The amosphere was uncanny [unheimlich]. The room was very large, and suspended from the ceiling were two rows of five chests each, hanging about two feet above the floor. They looked like small garden pavilions, each about six feet in area, and each containing two beds. I knew that this was the room where my mother, who in reality had long been dead, was visited, and that she had set up these beds for visiting spirits to sleep.
They were spirits who came in pairs, ghostly married couples, so to speak, who spent the night or even the day there. I opened it and entered a vast hall; it reminded me of the lobby of large hotel. It was fitted out with easy-. A brass band was playing loudly; I heard music all along in the background, but without knowing from where it came.
There was no one in the hall except the brass band blaring forth dance tunes and marches. The brass band in the hotel lobby suggested ostentatious jollity and worldliness. The dream-image of the lobby was, as it were, a caricature of my bonhomie or worldly joviality. But this was only the outside aspect; behind it lay something quite different, which could not be investigated in the blare of the band music: the fish laboratory and the hanging pavilions for spirits.
Both were awesome places in which a mysterious silence prevailed. In them I had the feeling: Here is the dwelling of night; whereas the lobby stood for the daylight world and its superficiality. Whereas his father had never been interested in theriomorphic Christ symbolism, and had never understood the real significance of his sufferings whose nature is never fully. I saw a house in the style of the eighteenth century, very roomy, with several rather large outbuildings.
It had originally been, I learned, an inn at a spa, and it seemed that many great personages, famous people and princes, had stopped there. Furthermore, several had died and their sarcophagi were in a crypt belonging to the house. My father guarded these as […] the custodian but also a distinguished scholar in his own right — which he had never been in his lifetime.
I met him in his study, and, oddly enough, Dr. Y — who was about my age — and his son, both psychiatrists, were also present. He opened it at the Old Testament — I guessed that he turned to the Pentateuch — and began interpreting a certain passage. He did this so swiftly and so learnedly that I could not follow him. Y understood nothing at all, and his son began to laugh. They thought my father was going off at the deep end and what he said was simply senile prattle.
But it was quite clear to me that it was not due to morbid excitement, and that there was nothing silly about what he was saying. On the contrary, his argument was so intelligent and so learned that we in our stupidity simply could not follow it. My father and I were in front of the house, facing a kind of shed where, apparently, wood was stacked. We heard loud. I had the impression that at least two workmen must be busy there, but my father indicated to me that the place was haunted.
Some sort of poltergeists were making the racket, evidently. We then entered the house, and I saw that it had very thick walls. We climbed a narrow staircase to the second floor. There a strange sight presented itself: a large hall which was the exact replica of the divan-i-kaas council hall of Sultan Akbar at Fatehpur Sikri.
It was a high, circular room with a gallery running along the wall, from which four bridges led to a basin-shaped centre. From this elevated place he spoke to his councillors and philosophers, who sat along the walls in the gallery. The whole was a gigantic mandala. It corresponded precisely to the real divani-kaas. In the dream I suddenly saw that from the centre a steep flight of stairs ascended to a spot high up on the wall — which no longer corresponded to reality.
Then he knelt down and touched his forehead to the floor, and I imitated him, likewise kneeling, with great emotion. For some reason I could not bring my forehead quite down to the floor. There remained perhaps a millimetre between forehead and ground. David had shamefully betrayed Uriah for the sake of his wife Bathsheba; he had commanded his soldiers to abandon Uriah in the face of the enemy. For Jung, the mandala structures show how content is represented in relation to a centre, and here that centre is the seat of Akbar the Great, the famous Indian emperor.
One day, from his palace roof, David saw Bathsheba, bathing, in a scene that has become celebrated in Western art, thanks to, among others, Rubens and Rembrandt. He ordered her to be brought to him, and she became pregnant. The detail about not quite touching the floor with his forehead represents, he claimed, his defiance towards that fate, and something of the same defiance, he speculated, had led in biblical times to the composition of the Book of Job.
What also emerges from these dreams, however, is a very real sense of personal engagement and,. In Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Jung not only explored the reasons for this personal urgency but he also laid out the main themes, as he saw them, of the text. In Gnosticism it takes a further mythological turn and becomes a class-name for whole categories of either divine, semi-divine, or demonic beings. Co-published in as part of a two-volume work with one of his major collaborators,. Marie-Louise von Franz, entitled Researches into the History of Symbols Untersuchungen zur Symbolgeschichte , the first section of the work written by Jung became the second part of volume 9 of the Collected Works.
Writing to Victor White on 19 December , Jung related the genesis of this work, summarizing its contents, as follows: It occurred to me I should discuss some of the finer points about anima, animus, shadow, and last but not least the self. I was against it, because I wanted to rest my head. Lately I had suffered from severe sleeplessness and I wanted to keep away from all mental exertions.
In spite of everything, I felt forced to write on blindly, not seeing at all what I was driving at. Only after I had written about 25 pages in folio, it began to dawn on me that Christ — not the man but the divine being — was my secret goal. It came to me as a shock, as I felt utterly unequal to such a task. I had to go on. My further writing led me to the archetype of the God-man and to the phenomenon of synchronicity which adheres to the archetype. I have found some beautiful material. L1, p. A synthesis of Jungian analytical, astrological, and alchemical concepts, Aion partakes of the character of a phenomenology only inasmuch as we are shown a progressive dialectic of consciousness and the unconscious, and their constellation in the archetype of the Self.
In the growth and subsequent decline of Christianity, Jung traced an almost Hegelian progression, but his governing concept is not the World Spirit, but the Self, and the dynamic motor behind this progression is not the dialectic of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis, but the dualistic principle of enantiodromia see Chapter 2 : I had attempted to explain how the appearance of Christ coincided with the. A synchronicity exists between the life of Christ and the objective astrological event, the entrance of the Spring Equinox into the sign of Pisces.
In the case of Christ the sins of the world are the cause of suffering, and the suffering of the Christian is the general answer. This leads inescapably to the question: who is responsible for these sins? In the final analysis it is God who created the world and its sins, and who therefore became Christ in order to suffer the fate of humanity. Those forces included, if we are to believe his correspondence, a near-fatal illness he suffered in It was as if accompanied by the great music of a Bach or a Handel.
Tellingly, however, on both occasions he was reacting to suggestions made by his correspondents, and the real extent of his affinity with these thinkers remains a point of uncertainty. The great Swiss cultural historian and author of The Culture of the Renaissance in Italy had been a professor at Basle from to , and had been a presence in the city when Jung was attending the Gymnasium there.
This grandfather became a great friend of the theologian de Wette, who had connections of his own with Schleiermacher. Thanks to. In his turn, Wilhelm de Wette — also shared these nationalist aspirations for Prussia, and left Germany to become professor of theology at the University of Basle at the same time as Karl Jung. That I was not downright blasphemous I owe to my domestication and polite cowardice. It also seems that global events of the previous decade, especially the bombing of Germany and the detonation of nuclear weapons in Japan during the Second World War, may have strengthened Jung in his sense of mission.
I thought it is a rather drastic world in which we live. There is a proverb that says: a coarse block wants a coarse wedge. No time for niceties! If not, I will describe it. The concept of revelation — in the sense that suddenly, with indescribable certainty and subtlety, something becomes visible, audible, something that shakes one to the last depths and throws one down — that merely describes the facts. One hears, one does not seek; one accepts, one does not ask who gives; like lightning, a thought flashes up, with necessity, without hesitation regarding its form — I never had any choice.
It was necessary for my inner balance that I made myself. In other words, Jung was aware that his book was hard to understand, and that it was very likely to be misunderstood. Initially, the reception of Answer to Job fulfilled these expectations. This article sparked a vigorous correspondence with Jung, with whom he had been in touch since , following his contact with the Jungian John Willoughby Layard — in Oxford in the early s.
Read from this standpoint, it certainly offers several illuminating and exciting insights. But generally speaking it cannot be so read. For Jung deliberately reads the Scriptures through a pair of highly distorting spectacles. This method effectively obscures an objective and dispassionate reading of the Scriptures against their own authentic historical background: it is an. A similar ambivalence informed the reaction of the Swiss Protestant theologian Karl Barth — , who was born and taught in Basle. Precisely such care is taken by James W.
For one of traditional faith, [Answer to] Job must needs. In his three-volume study of major Western thinkers from Goethe to Buber, entitled Discovering the Mind , Walter Kaufmann devoted part of the third volume Freud, Jung, and Adler to Jung, paying unusually close attention to Answer to Job. By locating the common ground between Jung and Heidegger in Gnosticism, Kaufmann restates and extends the critique articulated in the s by the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber see Chapter 2. Here, we must leave aside the more general.
These are precisely roles he played earlier […] with his own father and with Sigmund Freud and psychoanalysis. He is speaking out of a specific psychological experience — that of God who seems to be experienced as evil as well as good — a position disconcerting for the religious person to deal with, and yet one that most people meet sooner or later, whether they wish to call it by that name or. I myself believe that Christian faith denies this. But it certainly does not deny psychological experience which can feel precisely this and which, Jung would say, needs to become conscious. I do not believe that being conscious requires the denial of a mystery beyond human consciousness, but Jung certainly makes no such denial.
On the contrary. I think a very important part of his contribution is the awareness of how very close and how paradoxical this Mystery is. In turn, this amygdaline shape was homologized with the spindle in both folklore e. Projected to cosmic dimension[s], the polymorphous mythic form transposes into the diamond-shaped spindle running through the center of Mother Earth that, in pre-Socratic and Platonic texts […] and elsewhere, spins the fates of us all:—the eternal dynamic implicit in daily and annual birth, conflict, death, and resurrection.
