Thursday, January 22, 2009

An age of pretense

I have been thinking lately of Herman Hesse's book Siddhartha written about the life of the Buddha, and the line that stuck for all these years is when Siddhartha as a young man was asked what his qualifications were for employment. "I can think, and I can fast." Siddhartha responded. He had lived his life as a beggar and monk, and of course, those are the qualifications of a saint.

So when our children go to apply for employment, they can say,"I can't play guitar, but I am good at guitar hero!" Or they can say, "I wii!"

We can hope that their first employers are wise enough to see beyond their self-imposed limitations.

Siddhartha is available on Google Books.


  1. How pleasurably random that I should randomly pull up your blog, only to find you quoting one of my favorite books! Mr. Hesse's story made me feel as if my lifetime holds endless possibilities of experience and being.... I consider ol' Sid my first model of objective perspective. I fondly recall devouring this story in a matter of three hours underneath a dogwood tree on the property where I grew up. :)

  2. Anything in the way of literature is made better for being devoured beneath a dogwood tree.

  3. Siddhartha is a very interesting book. One I treasure frm my youth. And, pops up on lists of favorite Buddhist books all the time here in the West.

    But, if you go back and look at it, you'll note the Siddhartha of the title is not Siddhartha who becomes the Buddha.

    A lovely book, nonetheless, and this small note takes nothing away frm your point...