Novalis, pseudonym of Georg Philipp Friedrich Freiherr von Hardenberg

Novalis, pseudonym of Georg Philipp Friedrich Freiherr von Hardenberg

German Philosopher, Poet, Metallurgist, Aphorist and Mystic

Author Quotes

If the world is a precipitation of human nature, so to speak, then the divine world is a sublimation of the same. Both occur in one act. No precipitation without sublimation. What goes lost there in agility, is won here.

Life is the beginning of death. Life is for the sake of death. Death is at once the end and the beginning ? at once separation and closer union of the self. Through death the reduction is complete. The more poetic, the more real. This is the core of my philosophy.

Nature is a petrified magic city.

Only as far as a man is happily married to himself is he fit for married life and family life in general.

Shame is a feeling of profanation. Friendship, love and piety ought to be handled with a sort of mysterious secrecy; they ought to be spoken of only in the rare moments of perfect confidence,--to be mutually understood in silence. Many things are too delicate to be thought,--many more, to be spoken.

The fate which oppresses us is the inertia of our spirit. Through extending and cultivating our activity we shall transform ourselves into fate. Everything seems to stream inward into us, because we do not stream outward. We are negative because we want to be?the more positive we become, the more negative will the world around us become?until at last there will be no more negation?but instead we are all in all. God wants there to be gods.

The old world began to decline. The pleasure-garden of the young race withered away -- up into more open, desolate regions, forsaking his childhood, struggled the growing man. The gods vanished with their retinue -- Nature stood alone and lifeless. Dry Number and rigid Measure bound it with iron chains. Into dust and air the priceless blossoms of life fell away in words obscure. Gone was wonder-working Faith, and its all-transforming, all-uniting angel-comrade, the Imagination. A cold north wind blew unkindly over the rigid plain, and the rigid wonderland first froze, then evaporated into ether. The far depths of heaven filled with glowing worlds. Into the deeper sanctuary, into the more exalted region of feeling, the soul of the world retired with all its earthly powers, there to rule until the dawn should break of universal Glory. No longer was the Light the abode of the gods, and the heavenly token of their presence -- they drew over themselves the veil of the Night. The Night became the mighty womb of revelations -- into it the gods went back -- and fell asleep, to go abroad in new and more glorious shapes over the transfigured world. Among the people who too early were become of all the most scornful and insolently estranged from the blessed innocence of youth, appeared the New World with a face never seen before -- in the poverty of a poetic shelter -- a son of the first virgin and mother -- the eternal fruit of mysterious embrace. The foreboding, rich-blossoming wisdom of the East at once recognized the beginning of the new age -- A star showed the way to the humble cradle of the king. In the name of the distant future, they did him homage with lustre and fragrance, the highest wonders of Nature. In solitude the heavenly heart unfolded to a flower-chalice of almighty love -- upturned toward the supreme face of the father, and resting on the bliss-foreboding bosom of the sweetly solemn mother. With deifying fervor the prophetic eye of the blooming child beheld the years to come, foresaw, untroubled over the earthly lot of his own days, the beloved offspring of his divine stem. Ere long the most childlike souls, by true love marvellously possessed, gathered about him. Like flowers sprang up a strange new life in his presence. Words inexhaustible and the most joyful tidings fell like sparks of a divine spirit from his friendly lips. From a far shore, born under the clear sky of Hellas, came a singer to Palestine, and gave up his whole heart to the wonder-child.

There is, properly speaking, no misfortune in the world. Happiness and misfortune stand in continual balance. Every misfortune is, as it were, the obstruction of a stream, which, after overcoming this obstruction, but bursts forth with the greater force.

What is it that wells up so suddenly and menacingly under my heart, swallowing the soft air of melancholy? Are you pleased with us, dark night? What is it you conceal under your mantle, that grabs invisibly and powerfully at my soul? A rich balm drips off your fingers from a bundle of poppies. You raise up the heavy wings of the soul ? darkly and inexpressibly we are moved. I see an earnest face startled with joy ? softly and reverently it inclines toward me, and under endlessly entangled locks

In a work of art, chaos must shimmer through the veil of order.

Light had its allotted time; but timeless and infinite is the reign of the night ? the duration of sleep eternal.

