Go to well!

«Dig the well, before you have thirst»
– Chinese proverb.



«Even if there is only one decent German, they would deserve to be protected from the barbarian rabble and for that one German’s sake one should not pour out one’s hatred for the entire people». (March 15, 1941)

«I believe I should better do it: ‘fall inward’ in the morning before I go to work, for half an hour. To listen to what’s inside of me. ‘Sich versenken’. You can also call it meditation. But that word still gives me the creeps. (…) Let this be the goal of meditation: to become like a wide open space, without that sneaky brushwood taking away your vista. That something like ‘God’ can enter, just like there is something of ‘God’ in the Ninth of Beethoven». (June 8, 1941)

«Inside of me there is a deep well. In it God sits. Sometimes I can reach him. But more often stones and debris block the entrance. Then God lies buried. Then he needs to be excavated».

«I can imagine some people praying with their eyes raised up toward heaven. They look for God outside. But other people lower their head and hide it in their hands. I suppose they look for God inside of them». (August 26, 1941)

«I do believe it is possible to create, even without ever writing a word or painting a picture, by simply molding one’s inner life. And that too is a deed».

«I slip through the grey Ocean of Eternity like a narrow boat».


«We have to fight them daily, like fleas, those many small worries about the morrow, for they sap our energies».

«Become simple and live simply, not only within yourself but also in your everyday dealings. Don’t make ripples all around you, don’t try to be interesting, keep your distance, be honest, fight the desire to be thought fascinating by the outside world».

«Every day I shall put my papers in order and every day I shall say farewell. And the real farewell, when it comes, will only be a small outward confirmation of what has been accomplished within me from day to day».

«By suffering I learn. I learn to accept that we have to share our love with the whole of creation, with the entire kosmos. But this love also gives us access to the kosmos ourselves. But the admission ticket is costly and hard to get. Only with blood and tears can one save enough to afford one». (June 23, 1942)

«One has to free one’s self inwardly of everything, of all existing representations, of all slogans, of all comforts. One has to have the courage of letting go of everything, of all standards and all conventional certainties. One has to dare taking the giant leap into the kosmos. Then, yeah, then will life be endlessly rich and overflowing, even amidst the deepest suffering. (….) One has only to be». (July 7, 1942)

«Recently I live like there is a photosensitive surface inside of me, that registrates everything unmistakably, even the smallest details. So much I am aware (…)» (July 10, 1942)

«There are moments when I feel like a little bird, covered by a big protecting hand». (July 28, 1942)

«I have broken my body like bread and shared it out among men. And why not, they were hungry and had gone without for so long»

«Let me be the thinking heart of these barracks… The thinking heart of a whole concentration camp». (October 3, 1942)


Etty Hillesun (January 15, 1914 in Middelburg, The Netherlands—November 30, 1943 in Auschwitz, Poland).

Hexagram 48 – CHING / “THE WELL”:

«The town may be changed,
But the well cannot be changed.
It neither decreases nor increases.
They come and go and draw from the well.
If one gets down almost to the water
And the rope does not go all the way,
Or the jug breaks, it brings misfortune».


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