within one’s own I, oil on canvas, 18″ x 25″

“…where did He abide, where did His eternal heart beat, where else but within one’s own I, deep inside, in what is indestructible, borne within every individual? But where, was this innermost and ultimate I? The great sages taught that it was not flesh and bone, it was neither thought nor consciousness. Where, were then was it to be found? …Alas, no one showed the way, no one knew it, not one’s father, not the teachers or the sages, not the holy sacrificial hymns! The Brahmins and their sacred books knew everything, everything! They had seen to everything and more: the creation of the world, the origin of speech, of food, of inhalation, of exhalation, the order of the senses, the deeds of the gods – they knew infinitely much – but was there value in knowing everything if one did not know the one and only thing, the single most important thing, the only thing that matters?”

Herman Hesse, Siddhartha