Magic Theatre- For Madmen Only


Its been a year since I last posted on TEF which has reflected a life out of balance: too much work, too much inward looking and absorbing. I also lost my password.

Coming back has partly been achieved through the book I have just read: Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse

I believe this is one of the most important books I have read. Its not revolutionary transformative; Hesse was disappointed with its reception by a younger audience who apparently misrepresented his outsider misanthropic antihero hero Heller and his inability to interact with, but alos distance himself from, bourgeoisie life. He wrote it in his 50s and saw it more as a take on mid-life crises.

I’ve discovered Steppenwolf after many years of existential angst, through battling with depression, bringing mindfulness practice into my life through meditation and an interest in philosophy and ecology (I work in conservation). Steppenwolf has been a “poetic catharsis”, a road trip through themes and ideas which have allowed me to understand my own world better: the multi-facetted nature of the self, the mystery of the ego and the ultimate desire to satisfy the ego and reach for something greater; and finally, the most useful tool to bring meaning to life: humour.

Illustration (c) Ignatio  Serrano

Illustration (c) Ignatio Serrano

At the age of 43 I still don’t quite know where I’m going, but I’m understanding now that any sense of going to or getting to places is illusory. This “magic Theatre” is a place truly only understood by the mad- those trying not to make sense of it but instead approaching life with an understanding of absurdist humour.

So this I understand, but

I want to read it again already, but I would like to explore Hesse’s other w how to live with that knowledge? How to shape your choices and decisions round that awakening?

I’d love to hear your views..


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