Goethe and the Power of Rhythm

A Biographical Essay

John Michael Barnes

Out of print

Quick Look

  • A captivating introduction to the life of Goethe, tracing a powerful 18.6-year rhythm in Goethe’s biography.

A captivating introduction to the life of Goethe, tracing a powerful 18.6-year rhythm in Goethe's biography.

204 x 140 mm
Adonis Press
Philosophy of Human Life
96 pages
Publication date:
20 May 2010


'I also know that I appear to the world as one who has built a ship atop a high mountain, thousands of miles distant from the ocean; but the waters will rise, and my ship will float and sail.' -- Goethe

In fresh and spirited prose, John Barnes offers a captivating introduction to the life of Goethe as an inspiration for our times.

He traces a powerful 18.6-year rhythm in Goethe's biography, showing how his creative genius unfolded through repeated periods of crises and renewal. The fact that this rhythm corresponds exactly with cyclical movements of the earth and moon suggests a strong connection between the life of Goethe and the pulsing life of nature.

Goethe considered his participatory approach to nature to be his finest achievement in life, a contribution only now beginning to be appreciated as scientifically significant. Barnes focuses on Goethe's development as a scientist, in the end applying Goethe’s own scientific method to his unfolding biography. In doing so, a remarkable archetypal lawfulness is revealed.

Goethe's life and work inspire us to deepen our own connection to nature and to the pulsing rhythms of our lives. In light of the crises we face today, Goethe appears more than ever as a forerunner of a possible healing culture of the 21st century.


'Essential reading for those who already know about Goethe but who are interested in knowing more about the rythms of his life, as well as for those who know nothing about him… The book can be read at a number of levels, both as a biography and as a more universal pattern present in all lives, even if unconsciously.'
-- David Lorimer, Scientific and Medical Network Review, Winter 2010


John Barnes taught at Steiner-Waldorf schools for twenty-five years before becoming a publisher and author, focusing on his lifelong interest in Goethean, phenomenological science.

Just feel like browsing?

Browse our catalogues

Interested in an author?

Discover authors