Novalis, pseudonym of Georg Philipp Friedrich Freiherr von Hardenberg

Novalis, pseudonym of Georg Philipp Friedrich Freiherr von Hardenberg

German Philosopher, Poet, Metallurgist, Aphorist and Mystic

Author Quotes

I turn away from the light to the holy, inexpressible, mysterious night. Far away lies the world ? sunk into a deep vault, its place waste and lonely. Across my heart strings a low melancholy plays. I will fall in drops of dew and merge with the ashes. Distant memories, the wishes of youth, the dreams of childhood, the brief joys and vain hopes of a long life ? all arise dressed in grey, like evening mist after sunset. In other lands light has pitched its merry tents. And if it never returned to its children, who would await its dawning with the innocence of faith?

It is a fair and holy office to be a prophet of Nature.

Modesty is probably a sense of desecration. Friendship, love, devotion should be treated mysteriously. We should talk about them only in rare moments, intimate, let us understand the silence about them - Many things are too delicate to be thought, and more to be spoken.

One cannot understand language because language cannot understand itself; does not want to understand

Religion contains infinite sadness. If we are to love God, he must be in distress (lit. in need of help).

The Bible begins gloriously with Paradise, the symbol of youth, and ends with the everlasting kingdom, with the holy city. The history of every man should be a Bible.

The more poetic, the more real. This is the core of my philosophy.

The world must be romanticized. Only in that way will one rediscover its original senses. Romanticization is nothing less than a qualitative raising of the power of a thing . . . I romanticize something when I give the commonplace a higher meaning, the known the dignity of the unknown, and the finite the appearance of the infinite.

We seek the absolute everywhere and only ever find things.

I was still blind, but twinkling stars did dance throughout my being's limitless expanse, nothing had yet drawn close, only at distant stages I found myself, a mere suggestion sensed in past and future ages.

It is certain my belief gains quite infinitely the very moment I can convince another mind thereof.

Most observers of the French Revolution, especially the clever and noble ones, have explained it as a life-threatening and contagious illness. They have remained standing with the symptoms and have interpreted these in manifold and contrary ways. Some have regarded it as a merely local ill. The most ingenious opponents have pressed for castration. They well noticed that this alleged illness is nothing other than the crisis of beginning puberty.

One Makes a great error if one believes there is 'ancients.' Only now is starting to ARISE antiquity. It arises in the eyes and soul of the artist.

Romanticize the world.

The Christian religion is especially remarkable, as it so decidedly lays claim to mere goodwill in man, to his essential temper, and values this independently of all culture and manifestation. It stands in opposition to science and art, and properly to enjoyment.

The more sinful a man feels himself, the more Christian he is.

The world state is the body, which is ? animated by the world of beauty, the world of sociability. It is the necessary instrument of this world.

We should be proud of the pain, any pain is a reminder of our elevation.

If on the one hand the Scholastics and Alchemists seem to be utterly at variance, and the Eclectics on the other hand quite at one, yet, strictly examined, it is altogether the reverse. The former, in essentials, are indirectly of one opinion; namely, as regards the non-dependence, and infinite character of Meditation, they both set out from the Absolute: whilst the Eclectic and limited sort are essentially at variance; and agree only in what is deduced. The former are infinite but uniform, the latter bounded but multiform; the former have genius, the latter talent; those have Ideas, these have knacks (Handgriffe); those are heads without hands, these are hands without heads. The third stage is for the Artist, who can be at once implement and genius. He finds that that primitive Separation in the absolute Philosophical Activities' (between the Scholastic, and the "rude, intuitive Poet") 'is a deeper-lying Separation in his own Nature; which Separation indicates, by its existence as such, the possibility of being adjusted, of being joined: he finds that, heterogeneous as these Activities are, there is yet a faculty in him of passing from the one to the other, of changing his polarity at will. He discovers in them, therefore, necessary members of his spirit; he observes that both must be united in some common Principle. He infers that Eclecticism is nothing but the imperfect defective employment of this principle.

It is the most capricious prejudice to believe that a human being is denied the capacity to be outside himself, to be consciously beyond the senses. He is capable at any moment of being a supra-sensual being. Without this he would not be a citizen of the world?he would be an animal. It is true that under these circumstances reflection, the discovery of oneself?is very difficult, since they are so ceaselessly, so necessarily connected with the change in our other circumstances. But the more conscious of these circumstances we can be, the more lively, powerful, and ample is the conviction which derives from them?the belief in true revelations of the spirit. It is not seeing?hearing?feeling?it is a combination of all three?more than all three?a sensation of immediate certainty?a view of my truest, most actual life?thoughts change into laws?wishes are fulfilled. For the weak person the fact of this moment is an article of faith. The phenomenon becomes especially striking at the sight of many human forms and faces?particularly so on catching sight of many eyes, expressions, movements?on hearing certain words, reading certain passages?at certain views of life, world, and fate. Very many chance incidents, many natural events, particular times of the day and year bring us such experiences. Certain moods are especially favorable to such revelations. Most last only an instant?few linger?fewest of all remain. In this respect there are great differences between people. One is more capable of experiencing revelations than another. One has more sense of them, the other more understanding. The latter kind will always remain in their soft light; even if the former has only intermittent flashes of illumination, they are brighter and more varied. This capacity is also susceptible to illness, which signifies either excessive sense and deficient understanding?or excessive understanding and deficient sense.

Must the morning always return? Will the despotism of the earthly never cease? Unholy activity consumes the angel-visit of the Night. Will the time never come when Love's hidden sacrifice shall burn eternally? To the Light a season was set; but everlasting and boundless is the dominion of the Night. -- Endless is the duration of sleep. Holy Sleep -- gladden not too seldom in this earthly day-labor, the devoted servant of the Night. Fools alone mistake thee, knowing nought of sleep but the shadow which, in the twilight of the real Night, thou pitifully castest over us. They feel thee not in the golden flood of the grapes -- in the magic oil of the almond tree -- and the brown juice of the poppy. They know not that it is thou who hauntest the bosom of the tender maiden, and makest a heaven of her lap -- never suspect it is thou, opening the doors to Heaven, that steppest to meet them out of ancient stories, bearing the key to the dwellings of the blessed, silent messenger of secrets infinite.

One should, when overwhelmed by the shadow of a giant, move aside and see if the colossal shadow isn't merely that of a pygmy blocking out the sun.

Run away from the pain, not love. The lover that leaves open wounds.

The division of Philosopher and Poet is only apparent, and to the disadvantage of both. It is a sign of disease, and of a sickly constitution.

The most intimate community of all knowledge?the republic of learning is the high purpose of scholars.

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Novalis, pseudonym of Georg Philipp Friedrich Freiherr von Hardenberg
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German Philosopher, Poet, Metallurgist, Aphorist and Mystic