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Zodijak Gemini
Pol Muškarac
Poruke Odustao od brojanja
Zastava 44°49′N - 20°29′E
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Apple iPhone 6s
   "When the world is at peace, when all things are tranquil and all men obey their superiors in all their courses, then music can be perfected. When desires and passions do not turn into wrongful paths, music can be perfected. Perfect music has its cause. It arises from equilibrium. Equilibrium arises from righteousness, and righteousness arises from the meaning of the cosmos. Therefore one can speak about music only with a man who has perceived the meaning of the cosmos.
   "Music is founded on the harmony between heaven and earth, on the concord of obscurity and brightness.
   "Decaying states and men ripe for doom do not, of course, lack music either, but their music is not serene. Therefore, the more tempestuous the music, the more doleful are the people, the more imperiled the country, the more the sovereign declines. In this way the essence of music is lost.
   "What all sacred sovereigns have loved in music was its serenity. The tyrants Giae and Jou Sin made tempestuous music. They thought loud sounds beautiful and massed effects interesting. They strove for new and rare tonal effects, for notes which no ear had ever heard hitherto. They sought to surpass each other, and overstepped all bounds.
   "The cause of the degeneration of the Chu state was its invention of magic music. Such music is indeed tempestuous enough, but in truth it has departed from the essence of music. Because it has departed from the essence of real music, this music is not serene. If music is not serene, the people grumble and life is deranged. All this arises from mistaking the nature of music and seeking only tempestuous tonal effects.
   "Therefore the music of a well-ordered age is calm and cheerful, and so is its government. The music of a restive age is excited and fierce, and its government is perverted. The music of a decaying state is sentimental and sad, and its government is imperiled."
   The words of this Chinese writer point fairly distinctly to the origins and to the real although almost forgotten meaning of all music. For in prehistoric times music, like the dance and every other artistic endeavor, was a branch of magic, one of the old and legitimate instruments of wonder-working. Beginning with rhythm (clapping of hands, tramping, beating of sticks and primitive drums), it was a powerful, tried-and-true device for putting large numbers of people "in tune" with one another, engendering the same mood, co-ordinating the pace of their breathing and heartbeats, encouraging them to invoke and conjure up the eternal powers, to dance, to compete, to make war, to worship. And music has retained this original, pure, primordially powerful character, its magic, far longer than the other arts. We need only recall the many testimonies of historians and poets to the power of music, from the Greeks to Goethe in his Novelle. In practice, marches and the dance have never lost their importance. . . But let us return to our subject.
   We shall now give a brief summary of the beginnings of the Glass Bead Game. It appears to have arisen simultaneously in Germany and in England. In both countries, moreover, it was originally a kind of exercise employed by those small groups of musicologists and musicians who worked and studied in the new seminaries of musical theory. If we compare the original state of the Game with its subsequent developments and its present form, it is much like comparing a musical score of the period before 1500, with its primitive notes and absence of bar lines, with an eighteenth-century score, let alone with one from the nineteenth with its confusing excess of symbols for dynamics, tempi, phrasing, and so on, which often made the printing of such scores a complex technical problem.
   The Game was at first nothing more than a witty method for developing memory and ingenuity among students and musicians. And as we have said, it was played both in England and Germany before it was "invented" here in the Musical Academy of Cologne, and was given the name it bears to this day, after so many generations, although it has long ceased to have anything to do with glass beads.
   The inventor, Bastian Perrot of Calw, a rather eccentric but clever, sociable, and humane musicologist, used glass beads instead of letters, numerals, notes, or other graphic symbols. Perrot, who incidentally has also bequeathed to us a treatise on the Apogee and Decline of Counterpoint, found that the pupils at the Cologne Seminary had a rather elaborate game they used to play. One would call out, in the standardized abbreviations of their science, motifs or initial bars of classical compositions, whereupon the other had to respond with the continuation of the piece, or better still with a higher or lower voice, a contrasting theme, and so forth. It was an exercise in memory and improvisation quite similar to the sort of thing probably in vogue among ardent pupils of counterpoint in the days of Schütz, Pachelbel, and Bach -- although it would then not have been done in theoretical formulas, but in practice on the cembalo, lute, or flute, or with the voice.
   Bastian Perrot in all probability was a member of the Journeyers to the East. He was partial to handicrafts and had himself built several pianos and clavichords in the ancient style. Legend has it that he was adept at playing the violin in the old way, forgotten since 1800, with a high-arched bow and hand-regulated tension of the bow hairs. Given these interests, it was perhaps only natural that he should have constructed a frame, modeled on a child's abacus, a frame with several dozen wires on which could be strung glass beads of various sizes, shapes, and colors. The wires corresponded to the lines of the musical staff, the beads to the time-values of the notes, and so on. In this way he could represent with beads musical quotations or invented themes, could alter, transpose, and develop them, change them and set them in counterpoint to one another. In technical terms this was a mere plaything, but the pupils liked it; it was imitated and became fashionable in England too. For a time the game of musical exercises was played in this charmingly primitive manner. And as is so often the case, an enduring and significant institution received its name from a passing and incidental circumstance. For what later evolved out of that students' sport and Perrot's bead-strung wires bears to this day the name by which it became popularly known, the Glass Bead Game.
   A bare two or three decades later the Game seems to have lost some of its popularity among students of music, but instead was taken over by mathematicians. For a long while, indeed, a characteristic feature in the Game's history was that it was constantly preferred, used, and further elaborated by whatever branch of learning happened to be experiencing a period of high development or a renaissance. The mathematicians brought the Game to a high degree of flexibility and capacity for sublimation, so that it began to acquire something approaching a consciousness of itself and its possibilities. This process paralleled the general evolution of cultural consciousness, which had survived the great crisis and had, as Plinius Ziegenhalss puts it, "with modest pride accepted the fate of belonging to a culture past its prime, as was the case with the culture of late antiquity: Hellenistic culture in the Alexandrian Age."
   So much for Ziegenhalss. We shall now attempt to sketch the further steps in the history of the Glass Bead Game. Having passed from the musical to the mathematical seminaries (a change which took place in France and England somewhat sooner than in Germany), the Game was so far developed that it was capable of expressing mathematical processes by special symbols and abbreviations. The players, mutually elaborating these processes, threw these abstract formulas at one another, displaying the sequences and possibilities of their science. This mathematical and astronomical game of formulas required great attentiveness, keenness, and concentration. Among mathematicians, even in those days, the reputation of being a good Glass Bead Game player meant a great deal; it was equivalent to being a very good mathematician.
   At various times the Game was taken up and imitated by nearly all the scientific and scholarly disciplines, that is, adapted to the special fields. There is documented evidence for its application to the fields of classical philology and logic. The analytical study of musical values had led to the reduction of musical events to physical and mathematical formulas. Soon afterward philology borrowed this method and began to measure linguistic configurations as physics measures processes in nature. The visual arts soon followed suit, architecture having already led the way in establishing the links between visual art and mathematics. Thereafter more and more new relations, analogies, and correspondences were discovered among the abstract formulas obtained in this way. Each discipline which seized upon the Game created its own language of formulas, abbreviations, and possible combinations. Everywhere, the elite intellectual youth developed a passion for these Games, with their dialogues and progressions of formulas. The Game was not mere practice and mere recreation; it became a form of concentrated self-awareness for intellectuals. Mathematicians in particular played it with a virtuosity and formal strictness at once athletic and ascetic. It afforded them a pleasure which somewhat compensated for their renunciation of worldly pleasures and ambitions. For by then such renunciation had already become a regular thing for intellectuals. The Glass Bead Game contributed largely to the complete defeat of feuilletonism and to that newly awakened delight in strict mental exercises to which we owe the origin of a new, monastically austere intellectual discipline.
   The world had changed. The life of the mind in the Age of the Feuilleton might be compared to a degenerate plant which was squandering its strength in excessive vegetative growth, and the subsequent corrections to pruning the plant back to the roots. The young people who now proposed to devote themselves to intellectual studies no longer took the term to mean attending a university and taking a nibble of this or that from the dainties offered by celebrated and loquacious professors who without authority offered them the crumbs of what had once been higher education. Now they had to study just as stringently and methodically as the engineers and technicians of the past, if not more so. They had a steep path to climb, had to purify and strengthen their minds by dint of mathematics and scholastic exercises in Aristotelian philosophy. Moreover, they had to learn to renounce all those benefits which previous generations of scholars had considered worth striving for: rapid and easy money-making, celebrity and public honors, the homage of the newspapers, marriages with daughters of bankers and industrialists, a pampered and luxurious style of life. The writers with heavy sales, Nobel Prizes, and lovely country houses, the celebrated physicians with decorations and liveried servants, the professors with wealthy wives and brilliant salons, the chemists with posts on boards of directors, the philosophers with feuilleton factories who delivered charming lectures in overcrowded halls, for which they were rewarded with thunderous applause and floral tributes -- all such public figures disappeared and have not come back to this day. Even so, no doubt, there were still plenty of talented young people for whom such personages were envied models. But the paths to honors, riches, fame, and luxury now no longer led through lecture halls, academies, and doctoral theses. The deeply debased intellectual professions were bankrupt in the world's eyes. But in compensation they had regained a fanatical and penitential devotion to art and thought. Those talented persons whose desires tended more toward glory or comfortable living had to turn their backs on the intellectual life, which had become so austere, and seek out occupations which still provided opportunities for comfort and money-making.
   It would lead us too far afield to attempt to describe in detail how the world of Mind, after its purification, won a place for itself in the State. Experience soon showed that a few generations of lax and unscrupulous intellectual discipline had also sufficed to inflict serious harm on practical life. Competence and responsibility had grown increasingly rare in all the higher professions, including even those concerned with technology. To remedy this, supervision of the things of the mind among the people and in government came to be consigned more and more to the "intellectuals" in the best sense of the word. This was particularly the case with the entire educational system; and indeed the situation is little changed to this day. In almost all the countries of Europe today the schools that are not still administered by the Roman Church are in the hands of those anonymous Orders which fill their ranks from the elite among the intellectuals. Although public opinion occasionally decries the strictness and the reputed arrogance of this caste, and although individuals have occasionally revolted against it, this leadership stands unshaken. Its integrity, its renunciation of all benefits and advantages other than intellectual ones, maintains and protects it. But it is also supported by what has long since become common knowledge, or at least a universal sense, that the continuance of civilization depends on this strict schooling. People know, or dimly feel, that if thinking is not kept pure and keen, and if respect for the world of the mind is no longer operative, ships and automobiles will soon cease to run right, the engineer's slide rule and the computations of banks and stock exchanges will forfeit validity and authority, and chaos will ensue. It took long enough in all conscience for realization to come that the externals of civilization -- technology, industry, commerce, and so on -- also require a common basis of intellectual honesty and morality.
