Neural Network of the Cosmic Mind...

Herman Hesse's Nobel Prize Winning Novel,
The Glass Bead Game

lays the foundations for an Artistic/Conceptual Game, which integrates all fields of Human and Cosmic Knowledge through forms of Organic Universal Symbolism, expressed by its players with the Dynamic Fluidity of Music. The Glass Bead Game is, in Reality, an Age Old metaphor for what has been called, the "Divine Lila" (Play or Game of Life). This metaphor has been expressed by every great Wisdom Tradition known to man, and its players, the Magister Ludi (Masters of the Game), use as their instruments Ancient and Modern modes of Symbolic Wisdom traditionally presented through Sacred Art, Philosophy, Magick and Cosmology. For a more detailed elaboration of our vision of the GBG, see:

Magister Ludi Eberhard Wortmann
The First Horoscope, 1956

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Glass Bead Game
Contact & Mailing List

The Glass Bead Game Project is sponsored by the Sacred Science Institute, a Research Institute dedicated to the preservation and application of Sacred Knowledge, Metaphysics, and MysticoMagical Cosmology in the modern world. The SSI has collected a library of over 10,000 volumes of the greatest literature from the Wisdom Traditions of the past and makes research reprints of the most unobtainable material available to scientists, philosophers and scholars. Our Institute and Archive were created to provide the background for a Glass Bead Game as envisioned by Hermann Hesse, whose ideas and principles were directly taken from these Ancient Wisdom Traditions.

Our examination of the various current attempts to create Glass Bead Games on the Internet has revealed that the general GBG community (several well informed scholars excluded) is relatively unaware of the essential connections between the GBG and the Esoteric Tradition. Hesse himself gives many of these references in his masterpiece, but they have been surprisingly undeveloped, much of which is due to the obscurity of the individuals and schools to which he refers. We have collected all of the works referred to by Hesse, and everything of related content, and, in time, intend to release these through our Archive. Many of these works are in German, Latin and other languages further limiting their accessibility to the general reader, so we have developed several translation projects to made these fundamental materials accessible to a larger public. We feel that without a solid grounding in these fundamentals, any attempt at a GBG will be trivial and superfluous, negating the intent of Hesse's Universal Vision. See below for details on these programs.

The following links lead to various departments of the Sacred Science Institute
pertaining to the Glass Bead Game. We have included several of quotations from the GBG illustrating the purpose of these fields of learning for aspiring Bead Game players.

Pre-Aryan Jainism
orm & Dimensions of Cosmic Primal Man.
Gujarat, India, 1700s

This is the core database of research materials and source texts on the foundations of the GBG, ranging from Ancient Civilizations to Modern Science and covering all of the scientific, metaphysical, symbolic and practical applications which will ever be needed for development of true Glass Bead Game, as well as writings and systems from the GBG traditions of the past. The most essential keys, codes, symbols, theories, formulae, axioms, diagrams, and reference materials from the Esoteric & Scientific Traditions of the world may be found here. In time, we will transfer the most essential and desired materials to electronic medium for posting on this website, however, until then we are forced to share the incurred expenses of collecting and reproducing these materials with the few individuals who value them.

"Thus one of the principles of the Creed, a passage from the Bible, a phrase from one of the Church Fathers, or from the Latin text of the Mass could be expressed and taken into the Game just as easily and aptly as an axiom of geometry or a melody of Mozart. We would scarcely be exaggerating if we ventured to say that for the small circle of genuine Glass Bead Game players the Game was virtually equivalent to worship..." Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game

It is evident that anyone aspiring to the status of Magister Ludi, or even desiring to participate in the Glass Bead Game must possess and extensive amount of knowledge in a vast number of fields. Members of Hesse's Castalian society underwent a lifetime of education and training before even attempting to understand let alone to contribute to a GBG. As difficult as it may seem to ever absorb the reams of information necessary to participate in this endeavor, there are techniques used in the past which make this process considerably easier. Ancient and Renaissance GBG Masters used various devices such as Mnemonic (Memory) systems, rapid mathematical calculation systems, rapid language and art learning systems, speed reading techniques, and powerful transformational devices to attain these ends. We have collected many such systems for the edification and application of those interested in the GBG.

