the angel and the puppet

‘We see that in the world of Nature, the dimmer and weaker intellect grows, the more radiantly and imperiously grace emerges. But just as a section drawn through two lines, considered from one given point, after passing through infinity, suddenly arrives on the other side of that point; or as the image in a concave mirror, after vanishing into infinity, suddenly reappears right in front of us; so grace too returns when knowledge has, as it were, gone through an infinity. Grace appears most purely in that human form in which consciousness is either nonexistent or infinite, i.e., in the marionette or in the god.’

‘Does that mean,’ I said, a bit bewildered, ‘that we must eat again of the Tree of Knowledge in order to fall back into the state of innocence?’

‘Certainly,’ he answered. ‘That is the last chapter in the history of the world.’

from Heinrich von Kleist’s essay ‘On the Marionette Theater’

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