PSYCHOLOGICAL ANALYSIS OF MYSTICAL EXPERIENCES IN HERMAN HESSE’S SIDDHARTHA

Muhammad Imran, Abdul Ghaffar Bhatti, Rana Tahir Naveed

Abstract

This paper is an attempt to study Siddhartha’s spiritual quest for self-knowledge in psychological perspective. It is meant to explore how far and in what ways is the mystical experience on par with secondary integration of personality that occurs only in the wake of the disintegration of several existing psychological structures. The protagonist’s act of overcoming ego-consciousness and disassociating himself with the social labels and ultimately realizing his ‘self’ are analyzed psychologically using Kazimierz Dabrowski’s theory of positive disintegration as a conceptual framework. Herman Hesse’s novel Siddhartha is selected for the study, and textual analysis is employed as a tool to analyse the text culling the relevant passages as evidence. The study reveals that the protagonist of the novel achieves higher level of personality development and the previously held assumptions which confuse spirituality with psychic disorders are overruled. It also asserts the validity of mystical experiences as higher form of consciousness yielding wisdom allowing mystics to transcend the temporal cum spatial barriers thereby elevating to the level of humanity. This paper suggests that the study of different mystical traditions may well lead to one’s personal development and may prove a step towards gaining maturity.

Keywords: Mysticism, mystical experience, self-realization, positive disintegration, secondary integration.  

Cite as: Imran, M., Bhatti, A. G., & Naveed, R.T. (2018). Psychological analysis of mystical experiences in Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha. Journal of Nusantara Studies, 3(2), 66-79. http://dx.doi.org/10.24200/jonus.vol3iss2pp66-79

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