That so much time was wasted in this pain.
Ten thousand years ago he might have let off down
To not return again!
A dreadful laugh at last escapes his lips;
The laughter sets him free.
A Fool lives in the Universe! he cries.
The Fool is me!
And with one final shake of laughter
Breaks his bonds.
The nails fall skittering to marble floors.
And Christ, knelt at the rail, sees miracle
As Man steps down in amiable wisdom
To give himself what no one else can give:
Art that means anything in the life of a community must bear some relation to current interpretations of the mystery of the universe. Our rigid separation of the humanities and the sciences has temporarily left our art stranded or stammering and incoherent. Both art and science ought to be blended in our early education of our children's emotions and powers of observation, and that harmony carried forward in later education.
A thought has no size in the physical sense but is vast as compared to the physical acts and objects into which it is later precipitated. The power of a thought is enormous and superior to all the successive physical acts, objects, and events that body forth its energy. A thought often endures for a time much greater than the whole life of the man who thought it.
We designate by the term "State" institutions that embody absolutism in its extreme form and institutions that temper it with more or less liberality. We apply the word alike to institutions that do nothing but aggress and to institutions that, besides aggressing, to some extent protect and defend. But which is the State's essential function, aggression or defence, few seem to know or care.
Is not the realexperience of each individual very limited? And, if a writer dwells upon that solely or principally, is he not in danger of repeating himself, and also of becoming an egotist? Then, too, imagination is a strong, restless faculty, which claims to be heard and exercised: are we to be quite deaf to her cry, and insensate to her struggles? When she shows us bright pictures, are we never to look at them, and try to reproduce them? And when she is eloquent, and speaks rapidly and urgently in our ear, are we not to write to her dictation?
Enlightenment is man’s leaving his self-caused immaturity. Immaturity is the incapacity to use one's intelligence without the guidance of another. Such immaturity is self-caused if it is not caused by lack of intelligence, but by lack of determination and courage to use one's intelligence without being guided by another. Sapere Aude! Have the courage to use your own intelligence! is therefore the motto of the enlightenment.
The current opinion that science and poetry are opposed is a delusion. ... Think you that a drop of water, which to the vulgar eye is but a drop of water, loses any thing in the eye of the physicist who knows that its elements are held together by a force which, if suddenly liberated, would produce a flash of lightning? Think you that what is carelessly looked upon by the uninitiated as a mere snow-flake does not suggest higher associations to one who has seen through a microscope the wondrously varied and elegant forms of snow-crystals? Think you that the rounded rock marked with parallel scratches calls up as much poetry in an ignorantmind as in the mind of a geologist, who knows that over this rock a glacier slid a million years ago? … The truth is, that those who have never entered upon scientific pursuits know not a tithe of the poetry by which they are surrounded.
The scientist does not studynature because it is useful to do so. He studies it because he takes pleasure in it, and he takes pleasure in it because it is beautiful. If nature were not beautiful it would not be worthknowing, and life would not be worth living. I am not speaking, of course, of the beauty which strikes the senses, of the beauty of qualities and appearances. I am far from despising this, but it has nothing to do with science. What I mean is that more intimate beauty which comes from the harmonious order of its parts, and which a pureintelligence can grasp.