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Saturday, September 4, 2021

Goethe: "More Light"

"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” ~ Goethe in his novel Elective Affinities (1809). This line is full of wisdom—Goethe is probably one of the wisest writers in modern German literature.

In my opinion, people who brag about being free turn out to be the ones who are easily enslaved—they are also quite ruthless in enslaving others. If you want a free society, then never take advice or support from those who brag about being free.

When Goethe was dying at the age of 82, it is said that his last words were: “More light.” Perhaps he wanted someone to light a candle or open the window, but his last two words can be taken as a metaphor for his quest for illumination or wisdom.

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