I am reading a book for my Intro to Religion class and I’m enjoying it a lot. It’s called Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. It’s the story of a man on a journey of finding himself and reaching Nirvana. It’s a Buddhist story, and a phenominal one at that. It’s odd at times and has some weird spiritual things happening in it, but I think there is a lot of good to come from it. Here is a few quotes I enjoyed from it.
“When someone is searching,” said Siddhartha, “then it might easily happen that the only thing his eyes still see is that what he searches
for, that he is unable to find anything, to let anything enter his mind, because he always thinks of nothing but the object of his search, because he has a goal, because he is obsessed by the goal. Searching means: having a goal. But finding means: being free, being open, having no goal. You, oh venerable one, are perhaps indeed a searcher, because, striving for your goal, there are many things you don’t see, which are directly in front of your eyes.”
Look, my dear Govinda, this is one of my thoughts, which I have found: wisdom cannot be passed on. Wisdom which a wise man tries to pass on to someone always sounds like foolishness.”
“Are you kidding?” asked Govinda.
“I’m not kidding. I’m telling you what I’ve found. Knowledge can be conveyed, but not wisdom. It can be found, it can be lived, it is possible to be carried by it, miracles can be performed with it, but it cannot be expressed in words and taught. This was what I, even as a young man, sometimes suspected, what has driven me away from the teachers.
How much of life is sitting in classrooms or churches and simply attaining knowledge. Wisdom comes from living. Experiencing failures, hurt, accomplishments and death. Wisdom within the church comes from acting like Christ and being a Christian, not sitting in pews and learning about Christ; that’s learning about him, gaining knowledge, not wisdom.
And this is now a teaching you will laugh about: love, oh Govinda, seems to me to be the most important thing of all. To thoroughly understand the world, to explain it, to despise it, may be the thing great thinkers do. But I’m only interested in being able to love the world, not to despise it, not to hate it and me, to be able to look upon it and me and all beings with love and admiration and great respect.”