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Tag: Goethe

The Romantic Poets: What They Missed

The Romantic Poets: What They Missed

Even though they did not complete the work, the Romantic poets brought about great advancement in the consciousness of Imagination. The poets (except for William Blake, perhaps) fell short of grasping the conclusions of what they were experiencing. One could point to Samuel Taylor Coleridge, as an example. In his Biographia Literaria, Chapter 13, he begins to explain the philosophical nature of Imagination, only to be interrupted by a letter from a friend, whom he felt deserved his attention more…

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The Failure of Romanticism

The Failure of Romanticism

Colin Wilson, whom I have written much about on this blog, was an existentialist philosopher, but not in the sense of a Sartre or Camus. His existentialism, as he says, “covers a broader field than what Kierkegaard or Heidegger or Sartre means by it; my existentialism is closer to Goethe’s idea of Bildung.” 1 The literary climate of the existentialist is the “Bildungsroman,” the so-called coming-of-age novel or play, where the protagonist’s psychological and moral development is the focus. Dostoevsky’s…

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Religion and the Rebel, Part 12

Religion and the Rebel, Part 12

Continuing with chapter three, Wilson makes a claim I don’t think I’ve ever heard before: All man’s experience is emotional experience. Even the mathematician, plunged in his calculations, is undergoing emotional experience. His intellectual activity is accompanied by a pleasure and an excitement that is emotional, and it is this that makes him pursue mathematics. An electronic brain takes no pleasure in its calculating. All life is continual emotional experience.1 I tend to think this energy we experience when we…

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The Inner Striving of the World Soul

The Inner Striving of the World Soul

Alas! Two souls within my breast abide, And each from the other strives to separate; The one in love and healthy lust, The world with clutching tentacles holds fast; The other soars with power above this dust Into the domain of our ancestral past (From Goethe’s Faust). I realize this classic verse from Faust speaks to the terrible inner conflict of one who, on one hand is attached to the cares of the mundane, everyday world; on the other hand…

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