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Zodijak Gemini
Pol Muškarac
Poruke Odustao od brojanja
Zastava 44°49′N - 20°29′E
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Apple iPhone 6s
   To return now to the Glass Bead Game: what it lacked in those days was the capacity for universality, for rising above all the disciplines. The astronomers, the classicists, the scholastics, the music students all played their Games according to their ingenious rules, but the Game had a special language and set of rules for every discipline and subdiscipline. It required half a century before the first step was taken toward spanning these gulfs. The reason for this slowness was undoubtedly more moral than formal and technical. The means for building the spans could even then have been found, but along with the newly regenerated intellectual life went a puritanical shrinking from "foolish digressions," from intermingling of disciplines and categories. There was also a profound and justified fear of relapse into the sin of superficiality and feuilletonism.
   It was the achievement of one individual which brought the Glass Bead Game almost in one leap to an awareness of its potentialities, and thus to the verge of its capacity for universal elaboration. And once again this advance was connected with music. A Swiss musicologist with a passion for mathematics gave a new twist to the Game, and thereby opened the way for its supreme development. This great man's name in civil life can no longer be ascertained; by his time the cult of personality in intellectual fields had already been dispensed with. He lives on in history as Lusor (or also, Joculator) Basiliensis. Although his invention, like all inventions, was the product of his own personal merit and grace, it in no way sprang solely from personal needs and ambitions, but was impelled by a more powerful motive. There was a passionate craving among all the intellectuals of his age for a means to express their new concepts. They longed for philosophy, for synthesis. The erstwhile happiness of pure withdrawal each into his own discipline was now felt to be inadequate. Here and there a scholar broke through the barriers of his specialty and tried to advance into the terrain of universality. Some dreamed of a new alphabet, a new language of symbols through which they could formulate and exchange their new intellectual experiences.
   Testimony to the strength of this impulse may be found in the essay "Chinese Warning Cry," by a Parisian scholar of those years. The author, mocked by many in his day as a sort of Don Quixote (incidentally, he was a distinguished scholar in the field of Chinese philology), pointed out the dangers facing culture, in spite of its present honorable condition, if it neglected to develop an international language of symbols. Such a language, like the ancient Chinese script, should be able to express the most complex matters graphically, without excluding individual imagination and inventiveness, in such a way as to be understandable to all the scholars of the world. It was at this point that Joculator Basiliensis applied himself to the problem. He invented for the Glass Bead Game the principles of a new language, a language of symbols and formulas, in which mathematics and music played an equal part, so that it became possible to combine astronomical and musical formulas, to reduce mathematics and music to a common denominator, as it were. Although what he did was by no means conclusive, this unknown man from Basel certainly laid the foundations for all that came later in the history of our beloved Game.
   The Glass Bead Game, formerly the specialized entertainment of mathematicians in one era, philologists or musicians in another era, now more and more cast its spell upon all true intellectuals. Many an old university, many a lodge, and especially the age-old League of Journeyers to the East, turned to it. Some of the Catholic Orders likewise scented a new intellectual atmosphere and yielded to its lure. At some Benedictine abbeys the monks devoted themselves to the Game so intensely that even in those early days the question was hotly debated -- it was subsequently to crop up again now and then -- whether this game ought to be tolerated, supported, or forbidden by Church and Curia.
   After Joculator Basiliensis' grand accomplishment, the Game rapidly evolved into what it is today: the quintessence of intellectuality and art, the sublime cult, the unio mystica of all separate members of the Universitas Litterarum. In our lives it has partially taken over the role of art, partially that of speculative philosophy. Indeed, in the days of Plinius Ziegenhalss, for instance, it was often called by a different name, one common in the literature of the Feuilletonistic Age. That name, which for many a prophetic spirit in those days embodied a visionary ideal, was: Magic Theater.
   For all that the Glass Bead Game had grown infinitely in technique and range since its beginnings, for all the intellectual demands it made upon its players, and for all that it had become a sublime art and science, in the days of Joculator Basiliensis it still was lacking in an essential element. Up to that time every game had been a serial arrangement, an ordering, grouping, and confronting of concentrated concepts from many fields of thought and aesthetics, a rapid recollection of eternal values and forms, a brief, virtuoso flight through the realms of the mind. Only after some time did there enter into the Game, from the intellectual stock of the educational system and especially from the habits and customs of the Joumeyers to the East, the idea of contemplation.
   This new element arose out of an observed evil. Mnemonists, people with freakish memories and no other virtues, were capable of playing dazzling games, dismaying and confusing the other participants by their rapid muster of countless ideas. In the course of time such displays of virtuosity fell more and more under a strict ban, and contemplation became a highly important component of the Game. Ultimately, for the audiences at each Game it became the main thing. This was the necessary turning toward the religious spirit. What had formerly mattered was following the sequences of ideas and the whole intellectual mosaic of a Game with rapid attentiveness, practiced memory, and full understanding. But there now arose the demand for a deeper and more spiritual approach. After each symbol conjured up by the director of a Game, each player was required to perform silent, formal meditation on the content, origin, and meaning of this symbol, to call to mind intensively and organically its full purport. The members of the Order and of the Game associations brought the technique and practice of contemplation with them from their elite schools, where the art of contemplation and meditation was nurtured with the greatest care. In this way the hieroglyphs of the Game were kept from degenerating into mere empty signs.
   Hitherto, by the way, the Glass Bead Game, in spite of its popularity among scholars, had remained a purely private form of exercise. It could be played alone, by pairs, or by many, although unusually brilliant, well-composed, and successful Games were sometimes written down and circulated from city to city and country to country for admiration or criticism. Now, however, the Game slowly began to be enriched by a new function, for it became a public ceremonial. To this day everyone is free to play the Game privately, and young people are especially fond of doing so. But nowadays virtually everyone associates the Glass Bead Game with ceremonial public Games. They take place under the leadership of a few superior Masters who are directly subordinate to the Ludi Magister, or Master of the Game, of their country, with invited guests listening raptly, and a wider audience all over the world following with closest attention. Some of these Games last for days and weeks, and while such a Game is being celebrated all the players and guests -- obeying precepts which even govern the length of time they are allowed to sleep -- live an ascetic and selfless life of absolute absorption, comparable to the strictly regulated penitence required of the participants in one of St. Ignatius Loyola's exercises.
   There is scarcely any more we need add. Under the shifting hegemony of now this, now that science or art, the Game of games had developed into a kind of universal language through which the players could express values and set these in relation to one another. Throughout its history the Game was closely allied with music, and usually proceeded according to musical or mathematical rules. One theme, two themes, or three themes were stated, elaborated, varied, and underwent a development quite similar to that of the theme in a Bach fugue or a concerto movement. A Game, for example, might start from a given astronomical configuration, or from the actual theme of a Bach fugue, or from a sentence out of Leibniz or the Upanishads, and from this theme, depending on the intentions and talents of the player, it could either further explore and elaborate the initial motif or else enrich its expressiveness by allusions to kindred concepts. Beginners learned how to establish parallels, by means of the Game's symbols, between a piece of classical music and the formula for some law of nature. Experts and Masters of the Game freely wove the initial theme into unlimited combinations. For a long time one school of players favored the technique of stating side by side, developing in counterpoint, and finally harmoniously combining two hostile themes or ideas, such as law and freedom, individual and community. In such a Game the goal was to develop both themes or theses with complete equality and impartiality, to evolve out of thesis and antithesis the purest possible synthesis. In general, aside from certain brilliant exceptions, Games with discordant, negative, or skeptical conclusions were unpopular and at times actually forbidden. This followed directly from the meaning the Game had acquired at its height for the players. It represented an elite, symbolic form of seeking for perfection, a sublime alchemy, an approach to that Mind which beyond all images and multiplicities is one within itself -- in other words, to God. Pious thinkers of earlier times had represented the life of creatures, say, as a mode of motion toward God, and had considered that the variety of the phenomenal world reached perfection and ultimate cognition only in the divine Unity. Similarly, the symbols and formulas of the Glass Bead Game combined structurally, musically, and philosophically within the framework of a universal language, were nourished by all the sciences and arts, and strove in play to achieve perfection, pure being, the fullness of reality. Thus, "realizing" was a favorite expression among the players. They considered their Games a path from Becoming to Being, from potentiality to reality. We would like to remind the reader once again of the sentences quoted above from Nicholas of Cues.
   Incidentally, the terminology of Christian theology, or at any rate that part of it which seemed to have become a part of the general cultural heritage, was naturally absorbed into the symbolic language of the Game. Thus one of the principles of the Creed, a passage from the Bible, a phrase from one of the Church Fathers, or from the Latin text of the Mass could be expressed and taken into the Game just as easily and aptly as an axiom of geometry or a melody of Mozart. We would scarcely be exaggerating if we ventured to say that for the small circle of genuine Glass Bead Game players the Game was virtually equivalent to worship, although it deliberately eschewed developing any theology of its own.
   In struggling for their continued existence in the midst of soulless world powers, both the Glass Bead Game players and the Roman Church had become too dependent upon each other for either to permit a decisive confrontation between them, although that danger was always present, since the intellectual honesty and the authentic impulse to reach incisive, unequivocal formulations drove the partisans of both toward a parting of the ways. That parting, however, never took place. Rome vacillated between a benevolent and a hostile attitude toward the Game, for a good many of the most talented persons in the Roman congregations, and in the ranks of the high and the highest clergy, were players. And the Game itself, ever since public matches and a Ludi Magister had been instituted, enjoyed the protection of the Order and of the education ministries, both of which always behaved with the greatest possible courtesy and chivalry toward Rome. Pope Pius XV, who as a cardinal had been an excellent and ardent Glass Bead Game player, as pontiff followed the example of all his predecessors in bidding the Game farewell forever; but he went a step further and actually attempted to put the Game on trial. It was a near thing; had he carried out his intention, Catholics would have been forbidden to play the Game. But the pope died before matters came to that point, and a widely read biography of this rather important man has represented his attitude toward the Glass Bead Game as one of deep passion which in his pontifical office he could vent only in the form of hostility.
