Secrets of life, chap. 11
In the foregoing you have language as communication and the word spiritually grasped and expounded before you. Now we are going to turn to art, or the urge inherent in all human beings to present their thoughts and concepts in forms or pictures.
Here the animals must remain excluded, for whatever “work of art” they perform is determined by the nature of their own Self and serves only towards their preservation and procreation, and this is why the animals perform their artful works only instinctively and without aforethought, so that with them there can be neither progress nor improvement.
Art, or the urge to render what is seen in signs, pictures or clearly defined forms, is likewise a language of the soul. It is, as has just been stated of “language”, the urge to render what was seen. The only difference lies in that with language the innermost state of the soul is revealed in articulate sounds and tones, whereas in art, as form and sign language, the soul is urged to firmly reproduce its favorite impressions in forms, signs and pictures. Clothing them in material forms, it secures a permanent value to the impressions of objects of the outer world and reveals in viewing them so as to be able to, as it were, repeat the impressions frequently.
Therefore, this need is based on the urge to firmly fixate the fleeting course of the speech or the content of what was thought, said or seen.
All peoples and all human spiritual beings in all other worlds have this urge in common with you. Everywhere art is alive, but in differing styles, so that it only corresponds to the spiritual level of the beings living there, revealing their innermost nature.
Also on your earth you see that the lowest, most primitive peoples take delight in lending a permanent value to certain pleasant impressions by means of drawn, painted and formed images.
You see this forming grow step by step along with the spiritual development of the peoples and nations. At first, they imitate what they see in nature; gradually they idealize, stylize it in the belief to enhance it, according to their innate concepts of culture. The ideal improves, is enhanced; the more spiritual man is, the nobler his ideas are and, accordingly, his pictures and objects depicting them, since he seeks everywhere to imprint on his creations the stamp of divinity.
Art has its periods, just as the spiritual-cultural state of the peoples. They move upward and downward, along with their imagination and their way of grasping the world in a spiritual sense. You have on your earth nations who, having descended from great heights of spiritual culture through their excessive pleasure-seeking ways or through deviating from their road of destiny, have fallen back to the lowest cultural level, their art and their spiritual heritage having disappeared along with them. In their ideas are contained only offshoots of a spiritual philosophy. This applies also to the pictorial art, where in the caricatures of nature, nothing resembling a spiritual idealization can be found any more.
Language, this fleeting rendition of what is felt and experienced, one wanted to preserve permanently for oneself and others. Thus a written, or pictorial, language came into being, where certain signs or pictures should express concepts corresponding to their form.
In accordance with the cultural level of the peoples, also this exigency, cultivated since time immemorial, experienced its changes. Beginning with the hieroglyphics and ending with the sign script and its duplication, the printing process, the retention of the spoken word and the thought was facilitated and a universal benefit for all was created, which once had only the prerogative of a few.
Therefore, art in its highest sense is nothing but the realization of the spiritual ideas of the soul where the latter, touched by compassion, wants to convey also to others what it feels and thinks. For it feels the need for materially creating it in the belief that it will make the same, or at least a similar, impression on others. By this procedure, in the admiration of others, it doubly enjoys its own, seeing it reflected back into itself.
Thus art is the uniting bond among the peoples and nations. Thirdly, art unites hearts that otherwise would pass by each other indifferently. The close bond of the creative arts which, as language, if not written down through signs, only fleetingly warms the hearts, drawing them to each other and thus leading them together again to a higher spiritual level and therefore closer to Me, is, in a material sense, what language is in the spiritual sense.
Without it, the world would be considerably poorer, but through it, a rich mind favored and filled with great ideas affords its fellowmen pleasures the latter did not know existed, introduces them to a more beautiful, sublime world and shows them in the ideal imitation of nature the Spiritual laid by Me into everything, which, however, not everyone is favored to find.
