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Goethe's World View

Goethean World View: Part I.6: The Metamorphosis of World Phenomena

I
Goethe's Place in the Development of Western Thought

The Metamorphosis of World Phenomena

Goethe and Schiller
The Platonic World View
The Consequences of the Platonic World View
Goethe and the Platonic World View
Personality and World View
The Metamorphosis of World Phenomena

Goethe's world view attained its highest level of maturity when there arose for him the view of the two great driving wheels of nature: the significance of the concepts of polarity and of enhancement (Steigerung). (See the essay, “Commentary to the Essay Nature.”) Polarity is characteristic of the phenomena of nature insofar as we think of them as material. It consists of the fact that everything material manifests itself in two opposite states, as the magnet does in a north and a south pole. These states of matter either lie open to view or they slumber in what is material and are able to be wakened by suitable means within it. Enhancement belongs to the phenomena insofar as we think them to be spiritual. It can be observed in processes of nature that fall under the idea of development. At the various levels of development these processes show more or less distinctly in their outer manifestation the idea that underlies them. In the fruit, the idea of the plant, the law of vegetation, is only indistinctly manifest. The idea which the spirit recognizes and the perception are not similar to one another. “In the blossoms the law of vegetation comes into its highest manifestation, and the rose would again be but the pinnacle of the manifestation.” What Goethe calls enhancement consists of the bringing forth of the spiritual out of the material by creative nature. That nature is engaged “in an ever-striving ascent” means that it seeks to create forms which, in ascending order, increasingly represent the ideas of things even in outer manifestation. Goethe is of the view that “nature has no secret that it does not somewhere place naked before the eyes of the attentive observer.” Nature can bring forth phenomena from which there can be read directly the ideas applicable to a large area of related processes. It is those phenomena in which enhancement has reached its goal, in which the idea becomes immediate truth. The creative spirit of nature comes to the surface of things here; that which, in coarsely material phenomena, can only be grasped by thinking, that which can only be seen with spiritual eyes, becomes, in enhanced phenomena, visible to the physical eye. Everything sense-perceptible is here also spiritual, and everything spiritual is sense-perceptible. Goethe thinks of the whole of nature as permeated by spirit. Its forms are different through the fact that the spirit in them becomes also more or less outwardly visible. Goethe knows no dead, spiritless matter. Those things appear to be so in which the spirit of nature gives an outer form which is not similar to its ideal being. Because one spirit works both in nature and in man's inner life, man can lift himself to participation in the productions of nature. “... from the tile that falls from the roof, to the radiant lightning of the spirit which arises in you and which you communicate,” everything in the universe is for Goethe an effect, a manifestation of one creative spirit. “All the workings we take note of in experience, no matter what their nature, are interconnected in the most consistent way, pass over into one another; they undulate from the first ones to the last.” “A tile works loose from the roof: we ordinarily say this happens by chance; the tile, after all, certainly strikes the shoulders of a passerby mechanically; only, not altogether mechanically: it follows the laws of gravity and thus works physically. Ruptured bodily organs cease functioning; at that moment the fluids work chemically, the qualities of the elements emerge. But, the interrupted organic life reasserts itself just as quickly and seeks to re-establish itself; meanwhile the human entity is more or less unconscious and psychically disorganized. The person, regaining consciousness, feels himself ethically wounded to the depths; he laments his interrupted activity, no matter of what kind it might be, for no one wants to endure this patiently. Religiously, on the other hand, he can easily attribute this case to a higher destiny and regard it as saving him from far greater harm, as leading him to a higher good. This suffices for the sufferer; but the convalescent rises to his feet highly gifted, trusts God and himself and feels himself saved, really takes up also what happens by chance, turns it to, his advantage, in order to begin an eternally fresh life's cycle.” All things working in the world appear to Goethe as modifications of the spirit, and a person who immerses himself in them and observes them, from the level of chance happenings up to that of genius, lives through the metamorphosis of the spirit, from the form in which this spirit presents itself in an outer manifestation not resembling itself, up to the form in which the spirit appears in its own most archetypal form. In the sense of the Goethean world view all creative forces work in a unified way. They are a totality manifesting in successive levels of related manifoldnesses. But Goethe was never inclined to picture the unity of the world to himself as uniform. Adherents of the idea of unity often fall into the mistake of extending what can be observed in one region of phenomena out over all of nature. The mechanistic world view, for example, is in this situation. It has a particularly good eye and understanding for what can be explained mechanically. Therefore only the mechanical seems to it to be in accordance with nature. It seeks to trace even the phenomena of organic nature back to a mechanical lawfulness. A living thing is for it only a complicated form of the working together of mechanical processes. Goethe found such a world view expressed in a particularly repellent form in Holbach's Systeme de la Nature, which came into his hands in Strassburg. One matter supposedly exists from all eternity and has moved for all eternity, and now, with this motion, supposedly brings forth right and left and on all sides, without more ado, the infinite phenomena of existence. “We would indeed have been satisfied with this, if the author had really built up the world before our eyes out of his moving matter. But he might know as little about nature as we do, for as soon as he has staked up a few general concepts, he leaves nature at once, in order to transform what appears as something higher than nature or as a higher nature in nature, into a nature that is material, heavy, moving, to be sure, but still without direction or shape, and he believes that he has gained a great deal by this” (Poetry and Truth, second book). Goethe would have expressed himself in a similar way if he could have heard Du Bois-Reymond's statement (Limits to Knowing Nature, page 13): “Knowledge of nature ... is a tracing of the changes in the corporeal world back to the movements of atoms which are caused by their central forces, independent of time, or it is a dissolving of all the processes of nature into the mechanics of the atoms.” Goethe thought the different kinds of nature workings to be related to each other and as passing over into one another; but he never wanted to trace them back to one single kind. He was not striving for one abstract principle to which all the phenomena of nature should be traced, but rather he strove for observation of the characteristic way in which creative nature manifested its general lawfulness in particular forms within every single one of its realms. He did not want to force one thought form upon the whole of nature's phenomena, but rather, by living into the different thought forms, he wanted to keep his spirit as lively and pliable as nature itself is. When the feeling of the great unity of all nature's working was powerful in him, then he was a pantheist. “I for myself, with all the manifold tendencies of my nature, cannot get enough from one way of thinking; as poet and artist I am a polytheist, as natural scientist a pantheist, and am one just as positively as the other. If I need a God for my personality as a moral person, that is also already provided for” (to Jacobi, January 6, 1813). As artist, Goethe turned to those phenomena of nature in which the idea is present to direct perception. The single thing appeared here directly as divine; the world as a multiplicity of divine individualities. As natural scientist Goethe had to follow the forces of nature also into phenomena whose idea does not become visible in its individual existence. As poet he could be at peace with himself about the multiplicity of the divine; as natural scientist he had to seek the ideas of nature, which worked in a unified way. “The law, that comes into manifestation in the greatest freedom, in accordance with its most archetypal conditions, brings forth what is objectively beautiful, which, to be sure, must find worthy subjects by whom it can be grasped.” This objectively beautiful within the individual creature is what Goethe as artist wants to behold; but as natural scientist he wants “to know the laws according to which universal nature wants to act.” Polytheism is the way of thinking which sees and reveres something spiritual in the single thing; pantheism is the other way, which grasps the spirit of the whole. Both ways of thinking can exist side by side; the one or the other comes into play according to whether one's gaze is directed upon nature's wholeness, which is life and sequence out of a center, or upon those individuals in which nature unites in one form what it as a rule spreads out over a whole realm. Such forms arise when, for example, the creative forces of nature, after “thousandfold plants,” make yet one more, in which “all the others are contained,” or “after thousandfold animals make one being which contains them all: man.”

