I got to know Hermann Hesse’ works in Iran in the 1970s. There were only a few books which translated from him. It was when I came to Germany, I’ve got to know him better. He was not just a poet; he was a great thinker, philosopher, and painter.
I remember well when I had a customer whom I drove to the next city for an eyes-OP (injection) once a month. She’s a wise woman, and we talked a lot about many different things, among them literature. One of her favourites was Hermann Hesse, and once, she gave me a book of him (Freude am Garten) to have a look at when I had to wait for her. There I found out how soft and deeply he narrates about thoughts, love and life.
Here one of his peoms:
Wind im Gesträuch und Vogelpfiff
Und hoch im höchsten süßen Blau
Ein stilles, stolzes Wolkenschiff. . .
Ich träume von einer blonden Frau,
Ich träume von meiner Jugendzeit,
Der hohe Himmel blau und weit
Ist meiner Sehnsucht Wiege,
Darin ich stillgesinnt
Und selig warm
Mit leisem Summen liege,
So wie in seiner Mutter Arm
Wind in the bushes and birds whistle
And high in the highest sweet blue
A quiet, proud cloud ship. . .
I dream of a blonde woman
I dream of my youth
The high sky blue and wide
Is the cradle of my longing
In it I quietly mused
And blissfully warm
With a low humming lie
Just like in his mother’s arm
And now, I want to present a brilliant article by Sandra “Eshewa” Saporito, about this master of the muse. She is a holistic operator specializing in transcultural shamanism and Mindfulness. For more here. Translated from Italian. 💖
Hermann Hesse: Cosa Ci Insegna La Sua Vita
Di Sandra Saporito -14 Luglio 2019
Hermann Hesse, artist and Nobel Prize for literature, was born on July 2, 1877, in Germany, into a pietist family that gave him a very rigid education, where art did not have its place and was considered superficial.
Hermann Hesse one day wrote to his sister Adelaide about it: “It often happened that mum and dad expressed approval for a poem or a musical composition, adding immediately however that all this, of course, was the only atmosphere, only empty beauty, only art, without ever drawing a high value such as morality, will, character, etc. This theory has ruined my existence and I detached myself from it without the possibility of returning “.
This did not prevent him from becoming an Artist, with a capital “A”, not so much because he was a writer, poet, aphorist and painter at the same time but because his art was rich in meanings that went well beyond the purely aesthetic aspect. of the work: imbued with moral, philosophical and psychological meanings that exalted both the disturbances and the profound transformations of which his inner life was rich, some of his works, markedly influenced by his psychoanalytic sessions with CG Jung, described the inner journey to the discovery of the Self and the mysteries of existence.
→ Read also: Siddhartha by H. Hesse, 12 precious teachings of the book https://www.eticamente.net/62394/siddharta-di-hermann-hesse-12-insegnamenti-preziosi-del-libro.html
His works are full of teachings, but today I would like to talk to you about the life of this great writer and the lessons that his life has left us as a legacy.
Search for your identity, your vocation: it is what elevates the human being
“THE TRUE VOCATION OF EVERYONE IS ONE ONLY, THAT OF COMING TO HIMSELF.”
Hermann Hesse matured a vision of art totally different from that of his parents, to the point of making it the pillar of his life. Although he had little hope that art could change society, he felt that it could profoundly change the man.
“Art, the fulfilment of inner satisfaction, meant connecting with a deep and essential meaning associated with the term ‘home’. This house, however, was not the house of her parents. It was rather a return to something intangible, linked to intuition, but unique for each individual. It was a return and a journey at the same time and could only be reached through art, or rather through the strenuous formation of oneself. “Barbara Spadini writes on the relationship between Hermann Hesse and art.
It was through this medium repudiated by his family that Hermann Hesse developed a visceral desire to discover his identity and to discover the mysteries of the world: which he did thanks to Jungian analytical psychology, the study of Buddhism, Hinduism and Gnosticism, art and philosophy.
Although he behaved in stark contrast to his parents’ ideology, his family background had a great influence on him: he was aware of the influence his family tree had on his life. https://www.hermann-hesse.de/it/biografia/famiglia/albero-genealogico
He was in fact influenced by the life of his grandparents, whose name he bore: “To tell my story, I have to start from the distant beginning. If it were possible for me, I would have to go back much further, to the earliest years of my childhood and even further into the distant past of my origin.”
Art helps you become better human beings
Through his novels and poems, filled with autobiographical elements, Hermann Hesse recalled the episodes of the past that had caused him pain by making writing a tool for self-analysis, reflection on the world and inner evolution.
“I KNOW HOW MUCH INNER LIFE AND HOW MUCH ALIVE RED BLOOD EVERY SINGLE VERSE GENUINE MUST HAVE DRINK BEFORE YOU CAN STAND UP AND WALK ALONE.”
Its protagonists lived in the imagination what the author had experienced: the fears about the future linked to war and the violence perpetrated on human beings in the name of ideologies of power, the inner tensions linked to religion and its prohibitions, existential questions on the meaning of life and the search for inner peace despite the inner evils that did not give him peace: he had been suffering from depression for years.
The plot of his works often highlighted how much the individual and the collective were linked, the reflection on identity moved back and forth towards a collective dimension that in turn influenced the individual for good or bad, leading him to both virtue and vice, with the awareness that life is made up of these two antagonistic forces.
The most beautiful works can be born from the crisis
“I WAS A PARTY OF NATURE THREW TOWARDS THE UNKNOWN, MAYBE TOWARDS SOMETHING NEW OR MAYBE EVEN TOWARDS NOTHING, LET IT DEVELOP FROM THE DEEP, OBEY MY DESTINY AND DO ITS WILL, THIS WAS MY TASK.”
Through art and writing, in particular, Hermann Hesse gave voice to those inner storms that he managed to govern thanks to the movement of his feather: writing became a tool to express the hidden side of identity, art became a bridge between invisible and manifest that allowed to channel and sublimate the impulses of the unconscious: pain was transmuted into art thanks to ink.
In Demian, a coming-of-age novel in 1919, Hermann Hesse wrote passages from his conversations with Dr Lang, collaborator of C. G. Jung with whom he made a psychoanalytic path to get out of a state of profound crisis. This path inspired him to write the novel: “But all [the conversations], even the humblest, hit with light and constant hammering the same point inside me, all contributed to form me, to break eggshells from each of which I raised my head a little higher, a little freer until the yellow bird with the beautiful head of a bird of prey erupted from the shattered shell of the world.”
This painful feather allowed him to develop a literary style that earned him a Nobel Prize in 1946 “For his inspired writing which, growing in audacity and penetration, exemplifies classical humanitarian ideals, and for the high quality of the style”.
In hindsight it is curious to note how much his works have influenced the minds of his readers, dispelling his initial belief: art actually, by changing men, can really help change society. A tree will certainly not be able to change the face of a forest, but its fruits, the potential trees, will certainly be able to do so over the course of many seasons.
Sandra “Eshewa” Saporito
Autrice e operatrice in discipline bio-naturali