Siddhartha

by Hermann Hesse

Fiction
Philosophy

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Summary based on Joachim Neugroschel translation (audio book)

Food for Thought

We all seek to escape from the pointless of life & from ourselves in some way.  The same escape offered by from meditation, holding one’s breath, self denial, just as what the merchants, the drunkard, the ox drive engages in their every day idle pursues.

The inner peace & quality of peace we find has a tendency to flow into everything we do: how we hold ourselves, how we talk, how we move


Enlightenment may not be to seek knowledge, but salvation from suffering. Our personal belief doesn’t have to be true, as long as it provides what we need for peace, it may be enough.

Instead of just acquiring knowledge. Quiet contemplation and the ability to look inside of ourselves is the more direct path to enlightenment.


"The thankful, think little. Like old man and children"

- perhaps that’s where real wisdom lies, perhaps that’s true contentment?


While others would fret about the little annoyances of life. Siddhartha has true acceptance. Welcomed fortune, misfortune alike with the same joy: "He was still separate from them. Feeling Aloft, different. Watching their lives to go by, not allowing it to touch his soul”


But eventually, Siddhartha experienced the death of the soul that rich people hav. Siddhartha forgets his enlightenment, and becomes one of us. He came to enjoy worldly possessions and pleasure of the sensors. Instead of being able to count on his thoughts, his fasts and his discipline. Worldly worries seeped into his soul. “Greed got a hold of him. It was no longer a game for him. Possessions owned him”


Being able to cast away unnecessary parts of ourselves becomes a necessity for enlightenment.


We delude ourselves by thinking if we hold someone in their relationship, by being patient with them. We’re showing them love. But it's still a constraint - forcing them against what they want deeply. It's not love. And it's as bad as punishing by force or anger.


It’s always possible to start anew. Let not age, experience (too much or too little), or physical disability stop us


Our empathy can only comes from sharing the human experience, intellectual comprehension of it does not suffice. Which is why Siddhartha had to err, had to sin, had to suffer to understand…



My favorite quote

"the opposite of every truth is just as true"

gives a real feel for the yin-yang of reality. Breaks down that truth cannot be expressed in words, and must be simplified to be understood, robbing it of its true meaning. This is why Siddhartha walked away from real teachers. Truth can only be experienced, not taught thought thoughts or words.



Quotes

“once every desire and every urge was silent in the heart, then the ultimate part of me has to awake, the inner most of my being, which is no longer myself, the great secret“


“when you through a rock into the water, it will speed on the fastest course to the bottom of the water. This is how it is when Siddhartha has a goal. A resolution. Siddhartha does nothing. He waits, he thinks, He fasts. But he passes through the things of the world like a rock through the water, without doing anything, without stirring. He is drawn, he lets himself fall. His goal attracts him, he doesn’t allow anything enter his soul. This is what he has learnt among the Shramanas. … This is what fools call Magic”


“May be we can’t love. Only the child-like people can. That’s their secret”


“When one is search. The eye only sees what he searched for. Let nothing enter his mind”


“the opposite of every truth is just as true… any truth can only be expressed and put into words is one sided. Everything one sided, thought with thoughts or said with words. It’s just 1 sided, it lacks completeness, roundness, one-ness…”


“The world is not imperfect, or on a slow path to perfection, it is perfect in every moment”

  • taken with context that the drunkard, the sinner we see already has the future potential for the Buddha in them, in us. We’re not on the way. We’re already perfect. “all sin already carries the divine forgiveness"