, oncoming trains, blinding lights and my own mother and father.
The center of that moment is somewhere in the truth that we don’t know it all. That there is a great majority more to our existence, individual lives than reasoning, science or “facts” will ever be able to explain. We come to “know” one world and stubbornly forget another. General Gabriel Garcia Marquez was okay with that – not knowing, association by metaphor, oscillating between symbol and reality, interchanging hard ugly facts for flights of fancy, a romantic notion or the fantastic; supplanting gory realities of South American dictatorships with fantastic explanations, all signature tokens, or tools of the trade in Magic Realism. Matter of fact, he was a master alchemist of Magic Realism. Garcia’s philosophic contribution to the world is summed up by, “What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it.”
General Gabriel Garcia’s books are filled with New Age hubris, long before the New Age was a permanent mainstay of the main stream, lushly laid out in fearlessly wonderful narratives: In The Autumn of the Patriarchs, a terminal tyrant is trapped in his own dictatorship prison; In Love in the Time of Cholera, two aged lovers find the love of their lives upon the precipice of death; In 100 Years of Solitude, a title character ascends into heaven spiritually and physically while hanging laundry out to dry and; In Memories of My Melancholy Whore, an old man seeks sex with a prostitute to find love for the first time in his life.
“He allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that live obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.” — Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Love in the Time of Cholera
In our times, communications literally take place at a higher frequency than ever before, mere synapsis of suggestion removed from telepathy; the world and all of its knowledge is captured on the world wide web with Apples and other futuristic designed Samsungs; the “world community” seems like a “global village” in part because of discount travel enabled by technology; man’s technology synthesizes with nature in green technologies; men dubbed “Tiger”, “Bolt” or “His Airness” by marketing behemoths and command the humankind’s imagination, defying what we thought was possible with human performance—flying off the hardwood, breaking previous ‘unbreakable’ record in human speed and precision performances. Comically nomenclatured companies as Twitter, Google, Yahoo! And Hootsuite command not only our daily routines, but rigid algorithms and derivatives of Wall Street, built by mere children with as vivid a vision as business moxy.
Yes, we live in amazing times and in many respects, General Gabriel Garcia Marquez was a harbinger.
Any excerpt of General Garcia’s crowning achievement 100 Years of Solitude, demonstrates the ease with which he borrowed the authority of journalistic details dispersed with fantastic imaginings to create a reality much more rich, and yes, probable, than any crass reality.
Actually, Remedios the Beauty was not a creature of this world. Until she was well along in puberty Sana Sofi’a de la Piedad had to bathe and dress her…It seemed as if some penetrating lucidity permitted her to see the reality of things beyond any formalism. That at least was the point of view of Colonel Aureliano Buendia for whom Remedios the beauty was in no way mentally retarded, as was generally believed, but quite the opposite. “It’s as if she’s come back from twenty years of war,” he would say. — One Hundred Years of Solitude Translated by Gregory Rabassa, Harper & Row 
“Science has eliminated distance,” Melqui’ades proclamed. In a short time, man will be able to see what is happening in any place in the world without leaving his own house.” — One Hundred Years of Solitude Translated by Gregory Rabassa, Harper & Row 
The last passage could have been written with the advent of the computer, World Wide Web but it was written describing the fictional adobe housed village of Macondo and it’s response upon witnessing the telescope. 100 Years of Solitude traces the chronicle of the Buendi’a family over a century and deals with motifs and thematic structures of time as singular construct, isolation, language as power and differing experiences of reality.
What it deals with is a willingness of Latin American literature to deal with a non-European perspective head on. In the former passage girl struck with autism has every legitimate right to be viewed from the authenticity of her own experience. Who is to say what is? We are the authors of our own experiences, the masters of our own fates.
II. Boom! Kaleidoscope World View
In 1982, General Garcia was only the third non-European/non-White to warrant that consideration from the Swedish Academy since it has awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature to 110 individuals since its inception in 1901. Chili’s Gabriela Mistal was awarded in 1945 and Guatemala’s Miguel Angel Asturias in 1967 amongst some of the most influential authors of my own imagining and writings including William Butler Yeats, TS Elliot and Isaac Bashevis Singer.