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Zodijak Gemini
Pol Muškarac
Poruke Odustao od brojanja
Zastava 44°49′N - 20°29′E
mob
Apple iPhone 6s
   The Game had been played freely by individuals and cliques, and for a long time amiably promoted by the ministries of education, before it acquired the status of a public institution. It was first organized as such in France and England; other countries followed fairly rapidly. In each country a Game Commission and a supreme head of the Game, bearing the title of Ludi Magister, were established. Official matches, played under the personal direction of the Magister, were exalted into cultural festivals. Like all high functionaries in cultural life, the Magister of course remained anonymous. Aside from a few intimates, no one knew his name. Official and international communications media, such as radio and so on, were made available only for the great official matches over which the Ludi Magister personally presided. Among the duties of the Magister, in addition to conducting the public Games, was supervision of the players and the schools of the Game. Above all, however, the Magister had to keep strict watch over the further elaboration of the Game. The World Commission of the Magisters of all countries alone decided on the acceptance of new symbols and formulas into the existing stock of the Game (which scarcely ever occurs nowadays), on modifications of the rules, on the desirability of including new fields within the purview of the Game. If the Game is regarded as a kind of world language for thoughtful men, the Games Commissions of the various countries under the leadership of their Magisters form as a whole the Academy which guards the vocabulary, the development, and the purity of this language. Each country's Commission possesses its Archive of the Game, that is, the register of all hitherto examined and accepted symbols and decipherments, whose number long ago by far exceeded the number of the ancient Chinese ideographs.
   In general, a passing grade in the final examination in one of the academies, especially one of the elite schools, is considered sufficient qualification for a Glass Bead Game player; but in the past and to this day superior competence in one of the principal fields of scholarship or in music is tacitly assumed. To rise some day to membership in one of the Games Commissions, or even to Ludi Magister, is the dream of almost every fifteen-year-old in the elite schools. But by the time these youth have become doctoral candidates, only a tiny percentage still seriously cling to their ambition to serve the Glass Bead Game and take an active part in its further development. On the other hand, all these lovers of the Game diligently study the lore of the Game and practice meditation. At the "great" Games they form that innermost ring of reverent and devoted participants which gives the public matches their ceremonial character and keeps them from devolving into mere aesthetic displays. To these real players and devotees, the Ludi Magister is a prince or high priest, almost a deity.
   But for every independent player, and especially for the Magister, the Glass Bead Game is primarily a form of music-making, somewhat in the sense of those words that Joseph Knecht once spoke concerning the nature of classical music:
   "We consider classical music to be the epitome and quintessence of our culture, because it is that culture's clearest, most significant gesture and expression. In this music we possess the heritage of classical antiquity and Christianity, a spirit of serenely cheerful and brave piety, a superbly chivalric morality. For in the final analysis every important cultural gesture comes down to a morality, a model for human behavior concentrated into a gesture. As we know, between 1500 and 1800 a wide variety of music was made; styles and means of expression were extremely variegated; but the spirit, or rather the morality, was everywhere the same. The human attitude of which classical music is the expression is always the same; it is always based on the same kind of insight into life and strives for the same kind of victory over blind chance. Classical music as gesture signifies knowledge of the tragedy of the human condition, affirmation of human destiny, courage, cheerful serenity. The grace of a minuet by Handel or Couperin, the sensuality sublimated into delicate gesture to be found in many Italian composers or in Mozart, the tranquil, composed readiness for death in Bach -- always there may be heard in these works a defiance, a death-defying intrepidity, a gallantry, and a note of superhuman laughter, of immortal gay serenity. Let that same note also sound in our Glass Bead Games, and in our whole lives, acts, and sufferings."
   These words were noted down by one of Knecht's pupils. With them we bring to an end our consideration of the Glass Bead Game.
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Pol Muškarac
Poruke Odustao od brojanja
Zastava 44°49′N - 20°29′E
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Apple iPhone 6s
THE
LIFE
OF
MAGISTER
LUDI
JOSEPH
KNECHT





ONE
THE CALL

   No KNOWLEDGE HAS come down to us of Joseph Knecht's origins. Like many other pupils of the elite schools, he either lost his parents early in childhood, or the Board of Educators removed him from unfavorable home conditions and took charge of him. In any case, he was spared the conflict between elite school and home which complicates the youth of many other boys of his type, makes entry into the Order more difficult, and in some cases transforms highly gifted young people into problem personalities.
   Knecht was one of those fortunates who seem born for Castalia, for the Order, and for service in the Board of Educators. Although he was not spared the perplexities of the life of the mind, it was given to him to experience without personal bitterness the tragedy inherent in every life consecrated to thought. Indeed, it is probably not so much this tragedy in itself that has tempted us to delve so deeply into the personality of Joseph Knecht; rather, it was the tranquil, cheerful, not to say radiant manner in which he brought his destiny and his talents to fruition. Like every man of importance he had his daimonion and his amor fati; but in him amor fati manifests itself to us free of somberness and fanaticism. Granted, there is always much that is hidden, and we must not forget that the writing of history -- however dryly it is done and however sincere the desire for objectivity -- remains literature. History's third dimension is always fiction.
   Thus, to select some examples of greatness, we have no idea whether Johann Sebastian Bach or Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart actually lived in a cheerful or a despondent manner. Mozart moves us with that peculiarly touching and endearing grace of early blossoming and fading; Bach stands for the edifying and comforting submission to God's paternal plan of which suffering and dying form a part. But we do not really read these qualities from their biographies and from such facts about their private lives as have come down to us; we read them solely from their works, from their music. Furthermore, although we know Bach's biography and deduce his personality from his music, we involuntarily include his posthumous destiny in the picture. We conceive him as living with the knowledge, which causes him a silent smile, that all his work would be forgotten after his death, that his manuscripts would be treated as so much waste paper, that one of his sons instead of himself would be considered "the great Bach," and harvest the success he himself merited, and that after his work had been rediscovered it would be plunged into the misunderstandings and barbarities of the Age of the Feuilleton, and so on. Similarly, we tend to ascribe to Mozart, while still alive and flourishing, and producing his soundest work, some knowledge of his security in the hands of death, some premonition of the kindness with which death would embrace him. Where a body of work exists, the historian cannot help himself; he must sum it up, along with the life of the creator of that work, as two inseparable halves of a living unity. So we do with Mozart or with Bach; so we also do with Knecht, although he belongs to our essentially uncreative era and has not left behind any body of work of the same nature as those masters.
   In attempting to trace the course of Knecht's life we are also attempting to interpret it, and although as historians we must deeply regret the scantiness of authenticated information on the last period of his life, we were nevertheless encouraged to undertake the task precisely because this last part of Knecht's life has become a legend. We have taken over this legend and adhere to its spirit, whether or not it is merely a pious fiction. Just as we know nothing about Knecht's birth and origins, we know nothing about his death. But we have not the slightest reason for assuming that this death could have been a matter of pure chance. We regard his life, insofar as it is known, as built up in a clear succession of stages; and if in our speculations about its end we gladly accept the legend and faithfully report it, we do so because what the legend tells us about the last stage of his life seems to correspond fully with the previous stages. We go so far as to admit that the manner in which his life drifts gently off into legend appears to us organic and right, just as it imposes no strain on our credulity to believe in the continued existence of a constellation that has vanished below the horizon. Within the world in which we live -- and by we I mean the author of this present work and the reader -- Joseph Knecht reached the summit and achieved the maximum. As Magister Ludi he became the leader and prototype of all those who strive toward and cultivate the things of the mind. He administered and increased the cultural heritage that had been handed down to him, for he was high priest of a temple that is sacred to each and every one of us. But he did more than attain the realm of a Master, did more than fill the office at the very summit of our hierarchy. He moved on beyond it; he grew out of it into a dimension whose nature we can only reverently guess at. And for that very reason it seems to us perfectly appropriate, and in keeping with his life, that his biography should also have surpassed the usual dimensions and at the end passed on into legend. We accept the miracle of this fact and rejoice in it without any inclination to pry into it interpretively. But insofar as Knecht's life is historical -- and it is that up to one specific day -- we intend to treat it as such. It has been our endeavor, therefore, to transmit the tradition exactly as it has been revealed to us by our researches.
   Concerning his childhood before he entered the elite schools, we know only a single incident. It is, however, one of symbolic importance, for it signifies the first great call of the realm of Mind to him, the voice of his vocation. And it is characteristic that this first call came not from science or scholarship, but from music. We owe this fragment of biography, as we do almost all the recollections of Knecht's personal life, to the jottings of a pupil of the Glass Bead Game, a loyal admirer who kept a record of many of the remarks and stories of his great teacher.
   Knecht must have been twelve or thirteen years old at the time. For quite a while he had been a scholarship pupil in the Latin school of Berolfingen, a small town on the fringes of the Zaberwald. Probably Berolfingen was also his birthplace. His teachers at the school, and especially his music teacher, had already recommended him two or three times to the highest Board for admission into the elite schools. But Knecht knew nothing about this and had as yet had no encounters with the elite or with any of the masters of the highest Board of Educators. His music teacher, from whom he was learning violin and the lute, told him that the Music Master would shortly be coming to Berolfingen to inspect music instruction at the school. Therefore Joseph must practice like a good boy and not embarrass his teacher.
   The news stirred the boy deeply, for of course he knew quite well who the Music Master was. He was not to be compared with the school inspectors who visited twice a year, coming from somewhere in the higher reaches of the Board of Educators. The Music Master was one of the twelve demigods, one of the twelve supreme heads of this most respected of Boards. In all musical affairs he was the supreme authority for the entire country. To think that the Music Master himself, the Magister Musicae in person, would be coming to Berolfingen! There was only one person in the world whom Joseph might have regarded as still more legendary and mysterious: the Master of the Glass Bead Game.
   Joseph was filled in advance with an enormous and timorous reverence for the impending visitor. He imagined the Music Master variously as a king, as one of the Twelve Apostles, or as one of the legendary great artists of classical times, a Michael Praetorius or a Claudio Monteverdi, a J. J. Froberger or Johann Sebastian Bach. And he looked forward with a joy as deep as his terror to the appearance of this mighty star. That one of the demigods and archangels, one of the mysterious and almighty regents of the world of thought, was to appear in the flesh here in town and in the Latin school; that he was going to see him, and that the Master might possibly speak to him, examine him, reprimand or praise him, was a kind of miracle and rare prodigy in the skies. Moreover, as the teachers assured him, this was to be the first time in decades that a Magister Musicae in person would be visiting the town and the little Latin school. The boy pictured the forthcoming event in a great variety of ways. Above all he imagined a great public festival and a reception such as he had once experienced when a new mayor had taken office, with brass bands and streets strung with banners; there might even be fireworks. Knecht's schoolmates also had such fantasies and hopes. His happy excitement was subdued only by the thought that he himself might come too close to this great man, and that his playing and his answers might be so bad that he would end up unbearably disgraced. But this anxiety was sweet as well as tormenting. Secretly, without admitting it to himself, he did not think the whole eagerly anticipated festival with its flags and fireworks nearly so fine, so entrancing, important, and miraculously delightful as the very possibility that he, little Joseph Knecht, would be seeing this man at close quarters, that in fact the Master was paying this visit to Berolfingen just a little on his, Joseph's, account -- for he was after all coming to examine the state of musical instruction, and the music teacher obviously thought it possible that the Master would examine him as well.
