So, I recently finished Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. Best single Canadian dollar I’ve ever spent on an e-book.

The premise is simple — young, headstrong, maybe with a bit of a superiority complex soon-to-be priest heads off into the world in search of enlightenment.

Spoiler: he finds enlightenment… eventually.

But his final realization is not an easy one, and depends upon all his life experiences, the good and the bad, to manifest.

Siddhartha’s rejection of “teachings” is a thread that runs through the story. Even when meeting Buddha himself, Siddhartha respects his teachings and their approach to reduce suffering, but concludes that they do not contain what is truly needed to achieve enlightenment — the sum of experiences that contributed to Buddha’s Ultimate Realization.

I highly recommend Siddhartha, and I’m surprised that I hadn’t read it until now. It only took a few hours to read. My only criticism is that the Kindle version I bought seemed to have some translation errors, but they didn’t obscure any meaning and were pretty ignorable.

— M