Decline of the West - Abbreviated Version

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Summary produced by Michel Bauwens on the basis of reading notes made out of mostly excerpts from Spengler himself.

"The work falls naturally in two parts:

- The first, 'Form and Actuality', starts from the form language of the Great Cultures, attempts to penetrate to the deepest roots of their origin, and so provides itself with the basis of a science of the Symbolic.

- The second part, "World Historical Perspectives', starts from the facts of actual life; seeks to obtain a quintessence of historical experience, that we can set to work upon the formation of our own future." (p. 39)

Vol. I - Form and Actuality

Chapter I - Introduction

I. (p. 3)

"Is there a logic to history ? .. Is there a metaphysical structure of historic humanity? .. (Are there) a series of stages which must be traversed, and traversed moreover, in an orderly and obligatory sequence? .. Is all history founded upon general biographic archetypes?" (p. 3)

II. (p. 3)

"The means whereby to identify dead forms is Mathematical Law. The means whereby to understand living forms is Analogy." (p.3 ) ... Analogies, in so far as they have laid bare the organic structure of history, might be a blessing to historical thought. .. But as hitherto understood and practiced, they have been a curse." (p. 4-5)

III. (p. 5)

"This book introduces the theme of the 'world as history', given form out of its opposite, the 'world-as-nature'". (p.5)

"I have not hitherto found one historian, who has carefully considered the morphological relationship that inwardly brings together the expression of forms of all branches of culture. Viewed from this morphological standpoint even the humdrum facts of politics, assume a symbolic and even metaphysical character." (p. 6)

"There is, besides a necessity of cause and effect - .. the logic of space - ... another ... organic necessity in life, that of Destiny, the logic of time." (p. 6)

"We await .. the philosopher who will tell us in what language history is written." (p. 7) (>< Galileo wrote: "philosophy, as Nature's great book, is written in mathematical language", p. 6)

IV. (p. 7)

"Man has before him two possibilities of world formation:

- Nature, ... the shape in which he interprets the immediate impression of his senses - History, .. that from his imagination seeks comprehension of the living existence of the world, in relation to his own life. (p. 7)

"For whom is there History? .. For anyone (that) conceives himself as something rounded off and self-contained.. : there is no world-as-history. .. How if the self-consciousness of a whole nation .. rests on this historical spirit? .. The Classical Culture possessed no memory, no open history in this special sense." (p. 7)

"This pure Present, whose greatest symbol is the Doric Column, in itself predicates the negation of time (of direction). " (p. 8)

"For a roman consult, the past is substituted instantly into an impression that is timeless and changeless, polar and not periodic ... >< .. whereas for our world ... the past is definitely periodic." (p. 8)

- for example:

- "the Athenians passed a decree by which all who propagated astronomical theories were made liable to impeachment; Thucydides (made) the astonishing statement that before his time, no events of importance had occurred." (p. 8)

- "Classical history .. (is) the product of essentially mythological thinking" (p. 9). "It never entered the Classical head to draw any distinction between history as story and history as documents." (p. 9)

>< By contrast, "In the Indian Culture, .. it is a full millennium after Buddha, when Ceylon produces something remotely resembling a historical work, the 'Mahavansa'. (p. 9) ... "It is in the anonymous form that we possess the Indian philosophy." (p. 10)

"Indian man forgot everything but Egyptian man forgot nothing." ... The Egyptian soul (was) ... conspicuously historical. The Egyptian culture is an embodiment of care - care for the future - and for the past ... The body of the dead man was made everlasting, just as his personality ('ka'), was immortalized though the portrait statuettes. ... The Egyptian denied mortality >< the Classical Man affirmed it." (p. 10)

V. (p. 11)

"At the threshold of the Classical Culture, we meet the custom of burning the dead, typifying the ease with which it could forget every piece of its inward and outward past." (p. 10) "The symbolic act .. was the ceremonial completion of death, and the denial of historical duration. (p. 11)

"From this moment the plasticity of the individual spiritual evolution was at an end .. Classical drama admitted .. little themes .. of inward evolution and .. the Hellenistic instinct set itself against portraiture in the arts." (p. 11)

"Right into the imperial period, Classical art handled only the matter that was natural to it, the myth." (p.11) .. "No Greek ever wrote down any recollections .., not even Socrates >< .. On the contrary, the Vita Nuova is found at the very outset of the spiritual history of the West, .. a work of deep self-examination." (p. 11) .. Goethe considered his works, "only fragments of a single great confession." (p. 11)

"Men read Homer but never thought of excavating the hill of Troy .., for what they wanted, was myth, not history." (p. 11) >< "The chimes of countless clock towers that echo day and night over West Europe, are perhaps the most wonderful expression of which a historical world's feeling is capable." (p. 11)

"It remains to mention the .. difference between Classical and modern mathematics .. The former conceived of things as they are, as magnitudes, timeless and purely present, and so it proceeded to Euclidean geometry ('mathematical stasis'). >< We conceive things as they become and behave, as function, and this brought us to dynamics .. and differential calculus." (p. 12)

"We men of Western Culture are, with our historical sense, an exception and not the rule. World history is our picture, and not all mankind's." (p. 12)

VI. (p. 12)

"What then is World History ? .. The subdivision into Ancient, Medieval, and Modern .. is a meaningless scheme .. which has entirely dominated our historical thinking. . The scheme circumscribes the area of history, ... it rigs the stage." (p. 12-13)

"We select a single bit of ground as the natural center .., and make the central sun." (p. 13)

"From the morphological point of view, should our 18th cy. be more important than any other of the sixty centuries which preceded it?" (p. 13)

"The most appropriate designation for this current West European scheme history .. is the Ptolemaic system of history!" (p. 13)

VII. (p. 14)

"The scheme, 'ancient-medieval-modern', in its first form, was a creation of the Magian world sense .. The strictly dualistic sense of the East .. expressed itself by the figure of a catastrophe, an epochal change of phase between world creation and world decay, .. a drama in which one prevails over the other." (p. 14)

"Adding a third epoch, that we call 'modern' , on Western soil , gives the picture of history the look of progression." (p. 14) ("The oriental picture was at rest, with equilibrium as its outcome, and a unique divine act as its turning point", p. 14)

"Beyond the ancient and medieval, something definitive was beginning, a Third Kingdom .. The mystic number three applied to the world has something highly seductive." (p. 15)

"History was described,

- by Herder as the education of the human race

- by Hegel as the self-expansion of the world spirit

- by Kant as the evolution of the idea of freedom." (p. 15)

"On the threshold of Western Culture, we meet the great Joachim of Floris (c. 1145-1202) .. who shattered the dualistic world form of Augustine." (p. 15)

"His teaching (the Age of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost) .. moved the best: Dante, Thomas Aquinas, ... and awakened a world outlook which took entire possession of the historical sense of our Culture. .. Lessing took his idea of the 'education of the human race', with its three stages of child, youth, and man, from the teaching of the 14th cy. mystics." (p. 15)

But, "it is quite indefensible .. to endow the 3-phase system with tendencies that will bring it exactly to one's own standpoint.!" (. p15)

The total history .. may be merely an additive compilation of separate developments." (p. 16)

" 'Mankind' .. has no aim, no idea, no plan .. Break the magic circle and at once there emerges an astonishing wealth of actual forms) ... I see .. the drama of a number of mighty Cultures .. Each having its own idea, passions, its own death .. Each Culture has its own new possibilities of self-expression which arise, .. decay, and never return.. I see world history as a picture of endless formations and transformations." (p. 16-17)

VIII. (p. 17)

"When Plato spoke, he did so for the Greeks, in contrast with the barbarians. When Kant speaks, "he maintains the validity of his theses, for men of all times and places." (p. 17). But what he poses as necessary forms of thought are in reality only necessary forms of western thought." (p. .17)

"It is this that is lacking to the Western thinker: insight into the historically relative character of his data." ... We have "the duty of looking beyond them to find out what the men of other Cultures have with equal certainty evolved out of themselves .. Universal validity involves always the fallacy of arguing from "Consider the historical horizon of Nietzsche (which) ... lie deep in the essence of Western Civilization and are for the analysis of that civilization of decisive importance .. He never one moved outside the scheme ('ancient, medieval, modern'), nor did any other thinker of his time." (p. 18)

"All these are local and temporary values .. most of them limited ... to the intelligentsia of cities of the Western European type." (p. 19)

"The real student of manking treats no standpoint as absolutely right or absolutely wrong." (p. 19)

"One must free oneself of limitations of self .. before one dares assert the pretension to understand .. the world-as-history." (p. 19)

IX. (p. 20)

"To approach the phenomenal world in motion, these are the means of historical research." (Goethe's Living Nature, the thing-becoming, world-as-organism .. these are the world-as-history!)."

"Set forth the Classical Culture as a self-contained phenomenon embodying and expressing the Classical Soul; put it beside the Egyptian, the Indian, the Babylonian, the Chinese and the Western, and determine for each of these higher individuals what is typical in their surgings." (p.20)

X. (p. 20)

"Our narrower task ... is to determine ... the state of West Europe and America at the epoch of 1800-2000, ... to establish the chronological position of this period in the ensemble of Western culture history. " (p. 20)

"This period ... appears as chronologically parallel .. with the phase of Hellenism, and the present culmination, marked by World War, corresponds to the transition from the Hellenistic to the Roman Age." ( p. 20) ... (considered in the spirit of analogy, p. 20)

"Spengler insists .. we are not continuators of Classical Civilization, but its adorers: 'we ... must begin to realize ... how immeasurably alien these things are ... from our inner selves." (p. 21)

"Today, one group, mostly politicians, look at the Classics to argue how well we are doing; the other group, the Romantics, who do not feel well in this age, stress that we have betrayed it.

