Tale of the Brothers Grimm translated by M. Hunt 
Interpretation by Undine & Jens in green 
There was once an enchantress, who had three sons who loved each other as brothers, but the old woman did not trust them, and thought they wanted to steal her power from her. So she changed the eldest into an eagle, which was forced to dwell in the rocky mountains, and was often seen sweeping in great circles in the sky. The second, she changed into a whale, which lived in the deep sea, and all that was seen of it was that it sometimes spouted up a great jet of water in the air. Each of them only bore his human form for two hours daily. The third son, who was afraid she might change him into a raging wild beast a bear perhaps, or a wolf, went secretly away. He had heard that a King’s daughter who was bewitched, was imprisoned in the Castle of the Golden Sun, and was waiting for deliverance. Those, however, who tried to free her risked their lives; three-and-twenty youths had already died a miserable death, and now only one other might make the attempt, after which no more must come. And as his heart was without fear, he caught at the idea of seeking out the Castle of the Golden Sun.
We would first like to try to look at this fairy tale from a psychological point of view in the simplest possible terms. As a framework, you could imagine three brothers who love each other but are a few years apart. At some point, the youngest of them realizes how his older brothers transform strangely and are often very different from how he sees himself. The eldest may already live in an intellectual world that the younger can no longer follow and appears like an eagle on an inaccessible rock. The middle one may live in a bubbling world of emotions that the youngest can no longer understand, and appears as mighty as a whale in the unfathomable depths of the sea. Only now and then, they are the way he sees himself. Then they can talk or play again as they used to. But mostly the older brothers seem to him as if enchanted by a higher power. Perhaps he also sees that they are not always happy, or fears that he will develop in a similar way, or becomes aware of a challenge that he would rather escape. Perhaps he even feels betrayed by his mother for bringing up his brothers in such a way that they became strangers to him. Perhaps he is also aware of his growing ego that often behaves like a wild predator, unfolds greed that he cannot control, and thus even hurts other people he does not want to hurt at all. Perhaps he even begins to fear this uncontrollable animal inside, which he is increasingly aware of, and seeks to flee. And where does a child escape to? Perhaps in a wonderful magical world of imagination. He might slip into the role of a great hero who becomes king in a golden castle, who wins complete rule and has no more worries. He wishes to get away from his worried world to the golden sun, where there are no more dark clouds. He may have already heard a fairy tale about such a king that his own mother may even told him. That is good, because now the child takes courage and dares his life to go this way, to redeem the soul in the form of a beautiful princess and to free himself from all worries. In the same way that the child has learned about the path to the golden castle, he learns everything that he could encounter on this path in the following fairy tale and how he should deal with it. It is a path, typical of the old fairy tales, that can extend throughout life and the most important thing is that the child begins to walk:
He had already travelled about for a long time without being able to find it, when he came by chance into a great forest, and did not know the way out of it. All at once he saw in the distance two giants, who made a sign to him with their hands, and when he came to them they said, “We are quarrelling about a cap, and which of us it is to belong to, and as we are equally strong, neither of us can get the better of the other. The small men are cleverer than we are, so we will leave the decision to thee.” “How can you dispute about an old cap?” said the youth. “Thou dost not know what properties it has! It is a wishing-cap; whosoever puts it on, can wish himself away wherever he likes, and in an instant he will be there.” “Give me the cap,” said the youth, “I will go a short distance off, and when I call you, you must run a race, and the cap shall belong to the one who gets first to me.” He put it on and went away, and thought of the King’s daughter, forgot the giants, and walked continually onward. At length he sighed from the very bottom of his heart, and cried, “Ah, if I were but at the Castle of the Golden Sun,” and hardly had the words passed his lips than he was standing on a high mountain before the gate of the castle.
So, he initially wanders through the big world and cannot find the path he heard about in the fairy tale. In the case of a child, this is primarily the inner world, which adults refer to as the “fantasy world”. This world is completely normal for a child, and so here, he may meet his own brothers in the form of two giants, who first magically attract him. One could speak of intellect and feeling, arguing among themselves about who should be in charge (in German: who should wear the hat). A being that we call the ego usually rises above them and spontaneously takes the hat and thus dominion over our desires. If mind and feeling quarrel, the ego does not care. Why? It only wants to go to the castle of the golden sun, where great luck beckons.
He entered and went through all the rooms, until in the last he found the King’s daughter. But how shocked he was when he saw her. She had an ashen-gray face full of wrinkles, blear eyes, and red hair. “Are you the King’s daughter, whose beauty the whole world praises?” cried he. “Ah,” she answered, “this is not my form; human eyes can only see me in this state of ugliness, but that thou mayst know what I am like, look in the mirror it does not let itself be misled it will show thee my image as it is in truth.” She gave him the mirror in his hand, and he saw therein the likeness of the most beautiful maiden on earth, and saw, too, how the tears were rolling down her cheeks with grief. Then said he, “How canst thou be set free? I fear no danger.” She said, “He who gets the crystal ball, and holds it before the enchanter, will destroy his power with it, and I shall resume my true shape. Ah,” she added, “so many have already gone to meet death for this, and thou art so young; I grieve that thou shouldst encounter such great danger.” “Nothing can keep me from doing it,” said he, “but tell me what I must do.” “Thou shalt know everything,” said the King’s daughter; “when thou descendest the mountain on which the castle stands, a wild bull will stand below by a spring, and thou must fight with it, and if thou hast the luck to kill it, a fiery bird will spring out of it, which bears in its body a burning egg, and in the egg the crystal ball lies like a yolk. The bird will not, however, let the egg fall until forced to do so, and if it falls on the ground, it will flame up and burn everything that is near, and melt even ice itself, and with it the crystal ball, and then all thy trouble will have been in vain.”
What does the little ego find in this big castle? It walks impatiently through all the rooms and is seriously disappointed in the end by what it sees here. Well, what does a person find when he looks inside himself? First of all, a lot of pictures, views and experiences. They are not always beautiful, even if that is the big desire of the little ego.
Let us first try to look at this section at the child-rearing level. Who is the child’s most important mirror here? The people in his surroundings and, above all, of course, the parents. If they could show the child the beauty of a pure soul through their own being, then we could save ourselves almost any education. Which child would then not highly motivated follow his parents path? That would be the ideal case of bringing up children, namely through an authentic example. Of course, this assumes that the parents have already successfully followed this path. Well, such a path is outlined in this fairy tale. It is the famous fight with the stubborn ox or fire-breathing dragon, so to speak, with the wild animal in us that has to be defeated. One recognizes this animal in us above all by desire, hatred and egoism, which overwhelm us with irrepressible passion. All parents know this common struggle, outwardly with their children and inwardly with themselves.
