Und schnell und unbegreiflich schnelle
Dreht sich umher der Erde Pracht;
Es wechselt Paradieseshelle
Mit tiefer, schauervoller Nacht.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Faust I, Prologue in Heaven, Gabriel
The human being – once a perfect, spherical body with two faces looking towards opposite directions: Descended from the sun, moon and earth; striving to take possession of the heavens; punished by Zeus, shattered into two imperfect halves as man and woman; two complementary beings united in love; perhaps rediscovering wholeness …
(Thoughts on the myth of the spherical men, attributed to Aristophanes by Plato in his Symposion)
I believe that it is the fate of the Occident to bring the critically rational, wanting to understand on the one hand and the mystically irrational, seeking the redeeming experience of unity on the other hand into connection with each other again and again. Both attitudes will always dwell in the soul of the human being, and the one will always already carry the other as the germ of its opposite. This creates a kind of dialectical process of which we do not know where it will lead. I believe that as Westerners we must entrust ourselves to this process and recognise the pair of opposites as complementary. By allowing the tension of opposites to exist, we must also acknowledge that in any path of knowledge or salvation, we depend on factors beyond our control, which religious language has always called grace.
Wolfgang Pauli 1954
Von Einstein, Pythagoras und Gauß,
von Riemann und Euklid.
Vom Flachen hin zum Bogen,
von Absolut und Relativ.
Oh Augen, seid am Ende ihr betrogen?
Ist die Gerade etwa schief?
Machst Du, Magie, den Raum zu Zeit,
hälst Du noch mehr für mich bereit?
Es saugt Dein Geist an meiner Sphäre,
Dein Wissen gibt Dir große Ehre,
die Wahrheit doch, die Wahrheit bleibt
für Dich, Du Mensch, Chimäre.