It changed my life. With just the right cues of romance, high-tech adventure, philosophical mystery, and heroism, the book invaded my adolescent mind, laid down roots and suggested a long term plan: I would one day be able to play the Game. And I succeeded, at least during a goodly portion of my adult life, when I wasnt distracted by the trivialities of wealth, status, and religion. So I realised it was about time for me to revisit the ur-inspiration.
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It changed my life. With just the right cues of romance, high-tech adventure, philosophical mystery, and heroism, the book invaded my adolescent mind, laid down roots and suggested a long term plan: I would one day be able to play the Game. And I succeeded, at least during a goodly portion of my adult life, when I wasnt distracted by the trivialities of wealth, status, and religion.
So I realised it was about time for me to revisit the ur-inspiration. Worth the risk then. The epigraph alone rekindles the fire that smoulders still in my unconscious: Nothing is harder, yet nothing is more necessary, than to speak of certain things whose existence is neither demonstrable nor probable.
The very fact that serious and conscientious men treat them as existing things brings them a step closer to existence and to the possibility of being born. I have experienced just this motivation with the force of compulsion. The task is both poetic and practical: to help people, particularly myself, to see what is hidden by what they already see, the things within and beyond what is apparently there.
The next a military career. Followed by a time in professional academia and subsequently an international consulting firm which is best described as a professional Protestant monastery. All these, and most choices that followed, had the intention of assimilation into one form or another of an organisation of united and mutually supportive minds. Somewhat remarkably, I suppose, I have never been a joiner of clubs, or groups, or congregations, only those with some sort of monastic potential.
Even the international firm to which I belonged, commercial as is was, had an ethos which could have been taken straight from The Game. Even that felt like a ritual of integration. The idea of the rules of The Game, its language, and symbology undoubtedly provoked some sort of teen-age mysticism.
The world at large expects increasing specialisation with age. But for me intellectual maturity has always been a matter of expansion rather than refinement.
This has made me less well-off than I might have been. But I am more than content. I also find that I retain some tendencies toward teen-age mysticism. Perhaps this is an accomplishment.
It has been said that one is born either an Aristotelian or a Platonist. Empirically, it seems to me, there is some strength in this assertion. I am certainly in the camp of the latter and therefore fit right in to the Platonic bias of The Game, which Aristotelians would merely find just silly.
And through them into the idea of the ideal as a symbol of both purpose and the aesthetical. Around each of these was a sort of invisible college, the members of which unknowingly participated in many rounds of The Game. That many of them are dead or no longer in my daily life is neither regrettable nor sad since the Order continues to unite us. For Hesse, the daily newspaper was more about gossip than the factual information necessary for life. Perhaps they will be exactly the catalyst necessary for the real creation of The Game!
Mathematics and Music are the core disciplines of The Game. I can blame Hesse for implanting this as a seed in my psyche.
It legitimised for me my interest in numbers but certainly not the techniques of calculation insisted upon by my teachers and classical music of which none of my contemporaries had the slightest interest. Once again, it is unclear whether The Game provoked or merely articulated these interests. But they have always returned as the matrix of my own version of The Game.
I could go on ad nauseam recounting the many other specific influences that The Glass Bead Game has had on my life. But this short reflection is enough to show me the profound depths to which we can be influenced by what we consume as literature in early life.
Perhaps the reflection is only productive as a sort of therapy that makes conscious what has been hidden for decades from will and choice.
Description[ edit ] The Glass Bead Game takes place at an unspecified date centuries into the future. Castalia is home to an austere order of intellectuals with a twofold mission: to run boarding schools, and to cultivate and play the Glass Bead Game, whose exact nature remains elusive and whose devotees occupy a special school within Castalia known as Waldzell. The rules of the game are only alluded to—they are so sophisticated that they are not easy to imagine. Playing the game well requires years of hard study of music, mathematics, and cultural history. The game is essentially an abstract synthesis of all arts and sciences.
The Glass Bead Game Quotes
His grandparents served in India at a mission under the auspices of the Basel Mission , a Protestant Christian missionary society. His grandfather Hermann Gundert compiled the current grammar in Malayalam language, compiled a Malayalam-English dictionary, and also contributed to the work in translating the Bible to Malayalam. In describing her own childhood, she said, "A happy child I was not In , the Hesse family moved to Calw, where Johannes worked for the Calwer Verlagsverein, a publishing house specializing in theological texts and schoolbooks. Hesse grew up in a Swabian Pietist household, with the Pietist tendency to insulate believers into small, deeply thoughtful groups. His father, Hesse stated, "always seemed like a very polite, very foreign, lonely, little-understood guest.
The Glass Bead Game