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A Review of Demian, by Hermann Hesse
How does one become enlightened? Some would say, deep meditation, others would say, some long mystical journey that involves some spiritual guide. I think that the best person to study for that question would be Hermann Hesse. Hesse has written many books, involving profound ideas on the subject of enlightenment. One great book is Demian. I found three ways to become enlightened.
The first is that we must look at the bible/religion as a whole. Emil Sinclair realized that God is not just heavenly but also evil. After all he created hell and all the factors that lead up to the dark side. “...I mean we ought to consider everything sacred, the entire world, not this artificially separated half...” (51). It made me think that we need to see that if God is real, he is the biggest puppet master in the universe, setting up bad plays for his own amusement, such as the crucifixion of his son, which was a questionable way of proving something to mankind.
The second would be the great idea that Pistorious stated,”...if nature has made you a bat, you shouldn’t try to be an ostrich...”(92) This idea is reflected though everyone. No one should ever think they shouldn’t be who they are.. It makes sense for the refinery of a soon to be enlightened person.
Thirdly, believing in yourself, and only yourself. In accordance to life, if someone is not believing themselves, they are just a follower. “...A whole society composed of men afraid of the unknown within them!...”(115). That quote made the most sense to me when thinking about Hitler, and all his German followers, when they never even reached inside themselves to ask, is this really the right thing to do?
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The novel Demian actually made me reach inside myself to ask the same questions Emil asked. It was a interesting experience because I’ve never had a book make me feel something different about myself. This book did have the answers for enlightenment, and Hermann Hesse was indeed the teacher.