Topic Archive: Korach

Sacred Skepticism

‍‍ג תשרי תשעה | , , , , ,

Not Always So

‍‍ב תשרי תשעה | , , ,

“He was now listening intently, completely absorbed, quite empty, taking in everything. He felt he had now completely learned the art of listening. He had often heard all this before, all the numerous voices in the river, but today they sounded different. He could no longer distinguish the different voices— the merry voice from the weeping voice, the childish voice from the manly voice. They all belonged to each other: the lament of those who yearn, the laughter of the wise, the cry of indignation, and the groan of the dying. They were all interwoven and interlocked, entwined in a thousand ways. And all the voices, all the goals, all the yearnings, all the sorrows, all the pleasures, all the good and evil, all of them together was the world, all of them together were the streams of events and the music of life. When Siddhartha listened attentively to this river, to this song of a thousand voices, when he did not listen only to the sorrow or laughter, did not bind his soul to any one particular voice and absorb it in himself, but heard them all, the whole, the unity— then the great song of a thousand voices consisted of one word: perfection.”

—Herman Hesse, Siddhartha

“American planes, full of holes and wounded men and corpses, took off backwards from an airfield in England. Over France, a few German fighter planes flew at them backwards, sucked bullets and shell fragments from some of the planes and crewmen. They did the same for wrecked American bombers on the ground, and those planes flew up backwards to join the formation. The formation flew backwards over a German city that was in flames. The bombers opened their bomb bay doors, exerted miraculous magnetism which shrunk the fires, gathered them into cylindrical steel containers, and lifted the containers into the bellies of the planes. The containers were stored neatly in racks.… There were still a few wounded Americans, though, and some of the bombers were in bad repair. Over France, though, German fighters came up again, made everything and everybody as good as new. When the bombers got back to the base, the steel cylinders were taken from the racks and shipped back to the United States, where factories were operating day and night, dismantling the cylinders, separating the dangerous contents into minerals. Touchingly, it was mainly women who did the work. The minerals were then shipped to specialists in remote areas. It was their business to put them into the ground, to hide them cleverly, so they would never hurt anybody ever again.”

—Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five