XI. (p. 22)

"There are two ways of regarding the Classic, the materialistic and the ideological." (p. 22)

"Each side, with its gaze fixed on causality, demonstrates that the other side cannot ... understand the true linkages." (p. 22)

"At bottom, the opposition is between culture man and those of civilization man. ... We have projected our deepest spiritual needs and feelings on to the Classical picture ... Few theses would be more helpful for understanding the Western soul." (p. 23)

"For the man who ... has won the unconditional freedom of outlook ... that which assigns relative ran .. is simply the greater or lesser purity of their form language and symbolism." (p. 24)

XII. (p.24)

"What is Civilization, understood as the organic logical sequel fulfillment of a culture ? .. For every Culture has its own Civilization .. The Civilization is the inevitable destine of the Culture." (p. 24)

"Necessary organic succession, .. in this principle we obtain the viewpoint .. from which .. the problems of historical morphology become capable of solution." (p. 24)

"For the first time, we are enabled to understand the Romans as successors of the Greeks .. (p. 24): Greek soul - Roman intellect! ... and this antithesis is the difference between Culture and Civilization." (p. 25)

"Again and again, there appears this type of strong-minded non-metaphysical man, and in the hands of this type .. lies .. the destiny of every 'late' period." (p 25)

" 'Pure' civilization, as a historical process, consists in a progressive taking down of forms that have become inorganic or dead .. In such periods do Buddhism, Stoicism, Socialism ripen into definite world conceptions which enable a moribund humanity .. to be reformed .. The transition from Culture to Civilization was accomplished in the Classical world in the 4th, for the Western in the 19th." (p 25)

"World city and province (are) the two basic ideas of every civilization .. Instead of a world ('true people: born and grown on the soil'), there is a city, a point ('while the rest dries up'), contemptuous of the country man .. Regions that lie outside the radiation circles of one of these cities .. become provinces." (p. 25)

"It is the common intellectual process of later periods ('such as the Ionic and the Baroque'), (that) provincial towns fight inwardly a lost battle against world cities .." (p. 25-26). "The world city means cosmopolitanism instead of 'home', 'society' in place of the state, natural instead of hard-earned rights .. Any high ideal of life becomes largely a question of money." (p. 26)

"All these things .. (mean) the definitive closing down of a Culture, and the opening of a quite new phase of human existence: anti-provincial, late, futureless, but quite inevitable." ( p. 26)

"What is the hallmark of a politic of civilization today, in contrast to a politic of Culture yesterday ? .. It is .. money! (p. 27) .. "To the Culture belongs gymnastics, the tournament; to the Civilization belongs Sport." (p. 27)

"It is possible to understand the Greeks without mentioning their economic relations; the Romans, on the other hand, can only be understood through these." (p. 27)


"The Roman world dominion was a negative phenomenon, being the result not of a surplus of energy on one side, .. but of a deficiency of resistance .. The old East forwent all external self-determinations ('After Zama, the Romans never again .. were capable of waging a war against a great military power") (p. 28)

"To maintain the heroic posture for centuries is beyond the power of any people." (p. 28)

"Imperialism may continue to exist (as) .. amorphous and dispirited masses, as the typical form of the passing away, .. scrap material of a great history." (p. 28)

"Imperialism is Civilization 'Unadulterated' .. The energy of culture man is directed inwards, that of Civilization man outwards .. The expansive tendency is a doom, something demonic and immense ("it is not the conscious will of individuals, or even that of whole classes of people.")

=> For the 'brain man', there are only 'extensive' possibilities." (p. 28)

"This is the prelude of a future which is still in store for us .. This outcome is obligatory and insusceptible of modification." (p. 29)

"The future of the West is not a limitless tending upwards and onwards for all time .. but a single phenomena of history, strictly limited and defined." (p. 30)


"This high plane of contemplation once attained, the rest is easy. .. In effect, the substitution of a Copernican for a Ptolemaic aspect of history, that is, an immeasurable widening of horizon .. When we use the risky word of 'freedom', we shall mean .. : freedom to do .. the necessary, or nothing." (p. 30)

"The present is a .. civilized time, and, ipso facto, a great number of life possibilities fall out as impossible. .. It is not in our power to make otherwise .. it is not .. permissible to defy clear historical experience." (p. 31)

"We have to reckon with the hard cold facts of a 'late' life, the parallel is to found in .. Caesar's Rome." (p. 31)

"Of great painting, or great music, there can no longer be, for Western people, any question ... Only extensive possibilities are left to them." (p.31)

"I can only hope that men of the new generation may be moved by this book to devote themselves to technics instead of lyrics." (p. 31)


"It still remains to consider the relation of a morphology of world history to philosophy. All genuine historical work is philosophy. (p.31).. Every thought lives in a historical world and is therefore involved in the common destiny of mortality." (p.32)

"Here are no eternal truths. Every philosophy is the expression of its own and only of its own time. No two ages possess the same philosophical intentions. The immortality of thought forms is an illusion." (p. 32)

"Only its necessity to life decides the eminence of a doctrine .. All the philosophers of the newest age are open to serious criticism: .. they do not possess real standing in actual life .. Not one of them .. has intervened .. in big .. actuality." (p.32) .. "At other times: .. Confucius was several times a minister. Pythagoras was the organizer of an important political movement. Goethe .. a model executive minister." (p. 33) .. The philosphers of today .. lack any weight." (p. 33)

"It has come to this, that the very possibility of a real philosophy .. is in question. .. A doctrine that does not attack and affect the life of a period .. is no doctrine." (p. 34)

"A time which coincides exactly with the idea of a world city .. is a time of decline. We have not chosen this time .. Everything depends on seeing our own position, our destiny, learly: .. we are born as men of the early winter of full Civilization." (p. 34)

"Systematic philosophy closes with the end of the 18th cy. Kant put its utmost possibilities in form .. He is followed by a specifically megalopolitan philosophy that was .. practical, irreligious." (as "parallelled in Chinese civilization by the 'Epicurean' Yang-Chu, the 'socialist' MoTi, the 'positivist' Mencius." (p. 35) )

"Schopenhauer .. is the first to make the Will to life ('creative life force'), the center of gravity of his thought. It has embraced all the possibilities of a true philosophy, and at the same time, has exhausted them." (p. 35)

"Ethical (philosophy) has been wound u p .. A third possibility, corresponding to Classical Skepticism, still remains to the soul world of the present day est .. It can be brought to light by the hitherto unknown methods of historical methodology." (p. 35)

"Skepticism .. of the West, .. is obliged to be historical through and through .. Its solutions are got by treating everything as relative, as a historical phenomenon, and its procedure is psychological .. We regard .. the history of philosophy as its gravest theme." (p. 35) ("comprehension of the past as organism")

"In this work, it will be our task to sketch this unphilosophical philosophy, the last that West Europe will know. Skepticism is the expression of a pure Civilization and it dissipates the world picture of the Culture that has gone before." (p. 35)

"Everything .. must be .. the expression of something living:

=> The Morphology of World History becomes .. a universal symbolism. (p. 36)

"Truths are truths only in relation to a particular mankind .. My own philosophy is able to express .. only the Western soul, .. in its present civilizational phase." (p. 36)


"A political problem cannot be comprehended by politics themselves: important factors at work in the depths could only be grasped through their artistic manifestations." (or even scientific .. and .. philosophical ideas). .. Politico-social analysis (is) impossible without bringing in all the great problems of Being." (p. 36)

"No single fragment of history could be thoroughly illuminated .. untel the secret of World History itself, (i.e. until) .. the story of higher Mankind as an organism of regular study .. has been cleared up." (p. 36)

"There appeared the fundamental dependence of the most modern physical and chemical theories on the mythological concepts of our Germanic ancestors." (p. 36-37)

"Great groups of morphological relation are strictly symmetrical in structure .. Therefore, I saw the preent - the approaching World War - in a quite other light." (p. 37)

"Nietzsche himself had gripped all the decisive problems, although, being a romantic, he had not dared to look strict reality in the face .. The 'stock taking doctrine' .. could only come at this time." (p. 37)

"Man, as an element and representative of the World, is a member, not only of nature, but of History - which is a second Cosmos." (p. 38)

"History was seen as Nature, and treated accordingly, applying the principles of causality, the structure of rigid Being, to the picture of happenings." (p. 38)

"A baneful mistake, (as) necessity, so completely alien to the causal, (is) at work. A phenomenon is not only a fact for the understanding, but also an expression of the spiritual, not only an object, but a symbol as well." (p. 38)

"The work falls naturally in two parts:

- The first, 'Form and Actuality', starts from the form language of the Great Cultures, attempts to penetrate to the deepest roots of their origin, and so provides itself with the basis of a science of the Symbolic.

- The second part, "World Historical Perspectives', starts from the facts of actual life; seeks to obtain a quintessence of historical experience, that we can set to work upon the formation of our own future." (p. 39)

Chapter II - The Meaning of Numbers

(p. 41)


"It is necessary to begin by drawing attention to certain basic terms: .. the exact significance .. ought to be made clear." (p. 41)

"Out of the results .. we .. obtain .. by consciousness, .. we may distinguish as final elements 'becoming' and 'the become' .. The become is always founded on the becoming. .. I further distinguish, 'proper' and 'alien'. Alien .. is always related to perception, the outer world, the life of sensation. Proper is involved with feeling, the inner life, in a way that defy analysis by abstract thought."

"I distinguish 'soul' and 'world': the two factors .. are always (p. 41) .. associated, and present themselves as a unit. .. We designate the Soul as 'possible' and the World as the 'actual'. We see 'Life' as the form in which the actualizing of the possible is accomplished." (p. 42)

"With respect to 'Direction', the possible is called the 'Future', and the actualized, the 'Past'. .. The actualizing itself, .. the center of meaning of life, we call the 'Present'.

=> 'Soul' is the still be be accomplished, 'World' is the accomplished, 'Life' is the accomplishing." (p. 42)

"We differentiate between 'possible' and 'actual' culture:

- culture as an 'idea' in existence

- culture as the 'body' of that idea, .. the total of its tangible expressions.