However, the great thing about this fairy tale lies in the second message: you should kill the animal in this fight, but not the fertile and creative life. If the child loses this liveliness, then all educational effort was in vain. That is the great danger, and many youngsters have really died from it. This was a big problem, especially in the past, when the upbringing was much harder and more consistent and some children were really suffocated and became a dead machine. We are afraid of this hardness today, so we have taken a step back and prefer to let the animal grow in order to preserve fertile life. Nevertheless, the values that we pass on to the children are very alarming. One wonders whether, with this step, we are not back at the beginning of the fairy tale, when the mother charmed her own children into animals because she did not want to restrain or restrict herself. Are we not becoming more and more animal on this path and even boast of being animals? - Limelight hog, barracuda, work horse, hamster in the wheel, cheeky monkey, party animal, booze hound, alley cat… (The German list is even longer…) Alcohol, drugs, sex and violence! - Are these our modern human values that we pass on to our children? Will our children and grandchildren soon ask; “Why did you turn us into animals? We wanted to become reasonable people...”
Oh dear, that was probably not the way to the castle of the golden sun. One can also think about a marriage relationship in a similar way. Here, too, it often happens that the expected beauty and love turn into ugly transience, and bull and cow become two raging bulls that passionately clash. Even two stubborn oxen are difficult to harness to a wagon. They argue, everyone has his own way and tries to control the other without ever having learned to control himself. Then the initial fire of love quickly turns into a fire of passion and threatens to burn up all married life. This is called a dead marriage, after all. The main reason, of course, is that none of the partners managed to defeat the wild animal within himself. Without this victory, however, there can be no true love...
So we have to take a step back and examine an even deeper level of the fairy tale that takes place within us alone. The princess or soul speaks, “The eyes of people can only see me in this ugliness.” Where does the ugly in the world come from? - We usually believe that we see the pure truth with our eyes. Perhaps it would be better to speak of “effects” here, because what our senses “perceive” are primarily effects. If we could see the cause to the true source through the effects, then we could perhaps speak of truth. Usually we only look at the surface and see the fading and constantly changing. And what is uglier than a withered flower or a withered beauty? - Oh, if we could only take a real look at the inner being of the creatures, then we would no longer allow ourselves to be seduced by superficial beauties that have to turn again and again into ugly and painful things. If someone were to hand us a mirror in order to recognize the pure beauty of our soul, then a higher love would immediately awaken with the big question: How can I redeem the soul from this ugly transience? What should I do?
The soul itself can whisper the answer to us. However, death threatens here! Why did so many young men have to die? Yes, it really takes a lot of courage. Perhaps young people and children in particular have a lot more courage for this path than adults because they have much less to lose. An adult has perhaps to become a child again in order to even hear the soft voice of the soul that speaks to us and explains the way to her salvation. What is she explaining? Perhaps one could interpret it this way: we must first go down into the depths to the source of life. There the great fight with the wild animal awaits us. But now it gets exciting: If the animal dies, then the whole life burns, and a mighty, flaming fire bird rises into the air and carries the fertile life away forever, symbolized as a glowing egg. However, it is precisely in living things that the key to redemption for the soul lies. So the big question arises: How could one manage to keep this life on earth and not burn up in fire? And that is a really big question: How can you free the soul from the ugly transience of the world and at the same time preserve the fruitful and creative life?
This essence of life, the yellow egg yolk, so to speak, the incomparable sun jewel, the crystal ball in which the whole world is reflected, is therefore the great key with which enchanter and enchantress lose their power of illusion, the spirit is purified and the soul redeemed. Wow!
The youth went down to the spring, where the bull snorted and bellowed at him. After a long struggle he plunged his sword in the animal’s body, and it fell down. Instantly a fiery bird arose from it, and was about to fly away, but the young man’s brother, the eagle, who was passing between the clouds, swooped down, hunted it away to the sea, and struck it with his beak until, in its extremity, it let the egg fall. The egg did not, however, fall into the sea, but on a fisherman’s hut which stood on the shore and the hut began at once to smoke and was about to break out in flames. Then arose in the sea waves as high as a house, they streamed over the hut, and subdued the fire. The other brother, the whale, had come swimming to them, and had driven the water up on high. When the fire was extinguished, the youth sought for the egg and happily found it; it was not yet melted, but the shell was broken by being so suddenly cooled with the water, and he could take out the crystal ball unhurt.
So now begins the struggle that takes place more or less consciously in all of us. This section can also be seen from the perspective of bringing up children. Everyone here knows the problem of the “stubborn ox”. However, this is not yet the big ox at the source, but many small ones, similar to the many heads of the dragon, which grow back repeatedly. But the principle of the struggle is similar. One should be aware that every child internally goes through this struggle more or less successfully. The parenting question is, what is the best way to help the child in this struggle? Here we meet the two brothers again in the fairy tale, who intervene in the event of their own accord and ensure that the fire does not burn everything: the reasonable understanding limits the fire, and loving feelings extinguish it. Wonderful symbolism! Understanding and feeling are certainly crucial tools in raising children. It is important to find a middle way. Sometimes it says: “If you don’t want to hear, you have to feel!” And sometimes: “If you don’t want to feel, you have to hear!”
In addition, of course, there is the great struggle that takes place within ourselves at the source of life, which one must first find. This is probably about the highest victory that humans can achieve, namely not only to restrain the animal, but to kill it and still preserve the fertile and creative life. The famous sword, which kills and brings to life at the same time, is used for this purpose. The understanding serves this purpose, which should rise to reason as the great king, together with the feeling, which rises from compassion to pure love, which knows no more egoism. The physical or material shell of life crumbles, the true being becomes visible, and the spirit recognizes the mystical crystal ball in which the whole world is reflected.
When the youth went to the enchanter and held it before him, the latter said, “My power is destroyed, and from this time forth thou art the King of the Castle of the Golden Sun. With this canst thou likewise give back to thy brothers their human form.” Then the youth hastened to the King’s daughter, and when he entered the room, she was standing there in the full splendour of her beauty, and joyfully they exchanged rings with each other.
You may have wondered why the brothers had no father and the princess no mother. This is certainly not about today’s “gender mania”. We suspect that this emphasizes symbolic polarities in this fairy tale, so that the sorceress enchants the brothers and the magician the princess. Accordingly, nature enchants the mind, and the mind enchants nature. This is the eternal dance in the cosmos, which is symbolized with the polarities of male and female or, in Chinese, yin and yang. And the fairy tale could tell us: when the mind is purified through knowledge, then the power of illusion disappears that enchants us, the illusory ego dies, pure reason becomes king and pure soul becomes queen, and everything shines in perfect beauty. The ring of true love unites the feminine and the masculine, yin and yang, which has only been separated outwardly in different forms and terms by the power of illusion. There is this wonderful symbol of Yin and Yang, how polarity becomes a living, flowing wave and the wave becomes a circle. And as soon as one can look through the superficial shell of our physicality, this circle becomes a crystal ball in which one recognizes the essence of life.
