Goethe’s daimonic

War of liberation (1809)
A depiction of Prussian officer Ferdinand von Schill (Ѻ), or one of his commanders, possibly Ludwig von Lutzow (Ѻ) (Ѻ), during 3 May 1809 unsuccessful “war of liberation” revolt against the French, in Kothen, Germany, a seeming embodiment of Patrick Henry’s 1775 Virginia Convention speech statement “give me liberty or give me death!”, credited with having swung the balance in convincing the Virginia House of Burgesses to pass a resolution delivering the Virginia troops to the Revolutionary War (Ѻ), both of which, whether Germans against French or Americans against Americans, according to Goethe (c.1825), are embodiments of daimonic principle of nature.
In philosophy, Goethe’s daimonic (or daemonic), das Dämonische (German), or Goethean daimonic principle, from the Greek daimon or “elementary power” (Rollo May) (Ѻ) or “power of any natural function to take over the whole”, conceptualized as a force of nature, good or bad, without regard to rational control, is a conceptualized principle that "steps in between all other principles" (Goethe, 1770) in an overarching governing manner.

“The daimonic is the power of nature. Poetry and music, religion and patriotic enthusiasm of the wars of liberation, Napoleon and Lord Byron, were all daimonic.”
Goethe (c.1825) [2][7]

The "Goethean daimonic principle" (c.1770), is presaged by Plutarch's commingling of good and evil law of nature, and seems to be synonymous, if not directly precursory, to both the "Adamsian waves and tides theory" (1863) and to human coupling theory, aka "Thimsian coupling theory" (2011), in uniformity namesake.

Greek daimonic
The concept of the “daemonic” traces back to the Greeks and thereafter absorbed into the mind of German polyintellect Johann Goethe, which, as English Anglo-German comparative literature scholar Angus Nicholls, abstracts, from his Goethe’s Concept of the Daemonic: After the Ancients (2006), accrued as follows: [8]

“For Plato, the daemonic is a sensibility that brings individuals into contact with divine knowledge; Socrates was also inspired by a "divine voice" known as his "daimonion." Goethe was introduced to this ancient concept by Hamann and Herder, who associated it with the aesthetic category of genius. Young Goethe depicted the idea of daemonic genius in works of the Storm and Stress [German: Sturm und Drang] period—literally "storm and drive" period, the 1760s early 1780s, wherein individual subjectivity and, in particular, extremes of emotion were given free expression in reaction to the perceived constraints of rationalism imposed by the enlightenment and associated aesthetic movements (Ѻ)—before exploring the daemonic in a series of later poetic and autobiographical works. Goethe's works on the daemonic, as discerned through theorists such as Lukacs, Benjamin, Gadamer, Adorno, and Blumenberg, shows that they contain arguments concerning reason, nature, and subjectivity that are central to both European romanticism and the enlightenment.”

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Goethe studying in Frankfurt (1769-1772)
Goethe studying in Frankfurt in the years circa 1769 to 1772, at about the time when he intuited his so-called daemonic principle of nature.

Goethean daimonic principle
In circa 1770 (age 21), or before 1775 (age 26), per autobiographical entries, intuited the following about nature: [1]

“I perceived something in nature (whether living or lifeless, animate or inanimate) that manifested itself only in contradictions and therefore could not be expressed in any concept, much less any word. It was not divine, for it seemed irrational; not human, for it had no intelligence; not diabolical, for it was beneficent; and not angelic, for it often betrayed malice. It was like chance, for it laced continuity, and like providence, for it suggested context. Everything that limits us seemed penetrable by it, and it appeared to dispose at will over the elements necessary to our existence, to contract time and expand space. It seemed only to accept the impossible and scornfully to reject the possible.”

An alternative translation reads: [2]

“I discovered in nature, animate and inanimate, with soul and without soul, something which was only manifested in contradictions, and therefore could not be grasped under one conception, still less under one word … Only in the impossible did it seem to find pleasure, and the possible it seemed to thrust from itself with contempt. This principle, which seemed to step in between all other principles, to separate them and to unite them, I named ‘daemonic’, after the example of the ancients, and of those who had become aware of something similar.”

Towards the end of his biography, he elaborates: [3]

“Although the demonic can manifest itself in the most remarkable way even in some animals, it primarily is connected with man. It represents a power which is, if not opposed to the moral order of the world, yet at cross-purposes to it; such that one could compare the one to the warp, and the other to the woof. There exist innumerable names for the phenomena which it produces; all philosophies and religions have tried, in prose or poetry, to solve the enigma and then have done with it—which also in future may be their prerogative. In the most awesome form the demonic appears when it manifests itself in some human beings. In the course of my life I have had the opportunity of observing several cases either from near or from afar. They are not always men superior in mind or talents, seldom do they recommend themselves by the goodness of their heart. Yet a tremendous power emanates from them, they possess an incredible force over all other creatures and even over the elements; nobody can say how far their influence will reach.”

