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Goethe's Secret Revelation..Sealed-up treasure...Goethe sealed up a packet this sealed-up treasure.This packet contained in a comprehensive way the whole striving of Goethe's life.Second part's Faust; which was not to be published

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posted by Hughes Songe alias bernawy hugues kossi huo on Thursday 28th of August 2014 09:19:13 PM

Goethe's Secret Revelation PART TWO THE RIDDLE IN FAUST Esoteric Two Addresses given 11nth and 12th March, 1909, at Berlin . It was in August, 1831, that Goethe sealed up a packet and handed it to his faithful secretary Eckermann and prepared his testamentary directions for the editing of this sealed-up treasure. This packet contained in a comprehensive way the whole striving of Goethe's life. It contained the second part of Goethe's Faust; which was not to be published until after Goethe's death. Goethe was aware that in this work he had given the contents of his rich, many-sided, far-reaching and deeply-penetrating life to human existence, and the importance of this moment for him may be gathered from the words he uttered at the time, ‘I am now finished my life's true work, anything I do further and whether I do it or not, is all the same!’ If we permit a fact such as this to work on the soul we can say: It would not be easy for a human life to become fruitful for the rest of humanity in a more beautiful, harmonious way, or indeed to become fruitful in a more conscious manner. There is something deeply affecting in the thought of Goethe's life at this point of time — for he lived barely one year longer — in that he should have visited Ilmenau once more and there re-read the beautiful verse he had written on the 7th of September, 1783, when he was still a comparatively young man.‘Above all heights Is rest, In the tree tops Thou feelest Scarce a breath,The birds are silent in the woods, Only wait, soon Thou too shalt rest.’One may well ask whether these lines may not have signified at that time a frame of mind regulating Goethe's ideas in a new way as he re-read them in the evening of his life with affecting tears.Goethe's Faust is truly a testament of the very first order when considered with reference to its literary and intellectual standpoint.In 1831 Goethe finished the work which had occupied him from his earliest youth, having worked energetically from the year 1824 at the second part of Faust. We find that Goethe knew from the beginning of 1770 that he had what may be called the Faust disposition and that he began in 1774 to write down the first part of Faust, returning again and again to this poem in the most important moments of his life.Notably he took the first part of Faust with him when he went to Weimar and owing to his position there entered the great world. Certainly it was not produced there. But because one of the Weimar Court ladies, Fräulein von Göchhausen, preserved a copy of the Faust which Goethe took with him to Weimar, we to-day possess the form in which it was when he took it there. We therefore know the form in which Faust was printed for the first time and published in 1790, and further we know the setting in which the whole of Goethe's works appeared in 1808 in the first edition. All that we have of Faust, including that very important document which Goethe left as his testament, shows us the different stages of Goethe's growth. It is endlessly interesting to observe how these four stages of Goethe's Faust-creation appear to us in different ways, according to its inner nature, and how they represent a crescendo in the whole of Goethe's life-endeavour. What Goethe took with him to Weimar is a literary work of a quite personal character into which he had poured the feelings, the degrees of knowledge and also the despair of knowledge, as they went with him through the Frankfort time into the Strassburg time and also into the first Weimar period. It is the work of a man hotly striving after knowledge, striving to feel himself into life, experiencing every despair that an upright honourable man can go through, and all this he had poured into this work. All this is in the first part of Faust. But when Faust appeared in 1790 as a fragment, it was recognized that Goethe had worked at it and transformed it out of a longing lying deep in his soul and inner life which had become enlightened through his contemplation of Italian nature and of Italian works of Art. Out of this personal work of one who had been tossed to and fro in life's storms there emerged the work of one, who to a certain degree, had become unshackled and who had a very clear view of life before his soul.Then came the time of Goethe's friendship with Schiller. The time when in his inner being he learned to know and experience a world which had long become rooted within him. A world of which one can say that he who experiences it has had his spiritual eyes opened, so that he can see into the surrounding spiritual world. And now Faust's personality becomes a being placed between two worlds, between the spiritual world to which man can raise himself through purification, through the ennobling of himself and that world which drags him down. Faust becomes a being placed between the world of good and the world of evil. And while previously we saw in Faust the life of the single striving personality, now we see before us a great conflict carried on between the good and evil powers around man. Man is thus placed in the centre as the worthiest object for which the good and evil beings fight in the world. Though in the very beginning Faust is seen as a man doubting all knowledge, he now comes before us as one placed between heaven and hell. Thus the poem reaches an essentially higher stage and a higher existence.In the form in which Faust appears in 1808 it seems as if thousands of years of human development resound. We are reminded of the great dramatic representation of man's life produced in ancient times in the Book of Job, where the evil spirit went among men and stood up before God, and God said to him: ‘Thou hast been to and fro on the earth, hast thou considered my servant Job?’ What is here said we find in the poem, ‘The Prologue in Heaven’ where God speaks with Mephistopheles, the messenger of the evil spirituality: ‘The self in them expands to a spiritual universe.’ At that time at Frankfort he had the feeling, ‘Away from the mere striving after ideas! Away from the merely perceptive sense observation! There must be a path to the sources of existence!’ and he came into touch with what one can call alchemistic, mystical and theosophical literature. He himself attempted the practice of alchemy. He relates how he came to know of a work through which many sought for similar knowledge at that time, Welling's ‘Opus Mago-Cabalisticum et Theosophicum.’ This book was much thought of then as giving a knowledge of the sources of existence. Goethe studied by degrees Paracelsus, Valentinus and above all a work which from its whole method must have produced a deep impression on all those who strove after such knowledge, ‘Aurea Catena Homeri.’ This was a representation of nature the Mystics in the Middle Ages believed to see. The study of these mystical, alchemistic, theosophical books must have had a similar effect on Goethe to that which a man striving to-day after the same things would experience if he took up the books of Eliphas Levy or any other thinker on the same lines. Indeed at that time these things must have had an even more bewildering effect upon Goethe because these different writers no longer really understood the magic, theosophy, etc., of which they wrote. It was impossible to speak in direct way of the real grandeur and meaning of these things, proceeding from an ancient wisdom which had lived in human souls, for the meaning was hidden under an outer garb which included all kinds of physical and chemical forms. For those who merely saw what appeared outwardly in these books it was the greatest nonsense, and at that time it was most difficult to penetrate behind these secrets and arrive at the real meaning. But we must not forget that Goethe from his deep striving for knowledge had developed an intuitive mind. He must have been greatly pleased when on opening the ‘Aurea Catena Homeri’ he saw on the first page a symbol which had a deep effect on his soul; two triangles interlaced; in the corners the signs of the planets, drawn in a wonderful way, a flying dragon wound round in a circle, beneath which another dragon had fixed stiffening itself, and when he read the words on the first page, saying that the flying dragon symbolizes the stream which sends those forces which stream down from out of the Cosmos to the stiffened dragon, showing how heaven and earth hang together, or as it is expressed there: ‘How the spiritual forces of heaven pour into the earth's centre.’These mysterious signs and words must have made a great impression upon Goethe. For instance, those which depict the whole growth of the earth: ‘From chaos to that which is called the universal quintessence’ — a remarkable sentence, curiously mixed up with signs of a chaotic nature, still undifferentiated right through the mineral, plant and animal kingdoms, right up to man and to that perspective to which man is developing in ever greater refinement. But it was not easy to find a way of penetrating to the deeper meaning. So Goethe left Frankfort in a frame of mind which can be described in the following words: I have found nothing. These seekers into nature can only give me dry, empty ideas; anything that can be squeezed out of them is but life's water. I have busied myself with much that has come down to us from the past from those who declare that they saw into the secrets of life. But the way, the way drives one to despair!This was sometimes the mood in Goethe's soul. He was not to be bewitched by easy speculations or philosophizing, or by confused symbols and explanations from those old books, which worked so wonderfully and forebodingly on him. They looked at him with their mysteries as something to which he could find no way. But anyone who knew Goethe's soul, knew the seed was already sown in his soul which was to germinate later. But he felt himself as one who was rejected and unworthy to unravel the secrets of life. Then he went to Strassburg.There he met people who must have interested him in one way or the other. He got to know Jung-Stilling with his deeply mystical soul, who owing to the development of peculiar forces generally found sleeping in men, had looked deeply into the hidden side of existence. He met Herder at Strassburg, who had gone through similar moods and who in times of desperation had often been at the point of a denial of future life. In Herder he learnt to know a man who suffered from a surfeit of life and who said, I have studied much, discerning sundry things connected with men's works and men's strivings on the earth. But he was unable to say to himself, I have had one moment when my longing after the sources of life has been satisfied. This was when he was ill and inclined to deny everything with bitter irony. Yet it was Herder who pointed out many depths in the riddles of life, and Goethe found in him a truly human Faust. But that side of negation which is not the outcome of mockery and scorn Goethe learnt to know later through his friend Merck. Goethe's mother who disliked criticism of people and all moralizing said of Merck, he can never leave Mephistopheles at home, in him we are quite used to it. In Merck Goethe found a disclaimer of much that is worth striving for in life. Over against all these impressions which Goethe received from the Strassburg people, it was through Nature and his observation of Nature that many of life's puzzles were cleared up for him.At the same time we must think of Goethe as a man possessed of a sharp, penetrating mind; he was not an unpractical man. He was an advocate, but only practised for a short time. Those who knew Goethe's work as an advocate and later as a Minister, were acquainted with his eminently practical mind. As advocate he knew little more than what he had learnt by heart from law books. But he was a man able to decide very quickly on any point laid before him; such a man can also map out clearly life's course.Let us consider Goethe when during his Italian journey, he gradually arrived at the discovery of the primeval plant, he collected stones, prepared himself diligently to take up the work of research, and did not seek to know immediately ‘how one thing strives to enter another’ but said to himself: ‘If you would gain a premonition’ of ‘how one thing works and lives in another’ as heavenly powers rise and fall, offering each the ‘golden urn,’ examine the vertebras of the spinal column and the way in which one bone is connected with the next; and how one faculty helps another. Seek in the smallest thing the picture of the greatest.Goethe became a very diligent student during his travels in Italy, examining everything. He formed the opinion that if an artist acted ‘according to the laws which are followed by nature herself’ and understood by the Greeks, the divine will be present in his works even as it is in the works of creation. For Goethe, art is a ‘manifestation of the secret laws of nature.’ The creations of the artists are works of nature on a higher stage of perfection. Art is man's continuation and conclusion of nature. ‘For since man is the head of nature so he regards himself as a complete nature, but also as one which can call forth a further rise. He strives for this through the acquisition of all accomplishments and virtues which call for choice, order, harmony, and meaning, and at last rises to the production of the work of art.’ We can say that during the Italian journey everything that came before Goethe took on definite forms and through inner soul experiences appeared clearly before him. So once again he took up ‘Faust,’ and we perceive how he endeavoured to bring the separate parts into union. But we also perceive how he interested himself in an objective manner in what Faust could become for the people of the North. In Italy he became particularly conscious of the great difference between people who had been brought up amid classical surroundings and those who had not. He found it strange that so little should be heard in Rome of ghost stories such as were common in the North. In the Villa Borghese he wrote at this time the ‘Witches Kitchen’ scene, as one who had lost touch with all such things, but also as one who recalled to memory the spirit of the earth. When he had previously written about the earth spirit, he represented it in such a way that Faust turned away from it, as from a ‘hideous worm.’ But the fact of turning away from it, even without understanding why, remains in the soul and works on further, as it did in Goethe. But those who become impatient and refuse to wait until after long years the seed grows, are unable to see the way clearly. And when in Italy Goethe knew that a turning away from the terrible countenance would have its effect upon his soul, and now these words arise:‘Sublime Spirit, thou gavest me, gavest me all For which I begged. It was not without reason That thou didst turn thy face in fire to me And for a kingdom gavest me the glorious nature With strength to feel it and to enjoy it. Not A coldly astonished gaze didst thou grant to me But didst permit me to look into her profound bosom As into that of a friend. Past me didst thou lead the ranks of the living And didst teach me to know, in the quiet bushes, In air, and in water, my brother. And when the storm roared and rattled in the woods And there fell the neighbouring branches of the giant fir Squashing the undergrowth and in their fall Sounding like thunder in the hollow of the hills, Thou didst lead me to a safe Grotto, where Thou didst show me myself and opened my heart To deep and secret wonders.’Before Goethe, there stands the possibility of the human soul, through its own development expanding to a spiritual universe. Through a patient sacrificial resigned search, the fruits stand before his soul which as germs were planted when he came into touch with the earth spirit. We can see through this monologue in ‘Wald und Höhle’ (wood and grotto) what a forward jerk this was towards the ripening of the fruits in his soul, for it shows us that the seed already sown was not sown in vain. And as a warning to have patience, to wait until such seeds had ripened in his soul, that fragment of ‘Faust’ meets us which appeared with this setting in 1790. And now we see how Goethe finds the way step by step after being led to his ‘safe grotto where the secret deep wonders of his own heart were opened to him,’ he obtains that comprehensive survey which bids him no longer abide with his own sorrow, but teaches him to rise above his sorrow, to send his foreseeing spirit out into the Macrocosmos, watch the fighting of the good and evil spirits and see men on their battle ground. And in ‘Faust’ in 1808 he sent out beforehand the ‘Prologue in Heaven:’Raphael: ‘The sun-orb sings, in emulation, 'Mid brother-spheres, his ancient round: His path predestined through Creation He ends with step of thunder-sound.’We next see how the macrocosmic Mights oppose the forces of the great world. We see too from out the experiences of Goethe's soul, what a remarkable light falls on the two dragons with which at one time in his youth he came in touch.