Saturday, February 07, 2009

Seven Years in Tibet

I've been re-reading a 60-year old book that is still truly amazing, "Seven Years in Tibet" by Heinrich Harrer. In short form - a bunch of German mountaineers get trapped in India as prisoners-of-war around 1939/1940, because India at the time was under British rule. Two of them specifically "escape" into neighbouring Tibet with the hope of being able to find some way back to Europe but effectively end up stuck there. More than anything, and what makes it all worth reading, is that it intimately describes a Tibetan society that no longer exists.

I have always envied the Tibetans their simple faith, for all my life I have been a seeker. Though I learned, while in Asia, the way to meditate, the final answer to the riddle of life has not been vouchsafed to me. But I have at least learned to contemplate the events of life with tranquility and not let myself be flung to and fro by circumstances in a sea of doubt.

Harrer passed away in 2006 - he was 93 years old. Of course there's also the movie based on the book with Brad Pitt ... not too bad but book is better. And there are lots of cheap copies over on Amazon.

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