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ConnieAnnKirk
Posts: 5,472
Registered: ‎06-14-2007
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SIDDHARTHA -- Then and Now

It appears that many of our club members first read this book a long time ago and are re-reading it now in the club. I think many of us would be interested in hearing about readers' previous experiences with the book and how those compare to their experience in reading it this time. What did you learn or take away from your earlier, first reading? Has that changed or deepened as you've gotten older? Are you making new discoveries as you read SIDDHARTHA this time? If so, do you think you're making these new discoveries because of the life experience you have had since your first reading of the book? If so, how, and in what ways has life altered your reading?
~ConnieAnnKirk




[CAK's books , website.]
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Sunltcloud
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: SIDDHARTHA -- Then and Now

When I read Siddhartha for the first time I was a total romantic. You could have drowned me in philosophy, art, and literature, and I would have smiled at you from my watery grave. I was sixteen. I can’t remember what my feelings about Sidhhartha were then, maybe because I had to read it with Frau Sommer, a grumpy middle-aged teacher who lacked enthusiasm. I reread it at 19, and I do remember that I would have followed the Buddha blindly had he come my way. I was in love with Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, and James Dean (or J. D. in his movie roles), and adored C. G. Jung, Rainer Maria Rilke, Hermann Hesse, Franz Marc, Vincent van Gogh, Picasso, my Latin teacher, Julius Caesar, Langston Hughes and many more major and minor figures. The point is that I was young and wanted/ needed, the world to be good and fair, and I probably thought I was doing my part to elevate civilization by debating good and evil over espressos in smoke-filled cafés.

Now, as I reread Siddhartha, I smile. I have held on to my heroes, have become an atheist with tendencies toward meditation and Buddhist ritual, don’t follow anybody blindly any more. I still debate good and evil at cafés (over lattes and without the smoke) though most of the time I just read. Today it was about 30 pages of Siddhartha at the Barnes and Noble coffee shop. Instead of making me want to go home and fantasize about the future, the reading made me go home to paint a landscape, design a new sweater for my teddy bear, write down my thoughts, renew my membership in the Humane Society, grin at the computer screen.

I believe that “the teacher will appear when the pupil is ready.” In the lobby of my library hangs a banner that says: Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. (by C. S. Lewis.) I think that goes for tales of enlightenment too and sixty-nine is just the right age.
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ELee
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Registered: ‎10-26-2006
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Re: SIDDHARTHA -- Then and Now


Sunltcloud wrote:
When I read Siddhartha for the first time I was a total romantic. You could have drowned me in philosophy, art, and literature, and I would have smiled at you from my watery grave. I was sixteen. I can’t remember what my feelings about Sidhhartha were then, maybe because I had to read it with Frau Sommer, a grumpy middle-aged teacher who lacked enthusiasm. I reread it at 19, and I do remember that I would have followed the Buddha blindly had he come my way. I was in love with Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, and James Dean (or J. D. in his movie roles), and adored C. G. Jung, Rainer Maria Rilke, Hermann Hesse, Franz Marc, Vincent van Gogh, Picasso, my Latin teacher, Julius Caesar, Langston Hughes and many more major and minor figures. The point is that I was young and wanted/ needed, the world to be good and fair, and I probably thought I was doing my part to elevate civilization by debating good and evil over espressos in smoke-filled cafés.

Now, as I reread Siddhartha, I smile. I have held on to my heroes, have become an atheist with tendencies toward meditation and Buddhist ritual, don’t follow anybody blindly any more. I still debate good and evil at cafés (over lattes and without the smoke) though most of the time I just read. Today it was about 30 pages of Siddhartha at the Barnes and Noble coffee shop. Instead of making me want to go home and fantasize about the future, the reading made me go home to paint a landscape, design a new sweater for my teddy bear, write down my thoughts, renew my membership in the Humane Society, grin at the computer screen.

