Journey to Find Wisdom

Everyone has to take a journey to find and gain wisdom, but the type of journey can differ from person to person. Some people need to go on a physical journey, others need to go on a mental journey, and the rest have to go on a mix of both.

The book Siddhartha is a good example of someone deciding for himself that he needs to go on a physical journey to become enlightened, since meditation to find wisdom and enlightenment wasn’t working for him. “‘I have come to tell you that I wish tomorrow to depart your house and go to the ascetics. It is my wish to become a shramana.’” (pg. 10) Siddhartha goes on a long expedition to enlightenment. At the end of the book, he explains to his long-time friend Govinda that the path to enlightenment isn’t the same for everyone. “‘What is treasure and wisdom to one man always sounds like utter foolishness to another.’” (pg. 114) He says this to recognize that though he went on a physical journey to gain wisdom and enlightenment, his process probably sounds silly to anyone else.

In the book The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, the main character, Junior, takes a mix of both mental and physical journeys to learn a lesson. His physical journey is leaving his Native American reservation to attend school in an all-white community. His mental journey is discovering that even when he felt lonely, he still belonged to many different “tribes”. “I realized that sure, I was a Spokane Indian. I belonged to that tribe. But I also belonged to the tribe of American immigrants… And the tribe of tortilla chips-and-salsa-lovers… And the tribe of boys who really missed their best friends. It was a huge realization.” (pg. 217) And the list goes on. He learned a lot about himself through doing something that no one on his reservation would ever think of attempting, which was going to an all-white school.

The book Out of my Mind is good example of a girl, Melody, who takes a mental journey, for the most part. Though she is taken out of Special Ed and placed in a more challenging class, which could be considered a physical journey, she has a lot of time with her thoughts because she can’t speak- until she is given a machine to speak with. She learns a lot about what people think of her, and how she differs and is similar to her peers. “I believe in me. And my family does. And Mrs. V. It’s the rest of the world I’m not so sure of.” (pg. 174) She also says, “We all have disabilities. What’s yours?” (pg. 168) to her peers in the middle of the book.

Everyone is not the same, so gaining wisdom and enlightenment is different for every single person. As I have shown from the evidence above, there are many different ways to gain wisdom, it just depends on what works for the person. Siddhartha felt he needed to go on a physical journey, Junior accomplished a mix of both, and Melody takes a mental journey. Many people, such as Junior and Melody, don’t decide to gain wisdom, it just happens through major events in their life.