Sunday, June 04, 2006

The Spiritual Sense

 Personality is not immaterial mater of spirit, and of mind nor yet of culture. Our conception it is one, which takes us to the sphere of the mystic and elemental, in to the natural sphere. But nature is not spirit; in fact, this antithesis I, I should say, the greatest of all antithesis. Nobility is always natural. People are not ennobled, that is rubbish; they are noble by birth, on the ground of their flesh and blood. Nobility then is physical: on the body and not on the mind all nobility has always laid the greatest stress. That may explain a certain stain of brutality which has always been peculiar to human nobility, in view of which does not disease appear precisely as an aristocratic attribute of heightened humanity?

It follows then that he phrase’ natural nobility’ is no pleonasm after all; that there does exist another kind of nobility besides that conferred by nature on her favoured sons. Clearly there are two ways of heightening and enhancing human values; one exalts them up to the Godlike and is a gift of nature’s grace, the other exalts them up to saintly, by grace of another power, which stands opposed to her and means emancipation form her, eternal revolt from her. In the same way disease has two faces and a double relation to man and to his human dignity. On the one hand it is hostile by overstressing the physical, by throwing man upon the body, it has a dehumanizing effect. On the one hand it is possible to think and feel about illness as a highly dignified human phenomenon. It may be going too far to say that diseases is spirit, or, which would sounder tendentious, that spirit is disease. Still the two conceptions do have very much in common. “Spirit is pride, it is willful denial and contradiction of nature, and it is detachment, withdrawal, from her. In spirit, then in disease, resides the dignity of man, and the genius of disease is more human than the genius of health.

Spirit is that which distinguishes from all other forms of organic life this creature man, this being which is to such a high degree independent of her and hostile to her, and the question, the aristocratic problem, is this: is he not by just so much the more man, the more detached he is from nature – that is to say, the more diseased he is? For what can disease be, if not disjunction from her? The will is the spirit; the nature is by way of being mild and easy going. Grace is beauty not given by nature but produced by her subject itself. It is the beauty of the form under the influence of the freewill, it is the beauty of those particular phenomenon which the person himself determines; the way beauty does honour to the author of nature; the grace dose known to him who possess it, that is gift, is a personal merit. The sons of the spirit make personality a matter of spiritual impression. It is an effort. An effortless nature is crude, effortless spirit is without root or subject.

Nietzsche called man: “das kranke tier?”What did he mean, if not that man is more than beast only in the measure that he is ailing?

For Schiller, pain was the great bell with which he summoned people to the highest banquets of the soul. So he says, “to be healthy enough to be to have great feeling, to be able to disregard the physical, to cease feeling it”.

In this sense one might call man romantic being, in that he, spiritual entity, stands outside of and beyond nature, and in this is emotional separation from her, in this his double sense of essence of nature and spirit, finds his own importance and his own misery. Does not all our love of our kind rest on a brotherly, sympathetic recognition of the human being well high hopelessly difficult situation? Yes, there is patriotism of humanity, and it rests on this: we love human beings because they have such a hand time and because we are one of them our self.



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