"Govinda bowed low. Tears ran over his old face, but he was unaware of them; the feeling of deepest love, of humblest veneration burned in his heart like a fire. He bowed low, down to the ground, bowed to the motionless sitter, whose smile reminded him of everything that he had ever loved in his life, that had ever been valuable and holy to him in his life."
To hold our tongues when everyone is gossiping, to smile without hostility at people and institutions, to compensate for the shortage of love in the world with more love in small, private matters; to be more faithful in our work, to show greater patience, to forgo the cheap revenge obtainable from mockery and criticism: all these are things we can do.
"There is, so I believe, in the essence of everything, something that we cannot call learning. There is, my friend, only a knowledge - that is everywhere."
"I have no right to call myself one who knows. I was one who seeks, and still am, but I no longer seek in the stars or in books; I’m beginning to hear the teachings of my blood pulsing within me. My story isn’t pleasant, it’s not sweet and harmonious like the invented stories; it tastes of folly and bewilderment, of madness and dream, like the life of all people who no longer want to lie to themselves."
"Learn what is to be taken seriously and laugh at the rest."
— Hermann Hesse
"When we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy."
Literary Birthday - 2 July
Hermann Hesse, born 2 July 1877, died 9 August 1962
- Words do not express thoughts very well. They always become a little different immediately after they are expressed, a little distorted, a little foolish.
- Without words, without writing and without books there would be no history, there could be no concept of humanity.
- If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb us.
- Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.
- When dealing with the insane, the best method is to pretend to be sane.
- The mind is international and supra-national … it ought to serve not war and annihilation, but peace and reconciliation.
- Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, be fortified by it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it.
Hesse was a German poet, novelist, and painter. His best-known works include Steppenwolf, Siddhartha, and The Glass Bead Game. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946.
Source for image
by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write
You should not take old people who are already dead seriously. It does them injustice. We immortals do not like things to be taken seriously. We like joking. Seriousness, young man, is an accident of time. It consists, I don’t mind telling you in confidence, in putting too high a value on time. I, too, once put too high a value on time. For that reason I wished to be a hundred years old. In eternity, however, there is no time, you see. Eternity is a mere moment, just long enough for a joke.
~ Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf
"Your soul is the whole world."
"My real self wanders elsewhere, far away, wanders on and on invisibly and has nothing to do with my life."
"What we can and should change is ourselves: our impatience, our egoism (including intellectual egoism), our sense of injury, our lack of love and forbearance. I regard every other attempt to change the world, even if it springs from the best intentions, as futile."
"When someone is seeking,” said Siddartha, “It happens quite easily that he only sees the thing that he is seeking; that he is unable to find anything, unable to absorb anything, because he is only thinking of the thing he is seeking, because he has a goal, because he is obsessed with his goal. Seeking means: to have a goal; but finding means: to be free, to be receptive, to have no goal. You, O worthy one, are perhaps indeed a seeker, for in striving towards your goal, you do not see many things that are under your nose."
"A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one’s suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother."