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?