From Static to Dynamic

“The will of God" for us is a pleonasm — God (or “Nature," as some say) is nothing but will.

After the Renaissance the notion of God sheds the old sensuous and personal traits [...] becomes little by little identical with the notion of infinite space and in becoming so becomes transcendent world-will.

And therefore it is that about 1700 painting has to yield to instrumental music — the only art that in the end is capable of clearly expressing what we feel about God.

Consider, in contrast with this, the gods of Homer. Zeus emphatically does not possess full powers over the world, but is simply "primus inter pares," a body amongst bodies, as the Apollinian world-feeling requires. Blind necessity, the Ananke immanent in the cosmos of Classical consciousness, is in no sense dependent upon him; on the contrary, the Gods are subordinate to It.

The Classical soul, therefore, with its parts and its properties, imagines itself as an Olympus of little gods, and to keep these at peace and in harmony with one another is the ideal of the Greek life-ethic of Temperance and Ataraxia.

More than one of the philosophers betrays the connexion by calling nous, the highest part of the soul, Zeus. Aristotle assigns to his deity the single function of […] contemplation, and this is Diogenes's ideal also — a completely-matured static of life in contrast to the equally ripe dynamic of our 18th-Century ideal.

[Oswald Spengler]
The Decline of the West, Vol. 1, p. 312-3

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