“Their task is to run; hers is to know the orbit.”

September 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

Nature! We are surrounded and embraced by her — without being able to exit from her or to enter into her more deeply. Unasked and unwarned, we are taken  up into the circuitry of her dance; she has her way with us, until we grow weary and sink from her arms. . . .

We live n the midst of her and are foreign to her. She speaks to us ceaselessly and does not betray her secrets to us. We work our endless effects on her, yet have no dominion over her.

She seems to have invested all her hopes of individuality, and she cares nothing for the individuals. Always she builds, always she destroys, and we have no access to her workshop.

She lives in a profusion of children, and their mother, where is she?

She squirts her children out of nothingness, and does not tell them where they came from and where they are going. Their task is to run; hers is to know the orbit.

— “Hymn to Nature,” qtd. by Goethe in his Die Natur fragment [1783] (trans., David F. Krell)

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