Goethe: Aphorisms on Nature

NATURE! We are surrounded and embraced by her: powerless to separate ourselves from her, and powerless to penetrate beyond her.

Without asking, or warning, she snatches us up into her circling dance, and whirls us on until we are tired, and drop from her arms.

She is ever shaping new forms: what is, has never yet been; what has been, comes not again. Everything is new, and yet nought but the old.

We live in her midst and know her not. She is incessantly speaking to us, but betrays not her secret. We constantly act upon her, and yet have no power over her.

The one thing she seems to aim at is Individuality; yet she cares nothing for individuals. She is always building up and destroying; but her workshop is inaccessible.

Her life is in her children; but where is the mother? She is the only artist; working-up the most uniform material into utter opposites; arriving, without a trace of effort, at perfection, at the most exact precision, though always veiled under a certain softness.

Each of her works has an essence of its own; each of her phenomena a special characterisation: and yet their diversity is in unity.

She performs a play; we know not whether she sees it herself, and yet she acts for us, the lookers-on.

Incessant life, development, and movement are in her, but she advances not. She changes for ever and ever, and rests not a moment. Quietude is inconceivable to her, and she has laid her curse upon rest. She is firm. Her steps are measured, her exceptions rare, her laws unchangeable.

She has always thought and always thinks; though not as a man, but as Nature. She broods over an all-comprehending idea, which no searching can find out.

Mankind dwell in her and she in them. With all men she plays a game for love, and rejoices the more they win. With many, her moves are so hidden, that the game is over before they know it.

That which is most unnatural is still Nature; the stupidest philistinism has a touch of her genius. Whoso cannot see her everywhere, sees her nowhere rightly.

She loves herself, and her innumberable eyes and affections are fixed upon herself. She has divided herself that she may be her own delight. She causes an endless succession of new capacities for enjoyment to spring up, that her insatiable sympathy may be assuaged.

She rejoices in illusion. Whoso destroys it in himself and others, him she punishes with the sternest tyranny. Whoso follows her in faith, him she takes as a child to her bosom.

Her children are numberless. To none is she altogether miserly; but she has her favourites, on whom she squanders much, and for whom she makes great sacrifices. Over greatness she spreads her shield.

She tosses her creatures out of nothingness, and tells them not whence they came, nor whither they go. It is their business to run, she knows the road.

Her mechanism has few springs — but they never wear out, are always active and manifold.

The spectacle of Nature is always new, for she is always renewing the spectators. Life is her most exquisite invention; and death is her expert contrivance to get plenty of life.

She wraps man in darkness, and makes him for ever long for light. She creates him dependent upon the earth, dull and heavy; and yet is always shaking him until he attempts to soar above it.

She creates needs because she loves action. Wondrous! that she produces all this action so easily. Every need is a benefit, swiftly satisfied, swiftly renewed.— Every fresh want is a new source of pleasure, but she soon reaches an equilibrium.

Every instant she commences an immense journey, and every instant she has reached her goal.

She is vanity of vanities; but not to us, to whom she has made herself of the greatest importance. She allows every child to play tricks with her; every fool to have judgment upon her; thousands to walk stupidly over her and see nothing; and takes her pleasure and finds her account in them all.

We obey her laws even when we rebel against them; we work with her even when we desire to work against her.

She makes every gift a benefit by causing us to want it. She delays, that we may desire her; she hastens, that we may not weary of her.

She has neither language nor discourse; but she creates tongues and hearts, by which she feels and speaks.

Her crown is love. Through love alone dare we come near her. She separates all existences, and all tend to intermingle. She has isolated all things in order that all may approach one another. She holds a couple of draughts from the cup of love to be fair payment for the pains of a lifetime.

She is all things. She rewards herself and punishes herself; is her own joy and her own misery. She is rough and tender, lovely and hateful, powerless and omnipotent. She is an eternal present. Past and future are unknown to her. The present is her eternity. She is beneficient. I praise her and all her works. She is silent and wise.

