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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Talking to God

Ajah is without localized mind or body, Ajah or ‘God’ created brains to think and bodies to act through… God is a force but can be heard through the voices of spiritual masters and there works…

If you look at the sky and ask God to tell you stuff, you will be disappointed…

To see God you must observe the signs of the universe, as well as observing your own awareness…

I saw a movie called Bruce Almighty, he called for God to tell him what to do, then a truck with stop signs in the back cut him off… that was God telling him to stop but Bruce didn’t listen and ended up crashing into a tree..

When looking inside you see that God is the soul, and we are all the minds& bodies are God’s. Hence we are all God and God is the true Self, the body-mind is just a robot, or a vehicle for the one self.

A simple technique for talking to the Supreme Whole is using a holy text or a book of wisdom…

Its an ancient technique called Bibliomancy wherein a phrase or words will speak to the querent when a random book from a library, bookstore, or book shelf is opened and glanced at. Alternately, useing a book by a saint, prophet, or deity..a holy book.

Personally I use the Tao Te Ching,  the Avadhuta Gita, or the Bhagavad Gita.

Method

  1. A book is picked that is believed to hold truth.
  2. It is balanced on its spine and allowed to fall open.
  3. A passage is picked, with the eyes closed.

You ask God a question (whether spoken or not) and then flip to a totally random page and start reading the passage. continue this until Ajah blesses you with an answer.Because book owners frequently have favorite passages that the books open themselves to, some practitioners use dice or another randomiser to choose the page to be opened. This practice was formalized by the use of coins or yarrow stalks in consulting the I Ching.

After i sit down and meditate, I flip open the Tao Te Ching and drink in the wisdom… It was meant for me to read and learn this wisdom, it was left to God which page I read. The words that are meant for you will be hard to miss, it will be as if they jump off the page. You can also close your eyes as you open the book and place your finger on the page to direct you to a specific passage.

But the qualities of the text matters if you choose a particular book… a saint is a person who has erased illusory mortality and lives in perpetual understanding of ones inherent unity with God(one universe, one soul, one God.)

Therefore the words of a saint is God directly filtered through the Body and Mind of a saint. Thus there words are acceptable for this “technique”.

Ajah Talk: God and god

In Ajah Dharma God is often thrown around, first off in the most basic sense God is the supreme without equal..

In Ajah Dharma “God” with a capital “G” is the unified absolute of the universe. It is without attributes and is therefore very impersonal to the Jiva(individual).

  • Ajah, the one thing
  • Energy
  • Brahman of Hinduism
  • the Tao in Taoism
  • the Universe in New Age thought
  • the Dharmakaya in Tibetan Buddhism
  • Buddha-Nature In Zen
  • Weheguru of the Sihks
  • the Unknowable God  of the Gnostics
  • Dryghten in Wicca
  • the Monad in Greek Philosophy

“The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao;
The name that can be named is not the eternal name.
The nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth.”  -Lao Tzu

However god with a lower case “g” is an illusionary character, a mind & body expression of the one energy, often called a diety. the diety can appear as any infinit number of forms such as gods, angels, totem animals, etc. They are a dualistic expression of the one reality and so can be understood as the higher self as all separation is an illusion conjured by the mind. Ajah Dharma teaches that when a Jiva(individual) thinks of Ajah, the Supreme Cosmic Spirit is projected upon the limited, finite human mind and appears as a diety. Therefore, the mind projects human attributes, such as personality, motherhood, and fatherhood on the Supreme Being. An interesting metaphor is that when the “reflection” of the Cosmic Spirit falls upon the mirror of the mind, it appears as the Supreme Lord. Ajah is not thought to have such attributes in the true sense. However it is very helpful to project such attributes onto Ajah. This is also known as a personal deity.

“Therefore all things of the universe worship Tao and exalt Teh.” — Lao Tzu

In Taoist terms it means that Ajah(Tao) is worshiped though dualistic expression or distinction(Teh)…

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On that note someone said that God is not real and is only a projection of our higher self… This is a common Buddhist perspective.

This is incorrect. Because the lesser comes from the higher, God is not fictional, you are, and for any who would ask this question or draw this conclusion. I’d say that God is the only real thing and anything, including you is false.

Then on the other side of the spectrum you have Hindus who believe this truth but deny the existence of the world, this is also incorrect as all matter is the one body of the one God. The worlds real, however our perception of it is an illusion.

just remember

Matter/Female – the body of God

collective-awareness/Male – the Soul of God