   But perhaps it would not come to that -- alas, it probably would not. After all, it was hardly possible. The Master would have better things to do than to listen to a small boy's violin playing. He would probably want to see and hear only the older, more advanced pupils.
   Such were the boy's thoughts as he awaited the day. And the day, when it came, began with a disappointment. No music blared in the streets, no flags and garlands hung from the houses. As on every other day, Joseph had to gather up his books and notebooks and go to the ordinary classes. And even in the classroom there was not the slightest sign of decoration or festivity. Everything was ordinary and normal. Class began; the teacher wore his everyday smock; he made no speeches, did not so much as mention the great guest of honor.
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Pol Muškarac
Poruke Odustao od brojanja
Zastava 44°49′N - 20°29′E
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   But during the second or third hour the guest came nevertheless. There was a knock at the door; the school janitor came in and informed the teacher that Joseph Knecht was to present himself to the music teacher in fifteen minutes. And he had better make sure that his hair was decently combed and his hands and fingernails clean.
   Knecht turned pale with fright. He stumbled from the classroom, ran to the dormitory, put down his books, washed and combed his hair. Trembling, he took his violin case and his book of exercises. With a lump in his throat, he made his way to the music rooms in the annex. An excited schoolmate met him on the stairs, pointed to a practice room, and told him: "You're supposed to wait here till they call you."
   The wait was short, but seemed to him an eternity. No one called him, but a man entered the room. A very old man, it seemed to him at first, not very tall, white-haired, with a fine, clear face and penetrating, light-blue eyes. The gaze of those eyes might have been frightening, but they were serenely cheerful as well as penetrating, neither laughing nor smiling, but filled with a calm, quietly radiant cheerfulness. He shook hands with the boy, nodded, and sat down with deliberation on the stool in front of the old practice piano. "You are Joseph Knecht?" he said. "Your teacher seems content with you. I think he is fond of you. Come, let's make a little music together."
   Knecht had already taken out his violin. The old man struck the A, and the boy tuned. Then he looked inquiringly, anxiously, at the Music Master.
   "What would you like to play?" the Master asked.
   The boy could not say a word. He was filled to the brim with awe of the old man. Never had he seen a person like this. Hesitantly, he picked up his exercise book and held it out to the Master.
   "No," the Master said, "I want you to play from memory, and not an exercise but something easy that you know by heart. Perhaps a song you like."
   Knecht was confused, and so enchanted by this face and those eyes that he could not answer. He was deeply ashamed of his confusion, but unable to speak. The Master did not insist. With one finger, he struck the first notes of a melody, and looked questioningly at the boy. Joseph nodded and at once played the melody with pleasure. It was one of the old songs which were often sung in school.
   "Once more," the Master said.
   Knecht repeated the melody, and the old man now played a second voice to go with it. Now the old song rang through the small practice room in two parts.
   "Once more."
   Knecht played, and the Master played the second part, and a third part also. Now the beautiful old song rang through the room in three parts.
   "Once more." And the Master played three voices along with the melody.
   "A lovely song," the Master said softly. "Play it again, in the alto this time."
   The Master gave him the first note, and Knecht played, the Master accompanying with the other three voices. Again and again the Master said, "Once more," and each time he sounded merrier. Knecht played the melody in the tenor, each time accompanied by two or three parts. They played the song many times, and with every repetition the song was involuntarily enriched with embellishments and variations. The bare little room resounded festively in the cheerful light of the forenoon.
   After a while the old man stopped. "Is that enough?" he asked. Knecht shook his head and began again. The Master chimed in gaily with his three voices, and the four parts drew their thin, lucid lines, spoke to one another, mutually supported, crossed, and wove around one another in delightful windings and figurations. The boy and the old man ceased to think of anything else; they surrendered themselves to the lovely, congenial lines and figurations they formed as their parts crisscrossed. Caught in the network their music was creating, they swayed gently along with it, obeying an unseen conductor. Finally, when the melody had come to an end once more, the Master turned his head and asked: "Did you like that, Joseph?"
   Gratefully, his face glowing, Knecht looked at him. He was radiant, but still speechless.
   "Do you happen to know what a fugue is?" the Master now asked.
   Knecht looked dubious. He had already heard fugues, but had not yet studied them in class.
   "Very well," the Master said, "then I'll show you. You'll grasp it quicker if we make a fugue ourselves. Now then, the first thing we need for a fugue is a theme, and we don't have to look far for the theme. We'll take it from our song."
   He played a brief phrase, a fragment of the song's melody. It sounded strange, cut out in that way, without head or tail. He played the theme once more, and this time he went on to the first entrance; the second entrance changed the interval of a fifth to a fourth; the third repeated the first an octave higher, as did the fourth with the second. The exposition concluded with a cadence in the key of the dominant. The second working-out modulated more freely to other keys; the third, tending toward the subdominant, ended with a cadence on the tonic.
   The boy looked at the player's clever white fingers, saw the course of the development faintly mirrored in his concentrated expression, while his eyes remained quiet under half-closed lids. Joseph's heart swelled with veneration, with love for the Master. His ear drank in the fugue; it seemed to him that he was hearing music for the first time in his life. Behind the music being created in his presence he sensed the world of Mind, the joy-giving harmony of law and freedom, of service and rule. He surrendered himself, and vowed to serve that world and this Master. In those few minutes he saw himself and his life, saw the whole cosmos guided, ordered, and interpreted by the spirit of music. And when the playing had come to an end, he saw this magician and king for whom he felt so intense a reverence pause for a little while longer, slightly bowed over the keys, with half-closed eyes, his face softly glowing from within. Joseph did not know whether he ought to rejoice at the bliss of this moment, or weep because it was over.
   The old man slowly raised himself from the piano stool, fixed those cheerful blue eyes piercingly and at the same time with unimaginable friendliness upon him, and said: "Making music together is the best way for two people to become friends. There is none easier. That is a fine thing. I hope you and I shall remain friends. Perhaps you too will learn how to make fugues, Joseph."
   He shook hands with Joseph and took his leave. But in the doorway he turned once more and gave Joseph a parting greeting, with a look and a ceremonious little inclination of his head.
   Many years later Knecht told his pupil that when he stepped out of the building, he found the town and the world far more transformed and enchanted than if there had been flags, garlands, and streamers, or displays of fireworks. He had experienced his vocation, which may surely be spoken of as a sacrament. The ideal world, which hitherto his young soul had known only by hearsay and in wild dreams, had suddenly taken on visible lineaments for him. Its gates had opened invitingly. This world, he now saw, did not exist only in some vague, remote past or future; it was here and was active; it glowed, sent messengers, apostles, ambassadors, men like this old Magister (who by the way was not nearly so old as he then seemed to Joseph). And through this venerable messenger an admonition and a call had come from that world even to him, the insignificant Latin school pupil.
   Such was the meaning of the experience for him. It took weeks before he actually realized, and was convinced, that the magical events of that sacramental hour corresponded to a precise event in the real world, that the summons was not just a sense of happiness and admonition in his own soul and his own conscience, but a show of favor and an exhortation from the earthly powers. For in the long run it could not be concealed that the Music Master's visit had been neither a matter of chance nor a real inspection of the school. Rather, Knecht's name had stood for some time on the lists of pupils who seemed deserving of education in the elite school. At any rate, on the basis of his teachers' reports he had been so recommended to the Board of Educators. The boy had been recommended for good character and as a Latinist, but the highest praise had come from his music teacher. Therefore the Music Master had chosen to stop off for a few hours in Berolfingen, in the course of an official mission, in order to see this pupil. In his examination he was not so much interested in Joseph's Latin or his fingering (in these matters he relied on the teachers' reports, which he nevertheless spent an hour going over) as whether the boy had it in him by nature to become a musician in the higher sense of the word, whether he had the capacity for enthusiasm, subordination, reverence, worshipful service. As a rule, and for very good reasons, the teachers in the public schools were anything but liberal in their recommendations of pupils for the "elite." Nevertheless, now and then someone would be pushed out of more or less unsavory motives. Quite often, too, from sheer lack of insight a teacher would stubbornly recommend some pet pupil who had few virtues aside from diligence, ambition, and a certain shrewdness in his conduct toward the teachers. The Music Master particularly disliked this kind of boy. He could tell at once whether a pupil was aware that his future career was at stake, and woe to the boy who approached him too adroitly, too cannily, too cleverly, let alone one who tried to flatter him. In a good many cases such candidates were rejected without even an examination.
   Knecht, on the other hand, had delighted the old Music Master. He had liked him very much. As he continued his journey he recalled the boy with pleasure. He had made no notes and entered no marks for him in his notebook, but he took with him the memory of the unspoiled, modest boy, and upon his return he inscribed his name in his own hand on the list of pupils who had been examined personally by a member of the Board of Educators and been found worthy of admission.
   Joseph had occasionally heard talk in school about this list, and in a great variety of tones. The pupils called it "the golden book," but sometimes they disrespectfully referred to it as the "climbers' catalogue." Whenever a teacher mentioned the list -- if only to remind a pupil that a lout like him could never hope to win a place on it -- there would be a note of solemnity, of respect, and also of self-importance in his voice. But if the pupils mentioned the catalogue, they usually spoke in a jeering tone and with somewhat exaggerated indifference. Once Joseph had heard a schoolmate say: "Go on, what do I care about that stupid climbers' catalogue. You won't see a regular feller's name on it, that's one sure thing. The teachers keep it for all the worst grinds and creeps."
   A curious period followed Joseph's wonderful experience with the Music Master. He still did not know that he now belonged to the electi, to the flos juventutis, as the elite pupils were called in the Order. At first it did not enter his mind that there might be practical consequences and tangible effects of the episode upon his general destiny or his daily life. While for his teachers he was already marked by distinction and on the verge of departure, he himself was conscious of his call almost entirely as a process within himself. Even so, it made a clear dividing line in his life. Although the hour with the sorcerer (as he often thought of the Music Master) had only brought to fruition, or brought closer, something he had already sensed in his own heart, that hour nevertheless clearly separated the past from the present and the future -- just as an awakened dreamer, even if he wakes up in the same surroundings that he has seen in his dream, cannot really doubt that he is now awake. There are many types and kinds of vocation, but the core of the experience is always the same: the soul is awakened by it, transformed or exalted, so that instead of dreams and presentiments from within a summons comes from without. A portion of reality presents itself and makes its claim.
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Zodijak Gemini
Pol Muškarac
Poruke Odustao od brojanja
Zastava 44°49′N - 20°29′E
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   In this case the portion of reality had been the Music Master. This remote, venerated demigod, this archangel from the highest spheres of heaven, had appeared in the flesh. Joseph had seen his omniscient blue eyes. He had sat on the stool at the practice piano, had made music with Joseph, made music wonderfully; almost without words he had shown him what music really was, had blessed him, and vanished.
