I finished reading Herman Hesse’s novel Siddhartha this past weekend, and there’s a lot for the reader to unpack at the end. One of the many threads running through the story is the role of teachers in our lives–especially teachers who tell us how to live.
Siddhartha meets Gautama, the famous Buddha, toward the beginning of his journey for enlightenment. Even though Siddhartha finds the Buddha’s teachings very wise, he can’t square the nagging concern that following the wise sage means rejecting his own path. He believes that following a man instead of discovering truth for himself will lead no where. In other words, Siddhartha has to work out his own truth.
The Apostle Paul speaks in similar terms. He warns his readers to not be followers of men:
What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephasb ”; still another, “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul?
Live long enough, and you’ll realize finding your path relies upon you and not the cacophony of the world.