Novalis, pseudonym of Georg Philipp Friedrich Freiherr von Hardenberg

Novalis, pseudonym of Georg Philipp Friedrich Freiherr von Hardenberg
1772
1801

German Philosopher, Poet, Metallurgist, Aphorist and Mystic

Author Quotes

In cheerful souls there is no evil; wit shows a disturbance of the equipoise.

Man has ever expressed some symbolical Philosophy of his Being in his Works and Conduct; he announces himself and his Gospel of Nature; he is the Messiah of Nature.

Nostalgia philosophy to home, and a tendency to be all over the place, as if at home.

Our body is a molded river

Still wakest thou, cheerful Light, that weary man to his labor -- and into me pourest joyous life -- but thou wilest me not away from Memory's moss-grown monument. Gladly will I stir busy hands, everywhere behold where thou hast need of me -- praise the lustre of thy splendor -- pursue unwearied the lovely harmonies of thy skilled handicraft -- gladly contemplate the clever pace of thy mighty, luminous clock -- explore the balance of the forces and the laws of the wondrous play of countless worlds and their seasons. But true to the Night remains my secret heart, and to creative Love, her daughter. Canst thou show me a heart eternally true? has thy sun friendly eyes that know me? do thy stars lay hold of my longing hand? and return me the tender pressure and the caressing word? was it thou did adorn them with colors and a flickering outline -- or was it she who gave to thy jewels a higher, a dearer weight? What delight, what pleasure offers thy life, to outweigh the transports of Death? Wears not everything that inspires us the color of the Night? She sustains thee mother-like, and to her thou owest all thy glory. Thou wouldst vanish into thyself -- in boundless space thou wouldst dissolve, if she did not hold thee fast, if she swaddled thee not, so that thou grewest warm, and flaming, begot the universe. Truly I was, before thou wast -- the mother sent me with my brothers and sisters to inhabit thy world, to hallow it with love that it might be an ever-present memorial -- to plant it with flowers unfading. As yet they have not ripened, these thoughts divine -- as yet is there small trace of our coming revelation -- One day thy clock will point to the end of time, and then thou shalt be as one of us, and shalt, full of ardent longing, be extinguished and die. I feel in me the close of thy activity -- heavenly freedom, and blessed return. With wild pangs I recognize thy distance from our home, thy resistance against the ancient, glorious heaven. Thy rage and thy raving are in vain. Unscorchable stands the cross -- victory-banner of our breed.

The highest life is mathematics.

The pure mathematics is religion.

To what extent can one have a sense for something if he doesn't have its embryo inside him? Whatever I come to understand must itself develop organically in myself, and what I seem to learn is only nourishment and cultivation of that inner organism.

When we speak of the aim and Art observable in Shakespeare's works, we must not forget that Art belongs to Nature; that it is, so to speak, self-viewing, self-imitating, self-fashioning Nature. The Art of a well-developed genius is far different from the Artfulness of the Understanding, of the merely reasoning mind. Shakespeare was no calculator, no learned thinker; he was a mighty, many-gifted soul, whose feelings and works, like products of Nature, bear the stamp of the same spirit; and in which the last and deepest of observers will still find new harmonies with the infinite structure of the Universe; concurrences with later ideas, affinities with the higher powers and senses of man. They are emblematic, have many meanings, are simple and inexhaustible, like products of Nature; and nothing more unsuitable could be said of them than that they are works of Art, in that narrow mechanical acceptation of the word.

In most religious systems we are regarded as parts of the godhead which, if they do not obey the impulses of the whole, and even if they do not intentionally act against the laws of the whole, but only go their own way and do not want to be parts of it, are medically treated by the godhead?and either endure a painful cure or even are cut off.

Man has his being in truth--if he sacrifices truth he sacrifices himself. Whoever betrays truth betrays himself. It is not a question of lying--but of acting against one's conviction.

Not only England, but every Englishman is an island.

Our life is no Dream, but it may and will perhaps become one.

Surely this voice meant our Teacher; for it is he that can collect the indications which lie scattered on all sides. A singular light kindles in his looks, when at length the high Rune lies before us, and he watches in our eyes whether the star has yet risen upon us, which is to make the Figure visible and intelligible.

The highest problem of literature is the writing of a Bible.

The spirit of Poesy is the morning light, which makes the Statue of Memnon sound.

Tools arm the man. One can well say that man is capable of bringing forth a world; he lacks only the necessary apparatus, the corresponding armature of his sensory tools. The beginning is there. Thus the principle of a warship lies in the idea of the shipbuilder, who is able to incorporate this thought by making himself into a gigantic machine, as it were, through a mass of men and appropriate tools and materials. Thus the idea of a moment often required monstrous organs, monstrous masses of materials, and man is therefore a potential, if not an actual creator.

Where are we really going? Always home.

In the earliest times of the discovery of the faculty of judgment, every new judgment was a find. The worth of this find rose, the more practical and fertile the judgment was. Verdicts which now seem to us very common then still demanded an unusual level of intellectual life. One had to bring genius and acuity together in order to find new relations using the new tool. Its application to the most characteristic, interesting, and general aspects of humanity necessarily aroused exceptional admiration and drew the attention of all good minds to itself. In this way those bodies of proverbial sayings came into being that have been valued so highly at all times and among all peoples. It would easily be possible for the discoveries of genius we make today to meet with a similar fate in the course of time. There could easily come a time when all that would be as common as moral precepts are now, and new, more sublime discoveries would occupy the restless spirit of men.

Man is a sun and his senses are the planets.

Not wise does it seem to attempt comprehending and understanding a Human World without full perfected Humanity. No talent must sleep; and if all are not alike active, all must be alert, and not oppressed and enervated. As we see a future Painter in the boy who fills every wall with sketches and variedly adds color to figure; so we see a future Philosopher in him who restlessly traces and questions all natural things, pays heed to all, brings together whatever is remarkable, and rejoices when he has become master and possessor of a new phenomenon, of a new power and piece of knowledge. Moral Action is that great and only Experiment, in which all riddles of the most manifold appearances explain themselves.

Our life is no dream; but it ought to become one, and perhaps will.

Symbolic incite, stimulate - touches and moves.

The highest purpose of intellectual cultivation is to give a man a perfect knowledge and mastery of his own inner self; to render our consciousness its own light and its own mirror.

The true philosophical Act is annihilation of self (Selbsttodtung); this is the real beginning of all Philosophy; all requisites for being a Disciple of Philosophy point hither. This Act alone corresponds to all the conditions and characteristics of transcendental conduct.

Author Picture
First Name
Novalis, pseudonym of Georg Philipp Friedrich Freiherr von Hardenberg
Birth Date
1772
Death Date
1801
Bio

German Philosopher, Poet, Metallurgist, Aphorist and Mystic