In Hermann Hesse's last book, The Glass Bead Game
(Das Glasperlenspiel), Hesse describes a game called the Glass Bead Game,
a purely intellectual pursuit whereby the players attempt to identify certain
relationships between such different disciplines as music, science, poetry
and language. The main objective of the Game is a pause for meditation
upon each aspect of the categories, or Beads. For this particular game,
I have chosen the Sephirotic Tree of the Jewish cabbala. The Tree of Life
is composed of 3 "Pillars". The Left Pillar is the Pillar of "Severity".
The Right Pillar is the Pillar of Mercy. The Third and MIDDLE Pillar is
the Pillar of Harmony. It's the
balance of mercy and serverity...of energy and form. It's a representative of a Philosophy of Man as Triadic and not Binary.
However, for the purpose of this Glass Bead Game, one can see that the 3 "Pillars" have been quantum-linked into a unitary whole. For the purposes of this Game, the Tree of Life...in it's entirety is composed of 10 Sephiroh. Sephiroh is the plural of Sephirah....which is the Hebrew word for "Path". Starting with the Metaphysics of Quality as described by Robert M. Pirsig in his novel Lila, the Ghost, or the deputy of the Magister Ludi, will lead the player through a series of relationships eventually reaching self. Though the Beads themselves are numbered, this is more for narration purposes than practical purposes, for each Bead is complexly interwoven with the whole, as shown the the Tree above, and any Bead could serve as a starting point of so desired.
In keeping with the spirit of Hesse's Game, the Magister Ludi will preside over the meditation on each Bead and its interconnectedness with the whole. The player should remember that this is the most important part of the Game and also is its most abstract. For not only is each Game designed with individuality, but also its interpretation is individualized according to the player. There are many as many variations on the Game as on the individual designers and players. In the Game, the Beads themselves are not so important as are the relationships that exist between the Beads. In the introduction to The Glass Bead Game Hesse writes:
Without further ado, the Game will begin...How far back the historian wishes to place the origins and antecedents of the Glass Bead Game is, ultimately, a matter of his personal choice. For like every great idea it has no real beginning; rather, it has always been, at least the idea of it. We find it foreshadowed, as a dim anticipation and hope, in a good many earlier ages. There are hints of it in Pythagoras, for example, and then among Hellenistic Gnostic circles in the late period of classical civilization. We find it equally among the ancient Chinese, then again at the several pinnacles of Arabic-Moorish culture; and the path of its prehistory leads on through Scholasticism and Humanism to the academies of mathematicians of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and on to the Romantic philosophies and the runes of Novalis's hallucinatory visions.
This same eternal idea, which for us has been embodied in the Glass Bead Game, has underlain every movement of Mind toward the ideal goal of a universitatis litterarum, every Platonic academy, every league of an intellectual elite, every rapprochement between the exact and the more liberal disciplines, every effort toward reconciliation between science and art or science and religion.
Bead One - The Metaphysics of Quality
Ghost: In confronting reality, the individual seeks to unite in some fashion with the rest of what is not-self. This seeking has been called metaphysics. Phædrus sets out to do what very few other people have ever tried to do; write a complete metaphysics. Let us now start at the beginning. In Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Pirsig remembers Phædrus in a chemistry class, witnessing what he calls a seed crystal:
Ghost: In the beginning, there is Quality. It is this line of thought that is pursued in Pirsig's second novel, Lila, where he further develops this notion of Quality as reality. Phædrus seems not to have discovered this revolutionary idea so much as he remembers it from his long ago past, which the medical world tried to destroy in a series of electro-shock treatments. Could it be that the psychologists which Phædrus hated can still give us a more expanded point of view of the Metaphysics of Quality? This will lead us to the second Bead of the Game, but first a pause for a meditation on the first Bead....That was the moment it all started. That was the seed crystal. Seed crystal. A powerful fragment of memory comes back now. The laboratory. Organic chemistry. He was working with an extremely supersaturated solution when something similar had happened.
A supersaturated solution is one in which the saturation point, at which no more material will dissolve, has been exceeded. This can occur because the saturation point becomes higher as the temperature of the solution is increased. When you dissolve the material at a high temperature and then cool the solution, the material sometimes doesn't crystallize out because the molecules don't know how. They require something to get them started, a seed crystal, or a grain of dust or even a sudden scratch or tap on the surrounding glass.
He walked to the water tap to cool the solution but never got there. Before his eyes, as he walked, he saw the star of crystalline material in the solution appear and then grow suddenly and radiantly until it filled the entire vessel. He saw it grow. Where before was only clear liquid there was now a mass so solid he could turn the vessel upside down and nothing would come out.
The one sentence "I hope you are teaching Quality to your students" was said to him, and within a matter of a few months, growing so fast you could almost see it grow, came an enormous, intricate, highly structured mass of thought, formed as if by magic. (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, pp. 160-161)
Magister Ludi: This meditation on the Metaphysics of Quality begins. Our seed crystal is Quality, a potential towards betterness. The object is no longer so important as the value it both contains and does not contain. The value resides not in the subject the observer or the object of observation, but in between in the relationship of both. We have chosen the Metaphysics of Quality Bead to start with for it recognizes Quality in relationships, value in between. In both of Pirsig's novels, there are undertones of an extremely acute intellect bound up with insanity and madness. Let this meditation take us to that place. The player should pause now and reflect on the beginning. Reflect on how the relationships between this bead and the others all act at a ninety degree-ness. We pause now to ponder...
Bead Two - Carl Gustav Jung
Ghost: The first connection to Carl Jung
is through the author Hermann Hesse himself. They were contemporaries and
Jung treated Hesse for depression as Hesse had a very troubled youth. The
connection in this Game is between the madness of Phædrus and the
psychology of healing as expressed through the archetypal framework of
Jung. There is a very well written paper here
that the player should aquaint themselves with. Jung's book Man and
his Symbols was written with the lay person in mind, and so we will
quote from it briefly here:
Ghost: Pirsig's Metaphysics of Quality could well be said to be a meeting place of the contrasting systems of East and West, of art and science, of femininity and masculinity. We are not interested in the history or the significance of political agendas in this Game and they will be ignored. We are interested in relationships between Jung's work and the Metaphysics of Quality. When Phædrus visits New York he senses something very Dynamic in the city. Pirsig writes:Anthropologists have often described what happens in a primitive society when its spiritual values are exposed to the impact of modern civilization. Its people lose the meaning of their lives, their social organization disintegrates, and they themselves morally decay. We are now in the same condition. But we have never really understood what we have lost, for our spiritual leaders unfortunately were more interested in protecting their institutions than in understanding the mystery that symbols represent. In my opinion, faith does not exclude thought (which is man's strongest weapon), but unfortunately many believers seem to be so afraid of science (and incidentally of psychology) that they turn a blind eye to the numinous psychic powers that forever control man's fate. We have stripped all things of their mystery and numinosity; nothing is holy any longer.
Today ... we talk of "matter". We describe its physical properties. We conduct laboratory experiments to demonstrate some of its aspects. But the word "matter" remains a dry, inhuman, and purely intellectual concept, without any psychic significance for us. How different was the former image of matter - the Great Mother - that could encompass and express the profound emotional meaning of Mother Earth. In the same way, what was the spirit is now identified with intellect and thus ceases to be the Father of All. It has degenerated into the limited ego-thoughts of man; the immense emotional energy expressed in the image of "our Father" vanishes into the sand of an intellectual desert.
These two archetypal principles lie at the foundation of the contrasting systems of East and West. The masses, and their leaders do not realize, however, that there is no substantial difference between calling the world principle male and a father (spirit), as the West does, or female and a mother (matter), as the Communists do. Essentially, we know as little of the one as of the other. In earlier times, these principles were worshiped in all sorts of rituals, which at least showed the psychic significance they held for man. But now they have become mere abstract concepts. (Man and his Symbols, hardcover, page 94-95)
Ghost: Jung's "mystery that the symbols represent" is equivalent to Pirsig's Dynamic Quality. Jung saw the intellect as devoid of emotions, growing from our scientifically Western culture and endangering the society it was meant to serve. What does Pirsig say about the intellect?Celebrity is to social patterns as sex is to biological patterns. Now he was getting it. This celebrity is Dynamic Quality within a static social level of evolution. It looks and feels like pure Dynamic Quality for a while, but it isn't. Sexual desire is the Dynamic Quality that primitive biological patterns once used to organize themselves. Celebrity is the Dynamic Quality that primitive social patterns once used to organize themselves. That gives celebrity a new importance.
...That was the feeling Phædrus got from this city. He was like a moth in danger of drifting in circles into some kind of celebrity orbit. Maybe at some prehistoric time, before celebrity became important, people could trust their natural desires to keep them going in a straight-forward direction. But once the artificial sun of celebrity was invented they started going in circles. Brains were capable of handling physical and biological patterns in prehistoric times but are brains Dynamic enough to handle modern social patterns? (Lila, pp. 297-298)
Ghost: It would be fair to say that emotions are the Dynamic Quality of Pirsig's biological level. Neither the social nor the intellect levels are the domain of emotion. And with the rise of the intellect level in the twentieth century, we humans have become separated from our emotions intellectually by the complex society we live in compared to simpler times in history. It seems that neither Pirsig nor Jung held out much hope that this basic emotional need could ever be reconciled intellectually. Let us now pass the Game to Magister Ludi and pause for meditation.Intellect has its own pattern and goals that are as independent of society as society is independent of biology. A value metaphysics makes it possible to see that there's a conflict between intellect and society that's just as fierce as the conflict between society and biology or the conflict between biology and death. Biology beat death billions of years ago. Society beat biology thousands of years ago. But intellect and society are still fighting it out, and that is the key to an understanding of both the Victorians and the twentieth century. (Lila, pp. 305)
Magister Ludi: Moving from the all encompassing realm of the Metaphysics of Quality into the more analytical domain of psychology, let us pause to ponder on the significant similarities between the work of Robert Pirsig and Carl Jung. The former made his celebrity as a madman, the latter made his as a savior of madmen, and who in doing so may have went slightly mad himself. The players should take time now to meditate on the intellect as Jung saw it and discover if it has the same Quality as the intellect as Pirsig sees it. With ties that bind us all, the social level is still predominate even in this day and age, but is it being undermined by the intellect? Where are the best places to assert our cohesiveness and bind our society back together? Are there absolute Truths that we can label "good" and "evil"? We pause now to ponder...
Bead Three - William Blake
My Pretty Rose Tree
A flower was offered to me,
Such a flower as May never bore;
But I said "I've a pretty rose tree,"
And I passed the sweet flower o'er.
Then I went to my pretty rose tree,
To tend her by day and by night;
But my rose turned away with jealousy,
And her thorns were my only delight.
Ghost: "A flower was offered to me" seems to signify the temporality of perception, the impermanence of our reality, and the offering of the beauty of experience. "Such a flower as May never bore" points to something beyond everyday reality, something that is permanent in its always-ness, that from which experience springs. "But I said 'I've a pretty rose tree'" alludes to the preconditioned experiences necessary to experience a rose and know it for a rose in the first place. "And I passed the sweet flower o'er" suggests that which we recognize as valuable is only that which we are familiar with. In the manner that we perceive reality, we ignore the unfamiliar even though it contains higher value than the familiar.
"Then I went to my pretty rose tree" could be thought of as the internal discursive dialogue going on in our heads, our talking to ourselves that we do to make ourselves familiar with our reality. "To tend her by day and by night" stresses how difficult it is to stop this internal discursive dialogue, for it is always going by day and by night. "But my rose turned away with jealousy" is now describing the jealous and envious self that disavows that which it does not agree with. "And her thorns were my only delight" point to the twin notions of good and evil that the jealous self clings to.
Looking now to William Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell we read:
But the following Contraries to these are True
1. Man has no Body distinct from his Soul
for that called Body is
a portion of Soul discerned by the five Senses the chief inlets
of Soul in this age
2. Energy is the only life and is from the Body and Reason is
the bound or outward circumference of Energy.
3. Energy is Eternal Delight
Ghost: William Blake seems to approach reality not from the customary point of view of subject and object, good and evil, but rather from a framework that encompasses both, and Blake, like Pirsig, recognizes Energy as being somehow intrinsically linked to what it is we call Body and Soul together without separation. From a conventional point of view, there lies madness, yet from Blake's point of view, Energy is Eternal and that from which life, Body, Soul and Reason spring forth. From Robert Pirsig's novel Lila we read:
Ghost: The Metaphysics of Quality, as we have learned, grew from a seed crystal planted in Phædrus' mind by a seemingly off-hand comment made to to him by a school secretary. From this crystal grew a labyrinthine mass of thought on Quality. Where does Jung start? Carl Jung writes:In this plane of understanding static patterns of value are divided into four systems: inorganic patterns, biological patterns, social patterns and intellectual patterns. They are exhaustive. That's all there are. If you construct an encyclopedia of four topics - Inorganic, Biological, Social and Intellectual - nothing is left out. No "thing", that is. Only Dynamic Quality, which cannot be described in any encyclopedia, is absent.
...In a value centered Metaphysics of Quality the four sets of static patterns are not isolated into separate compartments of mind and matter. Matter is just a name for certain inorganic patterns of value. Biological patterns, social patterns and intellectual patterns are supported by this pattern of matter but are independent of it. They have rules and laws of their own that are not derivable from the rules or laws of substance. (Lila, pp. 176, 178)
Ghost: Tempting though it is to equate Phædrus's Dynamic Quality, Jung's collective unconsciousness and Blake's Energy, this flickering torch will be passed now to the meditation stage of the Game. For such connections, though seemingly rational in meaning, carry much deeper undercurrents within themselves.Everything in the unconscious seeks outward manifestation, and the personality too desires so evolve out of its unconscious conditions and to experience itself as a whole.
That is why I speak chiefly of inner experiences, amongst which I include my dreams and visions. These form the prima materia of my scientific work. They were the fiery magma out of which the stone that had to be worked was crystallised.
C.G.Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Fontana Press
Magister Ludi: A fine thread grows between the Metaphysics of Quality, Carl Jung and William Blake. At the very beginning, a seed crystal dreams itself and thereby becomes self. Experience is Quality of perception with the familiar and even more, the unfamiliar before it becomes the familiar. The player is asked to meditate on what it is that occurs before the experience of judgment between good and evil.
Bead Four - Shakespeare's Hamlet
Ghost: Donning his inky cloak, Hamlet has chosen to feel Blake's thorns of life and turn away from the rose that is offered to him. No longer able to see beauty, Hamlet seemingly feigns madness. "Seems" is significant in denoting appearance versus reality. For Hamlet, "actions that a man might play" are merely passing show, or appearing to be that which they are not. Perhaps therein lies the source of Hamlet's madness, in this that "seems" versus that which truly is within. What is the meaning behind the madness? In William Blake's Milton, meaning and madness are explored. What is Milton about?
Ghost: We see the increasingly familiar theme of appearance versus reality, of Good and Evil as embodied in Jesus Christ and Satan. The little girl coming down from heaven could be seen as the innocence of Ophelia versus the madness of Hamlet. It's symbolic of Jung's archetypes, the anima of the little girl versus the animus of Blake and John Milton. And the madness of Phædrus sets the undertone of Robert Pirsig's novels.
Magister Ludi: William Shakespeare was an artist with the English language, using words like other artists such as William Blake, yet at the same not like Blake at all. Shakespeare used only language. Let us meditate on the two seeming extremes of language and image and how one contains the other without contradiction or contrariety.
Bead Five - DeWeese
Ghost: In his first novel, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert Pirsig tells of visiting a former colleague in Montana by the name of Robert DeWeese, who is also an artist. After arriving at DeWeese's ranch, Pirsig and his friend John are relaxing and talking with DeWeese:
Ghost: The theme of appearance versus reality runs through Pirsig's encounter with DeWeese. Pirsig doesn't understand DeWeese or his artist mentality with his rational thinking and thus DeWeese is an enigma to Pirsig. DeWeese is aware of Pirsig's madness and subsequent recovery and, of all the people Pirsig meets, is perhaps best able to relate to Phædrus, the old Phædrus. This is a painting of Robert DeWeese:For a brief moment, way up at the top of the ridge, the sun diffuses through the trees and a halation of the light comes down to us. The halo expands, capturing everything in a sudden flash, and suddenly it catches me too.
"He saw too much," I say, still thinking about the impasse, but DeWeese looks puzzled and John doesn't register at all, and I realize the non sequitur too late. In the distance a single bird cries plaintively. Now suddenly the sun is gone behind the mountain and the whole canyon is in dull shadow.
To myself I think how uncalled for that was. You don't make statements like that. You leave the hospital with the understanding that you don't. (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, pp. 141)
Bead Six - The Dream
Ghost: The great Taoist master Chuang Tzu is said to have once dreamt that he was a butterfly fluttering here and there. In the dream he had no awareness of his individuality as a person. He was only a butterfly. Suddenly, he awoke and found himself laying there, a person once again. But then he thought to himself, "Was I before a man who dreamt about being a butterfly, or am I now a butterfly who dreams about being a man?"