   For the present Joseph was incapable of reflecting on possible practical consequences, on all that might flow out of this event, for he was much too preoccupied with the immediate reverberations of it within himself. Like a young plant hitherto quietly and intermittently developing which suddenly begins to breathe harder and to grow, as though in a miraculous hour it has become aware of the law which shapes it and begins to strive toward the fulfillment of its being, the boy, touched by the magician's hand, began rapidly and eagerly to gather and tauten his energies. He felt changed, growing; he felt new tensions and new harmonies between himself and the world. There were times, now, in music, Latin, and mathematics, when he could master tasks that were still far beyond his age and the scope of his schoolmates. Sometimes he felt capable of any achievements. At other times he might forget everything and daydream with a new softness and surrender, listen to the wind or the rain, gaze into the chalice of a flower or the moving waters of the river, understanding nothing, divining everything, lost in sympathy, curiosity, the craving to comprehend, carried away from his own self toward another, toward the world, toward the mystery and sacrament, the at once painful and lovely disporting of the world of appearances.
   Thus, beginning from within and growing toward the meeting and confirmation of self and world, the vocation of Joseph Knecht developed in perfect purity. He passed through all its stages, tasted all its joys and anxieties. Unhampered by sudden revelations and indiscretions, the sublime process moved to its conclusion. His was the typical evolution of every noble mind; working and growing harmoniously and at the same tempo, the inner self and the outer world approached each other. At the end of these developments the boy became aware of his situation and of the fate that awaited him. He realized that his teachers were treating him like a colleague, even like a guest of honor whose departure is expected at any moment, and that his schoolmates were half admiring or envying him, half avoiding or even distrusting him. Some of his enemies now openly mocked and hated him, and he found himself more and more separated from and deserted by former friends. But by then the same process of separation and isolation had been completed within himself. His own feelings had taught him to regard the teachers more and more as associates rather than superiors; his former friends had become temporary companions of the road, now left behind. He no longer felt that he was among equals in his school and his town. He was no longer in the right place. Everything he had known had become permeated by a hidden death, a solvent of unreality, a sense of belonging to the past. It had all become a makeshift, like worn-out clothing that no longer fitted. And as the end of his stay at the Latin school approached, this slow outgrowing of a beloved and harmonious home town, this shedding of a way of life no longer right for him, this living on the verge of departure -- interspersed though the mood of parting was by moments of supreme rejoicing and radiant self-assurance -- became a terrible torment to him, an almost intolerable pressure and suffering. For everything was slipping from him without his being sure that it was not really himself who was abandoning everything. He could not say whether he should not be blaming himself for this perishing and estrangement of his dear and accustomed world. Perhaps he had killed it by ambition, by arrogance, by pride, by disloyalty and lack of love. Among the pangs inherent in a genuine vocation, these are the bitterest. One who has received the call takes, in accepting it, not only a gift and a commandment, but also something akin to guilt. Similarly, the soldier who is snatched from the ranks of his comrades and raised to the status of officer is the worthier of promotion, the more he pays for it with a feeling of guilty conscience toward his comrades.
   Joseph Knecht, however, had the good fortune to go through this evolution undisturbed and in utter innocence. When at last the faculty informed him of his distinction and his impending admission to the elite schools, he was for the moment completely surprised, although a moment later this novelty seemed to him something he had long known and been expecting. Yet only now did he recall that for weeks the word electus, or "elite boy," had now and again been sneeringly called out behind his back. He had heard it, but only half heard, and had never imagined it as anything but a taunt. He had taken it to mean not that his schoolmates were actually calling him an electus, but that they were jeering: "You're so stuck up you think you're an electus." Occasionally he had suffered from the gulf that had opened between himself and his schoolmates, but in fact he would never have considered himself an electus. He had become conscious of the call not as a rise in rank, but only as an inward admonition and encouragement. And yet -- in spite of everything, had he not known it all along, divined it, felt it again and again? Now it had come; his raptures were confirmed, made legitimate; his suffering had had meaning; the clothing he had worn, by now unbearably old and too tight, could be discarded at last. A new suit was waiting for him.


   With his admission into the elite, Knecht's life was transferred to a different plane. The first and decisive step in his development had been taken. It is by no means the rule for all elite pupils that official admission to the elite coincides with the inner experience of vocation. That is a matter of grace, or to put it in banal terms, sheer good fortune. The young man to whom it does happen starts out with an advantage, just as it is an advantage to be endowed with felicitous qualities of body and soul. Almost all elite pupils regard their election as a piece of great good fortune, a distinction they are proud of, and a great many of them have previously felt an ardent longing for that distinction. But for most of the elect the transition from the ordinary schools of their home towns to the schools of Castalia comes harder than they had imagined, and entails a good many unexpected disappointments. Especially for pupils who were happy and loved in their homes, the change represents a very difficult parting and renunciation. The result is a rather considerable number of transfers back home, especially during the first two elite years. The reason for these is not a lack of talent and industry, but the inability of the pupils to adapt to boarding-school life and to the idea of more and more severing their ties to family and home until ultimately they would cease to know and to respect any allegiance other than to the Order.
   On the other hand, there were occasionally pupils for whom admission to the elite schools meant above all freedom from home or an oppressive school, from an oversevere father, say, or a disagreeable teacher. These youngsters breathed easier for a while, but they had expected such vast and impossible changes in their whole life that disillusionment soon followed.
   The real climbers and model pupils, the young pedants, could also not always hold their own in Castalia. Not that they would have been unable to cope with their studies. But in the elite, studies and marks were not the only criterion. There were other pedagogical and artistic goals which sometimes proved too much for such pupils. Nevertheless, within the system of four great elite schools with their numerous subdivisions and branch institutions there was room for a great variety of talents, and an aspiring mathematician or a student of languages and literatures, if he really had the makings of a scholar, would not be misprized for a lack of musical or philosophical talent. Even in Castalia, in fact, there were at times very strong tendencies toward cultivation of the pure, sober disciplines, and the advocates of such tendencies not only denigrated the "visionaries," that is, the devotees of music and the other arts, but even sometimes went so far as to forswear and ban, within their own circle, everything artistic, and especially the Glass Bead Game.
   Since all that is known to us of Knecht's life took place in Castalia, in that most tranquil and serene region of our mountainous country, which in the old days used to be called, in the poet Goethe's phrase, "the pedagogical province," we shall at the risk of boring the reader with matters long familiar once more briefly sketch the character of famous Castalia and the structure of her schools. These schools, for brevity known as the elite schools, constitute a wise and flexible system by means of which the administration (a Council of Studies consisting of twenty councillors, ten representing the Board of Educators and ten representing the Order) draws candidates from among the most gifted pupils in the various sections and schools of the country, in order to supply new generations for the Order and for all the important offices in the secondary school system and the universities. The multitude of ordinary schools, gymnasia, and other schools in the country, whether technical or humanistic in character, are for more than ninety per cent of our students preparatory schools for the professions. They terminate with an entrance examination for the university. At the university there is a specific course of study for each subject. Such is the standard curriculum for our students, as everyone knows. These schools make reasonably strict demands and do their best to exclude the untalented.
   But alongside or above these schools we have the system of elite schools, to which only the pupils of extraordinary gifts and character are admitted. Entrance to them is not controlled by examinations. Instead, the elite pupils are chosen by their teachers, according to their judgment, and are recommended to the Castalian authorities. One day a teacher suggests to a child of eleven or twelve that if he wished he could perhaps enter one of the Castalian schools next semester. Does he feel attracted by the idea; does he feel any vocation for it? The boy is given time to think it over. If he then agrees, and if the unqualified consent of both parents is obtained, one of the elite schools admits him on probation. The directors and the highest-level teachers of these elite schools (by no means the faculties of the universities) form the Board of Educators, which has charge of all education and all intellectual organizations in the country. Once a boy becomes an elite pupil (and assuming he does not fail any of the courses, in which case he is sent back to the ordinary schools) he no longer has to prepare for a profession or some specialty that will subsequently become his livelihood. Rather, the Order and the hierarchy of academics are recruited from among the elite pupils, everyone from the grammar school teachers to the highest officers, the twelve Directors of Studies, also called Masters, and the Ludi Magister, the director of the Glass Bead Game.
   As a rule, the last courses in the elite schools are completed between the ages of twenty-two and twenty-five. The graduate is then admitted to the Order. Thereafter, all educational and research institutions of the Order and of the Board of Educators are available to the former elite pupils, all the libraries, archives, laboratories, and so on, together with a large staff of teachers if they desire further study, and all the facilities of the Glass Bead Game. A degree of specialization begins even during the school years. In the upper ranges of the elite schools those who show special aptitudes for languages, philosophy, mathematics, or whatever are shifted to the curriculum which provides the best nourishment for their talents. Most of these pupils end up as subject teachers in the public schools and universities. They remain, even though they have left Castalia, members of the Order for life. That is to say, they stand at an austere remove from the "normals" (those who were not educated in the elite schools) and can never -- unless they resign the Order -- become professional men, such as doctors, lawyers, engineers, and so on. They are subject for life to the rules of the Order, which include poverty and bachelorhood. The common people call them in a half-derisive, half-respectful tone "the mandarins."
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   Thus the bulk of former elite pupils find their ultimate destiny as schoolmasters. The tiny remainder, the top flight of the Castalian schools, can devote themselves to free study for as long as they please. A contemplative, diligent intellectual life is reserved for them. Many a highly gifted person who for one reason or another, perhaps some physical defect or quirk of character, is not suited to become a teacher or to hold a responsible post in the superior or inferior Boards of Educators, may go on studying, researching, or collecting throughout his life as a pensioner of the authorities. His contribution to society then consists mostly of works of pure scholarship. Some are placed as advisers to dictionary committees, archives, libraries, and so on; others pursue scholarship as art for art's sake. A good many of them have devoted their lives to highly abstruse and sometimes peculiar subjects, such as Lodovicus Crudelis who toiled for thirty years translating all extant ancient Egyptian texts into both Greek and Sanscrit, or the somewhat peculiar Chattus Calvensis II who has bequeathed to us four immense folio volumes on The Pronunciation of Latin in the Universities of Southern Italy toward the End of the Twelfth Century. This work was intended as Part One of a History of the Pronunciation of Latin from the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Centuries. But in spite of its one thousand manuscript pages, it has remained a fragment, for no one has carried on the work.
   It is understandable that there has been a good deal of joking about purely learned works of this type. Their actual value for the future of scholarship and for the people as a whole cannot be demonstrated. Nevertheless, scholarship, as was true for art in the olden days, must indeed have far-flung grazing grounds, and in pursuit of a subject which interests no one but himself a scholar can accumulate knowledge which provides colleagues with information as valuable as that stored in a dictionary or an archive.
