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The year 1844 saw the beginning of Marx's friendship and collaboration with Friedrich Engels, whom he had already met briefly in Cologne. Engels had been through a similar spiritual evolution to Marx, though their early education was different. Born on 28 November 1820, Engels was the son of a manufacturer at Barmen (Wuppertal, near Düsseldorf). He grew up in a stifling atmosphere of narrow-minded pietism, but soon escaped from its influence, leaving school before his final year to work in his father's factory; in 1838 he was sent to Bremen to gain business experience. As a result of practical contact with trade and industry he soon became interested in social questions.
I am born into an environment — I know not whence I came nor whither I go nor who I am. This is my situation as yours, every single one of you. The fact that everyone always was in this same situation, and always will be, tells me nothing. Our burning question as to the whence and whither — all we can ourselves observe about it is the present environment. That is why we are eager to find out about it as much as we can. That is science, learning, knowledge; it is the true source of every spiritual endeavour of man. We try to find out as much as we can about the spatial and temporal surroundings of the place in which we find ourselves put by birth…
The romantic view of the natural world as a blissful Eden is only held by people who have no actual experience of nature. People who live in nature are not romantic about it at all. They may hold spiritual beliefs about the world around them, they may have a sense of the unity of nature or the aliveness of all things, but they still kill the animals and uproot the plants in order to eat, to live. If they don't, they will die.
The future painter must feel what is useful for his development – drawing or even sculpture everything that will let him become one with Nature, identify himself with her, by entering into the things – which is what I call Nature – that arouse his feelings. I believe study by means of drawing is most essential. If drawing is of the Spirit and color of the Senses, you must draw first, to cultivate the spirit and to be able to lead color into spiritual paths.
When you're in love it's beautiful. When you're not it's just dirty filthy sex. Loveless sex has no true spiritual meaning deep inside your soul. But love makes everything totally cool. Love is God's special gift to horny teenage girls and boys. It makes them feel less guilty.
In a revolutionary age talk of equality may well have represented a passion to provide full human dignity to those who had previously been denied it by systems of political and economic domination; but in the present age it softens the spiritual requirements that are an essential ingredient in human dignity. Thus the slogans of equality serve not so much to elevate individuals to the dignity of being human as to free them from the responsibility of rising to this vocation.
The Universe is everything; both living and inanimate things; both atoms and galaxies; and if the spiritual exists as well as the material, of spiritual things also; and if there is a Heaven and a Hell, of Heaven and Hell too; for by its very nature the Universe is the totality of all things.
To me this world is all one continued vision of fancy or imagination, and I feel flattered when I am told so. What is it sets Homer, Virgil and Milton in so high a rank of art? Why is the Bible more entertaining and instructive than any other book? Is it not because they are addressed to the imagination, which is spiritual sensation, and but immediately to the understanding or reason?
This is the threat to our lives. We all face it. We all operate in our society in relation to a system. Now is the system going to eat you up and relieve you of your humanity or are you going to be able to use the system to human purposes? … If the person doesn't listen to the demands of his own spiritual and heart life and insists on a certain program, you're going to have a schizophrenic crack-up. The person has put himself off center. He has aligned himself with a programmatic life and it's not the one the body's interested in at all. And the world's full of people who have stopped listening to themselves.
Chris would use the spiritual aspect to try to motivate us. "He'd tell us to think about all the evil in the world, all the hatred, and imagine ourselves running against the forces of darkness, the evil wall that was trying to keep us from running our best. He believed that doing well was all mental, a simple matter of harnessing whatever energy was available.