Edinger —98 , who practised in Los Angeles. Jung Institute of Los Angeles in the autumn of , published as a book in , he offered a comprehensive reading of Answer to Job in Jungian terms. Furthermore, Jung uses the Book of Job as a starting-point for a survey of the whole Bible, moving, chronologically, backwards to the earliest days of Creation, and forwards to the very end of time itself in the vision of the Apocalypse. Thus Jung conveys his message, in as synchronic a form as he can, as a dense, and often complicated, commentary on the biblical text.
At the same time as Answer to Job was published, Jung became caught up in a controversy with the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber — Major figures in the Gnostic tradition included Valentinus c. The twentieth century saw a series of important contributions to our knowledge of the history of Gnosticism, including works by two prominent German scholars, Hans Leisegang — , professor of philosophy at the University of Jena, and Hans Jonas —93 , a philosopher who. We can compare it only to the flowering of Gnostic thought in the first and second centuries after Christ.
The spiritual currents of our time have, in fact, a deep affinity with Gnosticism. Concentrating on the penetration of Gnostic teachings into the dark side of political life, Harald Strohm has sought to link the Gnostic tradition with Fascist ideology in general and National Socialism in particular. If faith asserts that it is knowledge, such an assertion remains different from a knowledge that opposes itself to belief, in the inner conviction that knowing is a more authentic way to God.
When the knowing represents itself as mutual, in which God knows the deep self. In a sense, then, analytical psychology is structured at a deep level by the key opposition that characterizes Gnosticism. Drawing on an early work by Jung, later virtually suppressed, called the Septem Sermones ad mortuos Seven Sermons to the Dead see pp. In a very early writing, which was printed but was not sold to the public, it appears in direct religious language as the profession of an eminent Gnostic god, in whom good and evil are bound together and, so to speak, balance each other.
It is also of essential significance for our consideration of his teaching of individuation and the self. Individuation thereby realizes the complete archetype of the self, in contrast to which it is divided in the Christian symbolic into Christ and the Antichrist, representing its light and its dark aspects. In the self the two aspects are united. My enthusiasm arose from the discovery that they were apparently the first thinkers to concern themselves after their fashion with the contents of the collective unconscious.
I had the poem printed under a pseudonym and gave a few copies to friends, little dreaming that it would one day bear witness against me as a heretic. I would like to point. For his part, Buber in his response retracted not a word of his original argument against Jung, and in fact restated it in even stronger terms: The psychological doctrine which deals with mysteries without knowing the attitude of faith towards mystery is the modern manifestation of Gnosis. Gnosis is not to be understood as only a historical category, but as a universal one. It — and not atheism, which annihilates God because it must reject the hitherto existing images of God — is the real antagonist of the reality of faith.
Its modern manifestation concerns me specifically not only because of its massive pretensions, but also in particular because of its resumption of the Carpocratian motif. This motif, which it teaches as psychotherapy, is that of mystically deifying the instincts instead of hallowing them in faith. That we must see C. Jung in connection with this modern manifestation of Gnosis I have proved from his statements and can do so in addition far more abundantly.
And to Robert C. This text, never formally published by Jung, was written in , when he was recovering from the psychological turmoil of his break with Freud. He imitated the language of early Christian heresy to write a new Gnostic scripture, whose contents adumbrated in quasi-poetic, mystic language those ideas he would later express in more scientific form in the vocabulary of analytical psychology. Hence I could not presume to put my name to it, but chose instead the name of one of those great minds of the early Christian era which Christianity obliterated.
It fell quite unexpectedly into my lap like a ripe fruit at a time of great stress and has kindled a light of hope and comfort for me in my bad hours. For, in addition to the fact that Answer to. Towards the end of his life, Jung had the opportunity to study Gnostic texts literally at close hand when, in , the C. In a letter to August Vetter of 8 April , for example, he suggested that his entire project was conceived in terms of Gnostic ambition, and lay at the heart of the cultural mission of analytical psychology:.
But in my view the spirit is alive only when it is an adventure eternally renewed. As soon as it is held fast it is nothing but a man-made expression of a particular cultural form. Of course the cultural form owes its very existence to the intervention of a true and living spirit, but once it is fixed it has long ceased to be. L1, pp. This patristic text is the source of the image, referred to in Answer to Job, of Christ as the right hand and the devil as the left hand of God cf.
Difficult to answer. I know. That is the age-old danger, instinctively known and feared by primitive man, who himself stands so very close to this pleroma. Writing to Kurt Hoffmann on 3 June , Jung expanded on his thinking behind this conception as follows: From what we know of genuine primitives today, the stars play an astonishingly small role in their lives, a fact which may justify the assumption that the projection of the constellations and their interpretation coincided with the beginnings of a reflecting consciousness, i.
These beginnings are naturally shrouded in deep darkness. We must bear in mind that we do not make projections, rather they happen to us. This fact permits the conclusion that we originally read our first physical, and particularly psychological, insights in the stars. In other words, what is farthest is actually nearest. One would have to conclude from these alchemical visions that the archetypes have about them a certain effulgence or quasi-consciousness, and that numinosity entails luminosity.
He beholds the darksome psyche as a star-strewn night sky, whose planets and fixed constellations represent the archetypes in all their luminosity and numinosity. The starry vault of heaven is in truth the open book of cosmic projection, in which are reflected the mythologems, i. In this vision astrology and alchemy, the two classical functionaries of the psychology of the collective unconscious, join hands.
The experiences of the alchemists were, in a sense, my experiences, and their world was my world. This was, of course, a momentous discovery: I had stumbled upon the historical counterpart of my psychology of the unconscious. The possibility of a comparison with alchemy, and the uninterrupted intellectual chain back to Gnosticism, gave. When I pored over these old texts everything fell into place: the fantasy-images, the empirical material I had gathered in my practice, and the conclusions I had drawn from it.
I now began to understand what these psychic contents meant when seen in historical perspective. My understanding of their typical character, which had already begun with my investigation of myths, was deepened. The primordial images and the nature of the archetype took a central place in my researches, and it became clear to me that without history there can be no psychology, and certainly no psychology of the unconscious.
The pleroma is the ground of being, an ontological fullness where everything is, and where everything balances everything else, and where everything cancels everything else out; in the pleroma, the opposites are united: Hear Ye: I begin with nothing. Nothing is the same as fullness. In the endless state fullness is the same as emptiness.
The Nothing is both empty and full. One may just as well state some other thing about the Nothing, namely that it is white or that it is black or that it exists or that it exists not. That which is endless and eternal has no qualities, because it has all. In it thinking and being cease, because the eternal is without qualities. In it there is no one, for if anyone were, he then would be differentiated from the Pleroma and would possess qualities which would distinguish him from the Pleroma. The Pleroma is the beginning and end of the created world.
The Pleroma penetrates the created world as the sunlight penetrates the air everywhere. Although the Pleroma penetrates it completely, the created world has no part of it, just as an utterly transparent body does not become either dark or light in colour as the result of the passage of the light through it. We ourselves, however, are the Pleroma, so it is that the Pleroma is present within us.
The created world is indeed differentiated. Differentiation is the essence of the created world and for this reason the created also causes further differentiation. That is why man himself is a divider, inasmuch as his essence is also differentiation. That is why he distinguishes the qualities of the Pleroma, yea, those qualities which do not exist. These divisions man draws from his own being.
This then, is the reason for man discoursing about the qualities of the Pleroma, which do not exist. The pairs of opposites are the qualities of the Pleroma: they are also in reality non-existent because they cancel each other out. Where is God? Is God dead? God is the created world, inasmuch as he is something definite and therefore he is differentiated from the Pleroma. God is a quality of the Pleroma and everything that I have stated in reference to the created world is equally true of him. This unconscious realm is the source of those reconciling symbols which, by mediating consciousness and the unconscious,.
In Answer to Job, the pleroma refers to a timeless, spaceless realm of pure potentiality, in which all the possible constellations of the God archetype are already contained. That which is eternally present appears in the temporal order as a succession. Time and again, Jung denied he was anything but an empiricist. I make no metaphysical assertions. My standpoint is purely empirical and deals with the psychology of such assertions. How can so many people have got it so wrong?
And in no other context was this claim to be writing from a purely psychological point of view more often repeated than when discussing Answer to Job. In a letter to P. In so arguing, Thomas saw himself as presenting in systematic form what had long been patristic teaching, and his position was far more complex and sophisticated than Jung took it to be: According to Augustine Enchiridion, 1 , God is so good that He would never permit anything evil to occur, unless He were powerful enough to be able to draw good from every instance of evil.
Hence, the fact that evils appear in the world is due neither to impotence nor ignorance on the part of God. Rather, it is due to the ordering of His wisdom and the magnitude of His goodness, from which proceeds the multiplication of the various degrees of goodness in things, many of which would be lacking if He permitted no evil to occur. It is therefore of prime importance. If Christianity claims to be a monotheism, it becomes unavoidable to assume the opposites as being contained in God.
But then we are confronted with a major religious problem: the problem of Job. It is the aim of my booklet to point out its historical evolution since the time of Job down through the centuries to the most recent symbolic phenomena like the Assumptio Mariae, etc. In Candide , Voltaire offered his famous satirical rejoinder to this claim, and there is something of the same ironic tone in Answer to Job as well.
O happy fault that has found so great a Redeemer! Inasmuch as it grapples with the problem of good and evil, however, Answer to Job can be seen not just as a reckoning with the doctrine of the privatio boni, but also as an attempt to offer a kind of psycho-theodicy: an explanation, in psychological terms, of the transformation of the Godimage. As some figures contemporary with the Enlightenment and postEnlightenment age, such as Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi — and Jean Paul the pseudonym of Johann Paul Friedrich Richter, — , realized, the collapse of the optimism that accompanied the providentialist outlook of.
Leibniz and Wolff contained the seeds of a yet more alarming development. But in fact nothing is changed. The same is true when we state that whatever God is or does is good. There is no good without bad. In his Answer to Job, Jung makes reference to the doctrine of the privatio boni on several occasions. By placing this assertion at the beginning of section XI of Answer to Job, Jung reminds us of the long-standing nature of his concern with the problem of evil. If such a belief is impossible, then how can consciousness be delivered from the fear of God? Or to put the question as Jung does another.
But entirely in doubt is the traditional conception of the salvationist project. But in the case of an antinomian being we could expect no other development. The opposites are kept in balance, and so the kingdom of Christ is followed by that of Antichrist. In the. In him the opposites are separated no longer. In fact, he went as far as telling G. In interpreting the Book of Job, Jung drew extensively on various concepts of analytical psychology. In his commentary, Jung does not explicate these concepts in full, which might confuse those not familiar with his system.
In other words, whilst consciousness in itself is fine, too much of it. Enantiodromia Now, the term enantiodromia is a key part of Jungian vocabulary, and occurs on several occasions in Answer to Job. In the philosophy of Heraclitus it is used to designate the play of opposites in the course of events — the view that everything that exists turns into its opposite. And as examples of enantiodromia, Jung cited the conversion experiences of St Paul, and the Catalan theologian, philosopher, poet, and alchemist, Raymond Lulle —.
As is often the case when dealing with Jung, there is a personal dimension to this concept. My education offered me nothing but arguments against religion on the one hand, and on the other the charisma of faith was denied me. I was thrown back on experience alone. Yet this experience came upon him while he was blindly pursuing his own way. As a young man I drew the conclusion that you must obviously fulfill your destiny in order to get to a point where a donum gratiae [gift of grace] might happen along.
But I was far from certain, and always kept the possibility in mind that on this road I might end up in a black hole. I have remained true to this atttitude all my life. In his Answer to Job, as in Aion, Jung relies on astrological symbolism to provide evidence of such enantiodromian shifts as the new era ushered in by Christianity, or the Renaissance, or a putative forthcoming development. Whilst acknowledging the cultural legacy of astrology, Jung, it would be fair to say, did come to incline towards a more empirical and literal interpretation, using astrological experiments to bolster his theory of synchronicity.
The archetypes If the enantiodromia is the chief dynamic process in the self-regulating psyche, then the archetypes are the structures involved in this model of the psyche. Much ink has been spilt over the notion of the archetypes, one of the most complex and contentious ideas in Jungian psychology.
So here we shall examine his theory of the archetypes chiefly in its relation to Answer to Job. It is as if the image of nest-building were born with the bird. Yet as we have seen, Jung was, on other occasions see pp. Some helpful remarks on the archetypes can be found in a letter written approximately five years after Answer to Job, which highlights some of their most pertinent features as found in that text. Since the coniunctio is an essentially transcendental, i. It will be there, because it belongs inevitably to the.
I strive quite consciously and deliberately for ambiguity of expression, because it is superior to unequivocalness and reflects the nature of life. My whole temperament inclines me to be very unequivocal indeed. That is not difficult, but it would be at the cost of truth.
I purposely allow all the overtones and undertones to be heard, partly because they are there anyway, and partly because they give a fuller picture of reality. That is the reason why the good Christian still needs the doctor, and why his dreams advise a consultation. In his letter of 23 February to E. In fact, the distinction between the semiotic and the symbolic marks the dividing-point between Freudian psychoanalysis and analytical psychology. In his correspondence, Jung acknowledged the validity of this question. If the tradition were concerned with a person characterized rather by individual and more or less unique traits, to whom few or no legends, miraculous deeds, and exploits or relations or parallels with mythological figures were attached, there would be no reason to suppose the presence of an archetype.
If on the other hand the biography of the person concerned contains mythical motifs and parallels, and if posterity has added elements that are clearly mythological, then there is no longer any doubt that we are dealing with an archetype. Typically, such symbols of a unifying nature turn up in dreams as the motif of the child-hero and the squaring of the circle. In a short text written as a foreword to a dissertation by the Oxford analytical psychologist Amy Allenby in , i. In turn, this raises the further question of the relation between the instincts and the vehicles of the archetypes, the symbols.
As early as , in his letter to Kurt Plachte, Jung offered an explanation of the function of the symbol, consciously using concepts derived from Gnosticism: The symbol belongs to a different sphere from the sphere of instinct. The latter sphere is the mother, the former the son or God. For my private use I call the sphere of paradoxical existence, i.
The reflection and formation of the Pleroma in the individual consciousness produce an image of it of like nature in a certain sense , and that is the symbol. In it all paradoxes are abolished. In the Pleroma, Above and Below lie together in a strange way and produce nothing; but when it is disturbed by the mistakes and needs of the individual a waterfall arises between Above and Below, a dynamic something that is the symbol.
Like the Pleroma, the symbol is greater than man. It overpowers him, shapes him, as though he had opened a sluice that pours a mighty stream over him and sweeps him away. The raw material shaped by thesis and anithesis, and in the shaping of which the opposites are united, is the living symbol. Its profundity of meaning is inherent in the raw material itself, the very stuff of the psyche, transcending time and dissolution; and its configuration by the opposites ensures its sovereign power over all the psychic functions. The individuation process The protean mythologem and the shimmering symbol [das schillernde Symbol] express the processes of the psyche far more trenchantly and, in the end, far more clearly than the clearest concept; for the symbol not only conveys a visualization of the process but — and this is perhaps just as important — it also brings about a re-experiencing of it [denn das Symbol vermittelt nicht nur eine Anschauung des Vorganges, sondern auch — was vielleicht ebenso wichtig ist — ein Mit- oder Nacherleben des Vorganges].
In the first half of life, the ego emerges as the individual adapts to the world around her or him. He lives in your body, he is your body. Here the limit of possible experience is reached: the ego dissolves as the referencepoint of cognition. It cannot coincide with the centre, otherwise we would be insensible; that is to say, the extinction of the ego is at best an endless approximation. But if the ego usurps the centre it loses its object inflation! The confrontation between consciousness and the unconscious has to ensure that the light, which shines in the darkness, is not only comprehended [begriffen] by the darkness, but also comprehends it [sondern diese auch begreift].
In his writings, Jung erases the distinction between the Self as archetype and the God-image, telling H. The self is not the ego, it symbolizes the totality of man and he is obviously not whole without God. In such statements, and others, Jung drew on a twelfthcentury hermetic text, the Book of Propositions or Rules of Theology, said to be by the Philosopher Termegistus. In diagrammatic form, we could represent the argument of Answer to Job as follows Figure 2.
Within this schema, what corresponds to the moment of the mid-life crisis in the development of the God-concept is. In this respect [the] God-image is more limited than man. But in the Hebrew Bible there are also other names used to refer to God. These different names reflect, in part, the different narrative sources which some scholars have argued are amalgamated in the text of the Pentateuch the Books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Their variety also reflects the importance of names in early Judaism, where a name was held to reveal the essence of an individual or being.
And just as there are different names in the Hebrew Bible for God, so, it has been argued, there are different images of him, too. On this account, there is a shift from a relatively simple to an increasingly complex conception of God: Its history begins with the plurality of the Elohim, then it comes to the paradoxical Oneness and personality of Yahweh, then to the good Father of Christianity, followed by the second Person in the Trinity, Christ, i.
The allusion to the Holy Ghost is a third form appearing at the beginning of the second half of the Christian age Gioacchino da Fiore , and finally we are confronted with the aspect revealed through the manifestations of the unconscious. If he is an orthodox Jew he is speaking of a God to whom the incarnation in the year 1 has not yet been revealed. For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? This is understandable in terms of his paradoxical nature, but not in terms of the Summum Bonum, which by definition.
Hence it has no need of man, unlike Yahweh. We can only hope that God, in his grace, will not compel us to go deeper and let ourselves be consumed by his fire. So if we are right to see Answer to Job as an account chronological in conception, although not in presentation of the development of the Godconcept, then what is most important, and most moving, about this account is the idea that, as the God-archetype constellates itself in the collective unconscious, so it impinges upon, interacts with, and involves humanity. The development of human consciousness — our progress towards the Self, as individuals and as members of a species — is thus bound up with, and intimately related to, the development of the archetype of God in the collective unconscious.
We have become participants of the divine life and we have to assume a new responsibility, viz. Human consciousness and the collective unconscious have, in this vision, two mutually interdependent histories, stretching out along two time-lines that intersect and intertwine. Drawing on Nicolas Caussin — , who spoke of the God of the Old Testament as an angry rhinoceros and the God of the New as a loving unicorn, Jung told White that it was the intervention in the divine economy of man — the intermingling of divine and human as represented by the.
This is at least a kind of answer. It is even a profound answer showing the importance of man in the divine drama of incarnation. It obviously began when God took on personality in contradistinction to all other gods , i. This was the first act of kenosis on the way to incarnation. For Jung, the story of Yahweh and Job marks the entrance to a dynamic moving from the unconscious to consciousness.
Like them, he has fallen victim to unconsciousness. Here is a principle which strives for total. Attainment of consciousness is culture in the broadest sense, and selfknowledge is therefore the heart and the essence of this process. As a lament, the canticle expresses the distress of David, reputedly the author of the Psalms and a talented musician see 2 Samuel —23 , at the death of Saul, the King of Israel, and his son, Jonathan.
