5.20 Abuse of the Imagination by Writers
Novels do not depict reality but such as it appears to the writer’s imagination which,
however profound, has little to do with reality. Of course such literary art (just like all art)
degenerates into removing itself more and more from reality, until the “sensitive souls” enjoy
the mere excesses of poetical imagination; the further away from reality, the better.
This is a perverse way of cultivating imagination. “Truth is always strange, stranger than
fiction,” if you are fit to realize it. To distort reality is to destroy the flair of the instinct of
reality. And this has been done thoroughly. Otherwise such phenomena as the dogmas of
theologians, the imaginative constructions of philosophers, and the primitive hypotheses of
scientists would have been unthinkable.
5.21 The Responsibility of the Artist
Many believe they are called to be teachers of men without possessing knowledge of life.
Others believe they are called to be helpers without an attractive individual character and
understanding of people. They deceive themselves with their “sacrifice”. But if they can sow
a good sowing for a good reaping, then it certainly is something for their egoism.
All egocentrics are the victims of self-formed illusions. Typical examples were Nietzsche
and Strindberg. They idiotized all ideas they could contact. When the individual is a self-
centred self instead of sensing that he is a tool, this breeds emotional illusions of the
individual’s own mental sovereignty.
No more than any other art is fiction literature an end in itself. According to the law of life
everything has a purpose, and art too. Writers who spread traditional illusions and fictions
contribute in so doing to the idiotization of mankind. They sow a bad sowing the reaping of
which will hamper their future development, make it more difficult for them to apprehend
reality and life. Quite often one comes across “mental geniuses” who cannot possibly
understand esoterics, although they have made efforts at it. They are typical examples of bad
reaping. The corresponding is true of all other art. Those modern artists who have lost all
sense of what true art is have destroyed their instinct of art in previous incarnations. Usually
they begin by cultivating the caricature. To the esoterician art as well as science are “sacred
Our consciousness expressions are not merely subjective. They are objective material
phenomena that have energy effects. By our emotional expressions we throw out vibrations
into the emotional world; and by our mental expressions, into the mental world. Those who
have their receivers tuned to that wave-length pick them up in their waking consciousness and
think that they are all products of their self-activity. More than 80 per cent of our conscious-
ness expressions come from without. Still they have not understood this, the consequence of it
according to the law of cause and effect and the law of sowing and reaping. We are
responsible for all our consciousness expressions, not only for words and actions. They have
not even understood the responsibility of writers for all the illusions and fictions they are
spreading by their writings.
5.22 The Limitation of Art
Art belongs to emotionality. It is contact with both the physical and the mental worlds. The
plastic arts are in contact with the physical world. By their elaboration of mental conceptions
of physical reality, novel and drama are in contact with the physical world. In contrast, music
is in essence pure emotionality and degenerates and turns into caricature if made to render
something physical or mental. It is true of all art that it loses itself in all manner of absurdities
when trying to be a guide of reason and regarding itself as a higher authority and able toperceive reality beyond the emotional. The conceited claims of poets to the highest esteem are
examples of such an aberration.
Literary romanticism affords an example of art that has on the whole strayed from reality
in the falsity of patent life-ignorance. It has accorded emotional “love” a life value far beyond
what is justified. It has given the rising generation, who normally always passes through a
“romantic period” before critical reason manages to make itself felt, a false idealized
description of a harsh reality. It is unavoidable that even so-called realism is false. Writers are
seldom knowers of reality. They generalize their own experiences and generally speaking live
on collective illusions and fictions. Without true knowledge of reality, without a sense of
responsibility for what they write, they are little better than parasites. They give stones instead
of bread. In this flood of books containing nonsense the valuable books drown. The most
valuable manuscripts remain unprinted.
When novelists and playwrights awaken to their responsibility, they will work at giving
people knowledge of reality and life and not, as they do now, mostly contribute to amusement
and entertainment by their trivial descriptions of people’s worst qualities.