Friday, February 12, 2016

What is Spirit in us is Nature outside of us

Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling:

The necessary trend of all natural science is to proceed from nature toward intelligence. This, and nothing else, is at the bottom of the tendency to bring theory into natural phenomena. The highest perfection of natural science would be the perfect transfiguration of all laws of nature into laws of imagination and thinking. The phenomena (the material element) must completely vanish and only the laws (the formal element) must remain. This is the reason for the fact that the more the law-structure in nature itself emerges, as if it were breaking the crust, the more the covering element vanishes. The phenomena themselves become more spiritual and finally disappear. The phenomena of optics are nothing but a geometry, the lines of which are drawn by the light, and this light, itself, is already of an ambiguous materiality. In the phenomena of magnetism, all material traces have already vanished. Of the phenomena of gravity — which, even according to natural scientists, can only be understood as a direct spiritual effect of action into distance — nothing is left but their law, the application of which is the mechanism of the celestial motions on a large scale. The completed theory of nature would be the one through which the whole of nature would dissolve into intelligence. The inanimate and consciousless products of nature are only unsuccessful attempts of nature to reflect itself, and the so-called dead nature is, in general, an immature intelligence, so that the intelligent character shines through unconsciously in its phenomena. The highest aim of nature — to become completely objective to itself — can be reached by it only through the highest and last reflection, which is man, or, more generally speaking, what we call reason, through which nature returns in its own track and whereby it becomes evident that nature originally is identical with what is known in us as the intelligent and conscious element.

Quoted in Rudolf Steiner, The Riddles of Philosophy, Part 1, Chapter 7

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