SCHILLER IN EARLY 1793
The second of Schiller's early 1793 letters reflected his ideas as follows:
"Is it not at least ‘out of the time' to look around for a guideline on the aesthetic world, since the matters of the moral world offer a so much closer interest, and since the philosophically inquisitive mind is so strongly urged to deal with the most perfect of all works of art, the construction of true political freedom? . . . "
"With expectancy, the eyes of the philosopher and of the man of the world alike are directed at the political arena where at present, as one believes, the great fate of mankind is being dealt with. Does it not reveal a blameworthy ignorance of the well-being of society not to share this general dialogue? As close as this great affair of human freedom is--by virtue of its content and by virtue of its consequences--to anyone who calls himself a human being, as much must it be of interest, out of the nature in which this matter is treated, to the independent thinker. A question that has herefofore only been answered with the right of the strong has now, as it appears to me, been liberated in the judge's chambers of pure reason, and all who will be able to imagine themselves in the very center of the whole and who will be able to elevate their individualities to the status of their consciousnesses of this whole, may consider themselves as ‘co-presiding' in those judges' chambers, in the same manner as they are also part of this as men and citizen of the world at the same time, and as they see themselves more closely or more remotely tied in with the success of this process. It is not only their own matter that will be decided on in this great process, the great decisions should also be based on laws that they, as beings of reason, will be able and entitled to direct themselves."
"How enticing should it be for me to investigate such a topic with a likewise inspired thinker and citizen of the world and to leave this decision to a heart that is enthusiastically dedicated to the well-being of mankind! How pelasantly surprising, inspite of such a difference in our positions and the vast distance that the circumstances of the real world necessitate, to encounter your non-judgmental mind in the world of ideas and to observe similar results (in your thinking)! That I will resist this temptation in order to prefer beauty over freedom I believe to not only be able to excuse on the basis of my inclination but also on the basis of certain principles. I hope to be able to convince you that this subject is far less removed from the needs than from the taste of our era, nay that one, in order to solve the great political questions, also in practice and experience, one has to find one's way by looking at aesthetics, since it is beauty through which one is led to freedom" (Goethe und seine Zeit 182).