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Siddhartha Notes

  • Siddhartha s the Brahman's son
  • Metaphor: Om is the bow; the arrow is soul, Brahman is the Arrow, Brahman is the arrow's mark
  • Simile: awaited in new thirst like a hunter in the gap
  • personification: ask the river and hear its counsel for yourself
  • The writing style is somewhat simplistic
  • Themes
    • perseverance can overcome any obstacles
    • achieving a given goal isn't easy
    • material things can corrupt the strongest minds
    • when both people attained enlightenment, it came full circle and exemplifies the statement that everyone has a different path to reach enlightenment
    • the ferryman is the wise old man but is not the supernatural aid
  • Hermann Hesse
    • He was a german national
    • published in 1922
    • published in english in 1951
    • Hesse was put on the undesirable list and that meant that if one of his books was purchased, that was not good for the buyer
    • rejection of organized religion as well as state authority
  • hedonism means if it feels good, do it
    • licentiousness is a synonym for that
  • Asceticism is for religious purposes, the rejection of the physical world
  • this is the path that siddhartha takes
  • the number three is repeated frequently
  • time does not exist, space does not exist, there is no you and I and we both exist as one in the same moment
  • time is an illusion that we fabricate in order to process a universe that we cannot understand all at once
  • why does Hesse make the protagonist named Siddhartha
  • the character and the Buddha both reach enlightenment
  • two men, same place, both try to reach enlightenment but they do it by different means
    • I cannot teach you have to reach enlightenment
  • start off with asceticism and go in the woods and not wear much and get rid of anything worldly and does not each much.
  • then he tries the opposite extreme and goes with hedonism
  • he starts to reach enlightenment and then he falls
  • he wants enlightenment and therefore he will never have it - desire is the root of suffering
  • love and hate are the same emotion - a complete devotion to a person - different intents
    • asceticism and hedonism are also the same thing - you reject and embrace all material goods, respectively. Additionally, in order to reject something completely, you have to think about it.
  • nirvana is the destruction of the self - we have to destroy the illusion that I am separate from you
    • when you have investment in something or someone else, you acknowledge the separateness
    • nirvana is destroying the concept of self
    • the only way to escape the cycle of suffering is to understand that there is no self
    • everyone has the possibility to teach nirvana
    • Bodhisattvas - people who have achieved enlightenment but choose to continue the cycle to help others
  • connections with the mono-myth - it is a cycle
  • sign that siddhartha has achieved enlightenment
  • enlightenment is a gradual process - you just understand
  • the river is the most potent symbol - all things that the river feeds, all the things that feed the river
  • you cannot cross the same river twice - cliche
  • you have to stop caring about things - not reject them or get rid of them
  • Hesse was not a nationalist
  • difference between knowledge and wisdom
  • knowledge has to be imparted, you cannot just spontaneously get knowledge
  • wisdom is more something that results from the experiences of an individual
  • knowledge is facts and wisdom is how to apply people
  • when he stops looking and has a lot of experience, nirvana comes to him
  • trees are a big motif
  • killing yourself does not do any good because he would just come back
  • there is a sense of tiredness towards the end
  • he tried being wealthy
  • he tried having nothing
  • we do not have the full caste system, we have Brahman and everyone else
  • Orthodox rabbis in Israel do not have to do anything and they are supported by the taxpayers
  • you can be very wealthy and still be a good Hindu

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