   As far as possible, scholarly works such as the above-mentioned were printed. The real scholars were left in almost total freedom to ply their studies and their Games, and no one objected that a good many of their works seemed to bring no immediate benefits to the people or the community and, inevitably, seemed to nonscholars merely luxurious frivolities. A good many of these scholars have been smiled at for the nature of their studies, but none has ever been reproved, let alone had his privileges withdrawn. Nor were they merely tolerated; they enjoyed the respect of the populace, in spite of being the butts of many jokes. This respect was founded on the sacrifice with which all members of the scholarly community paid for their intellectual privileges. They had many amenities; they had a modest allotment of food, clothing, and shelter; they had splendid libraries, collections, and laboratories at their disposal. But in return they renounced lush living, marriage, and family. As a monastic community they were excluded from competition in the world. They owned no property, received no titles and honors, and in material things had to content themselves with a very simple life. If one wanted to expend the years of his life deciphering a single ancient inscription, he was free to do so, and would even be helped. But if he desired good living, rich clothing, money, or titles, he found these things inexorably barred. Those for whom such gratifications were important usually returned to "the world" quite young; they became paid teachers or tutors or journalists; they married or in other ways sought out a life to suit their tastes.


   When the time came for Joseph Knecht to leave Berolfingen, it was his music teacher who accompanied him to the railroad station. Saying good-by to this teacher was painful, and his heart also swelled a little with a feeling of loneliness and uncertainty after the train started and the whitewashed stepped gable of the old castle tower dropped out of sight and did not reappear. Many another pupil has set out on this first journey with far more turbulent feelings, frightened and in tears. Joseph had inwardly already transferred his allegiance; he withstood the journey well. And he did not have far to go.
   He had been assigned to the Eschholz school. There had been pictures of this school hanging in his principal's office. Eschholz was the largest and the newest complex of schools in Castalia. The buildings were all modern. There was no town in the vicinity, only a village-like small settlement set among woods. Beyond the settlement the school spread out, wide, level,  and cheerful, the buildings enclosing a large open quadrangle. In the center of the quadrangle, arranged like the five on a die, five enormous, stately trees raised their dark cones to the sky. The huge rectangle was partly in lawn, partly in gravel, its expanse broken only by two large swimming pools, fed by running water. Wide, shallow steps led down to the pools. At the entrance to this sunny plaza stood the schoolhouse, the only tall building in the complex. There were two wings, each flanked by a five-columned portico. All the rest of the buildings enclosing the quadrangle were very low, flat, and unadorned, divided into perfectly equal sections, each of which led out into the plaza through an arcade and down a low flight of steps. Pots of flowers stood in the openings of most of the arcades.
   In keeping with Castalian custom, Joseph was not received by a school attendant and taken to a principal or a committee of teachers. Instead, a schoolmate met him, a tall, good-looking boy in clothes of blue linen, a few years older than Joseph. He shook hands, saying, "My name is Oscar; I'm the senior boy in Hellas House, where you will be living. I've been assigned to welcome you and show you around. You're not expected to attend classes until tomorrow, so we have plenty of time to look around. You'll get the hang of things soon enough. And until you have become adjusted, please consider me your friend and mentor, and your protector as well, in case some of the fellows bother you. There are always some who think they have to haze the new boys a little. But it won't be bad, take it from me. I'll show you Hellas House first, so you'll see where you're going to live."
   Thus, in the traditional fashion, Oscar greeted the newcomer; the housemaster had appointed him Joseph's mentor, and he in fact made an effort to play his part well. It is, after all, a part the seniors usually find congenial, and if a fifteen-year-old takes the trouble to charm a thirteen-year-old by employing a tone of affable comradeship with a touch of patronage, he will almost always succeed. During Joseph's first few days his mentor treated him like a guest whom a courteous host pampers in the hope that he will, should he happen to depart the next day, take away with him a good impression of host and house.
   Joseph was shown to a room which he would be sharing with two other boys. He was served rusks and a cup of fruit juice. He was shown the whole of Hellas House, one of the dormitories of the large quadrangle; he was shown where to hang his towel in the steam bath, and in which corner he was allowed to keep potted plants, if he wanted them. Before evening fell he was also taken to the launderer at the washhouse, where a blue linen suit was selected and fitted for him.
   From the very first Joseph felt at ease in the place. He gaily fell in with Oscar's tone and showed only the slightest trace of bashfulness, although he naturally regarded this older boy, who had obviously been at home in Castalia for a long time, as something of a demigod. He even enjoyed the bits of showing-off, as when Oscar would weave a complicated Greek quotation into his talk only to recall politely that the new boy of course couldn't understand, naturally not, how could he be expected to!
   In any case, life at a boarding school was nothing new to Joseph. He fitted in without difficulty. For that matter, no important events of his years at Eschholz have been recorded. The terrible fire in the schoolhouse must have happened after his time. Portions of his scholastic record have been traced; they show that he occasionally had the highest marks in music and Latin, and somewhat above average in mathematics and Greek. Now and then there are entries about him in the "House Book," such as "ingenium valde capax, studia non angusta, mores probantur" or "ingenium felix et profectuum avidissimum, moribus placet officiosis." What punishments he received at Eschholz can no longer be determined; the disciplinary register was lost in the fire, along with so much else. There is the testimony of a fellow pupil that during the four years at Eschholz Knecht was punished only once (by being excluded from the weekly outing), and that his demerit had consisted in obstinately refusing to name a schoolmate who had done something against the rules. The anecdote sounds plausible. Knecht undoubtedly was always a good comrade and never servile toward his superiors. Nevertheless, it seems highly unlikely that this was actually his sole punishment in four years.
   Since our data on Knecht's early period in the elite school are so sparse, we cite a passage from one of his later lectures on the Glass Bead Game. Knecht's own manuscripts of these lectures for beginners are not available, it should be noted; he delivered them extemporaneously, and a pupil took them down in shorthand. At one point Knecht speaks about analogies and associations in the Glass Bead Game, and in regard to the latter distinguishes between "legitimate," universally comprehensible associations and those that are "private" or subjective. He remarks: "To give you an example of private associations that do not forfeit their private value although they have no place in the Glass Bead Game, I shall tell you of one such association that goes back to my own schooldays. I was about fourteen years old, and it was the season when spring is already in the air, February or March.  One afternoon a schoolmate invited me to go out with him to cut a few elder switches. He wanted to use them as pipes for a model water mill. We set out, and it must have been an unusually beautiful day in the world or in my own mind, for it has remained in my memory, and vouchsafed me a little experience. The ground was wet, but free of snow; strong green shoots were already breaking through on the edge of streams. Buds and the first opening catkins were already lending a tinge of color to the bare bushes, and the air was full of scent, a scent imbued with life and with contradictions. There were smells of damp soil, decaying leaves, and young growth; any moment one expected to smell the first violets although there were none yet.
   "We came to the elder bushes. They had tiny buds, but no leaves, and as I cut off a twig, a powerful, bittersweet scent wafted toward me. It seemed to gather and multiply all the other smells of spring within itself. I was completely stunned by it; I smelled my knife, smelled my hand, smelled the elder twig. It was the sap that gave off so insistent and irresistible a fragrance. We did not talk about it, but my friend also thoughtfully smelled for a long time. The fragrance meant something to him also.
   "Well now, every experience has its element of magic. In this case the onset of spring, which had enthralled me as I walked over the wet, squishing meadows and smelled the soil and the buds, had now been concentrated into a sensual symbol by the fortissimo of that elder shrub's fragrance. Possibly I would never have forgotten this scent even if the experience had remained isolated. Rather, every future encounter with that smell deep into my old age would in all probability have revived the memory of that first time I had consciously experienced the fragrance. But now a second element entered in. At that time I had found an old volume of music at my piano teacher's. It was a volume of songs by Franz Schubert, and it exerted a strong attraction upon me. I had leafed through it one time when I had a rather long wait for the teacher, and had asked to borrow it for a few days. In my leisure hours I gave myself up to the ecstasy of discovery. Up to that time I had not known Schubert at all, and I was totally captivated by him. And now, on the day of that walk to the elderberry bush or the day after, I discovered Schubert's spring song, "Die linden Lüfte sind erwacht," and the first chords of the piano accompaniment assailed me like something already familiar. Those chords had exactly the same fragrance as the sap of the young elder, just as bittersweet, just as strong and compressed, just as full of the forthcoming spring. From that time on the association of earliest spring, fragrance of elder, Schubert chords has been fixed and absolutely valid, for me. As soon as the first chord is struck I immediately smell the tartness of the sap, and both together mean to me: spring is on the way.
   "This private association of mine is a precious possession I would not willingly give up. But the fact that two sensual experiences leap up every time I think, 'spring is coming' -- that fact is my own personal affair. It can be communicated, certainly, as I have communicated it to you just now. But it cannot be transmitted. I can make you understand my association, but I cannot so affect a single one of you that my private association will become a valid symbol for you in your turn, a mechanism which infallibly reacts on call and always follows the same course."
   One of Knecht's fellow pupils, who later rose to the rank of First Archivist of the Glass Bead Game, maintained that Knecht on the whole had been a merry boy, though without a trace of boisterousness. When playing music he would sometimes have a wonderfully rapt, blissful expression. He was rarely seen in an excited or passionate mood, except at the rhythmic ball game, which he loved. But there were times when this friendly, healthy boy attracted attention, and gave rise to mockery or anxiety. This happened when pupils were dismissed, a fairly frequent occurrence in the lower classes of the elite schools. The first time a classmate was missing from classes and games, did not return next day, and word went around that he was not sick but dismissed, had already departed and would not be returning, Knecht was more than subdued. For days on end he seemed to be distraught.
   Years later he himself commented on this matter: "Every time a pupil was sent back from Eschholz and left us, I felt as if someone had died. If I had been asked the reason for my sorrow, I would have said that I felt pity for the poor fellow who had spoiled his future by frivolity and laziness, and that there was also an element of anxiety in my feeling, fear that this might possibly happen to me some day. Only after I had experienced the same thing many times, and basically no longer believed that the same fate could overtake me as well, did I begin to see somewhat more deeply into the matter. I then no longer felt the expulsion of an electus merely as a misfortune and punishment. I came to realize that the dismissed boys in a good many cases were quite glad to be returning home. I felt that it was no longer solely a matter of judgment and punishment, but that the 'world' out there, from which we electi had all come once upon a time, had not abruptly ceased to exist as it had seemed to me. Rather, for a good many among us it remained a great and attractive reality which tempted and ultimately recalled these boys. And perhaps it was that not only for individuals, but for all of us; perhaps it was by no means only the weaker and inferior souls upon whom the remote world exerted so strong an attraction. Possibly the apparent relapse they had suffered was not a fall and a cause for suffering, but a leap forward and a positive act. Perhaps we who were so good about remaining in Eschholz were in fact the weaklings and the cowards."
