Sunday, October 6, 2013

Untold Stories, The Glass Bead Game, a Game of My Own, and Hesse Quotes

It's been weird not writing. Relaxing though. I feel like I've had more time. This week was pregnant with many stories that you would be quite interested to hear. I will, however, refrain from filling you in on most of what happened. Really, when I think about it, two or three weeks worth of stuff was crammed into this past one. Is this what life is like when you relax focus?

The Glass Bead Game by Herman Hesse is a great book that I am enjoying thoroughly. Admittedly I'm reading it a bit slow, but I have a reason which I'll get to. Thing is, with this book, it answered my question that I didn't/couldn't word from before. I'm not sure it answered the question correctly, but it definitely addressed my issues around page 90. Hesse is cool. I don't know if it's because Siddhartha shaped my life so much, or if it's something else inside of me (or outside), but I feel close to this man.

It's cool to read a book thick with intelligence, wisdom, and philosophy. It's dense, but well worth it. Definitely not making it any easier to decide which I value more between the two sides of fiction though.

In addition to reading (and watching Downton Abbey thanks to a good friend's generous lending), I'm working on making a game. I do this every so often, and I think I've even written about it in my blog before, in some post long past. I really like games, and trying to make them is, I guess a sort of hobby of mine. I think I've only ever really completed one, and that was with my good buddy Teddy Gardner. I don't think I've played it with more than five people though.

Making games is a lot harder than it seems, at least to me. The one I'm fiddling about with right now is seriously giving me some trouble, but I like the idea of it so much that I don't want to let go. I'd like to stick with it and persevere. I've vested many hours this weekend into it (reason behind not having read too much) and have come far, but have not gotten to where I would like to be.

Basically, the game is about balancing the production and usage of two resources, while trying to debase your opponent and reach a preset amount of said resources. The production and use of these two resources (currently being referred to as Black Energy and White Energy) is governed by symbolism.

"Wisdom cannot be imparted. Wisdom that a wise man attempts to impart always sounds like foolishness to someone else ... Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it." 
— Hermann Hesse (Siddhartha)

"Words do not express thoughts very well. they always become a little different immediately they are expressed, a little distorted, a little foolish. And yet it also pleases me and seems right that what is of value and wisdom to one man seems nonsense to another." 
— Hermann Hesse (Siddhartha)

"A game master or teacher who was primarily concerned with being close enough to the "innermost meaning" would be a very bad teacher. To be candid, I myself, for example, have never in my life said a word to my pupils about the "meaning" of music; if there is one it does not need my explanations. On the other hand I have always made a great point of having my pupils count their eighths and sixteenths nicely. Whatever you become, teacher, scholar, or musician, have respect for the "meaning" but do not imagine that it can be taught." 
— Hermann Hesse (The Glass Bead Game)

"Should we be mindful of dreams?" Joseph asked. "Can we interpret them?"

The Master looked into his eyes and said tersely: "We should be mindful of everything, for we can interpret everything." 
— Hermann Hesse (The Glass Bead Game)

“Have you also learned that secret from the river; that there is no such thing as time?" That the river is everywhere at the same time, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the current, in the ocean and in the mountains, everywhere and that the present only exists for it, not the shadow of the past nor the shadow of the future.” 
― Hermann HesseSiddhartha

"He was taught by the river. Incessantly, he learned from it. Most of all, he learned from it to listen, to pay close attention with a quiet heart, with a waiting, opened soul, without passion, without a wish, without
judgement, without an opinion.” 
― Hermann HesseSiddhartha