It is probably even more difficult to deliver oneself from good than from evil. But without sin there is no breaking away from the good Father; sarcasm plays the corresponding role in this case. As I hinted in the motto, Doleo super te, I am sincerely sorry to wound praiseworthy feelings. In this regard I had to overcome misgivings aplenty. I shall have to suffer anyway for being one against an overwhelming majority. Every development, every change for the better, is full of suffering.
It is just the Reformers who should know this best. But what if they themselves are in need of reform? One way or another certain questions have to be openly asked and answered. I felt it my duty to stimulate this. Both this fact, and what Jung saw as the enormity of his enterprise, were reflected, he wrote, in the opening motto: With the undimmed prospect of all-round incomprehension I could exercise no suasions and no captatio benevolentiae; there was no hope of funnelling knowledge into fools.
But what is that compared with the arrogance I had to summon up in order to be able to insult God? This gave me a bigger bellyache than if I had had the whole world against me. That is nothing new to me any more. I have expressed my sorrow and condolence in my motto, Doleo super te, fratri mi. It is equally possible, however, that the motif of David and Jonathan carries other, more personal echoes. This picture was a mirror-copy of a painting from the workshop of the Bolognese painter Guido Reni — , whose work in Rome shows the influence of Carracci and Caravaggio, and who enjoys the status of one of the great exponents of Classicism.
By the same token, another biblical motif famously characterized the relationship between Sigmund Freud Moses and Jung Joshua. David with the head of Goliath. To begin with, he makes the distinction between physical fact and psychic fact, according to which he proposes to examine, not so much the truth of a particular statement, but the significance residing in the fact that a particular statement is believed. By definition, the ineffable is, as something that is unspeakable, something that cannot be spoken about , and Jung, for all his apparent identification of metaphysics with psychology, seeks here to distinguish the psychology of metaphysics from metaphysics proper.
Jung recognizes that, by equating the statements of Holy Scripture with utterances of the soul, he lays himself open to the charge of psychologism according to which, logic is merely based upon laws of thought, and is thus not a normative discipline, but a construction conforming to our thought patterns. Yet his subsequent claim shows how far removed Jung is from psychologism. The archetypes, Jung says, should be regarded not just as objects but as subjects. These entia are the archetypes of the collective unconscious, and they cause complexes of representations in the form of mythological motifs.
They are to be regarded not only as objects but as subjects with laws of their own. We observe their behaviour and consider their statements. This dual standpoint, which we are forced to adopt towards every relatively independent organism, naturally has a dual result. On the one hand it tells me what I do to the object, and on the other hand what it does possibly to me.
A third dictum is set out by Jung in section II of Answer to Job: the ontological dependence on consciousness. This is a curious idea, which represents the legacy of Idealist philosophy, and it recurs in Memories, Dreams, Reflections. To do so would be not only too easy, but also wrong in theory and practice. John was, as a Christian, seized [ergriffen] by a collective, archetypal process and must therefore be explained first and foremost in this light.
In other words, whilst it is not necessary to refer to texts outside Answer to Job in order to grasp its interpretative method, Jung buries those several key assumptions in the middle of his commentary, thus giving rise to confusion about what he is trying to achieve.
And this has probably been so ever since the days of Job. The individual must be affected by it, otherwise its full effect will not. But the individual should know, or rather learn to know, what has affected him or her, for in this way the individual transforms the blindness of the violence on the one hand and of the affect on the other into knowledge. The unity of Yahweh, Jung emphasizes, is a crucial point that marks him out as being different from humanity: Yahweh is not a human being: he is both a persecutor and a helper in one, and the one aspect is as real as the other.
Yahweh is not split but is an antinomy — a totality of inner opposites — and this is the indispensable condition for his tremendous dynamism, his omnipotence and omniscience. Such dependence on the object is absolute when the subject himself is totally lacking in selfreflection and therefore has no insight into himself.
It is as if he existed only by reason of the fact that he has an object which assures him that he is really there. On this account, then, the story of Job is the expression, leading to the working through and, finally, the resolution of, these contradictions. Reviewing the covenant between Yahweh and the Jews, Jung suggests that the collapse of the contract referred to in Psalm 89 found a literary deposit in the Scriptures, and may have influenced the composition of the Book of Job.
The plot is set in train by Satan, one of the sons of God, who is given permission by Yahweh to tempt Job to sin just as, in the Garden of Eden, the serpent. So much, Jung thinks, for the Ten Commandments! The idea of this dual nature can be found elsewhere in the Bible, too. So in the intervening sections, III, IV, and V, Jung turns back, firstly, to the time of the composition of the Book of Job and the idea of sophia or divine wisdom, and, secondly, to the events of the Book of Genesis and the story of Adam and Eve.
Jung views what happens at these two stages as essential preconditions for understanding not only the Book of Job, but also the doctrine of the Incarnation and the prophecies of the Book of Revelation. What is attempted here is a reconstruction of that historical survey in narrative form. But in order to understand the real reason for the Incarnation as an historical event, Jung argues in section VI, it is necessary to go back to the time of the Creation. An esoteric reading of the story of Creation was provided by the Kabbalah, that great Jewish mystical system that flourished in the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
The creation of the world and the attainment of consciousness both involve individuation, that is to say, the formation of particularity out of universality. Could man be held responsible for it, or had it been created by God? The answer could be found, he believed, in the Scriptures. Ignoring all the. It may have been his idea to put a serpent into the Garden of Eden.
Job ; Genesis —4; Psalms , , and traditionally understood, following the Greek Septuagint, to refer to the angels.
The Old Testament prefiguration would therefore be Cain and Abel and their sacrifice. For Jung, duplication is an attempt by the conscious mind to represent an antinomy, the necessarily paradoxical status of certain propositions for human reason. Or as he put it in his own, psychological terms: The coincidence of opposites is the normal thing in a primitive conception of God, since God, not being an object of reflection, is simply taken for granted.
At the level of conscious reflection, however, the coincidence of opposites becomes a major problem, which we do everything possible to circumvent. That is why the position of the devil in Christian dogma is so very unsatisfactory. When there are gaps in our collective ideas, in the dominants of our conscious orientation, we can count with absolute certainty on the existence of complementary or — to be more precise — compensatory developments in the unconscious. As always, Jung sought the underlying historical trend in any culturally specific development, and the motif of the hostile brothers — Cain and Abel, and later Jacob and Esau — expressed, he believed, the working-out of the antinomial, paradoxical nature of the God-image.
This paradox came to the fore, he argued, in the Book of Job. For example, in the Book of Proverbs we read:. The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.
Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.
I dwelt in high places, and my throne is in a cloudy pillar. I alone compassed the circuit of heaven, and walked in the bottom of the deep. In the waves of the sea, and in all the earth, and in every people and nation, I got a possession. With all these I sought rest: and in whose inheritance shall I abide? The interpretation of the figure is further complicated by the fact that such passages also came to be applied to the Virgin Mary, being read as part of the liturgy for Marian feasts.
This work found an enthusiastic reception from many writers, including Jung. Selfreflection becomes an imperative necessity, and for this Wisdom is needed: Yahweh has to remember his absolute knowledge. For, if Job gains knowledge of God, then God must also learn to know himself. Yet after the encounter with Job, Jung argues, this changes. Had he not taken this decision he would have found himself in flagrant opposition to his omniscience.
Yahweh must become human precisely because he has done humankind a wrong. He, the guardian of justice, knows that every wrong must be expiated, and Wisdom knows that moral law is above even him. Because his creature has surpassed him he must regenerate himself. A key influence on the process of incarnation is said to be the divine wisdom, Sophia.
No path leads beyond perfection into the future, apart from a turning back, that is, a collapse of the ideal, which could easily have been avoided by paying attention to the feminine ideal of completeness. And in section V, Jung explains his thinking on all these points in terms of his basic presupposition underlying his approach.
At this point, Jung offers a potential therapeutic insight, namely that clinical problems might be just another example of problems in the pleroma: When these things occur as modern variants, therefore, they should not be regarded merely as personal episodes, moods, or chance idiosyncrasies in.
Figure 3 Consequently, it is wrong simply to say that the Incarnation served the purpose of universal salvation: what happens on earth is merely a reflection of what is going on, so to speak, in heaven. For the divine is, as far as Jung is concerned, simply another way of speaking about the unconscious. In his letter to Erich Neumann of 5 January , Jung spoke of God as an illness that humankind had to cure: God is a contradiction in terms, therefore he needs man in order to be made One. Sophia is always ahead, the demiurge always behind. God is an ailment man has to cure.
For this purpose God penetrates into man. Why should he do that when he has everything already? In order to reach man, God has to show himself in his true form, or man would be everlastingly praising his goodness and justice and so deny him admission.
This can be effected only by Satan, a fact which should not be taken as a justification for Satanic actions, otherwise God would not be recognized for what he really is. God was now known, and this knowledge went on working not only in Yahweh but in humankind too. Thus it was the men of the last few centuries before Christ who, at the gentle touch of the everpresent Sophia, compensate Yahweh and his attitude, and at the same time complete the anamnesis of Wisdom. Taking [in the Wisdom literature] a highly personified form that is clear proof of her autonomy, Wisdom reveals herself to men as a friendly helper and advocate against Yahweh, and shows them the bright side, the kind, just, and amiable aspect of their God.
Nevertheless, their premises considering the Spirit and the Idea as absolute ideological strongholds remained untouched, which was problematic and made them increasingly erode those premises. This gradual undermining of idealist premises from within makes the period between and roughly a murky subject for investigation. It seemed that music critics had come to consider idealist thought, including its prejudices against music, as the most authoritative discourse in the field of aesthetic theory. They may have used an idiom or terminology that enabled them to find connection with the authoritative intellectual discourse Vischer represented.
