“If you think that I am sad about this last year, about disappointments, about the painful loss of love; if you think that I am tormented by remorse about suicide, you are mistaken! That my ideals of world and love and art and life and knowledge, etc. have been exploded, I’m not particularly sad about.”—Hermann Hesse, aged 15, in a letter home, from Ralph Freedman’s Hermann Hesse, Pilgrim of Crisis
The same story, the same journey. Ever retold, ever deserving of retelling.
The young man (or woman) at odds with the world—with the sum total of social and communal mores and psycho-spiritual habits of mind—experiences a crisis and either caves and disintegrates or passes through to something else… something beyond.
I’ve read it and recognized it numerous times, to be utterly honest, I’ve lived it, hence my ongoing presence here at the Omphalos Cafe.
A dead end and crisis is confronted.
“This time of intermittent leisure became for Hesse the beginning of a new education, of self-education.”—Ralph Freedman, Hermann Hesse, Pilgrim of Crisis
Leisure and self-education, the rare luxury to experience life entirely on one’s own terms and more importantly at one’s own pace, unforced, unhurried, un-judged by those that cannot possibly fathom the all encompassing gravity of purpose involved.
To what end?
Ahh, how describe an indescribable boon?
One man’s nirvana is another’s dead end in need of transcendence.