A fairy tale? Certainly, it sounds very different from the formulas of classical science, psychology or the principles of the market economy. This is about ancient ways that were even told as folk tales by the common people and therefore kept alive. They have become very strange to us today, although there has been scientifically proofed quantum physics for almost a hundred years that confirms something similar. But the materialistic-egoistic view of the world has become so hardened that the very idea of living without an ego is completely absurd for many people. And to look for a living happiness in egolessness seems even more absurd.
Our ego, oddly enough, bears a great resemblance to what we call “money”. We think: without money we cannot exist, without money there is no life. And the more money, the more life and the more wishes “I” can fulfil. Yet, there are only printed papers or shaped metal. However, because most people believe in it, it becomes the truth. A very questionable truth, and sometimes it resembles a spiritual liberation if one has the courage to simply burn such a paper, which usually makes us slaves...
So much for this wonderful magical fairy tale full of concentrated symbolism, which the Brothers Grimm claim to have taken from another fairy tale and apparently processed it from a psychological point of view with their excellent experience. A similar plot can also be found in the “Chronik der drei Schwestern” by Johann Karl August Musäus (Chronicle of the three sisters), from which the fairy tale “The Three Sisters” by the Brothers Grimm arose in a similar way.
With this we have tried to interpret some levels of this fairy tale. In order to investigate the intellectual or spiritual level even more deeply, we want to turn to the original, which was published in 1844 in the book “Hundert neue Mährchen im (Riesen) Gebirge gesammelt von Friedmund von Arnim” (Hundred new fairy tales in the Giant Mountains collected by…). The original has a second part that contributes significantly to understanding. In addition, it is written short and crisp and resembles the style of the old Zen masters, who used their words like thunderbolts, according to the motto: “Brevity is the soul of wit!” Not an easy challenge, but take courage, we want to try...
There was a mother, who had three sons. She had cursed the first to be an eagle king who had to be an eagle for 22 hours and a human for 2 hours every day. She had cursed the second to be a fish king, again 22 hours of fish, 2 hours of human. The third had gone away, so as not to be cursed by his mother, and had heard stories from the Castle of the Golden Sun that there was a princess there who could be redeemed; that already 23 found their death there, and that a field would still be open for the 24th.
This fairy tale starts again with the three brothers who, as male beings, are reminiscent of the spirit of the animals of air, water and earth. So it is obvious, that the third and youngest brother should be cursed into a bear as the king of the earth animals which the Brothers Grimm later added. It is astonishing that the close relationship with humans was already recognized in all animals, so that they only took on their animal form and nature for a certain time due to a magic or an illusion of the great Mother Nature. This is of course an extremely comprehensive view of the human being, which not only unites the three brothers with one another, but also the human being with all animals, even if man likes to think of himself as something special. In addition, the fairy tale means: He could even be something special if he does not allow himself to be cursed by nature to be the king of the earth animals, but goes a special way instead, as outlined here in the fairy tale, to redeem the soul from the illusion.
Well, right at the beginning we find two basic spiritual principles. The first unites all beings with one another, which is what the blood relationship of the brothers stands for who were born of a common mother. You could call it a universal intelligence that connects all creatures. Those who were aware of this and expanded their consciousness accordingly could speak to animals and plants and even to rivers and stones. The second principle separates living beings, just as the brothers are separated. Here we find the I-consciousness, which can harden down to the ego and is embodied above all in the animal attributes of desire and hate. With this, we recognize ourselves as separate individuals. How does that happen? The fairy tale speaks of “cursed” (in German: verwünschen, wünschen = to wish). Well, maybe we just wish the wrong thing, so that insatiable desires make us despotic kings on earth who cannot, indeed, do not even want to control their animal instincts. This has a lot to do with illusion, of course, and so the Grimm version of the fairy tale above speaks of an enchantress. Of course, there is probably nothing that can enchant us more than nature, but we only “curse” ourselves.
There are also two mystical number games (22 and 2) by which one could first understand the two hours of twilight between day and night. In the past, twilight was often a mystical time, when opposites meet, so to speak, and the spirit can come to life. Accordingly, they were used for rituals and prayers. One can also think of the famous “witching hour” at midnight. This seemingly small space between the opposites, where the spirit particularly unfolds, will be mentioned several times in this fairy tale.
The 24 fields of the soul could mean a development cycle similar to a 24-hour day, on which the previous 23 levels of birth and death were marked, but now the time for something higher is ripe. Such cycles were normal in ancient cultures, because they could be found everywhere in nature: in the course of the sun, the moon, the stars and the seasons as well as in birth and death, blooming and withering, or happiness and suffering. Everything took place in cycles, including intellectual development. There is always a field open in this cycle, which is already symbolized by the famous Zen circle, the figurehead of Zen Buddhism, so to speak:
And of course, all the previous stages somehow meet death as long as one remains trapped in this “hamster wheel” of the outer world and searches for one’s own soul in the perishable. The main aim of the spiritual path to salvation is to overcome the worldly attachment to loss and death.
So he travelled along and came into a large forest, got lost in it and as he looked around he saw two giants standing, they waved to him. When he approached them, the two quarrelled over a hat. Then the giants said to him that they were all equally strong and that they couldn’t agree who should get the hat, he should decide that. He has the hat given to him and says to them: He would go a little further away; then they should come running to him: whoever came first should get the hat. But they had told him it was a wishing hat; if you put it on, you could go where you wanted to go. As he ran on and on without calling the giant, all of a sudden he put on the hat and wished himself at the castle of the golden sun.
The large forest is a common symbol of our world of names and shapes in which we usually get lost. Here we meet, so to speak, the great opposites of nature, which you can imagine as giants fighting against each other, such as day and night, fire and water, life and death, understanding and emotion or happiness and suffering. Like the poles of a battery, they are equally strong and support the order of the world within narrow limits. We usually cling to these opposites with greed and hatred. It is said, that between these opposites there is a small space where the spirit can come to life and fulfil its desires. Let us think of the gigantic contrast between our extremely hot sun and the extreme cold of space. In between there is a tiny little zone where our way of life is possible. And the tolerated range of our body temperature is even smaller. Accordingly, there are also many sensitive balances on earth that are necessary so that we can live within relatively narrow natural boundaries. This natural space of our human existence appears tiny and narrow compared to the gigantic extremes and expanses of the universe. Even our earth is just an unremarkable speck of dust, and we live on its surface.
