discussion, literature, philosophy, poetry, psychology, quotes, reading, reflection, religions

Hermann Hesse

Hermann Hesse is a German novelist and nobel prize winner. He is actually one of my favorite novelist. Most of his novel explores the search for one’s self and the discovery of individual’s spirit. I have read his novel “Demian” more than once and then i decided that i should select the sentences that gained my attention the most. I highly recommend reading his novel. I hope my selection would give you a motivation to read more of his novels.
Please read my selections of Hesse’s book and let me which one did you like the most?and why?
“It is the story of a man, not for an invented, or possible, or idealized, or otherwise absent figure, but for a unique being of flesh and blood. Yet, what a real living human being is made of seems to be less understood today than at any time before”
“If we were not something more than unique human beings, if each one of us could really be done away with once and for all by a single bullet, storytelling would lost all purpose”
“But every man is more than himself; he also represent the unique, the very special and always significant and remarkable point at which the world’s phenomena intersect, only once in tis way and never again” p1
“I don’t consider myself less ignorant than most people. I have been and still am a seeker, but i have ceased to question stars and books. I have begun to listen to the teachings my blood whispers to me. My story is not a pleasant one; it is neither sweet nor harmonious, as invented stories are; it has the taste of nonsense and chaos, of madness and dreams- like the lives of all men who stop deceiving themselves.” p2
“Each man’s life represent a road toward himself, an attempt as such a road, the intimation of a path, No man has ever been entirely and completely himself. Yet each one strives to become that- one in an awkward, the other in a more intelligent way, each as best he can. Each man carries the vestiges of his birth- the slime and eggshells of this primeval past- with him to the end of his days. some never become human, remaining frog, lizard, ant. some are human above the waist, fish below. Each represents a gamble on the part of nature in creation of the human. we all share the same origin, our mothers; all of us come in at the same door. but each os us- experiments of the depths- strives toward his own destiny. We can understand one another, but each of us is able to interpret himself to himself alone.” p2
“People with courage and character always seem sinister to the rest. It was scandal that a breed of fearless and sinister people ran about freely, so they attached a nickname and myth to these people to get even with them, to make up for the many times they had felt afraid.” p24
“I realize today that nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself.” p38
“Many people experience the dying and rebirth- which is our fate- only this once during their entire life.” p41
“Their childhood becomes hollow and gradually collapse, everything they love abandons them and they suddenly feel surrounded by the loneliness and mortal cold of the universe.” p41
“You knew all along that your sanctioned world was only half the world and you tried to suppress the second half the same way the priests and teachers do. You won’t succeed. No one succeeds in this once he has begun to think.” p.53
“What is forbidden, in other words, isn’t something eternal; it can change.” p54
“It’s good to realize that within us there is someone who knows everything, wills everything, does everything better than we ourselves.” p74
“There’s an immense difference between simply carrying the world within us and being aware of it. A madman can spout ideas that remind you of Plato, and a pious little seminary student rethinks deep mythological correspondences found among the Gnostics or in Zoroaster. But he isn’t aware of them. He is a tree or stone, at best an animal, as long as he isn’t conscious. but as soon as the first spark of recognition dawns within him he is a human being.” p92
“You wouldn’t consider all the bipeds you pass on the street human beings simply because they walk upright and carry their young in their bellies nine months! It is obvious how many of them are fish or sheep, worms or angels, how many are ants, how many are fish or sheep, worms or angels, how contains the possibility of becoming human, partially even by learning to make himself conscious of them; only in this respect are these possibilities his.” p92
“Oh, yes, each and every religion is beautiful; religion is soul, no matter whether you take part of Christian communion or make a pilgrimage to Mecca.” p95
“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.” p97
“Sooner or later each of us must take the step that separates him from his father, from his mentors; each of us must have some cruelly lonely experience- even if most people can’t take much of this and soon crawl back.” p 106
“Someone who seeks nothing but his own fate no longer has any companions, he stands quite alone and has only cold universal space around him.” p112
“People like you and me are quite lonely really but we still have each other, we have the secret satisfaction of being different, of rebelling, of desiring the unusual.”p112
“You are only afraid if you are not in harmony with yourself. People are afraid because they have never owned up themselves. A while society composed of men afraid of the unknown within them! they all sense that the rules they live by are no longer valid, that they live according to archaic laws- neither their religion  nor their mortality is in any way suited to the needs of the present.” p118
“one never reaches home” she said. ” but where paths that have affinity for each other intersect, the whole world looks like home, for a time”p122
“Whatever might happen to me now, i was filled with ecstasy: that this woman existed in the world, that i could drink in her voice and breath her presence. No matter whether she would become my mother, my beloved or a goddess- if she could just be here! if only my path would be close to hers!” p123
“It is always difficult to be born. you know the chick does not find it easy to break his way out of the shell.”p123
“Yes, you must find your dream, then the way becomes easy. But there is no dream that lasts forever, each dream is followed by another, and one shouldn’t cling to any particular one.”p124
“You should, however, either be capable of renouncing these desire or feel wholly justified in having them.”p129
“The world wants to renew itself. there’s a smell of death in the air. nothing can be born without first dying.” p136
Thanks for Aysha Akusayer for introducing the Author to me