“Gabriel Garcia Marquez influenced us in more ways than we cared to know. His literary genre of magic realism became a medium for writers and artist of the post colonial world trying to grapple with and articulate the experiences of becoming independent in the post colonial world…trying to seize the magi of the moment full with hope and longing in being architects of our own destiny yet fighting off the realism of potential failure from inherited weaknesses of colonial mentality and frailty of humans especially in the face of newfound power; the failure of the dream of independance that ranged from corruption of the American dream as well as the still birth of our dreaming into being our ideal post colonial societies.” — Journalist and Author Kris Rampersad blogging from Trinidad and Tobago
After General Gabriel Garcia’s historic 1982 Nobel Prize? A virtual who’s who of the literary world’s most iconic and influential writers of color and the third world with startling frequency: Nigeria’s Wole Soyinka in 1986; Mexico’s Octavio Paz in 1990; St. Lucia’s Derek Walcott in 1992; African- American Toni Morrison in 1992; China’s Gao Xoing in 2000; Trinidad and Tobago’s V.S. Naipaul in 2001; and China’s Mo Yan in 2012.
“Faulkner is a writer who has had much to do with my soul, but Hemingway is the one who had the most to do with my craft—not simply for his books, but for his astounding knowledge of the aspect of craftsmanship in the science of writing. — Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The General claims some of America’s most iconic realists as early influences yet departed from their genius to create a literary pattern, rhythm, reason and precedent which would embrace a global mindset, incorporating third world sensibilities as never before in the history of literature – he is the gatekeeper of a comprehensive world view. He learned, in reading the works of the masters like Faulkner and Joyce that “it was not necessary to demonstrate facts,” that it “was enough for the author to have written something for it to be true, with no proofs other than the power of his talent and the authority of his voice.”
General Gabriel Garcia Marquez switched out the horn rimmed black bifocals of the previous decades for a kaleidoscope. The view has been much more colorful. For all intents and purposes, General Garcia set a new standard, desegregating and re-standardizing world culture with his historic win of the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Gabriel’s roots as a ‘movement’ author are steeped in the 60’s and 70’s with the advent of the Latin American Boom which coincided with the American Civil Rights Movement. Internationally, General Gabriel might have one of the most critically recognized but the movement featured the work of such luminaries as Carlos Fuentes, Julio Corta’zar and Mario Vargas Llosa. These writers along with founder’s Jose Marti’, Ruben Dari’o and Jse’ Asuncio’n modernist accents radically departed from the European canon of the 20th Century.
As a bit of history, it is interesting that Gabriel Garcia Marquez was legally denied a Visa from travelling to the United States. The books of the Latin American Boom were printed in Latin American. The ban was not lifted until Bill Clinton lifted the ban in the late 1990’s.
Lo real maravilloso or the magic realism of 100 Years of Solitude and Latin Boom establish that death and life are interchangeable, that the future, past and present are all inescapably connected and that lines between such phenomena are non existent. His writing has influenced the subsequent writing of Isabel Allende to Salman Rushdie to Toni Morrison. It erased, or at the least, blurred distinct lines of demarcation between world cultures, helping to create a world consciousness.
III. Love General Future NOW
My introduction to Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Julio Corta’zar, Magic Realism and romantic Latin notions are from a Panamanian mother who has taught Spanish and Spanish literature at the high school and college levels off and on for nearly 30 years. With my own burgeoning powers of Marquez, I claim myself as one of her most admiring students if not most attentive. Probably, because in strong part of her influence, I have spent a lot of time thinking about the power of ideas and committed if not married to those romantic notions with absolute conviction: my greatest life victories and grandest adventures have been born of my Don Quixote quests—just don’t call me man de la mancha. It might seem ridiculous, absurdist or far-fetched to suggest that someone could literally write a New Age but such a notion at the time of Gabriel Garcia’s coronation in the modern age of literature was an anomaly.
These days, our consciousness is alchemically mixed to one, albeit to the low monotone electronic humming of the world wide web; oneness is also achieved with physical fitness of yoga defined as much by spiritual wholeness as physical mastery. These days, a Kenyan American man will write himself into the Presidency of the USA, casting a spell on a nation, channeling the absolute power of Hope and Change. In fact, the title of Barack Obama’s Dreams of My Father sounds as if it could have been the title of a Marquez’s masterpiece. Perhaps it is the continuity of Marquez’s work?