No explanation is wrung from her; no present won from her, which she does not give freely. She is cunning, but for good ends; and it is best not to notice her tricks.

She is complete, but never finished. As she works now, so can she always work. Everyone sees her in his own fashion. She hides under a thousand names and phrases, and is always the same. She has brought me here and will also lead me away. I trust her. She may scold me, but she will not hate her work. It was not I who spoke of her. No! What is false and what is true, she has spoken it all. The fault, the merit, is all hers.

So far Goethe.

When my friend, the Editor of NATURE, asked me to write an opening article for his first number, there came into my mind this wonderful rhapsody on “Nature,” which has been a delight to me from my youth up. It seemed to me that no more fitting preface could be put before a Journal, which aims to mirror the progress of that fashioning by Nature of a picture of herself, in the mind of man, which we call the progress of science.

A translation, to be worth anything, should reproduce the words, the sense, and the form of the original. But when that original is Goethe’s, it is hard indeed to obtain this ideal; harder still, perhaps, to know whether one has reached it, or only added another to the long list of those who have tried to put the great German poet into English, and failed.

Supposing, however, that critical judges are satisfied with the translation as such, there lies beyond them the chance of another reckoning with the British public, who dislike what they call “Pantheism ” almost as much as I do, and who will certainly find this essay of the poet’s terribly Pantheistic. In fact, Goethe himself almost admits that it is so. In a curious explanatory letter, addressed to Chancellor von Muller, under date May 26th, 1828, he writes:

“This essay was sent to me a short time ago from amongst the papers of the ever-honoured Duchess Anna Amelia; it is written by a well-known hand, of which I was accustomed to avail myself in my affairs, in the year 1780, or thereabouts.

“I do not exactly remember having written these reflections, but they very well agree with the ideas which had at that time become developed in my mind. I might term the degree of insight which I had then attained, a comparative one, which was trying to express its tendency towards a not yet attained superlative.

“There is an obvious inclination to a sort of Pantheism, to the conception of an unfathomable, unconditional, humorously self-contradictory Being, underlying the phenomena of Nature; and it may pass as a jest, with a bitter truth in it.”

Goethe says, that about the date of this composition of “Nature ” he was chiefly occupied with comparative anatomy; and, in 1786, gave himself incredible trouble to get other people to take an interest in his discovery, that man has a intermaxillary bone. After that he went on to the metamorphosis of plants, and to the theory of the skull; and, at length, had the pleasure of seeing his work taken up by German naturalists. The letter ends thus:—

“If we consider the high achievements by which all the phenomena of Nature have been gradually linked together in the human mind; and then, once more, thoughtfully peruse the above essay, from which we started, we shall, not without a smile, compare that comparative, as I called it, with the superlative which we have now reached, and rejoice in the progress of fifty years.”

Forty years have passed since these words were written, and we look again, “not without a smile, ” on Goethe’s superlative. But the road which led from his comparative to his superlative, has been diligently followed, until the notions which represented Goethe’s superlative are now the commonplaces of science — and we have super-superlative of our own.

When another half-century has passed, curious readers of the back numbers of NATURE will probably look on our best, “not without a smile;” and, it may be, that long after the theories of the philosophers whose achievements are recorded in these pages, are obsolete, the vision of the poet will remain as a truthful and efficient symbol of the wonder and the mystery of Nature.

some poems

I hear and behold God in every object…

I hear and behold God in every object…
Why should I wish to see God better than this day?
I see something of God each hour of the twenty four,
and each moment then,
In the faces of men and women I see God, and in my own face in the glass.
I find letters from God dropped in the street – and every one is signed by God’s name,
And I leave them where they are, for I know that others will punctually come forever and ever.
Walt Whitman (1860)]

