Saturday, June 23, 2007

Meeting of Minds

I read this poem of Herman Hesse today. It reminded me of Bharatiyar's poem titled , Nirpaduve Nadappaduve.. He asks if all that stands, moves and flies is but an illusion. And a mere illusion..

Sometimes one gets tired of philosophy or spirituality or even rational deconstruction and dry reductionism. A beautiful morning, the sun and a lovely breeze. The philosopher and the spiritualist deconstructs it as the world , a canvas painted by a benign creator.And the rationalist deconstructs it as the power of elements combining in all its glory. At this point, the aesthete is lost.The power and the ability to just be - to live the moment is missed. I am reminded of J.Krishnamurthy's words - to look at a leaf without thinking of it as a leaf, just drinking it with your eye and not let the mind interefere with your vision. It is spring going into summer and every bright day brings a million questions.At the end of it all, one feels tired. exhausted. One wishes to command the mind to just shut up and drink it in. Just be.And do nothing else.

This is Hesse's poem.Today I might not identify much with a lot of Hesse's writings in terms of its inherent soft-spirituality but there is him in an old world aesthete, a certain characteristic at once German and still unGerman that still appeals to me.

Is this everything now,
the quick delusions of flowers,
And the down colors of the bright summer meadow,
The soft blue spread of heaven, the bees' song,
Is this everything
only a god'sGroaning dream,
The cry of unconscious powers for deliverance?
The distant line of the mountain,
That beautifully and courageously rests in the blue,
Is this too only a convulsion,
Only the wild strain of fermenting nature,
Only grief, only agony,only meaningless fumbling,
Never resting, never a blessed movement?
No! Leave me alone, you impure dream
Of the world in suffering!
The dance of tiny insects cradles you in an evening radiance,
The bird's cry cradles you,
A breath of wind cools my forehead
With consolation.
Leave me alone, you unendurably old human grief!
Let it all be pain.
Let it all be suffering, let it be wretched-

But not this one sweet hour in the summer,
And not the fragrance of the red clover,
And not the deep tender pleasure
In my soul.