Goethe held to the conviction that we can often master our destiny by the attitude we adopt in the face of events and even the painful events of our life have a meaning for our internal evolution. The two basic ideals in a profoundly human attitude are purity and goodness. Purity, to him, means that a man rids himself of hypocrisy, subterfuge, falsehood, and anger, and becomes a true and simple being. The supreme manifestation of the spirit in man is love. The spirit does not permit man to be satisfied with simply asserting himself and imposing his will on other beings, it compels him to be considerate of them. In this way the spirit brings order out of the chaos of human relations. Without kindness man is not man in the full sense of the word. The man who truly understands himself cannot do otherwise than let himself be guided by love.
"Surely no divine worship is more beautiful than that which needs no image, which issues purely from a dialogue in our bosom with nature" Goethe
Hymn to Nature - Johann Wolfgang Goethe
Nature! We are surrounded by and entangled in it, incapable of escaping from it, and incapable of penetrating deeper inside it. Without being asked and without warning, it draws us into the vortex of its dance and sweeps us away, until we are exhausted and drop from its arms. It creates eternally new forms; that which exists never was before; that which was never comes again – everything is new, and yet forever old. We live in its midst, yet are strangers to it. It speaks with us ceaselessly, yet does not betray to us its secret. We act on it continuously, yet have no sway over it. It seems to have staked everything on individuality, yet does not know what to do with individuals. It always builds and always destroys, its forge is inaccessible. It lives through its children; but where is the mother? It is the only real artist: out of the simplest material, the greatest contrasts; without a hint of effort, the greatest perfection; the most precise determination, yet alway topped with something soft. Each of its works has its own essence, each of its appearances the most singular characterization, yet it makes out of everything a unity.” “Even the most unnatural thing is Nature… He who does not see it everywhere does not see it correctly anywhere… We obey its laws even when we go against them; we work with it even when we want to work against it." Johann Wolfgang Goethe
The rebirth which is transforming me from within continues. Though I expected really to learn something here, I never thought I should have to start at the bottom of the school and have to learn or completely relearn so much. But now I have realized this and accepted it, I find the more I give up my old habits of thought, the happier I am. May Heaven grant that, on my return, the moral effect of having lived in a larger world will be noticeable, for I am convinced that my moral sense is undergoing as great a transformatio9n as my aesthetic. Goethe
"I believe that human consciousness, as we know it, has gradually evolved from a much older condition of what I can only call unity with nature into a more recent phase of detachment and sharp self-awareness. By nature, I mean in effect, the whole of what we perceive through our senses (including of course our own bodies)... I believe moreover that we stand now on the threshold... involving a reunion with nature, without loss of the self-awareness. So I hold; and I see in Goethe’s whole life and work one long struggle to take the step, on behalf of himself in the first place and incidentally on behalf of mankind." Owen Barfield
Life is change. Summer gives way to Winter, just as Spring gives way to Fall. We are forever weaving together a multi-colored fabric of Time, dancing with the Seasons as the Seasons dance with us. Ovid's Metamorphoses
A soul, says Socrates, is like the "natural union of a team of winged horses and their charioteer". "First the charioteer of the human soul drives a pair, and secondly one of the horses is noble and of noble breed, but the other quite the opposite in breed and character. Therefore in our case the driving is necessarily difficult and troublesome." Phaedrus (dialogue) By Plato
The Charioteer represents intellect, reason, or the part of the soul that must guide the soul to truth; one horse represents rational or moral impulse or the positive part of passionate nature; while the other represents the soul's irrational passions, appetites, or concupiscent nature. The Charioteer directs the entire chariot/soul, trying to stop the horses from going different ways, and to proceed towards enlightenment(to see the world of the forms in all its glory). Plato does not see the human soul as a sort of patchwork of emotions and concepts; Instead he views the soul as a sort of composite, in which many different elements blend together and affect each other.
A soul, says Socrates, is like the "natural union of a team of winged horses and their charioteer".