   As we shall see, these thoughts were to return to him, and very forcefully.
   
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   Every encounter with the Music Master was a great joy to him. The Master came to Eschholz once every two or three months at least to supervise the music classes. He also frequently stayed a few days as the guest of one of the teachers who was a close friend. Once he personally conducted the final rehearsals for the performance of a vesper by Monteverdi. But above all he kept an eye on the more talented of the music pupils, and Knecht was among the honored recipients of his paternal friendship. Every so often he would sit at the piano with Joseph in one of the practice rooms and go through the works of his favorite composers with him, or else play over a classical example from one of the old handbooks on the theory of composition. "To construct a canon with the Music Master, or to hear him develop a badly constructed one to its absurd logical conclusion, frequently had about it a solemnity, or I might also say, a gaiety, like nothing else in the world. Sometimes one could scarcely contain one's tears, and sometimes one could not stop laughing. One emerged from a private music lesson with him as from a bath or a massage."
   Knecht's schooldays at Eschholz at last drew to a close. Along with a dozen or so other pupils of his level he was to be transferred to a school on the next stage or level. The principal delivered the usual speech to these candidates, describing once again the significance and the rules of the Castalian schools and more or less sketching for the graduates, in the name of the Order, the path they would be traveling, at the end of which they would be qualified to enter the Order themselves. This solemn address was part of the program for a day of ceremonies and festivities during which teachers and fellow pupils alike treat the graduates like guests. On such days there are always carefully prepared performances -- this time it was a great seventeenth-century cantata -- and the Music Master had come in order to hear it.
   After the principal's address, while everyone was on the way to the bravely bedecked dining hall, Knecht approached the Master with a question. "The principal," he said, "told us how things are outside of Castalia, in the ordinary schools and colleges. He said that the students at the universities study for the 'free' professions. If I understood him rightly, these are professions we do not even have here in Castalia. What is the meaning of that? Why are just those professions called 'free'? And why should we Castalians be excluded from them?"
   The Magister Musicae drew the young man aside and stood with him under one of the giant trees. An almost sly smile puckered the skin around his eyes into little wrinkles as he replied: "Your name is Knecht,* my friend, and perhaps for that reason the word 'free' is so alluring for you. But do not take it too seriously in this case. When the non-Castalians speak of the free professions, the word may sound very serious and even inspiring. But when we use it, we intend it ironically. Freedom exists in those professions only to the extent that the student chooses the profession himself. That produces an appearance of freedom, although in most cases the choice is made less by the student than by his family, and many a father would sooner bite off his tongue than really allow his son free choice. But perhaps that is a slander; let us drop this objection. Let us say that the freedom exists, but it is limited to the one unique act of choosing the profession. Afterward all freedom is over. When he begins his studies at the university, the doctor, lawyer, or engineer is forced into an extremely rigid curriculum which ends with a series of examinations. If he passes them, he receives his license and can thereafter pursue his profession in seeming freedom. But in doing so he becomes the slave of base powers; he is dependent on success, on money, on his ambition, his hunger for fame, on whether or not people like him. He must submit to elections, must earn money, must take part in the ruthless competition of castes, families, political parties, newspapers. In return he has the freedom to become successful and well-to-do, and to be hated by the unsuccessful, or vice versa. For the elite pupil and later member of the Order, everything is the other way around. He does not 'choose' any profession. He does not imagine that he is a better judge of his own talents than are his teachers. He accepts the place and the function within the hierarchy that his superiors choose for him -- if, that is, the matter is not reversed and the qualities, gifts, and faults of the pupil compel the teachers to send him to one place or another. In the midst of this seeming unfreedom every electus enjoys the greatest imaginable freedom after his early courses. Whereas the man in the 'free' professions must submit to a narrow and rigid course of studies with rigid examinations in order to train for his future career, the electus, as soon as he begins studying independently, enjoys so much freedom that there are many who all their lives choose the most abstruse and frequently almost foolish studies, and may continue without hindrance as long as their conduct does not degenerate. The natural teacher is employed as teacher, the natural educator as educator, the natural translator as translator; each, as if of his own accord, finds his way to the place in which he can serve, and in serving be free. Moreover, for the rest of his life he is saved from that 'freedom' of career which means such terrible slavery. He knows nothing of the struggle for money, fame, rank; he recognizes no parties, no dichotomy between the individual and the office, between what is private and what is public; he feels no dependence upon success. Now do you see, my son, that when we speak of the free professions, the word 'free' is meant rather humorously."

   * Serf, servant.


   Knecht's departure from Eschholz marked the end of an era in his life. If hitherto he had lived a happy childhood, in a willing subordination and harmony almost without problems, there now began a period of struggle, development, and complex difficulties. He was about seventeen years old when he was informed of his impending transfer. A number of his classmates received the same announcement, and for a short while there was no more important question among the elect, and none more discussed, than the place to which each of them would be transplanted. In keeping with tradition, they were told only a few days before their departure, and between the graduation ceremony and departure there were several days of vacation.
   During this vacation something splendid happened to Knecht. The Music Master proposed he take a walking trip and visit him, spending a few days as his guest. That was a great and rare honor. Early one morning Knecht set out with a fellow graduate -- for he was still considered an Eschholz pupil, and at this level boys were not allowed to travel alone. They tramped toward the forest and the mountains, and when after three hours of steady climbing through shady woods they reached a treeless summit, they saw far below them, already small and easy to grasp as a whole, their Eschholz, recognizable even at this distance by the dark mass of the five giant trees, the quadrangle with its segments of lawn and sparkling pools, the tall schoolhouse, the service buildings, the village, the famous grove of ash trees from which the school took its name. The two youths stood still, looking down. A good many of us cherish the memory of this lovely view; it was then not very different from the way it looks today, for the buildings were rebuilt after the great fire, and three of the five tall trees survived the blaze. They saw their school lying below them, their home for many years, to which they would soon be bidding good-by, and both of them felt their hearts contract at the sight.
   "I think I've never before really seen how beautiful it is," Joseph's companion said. "But I suppose it's because I'm seeing it for the first time as something I must leave and say farewell to."
   "That's exactly it," Knecht said. "You're right, I feel the same way. But even though we are goihg away, we won't after all be leaving Eschholz. Only the ones who have gone away forever have really left it, like Otto, for instance, who could make up such funny bits of Latin doggerel, or Charlemagne, who could swim so long under water, and the others. They really said farewell and broke away. It's a long time since I've thought about them, but now they come back to me. Laugh at me if you like, but in spite of everything there's something impressive to me about those apostates, just as there is a grandeur about the fallen angel Lucifer. Perhaps they did the wrong thing, or rather, undoubtedly they did the wrong thing, but all the same they did something, accomplished something; they ventured a leap, and that took courage. We others have been hardworking and patient and reasonable, but we haven't done anything, we haven't taken any leaps."
   "I don't know," his companion said. "Many of them neither did anything nor ventured anything; they simply fooled around until they were dismissed. But maybe I don't quite understand you. What do you mean about leaping?"
   "I mean being able to take a plunge, to take things seriously, to -- well, that's just it, to leap. I wouldn't want to leap back to my former home and my former life; it doesn't attract me and I've almost forgotten it. But I do wish that if ever the time comes and it proves to be necessary, that I too will be able to free myself and leap, only not backward into something inferior, but forward and into something higher."
   "Well, that is what we are headed for. Eschholz was one step; the next will be higher, and finally the Order awaits us."
   "Yes, but that isn't what I meant. Let's move on, amice; walking is so great, it will cheer me up again. We've really given ourselves a case of the dumps."
   This mood and those words, which his classmate recorded, already sound the note which prevailed during the stormy period of Knecht's adolescence.
   The hikers tramped for two days before they reached the Music Master's current home, Monteport, high in the mountains, where the Master lived in the former monastery, giving a course for conductors. Knecht's classmate was lodged in the guest house, while Knecht himself was assigned a small cell in the Magister's apartment. He had barely unpacked his knapsack and washed when his host came in. The venerable man shook hands with the boy, sat down with a small sigh, and for a few minutes closed his eyes, as was his habit when he was very tired. Then, looking up with a friendly smile, he said: "Forgive me; I am not a very good host. You have just come from a long hike and must be tired, and to tell the truth so am I -- my day is somewhat overcrowded -- but if you are not yet ready for bed, I should like to have an hour with you in my study. You will be staying here two days, and tomorrow both you and your classmate will be dining with me, but unfortunately my time is so limited, and we must somehow manage to save the few hours I need for you. So shall we begin right away?"
   He led Knecht into a large vaulted cell empty of furniture but for an old piano and two chairs. They sat down in the chairs.
   "You will soon be entering another stage," the Master said. "There you will learn all sorts of new things, some of them very pleasant. Probably you'll also begin dabbling in the Glass Bead Game before long. All that is very fine and important, but one thing is more important than anything else: you are going to learn meditation there. Supposedly all the students learn it, but one can't go checking up on them. I want you to learn it properly and well, just as well as music; then everything else will follow of its own accord. Therefore I'd like to give you the first two or three lessons myself; that was the purpose of my invitation. So today and tomorrow and the day after tomorrow let us try to meditate for an hour each day, and moreover on music. You will be given a glass of milk now, so that hunger and thirst do not disturb you; supper will be brought to us later."
   He rapped on the door, and a glass of milk was brought in.
   "Drink slowly, slowly," he admonished. "Take your time, and do not speak."
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Zodijak Gemini
Pol Muškarac
Poruke Odustao od brojanja
Zastava 44°49′N - 20°29′E
mob
Apple iPhone 6s
   Knecht drank his cool milk very slowly. Opposite him, the dear man sat with his eyes closed again. His face looked very old, but friendly; it was full of peace, and he was smiling to himself, as though he had stepped down into his own thoughts like a tired man into a footbath. Tranquility streamed from him; Knecht felt it, and himself grew calmer.
   Now the Magister turned on his chair and placed his hands on the piano. He played a theme, and carried it forward with variations; it seemed to be a piece by some Italian master. He instructed his guest to imagine the progress of the music as a dance, a continuous series of balancing exercises, a succession of smaller or larger steps from the middle of an axis of symmetry, and to focus his mind entirely on the figure which these steps formed. He played the bars once more, silently reflected on them, played them again, then sat quite still, hands on his knees, eyes half closed, without the slightest movement, repeating and contemplating the music within himself. His pupil, too, listened within himself, saw fragments of lines of notes before him, saw something moving, something stepping, dancing, and hovering, and tried to perceive and read the movement as if it were the curves in the line of a bird's flight. The pattern grew confused and he lost it; he had to begin over again; for a moment his concentration left him and he was in a void. He looked around and saw the Master's still, abstracted face floating palely in the twilight, found his way back again to that mental space he had drifted out of. He heard the music sounding in it again, saw it striding along, saw it inscribing the line of its movement, and followed in his mind the dancing feet of the invisible dancers. . .
