The Nothingness of Personality

Fiction 1968-

End of the day in the Indian Himalayas.
Pack horses coming down a mountain path after being unladen.
Monsoon strengthens again in the Indian Himalayas. Shot at dusk, hence, the warm hue.
A lone ram on the bridle path to Kaisdhar. Pine, deodar and fir forests rise up behind. Eight and a half thousand feet up in the Indian Himalayas.
Monsoon clouds as the sun sets over the Himalayas.

“This life of yours which you are living is not merely a piece of this entire existence, but in a certain sense the whole; only this whole is not so constituted that it can be surveyed in one single glance. This, as we know, is what the Brahmins express in that sacred, mystic formula which is yet really so simple and so clear; tat tvam asi, this is you. Or, again, in such words as ‘I am in the east and the west, I am above and below, I am this entire world.’”

—   Erwin Schrödinger, My View of the World (1961) translated from Mein Leben, meine Weltansicht (1961)

“God is a metaphor for a mystery that absolutely transcends all human categories of thought, even the categories of being and non-being.”

—   Joseph Campbell, from the documentary The Hero’s Journey
Sun setting through deodar and pine forest in the Indian Himalayas.

“[Siddhartha] felt little curiosity for the teachings, he did not believe that they would teach him anything new, but he had, just as Govinda had, heard the contents of this Buddha’s teachings again and again, though these reports only represented second- or third-hand information. But attentively he looked at Gotama’s head, his shoulders, his feet, his quietly dangling hand, and it seemed to him as if every joint of every finger of this hand was of these teachings, spoke of, breathed of, exhaled the fragrant of, glistened of truth.”

—   Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse (1922)

“Watchfulness — this all-around attention into myself of what was before me and within — brought about a state of totality of being, an attentiveness without attachment, plus freedom from all ideas, thoughts or dreams. Only complete perception, a polyangular intense watchfulness, can bring this about. This was a prelude to experiencing the wholeness of life.”

—   Dada Gavand’s description of his spiritual practice prior to enlightenment, from his autobiography Intelligence Beyond Thought (2006)