So I started reading Schillers letters on aesthetic education.
But it is not what I would call an easy read. If I was not determined to understand what he has to say, I would have already quit.
But before I started reading from the beginning, I had a quick overview. And in that overview I got the impression that what he wrote in those letters is very important, something I just have to know more about.
After that, I searched for some reviews to see what others had to say about it. And those reviews also gave the impression that he had something essential to say.
So I now really want to read all the letters myself, to get a better understanding of his views. Which, as I wrote in my previous post, seems that creativity and beauty are an essential step between our instinctive nature and our moral behavior.
In this post, I want to quote some, in my opinion, important parts of his first few letters. And I want to start with a quote that made me think of a very powerful piece of music.
Man is not better treated by nature in his first start than her other works are; so long as he is unable to act for himself as an independent intelligence, she acts for him.
It made me think of the music of Carl Orff, O Foruna. Which gives an expression of the inevitable. The victims of our circumstances.
Fate that rules our lives…
like the moon
and then soothes
as fancy takes it
it melts them like ice.
you whirling wheel
you are malevolent
well-being is vain
and always fades to nothing
you plague me too
now through the game
I bring my bare back
to your villainy.
Fate in health
is against me
and weighted down
So at this hour
pluck the vibrating strings
strikes down the strong man
everyone weep with me.
Another important quote is about art.
For art has to leave reality, it has to raise itself bodily above necessity and neediness.
It is so easy to let life take over. Just act upon your neediness and just do what is necessary. Which takes so much of our time and effort that nothing else is left.
But the will of man is perfectly free between inclination and duty.
This freedom of will, that is between inclination and duty, is what it is all about. This is our individual essence that has to decide what to do, to know how to act. It has to be consciously kept free, because else it falls victim to the circumstances.
These circumstances that can be seen as fate. As having no choice, things just happen with no control. We follow the rules, we do our best, and even that does not seem good enough. Bad things happen to good people.
But that spark of freedom between inclination and duty, the art between necessity and neediness, the beauty in the patterns between the patterns of the ordinary, seems to be our way out.