Now Playing: Siddhartha, the QLC, and Student Affairs

I crossed another book of the Super Ninja’s reading list on Monday. This time, I finished up Siddhartha by Hermann Hess. The story was all the book’s introduction hyped it up to be– a compelling introduction to Eastern philosophy for Western minds. Although the work is a translation*, I found the style to be easy to follow, yet simultaneously moving.

Siddhartha was a great follow-up to both Tao Teh Ching and Chuang Tze. More and more, Eastern thought is weaving itself into my way of thinking. Perhaps it is because my Catholic faith is less spiritual than I desire. Could it be because it is difficult to reconcile traditional Catholic beliefs with progression and my personal beliefs, which tend to be more liberal and therefore “against” Catholic teaching? I may just be one of those hippie tree-huggers who finds more religion in a forest than on a Sunday morning in church.

Eastern thought, at least in my view, seems to understand that good and evil simply exist. Too much of the other actually throws off balance, and that’s a bit hard to wrap my head around. How could too much good be a bad thing? Reminds me of a small discussion I participated in while Super Ninja was still thousands of miles away, in which he first proposed the idea that balance is more important than eliminating evil.

Moving on, those who constantly seek something out of life may warp their perspective– they only see what they want to see. It’s tunnel vision, if you will. But if you are finding, you are open, receptive, and the unexpected will find its way into your life. Finding and discovering, opposed to seeking.

On a similar note, @NASPAtweets pointed me in the direction of “The Summoned Life”. Trying hard to find a “purpose” for one’s life is a fairly common American theme; heck, that’s what I have been hoping to do with my life. But then again, it’s perhaps this yearning to find a purpose that’s destructive to my well-being– it’s why the QLC affects me so deeply.

And why I’m trying to live life simply day by day now, being ready and flexible and willing to face new challenges.

*Translation goodness: the introduction noted that James Wright translated some of Hess’s work. Do you know how exciting that is for me?

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5 thoughts on “Now Playing: Siddhartha, the QLC, and Student Affairs

  1. fictionandsanity says:

    Honestly, its a sad thing, but I’ve never found my spirituality in churches, which is saying something considering that I am a Christian. I should feel better fellowship there, but I never really have. I feel fellowship with people, not in buildings. I feel better fellowship with you than with my “Christian” friends. My husband is the only Christian I’ve felt was fully of the same mind as me in a spiritual sense. Eastern philosophies have a lot of great points, and I’m a firm believer in balance, and moderation in all things.

    • Ardith says:

      “I feel fellowship with people, not in buildings.” I would dare to add I find peace in nature, too.

      Both Western and Eastern philosophies have excellent teaching points, and I think there’s this taboo against melding the two together. Especially if one takes a “Ten Commandments” view against it. But I find little wrong with practicing balance and moderation, and listening to the resonance in your own heart and spirit, even if it’s something I learn more from Eastern readings than traditional Christian texts.

      Aww, you and I probably just resonate harmoniously is what it comes down to. Not exactly the same, but pleasantly and beautifully.

  2. thebigshowatud says:

    I don’t see how there can be too much good, in the first place… and if there is such thing, how could that be bad? O.o

    Maybe that means I should read the book. heh.

    • Ardith says:

      See? It’s a hard concept. But it may possibly be better to have a world that’s “in balance” than it is to have a world that’s skewed too far to one side.

      All things considered, Siddhartha was a good book. I’d also recommend the Tao Teh Ching.

  3. Reynor says:

    Easter Thought — to give it a very broad name — has become incredibly important in my life the last few weeks. In a certain way absolutely transformative. I’ll have to tell you more about it later.

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