Fable Is Love’s World, Poem By Schiller
“Tis not merely
The human being’s pride that peoples space
With life and mystical predominance,
Since likewise for the stricken heart of Love
This visible nature, and this common world
Is all too narrow; yea, a deeper import
Lurks in the legend told my infant years
That lies upon that truth, we live to learn,
For fable is Love’s world, his home, his birthplace;
Delightedly he dwells ’mong fays and talismans,
And spirits, and delightedly believes
Divinities, being himself divine.
The intelligible forms of ancient poets,
The fair humanities of Old Religion,
The Power, the Beauty, and the Majesty,
That had their haunts in dale or piney mountain,
Or forests by slow stream, or pebbly spring,
Or chasms or wat’ry depths;—all these have vanished.
They live no longer in the faith of Reason,
But still the heart doth need a language; still
Doth the old instinct bring back the old names.”
~ Friederich Schiller: The Piccolomini, Act. ii.”
Pride can be a good thing, but often isn’t. This poem is talking about one of the adverse effects of human pride: it hides the truth from us.
While we love to be individuals, to be unique, we love even more to be part of the group, to be accepted. We don’t like to admit that, but it is true for nearly all of us nonetheless. And fitting in with the group, with our neighbors, our family and friends, means accepting what they believe.
This Common World
The world of matter is what this poet is calling “the common world”. It is common in the sense that it is ordinary. It is also common in the sense that it is a shared experience. But as a shared experience, it must be shared similarly to avoid confusion.
Suppose you are sitting in a movie theater with one hundred other people. You are all watching a movie. You think you are seeing trees and flowers, houses and people, cars and trucks, etc. Actually, however, there is noting on the screen but abstract blobs of color constantly moving and changing. Yet if everyone agrees that at a particular moment what is on the screen is a red and black truck, nobody is the wiser. But if everyone is forming their own idea of what is on the screen, those images will differ greatly. And when people start talking to each other and realize that they are seeing different things, they will begin to figure out the truth. And the “real” world of matter functions much like that movie theater.
The powers that control the realm of matter, both physical and spiritual beings, don’t want us to see beyond the illusions anymore than a stage magician does. So they train us beginning when we are infants to listen to what others see and say and form beliefs. This creates a common view and allows everything to keep moving along smoothly in this realm of illusion. But a common illusion isn’t reality. A shared fantasy is still a fantasy. Continue reading “Human Pride Supports the Great Illusion”