He saw ... a flowing river of faces, hundreds, thousands, which all came and went, and yet all seemed to be there at once, which all constantly changed and became new ones.... He saw the face of a fish, a carp, with its maw opened in limitless pain, a dying fish with bursting eyes. He saw the face of a newborn child, red and covered with wrinkles, distorted by crying. He saw the face of a murderer, saw him stick a knife into a person's body. In the same instant, he saw this criminal kneeling in chains and his head being cut off by an executioner with a sword. He saw the bodies of men and women naked in the postures and battles of ravenous lovemaking. He saw corpses stretched out--still, cold, vacant. He saw animal heads, heads of boars, crocodiles, elephants, bulls, and birds. He saw gods--Krishna and Agni. He saw all these forms and faces in a thousand relationships to one another, each helping the others, hating them, destroying them, giving birth to them again. Each was a death urge, a passionate and painful confession of impermanence, yet none died; each only transformed.
HERMANN HESSE, Siddhartha
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