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Demian: The Story of Emil Sinclair's Youth is a Bildungsroman by Hermann Hesse, first published in 1919; a prologue was added in 1960.
Emil Sinclair is a young boy raised in a middle class home, amidst what is described as a Scheinwelt, a play on words which means "world of light" as well as "world of illusion". Emil's entire existence can be summarized as a struggle between these two worlds: the show world of illusion (related to the Hindu concept of maya) and the real world, the world of spiritual truth. In the course of the novel, accompanied and prompted by his mysterious classmate 'Max Demian', he detaches from and revolts against the superficial ideals of the world of appearances and eventually awakens into a realization of self.
Siddhartha is a novel by Hermann Hesse that deals with the spiritual journey of self-discovery of a man named Siddhartha during the time of the Gautama Buddha.
The word Siddhartha is made up of two words in Sanskrit language, siddha (achieved) + artha (what was searched for), which together means "he who has found meaning (of existence)" or "he who has attained his goals". In fact, the Buddha's own name, before his renunciation, was Siddhartha Gautama, Prince of Kapilavastu. In this book, the Buddha is referred to as "Gotama".
In Hesse’s novel, experience, the totality of conscious events of a human life, is shown as the best way to approach understanding of reality and attain enlightenment—Hesse’s crafting of Siddhartha’s journey shows that understanding is attained not through intellectual methods, nor through immersing oneself in the carnal pleasures of the world and the accompanying pain of samsara. It is the completeness of these experiences that allows Siddhartha to attain understanding.
Thus, the individual events are meaningless when considered by themselves—Siddhartha’s stay with the Shramanas and his immersion in the worlds of love and business do not lead to nirvana, yet they cannot be considered distractions, for every action and event gives Siddhartha experience, which leads to understanding.
A major preoccupation of Hesse in writing Siddhartha was to cure his "sickness with life" (Lebenskrankheit) by immersing himself in Indian philosophy such as that expounded in the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita. The reason the second half of the book took so long to write was that Hesse "had not experienced that transcendental state of unity to which Siddhartha aspires. In an attempt to do so, Hesse lived as a virtual semi-recluse and became totally immersed in the sacred teachings of both Hindu and Buddhist scriptures. His intention was to attain to that 'completeness' which, in the novel, is the Buddha's badge of distinction."
Freedman also points out how Siddhartha described Hesse's interior dialectic: "All of the contrasting poles of his life were sharply etched: the restless departures and the search for stillness at home; the diversity of experience and the harmony of a unifying spirit; the security of religious dogma and the anxiety of freedom." Eberhard Ostermann has shown how Hesse, while mixing the religious genre of the legend with that of the modern novel, seeks to reconcile with the double-edged effects of modernization such as individualization, pluralism or self-disciplining.
The term Caledonian Antisyzygy refers to the "idea of dueling polarities within one entity"
The Apollonian and Dionysian is a philosophical and literary concept, or dichotomy, based on certain features of ancient Greek mythology. Many Western philosophical and literary figures have invoked this dichotomy in critical and creative works. In Greek mythology, Apollo and Dionysus are both sons of Zeus. Apollo is the god of the sun, of rational thinking and order, and appeals to logic, prudence and purity. On the other hand, Dionysus is the god of wine and dance, of irrationality and chaos, and appeals to emotions and instincts.
The eponymous hero undergoes a journey of self-realization. The story centers upon Wilhelm's attempt to escape what he views as the empty life of a bourgeois businessman. After a failed romance with the theater, Wilhelm commits himself to the mysterious Tower Society.
According to Andrew Crumey, "while Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship is billed as the classic coming-of-age tale, or Bildungsroman, it’s really far more than that: a story of education and disillusionment, a novel of ideas ranging across literature, philosophy and politics, a masterpiece that resists all pigeonholing."
Arthur Schopenhauer cited Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship as one of the four greatest novels ever written.
Arguing against chasing transient pleasures, Schopenhauer says, "Where we were looking for pleasure, happiness and joy, we often find instruction, insight and knowledge, a lasting and real benefit in place of a fleeting one. This idea runs like a bass-note through Goethe's Wilhelm Meister; for this is an intellectual novel and is of a higher order than the rest."
The Three of Swords represents rejection, sadness, loneliness, heartbreak, betrayal, separation and grief. Such events feel so painful because they are unexpected.
That said, pain, sorrow and grief are often a necessity in the journey of life. Without pain, there would be no challenge and no lessons learned. Pain can be a great motivator because it encourages you to surmount obstacles and ultimately learn from your mistakes. Each challenge you encounter creates that initial pain, which is inevitably turned into an opportunity to grow stronger and to change the direction of your life as a result of the lessons learned. While the pain may cloud your vision for a certain period, it will eventually allow you to see clearly and to put the past behind you. Though life seems meaningless at the time, recovery can and will occur. It takes faith, self-love, forgiveness and time. Count your blessings.