It also provided an ideological orientation point for music critics to explain music as a spiritually determinate art. Sobolewski demands that music be left alone by people such as Vischer. Leave music to the musicians. Wagner considered Vischer to be the textbook example of a boring academic, and did not hesitate to show this time after time Appendix VI : Wagner. The two men knew each other from their exile in Zurich, in the second half of the s. Apart from Vischer, the art historian Jacob Burckhardt , the Dutch physiologist Jacob Moleschott and the poet and painter Gottfried Keller were regularly invited.
Vischer and Wagner were invited on one occasion by Mathilde Wesendonck, 23 who wanted them to become better acquainted. Da stieg mir der Zorn zu Kopf. Es entstand eine verlegene Stille; ich nahm meinen Hut und ging 20 The Princess exerted her influence on several key compositions of both Liszt and Berlioz. Chapter Two — Thinking about music 37 fort. Wagner and Vischer were almost exact contemporaries, both thoroughly engaged with politics, social justice, the power of religion, nationalism, and the ethical features of art.
Although Wagner was more radical than Vischer, they shared an inclination towards obstinacy and insubordination that determined their careers to a large extent. That might also have been the reason for the fact that, despite being deeply spiritual people in their own very individual ways, they were both highly critical towards the established Church. Like Vischer, Wagner became increasingly conservative once he became a more successful and authoritative figure in his field. After returning to Germany, both men adhered to a kind of federal conservatism.
It should be stressed emphatically, however, that Vischer was not anti-Semitic. According to Vischer, a combination of art forms in one work of art could never lead to an equal position for all the art forms as Wagner had predicted. The one art form would always become subservient to the other, Vischer argued, and would be unable to unfold its powers to its full flourishing. Vischer proposed the old Nibelungenlied as a means of expressing the national identity of the German people, but observed that the grand epic is not suitable to be expressed in a single theatre drama, as the time is not suitable for the spoken word.
Even then, the project would be far from problematic. Vischer observed an unclearness of the action as a whole and an over- abundance of coincidence. Moreover, a Nibelungen opera would be such an extensive work that it could not be performed on one single occasion, but should be divided over several days VISCHER d, Apart from the many lesser gods of German cultural life, Friedrich Schlegel , Hegel in his Aesthetics and Heinrich Heine wrote about the possibility of writing a drama on the epic.
The way he addressed Vischer is not unique, if we regard the letters of many of his colleagues in the artistic field. Joachim Raff drew on Vischer for aesthetic support in his critical pamphlet against Wagner, Die Wagnerfrage: kritisch beleuchtet, which greatly shocked the New German inner circle, since Raff had been a fervent follower of Wagner and Liszt. Niels Gade , however, did play with the idea of setting her text to music. The conclusion that he had read Vischer seems inescapable. Given the climate of the age and his own field of interest, Wagner would quite possibly in due course have turned to the Nibelungs anyway as a suitable opera subject.
He published on a subject that occupied everybody, which led to great admiration for his work as well as rendering it impossible to establish whether it made any difference that he published on it. Wagner does not seem to have been philosophically inspired by Vischer in any respect.
Both men possessed an inclination towards eclecticism as far as their philosophical engagements are concerned. Wagner might have been the more adventurous of the two, but he was also less careful, and in his time undoubtedly less respected for his aesthetic achievements than Vischer. Hegelian strongholds and Hegelian deceptions Wagner apparently felt he could diverge from Hegelian thought patterns.
This was quite exceptional in the mid-nineteenth century. Interpreting music in concepts was and still is highly problematic, not only for philosophers such as Hegel and Vischer. Music critics were well aware that entering the realm of music by dissecting it, interpreting it and conceptualizing it, could only be done by means of describing it in terms of something other than music. Still, Hegelian dogmas stimulated them to establish connections with other spheres of human expression in order to set up a framework of conceptual tools that dealt with the nature and content of music discursively.
Hanslick, Liszt, and Brendel, among others, were forced to deal with the discrepancy between music and conceptualization if they wanted to associate themselves with the Hegelian mainstream. Many of the aesthetic tools and means of grasping music in words were already lying ready for them in the aesthetic mainstream. The construction and employment of these tools brings us to perhaps the most complicated aspect of Hegelian philosophy: the use of language. Hegel considered language as an indiscernible aspect of his philosophical system.
It is not the terms themselves, but the way and the context in which they are used that determines their meaning. Especially when trying to sketch the development of criticism, rhetoric becomes arguably more relevant than ideas or concepts. The fact that Hanslick and Brendel both felt obliged to explain music in terms of Geist is telling enough, despite their undoubtedly different interpretations of Geist. It is possible to acquire a sense of orientation in the labyrinth of idealist philosophy by investigating how fashionable terms, concepts or rhetorical tricks were interpreted in a wide range of different ways.
When Hanslick talked about Geist, did he hold a Hegelian or a Vischerian view of the concept, and if it is neither, how did his own interpretation of it differ from the mainstream idealist interpretation of his time? Since rhetoric did the trick for most critics, it is the idealist terminology and the idealist references that we should focus on, in such a way as to read between the lines and establish their interpretation from the context in which they were used.
Whilst musicological and cultural historical research into the period leading to the revolutions and the period after the German unification in is abundant, the period under investigation is still seriously underrepresented. It is a slippery subject as far as the meaning of critical tools is concerned [Chapter Two ]. Moreover, present-day philosophers who engage with music, such as Peter Kivy and Roger Scruton, dismiss the German idealist tradition, which could have offered them valuable leads for gettig to terms with music and conceptualization.
A study into the aesthetics of Friedrich Theodor Vischer can fill up the existing gaps in musicological and philosophical research. It is exactly this kind of development that should be described in more detail, thus inevitably also becoming subject to qualification in places. Jahrhundert — nur relativ selten der Gegenstand wissenschaftlicher Untersuchungen geworden […]. Definitions of the role or significance of art could not be given by the various art disciplines themselves. There was a need for all- encompassing contextualization, but, as we have seen earlier, this became problematic in the specific environment of the various art forms themselves.
A more recent publication concerning Auch Einer is offered by M. English publications on Vischer in the philosophical realm are even rarer, as his aesthetics are a textbook example of Continental philosophy, which has not been particularly appreciated in English-speaking circles recently.
Musicological literature about Vischer hardly exists, as far as I am aware, either in German or in English. He may have been a creditable painter and a celebrated novelist, but he received no education in musical matters. Written in the grandiloquent, speculative tradition of idealist philosophy, the treatise expresses an urge to define and classify individual manifestations of music into clear-cut categories.
Like most idealist philosophers who attempted to incorporate discussions of music into this framework, not least Kant and Hegel themselves, Vischer was confronted with numerous problems. Vischer himself may not have followed this critique through, but he cleared the slate for contemporary music critics, such as Eduard Hanslick, Franz Brendel, and minor ones such as Ernst Gottschald, Ludwig Bischoff and Richard Wallaschek, to do so.
We have already noted that the idealist problems with music stemmed from the obligation imposed by the Enlightenment to be representative, but also from the nineteenth- century urge to become acquainted with the metaphysical dimension of life. This intention of describing things in metaphysical terms not only fostered interest in the ephemeral, intangible and unnameable, but also the urge to conceptualize and visualize these spheres by means of clear-cut definitions and vivid images. In this context, music was seldom glorified as the highest art due to its ephemeral character and its independence from visual models or verbal means of communication.
Hoffmann, may have been gratefully regarded as models by later music critics, but they were not nearly as influential as idealist philosophers for German intellectual life throughout the century. In other words: they could not determine the way in which music was a manifestation of the Spirit. Music had to be explained as an art form that possessed as many spiritual qualities as its sister arts. The fact that early-romantic thinkers were indebted to idealists which might well be true does not clarify the fact that they glorified music. Idealist philosophers generally distrusted music and they had good reasons to do so, if one considers the aims towards which they were striving.
Chapter Three — Music as the devil 49 Some kinds of music, allegedly lacking these qualities, were marked as inferior in order to lend music a proper spiritual power. I will take his argument one step further by explaining how these aspects fit into a very influential, if only implicitly present, prejudice among idealist aestheticians: the attribution of diabolical powers to music.
At the same time, music triggers basic and instinctive human drives without the mediation of verbal or visual concepts; it is uncontrollable in indulging and corrupting human sensuality. Music did not necessarily lack something in the idealist view, as Sponheuer argues. Rather, it possessed powers it was not entitled to have on the basis of its function in the further development of mankind. Aspects of feeling, for instance, invisible as they are, should hence be connected with interiority and obscurity. Thus, they are unknowable. At the other end of the spectrum, aspects of consciousness refer to objects that are knowable; they are or can be objectified, and become visible.
Thus, they are exposed, transparent and enlightened. The Word is a necessary pre-condition for creation. Hence, in the context of idealist philosophy, the Spirit is unable to manifest itself in music. Music was considered to be geistlosig, spiritually and intellectually empty. HEGEL b, xxvi Vischer described the same problem in a more precise and therefore slightly different way. He argued that music has become so interiorized that it cannot establish links with outer reality anymore. Hence, it is unclear in what way the senses, indispensable for transmitting impulses from the outer material world to the inner soul of the artist, should function.
