The Glass Bead Game of the regular gal and guy

From Wikinormous

In his book, The Glass Bead Game, Hermann Hesse describes a corps of elite scholars, musicians and monks whose speciality is spiritual and cultural analysis. Through reflection on life, beauty, art, logic etc they tried to balance and find the deeper connections and communalities in life and aesthetics. Hesse himself went on to get the Nobel prize. Good for him. Maybe you read some of his books and they always made you think of that summer trip in -2003, and for some curious reason, plastic surgery. Maybe you can't explain it. But you can express it. It's all about unfolding your mind. Just dive in there. In the words of Bill Clinton: "We wanna know!"


What is explained as ”glass bead game for the regular gal or guy” in Hesse's book is called Feuilleton. It is described as such for the casualness of it, sometimes escapism or less mindful and diverting entertainment. But literally any social class can engage and do engage themself in glass bead games every day, in profession and work related issues, entertainment, video games, TV, crosswords, sudoku and other social games, travel, education, sports, art, meditation, music solo or in ensembles or with a laptop, internet, reading etc. There is no inborn difference between an elite scholar or musical genius playing the game and a 'normal' individual, other than it is claimed to be 'other than', those affixed self-(en)titlements.

But, with the feuillet, the tabloid mentality makes the individual focus on a given task, that mostly already has a solution, so one must ask –Where is the real creativity in solving something that already has a solution? Why not think of new problems, new life puzzles, be innovative, be novel? Who are you being 'creative' for and why? Einstein allegedly said;“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

A bead player may indeed solve crosswords, but she will rather create new ones, and not necessarily just in two dimensions, but three or more. The purpose of great glass bead playing is to not play by an external given rule or preloaded mission/goal. Or, maybe – The purpose is to have no purpose.

What we could say differentiate an 'elite', is that he or she takes a lot more time to contemplate All above aspects of life to create a synthesis of them in an overarching artistic, musical or philosophic sublimity. Maybe we can signify it as time, or distance then? Something many are led to believe they have too little of.

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