Monday, February 23, 2009

Gorki - Ode an die Freude


Freude schöner Götterfunken. Tochter aus Elysium.
Wir betreten Feuertrunken. Himmlische dein Heiligtum.
Deine Zauber binden wieder was die Mode streng geteilt.
Alle Menschen werden Brüder wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.

(lyrics by Friedrich Schiller)

Friedrich Schiller Quotes 2

O who knows what slumbers in the background of the times?

O the idea was childish, but divinely beautiful.

Great souls endure in silence.

An die Freude (Ode to Joy; or Hymn to Joy) (1785)
This poem is most famous as providing the inspiration for Ludwig van Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, and the lyrics to the choral portion of that work:
Joy, thou spark from Heav'n immortal,
Daughter of Elysium!
Drunk with fire, toward Heaven advancing
Goddess, to thy shrine we come.
Thy sweet magic brings together
What stern Custom spreads afar;
All men become brothers
Where thy happy wing-beats are.

It is through beauty that we arrive at freedom.

Nothing, it is true, is more common than for both Science and Art to pay homage to the spirit of the age, and for creative taste to accept the law of critical taste.

While the womanly god demands our veneration, the godlike woman kindles our love; but while we allow ourselves to melt in the celestial loveliness, the celestial self-sufficiency holds us back in awe.

The Greeks put us to shame not only by their simplicity, which is foreign to our age; they are at the same time our rivals, nay, frequently our models, in those very points of superiority from which we seek comfort when regretting the unnatural character of our manners. We see that remarkable people uniting at once fullness of form and fullness of substance, both philosophising and creating, both tender and energetic, uniting a youthful fancy to the virility of reason in a glorious humanity.

Man is made of ordinary things, and habit is his nurse.

There's no such thing as chance;
And what to us seems merest accident
Springs from the deepest source of destiny.

Time is man's angel.

They have founded the whole structure of their happiness on these very illusions, which ought to be combated and dissipated by the light of knowledge, and they would think they were paying too dearly for a truth which begins by robbing them of all that has value in their sight. It would be necessary that they should be already sages to love wisdom: a truth that was felt at once by him to whom philosophy owes its name.

Der Krieg ernährt den Krieg. (War nourishes war.)

In thy breast are the stars of thy fate.

The empire of Saturnus is gone by;
Lord of the secret birth of things is he;
Within the lap of earth, and in the depths
Of the imagination dominates;
And his are all things that eschew the light.
The time is o'er of brooding and contrivance,
For Jupiter, the lustrous, lordeth now,
And the dark work, complete of preparation,
He draws by force into the realm of light.
Now must we hasten on to action, ere
The scheme, and most auspicious positure
Parts o'er my head, and takes once more its flight,
For the heaven's journey still, and adjourn not.

The dictates of the heart are the voice of fate.

No cause has he to say his doom is harsh,
Who's made the master of his destiny.

Rarely do we arrive at the summit of truth without running into extremes; we have frequently to exhaust the part of error, and even of folly, before we work our way up to the noble goal of tranquil wisdom.

The universe is a thought of God. After this ideal thought-fabric passed out into reality, and the new-born world fulfilled the plan of its Creator—permit me to use this human simile—the first duty of all thinking beings has been to retrace the original design in this great reality; to find the principle in the mechanism, the unity in the compound, the law in the phenomenon, and to pass back from the structure to its primitive foundation. Accordingly to me there is only one appearance in nature—the thinking being.
The great compound called the world is only remarkable to me because it is present to shadow forth symbolically the manifold expressions of that being. All in me and out of me is only the hieroglyph of a power which is like to me. The laws of nature are the cyphers which the thinking mind adds on to make itself understandable to intelligence—the alphabet by means of which all spirits communicate with the most perfect Spirit and with one another. Harmony, truth, order, beauty, excellence, give me joy, because they transport me into the active state of their author, of their possessor, because they betray the presence of a rational and feeling Being, and let me perceive my relationship with that Being.

I speak with the Eternal through the instrument of nature, — through the world's history: I read the soul of the artist in his Apollo.

Each state of the human mind has some parable in the physical creation by which it is shadowed forth; nor is it only artists and poets, but even the most abstract thinkers that have drawn from this source. Lively activity we name fire; time is a stream that rolls on, sweeping all before it; eternity is a circle; a mystery is hid in midnight gloom, and truth dwells in the sun. Nay, I begin to believe that even the future destiny of the human race is prefigured in the dark oracular utterances of bodily creation.

Dare to err and to dream. Deep meaning often lies in childish plays.

Be noble minded! Our own heart, and not other men's opinions of us, forms our true honor.

Full of wisdom are the ordinations of fate.