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The spirit as the creator of his own world
119,1. A good landscape painter and at the same time a great friend of beautiful country outings, comes home from a country party. He likes the area he saw on this trip so much that he wants to stay in it forever. His business, however, does not allow such. What is left for him, therefore, to at least sometimes see the most beautiful part of his country? He paints this area with great skill on two empty, large walls of his living-room so admirably, that each visitor recognizes with astonishment, instantly, the glorious, well-known region.
119,2. Question: From where did our painter take the example for this area? Did he have any copperplate engraving? Or did he himself made a sketch of the place earlier? No, neither one nor the other, but he has captured the living contours of the area in his imagination and faithfully reproduced them here on the wall.
119,3. That's right, and every human being sees the possibility of it; but certainly not every person can see how our painter has brought the beautiful region to the wall in his imagination. So here's the question: how and in what way did this painter put the area on the wall of his imagination? See, this is an important life process and says a lot; Therefore, we want to illuminate it a little bit closer. On some occasion, we have come to know and see our central sun as clearly as possible, which is all present in the spirit of man. If itwere not present in the human spirit, how could he ever conceive of that idea and make any idea what no mortal eye has ever beheld?
119,4. But now man can achieve in himself incomprehensibly high and super-sensoric spiritual intuitions, and thus he must have in himself everything that a fantasy can ever produce.
119,5. But a person's imagination can be pure and impure. It is pure when, albeit in a rarer case, the immortal spirit of man already stands so absolutely in his body that his pure images are not tarnished and polluted by the images of the outside world. Thus imagination, too, can be pure through the conception of mere external images, if it holds the images seen through the power of the soul and then faithfully reproduces them on occasion. Imagination is impure if the spirit is still too passive in its body, both regarding its inner images and to those of the external world, where everything then mixes up, the spiritual and natural, and no one can become wise if the fantasy presents the spiritual or the natural. To this class of impure imaginative images belong all those medieval mystical obscenities (indecencies), according to which the heaven have received its strange form, the hell and the so-called purgatory became a roasting oven, and more such follies.
119,6. From this, however, it appears that in the spirit, which constitutes the whole life of the soul as well as the body, everything must be present from the smallest to the greatest, which embraces all infinity, heaven and hell, and between these two extremes, the whole natural world. And this endlessly living faculty of the spirit is what you call the "fantasy" in the general sense.
119,7. If someone wants to bring something out of this rich room, he only need to arouse his love. The stronger the love becomes, the more violent is its flame and the more violent its warmth and its light.
119,8. Through this quality of love, the image captured by it becomes alive itself, becomes more and more distinct through the light of love, until at last, like the region of our painter, it has attained full maturity. And this image, perfected by the quality of love in man himself, is the real inner world of the spirit.
119,9. Now we know where the painter took the picture from. That is something already, but we do know a little more, and that is that this is the way by which the spirit is the creator of its own world.
119,10. But we also know that everything in the world can be good or bad accordingly, and that is what love makes of it. If love is in accordance with the order of God, everything becomes good through it; if this is against the order of God, everything will become bad through it. In this way every human being develops either heaven or hell in himself.
119,11. Every act and action must have a foundation and in and of itself a certain form or better ceremony under which it happens.
119,12. But how does one imagine an area on earth where you can find monuments of many atrocities? Surely, when you would see this, a secret shudder will strike you. See, that is already the form of the hellish; for in spirit in the hereafter, such a world is also formed, which is full of monuments of atrocities. In this world, the spirit sees infinite depths, and in them, its incorrigible evil behavior. But it is very different when you come to an area where noble people have always lived, who did many good and noble things. It will seem very familiar to you, and it will give you a feeling of transfiguration, as if you were in the bosom of Abraham. This is an anticipation of heaven. In the absolutely spiritual state, feeling and its form are expressed in the most vivid form. This form is the spiritual place of Heaven and, as you can easily see, is also a work of the spirit.
119,13. But it is clear from this that every man, through the nature of his love, becomes the creator of his own inner world, and that he can never enter any heaven or hell, but only the work of his love. This is why it also says, 'And your works follow you.' And in just this way, as we have now undergone the apparition of hell, our well-known students of the Sun pass it by. What will happen to them after that, we will consider next.
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