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.

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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)]

Truth is One…

“Truth is one, Sages call it by many names” – Rig-Veda

All genuine religion and spirituality come from God….

Buddha said 84,ooo paths (symbolic number; Infinite paths) to enlightenment…

God has always been, and will be long after we(and our religions) are dust.

The meaning of Ajah Dharma

The Ajah hold the simple knowings of naturalness, happiness, and peace… Holding everything as sacred and as apart of God.

First off an Ajah doesn’t “believe” anything, The Ajah warrior KNOWS the truth from this perspective. and that all spiritual truth is true from differant points of view.

The Ajah warrior understands that everything is One Universe, One soul, One God… that everything is the homogeneous energy of God

The Ajah Warrior knows that God made everything perfect, its us that thinks somethings broken.

The Ajah warrior Knows that all matter is one energy, and this energy is God.

The Ajah warrior knows that God grows fruit from it’s body, so we are not required to kill to eat.

The Ajah warrior knows that the body is the temple of God, and it is a sacred duty to keep the body healthy, happy, and clean.

The Ajah warrior knows that as the universe is the body of God, we are the blood cells of God, and to cause disharmony(violence, jealousy, anger) in the world is to create sickness within God and therefore ones self (since we are all God afterall)….  And so The Ajah warrior knows moralities importance.

The Ajah warrior knows that it is unnatural to cut your hair, as it is a living piece of your temple just because it causes no pain. You wouldn’t cut off a toe just because you couldn’t feel it would you.

The Ajah Warrior knows that God (that can be found within as a soul) is pure, perfect, and unchangeable. In this state we experience Unity.

The Ajah Warrior Knows the fundamental nature of everything is Unity….

The Ajah warrior knows that one can escape all suffering by focusing on the emptiness of the spirit that is the unity of all things.

The Ajah warrior knows that there is One self and that self is the one God, our bodies and minds are vehicles for these drops of the ocean that is God..

The Ajah knows God made the universe so it could experience dual existence through our many eyes and ears… “you cant enjoy a sunny day without a rainy one” and thus God created individual beings, so it could enjoy the journey to self-realization.

The Ajah warrior knows that all dualism is expressed as two fundamental complementary opposites of Yin&Yang, Shiva&Shakti.

The Ajah knows that in the beginning people read the scripture of there own heart, but as the cities of Babylon were built people became disconnected from nature and the self. Religions formed to heal the sickness of materialism. However many religions have become corrupted.

The Ajah Warrior lives by the words of his own heart, these words are often translated as Peace, Love, Compassion, Humility, & Integrity.

The Ajah knows it is unhealthy to live in boxes, as God created a whole world to live in…

The Ajah knows that through harmony with the universe one can reach liberation.

The Ajah knows liberation is the pure understanding of the unity of everything including body and mind, this unified whole is known as God.

The Ajah knows liberation coincides with the abandonment of ego.

The Ajah knows God is the higher self of every being….

The Ajah knows that God created all races and peoples equal.

The Ajah knows that God created three genders; siva(males) shaktis(female) & 3rd gender(any combination of male and female, including Homo ,Trans ,and Bisexual)

The Ajah knows that will is a karma and creates change in the world.

The Ajah Knows that God wants all people to help and love one another.

The Ajah knows that some people don’t want freedom, but prefer the system of babylon, they are confused by the false idea that the world outside in nature is worse than in the ghettos…

The Ajah knows that every rule can be bent with a pure heart.

The Ajah Warrior knows that every moment of everyday we are fulfilling past karmas, and creating new ones. the bugler who robed you got away because he had previous good karma, but soon he will be faced with the karma from robing you.

The Ajah warrior knows that trees are here to teach us… in the beginning people smoked Ganja and looked at trees for knowledge… nowadays we are stuck inside boxes all day so the trees come to us as books…

The Ajah Knows that if he wishes to liberate others he must go to Babylon and congregate with those lost on the path.

The Ajah knows that Unity is expressed as duality, just as a battery has positive and negative polarity, so  God has Yin & Yang polarity. You-God, good-evil, right-left. is all one thing perceived as two things, duality is natural and okay as long as one knows that they are both sides of the same coin and not opposing forces…. We have evil so we can enjoy good, but without evil there is no good.

some more chatter

Ajah constantly see the beauty of nature and the natural ways of mankind. To achieve a realization of Unity, they often reject modern western “society”, calling it Babylon, which is often understood as entirely corrupt, however it is also understood that this a duality of the mind. Babylon is considered to be a rebellion against Nature whom is one with Ajah or God..

To be in Harmony with the universe is to understand the fundamental unity of every thing..

there is one self or “Awareness of being” picked up by all living beings and therefore we have One soul…

The body & mind as well are but only products of the environment, a human being is a part of the world as much as a tree or a rock. The body-mind absorbs whatever is around it, everything from language to health comes or is learned from the elements around that individual. Just as a rock that is subjected to the elements will whither with time. so there are not many things but only one Nature…..

so nature and everything somehow deriving from Nature is the Body of God..

And the collective awareness identified as the spirit is the Soul of God …

How can there be anything but the Unity of God…

The importance of devotional worship

Ultimately all duality, including you and god, are false… However liberation through devotion is the easiest way to enlightenment…

When one worships God. One is worshiping the self, as all is one, God is considered the unified whole of the universe. When one dualistically worships a deity, the false Ego is worshiping the highest true buddha self, who is perfection in our minds… In Bhakti Yoga it is said that you love until you become the object of your affections. When Bhakti(devotion yoga) combined with Jnana(wisdom yoga) and other yogas spiritual knowledge is perfected.

In Ajah Dharma we call the male godhead the Great Spirit because he is the one spirit or self shared by all beings… The female godhead is called Mother Nature because she is the “outer” part of the one thing, material nature, however the godheads are expressed as the awareness & body-mind.

In a way the ego is falling in on it’s self.

I remember when i was a boy I watched a cartoon, in the cartoon the Hero was under a curse of obedience…

the others said “How do we break the curse?”

The Heroine said “We don’t, we use the curse…”

“Act as if you were’nt under any spell.” and the hero woke up..

Bhakti’s the same way, instead of doing difficult meditations all you have to do is worship, and you will attain liberation… useing the mind against the mind, and for the nourishment of the Spirit…

God can be behind you were its hard to see… behind the illusion, behind your thoughts, etc..

or you can be in front of God…. in front of you as a diety, in front of you as the symbol, etc…

Contemplate these things

“He who seeks god finds himself, he who seeks the self finds god” -guru mooji

“Just remember it’s a grand illusion, and deep inside we’re all the same.” -Styx wisdom

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