"...he spent year after year sitting in lecture halls and libraries, studying Froberger and Alessandro Scarlatti, fugues and sonata form, reviewing mathematics, learning Chinese, working through a system of tonal figuration and Feustelian theory of the correspondence between the scale of colors and the musical keys." Hesse,The Glass Bead Game

Hesse makes clear time and again that there is much more to the GBG than a mere intellectual manipulation of concepts, rather, that the essence of the Game is a Transcendent Universal process leading to an experience in consciousness of the Unity of the Cosmos. Forms of meditation and mysticism were essential to the experience of the great Magister Ludi, and provided the inner essence of any profound Game. We have begun collecting and elaborating some of the most powerful systems of meditation, Magick and Mysticism for the application of those who aspire to more than intellectual manipulations of concepts. These systems lead to an Experience of the Transcendent

Adualisic Mysticism/The Instant Zen School
"I suddenly realized that in the language, or at any rate in the spirit of the Glass Bead Game, everything actually was all-meaningful, that every symbol and combination of symbols led not hither and yon, not to single examples, experiments, and proofs, but into the center, the mystery and innermost heart of the world, into primal knowledge. Every transition from major to minor in a sonata, every transformation of a myth or a religious cult, every classical or artistic formulation was, I realized in that flashing moment, if seen with truly a meditative mind, nothing but a direct route into the interior of the cosmic mystery, where in the alternation between inhaling and exhaling, between heaven and earth, between Yin and Yang, holiness is forever being created." Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game

Cyber-Mystery School/Hermetic Magick
"After each symbol conjured up by the director of a Game, each player was required to perform silent, formal meditation on the content, origin, and meaning of this symbol, to call to mind intensively and organically its full purport. The members of the Order and of the Game associations brought the technique and practice of contemplation with them from their elite schools, where the art of contemplation and meditation was nurtured with the greatest care." Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game

We will soon complete our interactive forum which will be used both as a research medium and archive for the development of a Glass Bead Game. This Forum will include the following elements:
Glass Bead Game Diagram Library containing samples of Glass Beads from numerous traditions.
Glass Bead Game & Cosmological Hyperlinks for exploration of the Game and Cosmological research.
Extensive Archives With Translations of Bead Game Source Texts
referred to by Hesse in the GBG.
Discussion Forums where people may interactively discuss ideas and post their research and insights..

The entire Living Library Discussion Forum will be searchable by topic for references to GBG and related materials. Currently our Living Library Search Engine will search the contents of over 250 key texts in every GBG related field by concept, idea, author, and title helping researchers to locate and identify necessary source materials.

"The game as I conceive it," Knecht once wrote, "leaves (the player) with the feeling that he has extracted from the universe of accident and confusion a totally symmetrical and harmonious cosmos, and absorbed it into himself." Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game


To Whom This Website is Gratefully Dedicated

This Glass Bead Game website was inspired by the vision and insight of Dr. John Richter, philosopher, astronomer, mathematician, occultist and metaphysician, whose 35 years of research into every field of knowledge were ideally integrated by the conceptual framework presented by Hesse's Glass Bead Game. Upon his discovery of the GBG, Richter began a 15 year exploration of the symbolic language and conceptual framework upon which a GBG could actually be created.

Upon his death in 1998, Richter's vast library and personal manuscripts were deposited in the care of the Sacred Science Institute. We possess over 20,000 pages of Richter's hand written manuscripts analyzing, dissecting, and distilling every branch of science, philosophy and metaphysics into their fundamental elements to be represented by means of an organic universal symbolism ideally suited for the GBG.

We intend to transcribe and post these manuscripts on this website to aid in the development of a GBG. We are willing to provide copies of sections of these writings to individuals who are interested in the development of the Game in exchange for their help in either transcribing or scanning this material into a format which may easily be posted on this website. Interested parties please contact us for further details.

Magister Ludi Eberhard Wortmann
The Birth Of The Soul, 1956



Eberhard Wortmann is the only know modern Magister Ludi to have corresponded with Hermann Hesse, who in appreciation of his brilliant work called him a "Glass Bead Game Player:"

"Here it should be mentioned that the Platonic riddle of numbers are actually a question of logical games of thought, "Glass Bead Games", as Hermann Hesse, the great writer and man, had named this kind of mental business." (Eberhard Wortmann, The Law of the Kosmos, p.4)

"The Platonic Riddle of Numbers are Glass Bead Games. 'In the end it depends on the choice of the historian how far back he wants to put the beginning and prehistory of the Glass Bead Game. As an idea we find it already performed in earlier ages, e.g. at Pythagoras. The same eternal Idea was the basis of every movement of the mind towards the ideal goal of a Universitas Litterarum, of every Platonic Academy, of any congregation of a spiritual elite, every attempt to approximate the exact and the free sciences, every attempt to reconcile science and art and the art of science and religion.'" (Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game, Quoted in The Law of the Kosmos, p.4)

