- 2 Esdras 7: 48-51
"The evil impulse within us has grown and it has led us away from
God's ways, brought us to ruin, put us on the way to death and
destruction, and taken us far from life. It has destroyed not only a
few, but almost everyone who was ever created."
"Listen to me", the angel said, "and I will teach you further and
correct your thinking. Because only a few will be saved, God created
two worlds, instead of only one. As you say, only a few people are
righteous, but there are large numbers of wicked people'.
Two worlds have been evolving, as it were, in the human breast. The
one is devoted to physical and sense-perceptible existence, the other
is receptive to the revelations of the Spirit and though lacking
direct vision, is ready to permeate the spiritual with feeling and
The inner tendencies to this duality of soul were already present
when the Christ teaching found its way into the countries of Europe.
The people received this new message of the Spirit into their hearts
and drank it in with deep feeling, but could not build the bridge
from it to what the intellect, directed to the senses, was
discovering in outer physical existence.
Individualism in Philosophy
Thus the human being stands between two worlds; between the world
that presses in upon him from outside and the world that he brings
forth out of himself. His effort is to bring these two worlds into
harmony. For, his whole being aims at harmony. He would like to live
like the rose that does not ask about the whys and wherefores but
rather blooms because it blooms.
The Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe's World Conception
The human being finds himself confronted by two worlds whose
connection he must establish. One of them is experience, about which
he knows that it contains only half of reality; the other is
thinking, which is complete in itself, and into which that outer
perceptual reality must flow if a satisfying world view is to result.
As a citizen of two worlds of the sense world and of the thought-
world, the one pressing toward him from below, the other one shining
from above the human being takes possession of science, by which he
joins the two into an undivided unity. From one side the outer form
beckons to us, from the other side the inner essential being; we must
unite the two.
Two souls alas! reside within my breast,
And each withdraws from, and repels, its brother.
One with tenacious organs holds in love
And clinging lust the world in its embraces;
The other strongly sweeps, this dust above,
Into the high ancestral spaces.
FAUST, Part I, Scene 2.
(Bayard Taylor's translation.)
Philosophy of Spiritual Activity
We can then say: The world is given to us as a duality, and knowledge
transforms it into a unity.
But side by side with this world, the child knew another world, a
spiritual world, which was just as real and tangible to him as were
the forests, fields and mountains surrounding him. This spiritual
world was filled with objects and beings, just as the world about him
contained stones and plants and animals and people. Even before he
was eight, the child could distinguish between these two worlds, and
the one was as clear and immediate to him as the other.