The Invisible Nature Speaks in Visible Forms

... While NASA's grandiose, gigantic, high-tech James Webb Space Telescope looks into the past of our universe, we in the present – watch the cosmos unfold in the meadow

The Invisible Nature Speaks in Visible Forms

– with your own eyes – … and quickly make a drawing. (Maybe the cosmos is a wild carrot.) That the wild carrot is a cosmos is obvious.

It is fascinating that we are able to look ever deeper into the vastness of space. For therein arises the question: Where do we come from? Distances are calculated in light years. Photons for instance, travel at a speed of 300,000 km per second. Unimaginable. The speed of light defines the limits of time. Out there – or ‘in’ there – there exist billions of galaxies, billions of light years away. The oldest, detected by telescope, is estimated at 13.5 billion light years away from us. So just under 500,000 million light years away from the primordial impulse of creation.

As an aside: something in my consciousness resists reducing the mystery of the primordial beginning to a mindless crash-boom-big bang. Besides, could there even be a ‘bang’? At the time there were present neither a space to contain the echo, nor ears to hear it. Rather, there was a deep, creatively mature, rich silence that gave birth to light, and thus to time. “Let there be light” – for the eye; and “In the beginning was the Word” – for the ear, which, after billions of years, had finally developed the ability to see and hear. For in the Light and in the Word are contained sound, spirit and consciousness.

J.W. von Goethe sums it up with the phrase:

If the eye were not sunlike, it could never behold the sun; if God’s own power were not in us, how could we be enchanted by the divine?

‘God’s own power’, could be understood as referring to the consciousness that manifests itself as light and space in time, and awakens to itself in man. To fix the telescope-enhanced gaze longingly towards the origin is a conscious orientation.

The ancient Indian creation myth, according to which the sleeping Vishnu is inhaling and exhaling the universe with every breath, is more representative than a ‘big bang’ image, and according to the current scientific thinking, which considers an expansion and contraction of the universe to be possible, it is also more realistic.

Every breath that brings life is thus an actual new creation within the universe. When I marveled at a temple in India with its mighty tiled roof, a priest revealed to me that the roof was made of as many tiles as a person takes breaths in a day. At about 18 per minute, 1080 per hour, that’s 25,920 breaths a day. That’s how many tiles the roof has, he said. I didn’t count them, but rather took his word. Interestingly, it takes the same number of years for the sun to travel once through the entire zodiac – which is called a Platonic year.

How could it be otherwise than that in the smallest event, the great whole is reflected. For is it not a cosmos into which the telescope looks, and of which it ultimately sees into itself, just like the specialists who made it. As already mentioned: our gaze is inevitably directed into the past. The deeper our gaze penetrates into the universe, means that we do in fact look into the past, and therefore not recognise the cosmic reality as it is at present, but only what happened billions of light years ago.

Suppose the galaxies were to contract again at the speed of light and return to their starting point, then we would not be able to see that. But everything that has ever happened and becomes visible, is stored in the light.

Yet another phenomenon becomes clear here: the special nature of our planet Earth as far as its size is concerned, relative to these gigantic dimensions. In view of these proportions, some misdirectedly compare the earth with a speck of dust. My consciousness does not agree with this comparison of our earth. It is not correct to say that the earth is a mere speck of dust!

If it is small, then let us not use the image of a speck of dust, but rather that of a seed. A tiny seed, yes, like that of a sequoia or a mullein, from which large, living worlds will grow, because the photons – the light – is transformed into condensed energy, into matter. It creates and sustains the outer form and inner being that interpenetrates, complements, wrestles against, and cooperates with each process in manifold ways. So that in all these happenings, which we call growth, the unlimited dimension of light and space is expressed in the limitation and confinement of matter, in the wonderful richness of the species on earth, including of course, we human beings. It is in the small that the large is revealed, or more precisely: the whole.

If you want to enjoy the whole, you must first see the whole through the minutest detail,

said J.W. von Goethe.

In us humans, this cosmic happening consciously comes to itself. In growth, something awakens – namely the creative consciousness as an organ of perception that simultaneously observes, experiences, interprets and shapes the inner and outer processes. Consciousness is incomparably more complex than the fascinating James Webb telescope, but it is also much more self-evident because it has not been projected, constructed or made, but is given and bestowed by nature.