Goethe once made the remark: “Whoever has learned to understand them (my writings) and my nature in general will have to admit after all that he has won a certain inner freedom” (Conversations with Chancellor F. von Mueller, January 5, 1831). With this he was pointing to the working power which comes into play in all human striving to know. As long as man stops short at perceiving the antitheses around him and at regarding their laws as principles implanted in them by which they are governed, he has the feeling that they confront him a! unknown powers, which work upon him and impose upon hill the thoughts of their laws. He feels himself to be unfree with respect to the things; he experiences the lawfulness of nature as rigid necessity into which he must fit himself. Only when man becomes aware that the forces of nature are nothing other than forms of the same spirit which also works in himself does the insight arise in him that he does partake of freedom. The lawfulness of nature is experienced as compelling only as long as one regards it as an alien power. Living into its being, one experiences it as a power which one also exercises in one's own inner life; one experiences oneself as a productive element working along with the becoming and being of things. One is on intimate terms with any power that has to do with becoming. One has taken up into one's own doing what one otherwise experiences only as outer incentive. This is the process of liberation which is effected by the act of knowledge, in the sense of the Goethean world view. Goethe clearly perceived the ideas of nature's working as he encountered them in Italian works of art. He had a clear experience also of the liberating effect whiM the possession of these ideas has upon man. A result of this experience is his description of that kind of knowledge which he characterizes as that of encompassing individuals. “The encompassing ones, whom one in a prouder sense could call the creative ones, conduct themselves productively in the highest sense; insofar, namely, as they take their start from ideas, they express already the unity of the whole, and afterward it is in a certain way up to nature to fit in with this idea.” But Goethe never got to the point of having a direct view of the act of liberation itself. Only that person can have this view who in his knowing is attentive to himself. Goethe, to be sure, practiced the highest kind of knowledge; but he did not observe this kind of knowledge in himself. He admits to himself, after all:


“How did you get so very far?
They say you have done it all wonderfully well!”
My child! In this I have been smart;
I never have thought about thinking at all.

But just as the creative nature forces, “after thousandfold plants,” make still one more in which “all the others are contained,” so do they also, after thousandfold ideas, bring forth still one more in which the whole world of ideas is contained. And man grasps this idea when, to his perception of the other things and processes he adds that of thinking as well. Just because Goethe's thinking was continuously filled with the objects of perception, because his thinking was a perceiving, his perceiving a thinking, he could not come to the point of making thinking itself into an object of thinking. One attains the idea of freedom, however, only by looking at thinking. Goethe did not make the distinction between thinking about thinking and looking at thinking. Otherwise he would have attained the insight that one, precisely in the sense of his world view, could very well reject thinking about thinking, but that one could nevertheless come to a beholding of the thought world. Man is uninvolved in the coming about of everything else he sees. The ideas of what he sees arise in him. But these ideas would not be there if there were not present in him the productive power to bring them to manifestation. Even though ideas are the conten1 of what works within the things, they come into manifest existence through human activity. Man can therefore know the intrinsic nature of the world of ideas only if he looks at his activity. With everything else he sees he penetrates only into the idea at work in it; the thing, in which the idea works, remains as perception outside of his spirit. When he looks at the idea, what is working and what is brought forth are both entirely contained within his inner life. He has the entire process totally present if his inner life. What he sees no longer appears as brought ford by the idea; for what he sees is itself now idea. To see something bringing forth itself is, however, to see freedom. In observing his thinking man sees into world happening. Here he does no have to search after an idea of this happening, for this happening is the idea itself. What one otherwise experiences as the unity of what is looked at and the ideas is here the experiencing of the spirituality of the world of ideas become visible. The person who beholds this self-sustaining activity feels freedom. Goethe in fact experienced this feeling, but did not express it in its highest form. In his looking at nature he exercised a free activity, but this activity never became an object of perception for him. He never saw behind the scenes of human knowing and therefore never took up into his consciousness the idea of world happening in its most archetypal form, in its highest metamorphosis. As soon as a person attains a view of this metamorphosis, he then conducts himself with sureness in the realm of things. In the center of his personality he has won the true starting point for all consideration of the world. He will no longer search for unknown foundations, for the causes lying outside him, of things; he knows that the highest experience of which he is capable consists of self-contemplation of his own being. Whoever is completely permeated with the feelings which this experience calls forth will gain the truest relationships to things. A person for whom this is not the case will seek the highest form of existence elsewhere, and, since he cannot find it within experience, will suppose it to be in an unknown region of reality. Uncertainty will enter into his considerations of things; in answering the questions which nature poses him, he will continually call upon something he cannot investigate. Because, through his life in the world of ideas, Goethe had a feeling of the firm center within his personality, he succeeded, within certain limits, in arriving at sure concepts in his contemplation of nature. But because he lacked a direct view of his innermost experiences, he groped about uncertainly outside these limits. For this reason he says that man is not born “to solve the problems of the world but in fact to seek where the problem begins, and then to keep oneself within the limits of what is understandable.” He says, “Kant has unquestionably been of most use in his drawing of the limits to which the human spirit is capable of penetrating, and through the fact that he J unsolvable problems lie.” If a view of man's highest experience! had given him certainty in his contemplation of things, then he would have been able to do more along his path than “through regulated experience, to attain a kind of qualified trustworthiness.” Instead of proceeding straight ahead through his experiences in the consciousness that the true has significance only insofar as it is demanded by human nature, he still arrives at the conviction that a “higher influence helps those who are steadfast, active, understanding, disciplined and disciplining, humane, devout” and that “the moral world order” manifests itself most beautifully where it “comes indirectly to the aid of the good person, of the courageously suffering person.”