The dialectical process, shown in Figure 2 , of objects in nature finding their man-made counterparts in works of art, is disturbed in the creation of a musical work of art. There is no connection between inner subjectivity and outer objectivity. The role of Logos might therefore have been even more important for Vischer than for other idealists as it referred to the symbolic spheres of Christian belief while also stressing the requirement of representational quality for the tangible, earthly manifestations of the Spirit.
Chapter Three — Music as the devil 51 music does not lose its realm of inwardness, as Hegel assumed, but rather retreats into it and so isolates it. Thus, free content is no longer expressed in a particularity of form. Music floats in between outer and inner materiality because it cannot connect the one with the other; it addresses both mind and senses but belongs to neither. Geahnt und dunkel vorschwebend hat sie die ganze Welt, in klarer Wirklichkeit hat sie nichts.
He distrusted music for its transcendental powers, which defied conceptualization. Its inability to become embodied and objectified could in fact be an unwillingness to do so. Thus, Vischer implied that music is a fraud as an art: its pure ideality is a false one. In such a deep abyss of inner life, conceptual clarity cannot exist, but mind and senses still meet: as very brief moments of enlightenment, little pangs of consciousness, vanishing immediately after they emerge. Music, having the ability to emerge without the reliance on concepts or objects while still addressing both mind and senses, is the only art that can trigger this area of the human spirit.
The area where mind and senses meet on a subconscious level could be defined as the human soul. However, Hegel also addressed the drawback of this quest: a free and self- conscious human being could abuse his autonomy and self-knowledge. Coming closer to the Absolute also meant that man came closer to being God for himself. For Hegel, the interaction of sensuality with intellect, as a necessary precondition for reconciliation with the Absolute, was something towards which mankind obviously and necessarily strived.
However, it was not necessarily better or preferable to current stages of human capacity. Thus, it places itself outside the normal frame of reference for art. Chapter Three — Music as the devil 53 reference to the Logos, highlighted by Gethmann-Siefert, as a precondition for tangible emergence is important here. Standing in the powerful idealist tradition of thinking in terms of transcendentalism, Vischer implied that music potentially provokes the authority of God by deliberately taking the liberty to be invisible and unnameable.
This was certainly not solely an academic problem touching on the realm of aesthetics, but rather a metaphysical problem touching on the hierarchy of man and God. Vischer is an easy victim for feminist readers. Thus, music is not emotionally and intellectually out of control, but emotionally and intellectually superior. Pederson, too, observes a legitimation crisis for music due to Hegelian aesthetics If they were not Freemason-like heretics, they were at least enjoying their splendid seclusion.
It is precisely those structures through which music was considered to exert its spell of emotional seduction and temptation, while remaining unfathomable to laymen. The allegedly inaccessible transcendental knowledge passed on through music was never explicitly condemned by idealist philosophers, but was nevertheless often implicitly associated with the mystical and the metaphysical, surpassing human capabilities. From Adam and Eve on, being knowledgeable ipso facto meant being sinful. However, the unreflective surrender to instinctive impulses and desires was considered to be just as sinful.
Music embodied this inescapability: one way or the other, it represented sinfulness, being comparable both to the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden and to Sodom and Gomorrah. This combination of transcendental power and human sin could truly be considered diabolical and was unique for an art. Hence, many of his prejudices against music stemmed from a general idealist distrust of music. However, over the course of the s, Vischer seemed to have increasing difficulty adhering to the Hegelian system of classification and systematization.
This was partly due to changed insights into the nature and function of art. Whilst Hegel tried to fit art into a larger system containing all forms of human expression and development, Vischer focused on art only. Or to put it in Hegelian terms: Beauty, Thought and God, i. Despite the fact that Vischer never truly escaped from the idealist emphasis on religiously motivated morality, as we saw in the first paragraph of this chapter, he implied that Beauty seems to take over the realm of religion from God. Vischer elaborated on this bold implication by observing that, in Beauty, both subjective and objective sides of truth find each other: rays of complete and fulfilled life, scattered round the universe, are concentrated at one single point in time and space: the observing human being anschauender Mensch who is appeased and in harmony with himself through his observation of Beauty.
This makes Beauty the only manifestation of the Spirit that could be considered irreplaceable. It is the highest task of new art to glorify this God. Anschauung was a primarily creative capacity, featuring in the dialectical process of actively interiorizing and therefore adapting the outer material Figure 2 .
With Hegel increasingly being pushed into the background, Vischer was not so much concerned with the transcendental implications of this process, but rather with its down-to-earth features, such as reactions in the human brain and psychological differentiations in the human psyche. He always connected grandiloquent statements, such as the above quotation, with tangible explanations of human capabilities. He was orientated towards contemporary empiricist movements of thought, which considerably changed the nature of his aesthetics.
Despite his musical ignorance, Vischer dwelt on what he considered to be the content of music: inner emotional life. In his efforts to differentiate between the various aspects of this inner emotional life and to establish the links between emotional and musical processes, Vischer used concepts such as Anschauung with an established idealist history, giving them their own distinct meanings in his application of them.
The manner in which he defined these concepts gave his aesthetics which appear straightforwardly Hegelian at first glance leads for re-interpretation, for altered value judgements, and paradoxically enough, in the case of music, for emancipation. Music critics were likewise concerned with explaining music in conceptual terms. In the wake of the idealist intention of neutralizing its spell, they tried to legitimize it as an art.
Vischer started his music treatise with the claim that the philosophy of music lagged behind in comparison to the other arts, because it had never taken the effort to properly define and explain the content of music. It had bluntly marked the diverse aspects of inner 44 It would be worth investigating to what extent Vischer has been influenced by Immanuel Kant Also, much more than Hegel, Kant explored the opposition of idealism and materialism involving the moral consequences of the human being as a free subject on the one hand and as a determined organism on the other.
Without wanting to explore fully the complex idealist usages of the word consciousness, we should remember how crucial the concept was in the context of idealist philosophy. For Hegel, referring to consciousness as a demarcated concept was necessary in order to position the human being as a thinking subject, i. Being conscious of an object meant being able to define it, to describe how it functioned and what it could be used for.
Consciousness, in short, was inextricably bound up with the issue of conceptualization that proved to be so problematic with regard to music. If we are unable to determine what we feel, the feeling may well be there, but it is impossible to register it empirically. In this statement, Vischer is straightforwardly Hegelian, although the way in which he describes the relationship between feeling and consciousness bears witness to influences of empiricist psychology. Vischer argued that it would be too simplistic just to describe the realm of Beauty as feeling.
Impulses from outside are transmitted by the senses, but the subject can only deal with those impulses once they have been processed by the mind. This process of indeterminate feeling becoming specific emotions is shown visually in Figure 4 . Vischer considered this structure and working of the human psyche as a premise for his statements about the realm of Beauty and aesthetics. Yet, Vischer regarded imagination Phantasie , like observation Anschauung , primarily as a creative ability, not as a perceptive one.
As established in Figure 2 , the ability to empathize with and conceive of an object was considered to be indispensable for creating a work of art. This required sensory as well as intellectual abilities. Despite the fact that Vischer was orientated towards the visual arts and towards establishing a determinate representational content for art, he took the effort to answer the question how we should depict inner emotional life. Hegel had never bothered to do this, despite his assumption that imagination cannot exist without inner emotional life. Occasionally, Vischer also used the more prosaic word Einbildungskraft, of which imagination is a more literal translation, referring to Bilder or images.
This did not mean that the two excluded each other. For Vischer, imagination was still an ability that required both intellectual understanding and emotional sensitivity, but he constructed a concept that managed to overcome the requirement of verbal or visual determinacy, at least to some extent. This was the realm of music and of imagination as a sentient empfindende rather than formative bildende capacity Figure 4 .
It is an easy prey for sensual temptation on the one hand and for basic, only partially controlled actions of the mind on the other. Vischer constructed his argument by means of focussing on processes that did not interest Hegel in the least: tangible reactions within the human psyche. Whilst Hegel intended to reveal large-scale transcendental processes in the development of man, Vischer set about finding out how these processes were initiated by the human mind. Hence, Vischer was less inclined to fit all aspects of human expression, such as music, in one all-encompassing system.
This was an indirect manner of reaching the Idea and a merely temporary reconciliation with the Absolute. It exemplified the increasing awareness that the absolutism of idealist metaphysical concepts was unsustainable. Vischer thus decided to leave the music volume to someone with more knowledge about, and affinity for, music. He contacted Bernhard Gugler, a mathematics professor at the Polytechnikum in Stuttgart, but by it turned out that Gugler had not made any progress.
He was not a musician, but had apparently received the musical upbringing that Vischer lacked. It is difficult to establish to what extent Vischer exerted his influence on the treatise. The various branches Zweige of music determined the division of parts and chapters in the treatise. You have really been lucky in this business.
Chapter Three — Music as the devil 63 sister arts. One could either study the psychiatric patient and determine what made him so different from the rest, or one could put him away in a mental institution demanding that he behave normally. Within these categories, he listed a number of styles, mentioning a couple of features for every style, without any practical examples of musical compositions. The total arbitrariness of this description of musical style categories reveals that the collaboration between the two aestheticians was not always as smooth as they would have liked.
The style categorizations were indeed heavily criticized by music aestheticians in the later nineteenth century, as we will see in Chapter Eight [ff]. In idealist philosophy, the artistic material had always been an important criterion for describing the differences between various manifestations of an art form. In his attempt to attribute spiritual i. Stoff can be explained in three different ways, which should carefully be kept apart.
