A Conveniently Relevant Read for the Trek

Mid Morning Day 3: The campsite here has a single stream that separates from itself, then reconvenes at several places, mimicking our own desire to walk separate paths only to reach the place we were to go regardless. While writing I sit at the place where three of these stream branches come together. For what is it that I write? I am not sure, but with no goal in mind, I will not be blind to any opportunity, but does this set me free? The water of this creek flows, and although it is in constant motion, a still image at any point in time would be enough to understand that motion, as it is more than consistent. The holistic image of the stream is old, while all the water is always new, following the same path all the previous water had, and it seems that it would have never been any other way. The word flow implies freedom in my mind, and with no goal I feel that I am allowed to flow, but looking at this water makes me reconsider the relationship between flow and freedom. It shapes itself to its environment and follows the path it has been given. This does not sound like freedom. It sounds like submission. It takes the path of least resistance to reach a place it had no choice in going, but perhaps it is a matter of phrasing. By submitting to a power greater than itself, it is free from the arrogance, as it knows its place, and it is free from the stress of believing in the illusion of control.

“When someone seeks,” said Siddhartha, “then it easily happens that his eyes see only the thing that he seeks, and he is able to find nothing, to take in nothing because he always thinks only about the thing he is seeking, because he has one goal, because he is obsessed with his goal. Seeking means: having a goal. But finding means: being free, being open, having no goal.” -Herman Hesse

I had written this journal entry just before finishing Siddhartha by Herman Hesse, where this quote appears, and it seemed conveniently relevant, so I included it.

Noon Day 4: Today’s hike was short and steep, leaving us at a campsite that is just above the treeline. Rather opposite to the previous campsite, water is scarce and rocks are plenty. We are surrounded by snow-peaked mountains on three sides. While writing I am sitting on a rock where it I let my feet hang off they do not reach the ground, making there be two ways that I currently feel like a child. The other way being the wonder with which I regard the views around me. Is it a sign of an unfaithful person that they have trouble believing when it is themself who sees? I certainly hope not as that does not bode well for me. Or is it the sign of an unappreciative or arrogant person who does not have reaction of childlike wonder at these mountains? This would be a much better case. It is said that a picture is worth 1,000 words, but not even the pictures can capture this place, so words have no hope in doing so. Language is a wonderful system for practical matters, but fails to capture the complexity of the world with its dichotomous nature. Isn’t it wonderful that this is the case though? If words would suffice then there would be reason for me to be here. It necessarily forces us to have a disposition towards experience. If words would suffice then we would be sponges outside of the world, rather than working parts of it.

“…the opposite of every truth is just as true! That is to say, any truth can only be expressed and put into words when it is one-sided. Everything that can be thought with the mind and said with words is one-sided, it’s all just the half of it, lacking completeness, roundness, or unity.” -Herman Hesse