Torah and Veda are two ancient sources of spirituality still vibrant today. Torah is conveyed through the sacred language of Hebrew and Veda is conveyed through the sacred language of Sanskrit. The focus here is on meditation, mysticism, philosophy, psychology and the underlying spirituality that has been incorporated into religions, and not as much on the religions themselves. Your comments and posts are welcome.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bibliography/Book Review; Hesse, Herman, Siddartha, et al.

Bibliography/Book Review;
Hesse, Herman, Siddartha, et al.

I first read Siddartha halfway through my senior year in high school in 1969. Hesse was popular among the intellectual, introspective, inquiring, question-and-challenge-authority, hippie-leaning crowd of the day, and so I jumped in. This is the first book I ever read related to Eastern spirituality, and as such, it served as my entry portal to this other world. The beautiful, simple poetic prose of this little book, inspired by legends of the life of the young Buddha, had a deep impact on me. I was “high on life” for about a month after reading this book. In ensuing years, I read several of Hesse’s other books, including Steppenwolf (had to read the book that the rock band lifted for its name! – quite an extraordinary, mind-blowing book that got me to appreciate Mozart in ways that I never would have otherwise), Damian, Journey to the East, Magister Ludi/The Glass Bead Game and maybe some others.

Oddly enough, it was a course on the great religions of the world that I was required to take at my first college, a conservative establishment bastion, Lafayette, in Easton, PA, the following year, that firmly pushed me through the entry portal revealed by Hesse. I couldn’t care less about the Western religions we studied, but I was quite enthralled with all of the Eastern religions, particularly Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism. This study inspired me to reconsider my earlier atheistic/agnostic rejection of God based upon what I was taught in Hebrew school, in light of other alternative perspectives on spirituality and God. The floodgate was soon about to be opened wide upon my transfer from Lafayette College to the ultra-liberal Antioch College in Yellow Springs, OH.

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