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WORDS CHANGE US: Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

fiction meditation seeking spirituality yoga Dec 01, 2020

Today's THESE WORDS CHANGED ME comes from Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. 

After days of listening to the Buddha's teachings, Siddhartha, a wanderer seeking enlightenment, encounters The Awakened One in a grove.

And guess what he does?

He gives the Great One a piece of his mind!

Here's what he says:

"The teachings of the enlightened Buddha contain much, it teaches many to live righteously, to avoid evil. But there is one thing which these so clear, these so venerable teachings do not contain: they do not contain the mystery of what the exalted one has experienced for himself, he alone among hundreds of thousands. This is what I have thought and realized, when I have heard the teachings. This is why I am continuing my travels—not to seek other, better teachings, for I know there are none, but to depart from all teachings and all teachers and to reach my goal by myself or to die. But often, I'll think of this day, oh exalted one, and of this hour, when my eyes beheld a holy man."

I first read Siddhartha in high school. At the time, it moved me, but I didn't understand why. I quickly moved on to other books and other things.

Then, last summer, I listened to the audible version of the book.

The words I posted above stuck with me for days, weeks. 

Why? Because of Siddhartha's courage. Because of his trust in his inner knowing that, as wonderful and as complete as the Buddha's teachings were, he couldn't accept them as Gospel. They weren't his path. He had to figure out his life for himself.

After years of wandering, Siddhartha actually MET the Buddha--and he effing walked away from him! 

Hell yes.

Life is a journey. We've got to figure it out for ourselves. Teachers can help us. But they can't save us.

What or who do you have to walk away from?

What words changed you?