“Life of Meaning or Worthlessness?”

Topics: Gautama Buddha, Thought, Mind Pages: 2 (541 words) Published: November 13, 2008
“I have never seen a man look and smile, sit and walk like that, he thought. I, also, would like to look and smile, sit and walk like that, so free, so worthy, so restrained, so candid, so childlike and mysterious. A man only looks and walks like that when he has conquered his Self. I also will conquer my Self.” (Siddhartha pg.35) Siddhartha's goal throughout this book is to conquer himself and become one with nature. This path takes him from living rich like a king to being humbled as a poor river worker. These are the two contradictory ways he lived in his life.

In the beginning he gave up being in a high place in his caste system to be part of a roaming band of spiritualists, called Samanas. While traveling with the Samanas, Siddhartha overcomes many things and gives up several worldly desires to become one with his surroundings. His thought process is that if he can make things not exist in his mind then they would no longer be a trouble and he can then continue to become one with his surroundings and truly achieve Nirvana. As time goes by Siddhartha realizes that one can only experience Nirvana and once one achieves oneness with his surroundings then they can't explain it to another through teachings. Then a time later the original Buddha who has achieved Nirvana, comes into contact with Siddhartha. When they meet they converse about the followers of Buddha, and Siddhartha tells Buddha of his thoughts on how one can't achieve Nirvana through teachings but only by experiencing it themselves. Buddha and Siddhartha end up leaving understanding each other, with great respect. Shortly thereafter Siddhartha realizes he is more powerful than the strongest and wisest of Samanas. So he goes to the city.

Then later he gives up being a man who tries to give up everything to become a man who takes in everything as he becomes wealthy again. Siddhartha's thought process to this action was, that if he could take more and more fleshly desires in that he would end up...
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