Friday, August 01, 2003

The power of the written word 

I've just started reading Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. (Thanks to whiskeyriver for the prompt). I was reading it on the train on the way to work this morning (unusual for me to take the train, but thats another story) and as I walked through Kings Cross station I realised I was seeing people differently.

Now I know its easy to jump to erroneous conclusions where cause and effect are concerned, but I couldn't help but feel that something of the way of being of Siddhartha had crept into my consciousness, giving me a much gentler, more accepting, more appreciative view of my fellow-humans. Whatever the reason, I certainly felt more at peace, more at one with the world than usual.

All of which made me think about the power of language and communication. How one man's thoughts from the last century, presented through a work of fiction, recorded in words on a page, translated into a different language can have the power to change how I feel and act today.

Happens all the time, I know. Its just that I experienced it in consciousness and it took me a little by surprise.

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