The "some human beings", Goethe refers to here, would seem to be: Napoleon and Beethoven, at least, two of the more "powerful" men of his time that he had personal and famous encounters with.

Here, Goethe, tells in retrospect from book 20 of his Poetry and Truth (1811-1814), how in his pre-1775 youth years he was searching for a universal rule to explain the happenings of existence.

Adams | Waves and tides
In 1863, Henry Adams, at the age of 25, writing to Charles Gaskell, seems to have begun searching for a universal theory of existence, atom to human to universe, akin to Goethe’ daemonic, which he describes as follows: [4]

“Everything in this universe has its regular waves and tides. Electricity, sound, the wind, and I believe every part of organic nature will be brought someday within this law. The laws which govern animated beings will be ultimately found to be at bottom the same with those which rule inanimate nature, and as I entertain a profound conviction of the littleness of our kind, and of the curious enormity of creation, I am quite ready to receive with pleasure any basis for a systematic conception of it all. I look for regular tides in the affairs of man, and, of course, in our own affairs. In ever progression, somehow or other, the nations move by the same process which has never been explained but is evident in the oceans and the air. On this theory I should expect at about this time, a turn which would carry us backward.”

This quote is discussed by American comparative literature scholar Matthew Taylor, noted for doing his 2008 PhD dissertation, in part, in Adams’ physics-based theory of human existence.

Thims | Coupling
The gist of what Aristotle, Goethe, and Adams seem to have been grasping at seem to be captured in the free energy coupling aspect of natural processes, namely that natural and unnatural processes are intimately linked or "coupled" to each other, the former driving or "powering" the latter, the way phosphate bond cleavage of ATP denaturization, and exergonic process, powers other endergonic process, such as muscle contraction, according to which free energy minimization in any spontaneous process is the great leveler. The following quote would seem to capture some of this logic:

“Seeking to do evil, inevitably effects some good in the process.”
— Stephen Diamond (1996), Anger, Madness, and the Daimonic (paraphrase of Mephistopheles of Faust) [5]

The only two known attempts at human coupling theory are Robert Kenoun (2006), albeit via internal energy coupling logic (see: social internal energy minimization theory), which is close in logic, albeit with the issue that it uses the wrong thermodynamic potential, and Libb Thims (2011), via free energy coupling logic. [6]

The following are related quotes:

“Eros is a daimon.”
Plato (c.350BC) (Ѻ)

Nature is daimonic.”
Aristotle (c.322BC) [7]

See also
Secret principle

1. Schwartz, Peter J. (2010). After Jena: Goethe’s Elective Affinities and the End of the Old Regime (pg. 19). Publisher. Bucknell University Press.
2. May, Rollo. (1969). Love and Will (pg. 142). Publisher.
3. (a) May, Rollo. (1969). Love and Will (pg. 142). Publisher.
(b) Fernie, Ewan. (). The Demonic: Literature and Experience (pgs. 21-22). Publisher.
4. (a) Adams, Henry. (1863). “Letter to Charles Gaskell”, Oct.
(b) Adams, Henry. (1982). The Letters of Henry Adams, Volume 1: 1858-1868 (editor: Jacob Levenson) (pgs. 395-96). Harvard University Press.
(c) Stevenson, Elizabeth. (1997). Henry Adams: a Biography (pg. 69). Transaction Publishers.
(d) Taylor, Matthew A. (2008). Universes Without Selves: Cosmologies of the Non-Human in American Literature (pg. 108), PhD dissertation, Johns Hopkins University. ProQuest, 2009.
5. Diamond, Stephen A. (1996). Anger, Madness, and the Daimonic: the Psychological Genesis of Violence, Evil, and the Creativity (pg. 81) (Ѻ). State University of New York Press.
6. Thims, Libb. (2011). Thermodynamic Proof that Good Always Triumphs over Evil”, Journal of Human Thermodynamics, 7: 1-4.
7. Jackson, Bill. (2005). “Safe Sex or Dangerous Intimacy?” (Ѻ), NewsBlog, Jan 25.
8. Nicholls, Angus. (2006). Goethe’s Concept of the Daemonic: After the Ancients (abs). Camden House.

External links
Daimonic – Wikipedia.
Daimonic – WikiQuote.

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