   It seemed to him that a long time had passed before he glided out of that space once more, again became aware of the chair he sat on, the mat-covered stone floor, the dimmer dusk outside the windows. He felt someone regarding him, looked up and into the eyes of the Music Master, who was attentively studying him. The Master gave him an almost imperceptible nod, with one finger played pianissimo the last variation of the Italian piece, and stood up.
   "Stay on," he said. "I shall be back. Try once again to track down the music; pay attention to the figure. But don't force yourself; it's only a game. If you should fall asleep over it, there's no harm."
   He left; there was still a task awaiting him, left over from the overcrowded day. It was no easy and pleasant task, none that he would have wished for. One of the students in the conducting course was a gifted but vain and overbearing person. The Music Master would have to speak to him now, curbing his bad habits, showing him his faults, all this with an even balance of solicitude and superiority, love and authority. He sighed. What a pity that no arrangements were ever final, that recognized errors were never eliminated for good, that again and again the selfsame failings had to be combated, the selfsame weeds plucked out. Talent without character, virtuosity without values, had dominated musical life in the Age of the Feuilleton, had been extirpated during the musical Renaissance -- and here was that same spirit again, making vigorous growth.
   When he returned from his errand to have supper with Joseph, he found the boy sitting still, but contented and no longer tired in the least. "It was beautiful," Joseph said dreamily. "While it was going on, the music vanished completely; it changed."
   "Let it reverberate inside you," the Master said, leading him into a small chamber where a table was set with bread and fruit. They ate, and the Master invited him to sit in on the conducting course for a while in the morning. Just before showing his guest to his cell and retiring for the night, he said: "During your meditation you saw something; the music appeared to you as a figure. If you feel so minded, try to copy it down."
   In the guest cell Knecht found pencils and paper on the table, and before he went to bed he tried to draw the figure which the music had assumed for him. He drew a line, and moving diagonally off from the line at rhythmic intervals short tributary lines. It looked something like the arrangement of leaves on the twig of a tree. What he had produced did not satisfy him, but he felt impelled to try it again and yet again. At last he playfully curved the line into a circle from which the tributary lines radiated, like flowers in a garland. Then he went to bed and fell asleep quickly. He dreamed that he was once again on that height above the woods, where he had rested with his classmate, and saw dear Eschholz spread out below him. And as he looked down, the quadrangle of the school building contracted into an oval and then spread out to a circle, a garland, and the garland began turning slowly; it turned with increasing speed, until at last it was whirling madly and burst, flying apart into twinkling stars.
   He had forgotten this dream by the time he awoke. But later, during a morning walk, the Master asked him whether he had dreamt, and it seemed to him that he must have had an unpleasant experience in his dreams. He thought, recovered the dream, told it, and was astonished at how innocuous it sounded. The Master listened closely.
   "Should we be mindful of dreams?" Joseph asked. "Can we interpret them?"
   The Master looked into his eyes and said tersely: "We should be mindful of everything, for we can interpret everything."
   After they had walked on a bit, he asked paternally: "Which school would you most like to enter?"
   Joseph flushed. He murmured quickly: "Waldzell, I think!"
   The Master nodded. "I thought so. Of course you know the old saying: 'Gignit autem artificiosam'. . ."
   Still blushing, Joseph completed the saying familiar to every student: "Gignit autem artificiosam lusorum gentem Cella Silvestris": "But Waldzell breeds the skillful Glass Bead Game players."
   The old man gave him a warm look. "Probably that is your path, Joseph. As you well know, there are some who do not think well of the Glass Bead Game. They say it is a substitute for the arts, and that the players are mere popularizers; that they can no longer be regarded as truly devoted to the things of the mind, but are merely artistic dilettantes given to improvisation and feckless fancy. You will see how much or how little truth there is in that. Perhaps you yourself have notions about the Glass Bead Game, expecting more of it than it will give you, or perhaps the reverse. There is no doubt that the Game has its dangers. For that very reason we love it; only the weak are sent out on paths without perils. But never forget what I have told you so often: our mission is to recognize contraries for what they are:  first of all as contraries, but then as opposite poles of a unity. Such is the nature of the Glass Bead Game. The artistically inclined delight in the Game because it provides opportunities  for improvisation  and fantasy. The strict scholars and scientists despise it -- and so do some musicians also -- because, they say, it lacks that degree of strictness which their specialties can achieve. Well and good, you will encounter these antinomies, and in time you will discover that they are subjective, not objective -- that, for example, a fancy-free artist avoids pure mathematics or logic not because he understands them and could say something about them if he wished, but because he instinctively inclines toward other things. Such instinctive and violent inclinations and disinclinations are signs by which you can recognize the pettier souls. In great souls and superior minds, these passions are not found. Each of us is merely one human being, merely an experiment, a way station. But each of us should be on the way toward perfection, should be striving to reach the center, not the periphery. Remember this: one can be a strict logician or grammarian, and at the same time full of imagination and music. One can be a musician or Glass Bead Game player and at the same time wholly devoted to rule and order. The kind of person we want to develop, the kind of person we aim to become, would at any time be able to exchange his discipline or art for any other. He would infuse the Glass Bead Game with crystalline logic, and grammar with creative imagination. That is how we ought to be. We should be so constituted that we can at any time be placed in a different position without offering resistance or losing our heads."
   "I think I understand," Joseph said. "But are not those who have such strong preferences and aversions simply more passionate natures, others just more sober and temperate?"
   "That seems to be true and yet it is not," the Master replied, laughing. "To be capable of everything and do justice to everything, one certainly does not need less spiritual force and élan and warmth, but more. What you call passion is not spiritual force, but friction between the soul and the outside world. Where passion dominates, that does not signify the presence of greater desire and ambition, but rather the misdirection of these qualities toward an isolated and false goal, with a consequent tension and sultriness in the atmosphere. Those who direct the maximum force of their desires toward the center, toward true being, toward perfection, seem quieter than the passionate souls because the flame of their fervor cannot always be seen. In argument, for example, they will not shout and wave their arms. But I assure you, they are nevertheless burning with subdued fires."
   "Oh, if only it were possible to find understanding," Joseph exclaimed. "If only there were a dogma to believe in. Everything is contradictory, everything tangential; there are no certainties anywhere. Everything can be interpreted one way and then again interpreted in the opposite sense. The whole of world history can be explained as development and progress and can also be seen as nothing but decadence and meaninglessness. Isn't there any truth? Is there no real and valid doctrine?"
   The Master had never heard him speak so fervently. He walked on in silence for a little, then said: "There is truth, my boy. But the doctrine you desire, absolute, perfect dogma that alone provides wisdom, does not exist. Nor should you long for a perfect doctrine, my friend. Rather, you should long for the perfection of yourself. The deity is within you, not in ideas and books. Truth is lived, not taught. Be prepared for conflicts, Joseph Knecht -- I can see they have already begun."
   During those few days Joseph for the first time saw his beloved Magister in his everyday life and work, and he felt intense admiration, although only a small part of what the Music Master accomplished every day came into view. But most of all the Master won his heart by taking such an interest in him, by having invited him, and by managing to spare hours for him despite his being often so overworked and overtired. Nor was it only the lessons. If this introduction to meditation made so deep and lasting an impression upon him, it did so, as he later learned to appreciate, not because the Master's technique was so especially subtle and unique, but only because of the Master's personality and example. His later teachers, who instructed him in meditation during the following year, gave him more guidance, more precise lessons; they controlled results more closely, asked more questions, managed to do more correcting. The Music Master, confident of his power over this young man, did very little teaching and talking. Mostly, he merely set themes and showed the way by example. Knecht observed the way the Master often looked so old and worn out, but after sinking into himself with half-closed eyes he would once again manage to look so tranquil, vigorous, cheerful, and friendly. To Joseph this renewal was a persuasive demonstration of the right way to the true springs, the way from restiveness to peace. Whatever the Master had to say about this matter was casually imparted to Knecht on brief walks or at meals.
   We know also that at this time the Magister gave Knecht some first hints and suggestions about the Glass Bead Game, but none of his actual words have been preserved. Joseph was also struck by the fact that the Master took some trouble with Joseph's companion, so that the boy would not feel he was only a hanger-on. The old man seemed to think of everything.
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Zodijak Gemini
Pol Muškarac
Poruke Odustao od brojanja
Zastava 44°49′N - 20°29′E
mob
Apple iPhone 6s

   The brief stay in Monteport, the three lessons in meditation, attendance at the course for conductors, the few talks with the Master, meant a great deal to Joseph Knecht. There was no question but that the Master had found the most effective time for interposing briefly in Knecht's life. The chief purpose of his invitation, as he had said, had been to commend meditation to Joseph; but this invitation had been no less important in itself, as a distinction and a token that he was well thought of, that his superiors expected something of him. It was the second stage of vocation. He had been granted some insight into the inner spheres. If one of the twelve Masters summoned a pupil at his level to come so close, that was not just an act of personal benevolence. What a Master did was always more than personal.
   Before they left, each of the boys received a small gift: the scores of two Bach choral preludes for Joseph, a handsome pocket edition of Horace for his friend. The Master, as he was bidding good-by to Joseph, said to him: "In a few days you will learn which school you have been assigned to. I come to the higher schools less frequently than to Eschholz, but I am sure we shall see each other there too, if I keep in good health. If you care to, you might write me a letter once a year, especially about the course of your musical studies. Criticism of your teachers is not prohibited, but I am not so concerned about that. A great many things await you; I hope you will meet the challenges. Our Castalia is not supposed to be merely an elite; it ought above all to be a hierarchy, a structure in which every brick derives its meaning only from its place in the whole. There is no path leading out of this whole, and one who climbs higher and is assigned to greater and greater tasks does not acquire more freedom, only more and more responsibilities. Till we meet again, young friend. It was a pleasure to me to have you here."
   The two boys tramped back, and both were gayer and more talkative than they had been on the way to Monteport. The few days in different air and amid different sights, the contact with a different sphere of life, had relaxed them, made them freer from Eschholz and the mood of parting there. It had also made them doubly eager for change and the future. At many a resting place in the forest, or above one of the precipitous gorges in the vicinity of Monteport, they took their wooden flutes from their pockets and played duets, mostly folksongs. By the time they had once again reached that peak above Eschholz, with its prospect of the institution and its trees, the conversation they had had there seemed to both of them far away in the past. All things had taken on a new aspect. They did not say a word about it; they felt a little ashamed of what they had felt and said so short a while ago, which already had become outmoded and insubstantial.
   In Eschholz they had to wait only until the following day to learn their destinations. Knecht had been assigned to Waldzell.




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