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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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.

STRONG

I call on all people to be strong, to walk tall with their backs straight and there chins up. To live with integrity, and to teach others the ways of integrity… You are I, you are Ajah, one who is regarded as having great knowledge and wisdom, and who uses it to guide others (Priest, Teacher, Guru, Ras).

“To bring back the natural harmony that humans once enjoyed.
To save the planet from present practices of destruction.
To find and re-employ real truth.
To promote true balance between both genders.
To share and be less materialistic.
To become rid of prejudice.
To learn to be related.

To be kind to animals and take no more than we need.
To play with one’s children and love each equally and fairly.
To be brave and courageous, enough so,
to take a stand and make a commitment.
To understand what Generations Unborn really means.
To accept the Great Mystery
in order to end foolish argument over religion.”

– True Pathwalkers

Ajah is in all places at all times,& in its purest form this principle manifests on earth as a divine incarnation, a person with supreme knowledge about God and all creation. The Mystic is the knower of God, a saint which can see God at any time he so desires. I & I are all divine incarnations if we can just remember, I is Ajah with a mind& body, deities who roam the the earth.

I & I, verily all who have learned the essential unity of life & death, have done so out of the supreme self’s desire to awaken all facets of ones self… we live so long in the illusion we forget whats real and whats not, and we fall to sleep…

But ‘I’ is strong we will not fall into the sleep of localized existance, we shall forever remember the truth that is One…

I & I will carry through

One of the most distinctive (in my mind anyway) Rasta lingo is the substitution”I-and-I” for other pronouns, usually the first person. “I”, as used in the examples above, refers to Jah; therefore, “I-and-I” in the first person includes the presence of the divine within the individual.

As “I-and-I” can also refer to “us,” “them,” or even “you,” it is used as a practical linguistic rejection of the separation of the individual from the community, and God its self.

The term is often used in place of “you and I” or “we” among Rastafari, implying that both persons are united under the love of Jah.

I and I is a complex term, referring to the oneness of God and every human.

I and I is an expression of total oneness, the oneness of two persons. So God is within all of us and we’re all one people. The bond of brotherhood is the bond of God, of man. But man itself needs a head and the head of man is the Supreme self Jah.

I and I is the best way to describe this essential truth, I & I means to me, the ego-self and the god-self. I & I , the brain and the soul…

In Ajah I will often refer to I&I when im speaking to show the self in the Brain & the soul, or of the mind and the divine within.

this is a concept to think on