Thursday, January 16, 2014

Carpe Diem #376, Yenisei River

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a joy to prepare a new episode for our journey straight through the Soviet Union with Paulo Coelho's "Aleph" as our guide. We are almost halfway and are now crossing the Yenisei River, the river on which banks Krasnoyarks lays.
Let me tell you first a little bit more about the Yenisei River and after that I love to stand still for a while by reincarnation, because that's the leading story in "Aleph".

Yenisei , also written as Yenisey, is the largest river system flowing to the Arctic Ocean. It is the central of the three great Siberian rivers that flow into the Arctic Ocean (the other two being the Ob River and the Lena River).
Rising in Mongolia, it follows a northerly course to the Yenisei Gulf in the Kara Sea, draining a large part of central Siberia, the longest stream following the Yenisei-Angara-Selenga-Ider river system.
The upper reaches, subject to rapids and flooding, pass through sparsely populated areas. The middle section is controlled by a series of massive hydroelectric dams fuelling significant Russian primary industry. Partly built by gulag labor in Soviet times, industrial contamination remains a serious problem in an area hard to police. Moving on through sparsely populated taiga, the Yenisei swells with numerous tributaries and finally reaches the Kara Sea in desolate tundra where it is icebound for more than half the year.

The Yenisei River bank as seen from the Trans Siberian Railroad

The Yenisei River valley is habitat for numerous flora and fauna, with Siberian pine and Siberian larch being notable tree species. In prehistoric times Scots pine, Pinus sylvestris, was abundant in the Yenisei River valley circa 6000 BC. There are also numerous bird species present in the watershed, including, for example the Hooded crow.

Hooded Crow

Ancient nomadic tribes such as the Ket people and the Yugh people lived along its banks. The Ket, numbering about 1000, are the only survivors today of those who originally lived throughout central southern Siberia near the river banks. Their extinct relatives included the Kotts, Assans, Arins, Baikots, and Pumpokols who lived further upriver to the south. The modern Ket lived in the eastern middle areas of the river before being assimilated politically into Russia during the 17th through 19th centuries.
Russians first reached the upper Yenisei in 1605, travelling from the Ob River, up the Ket River, portaging and then down the Yenisei as far as the Sym River.
During World War II, Nazi Germany and the Japanese Empire agreed to divide Asia along a line that followed the Yenisei River to the border of China, and then along the border of China and the Soviet Union.

Yenisei River
Enough about the Yenisei River. Let us go to the other theme for today's episode "reincarnation".

I am a believer as it is about reincarnation. I think that we all reincarnate several times before our souls will find rest and peace, because we a lot to do in our lives. There all lessons, tasks and goals which we have to reach ... so much cannot be done in one life.
In the "Aleph" we discover that Paulo and Hilal had a common history in another time and another life. As we already know Paulo was once in love with Hilal, but he was part of the Inquisition and sentenced Hilal to death on the pyre. We could have read about that if we read the "Aleph" and as we read that scene in which Hilal is sentenced to death by burning we read that Paulo hopes that she will not be sentenced, but as we know now she was.
Paulo, as a part of the Inquisition, wasn't happy with the verdict, because he loved her dearly. He regrets that she was burned ... in his life now Paulo seeks for forgiveness of his deeds in that former life and Hilal forgives him as we have read in our yesterday's post.

World Spirituality

Sometimes I think, certainly now during this journey, what lives have I lived? As I was younger (around 16 yrs) I dreamed very often about Alexander the Great (4th century BC) and I think that I was once a Greek, but as I became older that dream blurred and became an older man in a different part of our world. I remember that I was living in the same time as Matsuo Basho did, but I couldn't find a clue to that time ... until I started writing haiku and became aware that I sometimes write haiku which afterwards were written by Basho himself or one of his pupils. So I once lived (I think) in ancient Japan and was close to Basho. Maybe I was him, or one of his pupils, I don't know.
It's a strange thought ... reincarnation ... but I think that we all have to reincarnate to finally reach the goals which the Cosmos has given us.

several lives
once lived and re-lived -
Lotus blooms again

Lotus blooms again
reaching for a new day of life
cherished by the sun

cherished by the sun
I stand on the Yenisei bank -
was I a Yugh?

Well ... I enjoyed preparing this episode a lot and I am looking forward to your posts. Maybe you will share your ideas about reincarnation? Or maybe you know that you once lived another life. Please share your thoughts if you like.

This episode will stay on until January 18th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our next episode, Taishet, later on today. !! This Yenisei River episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) !!


  1. Very interesting thoughts on your past lives, Kris! Thanks for sharing. But I don't actually believe in any past lives though.

  2. I think that as a thought it's fascinating that there are lives me might have lived before... and your haiku are very nice to describe it.. I choose to focus on other aspects of the trip...

  3. these are indeed, interesting thoughts on existence and being; thanks for the history; thanks for the exploration

    much love...

  4. This one is indeed a beautiful post.