The Awakened

It is very important for one to discover who he truly is and also vital for one to realize what his mission in his life is. In order to be awakening, one must introspect himself earnestly and should not be afraid of exposing his idiosyncrasies. Once he realizes who he truly is, he will know how different he is from others and how unique he is. And also he will know that he has the infinite power to follow his own destiny and will be overwhelmed with his possibility. He will stand alone like a shining star in heaven. Hesse impressively depicted the last shudder of Siddhartha’s awakening:

Siddhartha stood still and for a moment an icy chill stole over him. He shivered inwardly like a small animal, like a bird or a hare, when he realized how alone he was. He had been homeless for years and had not felt like this. Now he did feel it. Previously, when in deepest meditation, he was still his father’s son, he was a Brahmin of high standing, a religious man. Now he was only Siddhartha, the awakened; otherwise nothing else. He breathed in deeply and for a moment he shuddered. Nobody was so alone as he. He was no nobleman, belonging to any aristocracy, no artisan belonging to any guild and finding refuge in it, sharing its life and language. He was no Brahmin, sharing the life of the Brahmins, no ascetic belonging to the Samanas. Even the most secluded hermit in the woods was not one and alone; he also belonged to a class of people. Govinda had become a monk and thousands of monks were his brothers, wore the same gown, shared his beliefs and spoke his language. But he, Siddhartha, where did he belong? Whose life would be share? Whose language would he speak?

At that moment, when the world around him melted away, when he stood alone like a shining star in the heavens, he was overwhelmed by a feeling of icy despair, but he was more firmly himself than ever. That was the last shudder of his awakening, the last pains of birth. Immediately he moved on again and began to walk quickly and impatiently, no longer homewards, no longer to his father, no longer looking backwards.

One Must Judge for Himself

Hermann_Hesse_Montagnlia_early_1950s

If one wants to achieve something essential for his life and understand the reason of his existence on this earth, he must judge for himself and must be true himself ultimately. One does not need someone else to lead him to his destiny, since he must become his own leader and must lead himself to his destiny. As soon as you follow someone else and start imitating someone else, you cease to be true yourself; you reject yourself. The most essential thing for one to archive is: become true himself unconditionally. Here is the passage from Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse:

The Buddha’s eyes were lowered; his unfathomable face expressed complete equanimity.

“I hope you are not mistaken in your reasoning,” said the Illustrious One slowly. “May you reach your goal! But tell me, have you seen my gathering of holy men, my many brothers who have sworn allegiance to the teaching? Do you think, O Samana from afar, that it would be better for all these to relinquish the teachings and to return to the life of the world and desire?”

“That thought never occurred to me,” cried Siddhartha. “May they all follow the teachings! May they reach their goal! It is not for me to judge another life. I must judge for myself. I must choose and reject. We Samanas seek release from the Self, O Illustrious One. If I were one of your followers, I fear that it would only be on the surface, that I would deceive myself that I was at peace and had attained salvation, while in truth the Self would continue to live and grow, for it would have been transformed into your teachings, into my allegiance and love for you and for the community of the monks.”

Half smiling, with imperturbable brightness and friendliness, the Buddha looked steadily at the stranger and dismissed him with a hardly visible gesture.

“You are clever, O Samana,” said the Illustrious One, “you know how to speak cleverly, my friend. Be on your guard against too much cleverness.”

The Buddha walked away and his look and half smile remained imprinted on Siddhartha’s memory forever.

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.

I have seen one man, one man only, thought Siddhartha, before whom I must lower my eyes. I will never lower my eyes before any other man. No other teachings will attract me, since this man’s teachings have not done so.

The Buddha has robbed me, thought Siddhartha. He has robbed me, yet he has given me something of greater value. He has robbed me of my friend, who believed in me and now believes in him; he was my shadow and is now Gotama’s shadow. But he has given to me Siddhartha, myself.

Opinions

August_StrindbergEvery single person has his own opinions because every single person is different from other people and is unique fundamentally. Therefore, it is natural for us to have augments sometimes, but one should not force other people to believe that his opinion is right. One should listen to what others think and learn the different way of thinking, but one must stand for his opinions which distinguish us from each other. As a result, let us content within ourselves, but do not make a fight over difference of opinions since it is ridiculous. Strindberg comically wrote the subject of opinions in Dream Play:

 

(The Chancellor enters with the Deans of Theology, Philosophy, Medicine, and Law)

Chancellor: It’s this business about the door, of course! – What do you think about it, as Dean of Theology?

