Some notes whilst reading "Goethe's Science of Living Form" by Nigel Hoffman.

The forward by Craig Holdredge introduces the model of the four elements as representing different ways of engaging with a subject of investigation in natural philosophy. We had Stephan Harding explain this to us in a brief introduction to Goethean Science on the Natural Building course at Schumacher college and I can see some merit in it.

In the first chapter though Hoffman seems more hung up on the traditional divide (or conflict) between the Artistic and the Scientific way of looking at things. I simply don't buy this and haven't done since I was in the fifth form forty something years ago. There need be no conflict here, it is not a question of making the scientists more artistic, or inducting the artists in the scientific way of looking at things. Neither is right and both are needed plus much more. I hope Hoffman is not going to simply perpetuate this non-conflict.

Inspiration - in-spire, breathing in,is an openness to breathe in the universe and take on its ideas. Subjugation of the self. Inspiration is not the internal creation of the thinker; the thinker becomes a vessel to in-spire (breathe in) nature and communicate it. AIR mode of cognition.

Earth forms, hills and valleys.

Water flowing and coating and wrapping the earth, air forms arising above the surface of the earth.

Music as the mode of pure gesture - the air mode of art. Musical performance as entelechy - the dynamic mode - and musical notation as the earth form representation of the gesture.

Improvised music - jazz and noodling - as pure gesture? or do they still have entelechy. Maybe music concieved in the mind of the composer is closest to pure gesture. No performance, no solidity.

Goethe's whole model of different ways of experiencing or seeing things is interesting. Rational / Imaginative / Inspiring / Intutition - all modes need to be engaged to get the complete picture. (see Roszak and others). The tendency to view them as a hierarchy must be resisted - intuition alone is as limited as sticking to the pure rational scientific approach.