Four Mystery Plays
The Soul's Awakening (Written 1913)
A similar scene
The same characters are still in their places. The lighting is full of warm shades, but not too bright. Toward the right of stage the sylphs keep swaying to and fro (see page 173). In front Philia, Astrid, and Luna.
(Standing on the left of stage near the middle.)
The picture, that in sunshine's hour I saw,
Beamed grace and worked with gentle kindliness;
E'en now within my being it holds sway,
When other wisdom-light illuminates
This spirit-realm with many-coloured rays,
Yet now the picture's influence doth grow.
It bids me draw therefrom, for future times
On earth, that which the soul who stands revealed
Within the picture and hath mighty weight
In mine own sphere, once gave to my sense-life;
Yet doth no powerful current of desire
Direct me to this soul.
(A figure showing all the upper part of the body down to the hips; it has mighty red wings which extend round its head in such a way as to change into a red aura, running into blue on the outer edge; it stands on the left of Capesius' soul, whilst close are the souls of Bellicosus and Torquatus further still to the left of stage, facing audience.)
Wake in thyself
The picture of the Jew who heard naught else
But hate and ridicule on every side,
Yet truly served the mystic brotherhood
Of which thou wast a member once on earth.
Thought-pictures now begin to dawn in me,
And seek to seize me in their powerful grasp.
See Simon's image rise from my soul-waves —
And see, another joins him — some soul-shape —
A penitent; — would I might keep him far!
(Referring to Balde, or Joseph Keane in the previous play.)
That which he here must do can but be done
In cosmic sunshine-time; in solitude
And robed in darkness he must wend his way
Whilst Saturn doth light up this spirit-realm.
How doth this penitent bewilder me!
His soul's irradiations burn and bore
Their way into mine own Soul's inmost core —
So work these souls who have attained the power
To see the inmost depths of other souls.
Felix Balde's Soul:
(From the extreme right of stage with hollow veiled voice.)
‘Dear Keane, thou hast been ever true to me’ —
Myself — my very words — from out his mouth
Re-echoed — ringing out — in spirit-realms!
Here is a soul that I must try to meet.
It knows me well, — through it I'll find myself.
(Capesius' soul disappears; the Other Philia comes into view on the right of stage with Theodora's soul; behind her Dame Balde's soul.)
Two souls do there draw nigh the penitent;
The spirit whom through love souls ever choose
To be their leader goes ahead of them.
The light of meekness pours from one of them
And flows into the other, who appears
To us as penitent. The picture glows
With beauty's light, which here as wisdom lives.
(Figure visible as far as the breast, blue aura, green wings.)
Only desire's reflection dost thou see
Which I allow to shine from my soul's sheath
Into thy sphere in loyal spirit-troth.
Fate's primal forces have appointed me
To be the means to give thee meekness here.
Thus souls in spirit do serve other souls.
Thy cold hard reason never could attain
Life's gift of sympathy without mine aid.
(Figure visible like that of Torquatus' soul, but with blue-violet aura and blue-green wings.)
Make strong thy spirit-ear to understand
What says the soul who rays out meekness' light.
'Neath Saturn's beam souls can be brought to show
This gleam of noble spirit-blessedness.
(Angelic figure white with yellow wings and blue yellow aura.)
My loyal spirit-comrade, pour on him
In softening glow the love that permeates
Thine own soul-sheath, for it will soothe for him
The all-consuming fire of solitude —
And do thou unto him direct thought-rays
From yonder shadow-souls who at this time
Do gather forces in the spirit-worlds,
That their soul-bodies may thus gleam with life,
That so their gleaming, glowing life may serve
To strengthen in forthcoming lives on earth
The sense of growth as progress in men's souls.
Soul: (To Felix.)
Feel me, thou spirit garbed as penitent.
O thou sun-soul, receive the power of stars.
Until thy spirit-sheath doth free itself
From Lucifer's dominion; I shall be
Beside thee in thy solitude to bring
Thee powers, which I shall roam o'er cosmic space
From star to star to gather up for thee.
Past thoughts of earth arise in glowing light
On yonder shore of souls. A human form: —
I saw it when on earth; it follows here;
What once I heard is now re-echoed here;
(Lucifer appears with the soul of Johannes, who has the appearance of an angel. His robes rose-coloured with lilac rose-coloured wings. No feet.)
‘From source divine hath sprung the human soul;
It can in death dive down to nature's depths;
In time it will set spirit free from death.’
The Other Philia:
This sounding living picture-being brings
The force of noble brother-love to us
Which thou didst faithfully display on earth.
I'll change it into soul-power for thy use.
The shadow beings' glimm'ring light receives
The word which I direct into thy soul,
And they in earth life will arouse in thee
The thoughts they brood on through eternity.
And thou, the penitent of spirit-realms,
Direct thy soul-steps onward to the stars;
There nature-spirits long to use thy work
Wherefrom they will beam fantasy to souls
And so will fashion wings for life on earth.
I follow thee, dear sister of my soul,
My Philia, who dost weave love from star
To star and from one spirit to the next.
I follow thee aloft to starry worlds,
I take thy words to many cosmic spheres,
And thus by spirit-work build up myself
For mine own future wanderings on earth.
(Felix Balde's soul disappears slowly, led by Dame Balde's soul; Theodora stands motion-less looking at Johannes' soul, then she also disappears, as does Lucifer with the soul of Johannes.)
That which we just have witnessed in this place,
How love's word works with the creative word
In closest union, doth arouse in us
Germs we shall need in future lives on earth.
