Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pictor´s Metamorphoses

Report from Normalia

...We are quite simply inmates of an enormous asylum full of madmen. And the question of whether it is we or the others who are the madmen constitutes the principal subject matter of the philosophies and speculations of our men of genius. We others, we who are older and more detached, are of the opinion that it would be pointless to distress ourselves with questions that cannot be answered, and it matters little to determine whether one is crazy or normal, whether one is the monkey in the cage or the gawking member of the Zoological Gardens who stares through the bars from the outside; rather, it is more proper and fitting to see Existence as a game, one far from problem-free, but genuinely meaningful and charming, and to be glad of the many good and beautiful things we can experience while playing it.


In a decaying civilization, one that is diseased with a lack of sense and slowly dying, for individuals as well as for the community as a whole, there is no other medicament and nourishment, no other source of strength that enables one to go on, than the encounter with that which, in spite of everything, gives meaning to our lives and our actions and justifies us. And in the recollection of a whole lifetime of holidays and gatherings, in listening to the sounds and stirrings of the soul-even as far back as the colorful wilderness of childhood, in gazing into beloved eyes long since extinguished, there is demonstrated the existence of an intelligence, a unity, a secret center we have circled around - now consciously, now unconsciously - all our lives. From the pious Christmases of childhood, redolent of wax and honey in a world seemingly sane, safe from destruction, incapable of believing in the possibility of its own destruction, through all the changes, crises, shocks, and reevaluations of our private lives and of our age, there still remains a core, a sense, a grace residing in no dogma of the church or of science, but in the existence of a center around which even an imperiled and troubled life can always find itself anew, from just this innermost core of our being, a belief in the accessibility of God, in the coincidence of this center with the presence of God. For where He is present, yes, even the ugly and apparently meaningless may be borne, because, for Him, seeming and being are one and inseparable, for Him everything is meaning.

Hermann Hesse

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