Monday, July 09, 2007

Perfection

"Listen well, dear friend, listen well! The sinner that I am and that you are is a sinner, but someday he will be a Brahmin again, some day he will achieve Nirvana, he will be a Buddha. And now listen: This 'someday' is an illusion, is merely a metaphor! The sinner is not on the way to becoming a Buddha, he is not involved in a development, although our thinking cannot imagine things in any other way. No, the sinner now and today, already contains the future Buddha, his future is fully here; you must worship the sinner, in you, in everyone, the developing, the possible, the hidden Buddha.

"The world, my friend, Govinda, is not imperfect or developing slowly toward perfection. No, the world is perfect at every moment, all sin already contains grace, all youngsters already contain oldsters, all babies contain death, all the dying contain eternal life. It is not possible for any man to see how far along another man is on his way; Buddha is waiting in robbers and dicers, the robber is waiting in the Brahmin. In deep meditation it is possible to eliminate time, to see all past, all present, all developing life as coexisting, and everything is good, everything perfect, everything is Brahma.

"This is why that which is seems good to me, death seems like life, sin seems like saintliness, cleverness like foolishness, everything must be like that, everything needs only my assent, only my willingness, my loving agreement; it is good for me like that, it can never harm me. In my body and in my soul I realized that I greatly needed sin, I needed lust, vanity, the striving for goods, and I needed the most shameful despair to learn how to give up resistance, to learn how to love the world, to stop comparing the world with any world that I wish for, that I imagine, with any perfection that I think up; I learned how to let the world be as it is, and to love it and to belong to it gladly."

-Herman Hesse, Siddhartha

7 comments:

Richard said...

Reads like Gnostic literature.

A favourite passage of mine from the Upanishads (though I have probably coerced the original translation over the years) goes: You are the chosen one because you have chosen your soul. (with the obvious substitution of soul for Atman). I should go back and see if I still quote it reasonably correctly.

carra said...

When I started reading this, I immediately tought H. Hesse Siddhartha! And I wasn't wrong! Even if you quoted the whole book in your blog it wouldn't look out of place...

b said...

richard...i like that quote very much and believe it is quite in line with what hesse is saying here.

carra...yes, you first recommended hesse to me, so i truly have you to thank for the profound impact this amazing tale has had on my life, and continues to have. almost every classical work of fiction i read touches my soul in some way, but siddhartha seized my soul so powerfully and utterly.

Manifesting Jack said...

B - you must read narcissus and goldmund without delay - it is his greatest work in my opinion (and many others).

It is truly one of my top 3 books.

Find a spot under a tree on a warm sunny day and experience writing at its most perfect.

MJ

Tumuli said...

How appropriate...and true.

b said...

MJ...I am going to the bookstore today and will certainly pick that up. Siddhartha easily endorses further Hesse reading. I'm looking forward to it...and yes, I will find a glorious spot in which to read it.

Tumuli...welcome back! I've missed your comments/insights here. I hope things are well with you. Perhaps another seven song meme is in order for your return? :)

carra said...

B, if you are in the mood for more H. Hesse shopping also get yourself the steppen wolf.
It is brilliant, even though many argue on that one. I read all the works I could get hold of, of his. Another lovely work was Demian. I also would recomend the glass bead game... In fact I don't think there is a work of Hesse I wouldn't recomend.