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A Beautiful Line from F.W.J. Schelling


"The self contains fundamental opposites, namely subject and object; they cancel each other out, and yet neither is possible without the other. The subject asserts itself only in opposition to the object, and the object only in opposition to the subject; neither, that is, can become real without destroying the other, but the point of destruction of one by the other can never be reached, precisely because each is what it is only in opposition to the other."

This is desire. Its opposition, its difficulty, its beauty.



  1. the binary is illusory, as flesh and sentience simultaneously exist in an intimacy that our madness obscures.

  2. Hey, Michael.

    But the opposition is necessary. Without it I'd be identical with an other (object, person), making everything not myself myself, and leaving me alone. (And Schelling would assert this eventually). But I like the word intimacy: it describes a nearness, a fondness, a likeness--one which still cannot be crossed, a likeness which cannot be reduced to an identity between them, an infinite distance within an intimate nearness, as it were. Embodiment itself is the experience of, on the one hand, the impossibility of being identical with an another, and, on the other, the condition of the possibility of reaching out to the other.

  3. Where does this quote come from, from which of Schellings' works? Do you have the English/ German source title?

  4. The line is from Schelling's *System of Transcendental Idealism* (*System des transcendentalen Idealismus*). I got it from the English translation by Peter Heath (Virginia, 1978, 2001), p. 46 (393-394 in the original).


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