Guide Göttliche Experimente: Merkwürdige Wesen überall (German Edition)

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PDF Preview. Table of Contents. Related Content. Author: Kasper Bastiaan van Kooten. Artistic Disobedience Music and Confession in Switzerland, — Author: Claudio Bacciagaluppi. In Artistic Disobedience Claudio Bacciagaluppi shows how music practice was an occasion for cross-confessional contacts in 17th- and 18th-century Switzerland, implying religious toleration.

The difference between public and private performing contexts, each with a distinct repertoire, appears to be of paramount importance. Confessional barriers were overcome in an individual, private perspective. Converted musicians provide striking examples. Also, book trade was often cross-confessional. Music by Catholic but also Lutheran composers was diffused in Reformed territories mainly in the private music societies of Swiss German towns collegia musica. A few questions immediately arise: Why did paper folding become a non-instrument? What caused the marginalisation of this technique?

And how was the mathematical knowledge, which was nevertheless transmitted and prompted by paper folding, later treated and conceptualised? Aiming to answer these questions, this volume provides, for the first time, an extensive historical study on the history of folding in mathematics, spanning from the 16th century to the 20th century, and offers a general study on the ways mathematical knowledge is marginalised, disappears, is ignored or becomes obsolete. In , Elias Canetti published Crowds and Power, in which Schreber was the subject of the last two chapters.

Both, Canetti claimed, are obsessed with survivorship and the drive to destroy. Hillsdale, N. Erlbaum Associates, Clair, P. Since my analysis is so dependent on these works they should be mentioned. For references to Niederland, see above. One lies with the text, which is so rich and literally polyphonic that it can, like most other religious texts, be read in so many inadequate ways. The fact that it is supposed to be written by a madman tends to give even more justification to giving it an 50 Zvi Lothane, In Defense Schreber: Soul Murder and Psychiatry Hillsdale, N.

In the seminal legend of Theophilus, the Virgin was the savior of the covenant.

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He is a good Jesuit novice, as already at the Flechsig clinic, this dogma was the model for the first transsexualization fantasy. Where do these names come from? In this context, Schreber unintentionally offers another source for the name Ariman, and it belongs exactly in this category. Among the examples he gives of these mistakes are on p. The role of word play through homonyms could even extend to bodily experiences. On the basis of this awareness of the complexity of reading Schreber, I will use the following method of reading Schreber.

I will remain aware that any interpretation of the text I make, especially those parts that describe his revelations, should be modestly presented. It criticizes or even rejects many of the dogmas of the Christian tradition by offering alternative views of the relation between God and nature, of what constitutes mind, soul and body and the relationship between these, and of the relationship of the human race to nature. This worldview is represented especially by — especially Darwinian monist — scientists and amateur scientists but also by spiritualist practices of the second half of the 19th century.

To reduce a multitude of cultural ideas to which Schreber — a well-educated man and avid reader — developed his thought in, seems to be a simplification. An additional problem with the dichotomy I present is that it reeks of the dichotomy between science and religion that surfaced in word and writing in the second half of the 19th century and which has been discredited by many scholars since. Whereas discourses tend to simplify complex social and intellectual relations, they at the same time have a real effect on social and intellectual relations and can therefore create the actual dichotomies they describe.

London: K. For a collection of articles criticizing this argument, see David C. Lindberg and Ronald L. Numbers, ed. The psychiatry of Emil Flechsig however, which I place in this camp, is less clearly self-defined and needs therefore additional contextualization. Also the dualist and transcendental worldview is not represented by a monolithic group, and those whom I selected to describe as representative of this view would not necessarily identify themselves in the terms I characterize them.

I will therefore describe the dilemma Schreber faced, and which I think is actually at play. He presented them as an opposition between the Christian recognition of the supersensory and the scientific denial thereof. Allein ich selbst hatte mich doch zuviel mit naturwissenschaftlichen Dingen, namentlich mit Werken, die auf dem Boden der sogen.

