The Journey of life is full of challenges, enjoyments, and memorable times. Eventually, all of the situations we deal with will lead all of us to our main purpose. No Journey is ever completely smooth so the way that we choose to deal with the hardships we face will determine the outcome of our lives. I was able to reflect on my Journey of life as well as compare it to Catharsis’s Journey after analyzing the novel Shattered by Hermann Hess.
Shattered learned many lessons throughout his Journey and although these lessons came from olden times, the novel Shattered shows us that they can still be applied to today’s society and time. To begin, Shattered is an extremely independent man who strongly believes in following his own path regardless of what other people expected him to do. Secondly, Shattered realizes that materialistic items do not result in the level of spiritual discovery he aspires to gain. To illustrate, individuals who experience an increase of affluence, often end up just as unhappy.
Shattered understood that in order to receive nirvana he understands that he has to attain a combination of life through the mental, physical, and spiritual means. Although Shattered was faced with many obstacles along his journey, he persevered. The lessons that Shattered learned are due to the hardships he faced which are parallel to the hardships I will face. Similarly to Shattered, my goal is to preserve through my Journey even when obstacles are thrown at me. Shattered was born into a Brahmins family that was very wealthy. The elders in Catharsis’s community taught them everything they knew.
They gave him the sides they believed he needed, however it wasn’t enough. Shattered found himself to be spiritually unsatisfied and realizes that he doesn’t want the life his family has laid out for him. He decides to leave his family and community to embark on a Journey and Join a group called the Samaras. Catharsis’s close friend, Giovanni, joins him as they spend 3 years on his Journey. The Samaras taught them about determination, perseverance and how to resist pain and hunger Although Giovanni and Shattered follow the road to spiritual enlightenment with the Samaras, they till find themselves unsatisfied.
This causes them to travel in order to hear teachings from the Gotcha Buddha. The two friends find themselves on two completely different paths after hearing these teachings. On one hand, hearing the teachings becomes life altering for Giovanni as he Joins his commune of monks. However, Shattered felt nothing but the opposite. His egotistical nature causes him to follow his own path and listen to different teachings. Shattered Journeys too town nearby where he meets Kamala, a renowned enchantress and requests to be her student, but she declines.
Soon, Shattered becomes Samara’s lover and finds himself slowly Shattered Essay By Serene-Lanai adjusting to the demands of his current lifestyle. After being employed by a rich trader named Swimwear, Shattered is exposed to a new lifestyle involving lust and wealth and finds it hard to adjust to anything less. As a result of this, Shattered turns to gambling and soon enough is surprised by his own despair and realizes how much he has lost his way. After hitting rock bottom and attempting suicide, Shattered meets ferryman Evacuees and with the intentions of getting his life back n track, asks to become his intern.
Evacuees agrees to Catharsis’s proposal and makes him his apprentice. Together they listen to the river and with his guidance; Shattered learns that the river holds a hidden truth about the universe that he himself has not experienced till now. Throughout the novel, the river is seen as a crucial symbol. Over time, Shattered finds himself becoming wiser and truly realizing the importance and the nature of his Journey through connecting with the river. Shattered spends much of his time by the river, ferrying people across – even after Evacuees dies.
Giovanni, his close childhood friend, reconnects with Shattered as they re-meet on one of the ferry and helps him seek spiritual enlightenment. As the novel unfolds, it is shown that Shattered partakes in both Hindu and Buddhist rituals in order to attain Nirvana. Each of these religions were originated in India but have many differences. Hinduism is one of the oldest religions and believes that attaining the highest point in life is a process involving removing all bodily distractions and making room for the Brahmas nature within.
Buddhism on the other and believes that a person follows a life that is controlled by themselves and as a result of this, he or she is able to understand that no such thing as “myself” or “l” exists. By coming to this understanding, the person can then become closer to achieving Nirvana regardless of their previous standing in life. This is where the main difference between Hinduism and Buddhism comes up. In Hinduism it is believed that only a certain ranked caste (Brahmins) can achieve Monika or nirvana.
Although Hinduism and Buddhism differ in the belief in God, both religions believe in the ideas of reincarnation. Followers of both religions believe that being overly attached to materialistic items is what leads individuals to their downfall. Both religions also follow the belief that there are countless paths you can take to fulfill your Journey to spiritual enlightenment. As the novel commences, Shattered comes to realize that the elders in his life have exposed him to the best of their knowledge but in spite of that they were still unable to answer his questions about how to achieve nirvana. He had begun to suspect that his worthy father and his other teacher, the wise Brahmins, had already passed n to him the bulk and the best of their wisdom, that they had already passed on to him the bulk and best of their wisdom, that they had already poured the sum total of their knowledge into his waiting vessel; and the vessel was not full, his intellect was not satisfied, his soul was not at peace, his heart was not still. ” (Hess, 5). The motivation behind Catharsis’s Journey was fuelled by his curiosity and thirst for knowledge.
Due to his confusion and lack of self-actualization, Shattered was unsatisfied with the teachings given to him by his community. Although he attempted o follow what he was brought up with, he found that by being a Brahmins his soul was not satisfied and he needed to embark on a Journey to find himself. I found it easy to relate the emotions Shattered was feeling because I often feel pressured by societal and family expectations. Although there is a certain path my family wanted me to take, after self-reassurance I made the decision to follow in my own footsteps.
