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Posts: 5,472
Registered: ‎06-14-2007
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From the B&N Classics edition (p. 137):

In a letter, Hesse once wrote: "The call of death is a call of love. Death can be sweet if we answer it in the affirmative, if we accept it as one of the great eternal forms of life and transformation." Elsewhere, Hess wrote: "I cannot rid myself of the idea that instead of Death with his scythe, it will be my mother who takes me to herself once more and leads me back into non-existence and innocence." Hesse's optimism surrounding death may account, in part, for his unfaltering popularity.

How does _Siddhartha_ address death? Do Siddhartha's own transformations in life correspond to the reincarnation cycle, or is each new step a preparation for "the call of death?"

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Inspired Wordsmith
Posts: 933
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: SIDDHARTHA and Death

Does each of Siddhartha’s new steps correspond to the reincarnation cycle or is each a preparation for the call of death?

I’m taking this “one step at a time” since I am not prepared yet to address the final picture. Here is my opinion after this particular passage caught my attention.

Quoting from page 62:

“Slowly, the way moisture penetrates a dying tree trunk, slowly filling it and making it rot, the material world and indolence had entered Siddhartha’s soul, slowly filling it, weighing it down, making it weary, lulling it to sleep. In return his senses had come to life, much had they learned, much had they experienced.”

Something good does something bad and something bad does something good. Again the interconnectedness of everything. Action and reaction flowing into each other.

Something that could potentially be bad (the material world) is compared to something good (moisture). This material world lulls the soul to sleep (bad.) and the moisture prepares the tree trunk for death (good) but while the soul dies (bad) his senses come to life (good.)

Besides being deep thoughts that are beautifully expressed, these two sentences show both, preparation for death (moisture makes the dying tree trunk rot) and the reincarnation cycle (his senses come to life.) I like this description of dual action and oneness.
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