“The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it's real because that's how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, around and around; it has thrills and chills, and it's very brightly colored, and it's very loud, and it's fun... for a while. Some people have been on the ride a long time, and they begin to question: "Hey, is this real, or is this just a ride?" And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say, "Hey, don't worry; don't be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride." Bill Hicks, 1993
Peaceful in nature, the warrior's way can be understood as a moral code of seamlessly navigating through this everchanging , impermanent dimmension which is life...
For my anglophone friends, I've long since wanted to share with you a gem of Romanian poetry which pervades my thoughts in daily life; an enlightening ethical code of the Superior person based on his Self knowledge , reflecting on universal immutable truths.
The verses are genuine apophtegms, concise and lapidary, meant to be read slowly, and meditated upon time and time again.
The poem GLOSSA, written by the brilliant poet Mihai Eminescu, was published in 1883 in his first volume of poems, and it has a strong eastern spiritual flavor.
Without further ado, I present you with the original version, alongside a wonderfully skilled translation by Adrian G Sahlean:
translated by Mihai Eminescu
Adrian G Sahlean
Time goes by, time comes along, Vreme trece, vreme vine, All is old and all is new; Toate-s vechi si noua toate
What is right and what is wrong, Ce e rau si ce e e bine
You must think and ask of you; Tu te-ntreaba si socoate;
Have no hope and have no fear, Nu spera si nu ai teama
Waves that rise can never hold; Ce e val, ca valul trece;
If they urge or if they cheer, De te-ndeadeamna,de te
You remain aloof and cold. Tu ramai la toate rece
To our sight a lot will glisten, Multe trec pe dinainte,
Many sounds will reach our ear; In auz ne suna multe
Who could take the time to listen Cine tine toate minte
And remember all we hear? Si ar sta sa le asculte?...
Keep aside from all that patter, Tu aseaza-te deoparte,
Seek yourself, far from the throng Regasindu-te pe tine,
When with loud and idle clatter Cand cu zgomote desarte
Time goes by, time comes along. Vreme trece, vreme vine.
Nor forget the tongue of reason Nici incline a ei limba
Or its even scales depress Rece-a cumpan-a gandirii
When the moment, changing season, Inspre clipa ce se schimba
Wears the mask of happiness , Pentru masca fericirii,
It is born of reason's slumber Ce din moartea ei se naste
And may last a wink as true; Si o clipa tine poate;
For the one who knows its number Pentru cine o cunoaste
All is old and all is new. Toate-s vechi si noua toate.
Be as to a play, spectator, Privitor ca la teatru
As the world unfolds before: Tu in lume sa te-nchipui;
You will know the heart of matter Joace unul si pe patru,
Should they act two parts or four; Totusi tu ghici-vei chipu-i,
When they cry or tear asunder Si de plange, de se cearta,
From your seat enjoy along Tu in colt petreci in tine
And learn from their art to wonder Si-ntelegi din a lor arta
What is right and what is wrong. Ce e rau si ce e bine.
Past and future, ever blending, Viitorul si trecutul
Are the twin sides of same page: Sunt a filei doua fete,
New start will begin with ending Vede-n capat inceputul
When you know to learn from age; Cine stie sa le-nvete;
All that was or be tomorrow Tot ce-a fost ori o sa fie
We have in the present, too; In prezent le-avem pe toate
But what's vain and futile sorrow Dar de-a lor zadarnicie
You must think and ask of you. Te intreaba si socoate.
For the living cannot sever Caci acelorasi mijloace
From the means we've always had: Se supun cate exista,
Now, as years ago, and ever, Si de mii de ani incoace
Men are happy or are sad: Lumea-i vesela si trista;
Other masks, same play repeated; Alte masti, aceeasi piesa,
Diff'rent tongues, same words to hear; Alte guri, aceeasi gama,
Of your dreams so often cheated, Amagit atat de-adese
Have no hope and have no fear. Nu spera si nu ai teama.
Hope not when the villains cluster Nu spera cand vezi miseii
By success and glory drawn: La izbanda facand punte,
Fools with perfect lack of luster Te-or intrece nataraii,
Will outshine Hyperion! De ai fi cu stea in frunte;
Fear it not, they'll push each other Teama n-ai, cata-vor iarasi
To reach higher in the fold, Intre dansii sa se plece,
Do not side with them as brother, Nu te prinde lor tovaras:
Waves that rise can never hold. Ce e val, ca valul trece.
Sounds of siren songs call steady Cu un cantec de sirena ,
Toward golden nets, astray; Lumea-ntinde lucii mreje;
Life attracts you into eddies Ca sa schimbe-actorii-nscena,
To change actors in the play; Te momeste in varteje;
Steal aside from crowd and bustle, Tu pe-alaturi te strecoara,
Do not look, seem not to hear Nu baga nici chiar de seama,
From your path, away from hustle, Din cararea ta afara
If they urge or if they cheer; De te-deamna, de te cheama.
If they reach for you, go faster, De te-ating, sa feri in laturi,
Hold your tongue when slanders yell; De hulesc, sa taci din gura;
Your advice they cannot master, Ce mai vrei cu-a tale sfaturi
Don't you know their measure well? Daca stii a lor masura;
Let them talk and let them chatter, Zica toti ce-or vrea sa zica,
Let all go past, young and old; Treaca-n lume cine-o trece;
Unattached to man or matter, Ca sa nu-ndragesti nimica,
You remain aloof and cold. Tu ramai la toate rece.
You remain aloof and cold Tu ramai la toate rece,
If they urge or if they cheer; De te-ndeamna,de te cheama;
Waves that rise can never hold, Ce e val, ca valul trece,
Have no hope and have no fear; Nu spera si nu ai teama;
You must think and ask of you Tu te-ntreaba si socoate
What is right and what is wrong; Ce e rau si ce e bine;
All is old and all is new, Toate-s vechi si noua toate:
Time goes by, time comes along. Vreme trece, vreme vine.
...a bona fide timeless treasure ...
Are you still wondering what's the child got to do with all this philosophical talk?
I don't know about you, but to me, childhood is an inspiration of spontaneous , genuine wisdom, unselfconscious insight: a dreamy memory of a simpler time ...
Above all, when we were children we knew life was a play(ful) thing , and sang about it:
"Row, row, yow your boat,
Gently down the stream,
Merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream."
It's a tragedy for one to think that this is just a silly poem, for in it lies the whole secret to life!
Life is a ride, and to live artfully means to live with great awareness, to take a stand for your hard truths and values; to follow your path gently, no matter the hardships or obstacles ; to live in the moment, because :
"There is surely nothing other than the single purpose of the present moment. A man's whole life is a succesion of moment after moment. If one fully understands the present moment, there will be nothing else to do, and nothing else to pursue." Yamamoto Tsunemoto, Hagakure - The Book of the Samurai
Food for your thought?
I hope you enjoyed your visit today, and with this, I'll leave you until next time!
And don't forget:
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