=> 'Higher history is the actualizing of possible Culture." (p. 43)

("Goethe's 'living nature' is a 'historical' world picture.", p. 43)

"The mechanism of pure nature picture, the world of Newton and Kant, is .. dissected in laws .. and finally reduced to system; the organism of pure history picture, .. the world of Plotinus, Dante and Giordano Bruno is .. inwardly experienced, grasped as a form or

=> "Nature is the numerable, while History .. is the aggregate of that which has no relations to mathematics." (p. 44)

"Gothic cathedrals and Doric temples are mathematics in stone .. The great arts are .. modes of interpretation by means of limits based on number .. It is the style of a Soul that comes out in numbers!" (p. 45)


"There is not, and cannot be, number as such. There are several number world as there are several cultures." (p. 45)

"Each type (is) fundamentally peculiar and unique, an expression of the specific world feeling, .. a principle of ordering the Become." (p. 45)

"Consequently, there are more mathematics than one ..; not common to all mankind, but specific in each case to one definite sort of mankind." (p. 46)

"The style of any mathematic which comes into being .. depends wholly on the Culture in which it is rooted: ..The idea of the Euclidean geometry is actualized in the earliest forms of Classical ornament, and that of the Infinite Calculus in the earliest forms of Gothic architecture, centuries before the first learned mathematicians of their respective Cultures, were born."

"The genuine awakening of the ego, which turns the child into Higher Man, and initiates him into the community of his Culture, marks the beginning of number sense as it does that of language sense .. Therewith comes .. a feeling of awe regarding the deeper meaning of measuring and counting .. " (p. 46)

"Kant classified .. human knowledge according to 'a priori' ('universally valid') and 'a posteriori' ('variable') .. He ignored "the varying degree of this alleged 'universal validity'." (p. 46)

=> "The history spread out before us contains more than one style of knowing." (p. 47)

"Conclusion on final things are to be reached not by predicating constantly but by studying differentia and developing the organic logic of differences. " (i.e. "the comparative morphology of knowledge forms") (p. 47)


"There is no mathematic, but only mathematics! .. The 'history' of mathematics .. is a history of independent development .. The historically constituted Western Soul .. had to alter .. the essentially alien Euclidean system .. The agent was Descartes." (p. 47)

"The sense of form of the sculptor, the painter, the composer is essentially mathematical, .. the same inspired ordering of an infinite world. ..

>< "Whereas pure science does not apprehend but observes and dissects." (p. 47)

"The mathematician is only complete in so far as he feels within himself the beauty of the true. (cfr Goethe) .. Here we feel how nearly the secret of number is related to the secret of artistic creation." (p. 48)

"The domain of number, like the domain of tone, line, and color, becomes an image of the world form." (p. 48)

"Revealing would be a history of musical instrument written .. as a study of the deep spiritual bases of the tone colors. As early as the Gothic time, the development .. belongs spiritually to the Celtic Germanic North." (p. 48)


"When about 540 BC, the circle of Pythagoreans arrived at the idea that 'number is the essence of all things' .. a wholly new mathematics was born", i.e. >< "it was NOT a step in the development of mathematics" (p. 49)

"It came forth from the depths of the Classical soul .. Older mathematics had long been extinguished and the Egyptian was never written down." .. Fulfilled by the 2nd cy AD, the Classical mathematic vanished in turn. .. It seemingly exist today .. only as notation .. and gave place to the Arabian." (p. 49)

"The great movement within the Middle East ("the Persian Babylonian Schools") .. and the Alexandrian mathematicians ('Arameans ... writing in Syriac') found its completion in .. Arabian Islamic thinkers, and after these again there was a long interval." (p. 49)

"Then a .. new mathematic was born, the Western, (which was) >< NOT 'the culmination of two thousand years of evolultion." (p. 49)

"The most valuable thing in Classical mathematics is the proposition that number is the essence of all things perceptible to the senses .. (It expresses) .. the world feeling of a soul devoted to the here and now." (p. 49)

"The opposite to the state of chaos, that of the cosmos, .. a harmonic order." (p. 49)

"Chaos .. for Classical mankind is that which possesses no number, measureless, the negation of form, boundless and formless .. Extension means body (>< " for us: space")" (p. 50)

"The whole world feeling of the matured Classical world led it to see mathematics only as the theory of relations of magnitude, .. "between bodies" (= 'solid geometry')." (p. 50)

"Classical number .. is measure in contrast to the immeasurable." (p. 50)

"The Classical soul felt the principle of the irrational .. as an impiety to the Divine itself .. Negative number were impossible in the Classical mathematic, let alone zero as a number." (p. 51)

"Great ideas belonging to other cultures .. lapse, because our thought, with its limitations, has not permitted us to assimilate them." (. 52)


"The Greek mathematic, as a science of perceivable magnitudes, .. confines itself to facts of the comprehensible present. .. >< Western: "numbers are images of the perfectly desensualized understanding .. and contain their abstract validity within themselves." (p. 52)

"To the Classical world feeling .. the cosmos is contained (in a materially finite and optically appreciable hollow sphere) in the middle of which (is) the planetary system." (p. 53)

"Classical mathematicians .. worked out .. a purely optical analysis of things-become, on the basis of sculptural Classical bounds .. Mathematical number (is) the formal principle of an extension world of which phenomenal existence is only derivative .. Numbers are symbols of the mortal. Stiff forms are the negation of life." (p. 54)

But numbers are also "the unborn forms to be realized as .. Culture, in a world ordered by spirituality": "Classical Apollonian number (is) regarded as the creation of Pythagoras, who founded a religion." (p. 55)

"Kepler and Newton, strictly religious creatures both .. remained convinced that it was .. through the medium of number, that they had been able to apprehend intuitively, the essence of divine world order." (p. 55)


"The Classical arithmetic .. was liberated from its sense bondage by Diophantus, .. a complete victory over the Classical world feeling .. There emerges .. the new limit feeling which I designate 'Magian'." .. Diophantus lived about 250 AD, in the 3rd cy of that Arabian culture, whose history .. comprises everything that happened, after the beginning of our era, that was later to be Islam's. .. In the time of Diophantus, the last shadow of the Attic statuary paled before the new space sense of cupola, mosaic and sarcophagus relief that we have in the early Christian Syrian style." (p. 56)

"The Classical Culture .. had been born around 1100 BC .. The Arabian Culture had been germinating in the East since Augustus." (p. 56)

"In Diophantus, number has ceased to be the measure and essence of plastic things. In the Ravennate mosaics, man has ceased to be a body. Unnoticed, Greek designation have lost their original connotations .. Diophantus has ceased to know the Pythagorean numbers." (p. 56)

"We have to begin to see the 'despised' late classical art, the tentative expression of the nascent Early Arabian Culture .. Throughout that world, men were no longer bright and free in the Attic way, .. they were rooted in the earth of a young countryside, not megalopolitan. Their Culture was in their Gothic condition, as all Cultures have been in their youth." (p. 57)

"Only in Baghdad and in the 9th-10th cy were the young ideas of the age of Diophantus carried through to completion by ripe masters." (p. 57)


"The decisive act of Descartes (1637) .. consisted in the definite conception of a new number idea, .. expressed in the emancipation of geometry from measured and measurable lines. .. With that, the analysis of the infinite became a fact .. There emerged the abstract, spatial, un-Classical element of the point ... upending the Classical feeling of bounds." (p. 57)

"The replacement of lengths by positions, carries with it a purely spatial, and no longer a material, conception of extension. " (p. 58)


"The Classical Soul in the person of Pythagoras discovered its .. Apollonian number, the measure magnitude." >< "The Western Soul in the persons of Descartes (and his generation) discovered a notion of number that was the child of a passionate 'Faustian' tendency towards the infinite, .. at the moment exactly corresponding." (p. 58)

=> "Number as pure magnitude inherent in the material presentness of things is paralleled by number as pure relation," (p. 58)

(For) the Classical world, the cosmos is based on a deep need of visible limits and composed .. as a sum of material things." >< "The symbol of the West .. is .. function. This consists solely .. in abstract analysis." (p. 58)

" 'Power' .. is transferred to a transcendent relational world .. Every significant creation .. is a victory over the popular and sensuous number feeling in us." (p. 58-59)

"The history of Western knowledge .. is one of progressive emancipation from Classical thought .. An emancipation never willed but enforced in the depths of the unconscious." (p. 59)

"The development of the new mathematic consists of a .. (victorious) .. battle against the notion of magnitude." (p. 59)


This section is a complex explanation of the fundamental difference between Greek and Western numbers, the latter mostly developed in the 18th cy.


"The element of direction, .. inherent to all 'becoming' .. is felt to be something alien and hostile, .. owing to its irreversibility .. Time has an oppressive ambiguity." (p. 61-62)

"This world-fear is assuredly the most creative of all prime feelings. .. Only the spiritually dead man of autumnal cities .. is able to evade it .. by setting up a secretless 'scientific worldview' between himself and the alien." (p. 62)

"The other prime feeling, dread, finds it expression .. in symbols of extension. Every Culture is aware of an opposition of time and space, of direction and extension .. The role of one is purely to experience, that of the other purely to know." (p. 62)

"In the mysticism of all primitive periods, to know God means to conjure him, to make him favorable, to appropriate him inwardly.. This is achieved principally by means of the Name .. When cognition has ripened to .. words, the original chaos of impressions .. transforms itself into 'Nature', that has laws and must obey them." (p. 62)

"The complete form worlds of the various arts and religions .. is the symbolizing of extension, it (has)the characteristics of binding and conjuring." (p. 63)


"In the Classical world, the staring point of every formative act was the ordering of the 'become', insofar as this present .. and measurable." >< "The Western, Gothic, form feeling is on the contrary that of an unrestrained, strong-willed, far-ranging soul; .. it's chosen badge is pure, imperceptible, unlimited space." (p. 63)

"The infinite space of our physics is a form of .. extremely complicated elements, tacitly assumed, .. come into being as an expression of 'our' soul.

