Notes on Siddartha, Author is Hermann Hesse
“Siddartha” is about a man named Siddartha on a spiritual journey to find enlightenment, similar to Buddha. Unconvinced of traditional, spiritual teaching and scripture, Siddartha embarks on a existential quest to find self-understanding through experience. Hermann Hesse does a great job of maintaining all moving parts of the story simultaneously while not writing abundantly. Siddartha’s story is so intriguing you will most likely blow through this book in a few hours, but you will feel like you just traveled the world!
This book takes me back to when I was in college to just getting out of college. I would bet for most, that time in your life was similar to mine; we were trying to find our place in the world, right? I remember very clearly reading an article on existentialism and relating to it so much. “I can only give meaning to my own life”, is what I recall “what can I do for myself to succeed, to find happiness.” Like Siddartha, I emotionally distanced myself from mankind and focused more on finding myself through knowledge.
You don’t have to be a Buddhist to enjoy this book; although it’s contextually based on eastern ideologies, philosophies and religion, it’s heavily influenced by western culture as well. Throughout the book, you are constantly on the edge of your seat with Siddartha’s next moves. Will he ever find enlightenment? Will he ever reach Nirvana? I will not spoil the ending but I will say that Siddartha learns that it’s not about how you get there or what path you take, it’s about the experience. Ultimately, there is no right or wrong way to happiness; however, it DOES take great experience.
This book inspires me to live a more purpose driven life; to experience ; to appreciate this world and everything in it; to accept change.