The Three of Swords therefore serves as a reminder that if you can start to see pain as a learning opportunity, life will suddenly become less painful. You need to really get in touch with pain and sorrow. Challenges remain but once they are no longer perceived as negative or ‘bad’, they lose a lot of their impact. This card is therefore encouraging you that you have the ability to conquer any pain that comes your way. Understand how the pain can help you grow. If someone has betrayed you and you do not think you can ever love again, challenge that belief. Do not be surprised when your heart emerges from darkness, capable of loving even more than before.
Similarly, the Three of Swords speaks of loss and difficulty, of sacrifice and broken relationships. It follows the difficult decision required in the Two of Swords, where you may be avoiding the necessity of making a tough choice. In the Three of Swords, the choice has been made, and you are now experiencing the consequences of your action.
Often, however, the pain of losing something you once valued (such as a ‘comfortable’ relationship in which you are no longer growing) is necessary in order to prepare you for a more fulfilling experience in the future.
The Three of Swords is also about release. When you have suffered a major setback, or loss, it is a good time to have a good cry, which is all part of the cleansing process. Expressing your sadness and letting it all out will then help you to move on to better times. However, it is also important that you continue to focus on the future path ahead. There can be a risk that you may become overly absorbed in the loss and the surrounding emotions that you lose sight of the need to just let go and move on. The loss becomes your focus rather than the recovery. It is time to accept the loss and then move forward with your life.
Faust is the protagonist of a classic German legend, based on the historical Johann Georg Faust (c. 1480–1540).
Faust is an erudite who is highly successful yet dissatisfied with his life, which leads him to make a pact with the Devil, exchanging his soul for unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures. The Faust legend has been the basis for many literary, artistic, cinematic, and musical works that have reinterpreted it through the ages. "Faust" and the adjective "Faustian" imply a situation in which an ambitious person surrenders moral integrity in order to achieve power and success for a delimited term.
The Faust of early books—as well as the ballads, dramas, movies, and puppet-plays which grew out of them—is irrevocably damned because he prefers human to divine knowledge; "he laid the Holy Scriptures behind the door and under the bench, refused to be called doctor of Theology, but preferred to be styled doctor of Medicine".
The story was popularised in England by Christopher Marlowe, who gave it a classic treatment in his play, The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus (whose date of publication is debated, but likely around 1587). In Goethe's reworking of the story two hundred years later, Faust becomes a dissatisfied intellectual who yearns for "more than earthly meat and drink" in his life.
Faust is bored and depressed with his life as a scholar. After an attempt to take his own life, he calls on the Devil for further knowledge and magic powers with which to indulge all the pleasure and knowledge of the world. In response, the Devil's representative, Mephistopheles, appears. He makes a bargain with Faust: Mephistopheles will serve Faust with his magic powers for a set number of years, but at the end of the term, the Devil will claim Faust's soul, and Faust will be eternally enslaved.
During the term of the bargain, Faust makes use of Mephistopheles in various ways. In many versions of the story, particularly Goethe's drama, Mephistopheles helps Faust seduce a beautiful and innocent girl, usually named Gretchen, whose life is ultimately destroyed when she gives birth to Faust's bastard son. Realizing this unholy act, she drowns the child, and is held for murder. However, Gretchen's innocence saves her in the end, and she enters Heaven after execution. In Goethe's rendition, Faust is saved by God via his constant striving—in combination with Gretchen's pleadings with God in the form of the eternal feminine. However, in the early tales, Faust is irrevocably corrupted and believes his sins cannot be forgiven; when the term ends, the Devil carries him off to Hell.
Goethe's Faust complicates the simple Christian moral of the original legend. A hybrid between a play and an extended poem, Goethe's two-part "closet drama" is epic in scope. It gathers together references from Christian, medieval, Roman, eastern, and Hellenic poetry, philosophy, and literature.
The composition and refinement of Goethe's own version of the legend occupied him for over sixty years (though not continuously). The final version, published after his death, is recognized as a great work of German literature.
The story concerns the fate of Faust in his quest for the true essence of life ("was die Welt im Innersten zusammenhält"). Frustrated with learning and the limits to his knowledge, power, and enjoyment of life, he attracts the attention of the Devil (represented by Mephistopheles), who makes a bet with Faust that he will be able to satisfy him; a notion that Faust is incredibly reluctant towards, as he believes this happy zenith will never come. This is a significant difference between Goethe's "Faust" and Marlowe's; Faust is not the one who suggests the wager.
In the first part, Mephistopheles leads Faust through experiences that culminate in a lustful relationship with Gretchen, an innocent young woman. Gretchen and her family are destroyed by Mephistopheles' deceptions and Faust's desires. Part one of the story ends in tragedy for Faust, as Gretchen is saved but Faust is left to grieve in shame.
The second part begins with the spirits of the earth forgiving Faust (and the rest of mankind) and progresses into allegorical poetry. Faust and his Devil pass through and manipulate the world of politics and the world of the classical gods, and meet with Helen of Troy (the personification of beauty). Finally, having succeeded in taming the very forces of war and nature, Faust experiences a singular moment of happiness.