By the way we currently live, this living space, which one could also call a feel-good area or comfort zone, is becoming very small and the natural balance more and more fragile. We are evermore locking ourselves into tight artificial shells in order to defend ourselves against a nature that appears more and more hostile because we make it so through our materialistic-egoistic point of view. Many people already live practically like potted plants in an artificial environment with a scientifically worked out plan for watering, fertilizing, topping, harvesting and finally disposing. To this end, an economically oriented science together with an economically oriented health system should help us, which are more and more turning into a blind dictatorship, because money makes blind. In this way, we are separating ourselves further and further from a sensible, natural life, and will soon only be able to exist artificially cared for as “indoor plants” or “flower pots” in sterile rooms in order to protect ourselves from a hostile nature that we made to a threatening enemy through our own thoughts and actions. May we slowly begin to expand our narrow consciousness again and look beyond the edge of the material pot.
Perhaps this is the meaning of the wishing hat found among the giants, which through its symbolism already has a close connection to our head with thinking. What we need dead machines for today, such as cars, airplanes or rockets, people used to be able to achieve with their mind or consciousness alone. And the further one reconciles these great contrasts of nature, the more one can rise spiritually from them, the closer one comes to the “Castle of the Golden Sun”. This way beyond opposites also reminds us of the “middle way” much talked about in Buddhism:
The highest truth is not difficult.
Indeed; it leaves no choice between two things...
Don’t stay with opposing thoughts.
Beware of looking for them...
At once cast aside the parts and the opposites,
Every advantage and every disadvantage...
Who retains only a touch of the opposite,
His mind remains confused ...
(The Sutra of Seng-Tsan)
This path beyond contrasts can lead to the “Castle of the Golden Sun”, a wonderful symbolism that one can think about for a long time. We already know the gold as a symbol of truth, the radiant sun as pure energy or a spirit unifying everything, and a castle is something that requires a key to get into. Who lives in this castle? It is said, that the pure soul lives there, the highest thing we can find in the world and which all beings are looking for, the essence of our life.
When he got there, he looked at the princess, but she looked very bad. He said to her, “If I had known that you looked so dreadful, I would not have come here at all.” But she got a mirror so that he could look in it and he would know how beautiful she would be if she were saved.
This experience is not unusual. We often face the ugly through the transience of nature in the form of loss, old age, illness and death. Just think of a bunch of flowers that have faded and that we throw in the garbage because it no longer looks pretty. If we could be able to see the beauty in the withered blossom, in the fruit and in the seed, then we would have a much deeper worldview. We would chase less after perishable things, impermanence would lose power and maybe even death.
A monk asked, “What if the tree withers and the leaves fall?”
The master spoke, “Perfect manifestation of the golden wind.”
(Yün-men (864-949), Zen Master)
Also mentally, many people who at some point look inside see a lot of ugliness. It used to be spoken of as a dark soul defiled by sin. These are the mountains of garbage that we accumulate and never recycle, not only externally in nature, but also internally. This is probably also the reason why we prefer to focus on beautiful external things. Nobody wants to look at this horrible thing inside. Especially these days we see no point in cleaning here. Because we no longer know anything about the actual beauty of the soul, we don’t even suspect it and even deny that there is a soul at all. So why should we clean up inside? It’s enough if we’re fine on the outside. Our catalogues are full of beautiful pictures of things we are meant to desire and buy. Modern art counteracts this and loves the terrible. This is certainly no coincidence, because it already reflects our inner being. Who still shows us the beauty of the soul in pure harmony? Where are the painters with the magic mirror? They say, just one look at the pure soul and we are in love forever. And that’s a whole different kind of love than we’re used to. Then you also go completely different ways than we usually go:
So, he said when he looked inside, “That’s good! What’s my job?” - “There’s an ox down by the spring,” said the princess: he would have to kill it first. If the ox were dead, he should be careful. A fiery bird would fly away, carrying a glowing egg; if the bird were greatly distressed, it would drop the egg, and where it fell everything would be burned until the egg had melted and could no longer be found. But there was a ball in the egg, if he could get it, it would satisfy the spirit that is now holding her in chains. She would be redeemed and he would be king of the palace of the golden sun.
Wow, awesome symbolism! We want to try it. First, a spring is mentioned. That must be something important, and so we would assume the source of life here, the origin where our person arises. Even this search can be a long way, because we usually look for the solution to our problems somewhere outside. It is even more astonishing that we find an ox here inside the spring. We already know the ox as a symbol from the fairy tale “Doctor Knowall” for the I-will that pulls the chariot of life on which we load our life story. This also includes the mountains of rubbish mentioned above, for which the symbol of firewood is often used. But in this fairy tale there is only a single ox, so to speak “All in One”, which should be killed.
What do we usually mean when we say: You’re as stubborn as an ox!? It’s probably about this stubborn self-will, which we also call “ego”, so to speak, the wild and greedy animal in us. At least this ego is an important basis of our person, and it was known in the past: whoever defeats this ego can free the soul.
My sins and lacks disappear with my I.
(Ikkyu (1394-1481), Zen Master)
The battle against the ego is a complicated subject, however. The big question is who is fighting whom here? Moreover, with what weapons? As long as “I” fight with the ego, the ego fights with itself and is like an athlete on the way to becoming an “Iron Man” who only gets stronger through training and competition. Therefore, you need some other force beyond “I”. And this is where common sense usually comes in, which one needs and develops already in the search for the source. One could defeat the ego with reason. This sounds simple at first, but the ego is not like a louse you can easily scrape off your head, but a tremendous mountain of energy that we have personally accumulated in life, the mentioned truckload of firewood, so to speak: all sins and merits, what is called the Karma Mountain in India. This mighty, unpredictable and explosive energy is symbolized by the wild bull or, in a more tamed form, the ox. And, this energy cannot simply be lost, as we know from physics and the the famous law of conservation of energy.
What now? A common idea is to burn up this karma like a mountain of wood. Can you imagine that? Then with the dying ox, a huge fire rises like a bird in the sky. This fire carries with it the seed of life along with karma. Even if this seed were to fall again on fertile soil, it will no longer germinate but will be completely burned up. So there is no longer any rebirth, as one used to imagine the continuation of one’s own life. That would be the end of the prince, a kind of suicide and actually no salvation, because there is still a problem: the princess in the castle of the golden sun remains unredeemed. - Very interesting, because this is how the ego usually imagines its salvation: “I am redeemed! What does the world have to do with me any longer?” That is of course a very narrow-minded idea of salvation or great liberation from worldly constraints, at least not in the sense of our princess.