=> " They are simple .. because for mean of the particular group it is anchored in the intuition; for 'alien' men their content is ipso facto quite inaccessible." (p. 63)

"Such a notion .. is our specifically Western meaning of the word 'space'." (p. 63)

"We know only .. the abstract space element of the point, which can neither be seen nor measured .. The straight line, for the Greeks a measurable edge, is for us an infinite continuum of points." (p. 64)

"Classical number, integral and corporeal, .. seeks to relate itself with the birth of body .. (For) Pythagoras, "1" was correlated with the male principle (the phallus); "3", the holy number, .. denoted the act of union between man and woman." (p. 64)

"Inevitably, the Classical became by degrees the Culture of the small, .. by means of the principle .. of visible limits .. What was far away .. was ipso facto, 'not there'." The Greek tongue .. possessed no word for space. The Greek .. was destitute of our feeling for landscape, horizon .. Home is what he can see from the citadel of his native town." (p. 65)

"The Polis is the smallest of all conceivable state forms .. and its policy is .. short range .. >< .. "as (much) as ours is that of the infinite and the ultra-visual. (p. 65)


"Typically Classical art forms .. admit enlargement and reductions of scale .. >< "In the domain of (Western) Function, it is the idea of transformation of groups that is of decisive importance." (p. 66)

=> "All proportion assumes the constancy; >< "All transformation (assumes) the variability of constituents." (p. 66)


- "Every construction affirms >< and every operation denies appearances;

- The one works with what is optically given, the other dissolves it .. Classical mathematics with concrete .. individual instances .. >< The mathematic of the infinite handles whole classes of formal possibilities, groups of functions." (p. 66)

"Nothing is less 'popular' than modern mathematic .. All the great works of the West, from the 'Divina Commedia' to 'Parsifal', are unpopular, whereas everything Classical, from Homer to the Altar of PerGamum, was popular to the highest degree." (p. 67)


This section deals with the notion of 'limits' in Western mathematics.


"The liberation of geometry from the visual; and the algebra from the notion of magnitude; and the union of both .. This was the grand course of Western number thought. Abstract spatial relations .. ceased to have any application to sense-present phenomena." (p. 67)


"The Classical soul, submitted to the sensuous, .. it rather felt than emitted its great symbols .. Descartes and his successors .. looked upon Number as something to be conquered, .. an abstract relation royally indifferent to all phenomenal support .. The will-to-power (Nietzsche) has distinguished the attitude of the Northern soul to its world." (p.. 68)

"In the Apollonian mathematic, the intellect is the servant of the eye, in the Faustian, its master." (p. 68)

"Absolute space is utterly un-Classical." (p. 68) .. "A postulate of a soul .. ever less satisfied with sensuous means of expression. The inner eye has awakened. .. The simple axiom is that extension is boundless, .. at once contradicts the essential character of all immediate perception. .. This space of a higher degree is symbol .. which is the peculiar property of the Western mind." (p. 69)


"Both Pythagorean and Cartesian, .. flourished for three centuries, completed the structure of their ideas at the same moment as the Cultures .. passed over in the phase of megalopolitan Civilization . For us, the time of great mathematicians is passed." (p. 70)

Box: Historical Overview (table, p. 70-71)


Chapter III. The Problem of World History

(p. 73)

Part I: Physionomic and Systematic


"A member of his own culture is tempted to order the material of history according to a perspective that is limited." (p. 73)

"What has been missing is detachment, .. to view the whole fact of Man from an immense distance.. This the Western soul achieved in the domain of Nature, when it passed from the Ptolemaic world system." (p. 73)

"The physicist has long ago freed himself from prepossessions as to relative distance, the historian not so .. To liberate History, .. is the object of all that


"Nature and History are the opposite extreme terms of man's range of possibilities, whereby he is enabled to order the actualities about him." (p. 74)

"An actuality is Nature insofar .. as it assigns things becoming their place as things become .. The cognized and 'Nature' are one and the same .. Nature is the sum of the law-imposed necessities." (p. 74)

"Experience, that which has been lived, that which has happened, is history. It carries the hallmark of Direction, 'time', of irreversibility." (p. 74)

"Law and the domain of law are anti-historical. >< Becoming has no number .. Pure becoming is .. incapable of .. being bounded .. History as positively treated is not pure becoming." (p. 75)

"In the presence of the same .. corpus of facts, every observer .. has a different impression of the whole (which) underlies his judgment .. The wish to write history scientifically involves a contradiction .. Real historical vision belongs to the domain of significances, in which the crucial words are not 'correct' and 'erroneous', but 'deep' and 'shallow'. " (p. 75)

"He who looks at becoming, experiences History; he who dissects them as become, cognizes Nature .. They are jointly present in every kind of understanding .. Western Man is in a high degree, historically disposed." (p. 76)


"There emerge .., as the two basic elements of all world picturing, the principle of Form, and the principle of Law:

- the more a .. world picture shows the traits of 'Nature', the more .. law and number prevail

- the more .. intuitive the picture .. as eternally becoming, .. the more alien to numbers." (p. 76)

"Form is something mobile, something becoming .. the doctrine of transformation." (Goethe, cited p. 76)

In historical research, it appears as chronology, the number structure of dates and statistics.


"The task of world knowing (is) a need .. for the man of the higher Cultures. The task is necessarily a double one, in view of the distinction between 'Nature' and 'History'. .. It is .. impossible .. to have both working creatively at the same time." (p. 78)

"The natural science investigator .. finds in his world .. only directionless quantities .. When it has achieved this, pure nature knowledge has shot its bolt." (p. 78)

"The historical kind of impression process is alien to everything quantitative."

- Nature knowledge >< man knowledge

- Scientific experience >< vital experience

"All modes of comprehending the world .. may be described as Morphology:

- The morphology of the mechanical and the extended .. is called Systematic

- The morphology of the organic, of history and life .. is called Physiognomic (all that bears the sign of direction and destiny') (p. 79)


"In the West, the Systematic mode of treating the world reached .. its culmination point during the last century. .. The great days of the Physiognomic are still to come." (p. 79)

"Every mathematic .. is the confession of a Soul .. Scientific experience is spiritual self-knowledge .. Knowledge of men .. implies .. knowledge of those superlative human organisms that I call Cultures." (p. 79)

"Physiognomic's art of portraiture (Faust) .. are portraits of an epoch .. For the nature researcher .. as systematist, the portraiture of the world is only a business of imitation." (p. 79)

"The nature researcher can be educated, but the man who knows history is born .., guided by a feeling which cannot be acquired by learning .. Reason, system and comprehension kill as the 'cognize'. That which is cognized becomes a rigid object .. Intuitive vision .. vivifies and incorporates .. in a living inwardly felt unity." (p. 80)

"The artist (or the real historian) sees the becoming of a thing, whereas the systematist .. learns the thing that has become." (p. 80)


"History (is) an organism of rigorous structure and significant articulation." (p. 82)

"Cultures are organisms and World History is their collective biography. .. We want to learn to recognize inward forms that constantly and everywhere repeat themselves, the comparative morphology." (p. 82)

"I distinguish the idea of a Culture, which is the sum total of all its possibilities, from its sensible phenomena of appearance upon the canvas of history as its fulfilled actuality .. This history of a Culture is the progressive actualization of its possible." (p. 82)

"Morphological research .. is the method of living into the object, as opposed to dissecting it." (p. 82)

"At present, .. we look in vain for any treatment of history that is entirely free from the methods of Darwinism." (p. 83)

"The great problem set (for us) to solve (is)to explore carefully the inner structure of the organic units through which World History fulfills itself .. ; to separate the morphologically necessary, from the accidental." (p. 83)


"A Culture is born in the moment when a great Soul awakens .. and detaches itself: a form for the formless .. It blooms on the soil of an exactly definable landscape, to which plant-wise it remains bound. It dies when this souls has actualized the full sum of its possibilities. ... The aim once attained, .. the Culture suddenly hardens, it mortifies." (p. 83) "Its blood congeals, its force breaks down, and it becomes Civilization." (p. 84)

"Every Culture passes through the age phases of the individual man: .. childhood, youth, manhood, and old age. .. The more nearby a Culture approaches the noon culmination of its being, the more austere, controlled, the form language it has secured for itself .. At last, in the gray dawn of Civilization, the fire in the Soul dies down." (p. 84)

"After a last effort of Classicism, "the soul thinks once again, and in Romanticism, looks back at childhood; then finally, weary, it loses its desire to be." (p. 84) ... The spell of a 'second religiousness' comes upon it." (p. 85). ("It wishes itself .. back in the darkness of protomysticism").


"Cultures have a "habit", i.e. "the totality of life expressions of the higher order. ".. F.e. "All great personalities of the Classical World form a self-contained group whose spiritual habit is definitely different from that of all great men of the Arabian or the western groups. .. Baghdad and Cairo could be felt in Granada long after the conquest." (. 85)

"To the 'habit' of a group belong .. its definite life duration and its definite tempo of development." (p. 85) .. "The andanto of Greece >< the 'allegro con brio' of the Faustian spirit." (p. 86)

"Every Culture .. , everyone of its intrinsically necessary stages and periods, has a definite duration. .. Every individual being .. recapitulates .. all the epochs of the Culture to which it belongs. .. Every young Greek had his Homeric Age and his Marathon." (p. 86) .. And vice versa: "Much of Plato's Timaeus .. anticipates .. the religious syncretism of the Imperial Age." (p. 87)

"Biology employs the term 'homology' .. to signify morphological equivalence (in the same way that "analogy relates to functional equivalence"). F.e. "the lungs of terrestrial, and the swim bladders of aquatic animals are homologous." (p. 87)

"We shall realize what immense views will offer themselves to the historical eye as soon as the rigorous morphological method has been cultivated. .. Homologous forms are: Indian Buddhism and Roman Stoicism." (p. 87)

The application of the 'homology' principle to historical phenomena brings with it an entirely new connotation fot the word 'contemporary'. .. I designate as contemporary, two historical facts that occur in exactly the same relative positions in their respective Cultures. .. The Ionic and the Baroque .. ran their course 'contemporaneously." (p. 87)

"There is not a single phenomena of deep physiognomic importance in the record of one .. for which we could not find a counterpart in the record of every other." (p. 87) .. Doing this, we could "predetermine the spiritual form, duration .. and meaning .. of the still unaccomplished stages of western history." (p. 88)

Chapter IV. The problem of world history (continued)

Part II. The idea of destiny and the principle of causality


"The soul is the idea of existence, (related to) a sure sense of Destiny." (p. 89)

"The Destiny idea demands ..

