The Glass Bead Game Quotes

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The Glass Bead Game The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse
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“What you call passion is not a spiritual force, but friction between the soul and the outside world. Where passion dominates, that does not signify the presence of greater desire and ambition, but rather the misdirection of these qualities toward and isolated and false goal, with a consequent tension and sultriness in the atmosphere. Those who direct the maximum force of their desires toward the center, toward true being, toward perfection, seem quieter than the passionate souls because the flame of their fervor cannot always be seen. In argument, for example, they will not shout or wave their arms. But, I assure you, they are nevertheless, burning with subdued fires.”
Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game
“No permanence is ours; we are a wave
That flows to fit whatever form it finds”
Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game
“Oh, if only it were possible to find understanding,” Joseph exclaimed. “If only there were a dogma to believe in. Everything is contradictory, everything tangential; there are no certainties anywhere. Everything can be interpreted one way and then again interpreted in the opposite sense. The whole of world history can be explained as development and progress and can also be seen as nothing but decadence and meaninglessness. Isn’t there any truth? Is there no real and valid doctrine?”

The master had never heard him speak so fervently. He walked on in silence for a little, then said: “There is truth, my boy. But the doctrine you desire, absolute, perfect dogma that alone provides wisdom, does not exist. Nor should you long for a perfect doctrine, my friend. Rather, you should long for the perfection of yourself. The deity is within you, not in ideas and books. Truth is lived, not taught. Be prepared for conflicts, Joseph Knecht - I can see that they already have begun.”
Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game
“Stages



As every flower fades and as all youth
Departs, so life at every stage,
So every virtue, so our grasp of truth,
Blooms in its day and may not last forever.
Since life may summon us at every age
Be ready, heart, for parting, new endeavor,
Be ready bravely and without remorse
To find new light that old ties cannot give.
In all beginnings dwells a magic force
For guarding us and helping us to live.

Serenely let us move to distant places
And let no sentiments of home detain us.
The Cosmic Spirit seeks not to restrain us
But lifts us stage by stage to wider spaces.
If we accept a home of our own making,
Familiar habit makes for indolence.
We must prepare for parting and leave-taking
Or else remain the slaves of permanence.

Even the hour of our death may send
Us speeding on to fresh and newer spaces,
And life may summon us to newer races.
So be it, heart: bid farewell without end.”
Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game
“If only there were a dogma to believe in. Everything is contradictory, everything is tangential; there are no certainties anywhere. Everything can be interpreted one way and then again interpreted in the opposite sense. The whole of world history can be explained as development and progress and can also be seen as nothing but decadence and meaninglessness. Isn't there any truth? Is there no real and valid doctrine?" Joseph Knect said to his Music Master "there is truth, my boy. But the doctrine you desire, absolute perfect dogma that alone provides wisdom, does not exist. Nor should you long for a perfect doctrine, my friend rather, you should long for perfection in yourself. The deity is within you, not in ideas and books. Truth is lived not taught”
Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game
“Tegularius was a willful, moody person who refused to fit into his society. Every so often he would display the liveliness of his intellect. When highly stimulated he could be entrancing; his mordant wit sparkled and he overwhelmed everyone with the audacity and richness of his sometimes somber inspirations. But basically he was incurable, for he did not want to be cured; he cared nothing for co-ordination and a place in the scheme of things. He loved nothing but his freedom, his perpetual student status, and preferred spending his whole life as the unpredictable and obstinate loner, the gifted fool and nihilist, to following the path of subordination to the hierarchy and thus attaining peace. He cared nothing for peace, had no regard for the hierarchy, hardly minded reproof and isolation. Certainly he was a most inconvenient and indigestible component in a community whose idea was harmony and orderliness. But because of this very troublesomeness and indigestibility he was, in the midst of such a limpid and prearranged little world, a constant source of vital unrest, a reproach, an admonition and warning, a spur to new, bold, forbidden, intrepid ideas, an unruly, stubborn sheep in the herd.”
Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game
“كلما علت ثقافة الإنسان، وكلما عظمت الامتيازات التي كان يتمتع بها، كلما كانت التضحيات التي ينبغي عليه تقديمها في الأزمات كبيرة.”
هرمان هيسه, The Glass Bead Game
“There is truth, my boy. But the doctrine you desire, absolute, perfect dogma that alone provides wisdom, does not exist. Nor should you long for a perfect doctrine, my friend. Rather, you should long for the perfection of yourself. The deity is within you, not in ideas and books. Truth is lived, not taught.”
Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game
“Each of us is merely one human being, merely an experiment, a way station. But each of us should be on the way toward perfection, should be striving to reach the center, not the periphery.”
Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game
“Should we be mindful of dreams?" Joseph asked. "Can we interpret them?"

The Master looked into his eyes and said tersely: "We should be mindful of everything, for we can interpret everything.”
Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game
“No permanence is ours; we are a wave
That flows to fit whatever form it finds:
Through night or day, cathedral or the cave
We pass forever, craving form that binds.”
Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game
“A game master or teacher who was primarily concerned with being close enough to the "innermost meaning" would be a very bad teacher. To be candid, I myself, for example, have never in my life said a word to my pupils about the "meaning" of music; if there is one it does not need my explanations. On the other hand I have always made a great point of having my pupils count their eighths and sixteenths nicely. Whatever you become, teacher, scholar, or musician, have respect for the "meaning" but do not imagine that it can be taught.”
Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game
“What I am in search of is not so much the gratification of a curiosity or a passion for worldly life, but something far less conditional. I do not wish to go out into the world with an insurance policy in my pocket guaranteeing my return in the event of a disappointment, like some cautious traveller who would be content with a brief glimpse of the world. On the contrary, I desire that there should be hazards, difficulties and dangers to face; I am hungry for reality, for tasks and deeds, and also for privation and suffering.”
Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game
“إن التضحية بحب الحقيقة، وبالأمانة الفكرية، وبالإخلاص لقوانين ومناهج الفكر من أجل مصلحة أخرى مهما كانت، حتى مصلحة الوطن نفسه، خيانة. فإذا حدث في صراع المصالح والشعارات أن تعرضت الحقيقة لخطر فقدان القيمة والتخريف والاغتصاب، كما يتعرض الفرد له، وكما تتعرض له اللغة والفنون وكل كائن عضوي، وكل ما استنبط ونما نماءُ فنيًا جميلًا، فإن واجبنا الوحيد يتلخص آنئذ في المقاومة، وفي إنقاذ الحقيقة أعني إنقاذ السعي وراء الحقيقة. باعتباره أسمى ما في إيماننا. والعالم - سواء كان خطيبًا أو كاتبًا أو معلمًا - الذي يقول الخطأ، وهو يعلم أنه الخطأ، أو يساند الأكاذيب والتحريفات وهو يعلم أنها كذلك، لا يسلك فحسب مسلكًا مضادًا للقوانين الحيوية الأساسية، بل يصيب شعبه، رغم ما قد يظهر غير ذلك من نجاح وقتي، بالأذى الشديد، لأنه يفسد الهواء والأرض، والطعام والشراب، ويسمم التفكير والحق ويعين كل شر وكل عدو يهدد الشعب بالإبادة.”
هرمان هيسه, The Glass Bead Game
“Every important cultural gesture comes down to a morality, a model for human behavior concentrated into a gesture.”
Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game
“The old man slowly raised himself from the piano stool, fixed those cheerful blue eyes piercingly and at the same time with unimaginable friendliness upon him, and said: "Making music together is the best way for two people to become friends. There is none easier. That is a fine thing. I hope you and I shall remain friends. Perhaps you too will learn how to make fugues, Joseph.”
Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game
“Those who direct the maximum force of their desires towards the center, toward the true being, toward perfection, seem quieter than the passionate souls because the flame of their fervor cannot always be seen. In argument, for example, they will not shout and wave their arms. But I assure you, they are nevertheless burning with subdued fires.”
Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game
“I don't know whether my life has been useless and merely a misunderstanding, or whether it has a meaning.”
Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game
“His way had therefore come full circle, or rather had taken the form of an ellipse or a spiral, following as ever no straight unbroken line, for the rectilinear belongs only to Geometry and not to Nature and Life.”
Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game
“The scholar who knowingly speaks, writes, or teaches falsehood, who knowingly supports lies and deceptions, not only violates organic principles. He also, no matter how things may seem at the given moment, does his people a grave disservice. He corrupts its air and soil, its food and drink; he poisons its thinking and its laws, and he gives aid and comfort to all the hostile, evil forces that threaten the nation with annihilation.”
Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game