Because Goethe did not know the innermost human' experience, it was not possible for him to attain the ultimate thoughts about the moral world order which necessarily belong to his view of nature. The ideas of the things are the content of what works and creates within the things. Man experiences moral ideas directly in the form of ideas. Whoever is able to experience how, in his beholding of the world of ideas, the ideal element itself becomes content, fills itself with itself, is also in a position to experience the production of the moral within human nature. Whoever knows the ideas of nature only in their relation to the world we behold will also want to relate moral concepts to something external to them. He will seek for these concepts a reality similar to that which is present for concepts won from experience. But whoever is able to view ideas in their most essential being will become aware, with moral ideas, that nothing external corresponds to them, that they are directly produced as ideas in spiritual experience. It is clear to him that neither a divine will, working only outwardly, nor a moral world order of a like sort are at work to produce these ideas. For there is in them nothing to be seen of any relation to such powers! Everything they express is also contained within their spiritually experienced pure idea-form. Only through their own content do they work upon man as moral powers. No categorical imperative stands behind them with a whip and forces man to follow them. Man feels that he himself has brought them forth and loves them the way one loves one's child. Love is the motive of his action. The spiritual pleasure in one's own creation is the source of the moral.

There are people who are unable to produce any moral ideas. They take up into themselves the moral ideas of other people through tradition, and if they have no ability to behold ideas as such, they do not recognize the origin, experienceable in the spirit, of the moral. They seek it in a supra-human will outside themselves. Or they believe that there exists, outside the spirit world which man experiences, an objective moral world order from which the moral ideas stem. The speech organ of that world order is often sought in the conscience of man. As with certain things in the rest of his world view, Goethe is also uncertain in his thoughts about the origin of the moral. Here also his feeling for what is in accord with ideas brings forth statements which are in accord with the demands of his nature. “Duty: where one loves what one commands oneself to do.” Only a person who sees the foundations of the moral purely in the content of moral ideas should say: “Lessing, who resentfully felt many a limitation, has one of his characters say, ‘No one has to have to.’ A witty jovial man said, ‘Whoever wants to has to.’ A third, admittedly a cultivated person, added, ‘Whoever has insight, also wants to.’ And in this way it was believed that the whole circle of knowing, wanting, and having to had been closed. But in the average case, man's knowledge, no matter what kind it is, determines what he does or doesn't do; for this reason there is also nothing worse than to see ignorance in action.” The following statement shows that in Goethe a feeling for the true nature of the moral held sway, but did not rise into clear view: “In order to perfect itself the will must, in its moral life, give itself over to conscience which does not err ... Conscience needs no ancestor; with conscience everything is given; it has to do only with one's own inner world.” To state that conscience needs no ancestor can only mean that man does not originally find within himself any moral content; he gives this content to himself. Other statements stand in contrast to these, setting the origin of the moral into a region outside man: “Man, no matter how much the earth attracts him with its thousand upon thousand manifestations, nevertheless lifts up his gaze longingly toward heaven ... because he feels deeply and clearly within himself that he is a citizen of that spiritual realm which we are not able to deny nor give up our belief.” “We leave to God, as the all-determining and all-liberating Being, what is totally insoluble.”

*

Goethe lacks the organ for the contemplation of man's innermost nature, for self-perception. “I hereby confess that from the beginning the great and significant sounding task, Know thou thyself, has always seemed suspect to me, as a ruse of secretly united priests who wanted to confuse man with unattainable demands and to seduce him away from activity in the outer world into an inner false contemplation. Man knows himself only insofar as he knows the world which he becomes aware of only within himself and himself only within it. Every new object which we really look at opens up a new organ within us.” Exactly the reverse of this is true: man knows the world only insofar as he knows himself. For in his inner life there reveals itself in its most archetypal form what is present to view in outer things only in reflection, in example, symbol. What man otherwise can only speak of as something unfathomable, undiscoverable, divine, comes into view in its true form in self-perception. Because in self-perception he sees what is ideal in its direct form, he gains the strength and ability to seek out and recognize this ideal element also in all outer phenomena, in the whole of nature. Someone who has experienced the moment of self-perception no longer thinks in terms of seeking some “hidden” God behind phenomena: he grasps the divine in its different metamorphoses in nature. Goethe remarked, with respect to Schelling: “I would see him more often if I did not still hope for poetic moments; philosophy destroys poetry for me, and does so for the good reason that it drives me to the object because I can never remain purely speculative but must seek right away a perception for every principle and therefore flee right away out into nature.” He was in fact not able to find the highest perception, the perception of the world of ideas itself. This perception cannot destroy poetry, for it only frees one's spirit from all supposition that there might be an unknown, unfathomable something in nature. But for this reason it makes him capable of giving himself over entirely, without preconceptions, to things; for it gives him the conviction that everything can be drawn from nature that the spirit can ever want from it.

