The Best Hermann Hesse quotes

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Hermann Hesse is one of the most well-known writers in history. His novel Siddhartha has sold over a million copies and been translated into more than 30 languages, but it’s his quotes compilation that fascinates people the most.
Born in 1877 to an affluent family, Hermann spent time traveling and studying with some very influential educators at universities throughout Europe. He met many prominent figures from this era such as Henry Thoreau, Leo Tolstoy and Albert Einstein.
In 1919 he published his first novel Demian which was followed by Steppenwolf (1927). The last book he wrote before his death was called Magister Ludi or The Glass Bead Game.
Discover the most inspiring words from Hermann Hesse.

Discover the strongest Soul, Love, Time, Wisdom, Suffering, Life quotes from Hermann Hesse, and much more.


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About Hermann Hesse

birth of the author

2 July 1877

death of the author

9 August 1962

occupation of the author

Novelist, Short Story Author, Essayist, Poet, Painter

country of the author

German, Swiss

date of the author


genre of the author


award of the author

Notable Works:
The Glass Bead Game Siddhartha Steppenwolf Narcissus And Goldmund Demian

award of the author

Notable Awards:
Gottfried-Keller-Preis And More.

award of the author

Notable Awards:


Your soul is the whole world. โ€” Hermann Hesse

Om is the bow, the arrow is soul. โ€” Hermann Hesse

As a body everyone is single, as a soul never. โ€” Hermann Hesse

The river taught us how to listen with a silent heart, with a waiting open soul. โ€” Hermann Hesse

your soul is the whole world Hermann Hesse quote

A father can pass on his nose and eyes and even his intelligence to his child, but not his soul. In every human being the soul is new โ€” Hermann Hesse

And the vessel was not full, his intellect was not satisfied, his soul was not at peace, his heart was not still. โ€” Hermann Hesse

Every natural form is latent within us, originates in the soul whose essence is eternity, whose essence we cannot know but which most often intimates itself to us as the power to love and create. โ€” Hermann Hesse

He sat thus, lost in meditation, thinking Om, his soul as the arrow directed at Brahman. โ€” Hermann Hesse

Look: We hate nothing that exists, not even death, suffering and dying, does not horrify our souls, as long as we learn more deeply to love. โ€” Hermann Hesse

om is the bow the arrow is soul Hermann Hesse quote

To listen with a still heart, with a waiting, open soul, without passion, without desire, without judgement, without opinions. โ€” Hermann Hesse

Your soul has fallen to bits and pieces. Good. Rearrange them to suit yourself. โ€” Hermann Hesse

Above all Siddartha learned from the river how to listen, to listen with a still heart, with a waiting, open soul, without passion, without desire, without judgments, without opinions. โ€” Hermann Hesse

It taught him how to listenโ€“โ€“how to listen with a quiet heart and a waiting soul, open soul, without passion, without desire, without judgment, without opinion. โ€” Hermann Hesse

Dreams and restless thoughts came flowing to him from the river, from the twinkling stars at night, from the sun’s melting rays. Dreams and a restlessness of the soul came to him. โ€” Hermann Hesse

as a body everyone is single as a soul never Hermann Hesse quote

Every phenomenon on earth is symbolic, and each symbol is an open gate through which the soul, if it is ready, can enter into the inner part of the world, where you and I and day and night are all one. โ€” Hermann Hesse

What you call passion is not spiritual force, but friction between the soul and the outside world. โ€” Hermann Hesse

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. โ€” Hermann Hesse

Here in this endless and gleaming wilderness I was removed farther than ever from the world of menโ€“โ€“And I never saw so close and so clearly The image in the mirror of my own soul. โ€” Hermann Hesse

In the beginning was the myth. God, in his search for selfโ€“expression, invested the souls of Hindus, Greeks, and Germans with poetic shapes and continues to invest each child’s soul with poetry every day. โ€” Hermann Hesse

Whoever wants music instead of noise, joy instead of pleasure, soul instead of gold, creative work instead of business, passion instead of foolery, finds no home in this trivial world of ours. โ€” Hermann Hesse


Love of God is not always the same as love of good. โ€” Hermann Hesse

Happiness is love, nothing else. โ€” Hermann Hesse

Love is like death. It is fulfillment and an evening after which nothing more may follow. โ€” Hermann Hesse

Happiness is love, nothing else. A man who is capable of love is happy. โ€” Hermann Hesse

love of god is not always the same as love of good Hermann Hesse quote

Love is stronger than violence. โ€” Hermann Hesse

Perhaps, people of our kind can’t love. The childlike people can; that’s their secret. โ€” Hermann Hesse

Beauty does not bring happiness to the one who possesses it, but to the one who loves and admires it. โ€” Hermann Hesse

Without a mother, one cannot love. Without a mother, one cannot die. โ€” Hermann Hesse

