Keeper of the Watch
by Gerhard Reisch
Picture 23 out of
A Path of Knowledge
in Pictures

About the Creation of the Pictures

These pictures can help on the path of development of Imaginative thinking. Because they are created out of the region of the formative (etheric) forces, they stimulate Imagination in the soul of the observer. Out of a sequence of pictures the reality of a path can become visible, such as the one described as a possibility by Rudolf Steiner in his Book "Knowledge of Higher Worlds".

To begin with the artist lives with a naturally acquired unconscious relationship to the formative forces. These work inwardly in the same way that they are creative in the plant or the stone. When the artist takes up spiritual science, these natural capacities cease. In relation to his artistic faculties he experiences a state like that of death.

When the artist furthers his natural and spiritual scientific schooling and nurtures meditation conscientiously, so that his interest in the concerns of the spiritual world becomes at least as great as his interest to date in the earthly world, he may hope to be graced with a newly conscious relationship to the world of the formative (etheric) forces. The inner eye lightens up and he observes his own soul during Imagination. He learns to understand the words of Goethe: "all that is transitory is but allegory".

In every human the soul forms Imaginations, but they are obscured by waking consciousness. Only when this is stilled completely during meditation, can these picture forms light up in the etheric realm. In the transition from intellectual waking consciousness to Imagination the soul may use [the power of] fantasy. The pictures of fantasy will gradually develop into true Imaginations.

To simply paint Imaginations as one might paint a scene from nature would not be artistic. The following must be observed. On the one side, one has the results of the occupation with colour: the revelation of the beings of red, of blue, etc.. On the other side, one does not let them resolve into a visible Imagination, but rather apprehends it in its nascent state and guides the formative (etheric) forces into the handling of the colours. In between [the two sides] the picture comes into being.

Therefore, I must hold a content in consciousness, before beginning to paint. If I do not do this there is the danger of shifting into mediumistic painting. The task is to raise into consciousness the imaging processes in the depths of the soul, through which the experiences of the soul in the spiritual world express themselves, and make these visible in the sensory world, for example, through colour and form.

translated from the original text by Gerhard Reisch



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