mikenz66 wrote:Hi Kim,
... I think the observation that Hess made it clear that he wasn't speaking specifically about the Buddha is an interesting one.
That's a good point, Mike, and I'm sorry I didn't acknowledge it, Buckwheat. I guess I failed to acknowledge it because it is *far* from new to me (I read the book and understood that aspect some decades ago) but it was worth pointing out here because others clearly haven't.
mikenz66 wrote:Besides, many of what we now call "New Age" ideas have been floating around since the 19th century and would have been well known in the literary and artistic community of the 1920s.
Yes, but the way in which such ideas were understood by their adherents and the wider society were quite different from the way in which they are understood now. Our societies are far more pluralistic and far more knowledgeable about other societies and religions than Hesse's original readers, or even his first American readers in the early 1950s.The difference shows up even more in another of Hesse's books, Journey to the East
, and I guess I would say one of the main differences is that 'the East' was not fully *real* to Hesse in the way it is real to us, so it is more seductive but more dreamlike.