House On The Hill: A Metaphysical Journey Into The Glass Bead Game

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The stories are presented as exercises by Knecht imagining his life had he been born in another time and place. The first story tells of a pagan rainmaker named Knecht who lived "many thousands of years ago, when women ruled ".


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The second story is based on the life of St Hilarion and tells of Josephus, an early Christian hermit who acquires a reputation for piety but is inwardly troubled by self-loathing and seeks a confessor, only to find that same penitent had been seeking him. The final story concerns the life of Dasa, a prince wrongfully usurped by his half brother as heir to a kingdom and disguised as a cowherd to save his life.

While working with the herdsmen as a young boy, Dasa encounters a yogi in meditation in the forest. He wishes to experience the same tranquility as the yogi, but is unable to stay. He later leaves the herdsmen and marries a beautiful young woman, only to be cuckolded by his half brother now the Rajah.

In a cold fury, he kills his half brother and finds himself once again in the forest with the old yogi, who, through an experience of an alternate life, guides him on the spiritual path and out of the world of illusion Maya. The three lives, together with that as Magister Ludi, oscillate between extroversion rainmaker, Indian life — both get married and introversion father confessor, Magister Ludi while developing the four basic psychic functions of analytical psychology : sensation rainmaker , intuition Indian life , feeling father confessor , and thinking Magister Ludi.

Originally, Hesse intended several different lives of the same person as he is reincarnated.

Mark Megna

Two drafts of a fourth life were published in , the second version being recast in the first person and breaking off earlier. This Knecht has been born some dozen years after the Treaty of Rijswijk in the time of Eberhard Ludwig , and in depicting the other characters Hesse draws heavily on actual biographies: Friedrich Christoph Oetinger , Johann Friedrich Rock , Johann Albrecht Bengel and Nicolaus Zinzendorf make up the cast of Pietist mentors.

Knecht is heavily drawn to music however, both that of the acknowledged master Pachelbel and the more exotic Buxtehude. The fragment breaks off as the young contemporary of Bach happens upon an organ recital in Stuttgart.

The Glass Bead Game is "a kind of synthesis of human learning" [9] in which themes, such as a musical phrase or a philosophical thought, are stated. As the Game progresses, associations between the themes become deeper and more varied. Many characters in the novel have names that are allusive word games.


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  • Knecht's brilliant but unstable friend Fritz Tegularius is based on Friedrich Nietzsche , while Father Jacobus is based on the historian Jakob Burckhardt. Freedman wrote in his biography of Hesse that the tensions caused by the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany directly contributed to the creation of the Glass Bead Game as a response to the oppressive times.

    It became the "island of love" or at least an island of the spirit. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the novel. For the German electropop duo, see Glasperlenspiel duo.

    house on the hill a metaphysical journey into the glass bead game Manual

    Novels portal. Books and Writers kirjasto. Finland: Kuusankoski Public Library. The sunlight gives an early shine to the first grapes that produce a sweet, yellow liquid in this area.

    Cosmology of the Glass Bead Game

    Dust falls after my traipsing feet. Nine hundred years after twelve Alsace monks came here to live their strict interpretation of Christianity, the monastery still breathes the same spirit of purity. The Cistercians lived an ascetic, hard working life, where every action was aimed at inner peace and a closer relationship to God.

    They were looking for a God that does not desire adornment. The search for simplicity shows itself between the sober, pale brick walls, along the rigid lines of the vaulted ceilings. High arched windows and wide vaults spanning across the rooms and archways give the mind space to meditate.

    I wander through the empty halls, chessboards of shadow and sunlight, and fall into a reverie where monks and schoolboys pass alongside me, busy with their daily routine. Suddenly I see the artwork that brought me here. For Hesse, the fountain shimmering in front of me is a wonder:. In the sharp shadow of the vaulted space the three scales of the fountain hovering above one another, and the singing water fell in eight fine rays from the first into the second scale and in eight fine resounding rays from the second into the third scale and the vault played its eternal lovely game with the living sounds, today just like yesterday, today just like then, and rose up there dazzling, taking pleasure in itself and perfect, like an image of the timelessness of beauty.

    I saw the fountain first on the cover of The Glass Bead Game , his magnum opus. It is a novel astoundingly rich in themes, revolving around a futuristic game developed out of mathematics and music studies, wherein the players attempt to weave all human knowledge into a perfect web of harmony. The game is used as a metaphor for the search for a hidden harmony below the superficial confusion and chaos of the visible world. During the weeks I was reading the book I kept returning to this image.

    What did this fountain mean to Hesse?

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    Obviously, life in Maulbronn served as a blueprint for life in the novel, and the fountain was a symbol for monastic life. But, knowing Hesse, there would have to be more than just one reason. Now that I was standing in front of it, seeing the three majestic copper scales, large and solid and filled to the brim, and surrounded by a deep, big, holy silence, I understood. From a tender age Hermann Hesse started acquiring a profound knowledge of ancient Eastern wisdom through the library of his grandfather, a large, big-bearded philologer who had studied Asian languages and had lived in India and China most of his life.

    His thinking stressed the undivided nature of the universe, with every molecule interconnected, as opposed to the dualistic Western views. These ideas that he had carried with him his entire life, Hesse saw expressed in the fountain. In its simple elegance, the fountain represented the Divine for him. The perfect balance and mathematical perfection of the round scales levitating above one another symbolized a universe in harmony.

    The higher levels fill the lower levels with clear, fresh water, while they in turn support the weight of the higher ones. Each scale is at once independent and interdependent. The fountain also speaks of his goal of a higher consciousness. As the fountain reaches up, it becomes simpler and lighter, shedding its excess water.

    The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse

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