Our fairy tale asks the really big question: How can one burn off karma and at the same time preserve the fruitful and creative life, in order to free the soul in the castle of the golden sun?
And, what does “to satisfy the spirit that now binds the soul” mean? This is obviously not about any material or technological achievements, but about a spiritual realization that leads to peace. The fairy tale describes this path in brilliant brevity. But, today we have a hard time with the symbolism, because the nature of a stubborn ox or a living fire is no longer part of our everyday experience that has passed over into flesh and blood. Cars, tractors, electric stoves and district heating have a different nature. Above all, we can hardly understand the deep meaning of a blazing fire today. For things, that burn in the fire change their essence. Today we speak of dead energy, but in the past people also thought of spiritual and living forces. Accordingly, the sacrificial fire had an important meaning, whereby the being could rise from the solid and heavy earth into the spiritual realms of the wide and light sky. That is why the dead were cremated so that their spirit or soul could rise and the bodily remains could return as ashes to the elements of earth and water. Fire was an important element of purification. And just as one sacrificed various fruits in the fire externally, one could also burn up karma (the accumulated fruits of deeds) internally. This process was probably known in all cultures, only today we hardly care about it.
So, this is not about a trigger-happy prince sportingly hunting to kill some wild animal, but about the greatest sacrifice that a human being can make, namely one’s own ego with all personal belongings. That’s just fair: Because only those who give everything can achieve everything:
He did as the princess told him and killed the ox. But when the fiery bird was about to fly away, his brother the eagle came and struck the bird with his beak, so that the bird dropped the egg. That just fell into a fisherman’s hut near a water, because the eagle had just urged the bird towards the water. The hut was about to catch fire, and there was already a strong smell of it, but Brother Whale came to the rescue and spat out wave after wave over it, so that the egg cooled and could no longer burn. However, the rapid cooling had made the thick shell very brittle, so that he could easily remove the ball. He brought it to the spirit; the princess was redeemed, and he was now king of the Castle of the Golden Sun.
Now the question is how to preserve productive and creative life in this process of burning. This is where the two brothers come into play. That is a very important message on the spiritual path: one must never lose touch with the whole. This is the only way to prevent the fire of purification from burning everything and the spiritual path to liberation ending in nothing. Just as the saying goes, (don’t) throw the baby out with the bath water.
Similarly, it is related in the Samyutta Nikaya of the Buddha, that at the very moment, when he attained enlightenment and salvation and was about to withdraw completely from the world, God Brahma appeared before him, bowed down and asked him to continue to work in the world and to spread the sacred doctrine for the good of the world and all beings. Accordingly, in Buddhism, everything meritorious is dedicated with prayers such as, “Through this wholesome thing, may I quickly attain the Buddha state; and may I then lead all living beings to the same state.” (The Seven Branches)
This connection with all is brilliantly illustrated here in the play of the elements, with the fire of annihilation limited by the wind element from above and the water element from below, to preserve the fisherman’s hut on earth, which is maybe a symbol of our physicality. From the point of view of spiritual principles, the eagle and the whale come to our aid here. The eagle then stands for the universal intelligence with pure reason, which limits the burning I-consciousness at the top, and the whale for the feeling with the pure compassion of true love, with which the fire is extinguished from below. This could burn the wild animal in us, the ego with all its karma, and at the same time, life between pure reason and true love in the form of a higher self-existence could be preserved. While the ordinary “I” is a separating principle closely related to the opposing thoughts, the higher “I” is a unifying principle corresponding to a universal intelligence, reason or wisdom and recognizing itself as a whole. This higher “I” probably also meant Jesus when he said: “I am the way, the truth and the life.”
In Buddhism, one would speak of wisdom and compassion in relation to the eagle and whale, which one should develop and never lose on the spiritual path to salvation. This is the only way to avoid falling into the extremes of nihilism or eternalism, i.e. into absolute non-being or absolute being. This is the famous “Middle Way” on which the fertile and creative life is preserved, and the egg as a symbol of our fertility does not burn. On the contrary, the hard shell of matter breaks and reveals the inner being. This is very important, because the core of life is hidden here, so to speak, the essence of life, our inner golden sun that illuminates us. When one brings this knowledge or enlightenment to the spirit, not only theoretically but also livingly, the purified spirit can also redeem the soul from ugly impermanence. With that, we become the king of the Castle of the Golden Sun, and that is the mystical marriage of soul, spirit and nature, their unity and the great redemption and liberation.
Of course, this is about a completely different kind of freedom than we usually imagine when we talk about emancipation, for example, where the husband separates from his wife or the wife from her husband and families break up because the ego desires unlimited freedom. However, this is not freedom, but passionate self-indulgence. Here ego triumphs over reason and not reason over ego.
Taming this stubborn and highly powerful ox, bull, or buffalo has always been a great challenge. Just think of the ox images of Zen Buddhism, which we want to talk about briefly at the end, or the bull of heaven in the epic of Gilgamesh. The notorious bullfights in Spain are also an outward expression of this. In Indian mysticism, the bull even serves as a mount for the gods, such as the white bull of Shiva, the god of dissolution, or the black bull of Yama, the god of death. Accordingly, the ox also plays a central role in old fables, such as in the Panchatantra. Even the Sanskrit term yoga, which is on everyone’s lips today, means something like “to yoke” and points to the stubborn ox that has to be tamed on this path.
How long or difficult is the path? Some speak of blissful victory within an hour, some of thousands of lives and terrible hells. It certainly depends on how far you have already gone, and experience has shown that it doesn’t feel good when the ego is attacked or even hurt. It is important that you go in the right direction step by step. Too much impatience or desire is inappropriate here.
The little snail;
very slowly it climbs up
to the great mountain Fujiyama.
(Kobayashi Issa, 1763 - 1828)
Because as long as the passionate ego tries to tame or even defeat the bull, the bull may die, but probably only of laughter. That is why this fairy tale goes even further and explains a few fundamental problems and hints for the path that has been shown so brilliantly and simply up to now, with similarly mystical and compact symbolism.
But he had to promise her that he would not take her away into other company. Once he boasted after all, when he had wished himself alone in a company, and said that he had the queen of the Castle of the Golden Sun. Nobody wanted to believe him. To prove it, he promised to be there with her in half an hour and did so. But the princess was offended that he acted contrary to his promise in a moment. So, when she had to walk in the garden and he fell asleep, she was gone with the wishing hat. When he awoke, there stood a pair of iron shoes with the words: “You will no more be called king of the Castle of the Golden Sun than you will wear off the iron shoes.”