"Urlicht" (Primal Light) O little red rose, Man lies in greatest need, Man lies in greatest pain. Ever would I prefer to be in heaven. Once I came upon a wide road, There stood an Angel who wanted to turn me away. But no, I will not be turned away! I came from God, and will return to God, The loving God who will give me a little light, To lighten my way up to eternal, blessed life! (from the Youth's Magic Horn - "Des Knaben Wunderhorn")
Gustav Mahler - The Symphony No. 2 (Resurrection) the first movement represents a funeral and asks questions such as "Is there life after death?"; the second movement is a remembrance of happy times in the life of the deceased; the third movement represents a view of life as meaningless activity; the fourth movement is a wish for release from life without meaning; and the fifth movement – after a return of the doubts of the third movement and the questions of the first – ends with a fervent hope for everlasting, transcendent renewal.
Richard Strauss Morgen!(Tomorrow!) Op.27 No.4
Gustav Mahler - The Symphony No. 2 (Resurrection)
How can liberal art education most effectively shape future generation so they will fulfill their own destiny and simultaneously contribute to the fruition of humanity’s potential and dreams? How to prepare the intellect to search for answers to tough questions, the difficult things that haunt us every morning as we wake? When students read literary achievements, their own life increases, for they knows how to think of every great mind as their contemporary and then to add to the whole glory if they can.
"The race to the top is not just a waste of the best minds of a generation, who are going into economics with only the smallest detours into Plato, Virginia Woolf or George Eliot; it has turned education from the great equalizer to a sharp cleaver, lacerating democracy". William Deresiewicz - Excellent Sheep
Those who walk towards the truth walk alone. No one can be another’s traveling companion. For a part of the path we seem to be walking jointly like in a choir, until at the end we realize that we are all lost to and estranged from each other. Even the most cherished one is struggling somewhere far away But at the end creating and reuniting with their higher selves Are we greeted and welcome by eternal brotherhood. Christian Morgenstern
"If I but thought that my response were made to one perhaps returning to the world, this tongue of flame would cease to flicker. But since, up from these depths, no one has yet returned alive, if what I hear is true, I answer without fear of being shamed." Dante The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock - T.S. Eliott And time yet for a hundred indecisions, And for a hundred visions and revisions, ...... Do I dare disturb the universe? In a minute there is time for decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse... Then how should I begin to spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways? ... Would it have been worth while, To have bitten off the matter with a smile, To have squeezed the universe into a ball, To roll it towards some overwhelming question, To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead, Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”— ... “That is not it at all, That is not what I meant, at all.”... At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—Almost, at times, the Fool... Till human voices wake us, and we drown.
“In music, in the panorama of nature, in dreams at night it is to something else that man pays homage, from which he expects something: he awaits it. His enthusiasm is for something that music, or everything that is beautiful in this world, has awakened within him. When a person begins to feel this, his soul immediately harks to await the other thing: even in the presence of what he can grasp, he awaits another thing; he grasps what he can grasp, but he awaits another thing.” Giacomo Leopardi - Canto Notturno
ďSadness has taken hold of me - why? Not even music consoles me today - itís already late at night, and I donít feel like sleeping; I donít know whatís missing..." Frederic Chopin
Mozart Piano Concerto No.20
Clair de Lune - Claude Debussy
Beethoven - Piano Sonata No.14
We seem indifferent to the mass extinction we're causing, yet we lose a part of ourselves when another animal dies out. Flight Ways: Life and Loss at the Edge of Extinction, By Thom van Dooren
what is really lost when an evolutionary lineage, a way of life, disappears? What does this loss mean within the particular entangled multispecies community that it occurs and what does this situation tell us about ourselves and our place in a changing world? How does extinction undermine various lives and livelihoods? What it might mean to develop an ethical, meaningful and empathetic relationship with extinction? Mourning is a process of learning and transformation to accommodate a changed reality. Mourning is about dwelling with a loss and so coming to appreciate what it means, how the world has changed, and how we must ourselves change and renew our relationships if we are to move forward fromhere. In this context, genuine mourning should open us into an awareness of our dependence on and relationships with those countless others being driven over the edge of extinction. Deborah Rose
Halevai (an ancient Aramaic word) means how I wish, I hope, I pray (If Only I Wish) and when you really wish & hope & pray (a longing for better days, a prayer for one's children, and a belief that something better is just around the bend. The greatest wish of our times: an end to war and days of peace)
And tomorrow the sun will shine again and on the pathway that my foot shall wander, she will again unite us, the happy ones amidst this sun-breathing earth, and towards that shore, its billows softly flowing, our hands entwined, our footsteps slowly wending, silently we will look in each other's eyes and upon us will sink the mute silence of happiness (John Henry Mackay) Richard Strauss's Morgen!(Tomorrow!) Op.27 No.4
Halevai (If Only I Wish)
None have quite attained to these vague eolian harmonies, these half-formed sighs floating through the air, softly lamenting and dissolved in delicious melancholy. Nobody has even attempted this peculiar style, and especially none of those who heard Field play himself, or rather who heard him dream his music in moments when he entirely abandoned himself to his inspiration. Franz Liszt's preface to Field's nocturne
Camille Saint-Saëns - Danse Macabre Pass by! O pass me by! Away, wild mask of death! I am still young! Oh why destroy me with your breath? Give me your hand, you lovely, tender child I am your friend and bring no harm. Have courage. See, I am not wild. Now go to sleep upon my arm.
