31 December 2008

The Secret of the River

But he learned more from the river than Vasudeva could teach him. He learned from it continually. Above all, he learned from it how to listen, to listen with a still heart, with a waiting, open soul, without passion, without desire, without judgment, without opinions. ...

He once asked him, "Have you also learned that secret from the river; that there is no such thing as time?"

A bright smile spread over Vasudeva's face.

"Yes, Siddhartha," he said. "Is that what you mean? That the river is everywhere at the same time, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the current, in the ocean and in the mountains, everywhere, and that the present only exists for it, not the shadow of the past, nor the shadow of the future?" ...

And once again when the river swelled during the rainy season and roared loudly, Siddhartha said: "Is it not true, my friend, that the river has very many voices? Has it not the voice of a king, of a warrior, of a bull, of a night bird, of a pregnant woman, and a sighing man, and a thousand other voices?"

"It is so," nodded Vasudeva, "the voices of all living creatures are in its voice."

from Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse


Tara said...

One of my favorite passages from one of my favorite books. Thanks for the bright start to this day.

We're so lucky to live in an area rich with rivers. And they do have such varied voices. Varied between each other, and between seasons, and even between spots on the same river on the same day.

It makes me smile and gives me a sense of peace just remembering a few of those voices I've heard, sitting quietly on a rock next to so many beautiful rivers.

Thanks Bob. You da best.

Kym said...

The voices of the cricks burbling after a silent summer and fall make me smile through the rain.