(The souls of Romanus, Torquatus, and Bellicosus disappear — Benedictus' soul and Maria's soul appear by the side of the Guardian of the Threshold, who now enters.)
Behold the cosmic midnight of yourselves!
I hold you 'neath the spell of ripened light
Which pours on you from Saturn, till your sheaths,
More strongly waking through this same light's power
Become self-luminous, with living hues.
Doth cosmic midnight come when souls awake?
It was the moon-time, when the sun declared
The earnest word of Fate, that human souls,
Who see their cosmic midnight hour awake,
See lightnings, which with instantaneous flash
Light up the things that are to be, but pass
Again so quickly that the spirit-sight
Dies at the very moment of its birth —
And dying forms a seal of destiny
For ever stamped upon the souls who saw.
Such souls hear too the words of thunder clear
Which dully roll through cosmic fundaments
And threaten soul-illusion as they roll.
(Lucifer reappears with the soul of Johannes.)
From ever empty fields of ice fate's cry
Both reach to us from our dear mystic friend.
When we the cosmic midnight can perceive,
We reach the spirit-circle of the soul.
The flames draw nigh, they draw nigh with my thought
There from my distant cosmic shore of souls;
A fierce strife doth draw nigh; — 'tis mine own thought
Which battles with the thoughts of Lucifer; —
Mine own thought battles in another's soul, —
The hot light issues — out of gloomy cold —
Like lightning flashes. Is this hot soul-light —
This soul-light — in the cosmic fields of ice?
The light thou seest — 'tis my hot cosmic light —
See too the lightning flashes of thy thought
Strike from the bounds of Lucifer's domain.
I bring within the focus of thy gaze
The soul so long and closely bound to thee
When thou dost feel thy cosmic midnight hour.
Henceforth thy search must find another way
To come into communion with this soul.
O soul, who to this place hast followed me,
Display and use the forces of the light Which
Saturn on her cosmic midnight pours.
I can feel souls, but have not yet the power
To make their light grow visible in me.
However close they are they generate
Thoughts which but serve to light me from afar.
How can I raise them to mine inner sight?
Thou wilt see them if thou dost swiftly grasp
What they illumine in the cosmic light;
Shouldst thou behold, use well that moment's space;
Light such as this is quickly gone again.
What yonder guide's soul to his pupil speaks, —
That pupil's soul so near and dear to me, —
Shall now illuminate my soul's domain.
Bring forth within this spirit-midnight hour
The will that thou desir'st to feel again
When earthly forces once more clothe thy form.
Thy words shall prove a light to thy friend's soul.
Let then my words grow strong in cosmic light,
Which at this cosmic midnight I confide
Unto the soul brought me by Lucifer.
Whatever in mine inmost soul is dear
I will behold it and, beholding, speak,
That it may form itself into a tone,
To which this soul shall answer when on earth,
And, loving it, shall live as it commands.
What now do I see in mine inmost soul?
A lofty counsel in flame-letters writ;
My love for that dear guiding-soul flames out,
Who in mine earth — as in my spirit-life
Hath led me on through each successive age;
Who ever found me when mine instant prayer
Sought help in danger, even when it dwelt
On spirit-heights itself; in dazzling light
This love appears to me; sound out from me,
Thou word of love, unto this other soul.
What flames are those this word of love doth wake?
They glow so gently, yet their gentle light
Pours forth a sense of lofty dignity;
By wisdom's lightnings, whence a blessing flows,
The cosmic ether is lit up around —
And bliss comes pouring with attendant joy
O'er all the compass of my soul's domain.
Of thee, Duration, would I crave a boon;
Pour out thyself into this blessedness,
And let my guide and let that other soul
Now dwell therein with me in peacefulness.
Now let the lightnings vanish into naught
Whose sharp flash brings to view necessities
When souls awake and feel the Cosmic North.
Let thunder also lose its roar, which rolls
In warning at the cosmic midnight hour.
Astrid, to thee I give a strict command:
Keep close watch o'er this thunder-storm of souls
Till in the course of time the soul awakes
To find its cosmic midnight once again;
Then shall it see itself in other guise,
E'en in a picture of an olden time,
And know how strength for lofty spirit-flight
E'en from disaster may the soul's wings gain.
A soul may never wish itself to fall;
Yet, when it falls it must a lesson learn.
The lightning's power and thunder's will I guard
And keep them safe within the cosmic life,
Till Saturn turns toward the soul once more.
I feel the blessedness of stars endure;
And in the stream of time I enter it.
I'll live and work within its kindly sway
With this soul-being long since knit to mine.
I will protect thy work in spirit here,
That thou mayst reap the fruits in life on earth.
Within my soul's domain — I see this star!
It pours forth kindness — beams forth blessedness —
In cosmic ether floating — this soul star —
But there-in you faint light — another star
Its note is faint, — yet will I list thereto.
(With the last words appears the spirit of Johannes' youth. Figure like an angel's; silvery sheen.)
The Spirit of
I feed with life the being of thy wish,
My breath will pour into thy youthful aims
Enlightening strength, when worlds are tempting thee
Within which I can guide thee joyfully.
If thou shouldst lose me in thyself, I must
Then offer up myself as sacrifice,
A being reft of being, to the shades.
O blossom of my being, — leave me not.
He never will forsake thee — I behold
Deep in his nature longings after light
Which do not follow up the other soul.
And when the radiance, which is borne of them,
Takes root and grows deep down within his soul,
It must bear fruit; nor will he be content
To throw this fruit away in yonder realm
Where love, divorced from beauty, reigns alone.