Thursday, May 21, 2020

Dynamic Unity

"What Goethe means by the Urpflanze is the dynamic unity of the coming-into-being of all plants as the self-differencing of One plant, which in therefore intensively multiple but appears to us extensively as all the many different plants. What this means is that each plant is the Urpflanze being one possible mode of itself - the number of possibilities is indeterminate. Hence, paradoxically, it is everywhere visible and nowhere visible - although once we begin to think dynamically, this is no paradox at all. Instead of being separate from the many particular plants that we see, i.e., as 'the one over many', Goethe's Urpflanze is One which comes into concrete manifestation simultaneously with the many - with which it is identical because the many are now the self-differences of One. This is very different indeed from the two-world theory which separates the One from the many. There is no such dualism in Goethe's thinking, for which in his own words: 'The universal and the particular coincide: the particular is the universal, appearing under different conditions.'"

- Henri Bortoft (1938 - 2012)

No comments: