If I know what love is, it is because of you.
– Herman Hesse
I often assemble the basic body of Turfing at night, but leave the last minute stuff for the morning. The problem is that my writing differs vastly from 11:00pm to 9:00am. Not enough juice to kick it off properly.
I stumbled upon Hesse’s work (again) recently, and it makes me wonder how someone could not re-visit his works over the years. Though he has little cache now, I think he was one of the great ones. His writing certainly had an affect on me. We have included some quotes and extracts from him today, so you can catch his flavour…
We touch on the Count Saint Germain as this is a special day for him….
A visit to Li Bai of the T’ang dynasty rounds it all out nicely.
Here is to your Tuesday,
On The Tuesday Grill:
Count St Germain
A Wee Visit With Herman Hesse…
From The T’ang Paradise: Li Bai
Count St Germain is supposed by some to have died on this day in 1784. He was seen by the composer Rameau and the young Countess Georgy in 1710 and looked about 45. Thirty years later at Louis XV’s court, he still looked about 45, he visited his old friend Mme d’Adhemar – to her great surprise, as she had thought his dead and buried – and told her that he would see her five more times. The last time was before the murder of the Duc du Berri in 1820.
A Life? St. Germain’s background and identity are shrouded in mystery, leading to many speculations about his origin and ancestry. According to Prince Charles of Hesse, St. Germain claimed, toward the end of his life, to be the son of Francis II Rákóczi, the Prince of Transylvania, by Rákóczi’s first wife. This seems to be the prevailing theory. Another theory says St. Germain was the illegitimate son of Maria Anna of Pfalz-Neuburg, the widow of Charles II of Spain; while still another believes him to have been the son of the king of Portugal.
St. Germain may have studied in Italy at Siena University, possibly as a protégé of Grand Duke Gian Gastone (the last of the Medici line).
The first “sighting” of St. Germain was in 1710, according to Baron de Gleichen, who says St. Germain was in Venice at that time. Other chronicled appearances include London in 1743 and in Edinburgh in 1745, where he was placed under house arrest for being suspected of espionage during the Jacobite revolution. He was released when no evidence was produced, and soon acquired a reputation as a great violinist–as good as Paganini, according to one account. During this time he met Jean-Jacques Rousseau. In 1746 he disappeared. Horace Walpole, who knew him from about 1745 in London, described him thus: “He sings, plays the violin wonderfully, composes, is mad and not very sensible”.
He reappeared in Versailles in 1758. The old portrait of him dates from these years. He claimed to have had recipes for dyes, and was given quarters in the Chateau de Chambord by Louis XV, with whom he spent a great deal of time, along with Louis’ mistress, Madame de Pompadour. During this time in Paris, St. Germain liberally gave diamonds, of which he had many, as gifts. The Italian adventurer Giacomo Casanova says he personally witnessed St. Germain turning silver into gold, but adds that he suspected it was done by sleight of hand. It is said St. Germain sometimes hinted he was centuries old. At the time a mime, who called himself Lord Gower, began to mimic his mannerism in salons, joking that St. Germain had advised Jesus. In 1760 St. Germain left for England through Holland on a mission for Louis XV, when the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Duke of Choiseul, tried to have him arrested.
After that the Count passed through the Netherlands into Russia and apparently was in St Petersburg when the Russian army coup put Catherine the Great on the throne. Later conspiracy theories credit him for causing it. The next year he turned up in the Southern Netherlands (now Belgium), bought land and took the name Surmount. He tried to offer his processestreatments of wood, leather, oil paintto the state. During his negotiationsthat came to nothingwith Belgian minister Karl Cobenzl he hinted at a royal birth. He then disappeared for 11 years.
In 1774 he resurfaced, and apparently tried to present himself to a count in Bavaria as Freiherr Reinhard Gemmingen-Guttenberg, the Count Tsarogy. In 1776 the Count was in Germany, calling himself Chevalier Welldone, and again offered recipescosmetics, wines, liqueurs, treatments of bone, paper and ivory. He alienated King Frederick’s emissaries by his claims of transmutation of gold. To Frederick he claimed to have been a Freemason. He settled in a house of Prince Karl of Hesse-Kassel, governor of Schleswig-Holstein, and studied herbal remedies and chemistry to give to the poor. To him he claimed he was a Francis Rakoczy II, Prince of Transylvania. 1784 is when the Count supposedly died, probably of pneumonia. He left very little behind.
There were rumors of him alive in Paris in 1835, in Milan in 1867, and in Egypt during Napoleon’s campaign. Napoleon III kept a dossier on him but it was destroyed in a fire that gutted the Hotel de Ville in 1871. Theosophist Annie Besant said that she met the Count in 1896. Theosophist C. W. Leadbeater claimed to have met him in Rome in 1926, and said that St. Germain showed him a robe that had been previously owned by a Roman Emperor and that St. Germain told him that one of his residences was a castle in Transylvania. Theosophist Guy Ballard claimed he met the Count on Mt. Shasta and he introduced him to visitors from Venus and published a book series about his channelings; Ballard founded the “I AM” Activity.
On January 28, 1972, ex-convict and lover of singing star Dalida, Richard Chanfray claimed to be the Count of St. Germain on French television. He also claimed that Louis XV was still alive.
A Wee Visit With Herman Hesse…
There’s no reality except the one contained within us. That’s why so many people live an unreal life. They take images outside them for reality and never allow the world within them to assert itself.
“You know quite well, deep within you, that there is only a single magic, single power, a single salvation… and that is called loving. Well, then, love your suffering. Do not resist it, do not flee from it. It is your aversion that hurts, nothing else.”
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
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.
To be able to throw one’s self away for the sake of a moment, to be able to sacrifice years for a woman’s smile – that is happiness
“ So that’s it, thought I. They’ve disfigured this good old wall with an electric sign. Meanwhile I deciphered one or two of the letters as they appeared again for an instant; but they were hard to read even by guess work, for they came with very irregular spaces between them and very faintly, and then abruptly vanished. Whoever hoped for any result from a display like that was not very smart. He was a Steppenwolf, poor fellow. Why have his letters playing on this old wall in the darkest alley of the Old Town on a wet night with not a soul passing by, and why were they so fleeting, so fitful and illegible? But wait, at last I succeeded in catching several words on end. They were:
MAGIC THEATER – ENTRANCE NOT FOR EVERYBODY
I tried to open the door, but the heavy old latch would not stir. The display too was over. It had suddenly ceased, sadly convinced of its uselessness. I took a few steps back, landing deep into the mud, but no more letters came. The display was over. For a long time I stood waiting in the mud, but in vain.
Then, when I had given up and gone back to the alley, a few colored letters were dropped here and there, reflected on the asphalt in front of me. I read:
FOR MADMEN ONLY!” – from ‘Steppenwolf’
“But out of all secrets of the river, he today only saw one, this one touched his soul. He saw: this water ran and ran, incessantly it ran, and was nevertheless always there, was always an at all times the same and yet new in every moment! Great be he who would grasp this, understand this! He understood and grasped it not, only felt some idea of it stirring, a distant memory, divine voices.” – from ‘Siddhartha’.
“I’m telling you what I’ve found. Knowledge can be conveyed, but not wisdom. It can be found, it can be lived, it is possible to be carried by it, miracles can be performed with it, but it cannot be expressed in words and taught. This was what I, even as a young man, sometimes suspected, what has driven me away from the teachers. I have found a thought, Govinda, which you’ll again regard as a joke or foolishness, but which is my best thought. It says: The opposite of every truth is just as true! That’s like this: any truth can only be expressed and put into words when it is one-sided. Everything is one-sided which can be thought with thoughts and said with words, it’s all one-sided, all just one half, all lacks completeness, roundness, oneness. When the exalted Gotama spoke in his teachings of the world, he had to divide it into Sansara and Nirvana, into deception and truth, into suffering and salvation. It cannot be done differently, there is no other way for him who wants to teach. But the world itself, what exists around us and inside of us, is never one-sided. A person or an act is never entirely Sansara or entirely Nirvana, a person is never entirely holy or entirely sinful. It does really seem like this, because we are subject to deception, as if time was something real. Time is not real, Govinda, I have experienced this often and often again. And if time is not real, then the gap which seems to be between the world and the eternity, between suffering and blissfulness, between evil and good, is also a deception.” – from ‘Siddhartha’.
“Where does it come from, he asked himself? What is the reason for this feeling of happiness? Does it arise from my good long sleep which has done me so much good? Or from the word Om which I pronounced? Or because I have run away, because my flight is accomplished, because I am at last free again and stand like a child beneath the sky? Ah, how good this flight has been, the liberation! In the place from which I escaped there was always an atmosphere fo pomade, spice, excess and inertia. How I hated that world of riches, carousing and playing! How I hated myself for remaining so long in that horrible world! How I hated myself, thwarted, poisoned and tortured myself, made myself old and ugly. Never again, as I once fondly imagined, will I consider that Siddartha is clever. But one thing I have done well, which pleases me, which I must praise – I have now put an end to that self-detestation, to that foolish empty life. I commend you, Siddartha, that after so many years of folly, you have again had a good idea, that you have accomplished something, that you have again heard the bird in your breast sing and followed it.” – from ‘Siddhartha’.
Let’s listen, you’ll hear more.
They listened. Softly sounded the river, singing in many voices. Siddhartha looked into the water, and images appeared to him in the moving water: his father appeared, lonely, mourning for his son; he himself appeared, lonely, he also being tied with the bondage of yearning to his distant son; his son appeared, lonely as well, the boy, greedily rushing along the burning course of his young wishes, each one heading for his goal, each one obsessed by the goal, each one suffering. The river sang with a voice of suffering, longingly it sang, longingly, it flowed towards its goal, lamentingly its voice sang.
Do you hear? Vasudeva’s mute gaze asked. Siddhartha nodded.
Listen better! Vasudeva whispered.
Siddhartha made an effort to listen better. The image of his father, his own image, the image of his son merged, Kamala’s image also appeared and was dispersed, and the image of Govinda, and other images, and they merged with each other, turned all into the river, headed all, being the river, for the goal, longing, desiring, suffering, and the river’s voice sounded full of yearning, full of burning woe, full of unsatisfiable desire. For the goal, the river was heading, Siddhartha saw it hurrying, the river, which consisted of him and his loved ones and of all people, he had ever seen, all of these waves and waters were hurrying, suffering, towards goals, many goals, the waterfall, the lake, the rapids, the sea, and all goals were reached, and every goal was followed by a new one, and the water turned into vapour and rose to the sky, turned into rain and poured down from the sky, turned into a source, a stream, a river, headed forward once again, flowed on once again. But the longing voice had changed. It still resounded, full of suffering, searching, but other voices joined it, voices of joy and of suffering, good and bad voices, laughing and sad ones, a hundred voices, a thousand voices. – from ‘Siddhartha’.
From The T’ang Paradise: Li Bai
Endless Yearning (I)
I am endlessly yearning
To be in Changan,
Insects hum of autumn by the gold brim of the well
A thin frost glistens like little mirrors on my cold mat,
The high lantern flickers, and deeper grows my longing
I lift the shade and, with many a sigh, gaze upon the moon,
Single as a flower, centered from the clouds
Above, I see the blueness and deepness of the sky
Below, I see the greenness and the restlessness of water
Heaven is high, Earth wide, bitter between them flies my sorrows
Can I dream through the gateway, over the mountain?
Breaks my heart.
Endless Yearning (II)
The sun has set, and a mist is in the flowers
And the moon grows very white and people sad and sleepless,
A Zhao harp has just been laid mute on its phoenix holder
And a Shu lute begins to sound its mandarin-duck strings
Since nobody can bear to you the burden of my song
Would that it might follow the spirit wind to Yanran Mountain,
I think of you far away, beyond the blue sky
And my eyes that once were sparkling, are now a well of tears,
Oh, if ever you should doubt this aching of my heart
Here in my bright mirror come back and look at me!
A Visit to Sky-Mother Mountain in a Dream
So, longing in my dreams for Wu and Yue
One night I flew over Mirror Lake under the moon,
The moon cast my shadow on the water
And traveled with me all the way to Shanxi,
The lodge of Lord Xie still remained
Where green waters swirled and the cry of apes was shrill,
Donning the shoes of Xie
I climbed the dark ladder of clouds,
Midway, I saw the sun rise from the sea
Heard the Cock of Heaven crow,
And my path twisted through a thousand crags
Enchanted by flowers I leaned against a rock
And suddenly all was dark,
Growls of bears and snarls of dragons echoed
Among the rocks and streams,
The deep forest appalled me, I shrank from the lowering cliffs,
Dark were the clouds, heavy with rain
Waters boiled into misty spray,
Lightening flashed, thunder roared
Peaks tottered, boulders crashed,
And the stone gate of a great cavern
Below me, a bottomless void of blue
Sun and moon gleaming on terraces of silver and gold,
With rainbows for garments, and winds for horses
The lords of the clouds descended, a mighty host,
Phoenixes circled the chariots, tigers played zithers
As the immortals went by, rank upon rank.
On the Way Back to the Old Residence
Traveling to Heaven in dreams
There is another space and dimension in the kettle
Overlook the human Earth,
That is easily withered and rotten.
Ling Xu Mountain
Leaving the human world
Going toward the path to Heaven;
Upon Consummation through cultivation,
Then follow the clouds to Heaven,
Caves hidden under pine trees,
Deep and unseen among the peach blossoms…