Lorenz Oken


German outstanding transcendental naturalist and philosopher

an excerpt from:

Lorenz Oken (1847): Elements of Physiophilosophy. 665 pp. (from the German translated by Alfred Tulk). The Ray Society. London.

"The + -  or, in other words, numbers are acts or functions. Zero is, consequently, the primary act. Zero is, therefore, no absolute nothing, but an act without substratum. Generally speaking there is, therefore, no nothing; the mathematical nothing is itself an act, consequently a something. The nothing is only inventive.
An act devoid of substratum is a spiritual act. Numbers are, accordingly, not positions and negations of an absolute nothing, but of a spiritual act.
The zero is an eternal act; numbers are repetitions of this eternal act, or its halting points, like the steps in progression."

"Two tendencies are present in the primary act, both of which being inseparable are one in kind. It has the tendency to posit, and also to suppress, itself. The unity strives unto binary division or to antagonism, even as the 0 strives to produce + or -. While the primary act posits itself, it does this indeed out of its own strength, and that which it posits is also none other than itself."

"The self-manifestation of the primary act is self-consciousness. The eternal self-consciousness is God. "

"The first idea is the original, that therefore which is thoroughly independent, which having arisen from and being based upon itself, has consequently emerged from nothing else; in short, it is the eternal idea, like the mathematical 0 = Monas aoristos. Everything is possible with it; it can propose and solve all problems, knows therefore everything and creates everything. It is the generative, creative and paternal idea.
The two other kinds have emerged out of the first, although apparently equivalent to it; yea, they have themselves issued out of themselves. The second idea is, therefore, Dyas aoristos, and corresponds to the mathematical +; the third idea is the Trias aoristos, and corresponds to the mathematical -, so that by the three the  primary trinity 0 + -  is completed. The first idea labours or, what is more, rejoices from all eternity to convert itself into the two others. The action or the life of God consists in eternally manifesting itself, eternally contemplating itself in unity and duality, eternally dividing itself and still remaining one. The second idea has issued next from the first, and is therefore related to it as Son is to Father, when the ideas are viewed as personified. The third idea has emerged conjointly from the second and first, and forms therefore the spiritual union, the mutual love between both. It may be therefore simply called Ghost or Spirit, if it is thought of as personified. "

"A force consisting of two principles is called Polarity. Time is, therefore, the primary polarity, and polarity is manifested at the very instant in which the creation of the world is stirring.
Polarity is the first force which appears in the world. If time is eternal, polarity must also be eternal. There is no world, and in general nothing at all without polar force."

"The law of causality is a law of polarity. Causality is valid only in time, is only a series of numbers. Time itself has no causality. Causality is an act of generation."

"While the point expands, it is active; this active expansion is a simple repetition of the point, and this is a Line, which in the spehere, however, is a Radius. With time originates not merely a series of numbers, but together with it also the line. The line and time are of one kind, repeated positions of the nothing, of the point. It is consequently clear, how that time were a repeating positing of the Eternal itself: for the line is only a repeated self-positing of the point, of the nothing. God fluctuating in his eternity, and the point, are one in kind; but God
acting is a line, being or existing a sphere, i.e. the point in the act of being.
The line is nothing new in creation, but time itself, when regarded more closely. God creates the line as little as he does time; but this originates unto him, while he moves, while he thinks. It is impossible to think without
producing a line. The line is therefore from eternity, is a series of numbers...

There is no mathematically straight line in the world: all real lines are polar; they are all rooted in God by one extremity, by the other in finitude. The primary act becomes in its first operation not merely a posited nothing, a numerical series; not merely time, not merely an aoristic line, but a Linea determinata; in short, God can step forth into time only as radius. The Monas determinata is a Monas radialis, or a centroperipheric monas...

A line, one extremity whereof strives towards the centre, the other to the periphery, the one to the identity, the other to duality, will exhibit itself in the world as a line of Light, in the planet as a Magnetic line. Magnetism is centroperipheric antagonism, a radial line, 0 - - _, the action of the line being cleft at one extremity. Magnetism has its root in the beginning of creation. It is prophesied with time."

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