I Will

In willing, the soul is a fire. It becomes the world; the world becomes it.

With our ordinary consciousness, we live in a world of forms. We try to grasp our environment in clearly defined contours, in representations that are as limited as possible. Through these forms we locate ourselves, and we feel the threshold between ourselves and the world. Our self-consciousness is awakened by the contours; the more defined the form, the clearer the consciousness.

In our modern age, awareness of form has developed to such an extent that anything that does not have a clearly defined, calculable, or measurable form has lost its status as reality. Form rules. Accounting, contracts, laws, administration, protocols, and mechanics make it possible to outline everything. On an imaginative level, formalization of the world seems like a kind of freezing: what was indistinct and mobile solidifies into a form. In this relationship with the world, I feel transported to a frozen universe.

Pure Activity

However, the world is in motion—it is continuously developing and transforming. If we want to find the origin of this movement and transformation, we must admit that there is something else, before form. There is no form before form. The Big Bang Theory tries, from a certain point of view, to describe the “something” that was in the beginning. Here, we discover “pure activity,” something that has no form but contains undefined and unlimited potential and energy—a power, an impulse for action and revelation.

If we look at nature, we see vibrant life, movement, and constant activity. All these life processes are only possible because there is a source of energy that has preceded them since the beginning and forever flows through them. This source is constantly updated by the star that forms the center of our cosmic system: the sun. The sun is beyond form; it is pure, vibrant energy.

This pure, enormous activity permeates the entire universe and, with it, all matter, nature, and bodies. To everyday consciousness, these realities appear infinitely distant, alien, and even threatening. However, within the confines of my normal consciousness, I can see that the universal energy that is at the origin of the world and permeates the cosmos is not just outside of me. Human beings are not uniquely immobile and rigid in the world. They are constantly changing themselves. They can move, stand up, walk, run, wave, push, pull, lift, make noises, and change the world around them. A part of this original power, this great cosmic energy, is also in me and available to me.

This primal force is a burning, the pure activity of an original fire. It is particularly expressed in the celestial fires, the stars, but also, everywhere where there is movement, transformation, and action, like a fieriness that glows in the world body itself, right down into the human. It’s as if the Big Bang were still present in every single human being. Each person is an individualized piece of the primordial fire.

Journey into Formlessness

The primal fire elicits wariness and awe. In order to discover it in ourselves or in the beings around us, consciousness must develop and leave the world of forms. It must step boldly into the realm of interactions. This is a moving country in which colors, sounds, and smells are no longer tied to forms but instead interpenetrate freely. This world resembles the ancient cosmogonies and mythologies. Here, the path leads beyond the forms to the original force. Here, things penetrate and fructify each other, constantly exchanging qualities, sometimes harmoniously symphonic, sometimes chaotically nightmarish. The consciousness that ventures here senses that this world is not less real, but rather more substantial and closer to the origin.

But we have not yet arrived in the world of pure activity. We must leave all traces of the visible world and immerse ourselves completely in it. Where the primordial energy is, everything is fusion, annihilation of form, pure activity. In pure activity, pure presence, I merge with things, and since I am in them, I have an effect on them, and I can transform them. I fall asleep in things, in an extremely active sleep. I no longer see anything because I am in all things.

In the Land of Dragons

With every action, every gesture, whether external or internal, the human being is, in a certain way, one with the world. Through our will, intentional or not, we merge, consume, and live within the world. Through willing, we either fulfill ourselves or lose ourselves—in a formless world of primal chaos, there are plenty of perils. Chaos is necessary for renewal, creation, and freedom. Through it, everything becomes pure energy again. This place of the beginning of the world is in every soul. This inner fire needs to be nourished, wants to burn, eat, unite, absorb, penetrate, and transform the world.

Dragons are symbols of this original fire. Some dragons slumber in the darkness of the depths, covered in hard, dark scales, and nestled on their treasure. Other dragons are airier, lighter, and more colorful—we know these from Asian imagery. A dragon’s gaze is not a human gaze; it is pre-human. His long, powerful, flaming body expresses the pure activity of the cosmos, a cosmic will. Dragons are not inherently evil, but they can harden and destroy everything. The dark dragon is a dragon that fell at the hands of the selfish forces of the form world. When human consciousness limits itself to the world of forms, it remains distant, external, self-contained, and cut off from the primal force. Then, the fire of will remains trapped within itself.

The fate of the dragons depends on the ability of human consciousness to emancipate itself from the world of form by immersing itself in it, awakened. Then consciousness becomes an opening through which all energies from nature and the cosmos flow. The primal fire that comes towards us from everywhere unites with our own will. The beings begin to penetrate, unite with, and integrate with each other. Nurtured by cosmic forces, the dragon transforms. Every impulse that comes to it from the world becomes its treasure, its nourishment, its communion. It rediscovers its original creative potency. It becomes, once more, a beautiful, light, colorful dragon, blazing and pulsating with its surroundings, a fiery helper to the greatest creations. On the forehead of people whose thinking is inspired by this creative potency, whose consciousness crosses the threshold of the world of form, there appears—like a flame, like a small fiery dragon—a tongue of fire that draws its strength from the origin of the world.

Translation Laura Liska
Illustration The Goetheanum Weekly graphics team

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I Feel

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