The Symphony No. 3, Op. 36 (the Symphony of Sorrowful Songs) by Henryk Gorecki ("Mother, please do not cry. Queen of Heaven, virgin most pure, protect me always") "Perhaps people find something they need in this piece of music ,,, something they were missing. Something somewhere had been lost to them. I feel that I instinctively knew what they needed." Henryk Górecki
Chopin - Prelude No.24 in D Minor, Op.28 Chopin had the gift of mood and touch and the piano was seldom as expressive as when he was playing. Chopin had a copy of Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier, that sparked his imagination and led to the 24 Preludes. The 24 Preludes in Opus 28 cover all the major and minor keys.
“When evening has come, I return to my house and go into my study... I enter the ancient courts of ancient men, where, received by them lovingly, I feed on the food that alone is mine and that I was born for. There I am not ashamed to speak with them and to ask them the reason for their actions; and they in their humanity reply to me. And for the space of four hours I feel no boredom, I forget every pain, I do not fear poverty, death does not frighten me. I deliver myself entirely to them.” Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince
Jefferson dedicated his life to freeing men, not only from the forms of oppressive authority, but also from the varieties of mystic craft. For according to the Whig (vastness and intricacy of the universe), it is precisely this mystic craft that enables the tyrant to perpetuate his primacy. "for I have sworn upon the altar of god eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." Thomas Jefferson
The Tory (pursuer) believes that the world appears chaotic only to those whose sight is too dim to perceive its more exquisite unities; and he pursues always his ideal of a society in which man's different endeavors-long extent of his works and loves—can be made to form a coherent whole. Jefferson's Demons: Portrait of a Restless Mind
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince
J.S Bach - Toccata and Fugue in D Minor BWV 565
The organ... gives resonance to the fullness of human sentiments, from joy to sadness, from praise to lamentation. By transcending the merely human sphere, as all music of quality does, it evokes the divine. The organ’s great range of timbre, from piano through to a thundering fortissimo, makes it an instrument superior to all others. It is capable of echoing and expressing all the experiences of human life. The manifold possibilities of the organ in some way remind us of the immensity and the magnificence of God.
The great composers, each in his own way, ultimately sought to glorify God by their music. Johann Sebastian Bach wrote above the title of many of his musical compositions the letters S.D.G., Soli Deo Gloria – to God alone be glory.
David Candow, ĎHost whispererí "One of the most compelling sounds for the human ear is the sound of another human voice talking about something they care about." "Talk. Don't act. Be yourself..people really hear what's real." He paid close attention not just to what his students say, but to nonverbal cues like pitch, pace, volume, rhythm. All of it makes an impression. A little bend in a word here, a pause mid-sentence, even standing or sitting can affect the way someone sounds. "You've got to make it your own"
Nature or nurture and how life experiences including diet, maternal neglect, drug abuse or other severe stresses set off epigenetic changes to the DNA inside the neurons of a personís brain?