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Tag search results for: "piety"
Author/Compiler: Tihomir Dimitrov (; also see


Nobel Prize: Hermann Hesse (1877–1962) was granted the 1946 Nobel Prize in Literature “for his inspired writings, which while growing in boldness and penetration, exemplify the classical humanitarian ideals and high qualities of style.”

Nationality: German; later Swiss citizen

Education: Educated at the Grammar School in Cannstadt and the Maulbronn Theological Seminary, Germany

Occupation: Novelist and poet


1. Hesse expressed his attitude towards God in a conversation with his friend Miguel Serrano:

“You should let yourself be carried away, like the clouds in the sky. You shouldn’t resist. God exists in your destiny just as much as he does in these mountains and in that lake. It is very difficult to understand this, because man is moving further and further away from Nature, and also from himself.” (Hesse, as cited in Miguel Serrano, C.G. Jung and Hermann Hesse: A Record of Two Friendships, 1966, 10).

2. “The fact that people think they have their life on loan from God and do not want to use it egotistically, but, on the contrary, they want to live it as service and sacrifice to God, this experience and legacy, the greatest one, from my childhood has had an extremely powerful influence on my life.” (Hesse 1972, 59).

3. “When you are close to Nature you can listen to the voice of God.” (Hesse, as cited in Serrano 1966, 10).

4. “Christianity, one not preached but lived, was the strongest of the powers that shaped and moulded me.” (Hesse, as cited in Gellner 1997, Vol. 1).

5. “If one does not take the verses of the New Testament as being commandments, but as expressions of an extraordinary awareness of the secrets of our soul, then the wisest word ever spoken is: ‘Love thy neighbour as thyself.’ ” (Hesse, as cited in Gellner 1997, Vol. 1).

6. “For different people, there are different ways to God, to the center of the world. Yet the actual experience itself is always the same.” (Hesse, as cited in Gellner 1997, Vol. 1).

7. “The road to piety may be a different one for everyone. For me, it led through many blunders and great suffering, through a great deal of self-torment, through tremendous foolishness, jungles full of foolishness. I was a liberal spirit and knew that sanctimonious piety was an illness of the soul. I was an ascetic and drove nails into my flesh. I didn’t know that being religious meant health and cheerfulness.” (Hesse, as cited in Gellner 1997, Vol. 1).