Thich Nhat Hanh & Herman Hesse

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Jhana4
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Thich Nhat Hanh & Herman Hesse

Postby Jhana4 » Sat Aug 24, 2013 5:54 pm

I remember reading or listening to something back in the 90s from Thich Nhat Hanh how he described his opinion that Herman Hesse's "Siddhartha" was not Buddhism and that Buddhism was happier. I have not been able to find it via Google. Does anyone have a clue?
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.

Fluke
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Re: Thich Nhat Hanh & Herman Hesse

Postby Fluke » Sat Sep 07, 2013 9:10 pm

Hi Jhana4

I read that book recently, and it would be difficult to give a review without filling 2 or 3 pages :)

I'll instead try to answer your questions.

It's a work of fiction, and I may be wrong, but I doubt that Hesse was enlightened, so it's not Buddhism.

Why is Buddhism happier? In the book the protagonist Siddhartha starts off as an ascetic but is drawn towards a beautiful woman and material greed. This eventually makes him suffer, which is why the Buddhist life is happier.

The book is very short and a good read - it's interesting and thought-provoking. Also it's free of charge, being out of copyright, I found a copy on manybooks.net and would recommend it.

With metta,
Fluke
--
Peace
Fluke

Ho! ye who suffer! know
Ye suffer from yourselves. None else compels,
None other holds you that ye live and die,
And whirl upon the wheel, and hug and kiss
Its spokes of agony,
Its tire of tears, its nave of nothingness.

Jhana4
Posts: 1309
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:20 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1006
Location: U.S.A., Northeast

Re: Thich Nhat Hanh & Herman Hesse

Postby Jhana4 » Sat Sep 07, 2013 10:17 pm

I read the book several times. I was just hoping to find a link to TNH's critique of it as I remember that it was very interesting.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.


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