Sunday, January 1, 2017

"Within the last few decades, since the complete triumph
of industrialization, the image of our earth's surface has been
entirely altered and rearranged; every city and landscape in
the world has suffered monstrous change and a corresponding
revolution has swept the souls and minds of men.
In the years since the outbreak of the world war this
development has been so rapid that one can without
exaggeration announce the death and destruction 
of that culture in which we older people were educated
as children and which seemed to us at that time eternal
and immutable."

 from Our Age's Yearning for a Philosophy of Life 
1926-1927 by Hermann Hesse

Hermann Hesse, My Belief, Essays on Life and Art

I have dipped into this book hundreds of times, simply to 
read, not necessarily taking much from it, often not 
finishing the essay. So why have I placed this book by my
bed for so many years? In these essays Hesse demonstrates
that there is a life of the mind. That someone read and 
thought about our intellectual history, our spirituality, our 
morality. He mulled over what he has read and heard and 
experienced in an attempt to understand his place in the
world and that of his fellows. And I suspect this is a 
worthwhile pursuit, an subject that everyone would 
be better off reflecting on and working through.

" Over there the pale snow lay in a different fashion
than on my roof, over there the beech forest and the

black pine trees were indescribably beautiful and 
reserved in a way I never saw in my neighborhood;
perhaps God Himself walked over there along the 
slopes, and whoever met Him there could touch Him
and speak to Him and look closely into His eyes."

from At Year's End 1904
              by Hermann Hesse

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