This immediately addresses the greatest problem of the mystical knowledge of truth. Why hasn’t anyone written down this supreme knowledge about the essence of life clearly and distinctly or carved it in stone? Neither Jesus nor Buddha did it. Their teachings were not crystallized and written down until many years or generations later. They only spoke about it accordingly to the respective understanding of the audience and pointed the way. Buddha repeatedly emphasized that the soul cannot be grasped as an object, for it does exist and does not exist.
This is the great mystery.
You exist and yet you don’t exist.
(Shen-Ts’ing, Zen Master)
Jesus also said: “Whoever wants to hold on to his soul will lose it...” So it was known for a long time that this truth, the essence of everything, cannot be known and seized with words and thoughts.
When an ignorant understands, he becomes a saint.
But when a saint understands, he becomes an ignorant.
(Mumon Ekai (1183-1260), Zen Master)
Similarly, our prince falls back into the world and wants to be impressive before others. Now, of course, the ego awakens again, and bang, it’s over with being king in the Castle of the Golden Sun. He falls asleep and sinks back, so to speak, into the dream state of worldly illusion. With that he falls back into the world of opposites and through ignorance also loses his spiritual power to fulfil all his wishes.
How can this happen when he had already killed the ego in the form of the ox? In this regard, it is often discussed whether one should speak here of killing or taming the ox. This topic also existed in Christianity, only here one spoke of a dragon. For example, Saint George killed the dragon, and Saint Martha tamed it. Both symbols certainly mean the same thing. Both ideas are also treacherous. When killing, one could think of something that is outside of us and simply disappears through an act of violence. When it comes to taming, one might think of an inner suppression, an eternal struggle that one can wage with all love, but can never completely win. We are also familiar with this problem from raising children: should one counter the stubborn little ego with consistent rigour or with tireless angelic tongues? Here, too, the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle and is difficult to grasp in words, the famous “middle way”.
“Mu” is the third possibility beyond “yes” and “no”. It says that yes or no cannot answer the question. Such answers do not capture the truth. (Shan-Ts’ing, Zen Master)
In any case, our prince wakes up again in the ordinary world of opposites, severely punished with the iron shoes. Supposedly, there is an iron shoe in the “Museum of medieval Torture Instruments” in Prague, which says:
It was shaped like a normal shoe and had a bell at the top. It encircled the foot of the person to be punished and was able to squeeze it with the help of screw threads. The convict to be punished had to walk through the whole town in these shoes and ring the bell to attract the attention of the population. Everyone who saw and heard him walking knew immediately that a public punishment was being carried out here. The iron shoe thus also had a financial advantage for the judiciary. After putting on the shoes, the delinquent practically punished himself. He suffered physical pain from his run and was publicly pilloried due to the bells.
In addition, this symbolism also reminds us that the prince is now again bound to the earth, wandering through the dark forest and can no longer rise to the Castle of the Golden Sun. His memory, however, that lies dormant in all of us, is still awake, and so the great search begins again.
He ran with his shoes everywhere through forest and valley. No one could give him any information until at last he came to a villain’s house; he shouldn’t get any quarters there. There was an old woman, and she said, there was a gang of robbers there and they would wring his neck; he would have to crawl straight into the chimney. She wanted to light a fire so they wouldn’t smell him. Now my thieves are coming home. When they came, they said, “It smells of people.” The woman said that there had been some, but they had gone again. The robbers went looking, but they didn’t find him. He stayed in the chimney. Afterwards they came back and talked to each other. Then one said, “I have a boot, if I put it on and say, ‘Boot run!’, then I am able and make a mile every step.” - “And I have a coat,” said the other, “if I put it on, so nobody will see me.” The third said, “I have a saddle and when I say “Fly!” it goes even faster than the wind.” Then they went to sleep. Then he got down, put on the boot and the coat, sat on the saddle and flew away.
This part of the story reminds us of the fairy tale of the “Devil with the three golden hairs”. There is an old woman here who helps the prince, just as Mother Nature supports us in all ways. Here, too, there are three valuable and mystical tools to win, which, however, are associated with great danger. We find something similar in the fairy tale of the “Six Servants”, where we have already spoken of the siddhis, the supernatural abilities that can be attained on the path of yoga. However, what do these things have to do with villains or robbers? A lot, because they are also very dangerous. This is expressed here again with ingenious symbolism. As soon as these extraordinary means are used for physical or sensual goals, that is, as soon as we smell of human flesh, they rob us of life.
These “supernatural abilities” can be achieved through meditative concentration, certain physical exercises or even through drugs. Certainly, the old yogis, monks or shamans knew about the effects of various drugs and could use them accordingly. In the “flower power” era of the 1960s, attempts were made to shorten the path to great happiness with drugs, which obviously did not end well. Why? Well, that’s probably due to our modern, materialistic, egocentric world view, with which we are not at all capable of using such drugs responsibly and healthily. But more on that later...
On this subject there is also an interesting story in the ancient Indian Markandeya Purana [Chapter 61] about the use of a so-called magic salve or witches flying ointment, i.e. a drug that was absorbed through the skin. There, too, it becomes clear what we could find in all Indian traditions, that such “supernatural abilities” can be helpful under certain circumstances, but are not the actual goal on the spiritual path. On the contrary, as in Markandeya Purana [Chapter 40], it is warned everywhere: As soon as desire connects with them, they become an obstacle and very dangerous. It is a game with fire, just as the prince has to hide in the chimney and nature kindles a fire beneath him. Anyone who still has a lot of material physicality and is attached to it has poor chances. In addition, drugs are particularly problematic because they are now easy to obtain and do not require mental training. In principle, one should be careful with any promise to shorten the spiritual path to great happiness. This is where advertising appeals to our desire, and that is certainly not the path to true happiness. The yoga paths of meditation and physical exercise are far more reliable. They can also be used to gain “supernatural abilities”. But, of course, you have to practice with a lot of diligence and patience, because success never comes easily.
Now he made every effort in the world, flew to the sun, to the moon, and to the star, and asked if they knew nothing about the Castle of the Golden Sun. Nobody knew anything. So he went to the wind, first to the midday wind, then to the morning wind, to the evening wind, to the midnight wind; no one knew anything. He went to the big whirlwind, but he didn’t know anything either. However, he said: He had a little brother, maybe, he knew something. When the prince came to him, he said: Yes, he would have to dry laundry. The queen would be bride.
