Archive for the ‘Siddhartha’ Category

Moving House

October 16, 2010

When I give the time since I last did something, like say, it’s been a little over a month since my last blog post, I often find myself back in the confessional of my youth. I note this, only as a note. It has nothing to do with what follows, and what follows (as yet unwritten) I can say with some certainty will be a collection of loosely related notes.

Since the first of this month I’ve been without a home internet connection. And in the weeks prior to the first of this month I was packing up everything for our second major move this year. I want to note the nostalgia that comes over in the packing stage, and it may be that with three children, and being a collector, and living with a collector, a better word might be keeper, we’re definitely keepers of cards, letters, diaries, photos, ribbons, teeth, hair, drawings, paintings, toys, lunch pails, books, magazines and a being a keeper means having an interest in the things being kept. So packing is a slow process as all those interesting things are examined as they are moved into boxes. The experience is overwhelming, at least for a writer imagining the possibility of typing out the experience all at once.

There is an idea here. Once I’m settled in this new place, and I’m guessing that might be another couple weeks, I’d like to occasionally go through the collections, and write about something that inspires. That may not have come across earlier, but the overwhelming I was talking about was in part inspiration to write, just too much inspiration all at once.

There sure are a lot of reasons working against writing regularly. If it’s not too much inspiration, it’s too little, and inspiration hasn’t even been the biggest issue behind my low word count.  This post is pointless, and really, the only writing I ever do is a kind of incoherent rambling, but I’m more often than not blocked by a desire to get it right and then put it out, of course I never get it right. I think I’ve managed to overcome that block, we’ll see.

So much has changed over the past year, not just changing buildings. When Jimi Hendrix asks, “Have you ever been experienced?” I’d today answer that I have. I am definitely experienced, after a lifetime of sheltered experience, I’ve been in some pretty hairy spots, but until this past year, I’ve never had pure experience. I’ve been telling people that I’m enlightened. That I’m the motherfucking buddha. And I’m not kidding. I have been experienced.

I have seen The Trotsky, which is worth seeing. The scene where Leon’s being interviewed by the ex-Prime Minister’s son, and his lawyer/lover pulls the plug on the interview as he’s about to reveal that he is in fact the reincarnation of Leon Trotsky is relevant here. It’s crazy to claim enlightenment (or reincarnation) or any other form of mysticism. Eckhart Tolle suffered a psychotic break and sold millions of copies of the book that puts his psychosis right out there, but he’s still crazy. I can’t yet articulate the enlightenment other than through jokes. I am not really the Buddha, not even the motherfucking buddha, but I have definitely been experienced, lived a series of epiphanies, become enlightened.

I started writing up Siddhartha a few years back but never finished. I should give it another try, with all this enlightenment talk. There was also something about fatherhood I wanted to write up but never got around to it.

And finally I’ve come to terms with work for hire. This is part of my enlightenment and best left for future articulation. I’ve had an issue with maintaining my personal integrity in work for hire. As a person, I have no interest in manipulating others. If you are not interested in something, it ends there for me. I can not sell anything. Wouldn’t win your vote. I let the worst happen before giving up my own, even hypothetical, autonomy. Your autonomy I will not mess with. It’s not morality or an ethic, of course I will develop it into an ethic, for now it’s more on a level of personal comfort. So while I was a full-time stay-at-home parent, I was expecting to go back into teaching when the time came. But now as a part-time stay-at-home parent looking for part-time work-for-hire the thought of teaching is repulsive, at least in the regular classroom with kids who don’t really want to be there.

I’ve found something I like to do and will start writing about it as soon as I’m settled. The content will fit seemlessly here, but I’ll also be posting it on a work-based blog. There might be some editing. We’ll see. Always a work in progress…

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The Brahmin’s Son

February 6, 2007

I’ve pulled two quotes from the first chapter of Siddhartha. They deal with those ideas of “way” and “self”. Dealing with a novel chapter by chapter may not make the same kind of sense as dealing with chapters in textbooks, but I’ve read through this novel already, so chapter by chapter may not even be possible. As a whole, I’ve got nothing to say about the novel. These themes so obviously run through the book that I might just let these quotes hang here for now.

Nobody showed the way, nobody knew it — neither his father, nor the teachers and the wise men, nor the holy songs. (p.6)

One must find the source within one’s own Self, one must possess it. (p.7)

I’m also interested in writing about fatherhood as portrayed in the book. I could start writing about fatherhood as it appears in this chapter. But Siddhartha becomes a father later in the book and there’s a lot more material in the chapter that deals with that period .

When I say I’ve got nothing to say about the book as a whole, I mean I’m not interested in writing a polemic. Hesse is putting something forward. I’ll write about that. I’ve been thinking about the value of argument a little bit for the past few days. Of course I could do a little more thinking, but at this moment I’d say that any value in the idea of arguing, or the value of winning an argument is linked to some idealized concept of justice that has never existed in any social practice.

I’m about to start writing about why I am cynical, should I wait until we start reading Sloterdijk? I can bring in a quote from Siddhartha that’s more or less relevant.

Govinda knew that he would not become an ordinary Brahmin, a lazy sacrificial official, an avaricious orator, a wicked sly priest, or just a good stupid sheep amongst a large herd.

All these possibilities of what a man can become all take place under an ideal of good. In Siddhartha the possibilities are simply named, but critical thinkers will argue against these possibilities by invoking this ideal of good. Thinkers like Nietzsche (and his followers) who posit the ideals are false, also foresee major change as social consciousness becomes aware of these false gods. All this awareness and argument leads to nothing or the same, because of our hypocritical basis.

Does any character make more appearances in the Bible than the hypocrite?