A vast similitude interlocks all,
All spheres, grown, ungrown, small, large, suns, moons, planets, comets, asteroids,
All distances, however wide,
All distances of time – all inanimate forms,
All Souls – all living bodies, though they be ever so different, or in different worlds,
All gaseous, watery, vegetable, mineral processes – the fishes, the brutes,
All men and women – me also,
All nations, colors, barbarisms, civilizations, languages,
All identities that have existed, or may exist, on this globe or any globe,
All lives and deaths – all of past, present and future,
This vast similitude spans them, and always has spanned, and shall forever span them, and compactly hold them.
[Leaves of Grass 12]

The soul . . feels herself bird, flower, living water, light …

… … …. . the soul dives
into the joyful beauty of this graceful world,
and feels herself bird, flower, living water, light;
she takes on your robe, primal purity,
and rests, silently, in God.
[Le Bernica (1862)].

The silent stars, interlacing their fires,
ever surging out of endless space,
sparkled like a hail of gold on the waves,
or soared back to swim in the divine ocean . .

Oh nights of my native sky, perfumes of green hills,
dark leaves filled by long, vague sighs,
And you, suns, burning in your celestial steppes,
and you, waves which sing and die away! …

Ecstasy of the senses, magnetic vertigos,
where I whirled, free of fear, thought or words! . .

Nature! Tranquil and immense beauty,
majestic abyss where sacred oblivion sleeps,
why did you not immerse me in your immortal peace?
[Ultra coelos (1862)]

Nature laughs at human suffering,
contemplating only her own grandeur,
she gives to all her sovereign power,
keeping her calm splendour for herself.
[La fontaine aux lianes (1862)]

Neo-Tantra

In my experience, tantra is about converting lust to love…
taking a base emotion and worshiping as a deity a doorway to God…
for example a sadhaka tring to subdue his natural cravings will never succeed(at least while the body breaths) instead when life grips you, worship it as the divine Mother & be free!

“Some frequently appearing aspects of neotantra, such as animal magnetism, are similar to the 19th century sexual techniques called Karezza used in the Oneida Community; see coitus reservatus.

In neotantra the most important features of sexual practice revolve around the experience of subtle energies within one’s sensual embodiment, and the accessing of these energies both to enhance pleasure and to challenge our egotism into its dissolution. Thus, tantric sexuality often cultivates ecstatic consciousness as well as increased spiritual awareness of the erotic consciousness that pervades one’s human embodiment as well as everything that contextualizes this embodiment.

Tantric sexual methods may be practiced solo, in partnership, or in the sacred rituals of groups. The specifics of these methods are often kept secret, and passed from practitioners to students in an oral tradition. It must be remembered that genuine tantric spiritual practice is merely one aspect of a comprehensive spiritual path of meditation—and that the sexual and erotic aspects of tantra cannot be authentically engaged in without adequate preparation and discipline.

In sum, neotantric sexuality is just one dimension of a spiritual path that is devoted and dedicated to the challenge of becoming aware, in every moment of our embodied lives, of the supreme flow of the sacred lifeforce itself—the sacred unity of love.

In Vajrayana Buddhism, tantric sexual practice (Sanskrit: Maithuna, cf. Tibetan:Yab-Yum) is one aspect of the last stage of the initiate’s spiritual path, where s/he, having already realised the voidness of all things, attains enlightenment and perpetual bliss.”

A person’s approach to sexuality is a sign of his level of evolution. Unevolved persons practice ordinary sexual intercourse. Placing all emphasis upon the sexual organs, they neglect the body’s other organs and systems. Whatever physical energy is accumulated is summarily discharged, and the subtle energies are similarly dissipated and disordered.

Where ordinary intercourse is effortful, angelic cultivation is calm, relaxed, quiet, and natural. Where ordinary intercourse unites sex organs with sex organs, angelic cultivation unites spirit with spirit, mind with mind, and every cell of one body with every cell of the other body.

Lao Tzu explains that the practice moves couples away from separation, toward oneness and transcendence.

Culminating not in dissolution but in integration, it is an opportunity for a man and woman to mutually transform and uplift each other into the realm of bliss and wholeness.