7 thoughts on “Hermann Hesse”

  1. oh! I absolutely adore Hermann Hesse! He is one of my favorite authors.
    Demian definitely left me thinking. All the books i’ve read from this author leave me deeply thinking about the meaning of life and self.

    When i read Demian,I thought an analytic philosopher would be somewhat less sympathetic towards psychoanalysis. Turns out, Demian is essentially serving as Sinclair’s psychoanalyst, uncovering what lies hidden in the depths of Sinclair’s being.

    from the quotes you’ve provided, I’ve got to say that i couldn’t chose one that i’ve liked the most, so i’m providing my own that i remember from the book:

    “Perhaps you’ll need me again sometime, against Kromer or something. If you call me then I won’t come crudely, on horseback or by train. You’ll have to listen within yourself, then you will notice that I am within you.”
    This is towards the end of the book, Demian comes to sinclair to tell him that he will won’t be able to help him anymore (physically). I chose this quote, because this’ what marks Sinclairs independence.
    Before, when he was emotionally and intelectualy ready to break free, he didn’t. He still hung out with Frau Eva and Demian.
    Now, he is PHYSICALLY alone. The notion of him being seperated from Demian physically, shows the confidence demian has in Sinclair.

    Sinclair is ready to face the world alone. Though Demian may not be there in the flesh, Sinclair will be capable of doing anything Demian could—if he looks deep enough within himself =) and that’s why i like that quote.

    I very much enjoyed reading Demian, i remember it was assigned to us last year in Lit class and i wasn’t very enthusiastic about it, but once i’ve started reading Demian, i literally couldn’t put the book down, becuase Demian is written so affectionately. I appreciate Hermann Hesse’s work, he obviously put his all into it.

    Also, since you like Hesse, i highly highly recommend Siddhartha ! It is another great read! =)
    it deals with the spiritual journey of an Indian man called Siddhartha during the time of the Buddha, it completely changed my perspective toward Buddhism =)

  2. Borken wings,
    i have Steppenwolf and beneath the wheel for Hesse, i am currently reading the glass bead game.
    i haven’t bought Siddhartha yet,,but for sure it is in my reading list for the next month.. what else did u read for Hesse?

  3. Owww, Murtadha, thank you for even thanking me while you truly owe it to yourself–the thanx. You are just an avid and dedicated reader. When you explore the philosophy or subject matter of a book you fully engage with it and not fear the questions and challenges such engagement may pose.

    After reading your quotes and the titles of Hesse’s work you are currently reading, I feel a yearning to go to the library.

    After Taraweeh I will isa.

  4. we finally heard back from Aysah 🙂
    glad to see you back, it seems you were too busy with new job 🙂 hope you are doing good in back home.
    i wanna know your new list of books,, because your books’ selection is always great.

  5. I’ve read Siddhartha, Demian, and Steppenwolf =) thats it.

    “i am currently reading the glass bead game.”

    oh that sounds interesting what’s it about ?

  6. I haven’t gotten that far in the novel to know the story yet,,, but helpfully soon..
    i will write it about it once i finish reading it

  7. Absolutely, cannot choose, fascinating! Call me naive but I have never looked into any of Hermann Hesse’s work but that is sure to change now, thank you for introducing me to this man!

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