Schreber contrasts his rationality with religious zealotry. There, Schreber criticizes Christianity, but by no means denies the existence of God. In fact, Schreber criticizes core Christian dogmas such as the Resurrection of the Flesh based on his own alleged revelations. Moreover, revelation and reason harmoniously relate to each other, namely as source revelation and interpretation method reason. The conflict I argue that exists there can indeed be identified as that between the worldview of his upbringing and that of the Darwinian authors. However, this conflict should not be seen as one between religious metaphysics and scientific anti-metaphysical materialism.

To some extent, as will become clear, they represent at times even the opposite of how Schreber characterized these camps. This worldview breathed a principled and confident dualism in which the Christian God is distinct from and sovereign over his creation, in which the human, divinely-created mind, is the master over its corporeal shell and its lower drives, and the human person is distinct from the members of the animal world.

The Darwinian natural scientists criticized, as we shall see, the artificial separation made between God and nature, the human race and other inhabitants of nature and the mind and the body. Instead, they collapsed or even replaced God with nature, and made humanity into an animal species. As experts of all-encompassing nature, these representatives of science often challenged the authority of the Christian churches and often argued that there might be a world beyond the immediately visible that was to be explored through human agency by man- made machines or by using the human body as an instrument in new ways.

In the following sections, I will attempt to present a picture of a transcendental worldview in which Schreber grew up, one in which the emphasis is placed on the distinction between God and nature, between the human race and that of the animals, and that between the mind and the body.

This opposition between the spirit and the flesh and between rite and belief has always been a constant discursive element in the Christian tradition but became again an important element in Protestant discourses against Catholicism. In the Reformation polemic against the Roman Catholic Church, the Catholic rituals were identified with the rites of those who allegedly crucified the Christian Savior.

In G. About churches: Schreber occasionally visited the asylum church. The reason was not because a church is more holy than another space, but because of the greater amount of sense impressions God received there, and therefore is more attracted to churches. Hence, Schreber argued, God is not only more present in churches, but also in theaters. Do not look at those who God favored over you, but those under you!

Be pure and strong in God! Seid rein und stark in Gott! During his years as a law student at the University of Leipzig , Schreber joined two Protestant fraternities, Warburg and Germania, which were Protestant-nationalist. Fleischer, , 1. Both father and son were however moderate in their nationalism as shows from several anecdotes about their lives. Paul Schreber ran for a seat in the Reichstag in , when he was Landesgerichtsdirektor in Chemnitz, and represented the National Liberal party that supported Bismarck and the young German empire but rejected its anti-Catholic politics.

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Paul and, as we shall see in the next section, Ernst Luthardt, to maintain a strict mind-body dualism. Heinroth, the first psychiatry professor in Leipzig from until Their opponents were the Somatiker, among whom Flechsig can be classified, who traced mental illnesses to organic problems. Fleischer, , Behind this difference in therapeutic techniques lay a difference in their view about the relationship between the body and the mind.

Whereas Schreber senior regarded the body as separate from the mind, Neumann offered a monistic view of the mind and body. Schreber, A. Schreber in Leipzig und Dr. Neumann in Berlin Leipzig: A. Ich dagegen betrachte den Organismus des Menschen nun einmal als einen einigen, der trotz seines verschiedenartigen Baues doch immer nur im Allgemeinen, wenn auch in den einzelnen Regionen auf verschiedene Weise afficirt werden kann. On the occasion that I come to Berlin, you can find in me someone who has not taken an oath in verba magistri, but who is an unprejudiced researching student.

For a discussion of Kantianism as rejecting mysticism, see Lothane, Seelenmord, For Heinroth, the mind was the seat of human moral strength. This moral strength was according to Heinroth the reproduction of the divine strength, and could therefore keep the body and the other elements of the mind such as the will healthy.

The relationship of the person to his body was for Schreber one of the increasing mastery of the first over the second. Although he admitted that humans and animals share certain drives such as sexual urges, Schreber claimed that these were fundamentally different in humans and in animals. In humans the purely spiritual love is with the corporeal, and the divine with the sensual most intimately fused. We see here however that Schreber the elder actually wanted to improve the independent will of the child.