While the spoken word fades away in the air, leaving only an overall impression of what was said and evoking other ideas and trains of thought, the image retained by the soul is one of My creational products, or a portrayed moment out of the spiritual life of man, a permanent stimulus. Once absorbed in this, the human being can again love and worship the Creator and Father by recognizing Him in nature and its forms. I am here speaking only of art in its noblest expression, disregarding the abuses where this divine gift, the fanciful power of imagination and the gift of representation, are used, in a manner unworthy of man, for quite different purposes.
Thus art continues to exist spiritually, always educating, like a written word. Although it is not understood by many, its stimulus is active in every onlooker, varying in accordance with his spiritual development.
Just as with you, art is cultivated in all the worlds, applied to domestic life and used in temples, prayer houses and dwellings, so as to give expression, as you do, to the concepts these human beings hold of their God and Creator, by letting either the Spiritual or the material prevail in their domestic activity.
From the way art is cultivated among you for the love of it, you can everywhere judge the spiritual level of the human being of these worlds.
Just as with the spoken word the Spiritual is fleetingly imparted to another and finds a response there, so also by means of art, where that which was created and the manner in which it is judged by others is the right criterion for the spiritual level of a people. Everywhere spirit is the uniting bond among human beings, spirits and Me.
Language teaches through concepts and ideas laid into words and sentences, art through thoughts translated into colors, forms and signs. Thus this fixed application of what is thought and felt, as gamut between the maker and the spectator, between the creatively active and the one to be educated to something bigger, unites mankind with Me and My spirit-realms, the one giving, the others receiving.
The one raised himself during his creative activity to Me and to My Kingdom; the other, contemplating what was created, but looking beyond it, perceives the basic idea of the artist. It draws him with magnetic force into a different sphere of thought-combinations which were not originally his, lets him feel what the other has that he is lacking, and in this way encourages his own soul to climb the mountain of inspiration. There nature, the expression of My love towards all that was created, embodied in ever so beautiful forms, keeps calling: “Come all of you, who are burdened, so that I may refresh you!” Contemplating a scene of nature, a beautiful human image, a great, noble action, everywhere the viewer finds verified the saying, which on every walk, every little flower calls out to him, saving:
“Imbibe deeply the love of your Creator and Father, who has poured it out everywhere so as to prove to you with every breath how dull all the joys of the world are and how little it takes to be happy and contented!”
When the viewer of the picture of a person can perceive in it all the spiritual qualities which man, as the spiritual image of his Creator, ought to, but unfortunately does not, possess, he sees the exaltedness of the idea of the human form in its spiritual aspect and casually imagines him with all his weaknesses. And he cannot help confessing how far he himself is removed from this ideal of humanity, and when he then realizes that despite all his faults the mighty hand of his Creator and Father daily showers him with unmerited grace, he too must exclaim: “What am I, o Lord, that You should remember me thus lovingly!”
Thus, and in many other ways, the noble fine arts arouse in the viewer sensations and ideas, all of which remain permanent reminders towards progress and eternal stimuli to enthusiasm; enthusiasm to incessantly strive after a state where, no longer being the artist’s own spiritual creation of a more exalted life, such sensations shall one day be the universal property of all; and where, in the end, be it in an articulated language or in reproduced forms, the spiritual thread is visible everywhere, subtly leading everyone as on a guide-rope further on the spiritual gamut. There, from world to world and from sun to sun, they will behold language and art ever more refined, perfected and, more and more spiritualized, will draw closer to Me. Finally, in the spiritual heavenly Kingdom, I, as the Center, as “Word” and Archetype, as Man, shall allow them to again enjoy, spiritualized, in the highest bliss the impressions they all have felt when listening to an inspiring speech or in the contemplation of a sublime picture, as an image of My everlasting creation.
Thus art, as the spiritual illustrator of My great ideas in creation, draws the souls to Me, and what language inspires, art portrays. To complete the trinity, in the inexpressible sounds and the states of exaltation music finally comes into being. And so we progress to the last of this trinity, showing you where it concludes, where it began and how, in the end, everything spiritually united represents Me, My material and My spiritual creation in one picture, or in Myself as “Word”, “Form” and “Sound”. Amen.
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