Eberhard Wortmann was born in Westfalen, Germany, in 1891. His activities as a merchant led him to visit many different countries, to learn their languages, and to devote himself to an investigation of their Mysticism and historical mysteries. After the loss of his sons and property in World War II, Wortmann became more and more absorbed in the mystical world of numbers and geometrical diagrams. Two passions accompanied him the rest of his life, his love for pictorial art - he produced innumerable water colour paintings - and mathematical games with magic numbers.

Wortmann combined both magnificently in his works on the Platonic number puzzles. In 1955 and 1956 he published "Platons Göttliche Harrmonie" and "Ariston oder die Platonishen Zahlenrätsel". In 1965 the Otto Reichl publishing house in Remagen published " Das Gesetz des Kosmos - Die Platonischen Zahlenrätsel erneut gelöst und dargestellt". He held lectures and conferences in different cities in Germany, leading in 1960, to a correspondence with Hermann Hesse who called Wortmann "a glass bead game player". Wortmann died in Bad Godesberg in 1970. His work: "Der Heilige Krug - Roman eines antiken Mysteriums" has remained unpublished.

Wortmann's works were published in very limited editions in Germany, and have remained to this day almost unknown, though they represent some of the most profound and advanced works on Esoteric Cosmology ever conceived. The color diagram above, and on the top of this page are samples of the innumerable diagrams and paintings he produced, deciphering, for the first time, the mathematical and geometrical codes hidden within Plato's Republic & Timeaus and unveiling the Ancient Cosmological secrets of the Law of the Kosmos. We include them, and very soon will be posting dozens of others as superlative examples of the Glass Beads envisioned by Hermann Hesse.

The Sacred Science Institute is working in conjunction with Wortmann's family to produce English translations of these Masterpieces, segments of which will be posted upon this website as they progress. Wortmann's works contain hundreds of the most sophisticated diagrams on Sacred Geometry, Pythagorean and Platonic Number Theory, Harmonics and Astronomy ever seen, as well as one of the most intricate elaborating of Universal Order and Kosmic Law known to man. The vast and synthetic thinking process presented in these works inspired a correspondence discussing the GBG between Hesse and Wortmann, which we are attempting to obtain from the original (now defunct) publisher of Hesse's letters (where they were sent for intended but unfulfilled publication), so that they may be translated and posted on this website. Any help in contacting this publisher or Hesse estate would be appreciated.

The intricacies of translating such advanced material are quite complex, and we would welcome assistance by knowledgeable translators of technical German, for both this and a number of further translation projects. We have also considered releasing reprints of the original German editions if there is sufficient interest, as the diagrams , even without the ability to read German, are of great value and interest to anyone concerned with these issues. We wish to express our thanks to Rosmarie and Veronica Mueller-Wortmann, daughter & granddaughter of the author, for access to these books & diagrams, and for their dedication to seeing that Wortmann's important work is not lost to the world.


"Although we recognize the idea of the Game as eternally present, and therefore existent in vague stirrings long before it became a reality, its realization in the form we know it nevertheless has its specific history."

"How far back the historian wishes to place the origins and antecedents of the Glass Bead Game is, ultimately, a matter of his personal choice. For like every great idea it has no real beginning; rather, it has always been, at least the idea of it. We find it foreshadowed, as a dim anticipation and hope, in a good many earlier ages. There are hints of it in Pythagoras, for example, and then among Hellenistic Gnostic circles in the late period of classical civilization. We find it equally among the ancient Chinese, then again at the several pinnacles of Arabic-Moorish culture; and the path of its prehistory leads on through Scholasticism and Humanism to the academies of mathematicians of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and on to the Romantic philosophies and the runes of Novalis' hallucinatory visions."

"This same eternal idea, which for us has been embodied in the Glass Bead Game, has underlain every movement of Mind toward the ideal goal of a Universitatis Litterarum, every Platonic Academy, every league of an intellectual elite, every rapprochement between the exact and the more liberal disciplines, every effort toward reconciliation between science and art or science
and religion."


