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50 Hermann Hesse Quotes on Love, Life & Religion

Hermann Hesse

Looking for thought provoking Hermann Hesse quotes? Enjoy!

Photo Credit via Pinterest: Jamal Naddaf

1.) Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go– Hermann Hesse

Hermann Hesse


2.) Words do not express thoughts very well. They always become a little different immediately after they are expressed, a little distorted, a little foolish – Hermann Hesse


3.) It is not our purpose to become each other; it is to recognize each other, to learn to see the other and honor him for what he is. – Hermann Hesse


4.) What could I say to you that would be of value, except that perhaps you seek too much, that as a result of your seeking you cannot find – Hermann Hesse


5.) 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. – Hermann Hesse


6.) Learn what is to be taken seriously and laugh at the rest. – Hermann Hesse


7.) 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. – Hermann Hesse


8.) There is no reality except the one contained within us. That is why so many people live such an unreal life. They take the images outside of them for reality and never allow the world within to assert itself. – Hermann Hesse


9.) Gaze into the fire, into the clouds, and as soon as the inner voices begin to speak… surrender to them. Don’t ask first whether it’s permitted, or would please your teachers or father or some god. You will ruin yourself if you do that. – Hermann Hesse


10.) I have always been a great dreamer. In dreams I have always been more active than in my real life, and these shadows sapped me of my health and energy. – Hermann Hesse


11.) Oh, love isn’t there to make us happy. I believe it exists to show us how much we can endure. – Hermann Hesse


12.) But it matters little that you suffer, so long as you feel alive with a sense of the close bond that connects all living things, so long as love does not die! – Hermann Hesse


13.) If what matters in a person’s existence is to accept the inevitable consciously, to taste the good and bad to the full and to make for oneself a more individual, unaccidental and inward destiny alongside one’s external fate, then my life has been neither empty nor worthless. – Hermann Hesse


14.) All suicides have the responsibility of fighting against the temptation of suicide. Every one of them knows very well in some corner of his soul that suicide, though a way out, is rather a mean and shabby one, and that it is nobler and finer to be conquered by life than to fall by one’s own hand. – Hermann Hesse


15.) In each individual the spirit is made flesh, in each one the whole of creation suffers, in each one a Savior is crucified. – Hermann Hesse


16.) The mind is international and supra-national … it ought to serve not war and annihilation, but peace and reconciliation. – Hermann Hesse


17.) The only reality is the one we have inside us. What makes most people’s lives so artificial and unworthy is that they falsely regard outside images as reality and they never allow their own inner world to speak. – Hermann Hesse


18.) Our mind is capable of passing beyond the dividing line we have drawn for it. Beyond the pairs of opposites of which the world consists, other, new insights begin – Hermann Hesse


19.) I wanted only to try to live in accord with the promptings which came from my true self. Why was that so very difficult? – Hermann Hesse


20.) My real self wanders elsewhere, far away, wanders on and on invisibly and has nothing to do with my life. – Hermann Hesse


21.) What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday and our present thoughts build our life tomorrow. Our life is the creation of our mind– Hermann Hesse


22.) Now everything changed. My childhood world was breaking apart around me. My parents eyed me with a certain embarrassment. My sisters had become strangers to me. A disenchantment falsified and blunted my usual feelings and joys: the garden lacked fragrance, the woods held no attraction for me, the world stood around me like a clearance sale of last year’s secondhand goods, insipid, all its charm gone. Books were so much paper, music a grating noise. That is the way leaves fall around a tree in autumn, a tree unaware of the rain running down its sides, of the sun or the frost, and of life gradually retreating inward. The tree does not die. It waits. – Hermann Hesse


23.) Without words, without writing and without books there would be no history, there could be no concept of humanity. – Hermann Hesse


24.) People with courage and character always seem sinister to the rest. – Hermann Hesse


25.) Everything becomes a little different as soon as it is spoken out loud. – Hermann Hesse


26.) 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


27.) The man of power is ruined by power, the man of money by money, the submissive man by subservience, the pleasure seeker by pleasure. – Hermann Hesse


28.) Happiness is a how, not a what: a talent, not an object – Hermann Hesse


29.) One never reaches home, but wherever friendly paths intersect the whole world looks like home for a time. – Hermann Hesse


30.) 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 – Hermann Hesse



31.) To hold our tongues when everyone is gossiping, to smile without hostility at people and institutions, to compensate for the shortage of love in the world with more love in small, private matters; to be more faithful in our work, to show greater patience, to forgo the cheap revenge obtainable from mockery and criticism: all these are things we can do. – Hermann Hesse


32.) You have to try the impossible to achieve the possible. – Hermann Hesse


33.) We kill when we close our eyes to poverty, affliction, or infamy. We kill when, because it is easier, we countenance, or pretend to approve of atrophied social, political, educational, and religious institutions, instead of resolutely combating them. – Hermann Hesse


34.) Painting is marvelous; it makes you happier and more patient. Afterwards you do not have black fingers as with writing, but blue and red ones. – Hermann Hesse


35.) I have been and still am a seeker, but I have ceased to question stars and books; I have begun to listen to the teaching my blood whispers to me. – Hermann Hesse


36.) Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at anytime and be yourself . – Hermann Hesse


37.) But it’s a poor fellow who can’t take his pleasure without asking other people’s permission. – Hermann Hesse


38.) In fear I hurried this way and that. I had the taste of blood and chocolate in my mouth, the one as hateful as the other. – Hermann Hesse


39.) There are always a few such people who demand the utmost of life and yet cannot come to terms with its stupidity and crudeness. – Hermann Hesse


40.) Not in his speech, not in his thoughts, I see his greatness, only in his actions, in his life. – Hermann Hesse


41.) A stone had been dropped into the well, the well was my youthful soul. And for a very long time this matter of Cain, the fratricide, and the ‘mark’ formed the point of departure for all my attempts at comprehension, my doubts and my criticism. – Hermann Hesse


42.) You knew all along that your sanctioned world was only half the world and you tried to suppress the second half the way the priests and teachers do. You won’t succeed. No one succeeds in this once he has begun to think. – Hermann Hesse


43.) We who bore the mark, felt no anxiety about the shape the future was to take. All of these faiths and teachings seemed to us already dead and useless. The only duty and destiny we acknowledged was that each one of us should become so completely himself, so utterly faithful to the active seed which nature planted within him, that in living out its growth he could be surprised by nothing unknown to come. – Hermann Hesse


44.) A wild longing for strong emotions and sensations seethes in me, a rage against this loneliness, flat, normal and sterile life. I have a mad impulse to smash something, a warehouse perhaps, or a cathedral, or myself, to commit outrages. – Hermann Hesse


45.) Every man is more than just himself; he also represents the unique, the very special and always significant and remarkable point at which the world’s phenomena intersect, only once in this way, and never again. – Hermann Hesse


46.) All men are prepared to accomplish the incredible if their ideals are threatened. – Hermann Hesse


47.) Animals are as sad as a rule. And when a man is sad – I don’t mean because he has a toothache or has lost money, but because he sees, for once in a way, how it all is with life and everything, and is sad in earnest- he always look a little like an animal. He looks not only sad, but more right and more beautiful than usual. – Hermann Hesse


48.) There’s no reality except the one contained within us. That’s why so many people live unreal life. They take images outside them for reality and never allow the world within them to assert itself. – Hermann Hesse


49.) If man has nothing to eat, fasting is the most intelligent thing he can do. – Hermann Hesse


50.) When you like someone, you like them in spite of their faults. When you love someone, you love them with their faults. – Hermann Hesse



What other Hermann Hesse quotes would you add to the list?

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