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January 17, 2010

the fresh fountains of life

In the glow of youth there were times every now and then when I felt the necessity of a strong inspiration of soul-thought. My heart was dusty, parched for want of the rain of deep feeling; my mind arid and dry, for there is a dust which settles on the heart as well that which falls on a ledge. It is injurious to the mind as well as the body to be always in one place and always surrounded by the same circumstances. A species of thick clothing slowly grows about the mind, the pores are chocked, little habits become a part of existence, and by degrees the mind is inclosed in a husk. When this began to form I felt eager to escape from it, to throw it off like heavy clothing, to drink deeply once more at the fresh fountains of life. An inspiration - a long deep breath of the pure air of thought - could alone give health to the heart.

Richard Jefferies - The Story of My Heart

Posted by amin at 11:15 PM


Justice is a constant will to act so that nobody has reason to complain about us.
To complain about someone is to blame him for the fact he causes us harm. By harm, I also understand the definition of, or the impediment to our good.
To blame someone is to claim that he acts in an unreasonable manner.
A voluntary action of a person is unreasonble when the appearances are that it tends against his own good.
The good for someone is that which contributes to his happiness, and the evil is the contrary of this.
Happiness is the state of lasting joy.
Joy consists in the sensing of perfections.


Posted by amin at 2:39 PM

the true war is the religious war

War in general appears to me to be a poetical effect. People think they must fight each other for some paltry possession; and they are not aware that the romantic spirit excites them in order to annihilate useless evils along with themselves. They bear weapons for the cause of poetry, and both armies follow a single invisible banner.
In war primal sea stirs. New continents are to arise, new races to come forth out of the great dissolution. The true war is the religious war; it positively aims at self-destruction, and in it the madness of men appears in its perfect form. Many wars especially those that spring from national hatred belong in this class and are genuine poetic creations. Here is the native soil of true heroes, they who are the noblest counterpart of the poets, nothing else than the world forces involuntarily permeated with poetry. A poet who should at the same time be a hero is an envoy from heaven, but our poetry is not capable of portraying him.

Novalis - Henry Von Ofterdingen

Posted by amin at 2:30 PM

a rigorous act

Poetry wants to be carried on primarily as a rigorous act. As mere enjoyment it ceases to be poetry. A poet must not walk around idly all day in pursuit of images and feelings. That is quite the wrong way. A pure open mind, adroitness in reflection and contemplation, and the ability to transform all one's talents into mutually quickening activity and to keep them so, these are the requirements of our art. If you will submit yourself to my tutelage, then not a day shall pas for you without enriching your knowledge and adding to your practical insight.

Novalis - Henry Von Ofterdingen

Posted by amin at 2:25 PM

January 5, 2010

a higher communion

"What can be more gratifying to contemplate than the cheerful faces of congenial people?" the stranger said. "Do not take me for a misanthrope just because you find me here in this solitary place. I did not flee from the world; I only sought a place of rest where I might carry on my contemplations undisturbed."
"Have you ever regretted your resolution and do you not at times feel afraid and crave at heart to hear a human voice?"
"Not now anymore. There was a time in my youth when a perfervid enthusiasm induced me to become a hermit. Obsecure intuitions occupied my youthful imagination. I hoped to find complete nourishment for my heart in solitude. The fount of my inner life appeared inexhaustible to me. But I soon learned that one has to take a long a wealth of experience, that a young heart cannot live alone, indeed that only by a great deal of association with people does one attain to a certain degree of independence."
"I myself believe," the miner replied, "that there is a certain natural calling for every kind of life, and that perhaps the expereinces of increasing age themselves tend to lead one away from human society. Certainly it appears as though society were dedicated to activity for profit as well as preservation. A great hope, a common purpose powerfully actuates society, and children and old people do not seem to be part of it. Helplessness and ignorence exclude the children, while the aged, seeing that hope fulfilled, that purpose attained, and themselves no longer entangled thereby in the sphere of society, withdraw into themselves and find enough to do to make themselves worthy of a higher communion."

Novalis - Henry Von Ofterdingen

Posted by amin at 10:35 PM

the inner sanctuary of the spirit

The poet fills the inner sanctuary of the spirit with new, wonderful, and pleasing thoughts. He knows how to stir those secret powers in us at will, and by means of words he enables us to perceive a glorious unknown world. Within us as out of deep caverns there rise ancient and future times, countless people, marvelous regions, and the strangest occurrences, snatching us away from the familiar present. One hears alien words and yet knows what they are intended to mean. The sayings of poets exert a magical power; they make even common words take on enticing sounds and intoxicate the spell bounding listener.

Novalis - Henry Von Ofterdingen

Posted by amin at 10:32 PM

experience and intuition

I see two roads leading to the knowledge of human history. The one, wearisome and without visible goal, with countless twists and turns - the way of experience; the other, hardly more than a single leap - the way of intuition. He who takes the first road has to figure out one thing from another by laborious calculation, while he who takes the second immediately penetrates to the essence of every event and object and is able to contemplate these essences in their vital complex interrelationship and easily compare them with everything else like numbers on a slate.

Novalis - Henry Von Ofterdingen

Posted by amin at 10:29 PM

January 4, 2010

walking in the dark

If a man
Wishes to be sure
Of the road he travels on,
He must close his eyes
And walk in the dark.

St John of the Cross

Posted by amin at 1:43 AM