Storm's Journal

--| What Befall Us |-----

"That which is in a man, 
not that which lies beyond his vision
is the main factor in what is about to befall him: 
the operation upon him is the event." 

(George Macdonald, from "Lillith", chapter XVI, 1895).

As the thoughts move in the mind of a man, so move the worlds 
of men and women in the mind of God... the offspring of his imagination. 
Man is but a thought of God... a man no more creates the forms by which 
he would reveal his thoughts, than he creates those thoughts themselves. 

For what are the forms by means of which a man may reveal his thoughts?
Are they not those of nature? But although he is created in the closest
sympathy with these forms, yet even these forms are not born in his mind. 
What springs there is the perception that this or that form is already an
expression of this or that phase of thought or of feeling. 

an inexhaustible storehouse of forms whence he may choose exponents -- the
crystal pitchers that shall protect his thought and not need to be broken
that the light may break forth. The meanings are in those forms already,
else they could be no garment of unveiling. God has made the world that it
should thus serve his creature, developing in the service that imagination
whose necessity it meets. The man has but to light the lamp within the form: 
his imagination is the light, it is not the form. Straightway the shining thought 
makes the form visible, and becomes itself visible through the form... 

But let a man become aware of some new movement within him. Loneliness
comes with it, for he would share his mind with his friend, and he cannot;
he is shut up in speechlessness. Thus

  He may live a man forbid
  Weary sevennights nine times nine,

or the first moment of his perplexity may be that of his release. Gazing
about him in pain, he suddenly beholds the material form of his immaterial
condition. There stands his thought! God thought it before him, and put
its picture there ready for him when he wanted it. Or, to express the
thing more prosaically, the man cannot look around him long without
perceiving some form, aspect, or movement of nature, some relation between
its forms, or between such and himself which resembles the state or motion
within him. This he seizes as the symbol, as the garment or body of his
invisible thought, presents it to his friend, and his friend understands

For the world is--allow us the homely figure--the human being turned
inside out. All that moves in the mind is symbolized in Nature. 
Or, to use another more philosophical, and certainly not less poetic figure, 
the world is a sensuous analysis of humanity, and hence an inexhaustible
wardrobe for the clothing of human thought. Take any word expressive of
emotion--take the word emotion itself--and you will find that its primary
meaning is of the outer world. In the swaying of the woods, in the unrest
of the 'wavy plain,' the imagination saw the picture of a well-known
condition of the human mind; and hence the word emotion. 

(George MacDonald, The Imagination: Its Function and its Culture, 
 First published 1867 in a Dish of Orts.) 


  hmmm...this correlates well to something steiner
  said about twenty years later. macdonald had it first;
  but he had it in the imaginative consciousness, while
  steiner brought the imaginative consciousness to clear
  conscious knowing. compare macdonald's statements
  with the following passage by steiner: 

Steiner on the Essential Nature of Knowledge

"Therefore, what is said in this writing
about the essential nature of knowledge
holds good also for the knowledge of the spiritual worlds,
with which my later writings are concerned.

The sense-world in its manifestation to human perception is not reality.
It possesses its reality in connection with that
which reveals itself in man in the form of thought
concerning this sense-world.
Thoughts belong to the reality of the sensibly perceived; only,
that which is present in the sense-existence as thought manifests itself,
not externally in this existence, but inwardly in man.
But thought and sense-perception are a single essence.
While man enters the world in sense-perception,
he separates thought from reality;
but the thought merely manifests itself in another place within the mind.
The separation between percept and thought
possesses no significance for the objective world;
it occurs only because man takes up a position in the midst of existence.
It is to him that this appearance thus occurs,
as if thought and percept were twofold.
Nor is it otherwise in the case of spiritual perception.
When this occurs by reason of processes in the soul which I have described
in my more recent book Knowledge of the Higher World and Its Attainment,
this then forms likewise one aspect of (spiritual) existence;
and the corresponding thoughts of the spiritual form the other aspect.
A difference occurs only to this extent, that sense-perception
reaches its consummation through thought in reality, as it were,
in an upper direction at the beginning of the spiritual; whereas
spiritual perception is experienced in its true being
from this beginning downward.
The fact that the experience of sense-perception occurs
through the senses formed by Nature,
and that of the perception of the spiritual
through spiritual organs of perception,
first formed in a psychic manner,
does not constitute a distinction in principle."

(Rudolf Steiner, from a footnote in: The Theory of Knowledge Implicit
in Goethe's World Conception", 1886).


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