‘Faust’ is such a universal poem because it contains so many warnings. It also gives us that golden saying: ‘Wait in confidence for the development of thy inner forces, even if that means waiting a very long time!’ These words also sound as a warning which stand as an attribute before Faust, when Goethe looks back to those ‘fluctuating figures which in early days had once shown a troubled countenance’ but which now are flooded with light. Now he had waited so long that the friends who had taken such a vivid interest in Faust as he had appeared to them in the first form, had died, and those who had not died were very far away. Goethe had been obliged to wait for the development of the seed already sown in him.Now these striking words meet us:‘My sorrow speaks to an unknown crowd, Their applause e'en makes my heart feel heavy, And those who once delighted in my song If they still live, in other lands are scattered.’No longer did it matter to those who in youth had felt with him. He had had to wait, as the last lines of this dedication so beautifully express it — ‘What was once a reality to me, has gone into the unreal: but what has remained for me and appears to outer vision as unreal, that to me is now true, and it is only now that I can give it as truth.’ So we see how this poem, even if only looked at in such an external manner as we have to-day, leads us into the depths of the human soul.‘Faust’ was begun in a desultory manner, some parts being pushed in between others, and therefore Goethe was unable to show in a continuous way what he had experienced in his soul. But something else led to the fact that Goethe expressed his deepest experiences in ‘Faust.’The ‘Helena scene’ also belongs to the first part of ‘Faust’ written by Goethe. But we find it was not included even in the ‘Faust’ of 1808. Why not? Because the manner in which Goethe had finished ‘Faust’ at that time would not allow it. What Goethe wished to say through the Helena scene was the expression of such a deep premonition of the deepest riddle of existence, that the first part was not sufficiently prepared to allow of this. Only when Goethe had reached an advanced age, was he able to give a true form to what really was the inner work of his life.We see how his mind had expanded so that he was able to grasp the worlds of the macrocosm, as expressed in the ‘Prologue in Heaven.’ We shall also see the way in which Goethe represents the stages of the soul's experience, leading men from the first stage up to that of imaginative vision, where the soul penetrating ever deeper and deeper, bursts at last the doors of the spiritual world, which Mephistopheles would close. Goethe also represents these inner experiences. For he places in the second part of ‘Faust’ the experiences of a soul through secret scientific study, and we see here one of the deepest riddles of existence, which if recognized, would be found to be an announcement of Western spiritual science given in imposing language. One is tempted to place such a poem as the ‘Bhagavad Gita’ and the second part of ‘Faust’ side by side. For great and powerful wisdom speaks out of such Eastern writings. It seems as if the gods themselves desired in them to speak with men to express the wisdom out of which the world was formed. Indeed it is so.Now let us look at the second part of ‘Faust.’ Here we see a striving human soul which has raised itself to spiritual vision from outer physical perception; we see how it has worked its way up to true clairvoyance when Faust enters the spiritual world and finds the spiritual choir around him ...‘Hearken! Hark! — The Hours careering Sounding loud to spirit-hearing. See the new-born day appearing! Rocky portals jarring shatter, Phœbus' wheels in rolling clatter, With a crash the Light draws near! Pealing rays and trumpet-blazes — Eye is blinded, ear amazes: The Unheard can no one hear!’Faust II, Act I.to that passage where Faust is outwardly dazzled, so that the outer world is lost to his perception and he says to himself: ‘Only within shines clear light! ...’ up to that passage in which the soul works itself up to the spheres of world existence, where the spiritual worlds are to be seen in all their purity, and the riddle of the world discloses itself to the soul. This is a way which we must designate as an esoteric one.The way in which we can penetrate from the outer to the inner life of Goethe's world enigma, we shall see to-morrow, and we shall also see from out of what depths Goethe spoke the word which at last gave him the certainty he needed with reference to all the longings, all the sorrows, pains and strivings for knowledge in his life.‘Whoever zealously strives We can redeem him; And if love from above Feels an interest in him, The blest choir will be there With a friendly greeting.’We shall consider to-morrow how Goethe solved this riddle of existence, and how that which lives in the soul can rise up to its true home. It will give us the answer to what Goethe placed as the riddle of his existence and about which he gives us such a hopeful answer at the end of the second part of ‘Faust:’‘For the spiritual world, That noble member, Is saved from evil. Whoever strives zealously We can redeem him! ...’This tells us Faust can be saved and those spirits will not conquer who by bringing men into the material bring them also to destruction.



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