Sunday, 10 January 2010

On reading the Upanishads

I have no convenient Swami staying in my house as Yeats had. I must bat on alone with these Upanishads; but not all 108 of them, or however many there are, and not even the so-called most important 10, or indeed a single one of them - although there is one that they say you can read and then it's enough. To be honest I find nothing new in them, nothing that I don't already instinctively feel.

And so I must return to my own metaphors, my own belief system; where the answers, as ever, are found in Nature.

In the channel

The evening breeze
makes the reeds rustle
and the snakes to swim quickly
through the skin
of the water
and into them.

Another pull of the oars,-

I face away
from a destination
that is always behind me.



  1. Do you know the Louis MacNeice poem "Good Dream"?

  2. I've always found the ancient text known as centering more appealing to read. They're in a book I posted about a while ago.

    Rowing -when you can't see where you're going- is a good metaphor!

  3. ...And, off the subject, re the Whernsides. If you're ever near the Dales, check them out. They're great for running over. One can do a round of Buckden Pike and Great Whernside from Kettlewell or Buckden or the remote round of the Whernsides from Scar House Reservoir at the head of Nidderdale.

    Still nursing an adductor strain here, so I haven't been out for a jog in the snow. Have been getting out on the mountainbike though to make up for it, through some great snowstorms.

  4. Sparker - I don't, I'm sorry to ay. I'll get a MacNeice today in library. M's Prayer Before Birth you probably know?

  5. Dominic, re the 'centering' thing - that's very kind of you. I've printed the 112 ways summary, for now.
    You reminded me: I did go up Gt Whernside from another place - was it Dent perhaps? There was a cyclo-cross race in progress. This was in the days before mountain bikes were all the rage.
    Hope your running injury is better soon. Too icy to run here. I pedalled for an hour on the old Zimmerrad yesterday (lit. Roombike).

  6. Love the first one. Shall have to think about the second one as I am so cold sitting here in the hall on the computer, that I think my brain has seized up. Having read Dominic's metaphor in his reply I am even more confused.

  7. Hello Weaver. It's all one. But I know what you mean.
    It might be warmer for you and your computer in the cow shed. All that rising steam and stuff...


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