Thursday, June 16, 2016


My first rendition of Hermann Hesse's intellectual glass bead game. My thesis is that anything that sounds intellectual is part of the game.

A kindly stranger says:

‘You look like the perfect young poet!’

And he tips his hat, and that is the end of it.

But as you continue on, you begin to look at the landscape:

The little hills with grass, how short the trees are…

The way tulips smell sweetly but aren’t as tall as the trees…

You begin to think you are more of an intellectual…

A dreamer, a Romantic…

Your relatives comment on your wisdom, and you decide to be become a philosopher.

But a stern voice says:

‘Philosophers are born, not made’

And so, you try to justify your past with the idea that you were always a philosopher…

Not just a philosopher, you were a seeker of immortal life!…

You meet Adimus, who says:

‘Is this really your best work…
There are places where you could improve’

And you begin to work more diligently,

And it is like cleaning the stables of Parnassus.

You meet Plato
(or perhaps really a talking statue),
who says

‘From now on you must direct your work
towards only the best aim…
Proceed on the basis of your knowledge
of the good and only the good!’

However, you begin to encounter evils, and wonder about the fairness of life.

You try to hold a firm principle.

You meet Cadmus, who says,

‘From now on, you can try the same efforts,
But you must multiply! Be more effortless,
And reap the great rewards!’

A phase of manic productivity ensues.

Phoebe notes:

‘You have now a hint of intelligence,
so live and prosper by your work,
if you are able!’

You turn a critical eye on old materials, and note that there were shortcomings.

In some places you didn’t have the hint of divine brilliance which you now occasionally find in your work.

Is it a subjective quality?

How much of subjectivity you now know, that you did not know before!

Then you meet Ephesius, who says,
‘That is all well and good, but now
you must do the same, only more

This is generally the beginning of the Gestalt phase of knowledge.


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