Ernst Luthardt.

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They were published the same year, translated within a year in five languages and reprinted multiple times over the years after their appearance. I am using the English translation: Chr. Sophia Taylor, 3rd ed. Edinburgh: T.

Clark, , viii. Christian Ernst Luthardt had been professor of systematic theology at the theology department of Leipzig University since Luthardt identified the anti-Christian intellect in specific with pantheism and what he argued was its successor, materialism. Mit einem Bildnisse L. And thus morality also is virtually abandoned. For there is no such thing as free will. In detail and with knowledge Luthardt described the Darwinian arguments and findings, from the latest discoveries of nebulae by new telescopes to microscopic fossils by geologists, and described their impact.

Osiander, Like the dualist worldview, this worldview deals with thinking about superhuman beings, their relationship to humanity, and about what it is to be human in relationship to nature. In the previous chapter we have already seen an indication that the conflict was situated elsewhere when Moritz Schreber, whom I describe as a representative of the dualist worldview, rejected any sort of mysticism because, he argued, it lacked any empirical evidence. As I will show, it was the ambition of Ernst Haeckel, Otto Caspari, Carl du Prel and Ernst Krause to demolish the Christian worldview which was, in their view, based on false dualist transcendent assumptions, and replace it with a monist view that regarded all of existence as immanent, not transcendent.

The aforementioned scholars mentioned in footnote 36 were self-proclaimed monists, but also its other occupants, as I will describe in the section after, served to contribute to the replacement of a transcendent Christian worldview by a monist one. Schreber related collective immorality and an excess of culture to the spread of diseases and natural disasters, not only in the sense that God punishes immorality, but that these different levels of existence are connected to each other through invisible laws.

He believed that these elements of nature directly influenced his body and his thoughts, and that he in return could manipulate them by for example not-thinking or sexual attraction. Thirdly, Schreber described practices of the imagination, also a pattern of esoteric thought according to Faivre. One of the ways Schreber attempted to become a woman and to redeem the world was through imagining female body parts.

The following descriptions are based on these pages. This is the frequent element in esoteric thought that knowledge is transmitted through masters, often through rites of initiation. This worldview was a monist worldview, produced by natural scientists and distributed in popular publications. Jahrhunderts Vienna: Amalthea, Hartmann, , How can God be identical to a slowly developing solar system that is physical, and at the same time have created it? The notion of the fourth dimension was a theory developed by the Leipziger experimental psychologist Gustav Theodor Fechner In Vier Paradoxa , Fechner suggested the existence of this fourth dimension in which the three dimensions of space came together with the totality of time, thus with the past and the present.

Vom Standpunkt der Naturbetrachtung , he for example argued that the discovery of the fourth dimension would prove that a soul would continue to exist after death.

Mises, pseud. Daum, Wissenschaftspopularisierung im Oldenbourg, , Vom Standpunkt der Naturbetrachtung, 2nd ed. Leipzig: Leopold Voss, It was one of the common assumptions that spirits could be forced to appear through magical means and that they communicated with the living by using the nerves of the mediums as their instrument of communication. According to the first axiom, the spirits of the dead can appear on their own initiative and also be forced through magical-spiritualist techniques to act upon this world.

Sawicki, Leben mit den Toten, Die Gegenwart closely followed debates on spiritualism. Luthardt aus dem 3.

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Bande der Wissenschaftlichen Abhandlungen Leipzig: Staackmann, For us to be in communication with them is not allowed, and endangers the soul. From the standpoint of his concern for dogma, Luthardt was right. Well-versed in contemporary criticism of the New Testament texts, Lorber supplied additional revelations that, according to him, solved any alleged inconsistencies within the Gospel of John and between John and the accounts in the synoptic Gospels.

Michael Palairet, suppl. Notice that in this edition, the role of Brentano is made invisible. With the help of the fourth dimension and through the experiments with the dead, the difference between mind and matter ceased to exist, and the border between the living and the dead became less powerful than it had been in the past. The best source on the Theosophical Society in Germany with its headquarters in Leipzig is despite being focused on its role in the Anthroposophist movement, very detailed: Helmut Zander, Anthroposophie in Deutschland: Theosophische Weltanschauung und gesellschaftliche Praxis, , 2 vol.

She was right to do so: their impact on Schreber consisted of a combination of monist philosophy framed in terms of a social-Darwinian emphasis on the Kampf ums Dasein, the struggle for existence. My descriptions are largely based on hers, while my own additions are annotated. See Schreiber, Schreber und der Zeitgeist, Teubner, Leipzig: Engelmann, Haeckel also contrasted the Christian view of the history of earth as one planned and supervised by a benevolent God with a view that the history of life was one of brutal struggle for survival while Darwin had emphasized the role of adaptation in the process of evolution.

While Darwin restricted the scope of his theory to the developmental history of organic life, Haeckel explicitly argued that this model should also be applied to understanding the relationship between nations, historical epochs, races, and human individuals. He also worked toward the creation of a religion that could substitute for Christianity. Leipzig: Max Altmann, The inhabitants tell the hypnotized person that the first monastery was founded a hundred years ago, and in the last decade of the 19th century in Germany had spread widely into the founding of more monasteries.

Olaf Blaschke and Frank-Michael Kuhlemann, vol. Kai Bucholz e. Daum, Wissenschaftspopularisierung, , Christa Davis and Ralph R. George S. Leipzig: Brockhaus, Daum, Wissenschaftspopularisierung, He was with Caspari and Haeckel editor of Kosmos and edited the work of Haeckel. Werden und Vergehen became the subject of a parliamentary investigation when a high school teacher wanted to use it for teaching. As a result of also other attempts to teach Darwinism in schools and court cases following, the national government in officially removed zoology and Darwinian biology from school curricula.

In his Wissenschaftspopularisierung im Jahrhundert The Popularization of Science in the 19th Century , Andreas Daum notes the metaphorical language of authors of popular scientific works in the second half of nineteenth century Germany. He argues that in 51 Daum, Wissenschaftspopularisierung, While Feuerbach and Haeckel pointed out the anthropomorphism of Christianity in order to dismiss its claims, writers like Krause made use of similar metaphorical techniques to sway the Weltanschauung of their readers away from Christianity into the direction of their own.

I have already noted that Haeckel claimed near the end of his life that all matter, organic as well as inorganic matter was animated. In translation, the chapter titles are as follows: 1. In the domain of the light ray 2.

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From the diary of the earth 3. The shapes of the domain of minerals crystals and gems 4. The domain of single-celled organisms or primal beings 5. The youth of the world of plants algae 6. The domain of the united plant animals 7. The predecessors of the higher animal forms worms and related 55 Daum, Wissenschaftspopularisierung, , quote from Under arms echinoderms 9. The first homeowners mollusks The Chinese of the animal world arthropods The dress of nature land plants Between water and land lungfish and amphibians From the earth to the heavens reptiles and birds Connecting mother and child mammals The hatred and contempt paragraph in nature laws ape and man The development of the social instinct and language The beginnings of culture The development of writing Religion and worldviews The theory of descent A look at the future end of the earth and of the world.

Im Reiche des Lichtstrahls; 2.

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Aus dem Tagebuch der Erde; 3. Die Gestalten des Mineralreichs Kristalle und Edelsteine ; 4. Das Reich der Protisten oder Urwesen; 5. Die Jugend der Pflanzenwelt Algen ; 6. Die ersten Hausbesitzer Weichthiere ; Das Kleid der Erde Landpflanzen ; Von der Erde zum Himmel Reptilien und Vogel ; Die Entwickelung der Gesellschaftstriebe und der Sprache; Die Entwicklung des Schriftthums; Religion und Weltanschauungen; Die Descendenz-Theorie; Ein Ausblick auf die Zukunft Erdende und Weltende. He also, through their placement in a developmental schema and the title of the last chapter, suggested that societies, religions and worldviews are the outcome of natural processes.

For instance, the development of writing was described as a process similar to that of the transition from water mammals to land mammals. This move to make human beings part of nature, nature that did not need a transcendent God was also present in the other sources of footnote Other Sources in Footnote Popular-Science and Philosophy Four works and their authors mentioned in footnote 36 did not belong to the self-identified evolutionist monists and nor were they directly engaged with religion. They were scientific or intellectual writings intended for a general audience.

Nevertheless, their approaches also challenged the dualist worldviews in ways very similar that of the monists. It was published by the Urania Society founded in Berlin in , which offered the audience an observatory, scientific exhibitions and even a scientific theater. In the first volume of Erdgeschichte , he described the geological formation of the earth, its dynamic geology that involved the life of volcanoes, earth quakes, water etc. Wagner, Viktor Karl Uhlig, 2nd ed. Leipzig and Vienna: Verlag des Bibliographischen Instituts, , , In this sense, the realm of animals is man dissected, and man is the paradigm of the entire realm of animals.

Jahrhunderts Eschborn: Verlag Dietmar Klotz, , See also: Dennis N. More importantly, it often discussed Darwinian scientific themes, published discussions in relationship to monism, and frequently reported on issues in regard to spiritualism: The monist and other works mentioned in footnote 36 were not the private interest of the judge from Saxony, but part of an intellectual Weltanschauung as presented in the weekly pages of die Gegenwart.

Another topic of interest for the readers of Die Gegenwart, the object of fierce debates, was that of psychiatry, to which we will turn now. Als Entgegnung auf Ed. Jahrhunderts, ed. Heinz-Dietrich Fischer Pullach b. For us, only such mental phenomena are diseased as can be traced back with certainty or with likelihood to abnormal situations of the body, in specific the brain.

Flechsig at least knows something about the brain. Heinroth and Moritz claimed that the fostering of a healthy and moral mind — with or without the health of bodily practices — would lead to a healthy 71 Lothane, Seelenmord, He and other biological psychiatrists placed the soul in the brain — or rather identified it with the brain.

Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, trans. With dualist, transcendentalist thought they shared the belief that beings exist that are invisible to the naked eye, and that the soul continues to exist after death, but with the anti-religious materialists they did not share the premise of dualism. Monism was for them a solution. On the basis of their monist beliefs, which they related to the Darwinian doctrine of the development of organic life through transmutation rather than transcendental creation, they assaulted the core Christian dualist beliefs of the existence of a transcendent Creator and the Christian emphasis that human beings are not part of the animal world, that is, not part of nature.

Directly positioning himself against Heinroth, with whom the Schreber family entertained close relations, Flechsig approached the cure of what he and Schreber called nervous illnesses as a technical matter, as shows from his claim he could cure by removing their ovaries. This will be the subject of the following two chapters. The same term, World Order, was revealed to Schreber two years later. Here I will begin to demonstrate how these two worldviews emerge in the religious cosmology that Schreber claimed was revealed to him, how Schreber interpreted this cosmology and how he developed his religious practices in light of it.

Once the proper relations between these are disturbed, for instance by an inappropriate closeness or even identification, or if one actor, for instance a human being, usurps the place or task of another, such as God, this order is infringed upon and can be damaged.

See also DN, , , See also DN, This separation is most obvious in the difference between the rules and conditions surrounding dead souls and living human beings. Whereas God can be in constant nerve contact with deceased souls, he cannot do this with the living, since he can perish if he does so. The natural purpose of dead souls is enjoyment, whereas that of living human beings is action. I think this difference in rules for the living and for the dead can be explained by the fact that dead souls do not have a body, whereas living souls inhabit bodies and therefore are temporarily part of the created physical world.

We have seen in the examples above that Schreber believed it to be against the World Order both when God distances Himself too far from the earth and also when he becomes too close, in which case he becomes attracted to the human nervous system. When God only occasionally interferes in the lives of individuals and peoples it is in accordance with the World Order.

On the other hand, a constant interference was according to Schreber against the order of the world. Although contrary to his father, Schreber the son placed the human race into the animal kingdom, his classificatory work is fundamentally the same. Actions or situations can, as a result of the radical difference between these realms, be in accordance with or against the order of the world, dependent the realm in which they take place. This actual and normative physical distance between God and his creation, and the different set of rules that apply to the realm of God and that of the created world I read as a reflection of the dualist emphases that represent the worldview presented in chapter 4.

This is reminiscent of the better half of the Doppelwesen as defined by Moritz Schreber, namely the human mind with its will power that distinguishes itself from the animal- like body. While the World Order keeps the different poles in this dualist categorization separated, it also prescribes as if it were a legal system the proper duties of these two poles and the interaction between them. Rather than a monist immanent universe in which all its elements are subject to the same mechanisms, the actions and events in the World Order are subject to norms and regulations that vary depending on that to which they are applied.

For instance, the attempts of divine rays to drive Schreber insane were a violation of the rule that God cannot destroy the mind of a human being in accordance to the World Order. Schreber thus explained his personal suffering and the cataclysms he believed had taken place in the world around him as the result of the dissolution of the World Order. As long as these two realms were separated by space, limited in interaction, and distinct in the tasks the World Order assigned to them, the entire cosmology remained one of order in which injustices were limited by divine power and to the realm of human bodies and animals.

When the World Order disintegrated however, the cosmos turned into a Darwinian struggle for survival. To start with, Ariman, one of its gods, was a transgressor of the World Order himself. Ariman vs. As we have seen above, that constant contact between divine nerves and those of a living human being is against the World Order, just as sexual relations are. On the connections between Schreber and especially his wife with Wagner: Lothane, Seelenmord, 58, Schreber had the Siegfried motif engraved in the stone above his new house in Dresden.

It also is a denial of the dualism between God and nature, because Ariman is part of nature itself. See e. Instead of the World Order, according to which the will of God and that of mankind cannot collide, the rule of nature had become dominant in which the strongest triumphs and humanity and God are pitted against each other in battle.

Although Schreber describes Ormuzd as one of the two principles representing God, he is very similar to the character of the Christian god of the dualist worldview. Ormuzd is far less identifiable with nature than Ariman is, and upholds the order that keeps these elements apart. Ormuzd's demise could be read therefore as the demise of the Christian God, strictly separate 42 Luthardt, Apologetic Lectures, Note the different spelling of Ariman this is also the case in the German original.

The ascendance of the transgressive Ariman, the god of our physical sun, can be read as the return of the barbarous nature gods of primitive times. The Sorbian past is visible not only in the many Sorbian place names but also in the presence of mountains named after these gods. Daphne Ellis Princeton, N. Hinrichs, , 1: Let us begin with defining magic: Magic can be understood as those ritualistic practices and ideas that are based on the notion that objects and persons can be influenced and manipulated by means of physical contact, a formulaic speech act, or through relations of similarity or assumed affinity.

Below I will argue that for 19th century anthropologists such as Tylor and Frazer, magic was both seen as a primitive stage of human thought and at the same time the precursor of scientific thought as against religious thought. However, it was precisely the ambitions of the monists discussed in the previous chapter to extend their influence into the realm that previously had belonged to theologians. In the first edition appeared. The period in which Zarathustra lived is still debated. What matters here is that scholars like Caspari hoped to find a foundational prophet who preceded that of Moses.

The association of magic with science surfaced for instance in magical fantasies of well-educated psychiatric patients who, like Schreber, were familiar with the latest discussions on science and religion. The assumption of being bewitched or possessed, which achieved such an important cultural meaning in the medieval witch trials, is most likely to occur with superstitious patients […] A different level of education makes the patients more prone to believe in magical, magnetic, electrical, physical and hypnotic effects from afar, which are communicated by machines, telephones, galvanic batteries and sympathetic contacts by invisible enemies.

Kraepelin, Psychiatrie, The dualist order, if we may believe Sarasin, had in regard to the body either been broken already or sounded the alarm bells with this wider cultural anxiety surrounding the notion of excitability. Die Gegenwart of October 7, , contained an advertisement for the medical use of Bromides. Scientific articles about use and effect for free at your disposal. Available in the bigger pharmacies and mineral water stores.

His description of the first weeks closely corresponded to the symptomatic narrative of the advertisement. The ad was also placed in die Gegenwart several times in the months before. It seems particularly to depend on the right balance between these two parts of the nervous system in regard to their state of excitement and activity. On the other hand, for many people including Moritz Schreber, it was also a moral one. Both write about the detrimental effect feeling overworked had on their sleep and their excitable nervous system. Max Nordau, Entartung, 2 vols Berlin: C. Duncker, Staatsarchiv Leipzig, Akten Landesgericht The most dramatic engagement with the nerves of others was that of hypnosis, which Schreber suggested caused the nerve contact that brought about so much suffering.

In the next section I will describe how some of the participants in the hypnosis debate claimed that hypnosis was the expression or cause of mental debilitation and disease, and others even argued that hypnosis as a way to manipulate the mind of others in a malignant way. While Wundt saw hypnosis merely as an ineffective tool for remedy, others were more worried about its effects.

Opponents of hypnosis stressed the harm hypnosis could have not only on the psychological health of those hypnotized, but also on those who attended the demonstration. Although most prosecutions of hypnotists were based on accusations of fraud, sometimes the prosecution took the supersensory forces allegedly at play more seriously.

Friedrich, n. Franz Wollny, a frequent contributor to Die Gegenwart. It is especially active in sexuality, where the sex drive directs it but where sexual arousal also weakens the resistance against this magnetic substance. Physiology has shown that the biological reasons for this difference lie in the larger size of the masculine brain compared to the female one, and in the organization of the whole female body, which is more tender than muscular, more soft and flexible than hard and sturdy. For example, in Die Gegenwart covered in great detail the trial in Paris of Gabrielle Bompard, who was accused of murder.

She had confessed the deed, but the responsibility for the murder was still debated. They argued that Bompard had committed her crime as a result of criminal hypnosis, and had succeeded in making her lover Eyraud confess that he had tried to hypnotize her. They disagreed only on whether Bompard could have committed such a heinous crime if she would have had no disposition whatsoever to do such a thing. The criminal hypnotizer was condemned to death while the murderess received a sentence of 20 years of forced labor.

In a separate publication called in translation The Hypnotic Crime, Du Prel challenged legal scholars to investigate this new form of crime because of its radical implications for law. Schreber, like Du Prel and others, felt they had to address the possibility that individual behavior, whether criminal or pathological, might have an external cause. To hold the victims of these magical acts to the fullest extent accountable for their behavior whereas the magic perpetrators did not get punished, seemed more than anything against a fair Order of the World and could destabilize it completely.

These values, this World Order, prescribe and describe a relationship, differentiation and distance between God and humanity, between mind or soul and the body, and in which human beings are differentiated from those species dominated by their lower sexual drives. Nearly everything that happened to Schreber after his hospitalization and the religious cosmology revealed to him — therefore, to him, reality itself — violated this World Order, and hence this World Order collapsed.

Was it the torture inflicted by the dualist transcendentalist hegemony on its suffering subject? De Certeau used the Schreber case — specifically the curse word Luder which supersensory powers threw at the poor judge — to argue that mysticism, like torture, tends to serve to nullify the subject and reconstitute it in relation to the Other, which, De Certeau suggested, is the institution representing the religious tradition of the mystic or the torturing institution.

In addition to offering material for a new religious system, his experiences, in his view, would redeem the cosmic crisis in a way that was monist rather than dualist. This new monist cosmology, which also offered new ways to salvation, will be the topic of this chapter. Schreber wrote that God could have cured him with special rays, thus shielding himself from his attraction to Schreber.


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As a result, Ariman in effect replaced the Christian God as the main divine actor below I will show that Schreber uses different language when writing about God and the Zoroastrian gods. The third section of this chapter returns again to a central question in the Schreber case, namely his so-called pathological use of language and his hearing of voices.

Schreber received a continuous stream of sense impressions out of which he, like a scientist with his or her data, had to try to make sense. The first monist modulation Schreber introduced, and which I have touched on in the first chapter, was that of the nature of the soul, which became for Schreber a material soul, developing exactly like a living organism, and of which even its moral aspects had a physical dimension. Moreover, its travel towards salvation was one of physical purification.

Schreber argued that after death, souls are not judged, but continue a process of growth towards perfection. As a result, it lacked the need for intermediaries that connected the transcendent and the earthly, such as Jesus, saints, or a church. God and human beings are material, and the career of a soul is one of uninterrupted physical movement toward God, who rather than the radical Other is the end of a process.

In the vision, Schreber is reincarnated as persons of different races, of which the hyperborean race was, as I discussed in the first chapter, a descendant of the Mongolian race. Santner, My Own Private Germany, , Its material character for instance shows itself in the extent to which different agents succeed in communicating with one another. God knew very little about living beings — dead souls often misinformed God because he was at a physical distance from humanity.

Ariman on the other hand, after having come closer to earth, started to understand mankind. See also the discussion in the following section. Auch die Seele ist nichts rein Geistiges, sondern beruht auf einem materiellen Substrat, den Nerven. For instance, God is at the same time omnipotent and a slave to his attraction to Schreber. In the first chapter, Schreber introduced his thoughts on the nature of God: God is from the beginning only nerve, not body, therefore somewhat related to the human soul.

The divine nerves are however not, like in the human body, of a limited amount, but they are infinite or eternal. They have the characteristics that also the human nerves have, in a capacity that exceeds the human understanding, for they have the capacity to transform themselves in all the possible things in the created world; in this function they are called rays; herein lies the essence of divine creation. Between God and the firmament is an intricate relationship.

I do not dare to decide, whether one can say that God and the firmament are one and the same, or that one should imagine the totality of the divine nerves as something that yet lies above and beyond the stars, as a result of which the stars and in specific our sun are only stations, on which the miraculous authority of God traverses the way to our earth and possibly other inhabited planets.

Zwischen Gott und dem gestirnten Himmel besteht eine innige Beziehung. In the passage above, Schreber raised the question whether God is the same as our firmament or encompasses a system beyond it. Although Schreber increasingly moved away from the notion that God is identical to our sun, he by no means placed God outside nature. In the last 32 Luthardt, Apologetic Lectures, God is a living being and has therefore to let himself be guided by selfish drives as well, as long as there are other organisms who somehow pose danger to him or otherwise hinder his interests.

This relationship between monism and Zoroastrianism also comes out in the main characters of these two works. Likewise, Ormuzd and especially Ariman are very much this-worldly gods, solar gods identical to our or other suns. Although Schreber, unlike Nietzsche, never made the final step to reject the Christian god nor did he ever upset the hierarchy of two gods, Ariman not only becomes the most important actor but is eventually also more appreciated by Schreber.

Ariman stands closer to the earth, mankind, and, through his feminizing rays, serves in the act of reproduction. The second quotation is from the original Birth of Tragedy, These revelations were not revelations of a traditional kind. They received therefore, like Schreber did from them, a continuous flow of information from the hospitalized judge. Whereas Poseidon and Neptune perhaps represent the god of the primal creation in their aspect of water, their counterparts Zeus and Jupiter are far more fruitful in creating offspring.

What Schreber wrote about human thought channeled to the invisible world, and mirrored precisely the revelations Schreber received. These continuous and often nonsensical murmurs were not just the audile hallucinations that plague the mentally ill. They were also revelations of a monist cosmology. Schreber explained how this scientific recording of revealed information worked in a way that made the message itself a physical message, and he went to great pains to explain the technical questions that his revelations raised.

These questions did not need to be asked in a dualist universe were the transcendent God could communicate at will with a chosen human being, as Schreber had written, in which there was no connection to the bodily state of the recipient, not through the mechanics of revelation.