Similarly to Catharsis’s connection to the Buddha and his teachings, I can relate to my religion leader, The Gag Khan. Being a Shih Somali Muslim exposes me to many coaching made by the Gag Khan. He encourages individuals to use their moral compass when making life-altering decisions, rather than following what is expected of us. There were many teachings that Shattered followed from the Buddha, however the most important one was “… You who are thirsty for knowledge against the thicket of opinions and the conflict of words. Opinions mean nothing; they may be beautiful or ugly, clever or foolish, anyone can embrace or reject them. (Hess, 33) This quote is an example of how the Buddha pointed Shattered towards the path of enlightenment. In order to become closer to the atman and attain nirvana, Shattered embarks on his own personal Journey after speaking and listening to the Buddha. Similarly to the way the Buddha preached important life values to Shattered, Guru taught me to always preserve and follow my own path regardless of other people’s opinions as well as give back to my community. Applying the teachings that were presented throughout this novel to my life, it made me realize that my dreams and goals are achievable.
After brainstorming ways to help reach my goals, I embarked on my own personal Journey Just like Shattered. Throughout a person’s Journey there will often come a point where obstacles prevent them from feeling confident of reaching and pursuing their ambitions, which is something that Shattered experienced first-hand. Unfortunately, along the way Shattered was faced with many obstacles which caused him to become too attached to materialistic items and the idea of wealth. He later realizes that the material world ruined the innocence he once had as greed starts to take over. He had finished with that. That also died in him. He rose, said farewell to the mango tree and the pleasure garden. As he had not had any food that day he felt extremely hungry, and thought of his house in town, of his room and bed, of the table with food. He smiled wearily, shook his head and said good-bye to these things. ” (Hess, 84), it becomes evident that certain obstacles caused Shattered to wander away from his path but after achieving self-realization he realizes that in order to attain nirvana and become closer to the atman he must continue his Journey – so he does.
In relation to Shattered, I was stuck in a similar position where I was overwhelmed by the obstacles that were thrown on my path. When looking further into university options and programs I discussed with my parents about going into the field of Journalism. My mother has always been extremely supportive, however my father disapproved because of the limited number of Jobs available in that field. He continuously said that I wouldn’t make enough money to sustain my lifestyle and that it is far too competitive to become successful.
Similarly to Shattered, I wandered off my path after being convinced that what I was attempting to achieve was far out of reach. I pent all summer telling my parents that I would Just take a year off after graduation to find a new program of interest so that I could be their definition of successful. However, once school started and I had to sit through the courses my father made me take, I came to the conclusion that I wouldn’t let him choose what I do with my life.
I changed my schedule to what I had originally wanted it to be and stayed focused the entire school year. I overcame the insecurity and uncertainty of “what if I’m not as successful as they want me to be” because I knew I could get to where I anted if I continued to be determined. After further exploring the beliefs of Buddhism and Hinduism, Shattered eventually realizes that in order to be truly happy and gain spiritual enlightenment he needs to create a balance between his spiritual and materialistic world.
He also understands that in order to create the balance of his two worlds and become closer to the atman, he also needs to create a balance of his mind and his body. “Therefore, it seems to me that everything that exists is good – death as well as life, sin as well as holiness, wisdom as well as folly. Everything is necessary, everything needs only my agreement, my assent, my loving understanding: then all is well with me… Nothing can harm me… ‘ needed lust and to strive for property… O learn not to resist them. (Hess,144)” Shattered learns that life is completely unpredictable and that there will obstacles along every Journey you take, however the way you choose to deal with those obstacles is what completely changes the outcome of your Journey. Similarly, I also realize that self-acceptance and happiness can only be gained through true balance in your life. This is why I try to keep an even balance of the time I spend religiously and the time I spend worrying about material items.
I try not to get too caught up in one or the other because that defeats the balance. In conclusion, after further exploring the Journey that Shattered took I can relate to it as well as take back lessons from it. Although Shattered had certain expectations from his family and society, he did what he knew was best for him, which was the first step in his Journey. Obstacles and hardships came his way and they may have slowed down his Journey, however he got jack onto his path and persevered in order to complete his ambition of attaining nirvana.
In relation to Shattered, I have also come across people and things that have slowed down my personal Journey. After analyzing the text and learning from Catharsis’s Journey, I realized that rather than letting it stop me, I should use their negativity as a motivation to get me to where I need to be. Nothing was ever Just handed to Shattered; he made genuine sacrifices in order to achieve his goals in the spiritual and physical world which is one of the most important lessons in the novel. The sacrifices he made are what helped him gain spiritual enlightenment.
This is what made me understand how crucial sacrifices really are. Although I had certain goals in mind, I was never willing to give anything up in order to reach them. After learning from Catharsis’s Journey I have now realized that the balance between the spiritual and material world will not come without sacrifice. There will many obstacles and hardships along the rest of my Journey. However, Just like Shattered, I know that if I follow what I know is right, I will eventually get to where I need to be.