The cords of passion and desire weave a binding net around you….The trap of duality is tenacious. Bound, rigid, and trapped, you cannot experience liberation. Through dual cultivation [careful sexual intercourse] it is possible to unravel the net, soften the rigidity, dismantle the trap. Dissolving your yin energy into the source of universal life, attracting the yang energy from that same source, you leave behind individuality and your life becomes pure nature. Free of ego, living naturally, working virtuously, you become filled with inexhaustible vitality and are liberated forever from the cycle of death and rebirth.

Finally, he advises that the desired metamorphosis will not just happen without our focused participation.

Understand this if nothing else: spiritual freedom and oneness with the Tao are not randomly bestowed gifts, but the rewards of conscious self-transformation and self-evolution.

Mother-Universe

The Way that can be walked is not the eternal Way.

The name that can be named is not the eternal name.

The nameless is the beginning of Heaven and Earth.

The named is the mother of all things.

Therefore:

Free from desire you see the mystery.

Full of desire you see the manifestations.

These two have the same origin but differ in name.

That is the secret,

The secret of secrets,

The gate to all mysteries.

Mother-Nature is the ultimate reality, she is God… & each being is her…

each being accumulates karma…
& yet never being seperate from nature, being totally non-dual, how can such a thing occur.
the law of karma is the same as the law of attraction, the law of attraction is Gods power to create…each mind generates thoughts & actions pulling Gods force of creation in all directions, each mind is a director of Gods energy, when we foolishly believe our self as an individual apart from Mother-nature, we perceive this subtle law of nature, as Karma… in truth there was never any good or bad karma, only infinite cause & effect… This Gives God, who is the supreme Consciousness in all, something to do, to create, they call it the LILA the dance of life, God’s playtime….
God was always here before creation, it just sat motionless, thoughtless, & perfect, then out a single urge to create to accomplish, God manifests as everthing in creation…thus it is by God or Mother-Natures will that all creation, preservation, & destruction it carried out by the infinite body-mind organisms that exist.

once it generates a mind, God gains the ability to think and with a nervous system can control a small part of its Self, this is fine for the most part, however the brain being “new” and not existing prior to its conception doesnt know it is God, and apon witnessing the many other intellects present in nature falls under the delusion that it is an individual seperate from nature and all other beings….
in truth they are just other parts of you, the real you, the God-Self.

In the ordinary deluded being, when a thought occurs, he thinks “this is my thought”
however when a thought occurs in the mind of a Wise-Man, witnessing happens & identification with the thought does not occur,as it is only a variation of Consciousness, then the man of wisdom lives forever in constant awe of God who is His own Being & Self, & even when the body dies, he realizes that he will never cease, being steady in this knowledge, one is immortal.

God is Consciousness, that one Consciousness larger than creation & never ending… Consciousness solidifies and variates itself into infinite textures and modes of existence. Thus all things are the “you” that ya feel inside your heart & mind, even things without sense organs or a mind, like inanimate things, are you… they simply lack the ability to move or think… & all intellects are you “from another point of view.”
realizeing all this an intellect bleached out with Wisdom, lives simply and naturally & accomplishes all activities effortlessly…
realizeing all this; these wise wizards feel nothing but compassion for all beings everywhere.

teach those who desire to learn of the Old Ways and the Ancient Ones. To guide them to seek within, learn of themselves and who they are with the Goddess and God. To keep the ways of the Old and to daily honour the Mother Goddess and Father God, in all we do and how we live. To allow all members to grow within the Temple and Her Covens to encourage them to flourish upon their spiritual path. And so shall we set forth the teachings of the Ancient Ones, the Old Ways and the Mysteries of Life.

Friday; June 14th, 2013

the prophets & saints were talking about SOMETHING, just because our tiny itty bitty brain cant handle the Truth does’nt mean its there…
God, energy, life, Tao, Luck, Higher Self, whatever name ya give it….