   - life experience and not science experience
   - the power of seeing and not that of calculating
   - depth and not intellect
   - There is an organic logic, an instinctive logic of all existence >< as opposed to the logic of the inorganic.
   - a logic of direction as against a logic of extension, and no 'systematist' has known how to deal with it." (p. 89)

"Causality is the reasonable, the describable, the badge of our .. waking and reasoning existence. But destiny is the word for an inner certainty that is not discussable; (p. 89) the idea of destiny can be imparted only by the artist .. The one requires us to distinguish .. , whereas the other is creative .. In the Destiny idea, the soul reveals its world longing." (p. 90)

"There is something that is an inevitable necessity of life. Real history is heavy with fate, but free of laws." (p. 90)

"Destiny and Causality are related as Time and Space. Between them is all the difference between a feeling of life and a method of knowledge. Causality is Destiny become .. modelled in reason forms. (p. 90)

"Destiny stands beyond and outside all comprehended Nature." (p. 90)

"Causality has nothing to do with Time .. In all mature Cultures, .. knowledge is the power that is meant being power over Destiny .. Thinkers in systems .. are late manifestations of a .. hatred of the powers of incomprehensible Destiny." (p. 91-92)

"Teleology is a caricature of the Destiny idea .. The morphological element of the Causal is a 'Principle', the morphological element of Destiny is an 'Idea', .. incapable of being cognize .. that can only be felt." (p. 92)


"The problem of Time .. has been completely misunderstood by all thinkers who have confined themselves to the systematic of the Become. .. In Kant .. , not one word about its character of directedness. (p. 93)

"What is time, as length, time without direction .. Everything living has direction .. allied to yearning .. and has not the smallest element in common with the 'motion' of the physicists." (p. 93)

=> "Time ..  has this organic essence, while Space has not." (p. 93)

"Primitive man .. has time, but he knows nothing of it .. he simply lives." .. Time is a discovery, which is only made by thinking .. Higher Culture, whose world conceptions have reached the mechanical Nature stage are capable of a projected image of Time, the phantom time, which satisfies their need of .. ordering (measuring ..). Time has become, .. for the town intellect, a completely inorganic magnitude." (p. 93)

"With 'spatial time', .. "the living is killed by being introduced into space: for space is dead and makes dead .. Man destroys .. by 'knowing' in the intellectual." (p. 94)

=> "By a picture of time, the actual is changed into the 'transitory'." (p. 94)

"To name anything .. by name (i.e. 'time') is to win power over it. This is the essence of primitive man's art of magic .. Systematic philosophies use mere names as a last resort for getting rid of the Incomprehensible .. What is named .., is ipso facto overpowered.. Knowledge is power .. The idealist contemplates, the realist would subject." (p. 94)

"What has been said about time in scientific philosophy .. touches only .. a spatially formed representative phantom .. a conceptual time system .. remote . from the sensuous life." (p. 94)

"What is merely thought, necessarily takes on a spatial form." (. 95)

"Mathematics .. answers the 'How?', and the 'What?', .. the problem of the Natural Order of things .. In opposition to this problems stands the 'When?', the .. historical problem of Destiny." (p. 96)

"Between Becoming .. and any part of mathematics, there is not the slightest contact." (. 96)


"Time is a counter conception to Space." (p. 96)

"Time (was) created out of 'Space' as its opposite; root words come into being by pairs." (p. 97)

Art has a collective , learned, 'taboo' aspect (what forms can be used, and which cannot), and one that is individual, comes out through genius, is linked to Destiny. "This is the 'totem' side." (p. 97)

"Architecture, the immediate Extended, is naturally the early art in all Culture, yielding step by step to the special arts of the city ("the statue, the picture, the musical composition") (p. 97)

"It is the great arts, in their kinship with the contemporary religions, that give the key to the problem of Time." (p. 98)


"Each Culture must necessarily possess its own destiny idea." (p. 98)

"The Classical form of Destiny idea, I shall venture to call Euclidean. (i.e. bodies in motion) (p. 98)

"But the destiny of King Lear is of the 'analytical' type .. and consists of dark inner relationships .. Lear is a mere name, the axis of something unbounded. This conception of destiny is the 'infinitesimal' conception." (p. 98)

"The difference between magnitude (Classical) and relation (Western) is traceable right into the depths of artistic creation." (p. 99)

"Time <IS> tragic, and it is by the meaning that it intuitively attaches to Time that one Culture is differentiated from another .. The sentiment of the ahistorical soul gives us the Classical tragedy of the moment >< and that of the ultrahistorical soul puts before us as Western tragedy, deals with the development of the whole life." (p. 99)

= > "Lear matures inwardly to a catastrophe ; Oedipus stumbles without warning upon a situation." (p. 99)

"Fundamentally, all Greek statues were standard masks .. ; character heads of definite individuals came only with the Hellenic Age." (p. 99)


"Every Culture possesses a wholly individual way of looking at and comprehending the world-as-Nature .. It has its own peculiar 'Nature'! .. Every Culture .. possesses a specific and peculiar sort of history." (p. 99)

"The autobiographical tendency of Western Man .. is utterly alien to Classical Man. .. The historical environment of another is a part of his essence .. Insofar .. as these things are not directly confessed, we have to extract them from the symbolism of the alien Culture." (p. 100)

"As an example .. take the clock .. Classical Man managed to do without .. although sun dials and water clocks had been in regular use in both the older Cultures of Egypt and Babylonia. .. In Classical cities, nothing suggested duration .. 'Augurs' did not foretell any distant future but .. gave indications .. of immediate bearing .. There was no 'Time' .. in the Classical soul. .. The Euclidean worldview .. deified the body and the present." (p. 101)

"Western history was willed and Indian history happened .. The epoch that marks the birth of our Culture - The time of the Saxon emperors - marks also the discovery of the wheel clock. .. The Baroque age .. produced the pocket watch that constantly accompanied the individual. .. " (p. 101)

"Another symbol, as deeply significant .. is that of the funeral customs. .. " (p. 101)

"Classical man .. picked upon burning, .. he destroyed that which no longer possessed a present .. its formlessness .. an utter contrast to ancestor series (and) the genealogical tree .. A changed sense of Time .. underlays changes of rite. .. Museums intend to conserve .. the entire body of cultural development. " (p. 102)


- "It is the primitive feeling of care which dominates the physiognomy of the Western, .. as that of the Egyptian .. and the Chinese .. It creates the symbolism of the erotic which represents the flowing of endless life." (p. 102)

>< "Classical Man conceived only the here and now:

- The birth pangs of the mothers made the center of the Demeter worship

- The Dionysiac symbol of the phallus (as) the sign of a sexually wholly concentrated on the moment." (p. 103)

"The domestic religion of Rome centered on the genius, i.e. the creative power of the head of the family ... >< To all this, the deep and careful care of the Western soul has opposed the sign of mother love .. The Mother with Child - the future ... at her breast. The Mary Cult is the new Faustian form, began to flourish only in the centuries of the Gothic." (p. 103)

"Magian Christianity had elevated Maria as 'Theotokos', 'she who gave birth to God', a symbol felt quite otherwise than by us. .. Madonna with the Child answers exactly to the Egyptian Isis with Horus, both are caring, nursing mothers. This symbol had vanished for a thousand years and more .." (p. 103)

"The maternal care .. leads to the paternal, and there we meet .. the State! ..The meaning of the state to the man is comradeship in arms, for the protection of hearth and home .. The state is the inward form of a nation, and .. history, is the state conceived as kinesis .. The Woman as Mother "is", and the Man as Warrior and Politician "makes" history." (p. 103)

The history of higher Cultures shows us 3 examples of state formations in which the element of care is conspicuous:

- The Egyptian administration .. of the Old Kingdom (from 3,000 BC)

- The Chinese state of the Chou dynasty (1169-256 BC)

- The states of the West

>< On the other hand, we have in two examples - the Classical and the Indian -- a picture of utterly careless submission to the moment and its incidents." (p. 103)

"Stoicism and Buddhism .. are .. one in their negation of the historical feeling of care, their contempt of zeal. .. In contrast to 'Western Europe', with the model agriculture of the Orders, .. in the Classical World, men managed from day to day .. Casual surpluses were instantly squandered on the city mob." (p. 104)

"Great statesmen of the Classical (did not) economically look ahead .. The meaning of agrarian reform of the Gracchi - was to make their supporters 'possesors' of the land, NOT 'managers' of the land. .. >< Of this economic Stoicism, the exact antithesis is Socialism .. i.e. the Prussian practice of Frederich William, .. that comprehends and cares for permanent economic relations, trains the individual in his duty to the whole, and glorifies hard work as an affirmation of Time and Future." (p. 104)


What is the difference between an incident and Destiny ? "Without the certainty that destiny is something entirely intractable to critical thought, we cannot perceive the world of becoming at all. He who approaches history in the spirit of judgment will only find 'data'. (p. 105)

"Destiny .. can only be made plain in the most subjective religious and artistic creations of those men that are called to divination." (p. 105)

"On the surface of history, it is the unforeseen that reigns. .. No one foreknew the storm of Islam at the coming of Mohamed. .. The coming of great men , their doings, are incalculable." (p. 105)

"The supreme ethical expression of Incident and Destiny is found in the Western Christian idea of Grace .. The scientific notion of 'evolution' .. is its direct descendant! .. 'Predestination' .. is made to appear as a nature force that is bound by irrevocable law." (p. 106)


" 'Nature' is NOT the world picture in which Destiny is operative .. Physics .. 'banishes' incidentals from its field of view .. Only the insight that can penetrate into the metaphysical is capable of experiencing in data, (the) symbols of that which happened, and so elevating an Incident into a Destiny. ... Napolean .. is to himself a Destiny; Shakespeare is the 'Dramatist' of the Incidental." (p. 107)

