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Michelle Mills' Monomyth

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FC: Siddhartha and the Monomyth | By Michelle Mills

2: The Call

3: The call in Siddhartha is when the Samanas pass through Siddhartha’s town. Siddhartha, a young man searching for a life greater than the one he currently has, looks at the Samanas with awe. He sees the life he desires when he observes their “atmosphere of still passion, of devastating service, of unpitying self-denial” (Hesse 9). Following this event, Siddhartha tells Govinda, his follower and best friend, “Tomorrow morning, my friend, Siddhartha is going to join the Samanas. He is going to become a Samana” (Hesse 9).

4: Refusal of the Call

5: The refusal of the call wasn’t literally Siddhartha denying the journey ahead of him. It was more of a time lapse that kept Siddhartha from beginning his quest. Siddhartha explained to his father that he wished to go join the Samanas (Rand 10). Siddhartha waited for hours upon hours waiting for his father’s permission. Siddhartha finally receives his father’s consent. His father advises him to “kiss your mother and tell her where you are going” before he begins his long journey (Rand 12).

6: Supernatural Aid

7: Siddhartha’s supernatural aid is Gotama, “the Buddha, the Illustrious One” (Rand 25). Siddhartha experienced a realization after he listened to the great Buddha preach. Siddhartha realized that although he adored the mighty spirit of Gotama, he knew that he did not wish to follow him (Rand 32). On the other hand Govinda wished to worship Gotama and not follow Siddhartha on his journey. Gotama granted Siddhartha a spirtitual gift “he has given to me Siddhartha, myself” (Rand 36).

8: Crossing the Threshold

9: Siddhartha crossed the threshold when he “left the grove” (Rand 37). The grove separates Siddhartha’s past life from his new one. He left the life of teachers and learning for a new life of “rid[ing] myself of the Self” (Rand 38). Siddhartha no longer had a home with the Samanas, nor with his father, nor anyone.

10: Belly of the Whale

11: As soon as Siddhartha crossed the threshold, he stepped right into the belly of the whale. Siddhartha finds himself completely alone. Siddhartha realized, “He had been homeless for years and had not felt like this” Siddhartha wondered about “where he belong[ed]." He felt flooded with “a feeling of icy despair” (Rand 41).

12: Road of Trials

13: Siddhartha met many obstacles on his journey. Siddhartha had to overcome the sexual desire for the woman in the woods. Siddhartha “felt a longing and the stir of sex in him” (Rand 50). He had to fight loneliness when he traveled alone by realizing “he was more firmly himself than ever” (Rand 41). He had to be taught by Kamala how to “became[come] her pupil, her lover, her friend” (Rand 66). Siddhartha had to also overcome the controlling power of riches. “Property, possessions and riches had finally trapped him” (Rand 79). He also had to deal with the great saddnes of Kamala’s death (Rand 113). Siddhartha also had a son who told him “I hate you; you are not my father even if you have been my mother’s lover” (Rand 123). Through all of these obstacles, Siddhartha became stronger and more understanding

14: Meeting with the Goddess

15: Kamala, a rich beautiful woman, is the goddess. She is a powerful female character whom Siddhartha feels a strong bond with. He loves her and wants to learn from her. Siddhartha wishes to “learn about love” (Rand 55) from Kamala. She taught him that shoes, clothes, good looks, money, and presents for Kamala (Rand 54) are the key to her knowledge.

16: Temptation Away from True Path

17: The temptress is Kamala. She blinded Siddhartha with love. When Siddhartha was with Kamala, he was no longer focused on his journey. Kamala turned Siddhartha into a man set on love and riches. He does eventually get back onto his path when he realizes how selfish his desires have become. When Siddhartha comes to his senses he tells Kamala: “Perhaps people like us cannot love. Ordinary people can –that is their secret” (Rand 73).

18: Atonement with the Father

19: Siddhartha’s fatherly figure is Vasudeva. Siddhartha wants to learn from the river, for an inner voice told him “Love this river, stay by it, learn from it” (Rand 101). Siddhartha came to Vasudeva and told him of his whole story his life. As a result Vasudeva takes Siddhartha under his wing to show him the way of the river. Vasudeva helped Siddhartha on his journey as a father would. Siddhartha reconciles with Vasudeva by taking over as the new ferryman of the town so Vasudeva can follow his own journey. Vasudeva told Siddhartha “I am going into the woods; I am going into the unity of all things” (Rand 137).

20: Apotheosis

21: The Apotheosis is when he gazes into the river and sees images of “his relatives and all the people he had ever seen” flow with the currents that “hastened, suffered, towards goals, many goals, to the waterfall, to the sea” (Rand 135). He heard voices that were “interwoven and interlocked, entwined in a thousand ways” (Rand 135). He then heard the sacred word that always helped him through his journey, Om.

22: Refusal of the Return

23: The refusal of the call is when Siddhartha reflects on how his father could have died already. He thinks about “how he had gone and never returned. Had not his father also suffered” (Rand 132). Although these thoughts run through his head he doesn't actually make a move to head home. He sticks through it and talks through it with Vasudeva and realizes that this is his journey. He must continue on it.

24: Master of Two Worlds

25: Siddhartha mastered the two worlds. He realized that both words are connected. When he finally preached the ways of life to Govinda, that’s when he mastered the worlds. Siddhartha tells Govinda that his goal, the goal Siddhartha once thrived to achieve as well, is not a goal at all. Siddhartha explains “perhaps you seek too much, that as a result of your seeking you cannot find” (Rand 140). He explains how time is just a figment of your imagination and how he understands the ways of the world now (Rand 144).

26: Works Cited | Bachchan, Aishwarya. Attractive woman. 2010. Intermission. Web. 9 April 2011. Clock. n.d. Saving. Time Saver Advantage. Web. 9 April 2011. . Girl Alone in the Dark. 2008. The Blue Door. Web. 9 April 2011. Hesse, Herman. Sidhartha. New York: New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1951. Lord Buddha's Life Picture. 2010. Elakiri. Web. 9 April 2011.

27: Man on the boat. n.d. Scientific Learning. Healing Naturally. Web. 9 April 2011. . Obstacles are my life. 2010. Journey of Hope. Web. 9 April 2011. Siddhartha Gautama Buddha. 2009. Flickr. Web. 8 April 2011. Sunny path. 2009. Freelance Folder. Web. 10 April 2011. Understanding Meaning of Life Eye. 2007. Recovery. Web. 9 April 2011. Wandering Monks, Chiang Rai. 2005. Travelfish. Web. 9 April 2011. Woman hold forbidden fruit. 2010. Marvelous Girl. Web. 9 April 2011.

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