That sounds very modern at first, because today we like to try our luck somewhere on the moon, fly to the stars or hunt around in the four cardinal points. For the midday wind used to be the south wind, the morning wind came from the east, the evening wind from the west, and the midnight wind from the north. The whirlwind originated from two opposite wind directions. But this fairy tale is probably about a symbolism that we find within us and is well known in yoga. Because there we find a sunny side and a moon side with subtle energy channels that relate to the brain and body halves. The star could denote the mystical third eye between the eyebrows and the yogi also knows the five inner body winds and the energy swirls of the chakras. In addition, the fairy tale speaks of a “little brother of the whirlwind” who takes care of drying the laundry and knows the Castle of the Golden Sun. Yoga speaks of a serpentine force called Kundalini, which is closely connected to the energy swirls of the chakras and which can be awakened through practice. It causes a cleaning process and can lead to clairvoyant abilities and higher knowledge. It may be that these interpretations are far-fetched and the narrator of this fairy tale has never attended a yoga class. However, we should keep in mind: Yoga is not a theoretical science but a practical experience that anyone can have, even if one has never heard of India or yoga...
At least our hero learns the way and that his wife is now engaged to someone else. Wow! The soul plays around! Astonishing! Nevertheless, he seems to take it easy. That’s a good thing, because with envy and jealousy, he would certainly never have gotten this far. Now, it’s time to use the special abilities.
As he heard it, he sits down on the saddle. The wind thinks he probably won’t be able to follow. But he says, “Now, we will see.” So he said, “Hello saddle, forward!” Then the wind spoke, “Oh ha, just not so fast!” So they continued. - When he would come there, said the wind, the queen would sit at table. If she began to eat the soup, he should wear his coat and invisibly eat the soup out of her spoon and all the dishes. Then she would be grieved and go out. Outside he should reveal himself to her, and if she asked what she should do, he would have to say, that she once lost a key; now she has found that old key again. She would prefer the old to the new. Then the new king would go away. - That’s, how it happened. “If the old one were there,” said the new king, “then I would be of no use,” and went. Therefore, he was king again and had his wishing hat back.
Well, that was fast. Let’s take a closer look at the symbolism: the saddle is often used as a symbol, because this is where the leader sits. This is usually our ego, but that doesn’t get you to the Castle of the Golden Sun. This requires a higher leader, a higher intelligence that can also be called reason. The saddle is now the “tamed or vanquished ego” on which we ride home. Of course, this pure spirit in the form of pure consciousness is always faster than the wind and can rise to unimagined regions.
The symbolism of how to liberate the soul from the foreign king is of course brilliant again. First, you have to make yourself invisible. The dragon slayer Siegfried also acquired this ability in the Nibelungen saga. This presumably means above all that one can discard one’s physicality. How can one win the soul as long as one identifies with the external body? Then it is a matter of stopping the flow of food and thus dissolving the illusion. That is why the yogis fast and practice asceticism in solitude until the soul leaves the dining room in despair. Consciousness and soul meet, so to speak, outside of the physical world. Here they recognize themselves again, as one also speaks of the highest knowledge, the key to the Castle of the Golden Sun, which we have lost or forgotten and have now found again. It is the ancient key that was already found in the egg yolk. That means: key and lock are one. And not only key and lock, but also king and key. Wonderful! The false king disappears by himself. How can something just disappear like that? There’s really only one thing that can disappear without a trace, and that’s illusion. And you ask: Was it there at all? So one often speaks of a dream from which we can wake up.
At the end of this fairy tale interpretation, we would like to briefly present the ten ox images of Zen Buddhism that we mentioned above and that describe a similar path to our two fairy tales.
1. Searching for the Bull
In search of the bull,
I fight my way through forests,
following the course of unnamed rivers,
lost on meandering mountain paths.
Exhausted and despairing,
I can find nothing but rustling leaves,
and the singing of cicadas at nightfall.
2. Finding the Footprints
under trees by the riverbank,
amongst the fragrant grasses,
in the distant mountains.
These tracks are as omnipresent as the sky
and as obvious as my own nose.
3. Seeing the Bull
Birdsong from within the branches,
warm sun and cool breeze,
green willows by the riverbank.
There is nowhere for the bull to hide.
Who could paint such a huge head
and such penetrating horns?
4. Catching the Bull
I battle bravely to seize the bull
struggling with its ferocious will
and inexhaustible strength,
as it charges high into misty mountains
and deep into inaccessible ravines.
5. Taming the Bull
With whip and tether
to prevent it wandering of in the wilderness,
the bull will become well trained
and naturally meek —
obeying without need of restraint.
6. Riding Home on the Bull
I ride the bull unhurriedly homeward.
The melody of my song greets the evening.
I beat the pulse. I am the harmony.
There is no need to say
that I am now one of those that know.
7. No Bull
the bull suddenly disappears.
I sit alone at peace.
In blissful release. I greet the dawn sun,
with whip and tether abandoned
in my humble homestead.
8. No Anything
Whip and tether, self and bull —
everything is no thing.
The clear blue sky is unmarked by a message.
Could a snowflake persist in a flaming fire?
This is the place of the ancient masters.
9. Returning to the Source
I have returned to the root and effort is over.
From the first, there has been no one
to see or hear anything.
There is nothing outside of my true home.
Rivers quietly flow and red flowers bloom.
10. Returning to the World
Barefoot and plain, I mingle in the market place.
My clothes may be ragged, but I am smiling.
I need no magical powers.
Before my eyes, the withered trees bloom.
(Kuoan Shiyuan around 1150, Source: „Zen Wisdom“ von Tim Freke, 1997)
That’s wonderful, our fairy tale comes from the Silesian Giant Mountains and these ox pictures from China on the other side of the world. And yet there are so many similarities, and basically the same path is described. It explains how difficult it is already to get to the source of the ego. Its effects can be found everywhere, but the battle can only be won at the source. There the ox can be tamed and, in the form of reason and wisdom, becomes the way home, which is the Castle of the Golden Sun. Whip and reins symbolize consistent self-control and tireless leadership through mindfulness. The old Zen masters also mastered this art with their students, and it was not uncommon to say for careless speeches: “Give him flaps to the beat of his words!” At some point the ox suddenly disappears, and with it the question of reining or killing. Here, too, the point is not to destroy life, but to preserve life on a much higher level, to return to the world and to see life flourishing even in withered trees.
Of course, only a few people are interested in such paths today. All this ancient knowledge of how to tame and vanquish the wilful ego could become an existential question in the near future as we realize how this extremely growing, unbridled and greedy ego is leading us into a horrific natural disaster, external and internal. Eventually neither technology nor bureaucracy nor money will help. Then at the latest, we “modern people” have to think about how we can at least tame the ox a little. It won’t be about the great liberation right away, but maybe about the survival of mankind on this blue-green planet.
The boundless sky of meditation,
The clear moonlight of wisdom.
The truth revealed as eternal silence.
This earth is the pure lotus land,
This body is the body of the Buddha.