"This Western species of the Incidental is entirely alien to the Classical world feeling and therefore to its drama. .. What happened to Oedipus, unlike the fate of Lear, might just as well have happened to anyone else." (p. 108)

"Western history, under the pressure of its own physiognomic abundance, demands .. wars or big personalities at the decisive points .. The 'Theme', the meaning of an Epoch, would have been entirely unaltered by the facts assuming this or that shape. >> Goethe might possibly have died young, but not his 'idea'. (p. 109)

"From the moment of awakening, a (Great Culture), is bound by its charter, the epoch itself is necessary, for the life unity is in it .. Fresh incidentals can affect the shape of its development, but alter it they cannot." (p. 109)

"Cultures are essentially related to plants, in that they are bound for the whole duration of their life, to the soil from which they sprang." (p. 110)

"As the Classical Soul did not genuinely live through history, it possessed no genuine feeling for a logic of Destiny. .. >< But Incident and Destiny are felt by us with all the intensity of an opposition, (on which) everything fundamental in our existence depends." (p. 110)

"The difference of situation tragedy (Classical) and character tragedy (Western) .. repeats itself in history proper; every epoch in the West has character, while each epoch of the Classical only presents a situation .. The life of Goethe was one of fate filled, that of Caesar .. one of mythical incidentalism. .. It was left to Shakespeare to introduce logic to it." (p. 110)

"The 'Faustian' horoscope .. presupposes a steady and purposeful direction in the existence .. that has yet to be accomplished .. (p. 110). "Was there a single Greek who possessed the notion of historical evolution ? (p. 111)


This is less of a transcript and more of a summary:

For the Classical World there is no logic to Destiny, and therefore incidentals are what reality is constituted by. But for the West, there is a logic to Destiny, i.e. the life course in Time of an individual or collective, and therefore the 'incidental', is imbued with meaning.

Spengler gives the example of Columbus being sponsored by France instead of Spain: this would for sure have altered a lot of historical facts. Yet, even "if the Incidental chose the Spanish gesture .. the inward logic of that age, which was bound to find its fulfillment, .. remained intact." (p. 112)

The French Revolution would have taken place elsewhere, because the 'idea' of the transition from Culture to Civilization "was necessary, and the moment of its occurrence, was also necessary." (p. 112)

"To describe such a moment, we shall use the term: epoch (note: NOT 'Period'). .. When we say an event is epoch-making we mean that it marks int he course of a Culture, a necessary and fateful turning point .. The epoch is necessary and predeterminate." (p. 112)

"We can .. distinguish between 'impersonal and anonymous' and 'personal' epochs, according to their physiognomic type in the picture of history. .. For example, the Jacobins were known collectively ('the first part of the Revolution is therefore anonymous'), just as the second or Napoleonic is in the highest degree personal." (p. 112)

"It was not Napoleon who originated the expansion principle. That had arisen out of the Puritanism of Cromwell's milieu, which called into life the British Colonial Empire." (p. 113) .. "It was not Napoleon who formed the idea, but the idea that formed Napoleon .. He was obliged to pursue it further against the only power, England, whose purpose was the same as his own. .. His Empire was a creation of French blood, but of English style" (p. 113)

"It was in London that Locke, Shaftesbury .. and Bentham built up the theory of 'Western Civilization', i.e. Western Hellenism , which Voltaire and Rousseau carried to Paris. .. So far-reaching was the Destiny which was in Napoleon, .. to replace the British Colonial Empire by a French one." (p. 113)

"At one time, it falls to the Spanish spirit to outline, at another to the British and the French, to remold, the world-embracing colonial system .. The counterpart of the Imperium Romanum." (p. 113)

"It was in the sense of this logic, .. the great logic of genuine and invisible History, that the West, having fulfilled its French-formed Culture in the 'Ancien Regime', closed it off with English Civilization." (p. 114)


"The 19th cy was at great pains to abolish the frontier between Nature and History in favour of the former .." But Causality .. "forbids the contemplation and experiencing of living history. (p. 114)

"They were unconscious of the fundamental absurdity of a science that sought to understand an organic becoming by methodologically misunderstanding it as the machinery of the thing become. Day is not the cause of the night, nor youth the cause of age!" (p. 114)

"Everything that we live organically .. has a past; .. (they are) events which once were and will never recur .. But the spirit of our great cities .. seeks to conquer history also technically. " (p. 114) .. "In these (causal) schemes .. the feeling of Destiny has died." (p. 115)

"Destiny is always young. He who lives towards a something .. feels that he himself is the meaning of what is to happen. .. (This is) the faith that never left Caesar or Napoleon .. The feeling of significance in the .. present, .. discloses itself in the earliest days of childhood." (p. 115)

"A distinction presents itself between:

   - the immediate impression of the present and the image of the past ..
   - between the world as happening and the world as history
   - the man of action appreciates the first ..; the man of contemplation (historian and poet), the second." (p. 115)

"In the Megalopolis, the image of the past is mechanized or materialized. We come to believe in historical laws and in a rational understanding of them." (p. 115)

"Is there then, a science of History at all ? .. No Nature is without living, and no History is without causal harmonies. .. There is .. NOT .. a science of history, but an ancillary science 'for' history, which ascertains which has been .. For the historical outlook itself, the data are always symbols .. In the case of history, the power of experience is the requisite." (p. 116)

- Table: Soul vs World

   - Life, Destiny                          vs          Extension
   - Physiognomic fact                      vs          Truth
   - Consciousness as servant of being      vs          Consciousness as master of being
   - History, Destiny                       vs          Nature, Science


"The 19th cy. was the century of Rationalism, Materialism, and Utilitarianism. "Darwin sacrificed Goethe's Nature theory: the organic logic of life, by a mechanics in physiological garb. ... Heredity, adaptation, natural selection are utility causes of purely mechanical connotation." (p. 147)

"Social drama necessarily accompanies the materialist treatment of history ... What is Destiny for Goethe becomes a sexual problem for Ibsen!"

"History carries the mark of the singular factual, Nature that of the continuously possible .. Nature law .. is independent of History. A (natural) system consists of truths, a history rests on facts. .. This is the difference .. between 'when' and how'." (p. 119)

"Nature stands beyond all time, its mark is extension, and it is without directional quality. For the one, the necessity of the mathematical, for the other, the necessity of the tragic .. In civilized man, the tragic world feeling succumbs to the mechanical intellect." (p. 119)

"History and nature within ourselves stand opposed to one another .. as life is to death ... as ever-becoming, time to ever-becoming space." ... i.e. Plato vs Aristotle, Goethe vs. Kant." (p. 119)


- "Here is the last great task of Western philosophy: ... superlative historical research that is truly Western:

- a comprehensive physiognomy of all existence

- a morphology of becoming for all humanity

- penetrating the world of feeling of all souls." (p.120)

"The physiognomic of world happening will become the last Faustian philosophy." (p. 120)

Chapter V - Makrokosmos

Part I - The symbolism of the world picture and the space problem


"The notion of a World History of physiognomic type expands itself into the wider idea of an all embracing symbolism, ... determining the inner form and logic .. of the once living past." (p. 121)

"Every impulse .. of which are conscious .. has for us .. a deeper meaning, .. a final meaning: (we need) a metaphysics which regards everything .. as having significance as a symbol .. Symbols are .. unsought impressions of definite meaning. .. A symbol .. has an immediate and inwardly sure significance .. that is incommunicable by a process of reason." (p. 121)

"Here .. we shall not be concerned with what the world 'is', but to what is signifies to the being that it envelops ... When we wake up, .. we live the 'here' as something proper, we experience the 'there' as something alien. There is a dualizing of soul and world as poles of actuality .. Actuality, the world 'in relation' to a soul, is for every individual the projection of the Directed upon the Domain of the Extended." (p. 122)

"The Proper mirrors itself on the Alien; one's actuality then signifies oneself: .. the bridge of symbol is thrown between the 'here' and 'there'. The world comes into being out of the totality, .. there is for each individual a singular world .. There are therefore as many worlds as there are waking beings, .. and like-feeling groups of being." (p. 122)

"I am endowing that which is outside of me with the whole content that is in me .. The Macrocosm (is) the sum total of all symbols in relation to one soul .. All that is, symbolizes ... Nothing is exempt." (p. 122)

"Worlds as lived and experienced by men of one Culture .. are inter-related." (p. 122) .. "The degree of interrelation between one's world and another's fixes the limit at which understanding becomes self-deception .. It is only very imperfectly that we can understand the Indian or Egyptian soul. " (p. 123)


"Symbols, as being things actualized, belong to the domain of the extended. They are become and not becoming .. They are <only> sensible - spatial symbols. The very word 'form', designates something extended in the extended." (p. 123)

"That which happens is transient, but every kind of significance is also transient .. A deep relation ... exists between space and death .. Only fully awakened man .. comes to possess .. the notion of transience .. We 'are' Time." (p. 123-4)

"Every great symbolism attaches its form language to the cult of the dead." (p. 124)

"The beast has only the future, but man knows also the past .. And thus, every new Culture is awakened in and with a new view of the world; ... a sudden glimpse of death as the secret of the perceivable world. ... It was when the idea of the impending death of the world spread over Western Europe (about the year 1,000) that the Faustian soul of this religion was born. ... The essence of every genuine .. symbolism proceeds from the knowledge of death." (p. 124)

"Everything become is mortal .. In a few centuries there will be no more of a Western Culture .. than there were Romans in the time of Justinian. Every thought .. dies, as soon as the spirits in whose worlds their 'eternal truths' were true, are extinguished." (p. 125)

"The faitfhul and directed life appears in the phenomenal life as an experienced 'depth'." (p. 125)


"It is only for the city man of matured Cultures, .. and for this thought that there is a Space wholly divorced from sensuous life, dead and alien to Time .. Time is not a 'form' of perception - forms exist only in the extended - there is no possibility of defining it except as a counter conception to Space .. The 'form of perception' is a function of distance." (p. 126)

"Kant (was) dealing with a phantom sort of time .. that lacks the life qualities of direction and is therefore a mere spatial scheme." (p. 127)

"It is the Western world feeling that haas produced the idea of a limitless universe of space - this was the creation of a inner vision." (p. 128)


"Gauss' discovery was the statement that there are several equally valid structures of three-dimensional extension .. which completely altered the course of modern mathematics .. (It) concerns itself with systems that are entirely emancipated from life. ." Everything that is known is known by causal logic and not experienced. (p. 128)

"Direction is the origin of extension ..We are in an extension that encircles us .. The directedness that is in life wears the badge of irreversibility .. We move forward, towards the Future. Spatial depth (is) a time become rigid." (p. 128)

Time gives birth to Space, but Space gives death to Time." .. (mb: every step moves us closer to death) "Space is continuously 'becoming' .. As being in this space, we know that we also have a duration and a limit." (p. 129)

Yet Cultures experience this differently:

   - "Classical expression in steady adherence to the near present ..
   - Faustian in direction energy which has an eye only for the most distant.
   - Chinese, in the hither and tither wandering .. that nevertheless goes to the goal.
   - Egyptian: in resolute march down the path once entered .. " (p. 129)

"From the specific directedness is derived the specific prime symbol of extension:

   - for the Classical world .. the self-contained Body
   - for the Western .. infinitely .. wide and profound 3-dimensional Space
   - for the Araian the world as cavern."

