Spengler: about Time, History and Destiny

“Of every organism we know that its rhythm, its figure and duration and every expression of its life are determined by the qualities of the species to which it belongs. Of a thousand-year old oak none will think that its development is starting right now. From a caterpillar, that can be seen growing before our eyes, none will expect that it will continue to grow like this for years. In this regard everyone has the certain sensation of a limit, identical to the sensation of the inner form. But towards the history of the superior humanity, for what concerns the course of the future dominates an unbridled optimism, heedless of any data of both historical and organic experience, therefore everyone believes to be able to individuate in the contingency of today the <<beginnings>> of a linear and marvellous <<further evolution>>, not because it is scientifically proven, but only because corresponds to what is desired”.

“There is a youth and a senility in cultures, peoples, languages, truths, gods, landscapes – as there are young and old oaks and pines, flowers, branches and leaves”.

“Who doesn’t understand that this end is inevitable, who doesn’t understand that one must want either this or nothing, that one must love this destiny or despair of the future, of life, who doesn’t feel the greatness that also resides in this activity of mighty minds, in this energy and discipline of metallic natures, in this fight carried out with the most cold and abstract means, who indulges in the provincial idealism, in nostalgia for the lifestyle of past times – this person must renounce to understand history, to live history, to create history”.

“It’s all about realizing this situation, this destiny, and understanding it, because despite the illusions that we can create it is not possible to avoid it. Who can’t acknowledge this, can’t be counted among the men of his generation”.

-Oswald Spengler

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Related post: Spengler: about Cosmic Anguish and the Religious Sentiment of the World

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Spengler: about Cosmic Anguish and the Religious Sentiment of the World

“Among the primordial sentiments, the cosmic anguish is certainly the most creative. To it man owes the most profound forms and figures, matured not only from its conscious inner life, but also from the repercussions of it in the innumerable works of the external culture. Like a secret melody not perceptible by everyone, the anguish becomes known through the language of the forms of every true work of art, of every deep philosophy, of every significant action”.

“In every work that expresses the whole man, the whole sense of existence, anguish and desire, despite being intertwined, remain distinct”.

“All the living forms in which the soul expresses itself, all the arts, the theories, the customs, all the mathematical and metaphysical worlds of the forms, every ornamentation, every column, every verse, every idea is, deep inside, religious and can only be religious. But now it can no longer be such. The essence of every culture is religion, therefore the essence of every civilization is irreligion”.

“At the beginning of history there is a deep religious sense of the world, there are sudden illuminations, shivers of anguish in front of the awake being toward which we proceeded, there are dreams and metaphysical desires: at the end of it there is an intellectual clarity so exasperated to be painful”.

“That the birth of the Self and that of the cosmic anguish are one, is one of the fundamental mysteries of humanity and, in general, of the life capable of free movement”.

-Oswald Spengler

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