"I had to become a fool again in order to find Atman in myself."

By virtue of all his learning as a brahmin pupil, Siddhartha believed that, "Already he knew how to recognize the Atman within the depth of his being..."

However, through the restraints of an ascetic life, and then through the unrestrained life of a pleasure seeker, he realized that he was seeking to satiate his Ego, his false-Self. The True Self, or Atman, can be realized only through simplistic love for the Supreme, when one is able to see the individual soul as an intrinsic part of the Divine.