Mephistopheles tries to seize Faust's soul when he dies after this moment of happiness, but is frustrated and enraged when angels intervene due to God's grace. Though this grace is truly 'gratuitous' and does not condone Faust's frequent errors perpetrated with Mephistopheles, the angels state that this grace can only occur because of Faust's unending striving and due to the intercession of the forgiving Gretchen.
The final scene has Faust's soul carried to heaven in the presence of God by the intercession of the "Virgin, Mother, Queen, ... Goddess kind forever... Eternal Womanhood. The Goddess is thus victorious over Mephistopheles, who had insisted at Faust's death that he would be consigned to "The Eternal Empty."
Many aspects of the life of Simon Magus are echoed in the Faust legend of Christopher Marlowe and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Hans Jonas writes, "surely few admirers of Marlowe's and Goethe's plays have an inkling that their hero is the descendant of a gnostic sectary and that the beautiful Helen called up by his art was once the fallen Thought of God through whose raising mankind was to be saved."
Simon the Sorcerer, or Simon the Magician(Latin: Simon Magus), is a religious figure whose confrontation with Peter is recorded in Acts 8:9–24. The act of simony, or paying for position and influence in the church, is named after Simon.
The whole book is a mixture of Hellenism and Hebraism, in which the same method of allegory is applied to Homer and Hesiod as to Moses. Starting from the assertion of Moses that God is "a devouring fire" (Deuteronomy 4:24), Simon combined therewith the philosophy of Heraclitus which made fire the first principle of all things.
This first principle he denominated a "Boundless Power," and he declared it to dwell in the sons of men, beings born of flesh and blood. But fire was not the simple thing that the many imagined, and Simon distinguished between its hidden and its manifest qualities, maintaining that the former were the cause of the latter.
Like the Stoics he conceived of it as an intelligent being. From this ungenerated being sprang the generated world of which we know, whereof there were six roots, having each its inner and its outer side, and arranged as follows:
These six roots, Mind, Voice, Reason, Reflection, Name, and Thought, are also called six powers. Commingled with them all was the great power, the "Boundless Power." This was that which "has stood, stands, and will stand," the seventh power (root) corresponding to the seventh day after the six days of creation. This seventh power existed before the world, it is the Spirit of God that moved upon the face of the waters (Genesis 1:2).
It existed potentially in every child of man, and might be developed in each to its own immensity. The small might become great, the point be enlarged to infinity. This indivisible point which existed in the body, and of which none but the spiritual knew, was the Kingdom of Heaven, and the grain of mustard-seed.
But it rested with us to develop it, and it is this responsibility which is referred to in the words—"that we may not be condemned with the world" (1 Corinthians 11:32). For if the image of the Standing One were not actualized in us, it would not survive the death of the body.
According to the gospels, Peter confessed Jesus as the Messiah, was part of Jesus's inner circle, thrice denied Jesus and wept bitterly once he realised his deed, and preached on the day of Pentecost.
According to Christian tradition, Peter was crucified in Rome under Emperor Nero Augustus Caesar. It is traditionally held that he was crucified upside down at his own request, since he saw himself unworthy to be crucified in the same way as Jesus. Tradition holds that he was crucified at the site of the Clementine Chapel. His remains are said to be those contained in the underground Confessioof St. Peter's Basilica,
Jesus promised to Saint Peter, empowering him to take binding actions. In the Gospel of Matthew 16:19, Jesus says to Peter, "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on Earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on Earth shall be loosed in heaven."
The Leviathan Cross is sometimes referred to the cross of Satan, which means the "Satans Cross". Depicted on the bottom is an infinity sign (∞), and above is a double cross (‡).
The Double cross symbolizes protection and balance between persons. The infinity sign underlines the constant and infinite nature and most likely symbolizes the eternal universe, this may have been used by Anton LaVey in The Satanic Bible to as a mockery of the cross, to show that humans are their own centrum of balance, and truth.
This is what the ideology of Anton LaVey and the followers of the Church of Satan believe, and this is what this symbol represents in this association.
The association with the Leviathan makes it a symbol of depth and surfacing. The multiple crossroads of two crosses can be interpreted as a sign of free choice, it can also be seen as a stroke-through "equal-to" (=) to show that every person has their own life.
Sulfur (“Leviathan Cross”) A symbol for the alchemical element Sulfur, (Brimstone) which is spiritually analogous to the human soul. Alchemically, sulfur has the qualities of masculine, hot and dry. Combined with Mercury (feminine, cool and moist), the pair were considered the parents of all metals.
The work depicts a scene featured in the apocryphal Acts of Peter. Saint Peter, while fleeing Rome along the ancient Via Appia, meets Christ outside the city, who is walking in the opposite direction towards the city, carrying his cross. Peter asks him, Domine, quo vadis? The question is in Latin and means "Lord, where are you going?" Jesus replies, Eo Romam iterum crucifigi, which means: "I am going to Rome to be crucified again."