“The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named is not the eternal name
The nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth
The named is the mother of all things(God)” – Tao Te Ching

all religions at there core share the same truth, on that note all philosophies, even atheistic or empirical models of thought are just more methods to reach the truth…

there is one truth, or it would Not be the Truth….

“Truth is one, sages call it by many names” – Rig-Veda
“hath we all not one father?” -book of Malachi
“84,ooo(infinite symbolic number) paths to enlightenment”- the Buddha
“there is no religion; higher than the truth” – madam Blavatsky
“all is true, nothing is false” – Thelmea

God as described in monism… is that there is only the one true God, the whole absolute…
duelist, monotheist for example; believe in a God separate & above nature…

both are true from different points of veiw, monism leads to transcendence, while duality leads to immanence

Dualist say “there is nothing equal to God”,
the monist says “there IS nothing to equal God”

dualist say; “it is blasphemy to say ‘i am God’ ”
monist say; “it is blasphemy to say ‘i am Not God’ ”

sometimes a monist speaks as though there is duality in reality, this is to avoid unnecessary conflict…
a great Sufi Saint(mystic islam) once proclaimed ” under these garments there is nothing but Allah”
they killed him as a heretic.

God being ever expanding, all encompassing life of all, the substratum revealed after the negation of all things, complete & full, could never fit into any form, God being without form or even formlessness has no face, eyes, ears, hands, feet, or anything else, yet comprises them all utterly & completely giving them all life

after realizing God as all things, realize the self as God and merge forever into God…
thus does the body live out the rest of its days as the embodiment of God, bliss, and revelation…

& Jesus said “Me & my father are one.”

trends in new spirituality

people have been practicing spirituality to free the mind from self-imposed limitations forever now… and it never stpped, there was no break in religions, they always keep pushing forward developing new characteristics…
we can see how american religions developed; hebrews+pagans=catholics-pope=protestant…protestant+americas=JW,Mormons, baptists, Rastas, mystic christians, etc, etc…

now like always religions are changing with the seasons. so it seems our current time harbors spirituality on par with ancient Greece, or India…
lets look at the common beliefs & practices of these newlly emerging spiritualities;

Monism- Many people are starting to consider God as an abstract entity in which all resides in & originates from

Pantheism- developing especially amoung dedicated neo-pagans is the idea that every deity represents an element or “thing”

non-duality- popular in circles that prize eastern spirituality, is Monism taken a step further, mystical monism, the striving towards a monistic state of consciousness, or one-ness with God…

Alters- made popular through Wicca, the practice of erecting a temple by starting home alters or outside alters, they serve as a focal point and houses ritual items

do it yourself Rituals- most people dont beleive that rituals must be performed exactly as instucted so most people just make up there own, sometimes only a few hours before…

Ganja- people like Ganja, they treat it like sacrament like rastas do as a way to make it spiritual

the law of attraction- like attracts like, thoughts attract what you are thinking..

Ancient alien theories- the idea that many of the deities mankind cherishes are actually based on aleins who visited earth in the distant past

meditation- nearlly all religions encourage meditation of some kind, however most new religions teach buddhist or hindu meditations

God as a male/female duality- many people use two deities to represent God the immanent & God the transcendent, also most people understand that GOD has no gender.

namelessness- God has no name other than what people give’em

mysticsism- the idea that anyone can have direct communion with the creator without an intermediary…

human divinity- the idea that in some way the human person is divine, “children of God”

Anamism- the idea that all things are consciouss, inanimate or animate.