Robert DeWeese's painting Up, Up and Away seems to signify a higher freedom and harmony which is mirrored in Chuang Tzu's butterfly dream. Reflections on the dream are the link to DeWeese and his art. Chuang Tzu became a butterfly and in DeWeese's painting his figures hover ever higher until they either become the butterfly or crash back into humanity. Chuang Tzu writes:
Ghost: The sage is no longer in DeWeese's painting, but is the painting. The madness of Hamlet can perhaps be likened to the figure lying prone at the bottom of the painting, reminiscent itself of William Blake's Marriage of Heaven and Hell. Jung can be seen as a helper, lifting those lying prone on the bottom and helping them spread their wings and fly into harmony. The Metaphysics of Quality is an attempt at grasping the universe under an arm and blending it into a harmonious whole, casting aside whatever is confused and obscured (the pesky platypus)."The sage has the sun and the moon by his side. He grasps the universe under his arm. He blends everything into a harmonious whole, casts aside whatever is confused or obscured, and regards the humble as honorable. While the multitude toil, he seems to be stupid and non discriminative. He blends the disparities of ten thousand years into one complete purity. All things are blended like this and mutually involve each other."
Magister Ludi: Pausing in the Dream, meditate now on the center. Where does cognition arise? Where does it go when it is no longer cognition? Remember that all things are blended and mutually involve each other, and the subject and object begin to disappear of their own accord.
Bead Seven - Quantum Theory
Ghost: When the atomic system began to be investigated, researchers were greatly troubled by what was discovered. Suddenly nothing was solid any longer, but only quanta of energy inhabiting vast reaches of space. Quantum theory requires that all things be mutually blended and mutually involve each other. The classically trained researchers were baffled at quantum theory, but Chuang Tzu might have felt right at home. Quantum theory can be broken into two parts, the mechanics of the quanta and the philosophy behind the theory. The former works beautifully while the latter is still very little understood or utilized. A different Game might focus upon the mathematics of quantum theory and show how it blends with the whole, but for the purpose of this Game we will focus only upon the philosophical side of quantum theory.
Quantum philosophy originates in the way we perceive our reality. Experience must be unambiguous by means of preconceived parameters to the observation. Experience is the beginning point and there must be an observer and an observed which are interchangeable with each other. This requires dropping the subject and object dichotomy and just as Chuang Tzu sought to blend the disparities of ten thousand years into a harmonious purity, quantum philosophy blends the focus of observing with the non-focus of not-observing.
One of the most little understood aspects of quantum philosophy involves experience, for quantum philosophy states that reality (the observation) begins with experience and ends with non-experience. That which is experienced in some fashion exists. That which is not experienced in some fashion cannot be said to be anything at all, neither in existence or not in existence. Classical thinking is at odds with this concept, as evidenced by Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr in their debates earlier this century. Einstein made a quip about the moon to Bohr, stating that even when he turned his head away from the moon, it was still there. Einstein understood Bohr in a classical way very well, but Einstein did not (could not) understand what Bohr was trying to say philosophically.
Chuang Tzu wrote "the sage has the sun and the moon at his side." Quantum philosophy calls this non locality, which is at odds with deterministic locality. Quantum philosophy states that if locality is observed, then non locality must be ignored, and if non locality is observed, then locality must be ignored. The two concepts cannot be used in a simultaneous fashion even though they do probably occur simultaneously. This is has to do with the boundaries of our perception. Looking at DeWeese's painting again, we see at the top figures who have just about ascended into non locality and therefore the locality of everyday reality no longer concerns them at all.
Viewed from the angle of quantum philosophy, the
theme of appearance versus reality in Hamlet blends into appearance of
reality as itself, which is the lesson Shakespeare seems to be teaching.
William Blake, with his Milton, seems to be marrying the universally non local with the individually local via his conveyance of feeling through his art, just like Jung with his archetypes as a universal non locality and the self as a locality individual. The Metaphysics of Quality starts with experience, just as quantum theory and Chuang Tzu begin with experience.
Magister Ludi: Here we see the marriage of science and the esoteric, Western philosophy with Eastern, universal with the individual. Let us meditate now on good and evil and the perceptions of each from both a local and a non local point of view.
Bead Eight - Religion
Ghost: Religion and quantum science seem to oppose one another on the surface, but looking to the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas, who lived in the thirteenth century, we see that the two, religion and science, are not polar opposites at all, but rather exist as complementary aspects of a universal whole.