But this highest perception liberates man's spirit also from all one-sided feeling of dependency. He feels himself, through having this view, to be sovereign in the realm of the moral world order. He knows that the driving power which brings forth everything works in his inner life as within his own will, and that the highest decisions about morality lie within himself. For these highest decisions flow out of the world of moral ideas, in whose production the soul of man is present. Even though a person may feel himself restricted in part, may also be dependent upon a thousand things, on the whole he sets himself his moral goal and his moral direction. What is at work in all other things comes to manifestation in the human being as idea; what is at work in him is the idea which he himself brings forth. In every single human individuality a process occurs that plays itself out in the whole of nature: the creation of something actual out of the idea. And the human being himself is the creator. For upon the foundation of his personality there lives the idea which gives a content to itself. Going beyond Goethe one must broaden his principle that nature is “great enough in the wealth of its creation to make, after thousandfold plants, one in which all the others are contained, and to make, after thousandfold animals, one being that contains them all: man.” Nature is so great in its creation that it repeats in every human individual the process by which it brings forth freely out of the idea all creatures, repeats it through the fact that moral actions spring from the ideal foundation of the personality. Whatever a person also feels to be an objective reason for his action is only a transcribing and at the same time a mistaking of his own being. The human being realizes himself in his moral actions. Max Stirner has expressed this knowledge in lapidary words in his book, The Single Individual and What Is His Own. “It lies in my power to be my own person, and this is so when I know myself as a single individual. Within the single individual even someone who is his own person returns to the creative nothingness out of which he is born. Every higher being over me, be it God or man, weakens the feeling of my singleness and pales only before the sun of this consciousness. If I base my affairs upon myself, the single individual, then they rest upon their own transitory mortal creator, who devours himself, and I can say that I have based my affairs upon nothing.” But at the same time one can tell this Stirnerian spirit what Faust told Mephistopheles: “In your nothingness I hope to find my all,” for there dwells in my inner life in an individual form the working power by which nature creates the universe. As long as a person has not beheld this working power within himself, he will appear with respect to it the way Faust did with respect to the earth spirit. This working power will always call out to him the words, “You resemble the spirit that you can grasp, not me!” Only the beholding of one's deepest inner life conjures up this spirit, who says of itself:

In the tides of life, in action's storm,
Up and down I wave,
To and fro weave free,
Birth and the grave,
An infinite sea,
A varied weaving,
A radiant living,
Thus at Time's humming loom it's my hand that prepares
The robe ever-living the Deity wears,
(Priest's translation)