I believe that “the teacher will appear when the pupil is ready.” In the lobby of my library hangs a banner that says: Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. (by C. S. Lewis.) I think that goes for tales of enlightenment too and sixty-nine is just the right age.




Thank you, very much, for sharing.
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ConnieAnnKirk
Posts: 5,472
Registered: ‎06-14-2007
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Re: SIDDHARTHA -- Then and Now

What a beautiful post! For those of us who are first-time readers of the book, perhaps we are now ready as pupils for something this book has to teach us. I'm inspired by how much the book seems to mean to so many of you.

~ConnieK



Sunltcloud wrote:
When I read Siddhartha for the first time I was a total romantic. You could have drowned me in philosophy, art, and literature, and I would have smiled at you from my watery grave. I was sixteen. I can’t remember what my feelings about Sidhhartha were then, maybe because I had to read it with Frau Sommer, a grumpy middle-aged teacher who lacked enthusiasm. I reread it at 19, and I do remember that I would have followed the Buddha blindly had he come my way. I was in love with Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, and James Dean (or J. D. in his movie roles), and adored C. G. Jung, Rainer Maria Rilke, Hermann Hesse, Franz Marc, Vincent van Gogh, Picasso, my Latin teacher, Julius Caesar, Langston Hughes and many more major and minor figures. The point is that I was young and wanted/ needed, the world to be good and fair, and I probably thought I was doing my part to elevate civilization by debating good and evil over espressos in smoke-filled cafés.

Now, as I reread Siddhartha, I smile. I have held on to my heroes, have become an atheist with tendencies toward meditation and Buddhist ritual, don’t follow anybody blindly any more. I still debate good and evil at cafés (over lattes and without the smoke) though most of the time I just read. Today it was about 30 pages of Siddhartha at the Barnes and Noble coffee shop. Instead of making me want to go home and fantasize about the future, the reading made me go home to paint a landscape, design a new sweater for my teddy bear, write down my thoughts, renew my membership in the Humane Society, grin at the computer screen.

I believe that “the teacher will appear when the pupil is ready.” In the lobby of my library hangs a banner that says: Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. (by C. S. Lewis.) I think that goes for tales of enlightenment too and sixty-nine is just the right age.


~ConnieAnnKirk




[CAK's books , website.]
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tgem
Posts: 270
Registered: ‎08-06-2007
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Re: SIDDHARTHA -- Then and Now

Reading Siddhartha, then and now: I forget if I was fifteen or sixteen when I first read Siddhartha. For me, as I have mentioned this was in the infamous sixties. There were perhaps mixed ideas of finding yourself, searching for your inner self, being yourself. Young people went "on the road," attended love-ins and be-ins. People took inner journeys, turned on, tuned in and dropped out. Siddhartha had many twists and turns in his life journey, in his search.

I've been a reader all my life. I can't tell you exactly what I've read. But many books, including this one, become a part of me. Siddhartha probably inspired me to search. Reading it now, I reflect on how many parallels there are in my life. Is this just a coincidence? I've spent time feeling apart from the world, a part of the world in a hedonistic way, later connected with the world, but almost like one foot in and one foot out. Thirty-some years after reading Siddhartha I would meet an amazing teacher and spend years listening to the teachings, but then realize I can't yet let go of my earthly ties (family) to follow him to the ends of the earth, or go into retreat like Tenzin Palmo. I guess I too am on the longer path.

It's interesting to hear the comments from the young students, most of whom are not interested in the book. Is it the students or is it the times? I meet many young students not interested in reading, more interested in movies.
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SAP19
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Registered: ‎01-10-2008
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Re: SIDDHARTHA -- Then and Now

Then and now-Siddarthur is known to be an achieveable person he wanted to achieve his goals and set forward to do it.

Before reading the book Siddarthur was not anything important to me, i didn't enjoy the book and now Siddarthur still doesn't mean anything to me.

Siddarthur and Govinda's relationship wasn't a normal relationship that two men would have. Their relationship was mysterious.
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