Urpflanze: On Goethe’s Archetypal plants
‘Owen and many others thought that similarity makes the series. In the Romantic Naturphilosophie it was generally accepted that though forms are ‘on the surface’ different, they really aren’t, that there is a general Bauplan or blueprint on which the forms are variations. This view stresses the importance of similarity, while in Goethe’s method the difference is just as crucial, and the two, similarity and difference, have the same importance in understanding the movement. The movement enables us to include or exclude potential new members. It is perfectly continuous, specifying forms by generating them. Individual pieces do not show the movement by themselves, but are governed by it. The mobile governs the static. In this sense the movement works as a law, that can be used to generate new forms that follow it.
Each individual form thus turns out to be an arrested stage of the transformation; the independence of forms are cancelled, they become manifestations of something that is not visible, but traceable. This something is, in itself, never visible, however, this invisible form unites all pictures. Seeing only the pictures the intellect can not arrive at the movement. In the ‘movement’, though it cannot be drawn or sketched, all the forms are given, and the viewer is not forced to make any unfounded steps to acquire it. The only hypothetical step is accepting that the series ‘makes sense’, that is, it is a manifestation of something objective, yet unperceivable by the senses.’. ( Gabor Z.; http://hps.elte.hu/~zemplen/goethemorph.html)