History, said Oswald Spengler, is destiny. Combined with myth, the taproot of emotion, it becomes the fate of a people. Was destiny the foundation of the sonderweg, the “special path” to modernity that joined the powerful drive of Prussia with the German idea of kultur, to become a unique nation in the modern world?
One can think of history in less apocalyptic terms. As in ethology, it may be a form of “imprinting,” the memory traces that, like the virgin tracks through a forest, shape the ways peoples move, or, as in the dreamworld, the hypnagogic experiences that form the primal character of identity and repeatedly stir echoes that prompt us to listen to those voices....
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