I have tried to present in my Philosophy of Spiritual Activity how knowledge of the fact that man in his doing is based upon himself comes from the most inward experience, from the beholding of his own being. In 1844 Stirner defended the view that man, if he truly understands himself, can see only in himself the basis for his activity. With Stirner, however, this knowledge does not arise from a beholding of his innermost experience but rather from the feeling of freedom and independence from all world powers that require coercion. Stirner stops short at demanding freedom; he is led in this area to put the bluntest possible emphasis upon the human nature which is based upon itself. I am trying to describe the life in freedom on a broader basis, by showing what man sees when he looks into the foundation of his soul. Goethe did not go as far as to behold freedom, because he had an antipathy for self-knowledge. If that had not been the case, then knowledge of man as a free personality founded upon himself would have had to be the peak of his world view. The germ of this knowledge is to be found everywhere in his works; it is at the same time the germ of his view of nature. In his actual nature studies Goethe never speaks of unexplorable foundations, of hidden driving Powers of phenomena. He contents himself with observing the phenomena in their sequence and of explaining them with the help of those elements which, during observation, reveal themselves to the senses and to the spirit. In this vein he writes to Jacobi on May 5, 1786 that he has the courage “to devote his whole life to the contemplation of the things which he can hope to reach” and of whose being “he can hope to form an adequate idea,” without bothering himself in the least about how far he will get and about what is cut out for him. A person who believes he can draw near to the divine in the individual objects of nature no longer needs to form a particular mental picture for himself of a God that exists outside of and beside the things. It is only when Goethe leaves the realm of nature that his feeling for the being of things no longer holds up. Then his lack of human self-knowledge leads him to make assertions which are reconcilable neither with his inborn way of thinking nor with the direction of his nature studies. Someone who is inclined to cite these assertions might assume that Goethe believed in an anthropomorphic God and in the individual continuation of that life-form of the soul which is bound up with the conditions of the physical bodily organization. Such a belief stands in contradiction to Goethe's nature studies. They could never have taken the direction they did if in them Goethe had allowed himself to be determined by this belief. It lies totally in the spirit of his nature studies to think the being of the human soul such that, after laying aside the body, it lives in a supersensible form of existence. This form of existence requires that the soul, because of different life requirements, also take on a different kind of consciousness from the one it has through the physical body. In this way the Goethean teaching of metamorphosis leads also to the view of metamorphoses of soul life. But this Goethean idea of immortality can be regarded correctly only if one knows that Goethe had not been able to be led by his world view to an unmetamorphosed continuation of that spiritual life which is determined by the physical body. Because Goethe, in the sense indicated here, did not attempt to view his life of thought, he was also not moved in his further life's course to develop particularly this idea of immortality which would be the continuation of his thoughts on metamorphosis. This idea, however, would in truth be what would follow from his world view with respect to this region of knowledge. Whatever expression he gave to a personal feeling about the view of life of this or that contemporary, or out of any other motivation, without his thinking thereby of the connection to the world view won through his nature studies, may not be brought forward as characteristic of Goethe's idea of immortality.

For the evaluation of a Goethean statement within the total picture of his world view there also comes into consideration the fact that his mood of soul in his different stages of life gives particular nuances to such statements. He was fully conscious of these changes in the form of expression of his ideas. When Foerster expressed the view that the solution to the Faust problem is to be found in the words, “A good man is in his dim impulse well aware of his right path,” Goethe responded, “That would be rationalism. Faust ends up as an old man, and in old age we become mystics.” And in his prose aphorisms we read, “A certain philosophy answers to each age of man. The child appears as realist; for he finds himself as convinced of the existence of pears and apples as of his own. The youth, assailed by inner passions, must take notice of himself, feel his way forward; he is transformed into an idealist. On the other hand the grown man has every reason to become a skeptic; he does well to doubt whether the means he has chosen for his purpose are indeed the right ones. Before acting and in acting he has every reason to keep his intellect mobile, so that afterward he does not have to feel badly about a wrong choice. The old man, however, will always adhere to mysticism; he sees that so much seems to depend upon chance; what is unreasonable succeeds; what is reasonable goes amiss; fortune and misfortune turn unexpectedly into the same thing; it is so, it was so, and old age attains peace in what is, what was, and will be.”

I am focusing in this book upon the world view of Goethe out of which his insights into the life of nature have grown and which was the driving force in him from his discovery of the intermaxillary bone in man up to the completion of his studies on color. And I believe I have shown that this world view corresponds more perfectly to the total personality of Goethe than does any compilation of statements in which one would have to take into account how such thoughts are colored by the mood of his youthful period or by that of his old age. I believe that Goethe in his studies of nature, although not guided by a clear self-knowledge in accord with ideas, was guided by a right feeling and did observe a free way of working which flowed from a true relationship between human nature and the outer world. Goethe is himself clear about the fact that there is something incomplete about his way of thinking: “I was aware of having great and noble purposes but could never understand the determining factors under which I worked; I was well aware of what I lacked, and likewise of what I had too much of; therefore I did not cease to develop myself, outwardly and from within. And still it was as before. I pursued every purpose with earnestness, force, and faithfulness; in doing so I often succeeded in completely overcoming stubborn conditions but also often foundered because I could not learn to give in and to go around. And so my life went by this way, in doing and enjoying, in suffering and resisting, in the love, contentment, hatred, and disapproval of others. Find yourself mirrored here whoever's destiny was the same.”




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