“كل واحد منا إنسان , بشر, أي أنه مجرد محاولة, مجرد شئ في منتصف الطريق. و علي الإنسان أن يكون في منتصف الطريق المؤدي إلي الكمال و أن يسعي لبلوغ المركز لا الحافة.”
Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game
“He read the veinings of a leaf, the pattern on a mushroom cap, and divined mysteries, relations, futures, possibilities: the magic of symbols, the foreshadowing of numbers and writing, the reduction of infinitudes and multiplicities to simplicity, to system, to concept. For all these ways of comprehending the world through the mind no doubt lay within him, nameless, unnamed, but not inconceivable, not beyond the bounds of presentiment, still in the germ, but essential to his nature, part of him, growing organically within him. And if we were to go still further back beyond this Rainmaker and his time which to us seems so early and primitive, if we were to go several thousand years further back into the past, wherever we found man we would still find - this is our firm belief - the mind of man, that mind which has no beginning and always has contained everything that it later produces.”
Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game
“When the world is at peace, when all things are tranquil and all men obey their superiors in all their courses, then music can be perfected. When desires and passions do not turn into wrongful paths, music can be perfected. Perfect music has its cause. It arises from equilibrium. Equilibrium arises from righteousness, and righteousness arises from the meaning of the cosmos. Therefore one can speak about music only with a man who has perceived the meaning of the cosmos.”
Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game
“إنما هو شئ مؤسف أليم أن يموت إنسان في مثل هذا اليأس .إن الله لا يرسل إلينا اليأس ليقتلنا,بل يرسله إلينا ليوقظ فينا حياة جديدة”
Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game
“Times of terror and the deepest misery may arrive, but if there is to be any happiness in this misery it can only be a spiritual happiness, related to the past in the rescue of the culture of early ages and to the future in a serene and indefatigable championship of the spirit in a time which would otherwise completely swallow up the material.”
Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game
“People know, or dimly feel, that if thinking is not kept pure and keen, and if respect for the world of mind is no longer operative, ships and automobiles will soon cease to run right, the engineer's slide rule and the computations of banks and stock exchanges will forfeit validity and authority, and chaos will ensue. ”
Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game
“My life, I resolved, ought to be a perpetual transcending, a progression from stage to stage; I wanted it to pass through one area after the next, leaving each behind, as music moves on from theme to theme, from tempo to tempo, playing each out to the end, completing each and leaving it behind, never tiring, never sleeping, forever wakeful, forever in the present. In connection with the experiences of awakening, I had noticed that such stages and such areas exist, and that each successive period in one’s life bears within itself, as it is approaching its end, a note of fading and eagerness for death. That in turn leads to a shifting to a new area, to awakening and new beginnings.”
Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game
“لا توجد حياة كريمة سامية دون معرفة بالشياطين والأبالسة ودون نضال دائم ضدها.”
هرمن هيسه, The Glass Bead Game
“Perfect music has its cause. It arises from equilibrium. Equilibrium arises from righteousness, and righteousness arises from the meaning of the cosmos. Therefore one can speak about music only with a man who has perceived the meaning of the cosmos.”
Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game
“These rules, the sign language and grammar of the Game, constitute a kind of highly developed secret language drawing upon several sciences and arts, but especially mathematics and music (and/or musicology), and capable of expressing and establishing interrelationships between the content and conclusions of nearly all scholarly disciplines. The Glass Bead Game is thus a mode of playing with the total contents and values of our culture; it plays with them as, say, in the great age of the arts a painter might have played with the colours on his palette.”
Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game

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