Ghost: Music had its beginnings in those things spiritual. Religion is the attempt at bridging the gap between that which is universally non local and that which is locally individualistic, as is quantum theory. Chanting and the rhythmic beating of drums is a conduit to enter a trance state and experience the wonderment of God, but in doing so, the everyday world is left behind. The breath is a focal point in both music and prayer. Music theory as it is classically understood is the individualization of the universal meaning that began with chanting and rhythmic thumping. Classical music theory begins with audiation. Audiation takes place when we hear and comprehend music for which the sound is no longer or may never have been present.The principles of St. Thomas on the relations between faith and reason were solemnly proclaimed in the Vatican Council. The second, third, and fourth chapters of the Constitution "Dei Filius" read like pages taken from the works of the Angelic Doctor. First, reason alone is no sufficient to guide men: they need Revelation; we must carefully distinguish the truths known by reason from higher truths (mysteries) known by Revelation. Secondly, reason and Revelation, though distinct, are not opposed
to each other. Thirdly, faith preserves reason from error; reason should do service in the cause of faith. Fourthly, this service is rendered in three ways: reason should prepare the minds of men to receive the Faith by proving the truths which faith presupposes (praeambula fidei); reason should explain and develop the truths of Faith and should propose them in scientific form; reason should defend the truths revealed by Almighty God. This is a development of St. Augustine's famous saying (De Trin., XIV, c. i), that the right use of reason is "that by which the most wholesome faith is begotten . . . is nourished, defended, and made strong".
Ghost: The connections of religion, science and music run very deep. Though quantum theory is seemingly opposed to religion, it is from religion that the quantum theorists first arose. Taoist and zen masters often focus the student's attention upon sound and the difference in the way we perceive it and the way we perceive sight. The painting of DeWeese cannot be observed without also observing the universal background upon which it lays. Hamlet's distress arose between what he felt was Right, or universal, and what he perceived locally as good and evil. William Blake touched the universal soul through his poetry and artistry and sought to marry the concepts of good and evil much as St. Thomas sought to marry the concepts of science and religion. Jung's collective unconsciousness was the ground from which all consciousness arose. Robert Pirsig's Dynamic Quality is that ethereal cloud from which the rain of static quality patterns of local value fall upon our senses and become experiences.Audiation is not the same as aural perception, which occurs simultaneously with the reception of sound through the ears. It is a cognitive process by which the brain gives meaning to musical sounds.
Audiation is the musical equivalent of thinking in language. When we listen to someone speak we must retain in memory their vocal sounds long enough to recognize and give meaning to the words the sounds represent. Likewise, when listening to music we are at any given moment organizing in audiation sounds that were recently heard. We also predict, based on our familiarity with the tonal and rhythmic conventions of the music being heard, what will come next. Audiation, then, is a multistage process. (Foundation of Music Theory, Bruce Dalby)
Magister Ludi: Let the player pause for meditation on religion as a universal truth and how it pertains to the player's own individuality and station in life.
Bead Nine - Loss
Ghost: Death is the great concern of religion. Heaven and hell are the creation of humans in an attempt to explain the unexplainable. Since we are trapped in life we are unable to imagine the loss of it within our own beings. Nevertheless death is felt most vividly when one who is close to us passes on into that great Mystery we call death. Religious motifs such as heaven and hell are synonymous with good and evil, right and wrong, up and down. Loss ties all that is together with all that was and all that will be. Loss becomes potential, the potential for the new to choose for the better. Loss is Dynamic, for in order for something new and better to arise, the old must be put aside.
Magister Ludi: Meditate upon your death and use it as a guide. When things are going badly in life, remind yourself of your death, always sitting on your left, waiting patiently for the day that it will tap you on the shoulder and take you into that great Mystery.
Bead Ten - Self
Ghost: The Game now draws to a close. The self is both the beginning and the ending of the Game. Experience begins with the self, always, and when the self is no more, experience as we understand it ceases to be. In The Glass Bead Game, Hesse writes:
Ghost: Thank you for participating in this variant of the Game. Hopefully you the player has enjoyed reading this poor attempt at illustrating Hermann Hesse's concept.I suddenly realized that in the language, or at any rate in the spirit of the Glass Bead Game, everything actually was all-meaningful, that every symbol and combination of symbols led not hither and yon, not to single examples, experiments, and proofs, but into the center, the mystery and innermost heart of the world, into primal knowledge. Every transition from major to minor in a sonata, every transformation of a myth or a religious cult, every classical or artistic formulation was, I realized in that flashing moment, if seen with a truly meditative mind, nothing but a direct route into the interior of the cosmic mystery, where in the alternation between inhaling and exhaling, between heaven and earth, between Yin and Yang, holiness is forever being created.
Magister Ludi: The meditation on the self is a simple and yet deceptively complex one. The player should pause to meditate upon "what am I?".