Nature too remains, so far as we have yet come, ever a frightful Machine of Death: everywhere monstrous revolution, inexplicable vortices of movement; a kingdom of Devouring, of the maddest tyranny; a baleful Immense: the few light-points disclose but a so much the more appalling Night, and terrors of all sorts must palsy every observer.

Only fools fail to recognize you, knowing no sleep but the shadow which you, taking pity, cast over us in the twilight before true night. They do not taste you in the golden flood of grapes, in the magic oil of the almond tree and the brown juice of the poppy. They do not know that it is you who hovers over a tender maiden?s bosom, making a heaven of her lap ? never suspect that it is you who comes to them out of old stories, opening the doors to heaven and carrying the key to the dwellings of the blessed, a silent messenger of infinite mysteries.

Sleep is for the inhabitants of Planets only. In another time, Man will sleep and wake continually at once. The greater part of our Body, of our Humanity itself, yet sleeps a deep sleep.

The first Man is the first Spirit-seer; all appears to him as Spirit. What are children, but first men? The fresh gaze of the Child is richer in significance than the forecasting of the most indubitable Seer.

The poem of the understanding is philosophy.

To determine the self must be compared to its thing. Correlation is through differences - both using the thesis of absolute sphere of existence. This is the bare existence or chaos. If you would also have a higher sphere, it would be the area between being and nothingness, lingering between the two - something unspeakable; and here we have precisely the concept of life. Life cannot be anything else. Man dies matter remains, intermediate unit, if I may say so, between matter and destruction is not, the matter becomes indeterminable, usurped everything he can. Philosophy is stopped and must stop; because life consists precisely in the fact that cannot be understood. Every philosophy can cover only existence. One feels the border that surrounds all about it and himself - this is the first action; he must believe in it as surely knows anything. Therefore here we're not transcendent, and I are one and the self. To understand yourself, the self you imagine another, equally with himself as if to anatomize. That other, uniform nature to him is nothing but myself. He perceived this act of alienation and hence production also only through this mental preparation, discovers that he himself should be the same to him that the action does not take place in any other manner that precede this reflection ... Natural movement of reflection on the result and the result for reflection - as a result of the outcome. Life is something made ??up of synthesis, thesis and antithesis, and yet none of the three. Follow all those antitheses and syntheses should have the contents of the thesis and the shape of the first synthesis and antithesis. Therefore existence must be the nature of all these, and division and correlation - the nature of all antitheses and syntheses. Is not any philosophy only available for use or for reflection? Therefore it must be dogmatic and seem transcendent. What we mean by I? Is not it too randomly put Fichte everything in the Self? On what grounds? Could I be a fix as I have no other I or not-I? (How I and not-I have effects?) Self has hieroglyphic ability. It has to be some not-self to the self can be defined as self. (Thesis, antithesis, synthesis.) Act by which the self is defined as I should be associated with the antithesis of an independent not-self and attitude toward a sphere surrounding them: this field can be called God or Self.

What is nature? An encyclopedic systematic index or plan of our spirit. Why should we be content with the mere catalogue of our treasures?let us examine them for ourselves?and work with them and use them in diverse ways.

In an ever get this - he lifted the veil of the goddess of Sais - but just see? - See - wonder of wonders yourself.

Longing for Death down into the womb of the earth, out of the kingdom of light, anger, pain, and a savage blow signal the happy departure.

No explanation is required for Holy Writing. Whoso speaks truly is full of eternal life, and wonderfully related to genuine mysteries does his Writing appear to us, for it is a Concord from the Symphony of the Universe. He watches in our eyes whether the star has yet risen upon us, which is to make the Figure visible and intelligible

Only the most perfect human being can design the most perfect philosophy.

Someone arrived there ? who lifted the veil of the goddess, at Sais. ? But what did he see? He saw ? wonder of wonders ? himself.

The first step is to look within, the discriminating contemplation of the self. He who remains at this point only half develops. The second step must be a telling look without, independent, sustained contemplation of the external world.

The process of history is combustion.

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Novalis, pseudonym of Georg Philipp Friedrich Freiherr von Hardenberg
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German Philosopher, Poet, Metallurgist, Aphorist and Mystic