Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse tells of a man, Siddhartha, and his search for peace. Siddhartha leaves the Brahmins to become a holy Samamna. He finds no satisfaction in the deprivation, which the Samanas practice, so he leaves their way of life to find the Buddha. The Buddha’s teachings fail to satisfy his desire to find a path to peace, also. He then travels to a town but finds no answers there either. Finally, beside the river, Siddhartha finds peace. There are two main themes in Siddhartha; the father/son theme and the theme of peace and totality.
The theme of father and own can be found at the beginning and end of the novel. Siddhartha leaves his father at the very beginning of the book in order to find the peace he feels he has not achieved by being a Brahmin, and Siddhartha never sees his father again. Siddhartha has a son with a courtesan in the town and has responsibility for him after his mother dies; the boy does not like staying by the river with Siddhartha and runs away, causing Siddhartha the same grief that Siddhartha had caused his own father years ago. These losses suffered by the by both Siddhartha and his father are all a part of Siddhartha’s journey to achieve inner peace.
The theme of peace and totality appears throughout the Siddhartha. Siddhartha’s father performs ablutions in the river and offers sacrifices to the gods in a never ending attempt to achieve peace within himself. The Samanas practice deprivation and attempt to escape the Self through meditation, only to realize that they only achieve totality for a short time. The Buddha has found peace and vainly attempts to explain to others how they, too, might achieve peace.
Abortion – Touched By an Angel
Abortion Touched By an Angel
It’s remarkable how a fantasy-based, sometimes sappy TV show featuring angels disguised as ordinary folks can pack more profound truth into one hour than a month of nightly news programs! That’s precisely what writer/producer Martha Williamson accom-plished in a recent episode of Touched by an Angel called “The Empty Chair.” Bucking the Hollywood establishment and its “pro-choice” ethic, Ms. Williamson displayed unmatched courage and insight into the aftermath of abortion.
As newlyweds in Boston, Betsy and Bud Baxter wanted nothing more than to work together on a television show. An offer from an Omaha station to co-host “Breakfast with the Baxters” seemed their first big step on the road to fame and happiness. Fifteen years later, when new station owners abruptly cancel their show, the Baxters are devastated by the loss of their jobs, of their dream, of all that had given their life meaning, and, apparently, of all that had been holding them together.
They bitterly vent their disappointment and grief at each other until the arrival of stranded travelers (the angels Monica and Andrew) give Betsy and Bud the chance to tell their stories separately to a compassionate listener. It’s not long before the underlying problem surfaces-the unspoken issue that stood between them since accepting the Omaha job: that the only child they’d ever conceived was “lost” shortly before moving there.
When Betsy learned of this pregnancy, she spontaneously bought a little baby jumper. Bud reacted negatively to the news. He thought only of how a child could disrupt their career plans on the eve of their first big break. When Bud left for several days to attend a friend’s wedding, Betsy dutifully took care of the problem with an abortion. She told Bud only that she had “lost” the child.
Betsy tried to conceal her grief, submerging it in work. The sorrow and pain did not go away, but
silently, stealthily robbed her of joy, of sleep, of the ability to feel close to her husband, of the ability simply to relax and open herself to life.
Bud is torn between wanting to know if their child was aborted and wanting to avoid the question, to protect Betsy and himself from painfully confronting what they had done. Bud struggles to forget, and bristles at the first hint of a discussion of their loss.