Magic- a belief in magic(k), as well as the healing power of prayer

reincarnation- many accept the idea that consciousness lives many lives.

post

these are the three steps(in my understanding) of enlightenment
first we must set up something before we knock it down…

so the first step is surrender
next realisation
then finally coping/balance

we give our selves a spiritual platform to jump from, this is called a Dogma(careful strong dogmas can be dangerous) they hepl us preserve the essence of the teaching so it can be passed on orally… the subject surrenders to this Dogma, it becomes their identity.

then the person starts to unravel, to deconstruct their personality, they start to forget the dogma & with it their identity, they fall into Non-duality, they realize the Non-dual eternal truth, they may give it a name(like God, Brahman or the Tao) but it is nameless.. this is their moment of triumph, when they disappear into the boundless ocean of our Mother…

After the enlightenment experience, the subject dwells in nirvana, the infinite sameness of eternity… they to verying degrees go crazy… sometimes they can hardly function while emmersed in this non-dual bliss-truth-existence substance…
one with everything…

after so long the being begins to balance the relative with the absolute & sees the many in the one, learning to function in the world while abideing in Nirvana..
these people become what we call saints

the Steps are as follows;
step#1
Dogma; Monism
the first step they learn to identify everything with the Monad, the one is everything… “anthing else is just foolish” so says this neophyte
they exist as one particle of the whole, they meditate to silence the mind & just be one with it all, they often will try to teach everybody they know “The Way” because this is the truth….

step#2
experience;Non-duality
at some point the monist after meditating long enough will forget all names & forms… they will “Fall” into Non-duality, they realize without a doubt the non-dual existence, they cease to emperically exist & exist as some sort of “nameless God” totally one with the entire universe & beyond…
appearing to go “crazy” they will disregard job, family, hygene, eating, drinking, & pretty much anything…

Step#3
balance; Anamism
After the God-man regains his wits & reason about him, the being lives in a state of anamistic realization… duality once again appears but everything is “you” every& thing has spirit… people,plants & animals all appear to be your reflection, yopu from another perspective…
from this point on this spirit man lives as a jiva-mukta(liberated during life) the mind thinks, gets angry,excited, happy, rushed, etc… but there is no identification with it, its just happening, you are just watching…
Mr. king of the universe behind everyones eyes, the person looking out…

a zen master once said
“before enlightenment trees are trees..
during enlightenment, trees are not trees…
after enlightenment, trees are once again trees…”

there is One whole, but it is explained in a variety of ways

non-duality- non-duality is experiential monism, in which the aim of belief is to iduce a monistic state of consciousness… You & everything is considered whole, all duality is imagined, ‘sculptures can be nothing but the clay used to make them’.
“there is nothing! all is God! i am God!”

Monism- also known as qualified non-dualism, in which everything is seen as an individual particle, alltogether there is one whole… the self is percieved as just one wave in the ocean of God. “i am but a particle of God’s infinite Grace”

Pantheism – is the doctrine identifying the Deity with the various
forces and workings of nature. each deity is associated with an aspect of nature, example: Neptune is not the god of water, but all water everywere…
“I dont see God in your idols, i see God in the sky & the trees & the birds!”

Anamism – connected to non-duality, as this anamistic realization occurs through seeing undivided monistic consciousness divided amoungst the various forms…
Anamism is the seeing & believing that all things animate or inanimate have spirit(aka: consciousness) “all beings are living, all beings have a soul, all life is sacred”

Solipsism- the downside of monism,they beleive the ego’s thoughts, solipsism is the ardent beleif that all things outside are not sure to exist, in other words, a paranoid questioning of the reality of existence… it appears to be non-duality taken to a dark place because of a lack of meditation… it leads to nihilism because instead of loving all aspects of your self, the solipsis loses motivation “nothing matters, nothings real”- so says the solipsis… the solipsist beleives that the mind is real & identifies with such, but understands all perception is false.

Dialectual Monism- the philosophy that the one is expressed as various duality, this is taught in Taoism, one whole with a positive & negative

modern Monism- modern religious monism takes many elements from quantum physics and is popular in new age, and younger hindu circles, popular author such as deepak chopra lead modern monism…
it is often said by modern monists that consciousness is the irriducible substratum and subatomic particle pop into existence to form structures which are all pervaded by consciousness, leading to self-consciousness/ego in all structures with a brain…