Dean of Theology: Speaking theologically, I don’t think, I believe…credo…

Dean of Philosophy: Speaking philosophically, I consider…

Dean of Medicine: Speaking medically, I know…

Dean of Law: Speaking legally, I withhold judgment until I’ve seen the evidence and heard the witnesses.

Chancellor: They’re starting of fight again… Let me hear first from theology.

Dean of Theology: I believe this door must not be opened since it conceals dangerous truths.

Dean of Philosophy: The truth is never dangerous.

Dean of Medicine: What is truth?

Dean of Law: Whatever can be proven by the testimony of two witnesses.

Dean of Theology: With two false witnesses anything can be proven – by a crooked lawyer.

Dean of Philosophy: Truth is wisdom, and wisdom and knowledge are the core of philosophy… Philosophy is the science of sciences, the sum of all learning, and all other sciences are its servants.

Dean of medicine: the only science is natural science. Philosophy is not a science. It’s only empty speculations.

Dean of Theology: Bravo!

Dean of Philosophy (to the dean of theology): So, you say bravo! And what are you? You’re the archenemy of all learning, the very opposite of science. You are ignorance and darkness…

Dean of medicine: Bravo!

Dean of theology (to the Dean of Medicine): Look who’s shouting bravo now! Someone who can’t see beyond the end of his nose except through a magnifying glass! Someone who believes only what his deceptive senses tell him: your eye, for example, which could be far-sighted, bleary-eyed, cross-eyed, one-eyed, color-eyed, red-blind, green-blind, just plain blind…

Dean of medicine: Idiot!

Dean of Theology: Jackass! (They begin to fight.)

Chancellor: Stop that! I won’t have my deans squabbling among themselves.

Dean of Philosophy: If I had to choose between the two – theology or medicine – it would be neither!

Dean of Law: And if I were the judge in a case involving the three of you, I’d find against you all!… You can’t agree on a single thing and never could… Back to the business at hand! Chancellor, what is your opinion about this door and whether it should be opened?

Chancellor: Opinion? I don’t have any opinions. I was appointed the government only to see to it that you educate students instead of breaking each other’s arms and legs in committee meetings. Opinions? No, I’m very careful about holding opinions. I once had some opinions, which I debated, but my opponent immediately refuted them… Perhaps now we can open the door, even at the risk that it conceals dangerous truths.

Dean of Law: What is truth? Where is it?

Dean of Theology: I am the truth and the life…

Dean of Philosophy: I am the science of all sciences…

Dean of Medicine: I am exact science…

Dean of Law: And I object! (They begun to fight)

A Man of Destiny

HH1If one wants to follow his destiny and make his dream come true, he must not be afraid of being different from others. As a matter of fact, he does not have a time to think about status quo or such nonsense since he needs to prepare for his destiny. Unfortunately, the herd instinct has spread all over the world more than ever nowadays. We are heading the wrong directions, and the present world is collapsing. And dangerous sign is everywhere and it is discernible; however, people do not notice anything as if they were blind.  Now is the time for us to think about a new ideal: individualism.  Actually, individualism is not a new ideal, many great artists have preached it throughout the history, but only a few individual have listened. Hesse vividly depicted the people who are marked:

Although we might not have been able to express it, we all felt distinctly that a few birth amid the collapse of this present world was imminent, already discernible. Demain often said to me: “What will come is beyond imagining. The soul of Europe is a beast that has lain fettered for an infinitely long time. And when it’s free, its first movements won’t be the gentlest.  But the means are unimportant if only the real needs of the soul – which has for so long been repeatedly stunted and anesthetised – come to light. Then our day will come, then we will be needed. Not as leaders and lawgivers – we won’t be there to see the new laws – but rather as those who are willing, as men who are ready to go forth and stand prepared whenever fate may need them. Look, all men are prepared to accomplish the incredible if their ideals are threatened. But no one is ready when a new ideal, a new and perhaps dangerous and ominous impulse, makes itself felt. The few who will be ready at that time and who will go forth – will be us. That is way we are marked – as Cain was – to arouse fear and hatred and drive men out of a confiding idyll into more dangerous reaches. All men who have had an effect on the course of human history, all of them without exception, were capable and effective only because they were ready to accept the inevitable. It is true of Moses and Buddha, of Napoleon and Bismarck. What particular movement one serves and what pole one is directed from are matters outside one’s own choice. If Bismarck had understood the Social Democrats and compromised with them he would have merely been shrewd but no man of destiny. The same applies to Napoleon, Caesar, Loyola, all men of that species in fact. Always, you must think of these things in evolutionary, in historical terms! When the upheavals of the earth’s surface flung the creatures of the sea onto the land and the land creatures into the sea, the specimens of the various orders that were ready to follow their destiny were the ones that accomplished the new and unprecedented; by making new biological adjustments they were able to save their species from destruction. We do not know whether these were the same specimens that had previously distinguished themselves among their fellows as conservative, upholders of the status quo, or rather as eccentric, revolutionaries; but we do know they were ready, and could therefore lead their species into new phases of evolution. That is why we want to be ready.”

 

Are you in a race with things, never at peace?

Hamsun4Why can’t we have at peace? The answer is very easy: modern society systems. Nowadays people are in a race, never at peace. I know that we have to earn money to support family and have some responsibilities to take care of, but is it really called life? I really think that one sometimes takes a break from hectic daily activities and takes a good look at modern society systems. In doing so, he will soon realize what a mess we have created and what nonsense we are participating in every day. Human beings do not exist for only taking a job, but we sometimes need to relax ultimately, away from any obligations. We sometimes need to be carried back to the dear, foolish bliss of childhood. Only that way can we be content and at peace.  Hamsun gave us wisdoms in Last Joy:

“But can this really be called Life? There you made a slip of the tongue. It’s a life you can’t understand. Sure, you have your home in town, and you have furnished it with knickknacks and pictures and books; but you have a wife and a maid and a hundred expenses. Waking or sleeping, you are in a race with things, never at peace. I am at peace. Keep your bright ideas and books and art and newspapers, keep your cafes too and your whisky, which only makes me sick every time. Here I walk the forest and feel contented. If you ask me intellectual questions and try to catch me out, I merely answer, say, that God is the source and that men are verily just dots and specks of dust in the universe. Nor have you gotten any further. But if you go so far as to ask me what eternity is, I’ve gotten exactly as far as you in this, too, and answer, Eternity is just uncreated time, simply uncreated time. My friend, come here and I’ll take a mirror from my pocket and set a spot of sunlight on your face and illuminate you, my little friend.”

“I lie and think about the reindeer, the path it took, what it did at the SkjelRiver and how it wandered on. There it slipped under some branches where its horns grazed the bark, leaving some marks; there an osier thicket forced it to turn aside, but just beyond the thicket it straightened out the curve and kept on going east. I think about all this? And you? Did you read in one newspaper, as opposed to some other newspaper, what Norwegian public opinion is about Social Security right now?”

“Now you’ll see your chance to parody me, you can say lots of amusing things about this pine stump and me. And yet, deep down you know that in this, as in everything else, I have an edge on you, except that I don’t have as much academic knowledge, nor am I a student, heh-heh. About field and forest you can teach me nothing, there I feel what no man has felt.”

“The days are getting longer and I won’t complain about that. The fact is I’ve suffered great hardship this winter and learned to discipline myself. It occupied my time, and it required a certain strength of will occasionally. I have to say I’ve paid dearly for my education. Sometimes I was unnecessary hard on myself. There is a loaf of bread, I said, it doesn’t surprise me, it doesn’t interest me, I’m used to it. But now you’ll see no bread for twelve hours, then it will make an impression on you, I said, and hid the loaf.”

“After a few hours walking I am like new from top to toe, all is going well. I brandish my stick in the air and it swishes “ho”; when I think I’ve earned it I sit down and eat. You certainly have none of my joys in town. I strut along, full of life and spirit, on the point of whooping and hollering. I pretend my load weighs nothing at all, leap about needlessly and overexert myself a bit; but it’s easy to put up with overexertion when you’re driven to it by inner contentment. Here in my solitude, many miles from people and houses, I experience childlike states of carefree happiness that you cannot possibly understand, unless you get someone to explain them to you. Listen: striking a pose, I pretend I’ve just noticed a remarkable kind of tree. At first I don’t pay much attention to it, but after a little while I stick out my neck and squint and stare. What? I say to myself, could it really be – ! I say. I throw down my load and go closer; I examine the tree and nod; sure, it’s one of a kind, a fabulous tree, I have discovered it! And I take out my notebook and describe the tree. Just a joke, just fun, an odd little impulse – I play. Children have done it before me. And here there’s no postman to take me by surprise. But I quit the game as suddenly I began it, as children do. For a moment, thought, I was carried back to the dear, foolish bliss of childhood.”