We read about Dr. Eban Alexander and his recounting of several visits to heaven. He was amazed and ecstatic at the vividness, infused light, the symphony of sounds and music that seemed to propel all activity. If one listens to his recounting on the noted U-Tube video one can’t help but be carried along with his sharing.
But, what about Johann Wolfgang van Goethe. The words of history tell us that he was a curious man, intellectual and accomplished in many fields such as writing, natural sciences, philosophy, etc. Although he had developed his own life-view, which he shared with his friend Schiller, it was only upon reading Schiller’s essay that he literally “put it all together.” This is when he was inspired to write his fairy tale. How did he react? What were his feelings?
I have portrayed the Old Man With The Lamp from his fairy tale, leaping with joy, his lamp trailing a cascade of colors about him. In his exhumberance (which seems not to be well recorded) did he picture himself as his suddenly imagined characters? Did he plunge from the exuberance of the young prince to the sense of love and balance of Lily?
I will post a copy (in two pages) of the letter he wrote on Oct. 26, 1794 and had carried by messenger to his friend Schiller, in the menu ‘Resources.’ Our modern day minds will find his writing to be formal, understated. It is difficult to grasp the sense of high excitement that he felt on his realization that he could sense his soul-self, his life’s purpose, his place in the physical and the spiritual world.
Our books and videos provide us with a framework of high drama, the storytelling we encounter in daily life on TV is superb. We have to read into this imaginative fairy tale the excitement that Goethe felt, the range of emotions and intellectual clarity that came to him and which prompted this literary work to be conceived and written.