I do not consider myself less ignorant than most people. I have been and still am a seeker, but I have ceased to question stars and books; I have begun to listen to the teachings my blood whispers to me. My story is not a pleasant one; it is neither sweet nor harmonious, as invented stories are; it has the taste of nonsense and chaos, of madness and dreams – like the lives of all men who stop deceiving themselves. Each man’s life represents the road toward himself, and attempt at such a road, the intimation of a path. No man has ever been entirely and completely himself. Yet each one strives to become that – one in an awkward, the other in a more intelligent way, each as best he can.
You, too, have mysteries of your own. I know that you must have dreams that you don’t tell me. I don’t want to know them. But I can tell you: live those dreams, play with them, build altars to them. It is not yet the ideal but it points in the right direction. Whether you and I and a few others will renew the world someday remains to be seen. But within ourselves we must renew it each day, otherwise we just aren’t serious. Don’t forget that!
Images: © Andres Santamaria
Text: From Demian (1919) by Hermann Hesse (1877 – 1962)