”One can pass on knowledge but not wisdom. One can find wisdom, one can live it, one can be supported by it, one can work wonders with it, but one can not speak or teach it”. Everyone’s journey to enlightenment is unique and it can not be taught As Siddhartha is talking to Govinda he realizes that it is not possible to teach true wisdom. One has to learn through their own personal experiences and mistakes, because everyone’s journey and the way they learn is unique. ”the reason I don’t know anything about myself is because I’m afraid of myself I will no longer try to escape Siddhartha”.
Enlightenment includes self-acceptance of yourself and there is no shortcut to finding that inner peace. One of the first but hardest steps of enlightenment is self-acceptance. Although it is difficult Siddhartha wants other to know that it will come with rewards such as, a new appreciation for life, if attained. ”Taught by the eldest of the samanas, Siddhartha practiced self-abnegation, practiced meditative absorption according to the new instruction of the samanas And Siddhartha’s mind returned, dead, rotten, reduced to dust, having tasted the dark drunkenness of the cycle of existence. With a new craving it lay in wait like a hunter for the gap where that cycle could be escaped, where the end of causation could begin, eternity without suffering”. There is a need for suffering so others can utilize it and learn from it. You need to experience the good and bad to obtain enlightenment
Qualities such as, ego, desire, and suffering should not be taken away when learning about yourself and the world. Instead, they are important to learning true wisdom. ”When you throw a stone 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.His goal attracts him, because he doesn’t let anything enter his soul which might oppose the goal”.
Determination is an important skill someone needs to be successful in life. Siddhartha is focused whenever he is trying to achieve something and does not let anything get in his way of that goal. He is trying to teach us that determination without fault will lead to success in life. ”I am without possessions, said Siddhartha, if this is what you mean. Surely, I am without possessions. But I am so voluntarily, and therefore I am not destitute”.
If you are suffering but you chose to be in that situation that is not true suffering. During this time Siddhartha meets Kamaswami, and is in ‘bad shape’, not owning many possessions. To some Siddhartha may seem to be suffering, but in this passage he is trying to teach that his suffering depends on the perspective you take. He chose to be with the samanas, and inflict pain on his life purposefully, which does not equate to true suffering, but it can be a learning experience. “But few would go on a pilgrimage in such clothes…But now today you’ve met a pilgrim just like this, wearing such shoes, such a garment. Not eternal is the world of appearances, not eternal, anything but eternal are our garments and the style of our hair, and our hair and bodies themselves”.
Someone on a journey of enlightenment does not have a certain look; people are forever changing. We should not always judge people by their looks or what we assume of them. Despite assumptions anyone could be starting their journey of finding themselves and enlightenment. Humans are forever learning, changing, and gaining self growth within themselves. “He had now, so he felt, in these recent times and days, completely tasted and spit out, devoured up to the point of desperation and death, a piece of suffering for much longer he could have lived in this soft, well upholstered hell”.
Living the rich life is not nirvana, it can be a beautiful facade of despair and suffering. Siddhartha explained his old life to Govinda and described how the beauty, and materialism of things are not always what they seem. Siddhartha teaches that when others value possessions more than forming social connections can do more harm to you than you think. The aesthetics of being rich does not always mean an easier life. “The river has taught me to listen, from it you will learn it as well. It knows everything, the river, everything can be learned from it. See, you’ve already learned this from the water too, that it is good to strive downwards, to sink, to seek depth”.
Being present in the moment has significant importance for self reflection and growth. Through the river Vasudeva teaches Siddhartha there is an importance to listening more rather than speaking. “Siddhartha began to understand that his son had not brought him happiness and peace, but suffering and worry. But he loved him, and he preferred the suffering and worries of love over happiness and joy without the boy”
Love is not always perfect especially when different values are shared between people, but the love for someone can be powerful enough for someone to sacrifice themselves for someone else’s happiness. Siddhartha would sacrifice his own happiness for the sake of his son because they believed in such different values due to the way his son was raised in wealth. Although, ironically in the end his son ends up leaving him like Siddhartha left him. “With a smiling face, Siddhartha watched him leave, he loved him still, this faithful man, this fearful man Om, was this very thing that he loved everything, that he was full of joyful love for everything he saw. And it was this very thing, so it seemed to him now, which had been his sickness before, that he was not able to love anybody or anything”.
Without love happiness can not follow Greater than any material possessions Siddhartha had before he realizes that love was the most important. Love can help you appreciate everything, and everyone in life leading to true wisdom.
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