If that was love, with cruelty here and humiliation there, then it was better to live without love. โ€” Hermann Hesse

happiness is love nothing else Hermann Hesse quote

When you like someone, you like them in spite of their faults. When you love someone, you love them with their faults. โ€” Hermann Hesse

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

He had loved and he had found himself. Most people love to lose themselves. โ€” Hermann Hesse

And here is a doctrine at which you will laugh. It seems to me, Govinda, that love is the most important thing in the world. โ€” Hermann Hesse

It was fortunate that love did not need words; or else it would be full of misunderstanding and foolishness. โ€” Hermann Hesse

love is like death it is fulfillment and an evening after which nothing more may follow Hermann Hesse quote

One can beg, buy, be presented with and find love in the streets, but it can never be stolen. โ€” Hermann Hesse

Sinclair, your love is attracted to me. Once it begins to attract me, i will come. I will not make a gift of myself, I must be won. โ€” Hermann Hesse

Love can be begged, bought, or received as a gift, one can find it in the street, but one cannot steal it. โ€” Hermann Hesse

And they didn’t like to pay with trust and love, but rather with money and goods. They betrayed each other and expected being betrayed themselves. โ€” Hermann Hesse

For you know that soft is stronger than hard, water stronger than rock, love stronger than force.’ Vesadeva to Siddartha โ€” Hermann Hesse

happiness is love nothing else a man who is capable of love is happy Hermann Hesse quote

Gentleness is stronger than severity, water is stronger than rock, love is stronger than force. โ€” Hermann Hesse

No matter how close two human beings may be, there is always a gulf between them which only love can bridge, and that only from hour to hour. โ€” Hermann Hesse

Like animals we call to each other,’ was the thought that came to him as he remembered the hour of love in the afternoon. โ€” Hermann Hesse

The art of loveโ€“giving and taking become one. โ€” Hermann Hesse

Love must neither beg nor demand. Love must be strong enough to find certainty within itself. It then cease to be moved and becomes the mover. โ€” Hermann Hesse

love is stronger than violence Hermann Hesse quote


I don’t know whether my life has been useless and merely a misunderstanding, or whether it has a meaning. โ€” Hermann Hesse

My real self wanders elsewhere, far away, wanders on and on invisibly and has nothing to do with my life. โ€” Hermann Hesse

That life is difficult, I have often bitterly realized. โ€” Hermann Hesse

All I really wanted was to try and live the life that was spontaneously welling up within me. Why was that so very difficult? โ€” Hermann Hesse

All life was a breath exhaled by God. All dying was a breath inhaled by God. โ€” Hermann Hesse

that life is difficult i have often bitterly realized Hermann Hesse quote

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

Each man’s life represents a road toward himself. โ€” Hermann Hesse

Life is always frightful. We cannot help it and we are responsible all the same. One’s born and at once one is guilty. โ€” Hermann Hesse

It is not for me to judge another man’s life. I must judge, I must choose, I must spurn, purely for myself. For myself, alone. โ€” Hermann Hesse

I had grown a thin mustache, I was a fullโ€“grown man, and yet I was completely helpless and without a goal in life. โ€” Hermann Hesse

all life was a breath exhaled by god all dying was a breath inhaled by god Hermann Hesse quote

Every healthy person must have a goal in life and that life must have content. โ€” Hermann Hesse

Redundant Thematics

In Hermann Hesse Statements


That seems to be the way of things. Everyone takes, everyone gives. Life is like that. โ€” Hermann Hesse

Youth ends when egotism does; maturity begins when one lives for others. โ€” Hermann Hesse

A wild longing for strong emotions and sensations seethes in me, a rage against this toneless, flat, normal and sterile life. โ€” Hermann Hesse

Words can not express the joy of new life. โ€” Hermann Hesse

each man s life represents a road toward himself Hermann Hesse quote

The day had gone by just as days go by. I had killed it in accordance with my primitive and retiring way of life. โ€” Hermann Hesse

I lived in those dreamsโ€“I was always a heavy dreamerโ€“more than in real life; those shadows consumed my strength and life. โ€” Hermann Hesse

Is not every life, every work fine? โ€” Hermann Hesse

The dream of death is only the dark smoke Under which the fires of life are burning. โ€” Hermann Hesse

Even the unhappiest life has its sunny moments and its little flowers of happiness between sand and stone. โ€” Hermann Hesse

every healthy person must have a goal in life and that life must have content Hermann Hesse quote

God does not send us despair in order to kill us; he sends it in order to awaken us to new life. โ€” Hermann Hesse

Straight lines evidently belonged only to geometry, not to nature and life. โ€” Hermann Hesse

Not in his speech, not in his thoughts, I see his greatness, only in his actions, in his life. โ€” Hermann Hesse

But peace, too, is a living thing and like all life it must wax and wane, accommodate, withstand trials, and undergo changes. โ€” Hermann Hesse

