In stark juxtaposition, the two citations above display an ambiguity that divides Schelling's early and later approaches to nature. Insofar as nature is the code-word for the Schellingian unconscious, the ambiguity runs through his notion of the unconscious. The early Schellingian unconscious, developed in the nature-philosophy and the identity-philosophy, is impersonal and immanent. It is not yet the dark side of God unveiled in the Freedom essay, not the underside of the personality of the Stuttgart Seminars, not the doorway into the spirit-world of Clara; rather, the early Schellingian unconscious is the collective intelligence running through all of matter, and insofar as we too are material, running through us as well. It is the spirit in nature, or better, the spirit of nature, nature spiritualized and given subjectivity, but of an impersonal quality, like the subjectivity of a plant or an irrational animal. In the Boehme-in¯uenced middle works, beginning with the 1809 Freedom essay, Schelling's thought takes a decisive turn towards transcendence, and at the same time, towards the personal. The early notion of nature as the dynamic polarized matrix of being is not abandoned but quali®ed. For the later Schelling, nature is no longer the one and the all, rather, de-centred from the place of prominence once granted it, nature becomes the dark ground of spirit, its whole raison d'eÃtre focused in its precarious teleologico-volitional subordination to the personal. In the 1810 un®nished dialogue, Clara, a text strongly marked by the middle

Schelling's turn to transcendence, nature is characterized as a fallen order which ®lls us with equal parts wonder and horror, the monstrous product of the failure of the dark ground to adequately found spirit. The split in nature, its antagonism to its own truth, cuts through the self: the Schellingian personality is divided against itself. The dark ground is not the self-equilibrating cosmos of the nature-philosophy but the unruly, dangerous, even sick underbelly of being, as likely to drive us mad as to launch us into a personal relationship with God.