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Reply #114: ever read Hermann Hesse's "The Glass Bead Game" (1943)? [View All]

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foo_bar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-18-05 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #108
114. ever read Hermann Hesse's "The Glass Bead Game" (1943)?
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.

The natural teacher is employed as a teacher, the natural educator as an educator, the natural translator as a 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.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/031227849...
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