Here are a couple quotes from the German writer Hermann Hesse. He wrote with a psychological depth, spiritual awareness, and an existential honesty which these quotes exemplify. These particular selections are from his novel “Narcissus and Goldmund.”

“One night, as I had to hold a light for a woman who was giving birth, I saw that the greatest pain and the most intense ecstasy have almost the same expression.”

“He thought that fear of death was perhaps the root of all art, perhaps also of all things of the mind. We fear death, we shudder at life’s instability, we grieve to see the flowers wilt again and again, and the leaves fall, and in our hearts we know that we, too, are transitory and will soon disappear. When artists create pictures and thinkers search for laws and formulate thoughts, it is in order to salvage something from the great dance of death, to make something that lasts longer than we do.”