Apprenticeship in the book is construed in the broadest terms possible. He started Das Sperlenspiel in 1931 and finished it in 1943, while Europe conspicuously sank deeper into its form of racial nationalism. I think it is a profound book with many valuable insights and lessons. As seen in the novel, there is much criticism about Castalia, especially regarding its isolation from the world and its long-term viability. Born some time in the 23 rd or 24 th century, and soon thereafter recruited to join an elite schooling system that had become a sort of de facto international academe, Joseph rises through the ranks to become the Magister Ludi, or Master of the Game … As the Game progresses, associations between the themes become deeper and more varied. … For although in a certain sense and for light-minded persons non-existent things can be more easily and irresponsibly represented in words than existing things, for the serious and conscientious historian it is just the reverse. ( Log Out /  Yet it does have a curious tradition of requiring students engaged in their years of free study to write a “Life” each year. I’m inclined to proceed with the book, when it arrives at my local library, on this assumption. I think that the penultimate question a reader ought to ask one’s self after reading any book is: “Has this book changed me?” With respect to The Glass Bead Game, my inclination is to answer in the affirmative, although to be sure it is too soon to make this declaration with any definitiveness, as the permanence of such a change can only be ascertained with time. Nor should you long for a perfect doctrine, my friend. The stories are presented as exercises by Knecht imagining his life had he been born in another time and place. The fictional Order’s purpose in the nation’s social fabric was to provide professors to elite universities and common schools. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. The Master says that the more we demand of ourselves, “the more dependent we are on meditation as a wellspring of energy, as the ever-renewing concord of mind and soul.” He says that during these times of passion and excitement about a project, the more easily we will neglect our meditations. Hesse’s point, I believe, is that human history is an endless succession of golden ages, followed by brutal periods of war, followed by dark ages, followed by golden ages again – the Eternal Recurrence. and demons, and without continual struggle against them.” The Jesuits similarly are often found in teaching positions. There is a line in the poem ‘The Glass bead Game’ which sums up a lot of what Knecht is discovering about the game at this time: ‘The universal chord, the masters’ harmony.’ The stories all deal with mentoring, sacrifice and the contemplative life. The Glass Bead Game is a collection of fictional texts, the primary one being a biographical sketch of an individual by the name of Joseph Knecht. One description says in the initial stages of meditation, to allow the flow of inner images to come without direction, like they do in dreams. “No noble and exalted life exists, without knowledge of devils Surely Hesse wouldn’t have included anything he didn’t think was important? Pingback: The Glass Bead Game | Equivalent eXchange. Nonetheless, soon after rising to this exalted position, Joseph resigns himself to the possibility that one day he will retire from it, an unprecedented move in the Order’s history. It was begun in 1931 and published in Switzerland in 1943 after being rejected for publication in Germany due to Hesse's anti-Fascist views. The first story tells of a pagan rainmaker named Knecht who lived "many thousands of years ago, when women ruled". The three lives, together with that as Magister Ludi, oscillate between extroversion (rainmaker, Indian life – both get married) and introversion (father confessor, Magister Ludi) while developing the four basic psychic functions of analytical psychology: sensation (rainmaker), intuition (Indian life), feeling (father confessor), and thinking (Magister Ludi). During the annual public Glass Bead Game, players and guests fast, meditate, and “live an ascetic and selfless life of absolute absorption, comparable to the strictly regulated penitence required of the participants in one of the St. Ignatius Loyola’s exercises.” Many other examples of spiritual exercises abound: The “Great Exercise” is a 12-day period of fasting and meditation. “The Glass Bead Game” absorbed me for two months perhaps, when I was nineteen. The plot chronicles Knecht's education as a youth, his decision to join the order, his mastery of the Game, and his advancement in the order's hierarchy to eventually become Magister Ludi, the executive officer of the Castalian Order's game administrators.[5]. Btw, there’s a radio rendition of The Glass Bead Game, here: Father Jacobus: Benedictine monk and Joseph Knecht's antithesis in faith.

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