Many people, when approaching the GBG, have no idea where to begin to understand its essential principles, so we have listed a number of famous GBG schools from the past, and a number of the greatest historical GBG thinkers, some of whom were known and drawn from by Hesse for his work. The diagram to the right, for instance, is a cosmological diagram by Nicholas of Cusa, referred to by Hesse in the GBG, and is an excellent example of what he meant by a Glass Bead. All of those individuals and schools below produced similar or related diagrammatic & symbolic representations of universals knowledge in their systems, and interrelationships may be found between every one of them, since all are based on the same Cosmic Ordering Principles.

Information on the Magister Ludi and GBG schools listed below may be found by by searching new & used bookstores and the Internet, however much of this work is long out of print or has never been available to the general public. We have made many of these resources available through our reprint archive, which may be accessed using the Search Engine to the right or through the Sacred Science Institute. We have provided some links to our listings of these resources, and will, in time expand these links to sources throughout the Internet. We will also be elaborating on the short histories and biographies presented below as part of the Living Library Archive and Discussion Forum.


If you experience any difficulties, try searching from the Sacred Science Institute website.

If you fail to locate references to subjects, thinkers or schools listed below, feel free to Contact Us and we will check our Archives.


Leonardo Da Vinci
Leonardo was a Magus and Grand Master of a Secret Esoteric Society, and his art is filled with codes and allusions to the Sacred Sciences, if you know how to look.
Raymond Lully
This 13th century philosopher & mystic developed a Cosmological Art using geometric logical calculators to symbolically represent all Universal Knowledge.
Giordano Bruno
This famous 17th century Mystical Cosmologist & Hermeticist developed a systematic philosophy of nature represented in geometric images, signs & symbols.
Robert Fludd
Fludd was an exponent of Renaissance Neoplatonism, and produced a cosmology using Musical Harmonics as a model of Universal Order.
Athanasius Kircher
A true Renaissance Man with one of the most all-encompassing minds ever known, producing scientific & encyclopedic works and diagrams in every known field.
Dr. John Dee
Renowned Magus, & court astrologer to Queen Elizabeth, Dee discovered the Monus Hieroglyphica, a symbolic hieroglyph expressing the unity underlying the Cosmos.
Joseph-Marie Hoene Wronski
Teacher of Balzac & Eliphas Levi, Wronksi perceived a Universal vision integrating all science & philosophy into a unified system. He produced famous mathematical theorems, & the Nazis stole his work during WW2 hoping to produce advanced weapons from his illumined insight.
R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz
Master Alchemist, Egyptologist, Pythagorean, & one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century, Schwaller completely deciphered and unveiled the scientific Symbolique and Cosmology of Ancient Egyptian.
W. D. Gann
Qabbalist, Astrologer, Natural Cosmologist, Hermeticist, Gann integrated the esoteric & scientific systems & found an unusual application in financial markets forecasting using sacred geometric & numerical calculators.


Rishis of the Rg Ved
The Seers of Ancient India concealed in their Sacred Vedic Scriptures numerical, geometric & astronomical codes revealing the natural order of the universe.

The Avatamsaka School of Buddhism
Chinese Hua-Yen Buddhism is considered to represent the pinacle of Buddist thought and inspierd the Zen School. They see the Cosmos as an interdependant and interpenetraging web of consciousness, the Jeweled Net.
Ancient Egyptian Priesthood
The most scientifically & technologically advanced civilization on Earth, the Ancient Egyptians possessed an unfathomable insight into Universal Cosmology coded in advanced Hieroglyphic & Architectural Symbolique.
Pythagorean Brotherhood
An Egyptian Temple Initiate, Pythagoras presented the first Western system of Cosmology, the Quadrivium: Arithmetic, Music, Geometry, & Astronomy, which has provided the primary inspiration for all Western Scientific & Esoteric traditions since his time.
Platonic & NeoPlatonic Academies
The works of Plato are written in a geometric cosmological code based upon Egyptian & Pythagorean Cosmologies, known only by the most advanced Esoteric Schools, & provide a wealth of universal insight if one has their keys.
Jewish Qabbalists
The oldest Biblical writings possess astrological codes interpreted through arithmetical & geometric keys passed down through the mystical tradition of Qabbalah
Freemasons & Cathedral Builders
The Great Gothic Cathedrals are Cosmologies in stone, designed according to harmonic proportions symbolizing the ordering system of the Cosmos, & built by a secret order of Freemasons tracing their origin back to King Solomon.
Medieval Alchemists & Hermeticists
The symbolic systems of mysticism and cosmology encoded by these secret orders into organic and pictorial forms of symbolism represent the most advanced science of spiritual & material transmutation known to the world.