Without a word from Vasudeva, the speaker felt that the ferryman took in his words, silent, open, waiting, missing none, impatient for non, neither praising nor blaming, but only listening, Siddhartha felt what happiness it is to unburden himself to such a listener, to sink his own life into this listener’s hart, his own seeking his own suffering.Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse, translated by Joachim Neugroschel
What father, what teacher could shield him from living his own life, soiling himself with life, burdening himself with guilt, drinking the bitter drink himself, finding this path himself? Do you really believe, dear friend, that anyone at all is spared this path?Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse, translated by Joachim Neugroschel
(excerpt from discussion between Siddhartha and Vasudeva, the Ferryman, about Siddhartha’s son)
Siddhartha: How can I put him in that world? Will he not become haughty, will he not surrender to pleasure and power, will he not repeat all his father’s mistakes, will he not perhaps lose himself entirely in samsara?
Vasudeva: Do you really believe you committed your follies to spare your son? And can you shield your son against Sahara? How? …
V: Could his father’s piety, his teachers’ admonitions, his own knowing, his own seeking save his? What father, what teacher could shield him from living his own life, soiling himself with life, burdening himself with guilt, drinking the bitter drink himself, finding this path himself? Do you really believe, dear friend, that anyone at all is spared this path? Perhaps your little son because you love him, because you would like to spare hi pain and sorrow and disillusion? But even if you died for him ten times per, you could not take away even the tiniest bit of his destiny.
A simple reminder from my son’s classroom to not mimic what you see around you. Identify, appreciate and leverage your unique gifts.
“A single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”
– Henry David Thoreau
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
– Mary Oliver, from Wild Geese
We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others, that in the end, we become disguised to ourselves.
– Francois de la Rochefoucauld, in The Goldfinch
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
― Lao Tzu
“I have accepted fear as part of life – specifically the fear of change… I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says: turn back….”
― Erica Jong
To the world you are someone.
To me you are the world.
- adapted from a quote by Bill Wilson