Have you ever had that thing you couldn’t live without? We all have that thing that we do on a regular basis that we willingly do that seems wired into our system. Siddhartha, a novel by Herman Hesse, shows the main character Siddhartha go through self-deprivation and what effect this has on him and shapes his life. I can relate my own experience of giving up watching T. V. for a week to Siddhartha’s journey of becoming a sharmana through self-sacrifices. I choose giving up T. V. because I felt it was a significant or overbearing part of my life. There are three particular instances in which I can directly empathize with Siddhartha. One particular instance in the novel that I can relate to my own experience is when I was trying to suppress my desire to go watch T. V. until it became embodied in my body to not watch T. V. I could relate this to Siddhartha in his journey in this particular instance, “ Siddhartha sat erect and learned to slow his breathing, learned how to manage with little breath, to lower his pulse, learned to slow the beating of his heart until it was so diminished it scarcely existed” (Hesse-14). My own experience was much like that of Siddhartha in that it took a lot of effort even emotional stress and pain to try to suppress our wants or desires. This is probably the hardest part of the journey of self-deprivation because you must try to contain yourself and remove your desire from your mindset.
Another part of my journey that was a vital aspect was trying to distract myself with other things so I wouldn’t want to watch T. V. Siddhartha also used meditation and various other things to help him through his journey. For example instead of watching T. V., I went to the gym instead. Siddhartha used techniques also: “ He walked the path of self –distancing through pain, through voluntary endurance of suffering and vanquishing of pain, of hunger, of thirst, of exhaustion of suffering and vanquishing of pain, of hunger, of thirst, of exhaustion. He walked the path of self-distancing through meditation, by emptying the mind of all associations” (Hesse-15). Siddhartha achieves his personal success by distracting himself with meditation and emptying his mind of all associations with the human world. There is a correlation between both our journeys in that we both had to go through many trying trials and tribulations to get where we wanted. Finally another situation that I can relate to Siddhartha is learning to be unselfish and parting from oneself.
I realized that I had to give up my selfish desire of watching T. V. in order to become one with myself. Siddhartha is also much like this, “ He learned to walk these and other paths, thousands of times he abandoned his I, for hours and days he abided in the not-I” (Hesse-18). Siddhartha comes to see that he sacrificed his own personal desire and try to live not for himself only. I felt this to be a big part of my journey of self-deprivation. In various aspects of my journey I can directly relate it to that of Siddhartha. I experience many of the same emotions and pains he goes through at nearly the exact same time frame as him. Self-deprivation is a very difficult thing to do and can often help us reflect upon ourselves as people and unveil a deeper meaning in our lives. My self-deprivation experience is one that has made me reexamine myself to further better me.