Primal Knowledge

“I suddenly realized that … everything actually was all-meaningful, that every symbol and combination of symbols led not hither and yon, not to single examples, experiments, and proofs, but into the center, the mystery and innermost heart of the world, into primal knowledge. Every transition from major to minor in a sonata, every transformation of a myth or a religious cult, every classical or artistic formulation was, I realized in that flashing moment, if seen with a meditative mind, nothing but a direct route into the interior of the cosmic mystery, where in the alternation between inhaling and exhaling, between heaven and earth, between Yin and Yang, holiness is forever being created.”

Hermann Hesse, “The Glass Beads Game“


Yaroslav Gerzhedovich, “Sphere Landscape”


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21 Responses to Primal Knowledge

  1. this is so beautifully composed and so true – i believe that the symbol is a magical form the encompasses reality – the mind as it observes it is fed knowledge beyond words and thoughts – the explanation of the symbol never truly unravels its true meaning because it enfolds volumes of meaning not necessarily linear and bound by time – it calls for meditation without meaning or understanding and impresses its signet ring on the subconscious – Hesse rightly concludes that the symbols in myth – the myth as a symbol has therefore far reaching consequences – for instance the epic Ramayana about Rama creates a persona whose historicity is never proved but whose impact has made every other Indian adopt his name – every other river street and township carries his name every behaviour echoes his life and the myth then becomes greater than any historical figure in shaping the psyche of hundreds of millions – what power in that myth? – Hesse’s words – leading to ”the interior of the cosmic mystery” – and ”holiness is forever being created” by the point and counterpoint of the legend – the symbol
    I shall soon be posting on that symbol ‘Rama’ with a poem.
    thanks for sharing


    • This is brilliant, Indrajit, and especially these words: “it calls for meditation without meaning or understanding and impresses its signet ring on the subconscious.” The word archetype comes from Greek ‘arkhetypon’ meaning “pattern, model, figure on a seal,” so your signet ring idea is utterly brilliant and amazingly intuitive.
      Thank you so much.
      Looking forward to your post.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love Hesse, but not familiar with this piece. Thanks for sharing!


  3. ptero9 says:

    Herman Hesse was a teenage favorite and perhaps initiatory into the world of depth and complexity that I yearned for and still do.

    So satisfying are his words that you quote. Through a direct experience of primal knowledge it has been possible for me to feel that I belong, part of the universe’s expression, and that others belong too.

    Thank you Monika!


    • Thank you, Debra. I also love his style and these cascading, meandering sentences with such alluring imagery. It is all about primal knowledge and I am so glad we both have the opportunity to recognize each other as its devotees.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Dewin Nefol says:

    Hey Monika,

    Hesse’s words are extensive and deliriously eloquent. The image mesmerizing in it’s infinitude. Reflection on both leaves my thoughts dissolving and my emotions distilling amidst a universe that comes and goes with the turn of her every breath.

    Thank you for such a wonderful post.

    DN – 12/09/2014

    Liked by 1 person

  5. lampmagician says:

    Reblogged this on lampmagician and commented:
    my lovely subject as ever.. what a time is it??


  6. Pingback: Primal Knowledge | lampmagician

  7. Pulsing beauty in the image – absolutely incredible – now who can’t stop staring? 😉 ❤


    • Amanda, I came across this artist only yesterday and spent a few hours browsing through his gallery. I was shaken to the core. All I know is that he lives in St. Petersburg. I included the link to the gallery in the post.


  8. Pingback: In the Beginning… | The Ptero Card

  9. Nataraj Express says:

    Reblogged this on Nataraj Express and commented:
    My favourite book, Hermann Hesse always.


  10. Amy Campion says:

    Thanks so much for this, one of my favourite books and writers too. I hadn’t read any Hesse for quite a while, but have just started “Klingsor’s Last Summer” and am so enamoured with it I want to read out passages aloud… I don’t really have an appreciative audience at the moment though, so it is lovely to feel amongst friends here who share the passion. For the companionship your posts provide, I am very grateful!


  11. Amy Campion says:

    Reblogged this on The Dream Well and commented:
    The symbols we encounter in our dreams, as in myths and legends it is worth remembering they are not simply a language to be “decoded” but are keys to greater universal truths that can never be completely reduced down to more basic parts.


  12. Pingback: Written in the Stars | Matrignosis: A Blog About Inner Wisdom

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