EXTRACTS FROM THE JOURNAL OF FRIEDRICH
Reflections on the world, life, and books, but chiefly on myself, in the form of a journal.
TRANSLATED BY FRANCES A. KING
At the moment in which we conceive an ideal, there arises in God the thought of creating it.
Social life in all its nuances is no mere confluence of meaningless accidents; it is the product of the experience of whole millenniums, and our task is to apprehend the correctness of these experiences.
A poetic idea cannot be expressed allegorically; allegory is the ebb-tide at once of the intellect and of the productive power.
Nature eternally repeats the same thought in ever widening expansion; therefore the drop is an image of the sea.
Poetic and plastic art are alike in being both formative; that is to say, they are intended to bring to view a limited amount of matter in definite relations which are fixed by nature; and when the poet gives expression to an idea, the process is exactly the same as when a painter or sculptor represents the noble or beautiful outlines of a body.
“Throw away so that thou shalt not lose!” is the best rule of life.
There are said to have been people who, when a limb had been amputated, still felt pain in the severed member. Twofold mode of all being: what has been from the beginning and what has only become. Cogito ergo sum; am I not much more under the dominion of the thinking faculty within me than the latter is under my dominion? Individuality is not so much the goal as the way, and not so much the best way as the only one.
Two human beings are always two extremes.
Words are monuments not of what mankind has thought for centuries about certain subjects but only of the fact that it has thought about them. The difference is considerable.