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The Shipwrecked Man on the Shore Feraco Search for Human Potential 20 October 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "The Shipwrecked Man on the Shore Feraco Search for Human Potential 20 October 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Shipwrecked Man on the Shore Feraco Search for Human Potential 20 October 2011

2 The Brahmin’s Son  Why does Siddhartha leave home?  “Leveled off”  Who accompanies him? Who does he leave behind?  Govinda goes, everyone else (including the Brahmin) stays

3 With the Samanas  What do the Samanas seek to deprive themselves of, and what do they seek to eliminate?  Everything! Food, sleep, etc.  Eliminate the self  Why are the Samanas “mistaken?”  Their approach contradicts life

4 Gotama  Why do Govinda and Siddhartha part ways?  Different approaches (leaf vs. stone, teachings vs. searching)  Why doesn’t Siddhartha stay with Gotama?  Gotama’s “Eureka!” moment can’t be shared (+ loophole)  Wants to be his own teacher rather than learn from others

5 Awakening  What sort of epiphany does Siddhartha experience?  Earlier attempts to find truth were futile  Tried to run from Self, but only ensured he’d obsess over it…therefore never understanding it

6 Kamala  What does Kamala represent?  The embodiment of passion and desire, as well as intelligence, power, love, and death  What steps does Siddhartha take to win her affection? What do these changes indicate?  They indicate how he pursues his goals  Haircut + cleanup + speaking + Kamaswami  Why is it important that Siddhartha dreams about Govinda changing into a woman?  Indicates transition from searching to indulgence/from deprivation to desire

7 Amongst the People  Which two “worlds” must Siddhartha inhabit during this phase of his life?  The world of commerce / desire / people  The world / prison he creates within himself  Why does Siddhartha believe he and Kamala cannot love one another?  He removes himself from everyone  Kamala practices love as art

8 Samsara  How is the samsara cycle evident in this chapter?  Endless routines of suffering – dice games, dancers, wine  Represents the middle of the cycle  Why does Siddhartha treat so much of life as a game?  Allows him to stay at a distance and pretend he’s exceptional  Learn rules dispassionately, then play at a remove  What “traps” Siddhartha?  Everything in the town  Superficial concerns of the world  Avoids real human connection  What plot revelation lies at the end of the chapter?  Kamala’s pregnancy

9 By the River  Why doesn’t Siddhartha commit suicide?  He hears the river and Om  Remembers what he’s forgotten – river as lens  Can you describe his meeting with Govinda? What is special about Govinda’s appearances?  How do Siddhartha’s clothes reflect the changing circumstances of his existence?  New phases of identity  Foresakes his clothes from home  Acquires fine clothes in order to impress Kamala and serve Kamaswami  Renounces these clothes while living with Vasudeva

10 The Ferryman  What has Vasudeva learned from the river, and how/why has he learned it?  To love everybody by seeing everybody, and by appreciating and understanding those he sees  How does Kamala die?  Helping her complaining son – being pulled from “the path”  Small dark snake  Killed slowly by poison

11 The Son  What are some differences between Vasudeva’s and Siddhartha’s approaches to caring for mini-Siddhartha?  Siddhartha indulges + imprisons; Vasudeva advocates for his release  Why does Siddhartha want to keep his son by the river?  Wants to protect him from suffering  Doesn’t want him to repeat his mistakes  Wants to satisfy his own desires/relieve pain  What is the symbolic meaning of the abandoned oar?  Oar = ability to navigate life = teachings and guidance a parent can offer  Abandoned oar = mini-Siddhartha casting aside anything Siddhartha tried to give him

12 Om  How does Siddhartha’s view of other people – not the ones he’s close to, but the general public – shift throughout the novel?  Moves from caring about others to worrying that their company will not satisfy him  Disdains all others as a Samana  Encounter with Gotama removes hostility  Still sets himself apart from the “common people”  Grows to disdain them again  Sheds this after staying with Vasudeva  What's going on during the scene with the faces by the river?  It’s one of those “Eureka!” moments  Siddhartha understands that time may be illusory (and that everything is connected) after experiencing the intersection of his past (seeing his father’s face in his own), present (spotting his own reflection), and future (chasing his son)  Emotional wound begins healing

13 Govinda  Who – what – does Siddhartha become by the end of the book?  A bodhisattva  What do we learn about knowledge – i.e., can all knowledge be taught?  Knowledge can be taught/communicated, but wisdom cannot – and without wisdom, knowledge doesn’t matter  How does Siddhartha advise the desperate Govinda?  Tells him nothing  Lets himself be used as a lens  What is Siddhartha’s final gift?  Govinda learns the lesson life had already tried to teach him  He sees what’s already there; as Siddhartha points out, that potential was always within him, just as w/the Buddha within the sinner

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