The phases are going through me…

Statue representing Siddhartha Gautama.I have a new friend that I am getting to know. I discovered not too long ago that she had begun reading my favorite book Siddhartha. I asked her recently what her takeaway was and she started “in life you pass through different phases…”. Just recently, I had exactly the OPPOSITE reaction, that in life, different phases pass through us! This is one of the things I love about this book. In some ways, it’s more like a mirror than a book and if you read it mindfully over again, you will find the book is different each time you read it. I recently re-read it earlier this summer via Audible after spending a lot of time with BrenĂ© Brown, Kristen Neff and Tara Brach and I remember hearing this part while I was out clearing the pasture and it almost knocked me over like a bolt out of the blue:

“Listen well, my dear, listen well! The sinner, which I am and which you are, is a sinner, but in times to come he will be Brahma again, he will reach the Nirvana, will be Buddha and now see: these ‘times to come’ are a deception, are only a parable! The sinner is not on his way to become a Buddha, he is not in the process of developing, though our capacity for thinking does not know how else to picture these things. No, within the sinner is now and today already the future Buddha, his future is already all there, you have to worship in him, in you, in everyone the Buddha which is coming into being, the possible, the hidden Buddha. The world, my friend Govinda, is not imperfect, or on a slow path towards perfection: no, it is perfect in every moment, all sin already carries the divine forgiveness in itself, all small children already have the old person in themselves, all infants already have death, all dying people the eternal life. It is not possible for any person to see how far another one has already progressed on his path; in the robber and dice-gambler, the Buddha is waiting; in the Brahman, the robber is waiting. In deep meditation, there is the possibility to put time out of existence , to see all life which was, is, and will be as if it was simultaneous, and there everything is good, everything is perfect, everything is Brahman. Therefore, I see whatever exists as good, death is to me like life, sin like holiness, wisdom like foolishness, everything has to be as it is, everything only requires my consent, only my willingness, my loving agreement, to be good for me, to do nothing but work for my benefit, to be unable to ever harm me. I have experienced on my body and on my soul that I needed sin very much, I needed lust, the desire for possessions, vanity, and needed the most shameful despair, in order to learn how to give up all resistance, in order to learn how to love the world, in order to stop comparing it to some world I wished, I imagined, some kind of perfection I had made up, but to leave it as it is and to love it and to enjoy being a part of it. These, oh Govinda, are some of the thoughts which have come into my mind.” Siddhartha bent down, picked up a stone from the ground, and weighed it in his hand. “This here ,” he said playing with it, “is a stone, and will, after a certain time, perhaps turn into soil, and will turn from soil into a plant or animal or human being. In the past, I would have said: This stone is just a stone, it is worthless, it belongs to the world of the Maja; but because it might be able to become also a human being and a spirit in the cycle of transformations, therefore I also grant it importance. Thus, I would perhaps have thought in the past. But today I think: this stone is a stone, it is also animal, it is also god, it is also Buddha, I do not venerate and love it because it could turn into this or that, but rather because it is already and always everything and it is this very fact, that it is a stone, that it appears to me now and today as a stone, this is why I love it and see worth and purpose in each of its veins and cavities, in the yellow, in the gray, in the hardness, in the sound it makes when I knock at it, in the dryness or wetness of its surface. There are stones which feel like oil or soap, and others like leaves, others like sand, and every one is special and prays the Om in its own way, each one is Brahman, but simultaneously and just as much it is a stone, is oily or juicy, and this is this very fact which I like and regard as wonderful and worthy of worship. But let me speak no more of this. The words are not good for the secret meaning, everything always becomes a bit different , as soon as it is put into words, gets distorted a bit, a bit silly yes, and this is also very good, and I like it a lot, I also very much agree with this, that this what is one man’s treasure and wisdom always sounds like foolishness to another person.”

Hesse, Hermann (2010-02-15). SIDDHARTHA [The Deluxe Edition, Annotated, & Illustrated) (Kindle Locations 1722-1744). Northpointe Classics. Kindle Edition.

There is no moment outside of this one! I cannot be better than I already am! “in the robber and dice-gambler, the Buddha is waiting; in the Brahman, the robber is waiting.” I can only choose to be more mindful and be more in touch with my buddha nature. This moment “is already and always everything” and like the old native-american story of the two wolves, it is the wolf I feed in this moment that wins…

An excerpt from Hesse’s Siddhartha…

 

Hesse‘s Siddhartha captured my imagination when I was a graduate student and has continued to stimulate my thinking for over 30 years. Here is an excerpt from the conclusion of the book… Continue reading “An excerpt from Hesse’s Siddhartha…”

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