Abdalla's Scrapbook

This is the place where I will write about the journey I follow to self-realization. My goal is to gain wisdom and takes steps towards enlightening myself. I will be following the journey of Siddhartha, the title character of Herman Hesse's Siddhartha, as a model for my own journey. The steps I have taken follow.

With the Samanas

external image League-of-legends-Champions.jpgThe Assignment

To get a feeling for how the Samanas, Indian ascetics that are found in the novel Siddhartha, try to reach enlightenment, we gave up something we enjoy for a week. I chose to give up video games, because I usually play them almost every day, and it would be a challenge to not play it for a week.

Beginning of the week

Considering how video gameexternal image fallout3_wallpaper002.jpgs takes up a significant amount of my daily life, the first couple of days were almost impossible to abstain from playing. I had to find distractions to pass time. I decided to sleep many times since that what you do and text several people.

Middle of the week

Although it wasn't as rough as the beginning of the week, I still found that everything was getting more and more boring, since I'm not too much of a social person. However, I remembered a lot of movies such as Rush Hour and The Pursuit of Happyness that I could watch.

End of the week

Now that I have found the distractions that I need, it wasn't as terrible. However, it's impossible for me to live without at least a little bit of video game entertainment. That is mainly since I game online, and I've tons of 'online' friends, whom I enjoy playing and wasting time with. At the end of the week, I remembered when my Xbox stopped working, and I had to stay almost a whole month without gaming since I didn't have a computer yet, and it was the most boring time period of my whole life. Even though all that happened, I still learned that I can't live on just one thing and I need to vary my activities.


The Awakening

The Quote

In the text, Siddhartha becomes awakened to the world around him after leaving the Samanas and Gotama (the Buddha). He sees "the world for the first time. The world was beautiful strange and mysterious. Here was blue, here was yellow, here was green, sky and river, woods and mountains, all beautiful, all mysterious and enchanting, and in the midst of it, he, Siddhartha, the awakened one, on the way to himself. All this, all this yellow and blue, river and wood, passed for the first time across Siddhartha's eyes. It was no longer the magic of Mara, it was no more the veil of Maya, it was no longer meaningless and the chance diversities of the appearances of the world, despised by deep-thinking Brahmins, who scorned diversity, who sought unity. River was river, and if the One and Divine in Siddhartha secretly lived in blue and river, it was just the divine art and intention that there should be yellow and blue, there sky and wood -- and here Siddhartha. Meaning and reality were not hidden somewhere behind things, they were in them, in all of them" (39)
Abdalla Samsara Comic.jpg

Analysis

Looking at how Hesse sets the scene, I thought of a place in the middle of the forest, where the birds sing cheerfully, the fish swim happily, and
the cats sleep comfortably in this peaceful, tranquil nature. The place was special since it was looking at a blue, calm and refreshing river running through its body. The sound of the water splashing into the banks made a special soothing voice to the audience. The trees gave off the fresh air that refreshed even the river. The bright yellow sun showed enlightenment and wisdom to whomever it struck.

Kamala


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Name:

My name is Kamala

Location:

I live in a grove, outside of town

Eyes:

My eyes are "dark" and "clever"(28)

Hair:

My hair is "black"(28)


About me:


What makes me unique is a "very fair"(28) face, with ruby lips that look like "a newly opened fig"(28). My beauty, intelligence, and my "clever"(28) eyes make me attractive to most men.

Hobbies / Profession:


My hobby and profession is mainly to teach men 'the joys of life'(30). Many men come to me to learn about relationships, and fulfill their body's desires. I seek after the expensive, finer things, and seek out pleasures.


Looking for:


Even though I teach the arts of love making, it's never cheap to afford learning it from me. I can only teach it to men with "handsome clothes, good-looking shows, and a lot of money"(30). I seek after the man who gives me what I want and need. If I get what I want, I will turn even least experienced men to masters in love making. Don't forget to come around after spending time with me to appreciate different things in life after looking into my eyes.


Samsara:


My daily life:

1. Wake up
2. Use the bathroom
3. Get dressed
4, Eat breakfast
5. Go to school
6. Go back home

The Comic!

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Analysis:


Everyday, I do the same thing. It's a routine life. My dad starts with me, struggling to get up every morning.Then I go get dressed, and get ready to walk to school. Walking usually takes me around 15 minutes. I spend most of my day at school, which I do not consider fun. Basically, as soon as I get to school, I wait for the glorious moment which I leave school at. As soon as I get there, I'd either have already packed something to eat, which is usually what the case is, or grab some food from the cafeteria. After the long, boring school day is over, I go home and grab some food with my family. I then start playing a bit of video games before starting with my homework. This is my everyday, repeating, life cycle. I feel like I live a life similar to that of Siddhartha's because it really seems that I'm not "belonging to it"(40) even though I'm living in the same place as everyone else. I often feel "dull and tired"(78) after school days, since I do the same thing over and over again.


The River:


November Rain by Guns n' Roses


Lyrics:

'Cause nothing lasts forever
And we both know hearts can change'
'So never mind the darkness
We still can find a way
Cause nothing lasts forever
Even cold November Rain'

Quote from text:

"the green water that continued to flow by behind him"(47).
"He felt as if the river had something special to tell him, something he did not yet know but was still awaiting him. In this river Siddhartha had wanted to drown; in it the old, tired, despairing Siddhartha had drowned that day"(54).

Analysis:

In this song, the lyrics show the flow of emotion, and how nothing stays the same. Lyrics also show how there's always a way to find light in darkness. This situation is similar to that of Siddhartha's since, at the beginning, he was a prince and had all the fortunes that anyone could ask for. However, 'nothing lasts forever' and he decided to become a Samana, to seek for enlightenment in the dark wold.
The flowing of the river here shows mainly how life goes on, and things change.And even though you might be wanting to drown in darkness, you can always find a better alternatice.


Listen to the Rain by Evanescence


Lyrics:

'listen (listen) listen (listen)
Listen (listen) listen

I stand alone in the storm (listen listen)
Suddenly sweet words take hold
(Listen listen)
Hurry they stay for you haven't much time
Open your eyes to the love around you
You may feel you're alone
But I'm here still with you
You can do what you dream
Just remember to listen to the rain'

Quote from text:

"In his heart he heard the newly awakened voice speak, and it said to him: "Love this river, stay by it, learn from it." Yes, he wanted to learn from it, he wanted to listen to it. It seemed to him that whoever understood this river and its secrets, would understand much more, many secrets, all secrets" (101).

Analysis:

Siddhartha is told to listen to the river, to love it, and to stay by it so he could learn its secrets, so that he could understand all other secrets. The lyrics in the song tell you to listen to the rain. Although rain and river are not the same, they have similar noises they make, which are noises of flowing water.The lyrics mean that, by listening to the rain, you can achieve what you dream of, not be afraid of loneliness, and love whatever is around you.


River by Lights


Lyrics:

Take me river carry me far
Lead me river like a mother
Take me over to some other unknown
Pull me in the undertow

Quote from text:

"But today, of all the secrets of the river, he saw just one, which gripped his soul. He saw: this water flowed and flowed,

Analysis:

Siddhartha's soul was gripped by the river after seeing a secret, which was most important to him. The lyrics also show how the singer wants the river to take her somewhere unknown. Somewhere, only rivers go. Both the quote and the song show how one event or fact that you learn about would make you want to go with a river to the unknown, living in isolation, and possibly despair. That is most likely due to wanting something you cannot have.

Om:

The Big Ideas / Literary Analysis:


Works cited:

Hesse, Herman. Siddhartha. New York: Bantam, 1971.