Happiness and the Good Life for Siddhartha
The good life for Siddhartha is happiness. Siddhartha is able to live the good life by finding happiness as described by Richard Taylor in the chapter “Happiness”. In his chapter “Happiness” from An Introduction to Virtue Ethics, Richard Taylor discusses things that can confused with happiness and says that “happiness is a kind of fulfillment” (“Happiness”). Siddhartha’s main goal is to be happy by fulfilling his longing to find his inner self or Atman and become fully enlightened. Siddhartha comes to the same conclusion as Taylor about what happiness is and isn’t and at the end of Siddhartha’s journey, once he reaches enlightenment, he receives that “kind of fulfillment” (“Happiness”) and is truly happy and living the good life.
Siddhartha begins his journey as a young star among the Brahman. Siddhartha “…was a source of joy for everybody”, but “he found no delight in himself” (Siddhartha). Siddhartha begins to realize that, as Taylor puts it, “wealth, honor, glory, and the like…often contribute to happiness but never add up to it.” (“Happiness). Siddhartha’s next lesson comes when his friend Govinda urges Siddhartha to leave the Samanas and follow a wise teacher called Gotama the Buddha who has the knowledge they have been searching for. Siddhartha immediately recognizes Gotama and knows that Gotama has attained the enlightenment that he seeks. When talking with Gotama, Siddhartha also realizes that “nobody will obtain salvation by means of teachings” (Siddhartha). Siddhartha decides to continue on his own path because in order to reach salvation and enlightenment one has to experience the mysteries and find the answers themselves. Siddhartha takes a step in the right direction to happiness and the good life with this decision because he is pursing what Taylor calls “Creative Intelligence” (“Happiness”). Siddhartha is deciding to make his own path and find salvation himself instead of trying to learn it from a...
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