(Hakuin, Zen Master)
Finally, perhaps a few more thoughts on the two worldviews that we mentioned in the text above and that we have already described in more detail in the last fairy tale of the “Thumbling”. The schematic representation of the holistic-ensouled worldview shows how the natural principles with their properties emerge from the whole and from the outside to the inside. Correspondingly, one must, conversely, first dissolve the material physicality from the inside to the outside in order to be able to reach the self-consciousness or ego at all. This process of material dissolution is not as impossible as it might appear. Modern science has also laid the foundations for this with the discoveries of quantum physics. Even the TV-famous astrophysicist Harald Lesch talks about this in his video “Matter does not consist of matter”. He talks there of at least 99.8% of our world that is not material physicality, and what he calls the “energy of bonding” through “hate and love” reminds us very much of the properties of self-consciousness. Werner Heisenberg, one of the pioneers of quantum physics, said: “The first sip from the cup of science leads to atheism, but God is waiting at the bottom of the cup”. This path of knowledge of dissolution or redemption to the whole and, if you will, to God, is described in this fairy tale as well as in countless Eastern lore. And when the ego-consciousness is defeated and redeemed, the living soul with the universal intelligence or reason remains:
holistic and soulful view of the world
It looks completely different in our usual materialistic-egocentric world view, as it has been propagated by most scientists for several centuries and even today contrary to the findings of modern quantum physics (see e.g. video: Harald Lesch - emergence of life from dead matter). As you can see in the following diagram, in this world view, one must first dissolve reason in order to gain ego-consciousness. Then one could dissolve the ego, leaving an inanimate dead universe. Nobody wants that! For in this way the dissolution of the ego resembles a typical suicide, which we reasonably shy away from.
Interestingly, this scenario is also similar to what we are currently experiencing in science in general and especially in the Corona crisis of 2020. It’s not about dissolving egoism with a wholesome motivation, but trying violently to remove the subjective I-consciousness from nature in order to objectively dominate nature. That sounds absurd, and it is absurd when you look at the holistic-ensouled worldview. However, something like this is happening now: the higher reason, which looks at nature as a whole, disappears, short sightedness and fear rule, the intellectual mind becomes the dictator and kills itself out of fear because it is unable to see the whole and essential and to make sensible decisions. This process is like a diseased or outlived organism that eventually kills itself. If things continue like this, we face a social, cultural and economic suicide, similar to the extinction of the “Seven Swabians”.
Various developments of humanity can be derived from this distortion of our world view, above all the technical-scientific revolution, which has filled our world with dead machines because life is now based on dead matter. In addition, a capitalist social system emerged that is fundamentally oriented towards material values. At the same time, many people could no longer understand the old fairy tales that had been passed down alive for many centuries or even millennia, and in the 19th century the Brothers Grimm were trying to save what could be saved. Because with the materialistic-egocentric worldview, one can no longer understand the deeper meaning of these ancient stories, since there is no more spirit-based life in this worldview, and so they were finally degraded to children’s fairy tales.
Another development that can be derived from our twisted worldview is the growing egoism that became the basis of our economic system and increasingly manifests itself in passion, desire and morbid addiction that are hardly controllable. In addition, there is a growing existential fear, because our life is now based on dead matter and is built on sand, so to speak. The demise of many socialist states, that were materialistically oriented in the same way, has shown that such a development cannot go well for long, and things are not much better for us at present. May we remember the higher reason again and turn our world view upside down!
One and All
J.W. von Goethe
To find ourselves in boundless being
Who would not vanish, gladly fleeing
From all that wearied and annoys;
No ardent wants, no wild desiring,
No duties strict, no orders tiring,
Such self-surrender each enjoys.
World-soul, come, let your force pervade us!
To combat the world-spirit aid us
And match our powers to these high stakes.
Then sympathetic spirits guide us,
As gentle masters walk beside us
To him who all things made and makes.
To take what’s made and then re-make it,
To fight rigidity and break it,
Eternal living action quest.
What never was grows real and fuller,
As pure clean suns, as worlds with colour,
And in becoming never rest.
It all must move, make new creations,
First take form, then transformations;
For moments it just seems held fast.
In all things life’s perpetuated,
And all must be annihilated
That existence strives to last.
For more information on the mentioned physicist and Nobel Prize winner Werner Heisenberg, who incidentally was also a great admirer of Goethe, we can recommend his highly interesting autobiography “The Part and the Whole” or, more briefly, the following video about his great life question: What is it “whatever holds the world together in its inmost folds?” Here, for example, you can hear from 1:18:40 Dr. Rembser, a physicist at CERN:
Werner Heisenberg would still say about what we measure today, “Exactly, I was right.” Elementary particles are described by so-called wave functions. That means you can’t tell where the particle is right now. They are basically clouds, if you want to put it that way. There are probabilities of stay. Only when I look, when I give the particle something to interact with, then when forces are at work, only then does the particle become visible and is what fits into my so-called world view. But it’s true: a particle is a wave, not a ball. [1:20:35] Physicists are constantly developing new technologies in which quantum physics can be used and applied. But the consequences for our world view are hardly ever questioned... I have to say that these fundamental questions are not dealt with at all in undergraduate studies. That’s a topic that doesn’t come up when you start learning physics... and during your studies you don’t actually touch on these questions at all. [1:21:20]
Werner Heisenberg said at an advanced age: “Most people probably think that atomic technology is the most important consequence (of quantum physics). It’s always been different for me. I believed that the philosophical consequences of physics would change even more in the long run than the technical consequences...”
• Doctor Knowall - (topic: Science, Spirit)
• Spirit in the Bottle - (topic: Mind, School system, Homeopathy)
• The Pea Trial / The Princess and the Pea - (topic: Natural sensitivity)
• The Seven Swabians - (topic: Corona Hysteria, the essence of fear)
• Thumbling - (topic: What is the soul? Is our worldview correct?)
• The Crystal Ball / Castle of the Golden Sun (topic: Egoism, defeating the inner beast)
• The emperor's new clothes - (topic: MONEY-MAKES-BLIND - Memorial 2020)
• Rat King Birlibi - (topic: Money, Enmity, Addiction, Poverty)
• The Ditmarsh Tale of Wonders - (topic: Lies, Thoughts and Reason)
• The Robber Bridegroom - (topic: dead soul, spiritual murder)
• The Poor Boy in the Grave - (topic: Education, Ego, Fear and Reason)
• ... Table of contents of all fairy tale interpretations ...
 Grimm's Household Tales. Translated from the German and edited by Margaret Hunt. With an introduction by Andrew Lang, 1884, Vol. 1/2, London: George Bell and Sons