From the start of Siddhartha's journey, he seeks personal transformation. He joins the ascetics, visits Gotama, embraces his earthly desires, and finally communes with nature, all in an attempt to attain Nirvana. Siddhartha knows that he will not attain enlightenment by following Gotama. The novel also shows how the path to enlightenment cannot be conferred to another person because it is different for everyone and will likely never be achieved simply by listening to or obeying an enlightened one. For words and teachings may describe the truth but are not the Truth itself; being concepts, they trap you, since enlightenment means release from concepts.