Six Types of Happiness in Hesse's 'Journey to the East'
Journey to the East Summary & Study Guide. Hermann Hesse. This Study Guide consists of approximately 39 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character. I found a copy of Hermann Hesse's novel “The Journey to the East” (“Die It seems that only those who have a certain relationship with the world. This page guide for “Journey To The East” by Hermann Hesse includes detailed chapter summaries and analysis covering 5 chapters, as well as several .
The metaphoric journey to the East is undertaken by a secret League. There are lofty goals in this journey and yet each individual has their own private goal. This is a journey in present time, and yet through all space and time, as there have always been those seeking the birthplace of the light. It seems that only those who have a certain relationship with the world — children, young people, old people, artists — can meet the members and appreciate this journey.
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Those who do not can neither see nor recognise it. And once someone leaves the journey through loss of faith, they cannot find their way back. Leo tells him about the law of service: Suddenly Leo disappears, seeming to take everything that is most important to the journey with him.
The protagonist HH himself loses his faith, his way and almost his life. Years later, believing the League to have disappeared and drowning in despair, he finally finds Leo again. And there he suddenly discovers that Leo is actually the president of the League. They are forms of samadhi — meditative absorption. In their various ways each of these fellow travelers had arrived at a place of total immersion in activity wherein the self is forgotten. Not a single concern exists.
Time and physical need is suspended for the sake of whatever activity has taken on such sacred import. Skill level and challenge are perfectly matched at a high enough level to result in what the psychologist, Csikszentmihalyi describes as flow. This is the realm of athletes, artists, and musicians, but it is also the realm of anyone who is good at something and finds it enjoyable enough to give herself over to it.
Which brings us to what results after an artist has engaged in his or her flow-inducing activity — the particular samadhi of her own personal discipline… The Happiness of Creation Yes, artists find joy in the very act of creation itself, but their creations bring them happiness as well. Their creations allow them to be more than what they are.
They become a gift to the world. They become a means to immortality. There were amongst us many artists, painters, musicians and poets. Ardent Klingsor was there and restless Hugo Wolf, taciturn Lauscher and vivacious Brentano — but however animated and lovable the personalities of these artists were, yet without exception their imaginary characters were more animated, more beautiful, happier and certainly finer and more real than the poets and creators themselves.
It is just the same with mothers. When they have borne their children and given them their milk and beauty and strength, they themselves become invisible, and no one asks about them any more.
But that is sad. I do not think it is sadder than all other things… Perhaps it is sad and yet also beautiful. The law ordains that it shall be so… [It is] the law of service.
He who wishes to live long must serve, but he who wishes to rule does not live long. Which brings us to a life lived with meaning… The Happiness of Meaning One sees in the pages of The Journey a man whose life is pregnant with meaning, only to have that meaning wrested from him as the circumstances of Morbio Inferiore play out. It was shortly after the World War, and the beliefs of the conquered nations were in an extraordinary state of unreality.
There was a readiness to believe in things beyond reality even though only a few barriers were actually overcome and few advances made into the realm of a future psychiatry.
Whereas the journey itself had once been meaning enough, filled with discovery and contributions for the betterment of humanity, its demise created a vacuum within him — one that he felt needed to be filled with something for the sake of life itself. Hesse gives voice to H. I should like so very much, as one of the last survivors of our community, to save some records of our great cause. I feel like the old surviving servant of perhaps one of the Paladins of Charles the Great, who recalls a stirring series of deeds and wonders, the images and memories of which will disappear with him if he is not successful in passing some of them on to posterity by means of word or picture, tale or song.
But through what expedient is it possible to tell the story of the Journey to the East?
Hermann Hesse’s Journey to the East |
I do not know. Already this first endeavor, this attempt begun with the best intentions, leads me into the boundless and incomprehensible.
I simply wanted to try to depict what has remained in my memory of the course of events and individual details of our Journey to the East. Nothing seemed more simple.
And now, when I have hardly related anything, I am brought to a halt by a single small episode which I had not originally thought of at all, the episode of Leo's disappearance. Instead of a fabric, I hold in my hands a bundle of a thousand knotted threads which would occupy hundreds of hands for years to disentangle and straighten out, even if every thread did not become terribly brittle and break between the fingers as soon as it is handled and gently drawn Our Journey to the East and our League, the basis of our community, has been the most important thing, indeed the only important thing in my life, compared with which my own individual life has appeared completely unimportant.
And now that I want to hold fast to and describe this most important thing, or at least something of it, everything is only a mass of separate fragmentary pictures which has been reflected in something, and this something is myself, and this self, this mirror, whenever I have gazed into it, has proved to be nothing but the uppermost surface of a glass plane.
I put my pen away with the sincere intention and hope of continuing tomorrow or some other time, or rather to begin anew, but at the back of my intention and hope, at the back of my really tremendous urge to relate our story, there remains a dreadful doubt. The Happiness of Community Indeed, meaning had been an afterthought when H. The League was moving onward, propelling the human race forward, expanding the horizons of understanding. Yes, each League novitiate was required to have a personal goal, but these personal goals were like the caulk sealing the hull of a great sailing vessel — the vessel of the League and humanity itself.
The community of the League required no reflection as to its meaning — meaning was required only upon its dissolution.
Book Review: From East to West and Back Again
The Happiness of Service Spoiler alert! I cannot complete this post without giving away the ending. But, unfortunately for him, Leo seems to have forgotten him.
He seems to have forgotten the journey itself. Appearances can be deceiving, however. Says Leo, after much questioning by H.
I am still on the journey, sir, and I still belong to the League. So many come and go; one knows people and yet does not know them. It is much easier with dogs. All the disgust for my disillusioned life which, since my return from the unsuccessful journey to the East, had become increasingly worthless and spiritless, all disbelief in myself and my abilities, all envious and regretful longing for the good and great times which I had once experienced, grew like a pain within me, grew as high as a tree, like a mountain, tugged at me, and was all related to the former task that I had begun, to the account of the Journey to the East and the League.
It now seemed to me that even its accomplishment was no longer desirable or worthwhile. Only one hope still seemed worthwhile to me — to cleanse and redeem myself to some extent through my work, through my service to the memory of that great time, to bring myself once again into contact with the League and its experiences. They have sent me for you from the League," he said. He has vowed not to reveal anything about the League itself, he explains, but is allowed to reveal his own personal experiences in connection with it.
This restriction will present difficulties, he explains, which may make the whole story incomprehensible to the reader. After being initiated into the League, H. Their path is not a definite one, and they often stop at churches and graves and other sites to pray and linger. Along the way, they meet up with other groups of League members also on the Journey. Their paths coincide sometimes, but they all move independently of one another in different directions.
The Journey moves through time as well as space, and the other League members are figures both contemporary and historical, real and fictional. Leo always seems to have exactly the item the party needs, even though, like the rest of them, he carried only a small pack. He is a genial and helpful servant, but he suddenly disappears from the party.
The journey to leadership | SOAR
His disappearance puzzles the other members, and they soon begin to imagine that Leo has taken with him many of the useful items they need. Most of these items turn up later, but the confusion at the time leads to arguing among the party members. Among the most important things that seem to be missing is a document outlining the founding of the League.