"When you like someone, you like them in spite of their faults. When you love someone, you love them with their faults." — Hermann Hesse

Hermann Hesse Quotes

Hermann Hesse Quotes – 25 The Best Ones

“If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb us.”
— Hermann Hesse (Demian: Die Geschichte von Emil Sinclairs Jugend)

“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.”
— Hermann Hesse

“Words do not express thoughts very well. They always become a little different immediately after they are expressed, a little distorted, a little foolish.”
— Hermann Hesse

“I have been and still am a seeker, but I have ceased to question stars and books; I have begun to listen to the teaching my blood whispers to me.”
— Hermann Hesse (Demian: Die Geschichte von Emil Sinclairs Jugend)

“Wisdom cannot be imparted. Wisdom that a wise man attempts to impart always sounds like foolishness to someone else … Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it.”
— Hermann Hesse (Siddhartha)

“If I know what love is, it is because of you.”
— Hermann Hesse

“Without words, without writing and without books there would be no history, there could be no concept of humanity.”
— Hermann Hesse

“We must become so alone, so utterly alone, that we withdraw into our innermost self. It is a way of bitter suffering. But then our solitude is overcome, we are no longer alone, for we find that our innermost self is the spirit, that it is God, the indivisible. And suddenly we find ourselves in the midst of the world, yet undisturbed by its multiplicity, for our innermost soul we know ourselves to be one with all being.”
— Hermann Hesse

“That is where my dearest and brightest dreams have ranged — to hear for the duration of a heartbeat the universe and the totality of life in its mysterious, innate harmony.”
— Hermann Hesse (Gertrude)

“To hold our tongues when everyone is gossiping, to smile without hostility at people and institutions, to compensate for the shortage of love in the world with more love in small, private matters; to be more faithful in our work, to show greater patience, to forgo the cheap revenge obtainable from mockery and criticism: all these are things we can do. ”
— Hermann Hesse

“We are sun and moon, dear friend; we are sea and land. It is not our purpose to become each other; it is to recognize each other, to learn to see the other and honor him for what he is: each the other’s opposite and complement.”
— Hermann Hesse (Narcissus and Goldmund)

“Oh, love isn’t there to make us happy. I believe it exists to show us how much we can endure.”
— Hermann Hesse (Wer lieben kann, ist glücklich. Über die Liebe )

“There is no escape. You can’t be a vagabond and an artist and still be a solid citizen, a wholesome, upstanding man. You want to get drunk, so you have to accept the hangover. You say yes to the sunlight and pure fantasies, so you have to say yes to the filth and the nausea. Everything is within you, gold and mud, happiness and pain, the laughter of childhood and the apprehension of death. Say yes to everything, shirk nothing. Don’t try to lie to yourself. You are not a solid citizen. You are not a Greek. You are not harmonious, or the master of yourself. You are a bird in the storm. Let it storm! Let it drive you! How much have you lied! A thousand times, even in your poems and books, you have played the harmonious man, the wise man, the happy, the enlightened man. In the same way, men attacking in war have played heroes, while their bowels twitched. My God, what a poor ape, what a fencer in the mirror man is- particularly the artist- particularly myself!”
— Hermann Hesse

“What could I say to you that would be of value, except that perhaps you seek too much, that as a result of your seeking you cannot find.”
— Hermann Hesse (Siddhartha)

“When you like someone, you like them in spite of their faults. When you love someone, you love them with their faults.”
— Hermann Hesse (Wer lieben kann, ist glücklich. Über die Liebe )

“I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value.”
— Hermann Hesse (Siddhartha)

“Love must not entreat,’ she added, ‘or demand. Love must have the strength to become certain within itself. Then it ceases merely to be attracted and begins to attract.”
— Hermann Hesse (Demian: Die Geschichte von Emil Sinclairs Jugend)

“Solitude is independence. It had been my wish and with the years I had attained it. It was cold. Oh, cold enough! But it was also still, wonderfully still and vast like the cold stillness of space in which the stars revolve.”
— Hermann Hesse (Steppenwolf)

“People with courage and character always seem sinister to the rest.”
— Hermann Hesse

“We are not going in circles, we are going upwards. The path is a spiral; we have already climbed many steps.”
— Hermann Hesse (Siddhartha)

“It may be important to great thinkers to examine the world, to explain and despise it. But I think it is only important to love the world, not to despise it, not for us to hate each other, but to be able to regard the world and ourselves and all beings with love, admiration and respect.”
— Hermann Hesse (Siddhartha)

“Perhaps people like us cannot love. Ordinary people can – that is their secret. ”
— Hermann Hesse

“Every man is more than just himself; he also represents the unique, the very special and always significant and remarkable point at which the world’s phenomena intersect, only once in this way, and never again. That is why every man’s story is important, eternal, sacred; that is why every man, as long as he lives and fulfills the will of nature, is wondrous, and worthy of consideration. In each individual the spirit has become flesh, in each man the creation suffers, within each one a redeemer is nailed to the cross.”
— Hermann Hesse (Demian: Die Geschichte von Emil Sinclairs Jugend)

“There is no reality except the one contained within us. That is why so many people live such an unreal life. They take the images outside of them for reality and never allow the world within to assert itself.”
— Hermann Hesse (Steppenwolf)

“Gaze into the fire, into the clouds, and as soon as the inner voices begin to speak… surrender to them. Don’t ask first whether it’s permitted, or would please your teachers or father or some god. You will ruin yourself if you do that.”
— Hermann Hesse (Demian: Die Geschichte von Emil Sinclairs Jugend)

“So she thoroughly taught him that one cannot take pleasure without giving pleasure, and that every gesture, every caress, every touch, every glance, every last bit of the body has its secret, which brings happiness to the person who knows how to wake it. She taught him that after a celebration of love the lovers should not part without admiring each other, without being conquered or having conquered, so that neither is bleak or glutted or has the bad feeling of being used or misused.”
— Hermann Hesse (Siddhartha)

Sign up for FREE Quote Of the Day.