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Hesse is very interested in the “Journey” that is life; this book can even be considered a Bildungsroman, in which not only does a boy grow into a man, but a “soul” (a consciousness) grows from the physical world of “Knowing” to the spiritual world of “Learning”. For Hesse, our existence is a state of gaining understanding of universal truths through experiencing physical realities. So knowing is an earth-bound comprehension of facts; learning is a process of understanding paths, methods, journeys of the soul through planes or levels of experiences. This is obvious in the structure of Siddhartha, and the developments in Journey to the East, but is also the theme of Steppenwolf (where the autobiographical character journeys through stages of reality/consciousness leading to the Magic Theatre) and his masterpiece, Magister Ludi (or The Glass Bead Game). Educators, too, have understood the difference between teaching “facts” and teaching “what processes use those facts to reach conclusions and understanding” (see Bloom’s taxonomies, for example).
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