this is one of my favorite books, and I am going to share the part of one beautiful chapter from it.
I will remain by this river, thought Siddhartha. It is the same river which I crossed on my way to the town. A friendly ferryman took me across. I will go to him. My path once led from his hut to a new life which is now old and dead. May my present path, my new life, start from there!
He looked lovingly into the flowing river, into the transparent green, into the crystal lines of its wonderful design. He saw bright pearls rise from the depths, bubbles swimming on the mirror, sky-blue reflected in them. The river looked at him with a thousand eyes–green, white, crystal, sky-blue. How he loved this river, how it enchanted him, how grateful he was to it! In his heart he heard the newly awakened voice speak, and it said to him :’Love this river, stay by it, learn from it.’ Yes, he wanted to learn from it, he wanted to listen to it. It seemed to him that whoever understood this river and its secrets would understand much more, many secrets, all secrets.
But today he only saw one of the river’s secrets, one that gripped his soul. He saw that the water continually flowed and flowed and yet it was always there; it was always the same and yet every moment it was new. Who could understand, conceive this? He did not understand it; he was only aware of a dim suspicion, a faint memory, divine voices.
……When he reached the ferry the boat was already there and the ferryman, who had once taken the young Samana across, stood in the boat. Siddhartha recognized him again. He had also aged very much.
‘Will you take me across?’ he asked.
The ferryman, astonished to see such a distinguished-looking man alone and on foot, took him into the boat and set off.
[ Translated from the German by Hilda Rosner ]