On Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha

Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha is a book about one of human’s oldest question, “how to achieve salvation?” Unlike many other philosophical texts, Siddhartha tells a fictional story in order to demonstrate this claim.

Illustration so I won’t bore you off—Source: Deviantart

Instead of summarizing the entire plot like I did in my draft, I will just write down what I learn and encourage you to read it:

  • The best way to be happy, is to be yourself: For the first half, Siddhartha went through various teachings without finding answers. Different philosophies were never enough for him, until he finds answer within himself. He found the voice to guide him forward. This is self-awareness in its purest form, finding your own teachings within yourself.
  • Opinions are substantial: they don’t mean anything without results. Opinions can be smart, stupid, or anything in between, but they are useless without results.
  • Be wary of too much wisdom: Yeah! They are valuable, but too much wisdom might make everything seem predictable while they are not. Always open yourself to others’ experience and perspectives. Arrogance can be the ruin of many good people.
  • Always “reinvent” yourself: people say reinvent, I think it is more like a cycle of births and deaths, but each time you get a bit better. You kill, hopefully, an ugly part of yourself and allow the space for a better part to grow.
  • Obedient to your inner voice: Sometimes, you know exactly what you want to do, you just don’t have the encourage to admit it and execute it. For me, it takes real courage to be yourself, but it’s the only way.
  • What comes around goes around: karma works, if you do goods, you receive goods.
  • Lust leads to death: temptation is a bitch, don’t chase it needlessly. Know her, but don’t become her slave.
  • Seek emotional truth: Logical truth can only get you so far, but emotional truth will get you to the destination. With that, it is also important to know that words are easily corrupted. Knowing the words doesn’t mean that you know the message behind it.
  • Love sometimes means letting go: Love needs the right time and place, sometimes it can’t work. Sometimes you just have to let go of the things you love, for it needs to grow. Specifically, parental love.
  • Accepting contradictions: Sometimes contradictions might seem to be polar opposite, while they are just two faces of the same coin.