Everything that is naturally given to us and thus becomes self-evident – such as seeing, hearing, and also our consciousness – sooner or later divides into an intellectual, purely rational-mental, conceptual knowledge. The more comprehensive part of our consciousness, in which also the capacity to wonder is located, seeps into the subconscious through a process of repetition and habituation. The unconscious makes up the majority of our existence anyway.

Not only does two-thirds of the universe consist of so-called dark matter and dark energy – dimensions that are accessible neither to the telescope nor the microscope – but so do our bodies. These enormous achievements – such as those of our heart, which pushes about 10,000 litres of blood through the bloodstream every day, and then pulls it back again; or the brain with its countless simultaneous activities in the smallest of spaces, which also coordinate the nerve and muscle activities – would overtax any rational ego-mind beyond measure if it had to organise and execute the body’s needs.

Compared to the breathing processes, maintaining our inner temperature, pressure equalisation and digestive processes, that are all permanently regulated to enable a reasonably balanced state, which we experience as the basis of our existence, the management of traffic by the Federal Railways is amateurish. And we are experiencing just how difficult this is. The unconscious natural processes that organise our lives work without our conscious intervention. They are the result of millions of years of experience and intelligence; goal-oriented processes of formation that make ever more complex organisms and beings possible from a few basic elements. And again Goethe summed it up aptly:

The more perfect the creature becomes, the more dissimilar its parts become.

Just as the speed of light is the limit of time, measurement is the limit of growth. Above a certain amount, MORE becomes less. If you are full, you cannot eat more without doing harm. What does not respect the power of limits (Doczi) proliferates into excess and dissolves spirit-related quality into unbounded mass, which ultimately destroys its own basis.

Where the unlimited energy expresses itself in the limited and limiting matter, the manifold forms of nature emerge, in which – in harmonious proportions – unity reveals itself in beauty. Beauty is the appearance of the infinite in finite form. That is also where art has its workshop.

If you want to recognise the invisible, you must penetrate as deeply as possible into the visible


– this was the motto of a seminar in drawing that I held in the Rosicrucian conference in Bad Münder, Germany which took place in connection with a conference on the Art of Living. The instruments for this penetration and exploration of the visible were initially a plain blank sheet and a pencil.

In drawing nature, things that seem so self-evident and are easy to grasp conceptually must be translated visually. Such drawing cannot be a mindless automatum, but should become the translation of the visible into a process of cognition. In the process, things change. From the model they become a symbol via the image, the symbol of an enigma that hides behind a mirror wall of interpretation and habituation and that can make contact with us. For nature is on the lookout for eyes that see it. Through drawing, the shapes of nature are recognised like a visual score, written by an ingenious creator. The hand then uses simple instruments, such as the pencil, to play out and interpret as faithfully as possible what the sense of sight encounters in the light – the unheard-of.

Then I forget the old dramatic mimesis discussion about appearance and reality.

Forget that everything is said to be only illusion, deception, vainity and a grab for the wind.
Forget that everything is said to be just a meaningless coincidence that can be reduced to a dozen particles, and that everything else is our interpretation, because we cannot bear to exist in a random, godless and purposeless existence.
Forget that in some religions there would be extra hells for artists who heretically dare to create.
Forget that modern art has long since successfully overcome naturalism.
Forget that beauty and nature are being abused and destroyed for the insatiable greed of egomaniacal interests.
Forget that they are trivialised into a backdrop to create needs for products that no one needs … forget, forget, forget.

I see the divine manifestation, the invisible in the visible and draw what I see. Only that. And I experience, happening by itself: blissful, nourishing, meaningful joy. Prayer. Praise. Gratitude. And then there is a fall … a flight – out into the innermost.

By going into the depths of the appearance like a telescope and exploring the form, colour, rhythms and structures of the shape with microscopic precision, the inquiring sense penetrates beyond the visible to the origin. A new creative perception opens up – from within. It recognises the pure vitality in the all, in everything that is a multiform whole – and reveals the cosmos in a wild carrot by the wayside.

When human consciousness connects with divine consciousness, a fusion between time and the eternal present occurs. However, not only in such a way that the temporal, individual drop – finally released from the karmic felt – then blissfully dissolves in the infinite Nirvanic ocean, but also in such a way that the entire ocean consciously reveals itself in each individual drop.

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Date: June 14, 2023
Author: Alfred Bast (Germany)
Photo: on Pixabay CCO

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