I mean, Obama’s presidency is historic for so many reasons none of the least which a man of words and ideas penned his own ascent to power on the sheer audacity of hope. Did he imagine it first? Indeed the pen is mightier than any weapon in the actual acquisition of power and influence. It is not like Mark Twain occupied the place of President Howard Taft at the turn of the 20th century penning his opuses to democracy, the ‘Great American Novels’ the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Perhaps, this feat has only been possible in a reality in which General Gabriel Garcia Marquez came to largess and prominence as the defining force for an age? Perhaps, the General metaphysically creates the path upon which a King walks? I doubt Obama would deny it. President Obama’s historic victory acceptance speech in Chicago at Grant Park on the night of November 4th, 2008 as certainly at those higher frequency. We certainly all vibrated at a higher frequency that evening.
This is not to suggest that Gabriel Garcia Marquez is one of the authors of the New Age. However, there is certainly a literary equivalency and Garcia Marquez would certainly be a General or a gatekeeper of the movement. The central precipices of New Age draw on both Eastern and Western spiritual traditions and consciousness, excluding none, even so-called “evil”, defining it as one and the same as “love” for its contrast and original author, God; whereas, Gabriel suggests Magic Realism to be a genre embodying “myth, magic and other extraordinary phenomena.”
Morowa Yejide’, author of Time of the Locust and emerging literary giant, also said for this article, “Through his wondrous tales, Gabriel Garcia Marquez creates microcosms of the many worlds we live, the many lives humanity has passed through and has yet to experience. In his stories, we find the medium for our birth and the catalyst of our destruction. We find those eternal truths somewhere in between. We are. We were. We will always be.”
The thing about mysticism of the New Age is that it readily acknowledges that we do not know everything about the universe. Magic Realism’s literary literally infuses the ordinary with imaginings real. It suggests that the so-called facts cannot explain every day occurrences, fantastic wonderings and horrors. Which to my way of reasoning is copasetic—when we have known everything, as in those Ages of Enlightenment or Ages of Reason, or the Era or Reagonomics in which the General’s American Visa was revoked, it is not as if were at the apex of mans’ existence. As much as I love the diagnostic insights which science and Western medicine provide through their reasoning and scientific process, disregarding mysticism… or in this case, magic realism is like dismissing the pie for the slice in our mouths. We live in a universe where we have only begun to understand it, our place in it, ourselves and our relationship to it.
It is like the doctor who clinically diagnose you with terminal cancer. The wise man goes to a naturalist who uses the diagnoses to prescribe natural remedies, naturopathic knowledge, including the power of positive thought thereby inducing the will the live. Western Medicine knows only 10% or so of the pie of healing. To be the most powerful doctor, say Dr. Know It All is to know 100% of 10%, the other 90% lies in other thought systems and each is interdependent upon the other. The power of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s work, particularly given the period of time from which his work arose is it acknowledges not knowing and gives equal weight to other forces in the universe, other cultural perspectives, other ways of being.
So, hard as it might be to imagine, these are the New Times, if for no other reason they are not olden. And they are in significant part, because Gabriel Garcia Marquez said so.
“Morning musing: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the father of Magical Realism, is now in the land of the original creator of Magical Realism. What he brought to us has come to life for him. How wonderfully thrilled he must be to know it was truth after all!” Gillian Royes, Virgin Islands author of The Sea Grape Tree and the Goat Woman of Largo Bay on Facebook.
But if for no other reason than the world as we knew it hardened with facts, rigid definitions does not exist. I asked my Crystal son Christian if life ever seems like a dream to him and he said, “It is a dream Daddy.”
“Yes, Daddy. Heaven is real. This is the dream world”
And this assertion by a 7 year old in the 21st century, at this moment, is reasonable if not an absolutely certain statement of fact. Because merely saying so and having the audacity to state it with authority is more than enough.
So bloggers, keep blogging on. Mystics, shamen, healers and visionaries just be. Millennials keep waking us up to all of our potentialities while we are on this rock hurling through outer-space. New Age leaders keep mixing the culture pop with healthy dosages of mystic chants. Dreamers assert and don’t let reality interrupt…
Namaste General Gabriel Garcia Marquez: we wonder, we fancy and we delight in your Labyrinths, amazing collection concoctions from your vast imagination and loving heart from which our reality now blooms anew. This is the Love Movement. I’ll catch up with you momentarily in a dream—salute… Sir!
* General—the term, commonly a senior most military rank is used symbolically throughout this article. In Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s The General in his Labyrinth, the General is Simo’n Boli’var.
Image credits: [Main] Daniel Morgenstern Used with permission. [Inset images], AP file.