Firstly, Stoff is the Idea as the content of a work of art, indispensable in determining the meaning of a work of art. Secondly, Stoff can be the Idea in the form of a natural object that can be chosen by an artist as a model. In the idealist view, the Spirit needed Stoff in order to manifest itself Figure 2 . Stoff was therefore of extreme importance to art. Thus far, Vischer is on common idealist ground, describing concepts that have been addressed by Kant and Hegel in similar terms. However, with regard to the last category of Stoff, the material of art, Vischer took a considerably different angle, and although he did not entirely change the definition of what artistic material could be, he altered the emphasis on certain aspects of it.
Chapter Three — Music as the devil 65 To a greater extent than Hegel, Vischer focused on the kind of material that has been provided by the development of human civilization itself, rather than by nature. In his volume, Vischer classified features of art by looking at Darstellungsmittel paint, stone, etc. This led him to the conclusion that artistic material should not only be defined as paint for a painting or stone for a sculpture, as did Hegel, but also as loosely defined sensory sinnliche means available to an artist for making a work of art.
These could have appeared as art before: artistic techniques, fashions, cultural movements, etc. Unlike Hegel, Vischer was interested in phenomena as products of individual human actions rather than in abstract or metaphysical processes. Again, Vischer took widely used idealist dogmas as a starting point. A sign of true artistic genius is the ability to individualize the available material in a work of art or style. A piece of stone cannot be turned into a sculpture if the sculptor is unable to mentally summon up a picture of the work of art beforehand. Vischer added a further dimension to this view.
Fashions and techniques are not universal, like stone and paint, but have been developed in a certain place and, most importantly, at a certain time. They are subject to historical development. For, since the material has been subject to earlier actions of imagination already, imagination is tied closer to the material.
The intangible aspects of music — its manifestation in time rather than in space, its mathematical complexity and inaccessibility, its direct impact on the senses — could thus be conceptualized, explained and pinned down. Like Hegel, Vischer claims that vocal and instrumental music depend on fundamentally different manners of communication.
Its domain is the realm of pure feeling, where determinate emotions have not yet begun to become crystallized. Chapter Three — Music as the devil 67 Figure 7. These aesthetics were based on practices in the French theater and on Aristotelian aesthetic models. The recitative was divided in two categories: a purely lyrical recitative and a dramatic-lyrical recitative.
The division depended on the stage of inner life Figure 4  towards which the recitatives refer; a purely lyrical recitative triggers deeper stages of inner life than the dramatic-lyrical recitative. Thus, there are polyfonic instrumental pieces for strings, for winds and for brass bands. Hence, the orchestra piece allows features of a greater style. Considering the fact they appear nowhere else in the treatise, he may have taken them over from a theory book he could have consulted.
They could now describe music in similar terms as its sister arts, they had found a way of making it behave like everything else. He also broadened the concept of the material of art as something that was not only found in nature but also pre- formed by the human Spirit through earlier artistic expressions. Vischer was the last idealist philosopher who made a serious attempt at explaining music as an art comparable to all the other arts. He might not have succeeded from a musical point of view, but did contribute to it in a philosophical respect.
The results of his attempt contained leads for further debate and reinterpretation, which nurtured the intellectual engagement with music and the development of music criticism, as will be revealed in Part III of this study. Thus, Vischer opened the way for other previously clear-cut concepts, such as Beauty, truth, Spirit, and last but not least art, to turn into categories that could be subject to critical debate.
His attempt to conceptualize music succeeded only because he had already started to undermine the very premises of the tools he was using. As will become clear in later chapters, many musicians and music critics were aware of this, and used his views to put music in a more favourable light. Like religion and philosophy, art was considered to be one of the three major vehicles for human expression, i. From the manner in which religion, art and philosophy developed, the development of mankind as a whole could be observed. The extent in which each of them flourished provided information about the way in which humankind communicated, whether that was imaginative, sensitive, or reflective.
Thus, and this was of the utmost importance to Hegel, religion, art and philosophy indicated how far humankind had developed towards its ultimate destination of freedom and reconciliation with the Absolute. According to Hegel, they could reach their peak only when their form appropriately transmitted their respective contents. Whilst religion and philosophy improved over time, reaching their peak in modern times, Hegel argued that art had reached its peak in ancient Greece and had been in decline ever since. Hegel often insisted that this was the case because the content of Greek art was religious.
A statue of Zeus was an artistic expression of a religious content. Thus, only when paired with religion could art function as a proper means of expression. With this ideal of ancient art firmly at the back of his mind, Hegel encountered some severe problems with contemporary art. HEGEL , xlvi Hegel assumed that thinking about art — what it is, what it should be — started to exert its influence on the production of art itself, and in many ways could not easily be distinguished from creative production any longer.
He evaluated this development ambivalently. On the one hand, he deplored the loss of sensory expression and the alleged impossibility of regaining it. Not only was art criticism becoming 3 Hegel was certainly not the only one who encountered problems with contemporary art. Around the turn of the century, Friedrich Schlegel, for instance, uses the word entartet degenerate for contemporary art, expressing the widely felt notion that art as a whole was unmistakably in decline WENDORFF , Art thus seemed to qualify its own sensory identity, it became ironic, dismembered and dissonant.
Its sensory features are subjective to such an extent that their manifestation requires to be accompanied by Thought in the form of skilful musical technique or conceptualization in order to appear in outer materiality and become understood. It is undecided between the two, and is no longer able to connect the one with the other.
Hence, the Spirit cannot objectify itself in music. However, Hegelian aestheticians, who unlike Hegel were primarily concerned with art, were confronted with the difficult task of proving that, in the context of this Hegelian Weltanschauung, art as a sensory medium was still of primary importance to the further development of mankind. Like many of his progressive Hegelian contemporaries, Vischer equated these prospects with the long-awaited political freedom that many middle-class intellectuals were striving for. Once mankind was susceptible to Beauty, it would also be able to gain freedom of expression in general.
Vischer, however, evaluates this development in a much more positive way than Hegel. I will show  that not Hegel but Hegelian aestheticians such as Vischer hinted at this, since they were primarily concerned with art. It is rather the start of a new era, with a new function and new possibilities for art. However problematic and intangible, this is the realm that provides the possibilities for future art to regain its position as the supreme manifestation of the Spirit.
In their early years, Vischer and his contemporaries insisted on the necessity of truly engaging with the present production of art in all its incomprehensibility and inaccessibility in order for the new creativity to become active. Wir sind aber noch nicht aus dem Halbwissen heraus, und eben dieses bleibt in der Reflexion stecken und findet nicht den Uebergang zu der Ueberwindung des Wissens, zur Umsetzung desselben in der That.
VISCHER b, l Vischer admitted that it is, in fact, impossible to create art in a time that values intellectual rather than artistic expression. Er beurteilt also diese Freiheit der Gestaltung genau gegenteilig wie Hegel. Modernity opposes them both, but also grows out of them.
He criticizes Joseph Eichendorff and Georg Herwegh , for instance, for constructing artistic utopias that offer a refuge from the present rather than expressing the present in all its complexity and richness VISCHER f, Their art could not prepare the artistic realm for the next stage in history or its observers for a next stage in their consciousness. Only then can reality be united with the Idea by means of Beauty rather than Thought. Aestheticians such as Vischer recognized the artistic crisis described by Hegel as an inevitable historical necessity, but at the same time they described it in fundamentally different terms to what Hegel would ever have allowed.
Als dritte Hauptform nun setze ich also das moderne Ideal [the first and second being antiquity and romanticism] […]. Chapter Four — The end of art 77 with past artistic achievements. Our present image of the past brought about by our actual, present environment determines our present image of the future. Thus, the present renews itself constantly by turning away from its immediate past. The notion of being modern had featured in centuries of aesthetic thinking, but the notion of the transitoriness of modernity was a distinct aspect of nineteenth century aesthetics JAUSS , This power of continuous self-renewal was peculiarly Hegelian in its assumption that renewal necessarily involved a dialectical sublation into a new stage of history by reconciling mind and senses HABERMAS , 7.
The present functioned as the connection between the often confusing and seemingly dismembered instances of historical development. With its dominant quality of reflection, the present guaranteed the continuity and logicality of history. Thus, it became inextricably bound up with one of the most powerful concepts of aesthetic thinking after Hegel: the concept of progress. Hegel, however, did not talk very much about progress. He rather used the more neutral concept of development; development in a certain direction, but without any judgement as to whether the eventual goal would be desirable or not.
An almost militant assurance of positivism was added only in the s and s by Hegelian aestheticians and critics. The concept of progress depended to a large extent on the allegedly self-regulating dynamics of the present as a separate critical category. The implicit attribution of human capacities to developments, processes or periods was easily incorporated in the idealist and Enlightenment view that man as an individual was nothing but a cog in the machine, a machine that carried on working irrespective of the actions of single individuals.
Art had the opportunity to account for its present by expressing it and responding to it. Art could thus be a direct manifestation of the features of an era. Only occasionally did Hegel talk about progress, being far from positive about the eventual goals of the development he sketched. Hegel quite unequivocally condemned modern art, he did not attempt to justify it by establishing connections between art and its surrounding contemporary environment.
Chapter Four — The end of art 79 back to Hegel. The legitimation of modern art The upheavals in the year have entered history for their symbolic rather than their actual influence. Seldom had expectations for an entirely new political system run so high throughout Europe.
Never before were middle-class intellectuals so united in their efforts to participate in the political field. It is, in fact, difficult to find progressive composers, poets or philosophers who were not in some way or another affected by the revolutions. Vischer entered the Frankfurt Parliament and made his way to Zurich after it was muzzled by the aristocracy. Eduard Hanslick witnessed the execution of his friend and colleague, the music critic Julius Becher, in Vienna. In Germany, expectations were raised even higher by the intention to unify the German-speaking countries.
