A truth can only be expressed and enveloped in words if it is one-sided

light and dark forest

The world itself, being in and around us, is never one-sided

There is one thought I have had, Govinda, which you will think again is a jest or folly: that is, in every truth the opposite is equally true. For example, a truth can only be expressed and enveloped in words if it is one-sided. Everything that is thought and expressed in words is one-sided, only half the truth; it all lacks totality, completeness, unity. When the Illustrious Buddha taught about the world, he had to divide it into Samsara and Nirvana, into illusion and truth, into suffering and salvation. One cannot do otherwise, there is no other method for those of us who teach. But the world itself, being in and around us, is never one-sided. Never is a man or a deed wholly Samsara or wholly Nirvana; never is a man wholly a saint or a sinner.


by Hermann Hesse (July 2, 1877 – August 9, 1962)
from Siddhartha (1922)
Part 2 – Govinda
image – Wim Vandenbussche

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One Response to “A truth can only be expressed and enveloped in words if it is one-sided”

  1. The truth is rarely pure and never simple - Oscar Wilde Says:

    [...] A truth can only be expressed and enveloped in words if it is one-sided by Herman Hesse [...]

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