Thursday, July 2, 2009

Hermann Hesse In Search of the Self

In Hermann Hesse's classic book based on the life of Buddha, "Siddhartha," the protagonist discovers that "It was the self, the purpose and essence of which I sought to learn. It was the self, I wanted to free myself from, which I sought to overcome. But I was not able to overcome it, could only deceive it, could only flee from it, only hide from it. Truly, no thing in this world has kept my thoughts thus busy, as this my very own self, this mystery of me being alive, of me being one and being separated and isolated from all others, of me being Siddhartha! And there is no thing in this world I know less about than about me, about Siddhartha!"

Hermann Hesse said: "There is no reality except the one contained within us. That is why so many people live such an unreal life. They take the images outside them for reality and never allow the world within to assert itself."

These quotes are from The Writer's Almanac, July 2, 2009.

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