The kind of extension (is) the prime symbol of a Culture." (p. 129)

"The interpretation of depth .. rises .. to the trans-forming of actuality." (p. 130)

"Infinite space is the ideal that the Western world has always striven to find." .. (p. 130) .. For Classical man .. it was the material origin and foundation of all sensuously perceptible things." (p. 131)

"(For) The Classical universe, the Cosmos (is) a well ordered aggregate of all near and completely viewable things, and is concluded by the corporeal vault of heaven. More there is not." (p. 131)

"While the Gothic style soars .., the temple is .. laid down in majestic rest." (p. 131)

"The effect of the Classical art work is to bind and to bound, and the body feeling secure." (p. 132)


"Each Culture .. has arrived at a secret language .. that is only fully comprehensible by him whose soul belongs to that Culture. .. " (p. 132)

   - The Classical soul's .. form language is almost the exact inversion of the Western!" (p. 132)
   - "Only Indian spirituality could originate the grand conception of nothingness as a true number." (p. 132)

"The common language nourishes the illusion of a homogeneous constitution of human inner life and identical world form." (p. 133)

"And now I draw the conclusion: There is a plurality of prime symbols. It is the depth experience .. through which perception extends itself to world. .. All fundamental words .. are emblems, determined by destine to evoke, in the name of individual Culture, those possibilities which alone are significant .. for it. .. None of them is exactly transferable (to the) .. knowing of another Culture. .. None of these prime symbols ever recur .. The choice of prime symbol (is) .. the moment of the Culture's soul awakening." (p 133)

"There is a series of prime symbols each of which is capable of forming a complete world out of itself. .. The Western world will be incomprehensible to the men of Cultures yet unborn." (p. 134)

Chapter VI - Makrokosmos

Part II - Apollinian, Faustian, and Magian soul


"We shall designate the soul of Classical Culture, which chose the sensuoulsy present individual body as the ideal type of the extended, by the name of 'Apollinian', (familiarized by Nietzche)." >< "In opposition to it we have the Faustian soul, whose prime symbol is pure and limitless space. .. and wholse 'body' is the Western Culture that blossomed forth with the birth of the Romanesque style in the 10th cy in the Northern plane between the Elbe and the Tagus." (p. 135)

"Faustian is an existence which is led by a deep consciousness and introspection of the ego, and a resolutely personal culture, evidenced in memoirs." (p. 135)

"In the time of Augustus, in the countries between Nile and Tigris, Black Sea and South Arabia, there appears .. the Magian soul of the Arabian Culture, ... with 'mosques' and the sacraments and scriptures of the Persian, Jewish, Christian, 'post-Classical' and Manichean religions". (p. 135)

"The Doric column bores into the ground .. >< The extreme of .. disembodiment of the world in the service of space is Impressionism." (p. 135 - 136)

"Classical Culture begins with a great renunciation .. The early Doric geometrical style appears in opposition to the Minoan." (p. 136)

"All 'early art is religious." (p. 136)

"The original cult plan is .. the Etruscan templum, a sacred area merely staked off on the ground by the augurs with an impassible boundary." (p. 136)

"Faustian architecture .. begins on a grand scale simultaneously - with the first stirrings of a new piety (the Cluniac reform, c. 1,000) - and a new thought (the Eucharistic controversy between Berenger of Tours and Lanfranc in 1050 ) and proceeds at once to gigantic intention." (p. 137)

"Far apart as they may seem, the Christian hymnology of the south, and the Eddas of the still heathen north, they are alike in the implicit space endlessness. ... Valhalla is nowhere, lost in the limitless. >< Olympus rests on homely Greek soil, the Paradise .. is a magic garden somewhere in the universe." (p. 137)

"In the myth of the Holy Grail and its knights, one an feel the inward necessity of German Northern Catholicism .. here the never-ending sacrifice repeated everywhere and every day." (p. 138)

- "The plurality of separate bodies which represents Cosmos for the classical soul, requires a similar pantheon, hence the antique polytheism.

- The single world volume .. demands the single god of Magian and Western Christianity .. A process of simplification that led to the Deism of the 18th Cy." (p. 138)

- The solitude of the Faustian soul agrees not at all with a duality of world powers. .. The devil .. has disappeared unnoticed." (p. 138)

- Valhalla is lightless .. No Wotan or Baldur or Freya has 'Euclidean' form .. Eternal space .. is the supreme form. .. Not any graven images .. which levels them down, desecrates them." ... This is the deep felt motive that underlies the iconoclastic storms in Islam and Byzantium, both in the 7th cy." (p. 138)


"That which is expressed by the soul of the West in its extraordinary wealth of media .. is expressed by the soul of Egypt .. (as) huge symbols in ... the landscape of the Nile in all silence. ... Stone is the great emblem of the Timeless Become. .. ;Men have built for the dead, before they have built for the living'. (Bachofen) .. Wooden structures suffices for the span of time for the living, the housing of the dead demands the solid stone of the earth .. Symbol has created itself in the graves .. The dead .. are no more Time, but only Space, something that does not ripen towards a Future." (p. 139)

"The Faustian soul looks for an immortality to follow the bodily end; the Apollonian soul would have its dead burned, .. annihilated .. The Egyptian soul saw itself as moving down a narrow .. life path to come at an end before the judges of the dead." (p. 139)

"The pyramid temples (of the 4th dynasty) represent not a purposed organization of space, but a rhythmically ordered sequences of spaces. .. The sun temples of the 5th Dynasty are .. but a path enclosed by mighty masonry." (p. 139)

"With the .. intensely directional principle of the Tao, .. the Chinaman wanders through this world, conducted .. by friendly Nature herself ,, The landscape .. becomes .. the material of the architecture .. The artist builds and reckons with the landscape itself. The Culture is the only one in which the art of gardening is a grand religious art." (p. 140)

"Whereas the Egyptian architecture dominates the landscape, the Chinese espouses it." (p. 141)


"All art is expression language .. In its very earliest essays, .. it is that of one active existence speaking to itself only .. It is only the higher art that becomes .. an art 'before witnesses' and especially before God as supreme witness." (p. 141)

"This expression is either ornament or imitation .. Imitation is the outcome of a physiognomic idea of a second person with whom the first is .. induced into resonance' whereas ornament evidences an ego conscious of its own specific character .. The latter is almost peculiar to man." (p. 141)

"Imitation is born of the secret rhythm of all things cosmic .. (It) bridges dichotomy .. ("Here and There, Proper and Alien, Microcosm and Macrocosm") .. Imitation .. in its most devoted moments is wholly religious ("an identity of the inner 'here', and the world around 'there', vibrating as one"). It reaches superlative when we let ourselves go, creating a 'we'." (p. 141)

"All imitation is in the broadest sense dramatic, presented .. in movement.. Everything that we experience is .. an alien soul to which we are uniting ourselves .. Only at the stage of the Megapolis art, does it go over to naturalism." (p. 142)

"Ornament detaches itself from imitation, does not follow the stream of live, but faces it .. The intent is to conure .. The 'I' overwhelms the 'Thou'." (p. 142)

"Imitation belongs to Time and Direction (= movement) .. >< Ornament is ..pure extension .. It is Being as such .. Every imitation possesses beginning and end; an ornament possesses only duration." (p. 142)

"All strict arts have their grammar and syntax of form language. .. The imitative side of the arts .. stands closer .. to the real feelings of hate and love, out of which arises the opposition of the ugly and the beautiful .. An imitation is beautiful, an ornament 'significant' .. One is dedicated to love .. and faces the future; the other to care of the past .. and of the funerary .. Ornamentation of the high order develops itself on the stiff symbols of death. " (p. 143)

"In the architecture of the living (castles and villages), stone serves a worldly purpose, but in the architecture of the cult (temples and cathedrals), it is a symbol. " (p. 144)


"In every springtime .. there are two ornamental and non-imitative arts, that of building and decoration. With the dawn of a new Culture, architecture as ornament comes into being suddenly. .. 'Stone speaks alone, .. nowhere adornment." (p. 144)

"When the form world of the springtime is at its highest, .. the ordained relation .. is that of architecture is lord and ornament is vassal. .. Even the hymn strophe .. in church music are ornament in the service of the all-ruling architectural idea." (p. 145)

"The spell of the great Ornamentation remains unbroken till the beginning of a .. late period. .. (Then) special arts devote themselves increasingly to pleasing .. and become ipso facto personal. .. Ornament .. becomes decoration .. for a mannered life, .. as a beautifying element (Renaissance taste) (p. 145)

"When Civilization sets in, true ornament, and with it, great art as a whole, are extinguished .. The transition consists in Classicism or Romanticism of one sort of another .. In place of architectural stye we find architectural taste .. Old forms and new, come and go with the fashion .. There are no longer 'schools' .. Art becomes craft art .. " (p. 145)

"This final (or industrial) form of Ornament, no longer in the condition of becoming, we have before us in the pattern of oriental carpets, Chinese porcelain." (p. 146)


This section focuses on the different architectural forms, and how they express the particular soul of a Culture.

