9 May 2010


Siddhartha, a novel written by Hermann Hesse, is probably the first English novel I read.  It's one of my favourite novels of all time.  I chose to buy a copy of Siddhartha as a gift for a friend.  Before giving the book away I read the book once, and collected some quotes as usual.
  • Love can be obtained by begging, buying, receiving it as a gift, finding it in the street, but it cannot be stolen.
  • Everyone can perform magic, everyone can reach his goals, if he is able to think, if he is able to wait, if he is able to fast.
  • Everyone takes, everyone gives, such is life.
  • Stop scolding, dear friend!  Nothing was ever achieved by scolding.  So, leave it as it is, my friend, and don't harm yourself by scolding me!
  • Most people are like a falling leaf, as it wavers, and tumbles to the ground.  But others, a few, are like stars, they go on a fixed course, no wind reaches them, in themselves they have their law and their course.
  • Perhaps people of our kind can't love.  The childlike people can; that's their secret.
  • It is foolish, this path, it moves in loops, perhaps it goes around in a circle.  Let it go as it likes, I want to take it.
  • This [river's] water ran and ran, incessantly it ran, and was nevertheless always there, was always and at all times the same, and yet new in every moment!
  • "It is beautiful, sir, as you say.  But isn't every life, isn't every work beautiful?"
  • There was no teaching a truly searching person, someone who truly wanted to find, could accept.  But he who had found, he could approve of any teachings, every path, every goal, there was nothing standing between him and all other thousands any more who lived on that which is eternal, who breathed what is divine.
  • Even if you would die ten times for [your son], you would not be able to take the slightest part of his destiny upon yourself.
  • This pleasure also had to be atoned for, this pain also had to be endured, these foolish acts also had to be committed.
  • The opposite of every truth is just as true.  Any truth can only be expressed and put into words when it is one-sided.  Everything is one-sided which can be thought with thoughts and said with words, it's all one-sided, all just one half, all lacks completeness, roundness, oneness.
  • A person or an act is never entirely Sansara or Nirvana, a person is never entirely holy or entirely sinful.
  • The world is not imperfect, or on a slow path towards perfection: no, it is perfect in every moment, all sin already carries the divine forgiveness in itself, all small children already have the old person in themselves, all infants already have death, all dying people the eternal life.
  • What is one man's treasure and wisdom always sounds like foolishness to another person.
  • Salvation and virtue as well, Sansara and Nirvana as well, are mere words.  There is no thing which would be Nirvana; there is just the word Nirvana.

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