Hermann Hesse

Swiss writer (born in Germany) whose novels and poems express his interests in eastern spiritual values (1877-1962)

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...each of us has to find out for himself what is permitted and what is forbidden - forbidden for him. It is possible for one never to transgress a single law and still be a bastard. And vice versa. Actually it's only a question of convenience. Those who are too lazy and comfortable to think for themselves and be their own judges obey the laws. Others sense their own laws within them things are forbidden to them that every honorable man will do any day in the year and other things are allowed to them that are generally despised. Each person must stand on his own feet.
All men are prepared to accomplish the incredible if their ideals are threatened.
Eternity is a mere moment, just long enough for a joke.
Every age, every culture, every custom and tradition has its own character, its own weakness and its own strength, its beauties and cruelties; it accepts certain sufferings as matters of course, puts up patiently with certain evils. Human life is reduced to real suffering, to hell, only when two ages, two cultures and religions overlap.
Every man is more than just himself he also represents the unique, the very special and always significant and remarkable point at which the world's phenomena intersect, only once in this way and never again.
Everything becomes a little different as soon as it is spoken out loud.
Happiness is a how, not a what: a talent, not an object
I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value.
If I know what love is, it is because of you.
If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn't part of ourselves doesn't disturb us.
In each individual the spirit is made flesh, in each one the whole of creation suffers, in each one a Savior is crucified.
It is not our purpose to become each other it is to recognize each other, to learn to see the other and honor him for what he is.
Knowledge can be communicated, but wisdom cannot. A man can find it, he can live it, he can be filled and sustained by it, but he cannot utter or teach it.
Love is stronger than violence.
Love of God is not always the same as love of good.
Often it is the most deserving people who cannot help loving those who destroy them.
One never reaches home, but wherever friendly paths intersect the whole world looks like home for a time.
Our mind is capable of passing beyond the dividing line we have drawn for it. Beyond the pairs of opposites of which the world consists, other, new insights begin.
People with courage and character always seem sinister to the rest.
The best weapons against the infamies of life are courage, wilfulness and patience. Courage strenthens, wilfulness is fun and patience provides tranquility.
The man of power is ruined by power, the man of money by money, the submissive man by subservience, the pleasure seeker by pleasure.
The truth has a million faces, but there is only one truth.
There is no reality except the one contained within us. That is why so many people live such an unreal life. They take the images outside them for reality and never allow the world within to assert itself.
There is, so I believe, in the essence of everything, something that we cannot call learning. There is, my friend, only a knowledge -- that is everywhere.
To die is to go into the Collective Unconscious, to lose oneself in order to be transformed into form, pure form.
When dealing with the insane, the best method is to pretend to be sane.
Without words, without writing and without books there would be no history, there could be no concept of humanity.
You know quite well, deep within you, that there is only a single magic, a single power, a single salvation...and that is called loving. Well, then, love your suffering. Do not resist it, do not flee from it. It is your aversion that hurts, nothing else.

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