Yes, I am going into the woods; I am going into the unity of all things. โ€” Hermann Hesse

that seems to be the way of things everyone takes everyone gives life is like that Hermann Hesse quote


Knowledge can be communicated. wisdom cannot be communicated. โ€” Hermann Hesse

You can ride, you can travel with a friend of your own; The final step you must take alone. No wisdom is better than this when known: That every hard thing is done alone. โ€” Hermann Hesse

The marvel of the Bhagavadโ€“Gita is its truly beautiful revelation of life’s wisdom which enables philosophy to blossom into religion. โ€” Hermann Hesse

Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, be fortified by it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it. โ€” Hermann Hesse

Wisdom is not communicable. The wisdom which a wise man tries to communicate always sound foolish. โ€” Hermann Hesse

knowledge can be communicated wisdom cannot be communicated Hermann Hesse quote

Wisdom cannot be passed on. Wisdom which a wise man tries to pass on to someone always sounds like foolishness. โ€” Hermann Hesse

Knowledge can be conveyed, but not wisdom. It can be found, it can be lived, it is possible to be carried by it, miracles can be performed with it, but it cannot be expressed in words and taught. โ€” Hermann Hesse


When the suffering becomes acute enough, one goes forward. โ€” Hermann Hesse

Inasmuch as every man takes the sufferings that fall to his share as the greatest. โ€” Hermann Hesse

Suffering was life, full of suffering was the world. โ€” Hermann Hesse

when the suffering becomes acute enough one goes forward Hermann Hesse quote

Alas, Siddhartha, I see you suffering, but you’re suffering a pain at which one would like to laugh, at which you’ll soon laugh for yourself. โ€” Hermann Hesse

Siddhartha stopped fighting his fate this very hour, and he stopped suffering. โ€” Hermann Hesse

I began to understand that suffering and disappointments and melancholy are there not to vex us or cheapen us or deprive us of our dignity but to mature and transfigure us. โ€” Hermann Hesse

Love your suffering. Do not resist it, do not flee from it. It is only your aversion to it that hurts, nothing else. โ€” Hermann Hesse

Human life is reduced to real suffering, to hell, only when two ages, two cultures and religions overlap. โ€” Hermann Hesse

inasmuch as every man takes the sufferings that fall to his share as the greatest Hermann Hesse quote

I saw that Haller was a genius of suffering and that in the meaning of many sayings of Nietzsche he had created within himself with positive genius a boundless and frightful capacity for pain. โ€” Hermann Hesse


The river is everywhere at the same time . . . everywhere and the present only exists for it, not the shadow of the past, nor the shadow of the future. โ€” Hermann Hesse

During deep meditation it is possible to dispel time, to see simultaneously all the past, present, and future, and then everything is good, everything is perfect, everything is Brahman. โ€” Hermann Hesse

Remember this: one can be a strict logician or grammarian and at the same time full of imagination and music. โ€” Hermann Hesse

What should I possibly have to tell you, oh venerable one? Perhaps that you’re searching far too much? That in all that searching, you don’t find the time for finding? โ€” Hermann Hesse

when two cultures collide is the only time when true suffering exists Hermann Hesse quote

When two cultures collide is the only time when true suffering exists. โ€” Hermann Hesse

The realms of day and night. Two different worlds coming from two opposite poles mingled during this time. โ€” Hermann Hesse

They slept profoundly, desperately, greedily, as though for the last time, as though they had been condemned to stay awake forever and had to drink in all the sleep in the world during these last hours. โ€” Hermann Hesse

I have known it for a long time but I have only just experienced it. Now I know it not only with my intellect, but with my eyes, with my heart, with my stomach. โ€” Hermann Hesse

Seriousness is an accident of time. It consists of putting too high a value on time. In eternity there is no time. Eternity is a moment, just long enough for a joke โ€” Hermann Hesse

It is good to taste for yourself everything you need to know. That worldly pleasures and wealth are not good things, I learned even as a child. I knew it for a long time, but only now have I experienced it. โ€” Hermann Hesse

One never reaches home, but wherever friendly paths intersect the whole world looks like home for a time. โ€” Hermann Hesse

There’s something to walking with autumnal thoughts through the evening fog. One likes to compose poems at a time like that. โ€” Hermann Hesse

Nevertheless, whether in occurrences lasting days, hours or mere minutes at a time, I have experienced happiness often, and have had brief encounters with it in my later years, even in old age. โ€” Hermann Hesse

At that time two opposing concepts of the Game called forth commentary and discussion. The foremost players distinguished two principal types of Game, the formal and the psychological. โ€” Hermann Hesse

If time is not real, then the dividing line between this world and eternity, between suffering and bliss, between good and evil, is also an illusion. โ€” Hermann Hesse

At one time I had given much thought to why men were so very rarely capable of living for an ideal. Now I saw that many, no, all men were capable of dying for one. โ€” Hermann Hesse

Eternity is a mere moment, just long enough for a joke. โ€” Hermann Hesse

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