It is not surprising that Vischer, like his contemporaries, often equated political prospects with the hope for a grand artistic future. Apparently, the reconciliation with the Absolute, announced by Hegel, did not refer to the political events in , despite decades of hope to the contrary. The former Proudhonist Alexander Herzen succinctly formulated the critique against the Hegelian conception of history by stating that the truth of history is not the same as logical truth BURROW , This view needed revision by the time it emerged that the upheavals had not led to any of the expected social, political or indeed artistic transformations.
The problematic aspects of the present were not transitory, but turned out to be permanent. Although it is 11 Julius Becher was an Austrian journalist, musician, and revolutionist. He was perennially poor, and eked out a precarious existence writing for the Sonntagsblatt and the Wiener Musikzeitung, being a staunch champion of Mendelssohn and Berlioz.
In the spring of , Becher became the head of the radicals, fomenting a revolt in Vienna, and assumed editorial charge of the revolutionary organ, Der Radikale. While the revolution lasted, Becher was a popular hero. When the tide turned and Vienna fell into the hands of the imperial troops, Becher was betrayed and subsequently tried for treason.
Found guilty, he was shot early in the morning of 23 November. Deception and increased caution affected their rhetorics, but not their eventual goal: the attempt to prepare and observe the unification of reality with the Idea through Beauty and art. It was now certain that they would not include glorious liberation of mankind from the bonds of aristocracy or liberation of artistic creativity from the choking embrace of reflective criticism.
Was ihre bestimmte Gehalt sein werde? He openly intended to educate the people Volkserziehung , still believing, as he always had done, that exposing people to Beauty, made them also more susceptible to truth. Beauty and truth, in the true idealist sense, unveiled the same message by different means, but Beauty was a more effective response to the alienation and dismemberment of the modern world than Thought, because Vischer considered cold rationality to be the cause of the modern problems. Vischer believed that if the goal of freedom and self-determination could not be achieved by political means, it had to be prepared by artistic ones.
Er will, mit seinen eigenen Worten, eine nationale Gegenwart durch die Kunst vorbereiten, wo sie im politischen Handeln nicht direkt zu erwirken ist. With these efforts, Vischer wants to make sure that the ideal of humanity of the great artists and poets gives credit to the own nation. In his own words, he wants to prepare a national present by means of art, at those instances where this cannot be achieved immediately in the political discourse.
His theory of Anschauung Chapter Three  taking the observing subject as a main point of focus, takes off after , just like his concept of mediated idealism Chapter Three  , as a temporary, loosely defined and changeable unification of reality with the Idea. Vischer quite simply assumed that if reality could not be adapted to the Idea, the Idea should be adapted to reality. It hardly needs mentioning that this greatly undermined 13 Several attempts to broaden the concept of Beauty were made around , but they were not always positive about the contemporary works of art that required an expansion.
He takes it for granted that it does. Vischer, by contrast, focuses primarily on the material that had been preformed by human hands at a certain point in time: artistic techniques, fashions or cultural movements. This kind of material has been touched by the Spirit in that it is a product of the human mind; it is therefore necessarily historicized. Thus, up-to-date art reflects the most recent achievements in an artistic respect, but it also expresses the age-old roots of the tradition that produced these achievements. It is the historically determined material of art that transmits this development because the features of a work of art, the technique that has been used e.
By way of the material, the Idea emerges almost without mediation into a style. Vischer is very explicit about this, and not only before Whether this moment of emergence is situated in the distant past or in the most current present does not matter for originality as a concept.
Chapter Four — The end of art 83 cumulation of earlier artistic achievements. This consciousness is so important, because a next stage in history can never be reached if the present stage is not left behind, and in order to leave behind a stage of history one needs to be able to identify it as a demarcated period. If art were ever to regain its position as the supreme manifestation of the Spirit, there should be a conscious choice of the most up-to-date material for the most up-to-date work of art that reflected the Spirit of its time Zeitgeist.
This became a matter of social responsibility for Vischer, as refraining from it would hamper mankind as a whole to move on. The metaphor of femininity was once again extremely suited emphasizing the similarities between music and modernity. Did music not, like modernity itself, lack a determinate content, while still appealing to the intellect for appreciation and understanding?
Was music not, like the present, corrupted by an all-consuming abstraction and complexity, entering the human soul at such deep levels that nothing conclusive or objective could be said about it? Moreover, this emergence is stoffbeherrschend: in command of the matter Stoff , i. Its search for particularity is a historical search for renewed artistic creativity, which can potentially be found in future stages of history, when reality will once again be reconciled with the Idea through Beauty.
Music is an easy prey, as abandonment of its forms and content is imminent in its very nature. It was a most ambivalent honour. For Hegel, this was how music led art to dissolve into philosophy . Maybe art, and notably music, had not obliterated the material world. Music needed to have a function in the further development of mankind. Statements from Vischer such as the above opened up the possibility of interpreting music as the most suitable art form to safeguard the continuity of art as the supreme manifestation of the Spirit.
Vischer himself was not particularly inclined to come to this conclusion. However, I intend to show that contemporary music critics did explicitly use this argument in order to demonstrate that music was at least as crucial in the development of art as its sister art forms. In the context of the idealist prejudices against music and against contemporary art, this was a brave enterprise. Still, present-day scholarship agrees that his attempt should be considered emancipatory and revolutionary for the development of music criticism as well as for the position of music among the other arts.
Hanslick cleverly exploited the widely acknowledged fact that it is impossible to reduce musical content and musical meaning to clear-cut epistemological concepts, and he also stressed the growing awareness that it was impossible to find universal definitions for all the arts. Thus, he interpreted musical Beauty in purely musical terms. There is a considerable amount of musicological literature about Hanslick, dealing with his interpretation of musical Beauty, the emancipatory function of his treatise, and his indebtedness to mainstream aesthetic movements.
However, closer observation of his VMS reveals that such an assumption is difficult to sustain. Hanslick occupied a peculiar position between formalism and Hegelian idealism, two discourses that were, to a large extent, mutually dependent on each other and existed thanks to a continuous and fruitful exchange of arguments. This may have been observed before, but has never been thoroughly investigated.
Like many German-speaking intellectuals, Hanslick regarded Vischer as the most important aesthetician of his time see Appendix VI : Hanslick. After its publication, he sent his VMS to Vischer in order to bring it to his attention and to ask his opinion of it. Hanslick simply adores Vischer. In the s, Hanslick made conscious attempts at getting personally acquainted with Vischer, which Vischer greatly appreciated. Zimmermann leaned to some extent on the formalist ideas of Johann Friedrich Herbart , focusing on the observation of the work of art as a starting point for its investigation.
Apart from this, he also intended to explain outer objects as determining inner states of mind and vice versa; he deliberately connected concrete levels of perception with metaphysical speculation, and he felt the urge to describe new experiences as fitting into a unified inner mindset. These premises of his thought account for the fact that he stood in an idealist tradition.
He reached the conclusion that the Beauty of a work of art did not reside in an indefinable content or Idea, but in its outer features, the manifold relationships of structures, colours or tones. Beauty should be watched, listened to, sensed, i. According to Vischer, this epitomized what he observed in modern times: a country of poets and scholars was gradually turning into a country of managers and engineers BERGER-FIX , The materialism of the modern state turned out to be permanent after the failed democratic upheavals of , and the only way to fight it was to employ artistic animation and inspiration, in other words: Beauty.
Zimmermann directly challenged Vischer, inviting him to explain what this deeper meaning or content or Idea of a work of art would be, if he was so certain that it was there and something scholarly could be said about it. Zimmermann stated simply that epistemological and representational capacities were entirely irrelevant in the expression of Beauty.
Hanslick dedicated six of his ten editions of VMS to Zimmermann, thus not only stressing their friendship, but also his affiliation with the aesthetic formalism Zimmermann propagated.
References to idealist philosophers, and formulations that could be interpreted as idealist jargon were increasingly omitted in the later editions of VMS. This urge is nagging at the back of his mind and he never really escapes from it, not even in his last writings. The ambivalence in his argument results in a rhetoric that constantly insists on describing music in purely musical terms, but between the lines there are passionate attempts to describe music in terms of spiritual geistige processes in order to conceptualize these purely musical terms, as if he were a true idealist.
He was not always consistent in his use of terminology. At times he used the word in quite an abstract general sense, as for instance in his retrospective on his life and work Aus meinem Leben from Wie ist in der Musik beseelte Form von leerer Form wissenschaftlich zu unterscheiden? Beauty has to be observed in form, but since form is inseparable from content, Beauty resides in content. He quotes Vischer in order to support his stance.
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The quotation is striking but certainly not unique. He turned away from the grandiloquent intentions of German idealism, only to regain his interest when he lived in the remote town of Klagenfurt between and This served the particular purpose of showing how inner meaning could emerge in outer appearance. Hegel had implied that the features of a certain period in time could be observed in the use of certain artistic material; Vischer took this view one step further. He implied that the material of art was actively expressing its time, describing the material not only as stone for a sculpture or paint for a painting but also as artistic techniques, fashions or cultural movements.
Whereas paint and stone the Hegelian material were to be found in nature, being universal and essentially unchangeable, a sonnet or a fugue the Vischerian material had been preformed by the human spirit, being particular and historicized. An artist has style i. In order to do so, he needs to access the historically available material which can only be done by means of his imagination Phantasie. Even those mathematical proportions, Vischer argues, are a product of their time, they express their time in being what they are, and therefore carry extra-artistic meaning.
Like Vischer, Hanslick focuses on the triangular relationship between material, imagination and style, quoting Vischer literally when he discusses it.