Friday, October 28, 2016

Siddhartha

I just finished the book Siddhartha yesterday. It offers the idea that some advice, even really good advice, shouldn't necessarily be followed. Everyone needs to think, feel, choose for themselves. In the book, Siddhartha decides not to follow the wisdom of the Buddha because he feels like he must go out and experience the world for himself. After feeling greed and lust he realizes he is not truly happy and decides to revert back to a simple life living next to a river. He is reunited with his son who grew up in a rich lifestyle and his son is unwilling to heed his fathers wisdom. No matter how much Siddhartha shares his experience with his son and wants his son to follow his ways, his son can never really accept his father's advice.

The reason for this is that your thoughts and feelings are derived from your experience - not from words and wisdom of others. We all have to walk the path and sometimes to get from A to B we must go to C first - it is NOT the same path if someone tells us there is a shortcut.

Keep this in mind when thinking about others and the paths that they are on. Don't think you are better than them. Maybe they are on their way. Maybe they must first experience the greed before they can be generous. Maybe the gain of 100 pounds and feeling the toll on their bodies and lives at that level becomes the switch they need for change. I know some of my best moments came from the lowest points in my life.

It seems funny that there always seems to be this cycle of failure and success. "History always repeats itself". Is it possible that we can learn from the wisdom of previous generations and not go through the same lessons? Maybe not.  Maybe we grow not despite of failure but because of it.