F.e. :

- "The window as architecture .. is peculiar to the Faustian soul, . symbol of its depth experience. In it can be felt the will to emerge from the interior into the boundless." .. In the Magian interior, the windos .. is nothing but a hole in the wall .. The Gothic architects put their pictures of glass to draw in the world of space without." (p. 147)


"The 'Great Style' .. is an emanation from the prime symbol of a great culture .. Only the art of great Cultures ..that has begun to be an effective unit of expression, possesses style." (p. 148)

"The organic history of a style comprises a

   - 'pre-'
   - a 'non-'
   - and a 'post-':"


- "the bull tablet of the 1st Dynasty of Egypt is not yet 'Egyptian'

- in the Faustian West, the awakening happened shortly before AD 1,000 .. In one moment, the Romanesque style was there." (p. 148)

- The Egyptian flat relief, .. which compels the beholder to pass along .. in the prescribed direction, appears with similar suddenness at the beginning of the 5th Dynasty." (p. 149)

"It follows, from the conception of style that we are working on .., that Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and Rococo, are only stages of one and the same style." (p. 149)


"The Egyptian style is the expression of a brave soul. He dared all, but said nothing .. The Greek willed nothing and dared nothing but he found stirring beauty in enduring .. The Egyptian loved the strong stone of immense buildings; .. the Greek avoided it, his architecture set itself small tasks, then ceased altogether." (p. 150)


- "It is not the personality or will .. of the artist that makes the style, but the style that makes the type of artist .. In the general historical picture of a Culture, there can be but one style, the style of the Culture! .. Gothic and Baroque are the .. youth and (middle) age of .. the style of the West as ripening and ripened." (p. 151)

The task before art history is to write the comparative biographies of the great styles." (p. 152)

- In the beginning there is the timid expression of a newly awakened soul ('early Christian catacomb painting')".

- Then follows a joyous mounting: Being is understood, a sacred form language has been completely mastered ('the Constantinian age with its pillared basilicas')

- Now it is the manhood of the style history that comes on .. The style is beming intellectualied. Milder and more worldly arts drive out the great art of developed stone. The 'artist' appear." (p. 152)

- Then comes the gleaming autumn of the style .. a sensitive longing and presentiment of the end .." (p. 152-3)

- Then the style fades out .. The end is a sunset reflected informs revived for a moment .. a tedious game with dead forms." (p. 153)


"Arabian art is a single phenomenon ..Early Christian art, together with every living element in 'late Roman', is in fact the springtime of the Arabian style. This Arabian style embraces the entire first millennium of our era." (p. 153)

"This young Soul (was) held in bondage to the intellect of the Classical and .. to the political omnipotence of Rome .. Devout acceptance of the powers of the strong is present in every young Culture." (p. 153)

"A whole new form grew up .. Under a mask of Greco-Roman conventions, it filled even Rome herself. The master masons of the Pantheon and the Imperial Fora were Syrians!" (p. 154)

"Spring (Culture) seeks to express its spirituality in ornamentation .. and in religious architecture as the sublime form of that ornamentation .. To .. arrive at a conspectus of the development of Arabian art, we have to shed .. many presuppositions .. Our art research .. unconsciously assumes .. religious frontiers. .. The totality of these religions, from Armenia to Southern Arabia, from Persia to Byzantium, possess a brad uniformity of artistic expression .. There is something .. that tells us of a like spirituality: it is the Cavern feeling .. How many of the churches in Armenia may once have been fire temples." (p. 154)

"The artistic centre of this Culture was very definitely.. in the triangle of cities Edessa, Nisibis, Amida .. Westward is the domain of .. Pauline Christianity (Late Classical Pseudomorphosis), Western Judaism, and the cultus of Syncretism." (p. 154-5)

The architectural type of the Pseudo-Morphosis, .. the Basilica, employs the means of the Classical to express the opposite thereof .. There is a perceptible movement .. from the wholly corporeal Augustan temple, .. to one in which the interior only possesses meaning." (p. 155)

"Outside of the domain of the "Pseudomorphosis", .. the cavern feeling was free to develop its own form language and here .. it is the definitive roof which is emphasized ('instead of merely the development of the interior'). .. The masterpiece, the earliest of all Mosques, is the Pantheon as rebuilt by Hadrian! (p. 155)

"The architecture of the central dome, in which the Magian world feeling achieved its purest expression, extended beyond the limits of the Roman empire .. The pure basilica was pushed into the Germanic West, there to be transformed by the energy of the Faustian depth impulse, into the cathedral .. But in the Arabian world, Islam .. carried the development through to the end." (p. 156)

"The emancipation of Magian mankind is without a parallel. .. In 732, the Arabs stood before Paris.!" (p. 157)


The task therefore, is "to make the form world of the arts available as the means of penetrating the spirituality of entire cultures." .. For example, "early Arabian mosaic .. transforms church space .. into the magic, gold shimmering sphere which bears men away from earthly actuality, into the visions of Plotinus and Origen." (p. 158)

"Arabesque is the genuine Magian motive .. anti-plastic to the last degree, hostile to the pictorial and to the bodily alike." (p. 159)

Chapter VII - Music and Plastic

Part I - The Arts of Form


"The dearest type of symbolic expression that the world feeling of higher mankind has found for itself, except math, is that of the art of form. With these arts we count music." .. The distinction between optical and acoustic means .. the art of the ear and the art of the eye .. is a superficial one. .. We livingly experience behind the sensuous expressions, a whole world of others. ... Beethoven wrote his last works when he was deaf - deafness merely released him from his last fetters." (p. 161)

"To the Greek, this visionary kind of artistic enjoyment was utterly alien. He felt the marble with his eye, and tomes moved him .. corporally .. Eye and ear are the receivers of the whole of the impression .. that he wished to receive. For us the is had ceased to be true, even at the stage of the Gothic. .. Arts are living units, and the living is incapable of being dissected. .. The technical form language is no more than the mask of the real work. tyle is .. a revelation of a metaphysical order, a mysterious 'must', a Destiny." (p. 162)

"If an art has boundaries at all .. boundaries of its soul 'become-form' .. they are historical and not technical or physiological boundaries. An art is an organism, not a system. There is no art genus that runs through a the centuries of all the Cultures." (p. 162)

"Every individual art .. is once existent, and departs with its soul and its symbolism, never to return. .. " (p. 163)

(NOTE: thus there is no real relation between Classical Art and the Renaissance, the borrowings are just means to a new end)


"What the creation of a masterpiece means for an individual artist, (is) what the creation of a species of art .. means for the life history of a Culture: it is Epochal. .. Each such art is an individual organism, without predecessors or successor." (p. 163)

"It is precisely .. in the impressively sudden end of a great art (f.e. 'the end of the Attic drama in Euripides'), that the organic character of these arts is most evident .. No one art of any greatness .. has ever been 'reborn'. ('of the Pyramid style nothing passed over in the Doric!') (p. 164)


"All Classical building begins from the outside, all WestErn from the inside. The Arabian also begins with the inside, but stays there." (p. 164)

For the Magian, "the exterior of the basilica may be a field of ornamentation: architecture it is not; the form language in the cavern twilights exist for the faithful only. ...>< "Now, as soon as the Germanic spirit takes possession of the basilical type, there begins a wondrous mutation of all structural parts." (p. 165)

- The Faustian building has a 'visage' and not merely a facade

- the trunk .. erects itself to the heavens (Reims) " (p. 165)

- The naked body standing free upon its footing and appreciable from al sides, existed in the Classical only .. that Culture alone ... refused to transcend sense limits in favor of the space. ... The Egyptian statue is always meant to be seen from the front." (p. 165)

- Egyptian works .. may be considered as relief detached from the plan ..., it remains essentially a silhouette in front of a wall." (p. 166)


From 1500-1800, we see the "persistent growth into consciousness of the will to spatial transcendence." Musicians parallel the development of painting, "it makes pictures" ... "With the German masters all this goes. Painting can take music no further. Music becomes itself absolute. It is music that dominates both painting and architecture in the 17th century." (p. 166)

"It is an opposition and not a transition that we have before us, and the recognition of the fact is vital to the understanding of the organism of these arts .. We have to guard against the abstract hypothesis of 'eternal art laws'." (p. 167)

"Incomprehensible to us is Chinese music .. T the Chinese, all the music of the West is .. 'march music' .. Such is the impression that the rhythmic dynamic of our life makes upon the accent less Tao .. We ourselves have accent in our blood and therefore do not notice it." (p. 167)

"We have to distinguish between the imitative and ornamental sides of music .. (It) reveals the duality .. of master keys of all art history:

- one is soul, landscape, feeling

- the other strict form, style, school

"West Europe has an ornamental music of the grand style. ... It is an architecture of human voices, only conceivable in the setting of the stone vaultings .. (of the cathedral)." (p. 168)

"Along with these came into being in castle and village, a secular imitative music, that of troubadours and .. minstrels .. Simple melodies that appealed to the heart .. After 1400, these forms gave rise to collective singing. ... Thus, musically, the castle and the cathedral are distinct. The cathredral <is> music and the castle 'makes' music." (p. 168)

"The transition into the "Late" age was heralded in Rome and Venice .. With Baroque, the leadership passes to Italy. Architecture ceases to be the ruling art and there is formed a group of special Faustian arts in which oil painting occupies the central place." (p. 169)

"The violin is the noblest of all instruments that the Faustian soul has imagined and trained for the expression of its last secrets .. In chamber music, Western art as a whole reaches its highest point .. an art beside which that of the Acropolis alone is worthy to be set." (p. 170)

"It is the final brilliant autumn with which the Western soul completes the expression of its high style .. And in the Vienna of its Congress time, it faded and died." (p. 170)