Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana

Alles Vergängliche
Ist nur ein Gleichnis;
Das Unzulängliche,
Hier wird’s Ereignis;
Das Unbeschreibliche,
Hier ist’s getan;
Das Ewig-Weibliche
Zieht uns hinan.
All that passes away
Is nothing but symbol;
That which is beyond us
Here becomes actual;
The undescribable
here is accomplished;
The Eternal-Feminine
Draws us on.

—Goethe, Faust, Part II

The Deed, though it was at the beginning, essentially issues from something prior and debouches into something ulterior: it must, then, have issued from other deed and led to more deeds in the future. The Incomprehensible is no doubt the existence of this movement and perhaps also the connection between its phases: although here again there would be intellectual arrogance in complaining that reality should be incomprehensible, when it moves so fruitfully without our leave.

Why should it be without our leave, and why should we complain when we are ourselves an integral part of that universal incomprehensibility and inadequacy? No: we do not complain: the Eternal Feminine allures us, and we are ready to be drawn onwards for ever from deed to deed, from event to event; and the notion that all this is only an image of something else, because it is transitory, would seem needless and even perverse; unless indeed we only meant that while the single events are transitory, the chain of them is perpetual, and each moment is but a happy note in an endless symphony. To this I see no possible objection, except that it is not true.

George Santayana, “Note on Goethe’s Chorus Mysticus in Faust”
(in The Birth of Reason and Other Essays, ed. Daniel Cory)

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