So in the end we are faced with the same enemy: pride.
The more I consider life’s complications, all problems stem from the same issue of selfish pride.
Everyone, from Siddhartha to Dr. Yuan Zhiming to respected adults to myself struggle with the same issue.
Siddhartha wanted to overcome the Self, but he was so caught up in his religious pursuits that he became proud of his penitence.
In the same way, Dr. and pastor Yuan Zhiming points out that Christians can be so full of pride in their faith that they forget the great grace of God.
But it takes a long journey to come to this realization, and in the process we will slip and fall and wonder why we could be so foolish.
Siddhartha now also realized why he had struggled in vain with this Self when he was a Brahmin and an ascetic. Too much knowledge had hindered him; too many holy verses, too many sacrificial rites, too much mortification of the flesh, too much doing and striving.
He had been full of arrogance; he had always been the cleverest, the most eager — always a step ahead of the others, always the learned and intellectual one, always the priest or the sage.
His Self had crawled into this priesthood, into this arrogance, into this intellectuality. It sat there tightly and grew, while he thought he was destroying it by fasting and penitence.
Now he understood it and realized that the inward voice had been right, that no teacher could have brought him salvation.
That was why he had to go into the world, to lose himself in power, women and money; that was why he had to be a merchant, a dice player, a drinker and a man of property, until the priest and Samana in him were dead. That was why he had to undergo those horrible years, suffer nausea, learn the lesson of the madness of an empty, futile life till the end, till he reached bitter despair, so that Siddhartha the pleasure-monger and Siddhartha the man of property could die.
He had died and a new Siddhartha had awakened from his sleep.
The new Siddhartha felt a deep love for this flowing water and decided that he would not leave it again so quickly.
– Herman Hesse