- I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value.
- The truth has a million faces, but there is only one truth.
- Love is stronger than violence.
- Every age, every culture, every custom and tradition has its own character, its own weakness and its own strength, its beauties and cruelties; it accepts certain sufferings as matters of course, puts up patiently with certain evils. Human life is reduced to real suffering, to hell, only when two ages, two cultures and religions overlap.
- Knowledge can be communicated, but wisdom cannot. A man can find it, he can live it, he can be filled and sustained by it, but he cannot utter or teach it.
- Everything becomes a little different as soon as it is spoken out loud.
- One never reaches home, but wherever friendly paths intersect the whole world looks like home for a time.
- There is, so I believe, in the essence of everything, something that we cannot call learning. There is, my friend, only a knowledge -- that is everywhere.
- In each individual the spirit is made flesh, in each one the whole of creation suffers, in each one a Savior is crucified.
- You treat world history as a mathematician does mathematics, in which nothing but laws and formulas exist, no reality, no good and evil, no time, no yesterday, no tomorrow, nothing but an eternal, shallow, mathematical present.
- The truth is lived, not taught.
- Happiness is a how, not a what: a talent, not an object
- The call of death is a call of love. Death can be sweet if we answer it in the affirmative, if we accept it as one of the great eternal forms of life and transformation.
- I am fond of music I think because it is so amoral. Everything else is moral and I am after something that isn't. I have always found moralizing intolerable.
- What I always hated and detested and cursed above all things was this contentment, this healthiness and comfort, this carefully preserved optimism of the middle classes, this fat and prosperous brood of mediocrity.
- Meaning and reality were not hidden somewhere behind things, they were in them, in all of them.
- I have known it for a long time but I have only just experienced it. Now I know it not only with my intellect, but with my eyes, with my heart, with my stomach.
- What constitutes a real, live human being is more of a mystery than ever these days, and men -- each one of whom is a valuable, unique experiment on the part of nature -- are shot down wholesale.
- If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn't part of ourselves doesn't disturb us.
- The man of power is ruined by power, the man of money by money, the submissive man by subservience, the pleasure seeker by pleasure.
- You are only afraid if you are not in harmony with yourself. People are afraid because they have never owned up to themselves.
Hermann Hesse was a German poet, novelist, and painter. His best-known works include Steppenwolf, Siddhartha, and The Glass Bead Game, each of which explores an individual's search for authenticity, self-knowledge and spirituality. In 1946, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature.