The spiritual Message of German Fairy tales

The emperor's new clothes

Fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen [1837]
Interpretation through science and politics 2020

Many years ago, there was an Emperor, who was so excessively fond of new clothes, that he spent all his money in dress. He did not trouble himself in the least about his soldiers; nor did he care to go either to the theatre or the chase, except for the opportunities then afforded him for displaying his new clothes. He had a different suit for each hour of the day; and as of any other king or emperor, one is accustomed to say, “He is sitting in council,” it was always said of him, “The Emperor is sitting in his wardrobe.”

Time passed merrily in the large town which was his capital; strangers arrived every day at the court. One day, two rogues, calling themselves weavers, made their appearance. They gave out that they knew how to weave stuffs of the most beautiful colours and elaborate patterns, the clothes manufactured from which should have the wonderful property of remaining invisible to everyone who was unfit for the office he held, or who was extraordinarily simple in character.

“These must, indeed, be splendid clothes!” thought the Emperor. “Had I such a suit, I might at once find out what men in my realms are unfit for their office, and also be able to distinguish the wise from the foolish! This stuff must be woven for me immediately.” And he caused large sums of money to be given to both the weavers in order that they might begin their work directly.

So the two pretended weavers set up two looms, and affected to work very busily, though in reality they did nothing at all. They asked for the most delicate silk and the purest gold thread; put both into their own knapsacks; and then continued their pretended work at the empty looms until late at night.

“I should like to know how the weavers are getting on with my cloth,” said the Emperor to himself, after some little time had elapsed; he was, however, rather embarrassed, when he remembered that a simpleton, or one unfit for his office, would be unable to see the manufacture. To be sure, he thought he had nothing to risk in his own person; but yet, he would prefer sending somebody else, to bring him intelligence about the weavers, and their work, before he troubled himself in the affair. All the people throughout the city had heard of the wonderful property the cloth was to possess; and all were anxious to learn how wise, or how ignorant, their neighbours might prove to be.

“I will send my faithful old minister to the weavers,” said the Emperor at last, after some deliberation, “he will be best able to see how the cloth looks; for he is a man of sense, and no one can be more suitable for his office than he is.”

So the faithful old minister went into the hall, where the knaves were working with all their might, at their empty looms. “What can be the meaning of this?” thought the old man, opening his eyes very wide. “I cannot discover the least bit of thread on the looms.” However, he did not express his thoughts aloud.

The impostors requested him very courteously to be so good as to come nearer their looms; and then asked him whether the design pleased him, and whether the colours were not very beautiful; at the same time pointing to the empty frames. The poor old minister looked and looked, he could not discover anything on the looms, for a very good reason, viz there was nothing there. “What!” thought he again, “Is it possible that I am a simpleton? I have never thought so myself; and no one must know it now if I am so. Can it be, that I am unfit for my office? No, that must not be said either. I will never confess that I could not see the stuff.”

“Well, Sir Minister!” said one of the knaves, still pretending to work. “You do not say whether the stuff pleases you.”

“Oh, it is excellent!” replied the old minister, looking at the loom through his spectacles. “This pattern, and the colours, yes, I will tell the Emperor without delay, how very beautiful I think them.”

“We shall be much obliged to you,” said the impostors, and then they named the different colours and described the pattern of the pretended stuff. The old minister listened attentively to their words, in order that he might repeat them to the Emperor; and then the knaves asked for more silk and gold, saying that it was necessary to complete what they had begun. However, they put all that was given them into their knapsacks; and continued to work with as much apparent diligence as before at their empty looms.

The Emperor now sent another officer of his court to see how the men were getting on, and to ascertain whether the cloth would soon be ready. It was just the same with this gentleman as with the minister; he surveyed the looms on all sides, but could see nothing at all but the empty frames.

“Does not the stuff appear as beautiful to you, as it did to the minister?” asked the impostors the Emperor’s second ambassador; at the same time making the same gestures as before, and talking of the design and colours which were not there.

“I certainly am not stupid!” thought the messenger. “It must be, that I am not fit for my good, profitable office! That is very odd; however, no one shall know anything about it.” And accordingly he praised the stuff he could not see, and declared that he was delighted with both colours and patterns. “Indeed, your Imperial Majesty,” said he to his sovereign when he returned, “the cloth which the weavers are preparing is extraordinarily magnificent.”

The whole city was talking of the splendid cloth which the Emperor had ordered to be woven at his own expense.

And now the Emperor himself wished to see the costly manufacture, while it was still in the loom. Accompanied by a select number of officers of the court, among whom were the two honest men who had already admired the cloth, he went to the crafty impostors, who, as soon as they were aware of the Emperor’s approach, went on working more diligently than ever; although they still did not pass a single thread through the looms.

“Is not the work absolutely magnificent?” said the two officers of the crown, already mentioned. “If your Majesty will only be pleased to look at it! What a splendid design! What glorious colours!” and at the same time they pointed to the empty frames; for they imagined that everyone else could see this exquisite piece of workmanship.

“How is this?” said the Emperor to himself. “I can see nothing! This is indeed a terrible affair! Am I a simpleton, or am I unfit to be an Emperor? That would be the worst thing that could happen--Oh! The cloth is charming,” said he, aloud. “It has my complete approbation.” And he smiled most graciously, and looked closely at the empty looms; for on no account would he say that he could not see what two of the officers of his court had praised so much. All his retinue now strained their eyes, hoping to discover something on the looms, but they could see no more than the others; nevertheless, they all exclaimed, “Oh, how beautiful!” and advised his majesty to have some new clothes made from this splendid material, for the approaching procession. “Magnificent! Charming! Excellent!” resounded on all sides; and everyone was uncommonly gay. The Emperor shared in the general satisfaction; and presented the impostors with the riband of an order of knighthood, to be worn in their button-holes, and the title of “Gentlemen Weavers.”

The rogues sat up the whole of the night before the day on which the procession was to take place, and had sixteen lights burning, so that everyone might see how anxious they were to finish the Emperor’s new suit. They pretended to roll the cloth off the looms; cut the air with their scissors; and sewed with needles without any thread in them. “See!” they cried, at last. “The Emperor’s new clothes are ready!”

And now the Emperor, with all the grandees of his court, came to the weavers; and the rogues raised their arms, as if in the act of holding something up, saying, “Here are your Majesty’s trousers! Here is the scarf! Here is the mantle! The whole suit is as light as a cobweb; one might fancy one has nothing at all on, when dressed in it; that, however, is the great virtue of this delicate cloth.”

“Yes indeed!” said all the courtiers, although not one of them could see anything of this exquisite manufacture. “If your Imperial Majesty will be graciously pleased to take off your clothes, we will fit on the new suit, in front of the looking glass.” The Emperor was accordingly undressed, and the rogues pretended to array him in his new suit; the Emperor turning round, from side to side, before the looking glass. “How splendid his Majesty looks in his new clothes, and how well they fit!” everyone cried out. “What a design! What colours! These are indeed royal robes!”

“The canopy which is to be borne over your Majesty, in the procession, is waiting,” announced the chief master of the ceremonies. “I am quite ready,” answered the Emperor. “Do my new clothes fit well?” asked he, turning himself round again before the looking glass, in order that he might appear to be examining his handsome suit. The lords of the bedchamber, who were to carry his Majesty’s train felt about on the ground, as if they were lifting up the ends of the mantle; and pretended to be carrying something; for they would by no means betray anything like simplicity, or unfitness for their office.

So now the Emperor walked under his high canopy in the midst of the procession, through the streets of his capital; and all the people standing by, and those at the windows, cried out, “Oh! How beautiful are our Emperor’s new clothes! What a magnificent train there is to the mantle; and how gracefully the scarf hangs!” in short, no one would allow that he could not see these much-admired clothes; because, in doing so, he would have declared himself either a simpleton or unfit for his office. Certainly, none of the Emperor’s various suits, had ever made so great an impression, as these invisible ones.

“But the Emperor has nothing at all on!” said a little child. “Listen to the voice of innocence!” exclaimed his father; and what the child had said was whispered from one to another.

“But he has nothing at all on!” at last cried out all the people. The Emperor was vexed, for he knew that the people were right; but he thought the procession must go on now! And the lords of the bedchamber took greater pains than ever, to appear holding up a train, although, in reality, there was no train to hold.


MONEY-MAKES-BLIND - Memorial 2020

Dear readers, we would like to ask you to read this memorable fairy tale, which was written almost 200 years ago, in its entirety and to open up for it for a while before you look at our interpretation below. This fairy tale is currently being interpreted a thousand times in the world and in the public media, and we could also call it “The Emperor’s new media, money or numbers”. In view of the dubious role played by many scientists and politicians and the madness that currently prevails, we propose this fairy tale to be erected as the “Memorial 2020”, together with three terms that now apparently rule our entire world: MONEY-MAKES-BLIND.


The emperor’s new clothes - Media, Money, Numbers

Fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen [1837]
Interpretation by Undine & Jens in green [2020]

Well, anyone who has read this fairy tale will recognize the big question: “How can you see something that isn’t there?”

If we look around the world at the moment (May 2020), we increasingly find so-called “conspiracy theorists”, according to their view this fairy tale should be interpreted as follows:

The emperor symbolizes a band of selfish politicians who love to glorify themselves in public and only marginally care about the real problems of the people. The two impostors symbolize their expert advisers, e.g. certain scientists who have gained a special favour and are now selling an invisible fear product woven from chains of thoughts. With this they want to earn a lot of money and fame and provide their institutes with gigantic subsidies over a long period of time, and anyone who does not believe in this delusion is considered antisocial and dangerous for all fellow citizens. There are also many ministers, consultants and media who see the fraud but play along out of fear for their jobs and official privileges. The big people’s parade is pulled off, and the people are initially enthusiastic about it, until a child cries: “There’s nothing there!” The child symbolizes a few doctors who can definitely be described as children on the political stage, because they still live in a practical world and just follow the experiences that have come from years of working with patients and their diseases. That’s why they can’t understand the theatre show on the political stage and speak up in astonishment. Their appeal hits a big wave through the whole nation, and at the end of the fairy tale it says: The emperor was moved because the people seemed to be right, but he thought to himself: “Now I have to endure the procession.” And so he holds his ground even more proudly, and the servants went and carried the train, which was not there.

Now it is not our task here to row out on the boundless sea of so-called “facts” which is currently so stormy, fighting the waves like Don Quixote fighting the windmills. We’d rather dig a little below the surface and examine what actually causes the fairy tale we’re witnessing today. Because the roots of the evil are certainly much deeper and have been developing and anchoring in science and politics for a long time. What we learn here is just the tip of the iceberg. If we really want to change something, we should identify the causes and work on them. So let’s start again from the beginning:

Many years ago, there was an Emperor, who was so excessively fond of new clothes, that he spent all his money in dress. He did not trouble himself in the least about his soldiers; nor did he care to go either to the theatre or the chase, except for the opportunities then afforded him for displaying his new clothes. He had a different suit for each hour of the day; and as of any other king or emperor, one is accustomed to say, “He is sitting in council,” it was always said of him, “The Emperor is sitting in his wardrobe.”

Time passed merrily in the large town which was his capital; strangers arrived every day at the court. One day, two rogues, calling themselves weavers, made their appearance. They gave out that they knew how to weave stuffs of the most beautiful colours and elaborate patterns, the clothes manufactured from which should have the wonderful property of remaining invisible to everyone who was unfit for the office he held, or who was extraordinarily simple in character.

“These must, indeed, be splendid clothes!” thought the Emperor. “Had I such a suit, I might at once find out what men in my realms are unfit for their office, and also be able to distinguish the wise from the foolish! This stuff must be woven for me immediately.” And he caused large sums of money to be given to both the weavers in order that they might begin their work directly.

So the two pretended weavers set up two looms, and affected to work very busily, though in reality they did nothing at all. They asked for the most delicate silk and the purest gold thread; put both into their own knapsacks; and then continued their pretended work at the empty looms until late at night.

That is already very memorable, because today there are many more ways in which rulers and politicians can present themselves in public, such as the modern media of television, radio and the Internet, so that one could speak of “The Emperor’s new media”. And it’s nothing unusual that they forget their actual job because of all the presentation. The “material” used for this is primarily “information”. This is what modern rulers wear, and the media are currently weaving dubious images of the enemy, with which nature is declared public enemy number one and at the same time all people who hold a different opinion. Well, if you make an enemy of nature, you make an enemy of life. And those who make enemies of those who think differently make themselves the blind dictator of a terrible monoculture. Actually, we should have learned from history and especially from the last two world wars, what can arise from images of the enemy that get stuck in the minds of many people...

One could also think about the illusion of money, i.e. “The Emperor’s new moneys”. This delusion also haunts people’s heads. Regarding the last economic crisis, people asked: “Where did all the money go?” And some children asked back: “Was it there at all?” There is a very memorable article by Christoph Pfluger on this subject entitled “Money from nothing makes you poor”. The money printing machines for the “paper spectre of the guilders” are currently running at full speed, and it would be much easier if there were only electronic money. So our world is apparently ruled by three terms: MONEY-MAKES-BLIND

Science provides a very important basis for this strange illusion, which we would like to take a closer look at here, namely the belief in numbers and statistics, i.e. “The Emperor’s New Numbers”. Who doesn’t believe in numbers these days? Everyone knows that 1 is much less than 100. Numbers and mathematics became the bulwark of modern science against medieval superstition, but unfortunately often against human reason as well. Just think of the many studies with years of series of measurements that may at some point in the future determine what great damage the many tons of toxins cause on fields, in food, in the groundwater and in the entire ecological balance of nature. Why don’t we just listen to the inner voice of reason that clearly says not to overdo anything (Ne quid nimis)? Then we would know that the massive, exaggerated use of antibiotics is leading to a crisis, that more and more medicines are not making us healthier, and that extensive mass production is damaging the environment and the climate. Why does agriculture and animal husbandry have to produce more and more when we throw away most of it and the rest is still sufficient, so that obesity has become a widespread disease? If you can live reasonably with one Euro, what’s the point of a hundred?

The art is old and new, for verily
All ages have been taught the matter,
By Three and One, and One and Three,
Error instead of Truth to scatter. [Faust I]

Why do we believe in numbers so blindly? Science even speaks of “natural numbers”. What’s natural about it? There is probably nothing more abstract and lifeless. Mathematics says that you can only add the same things or homogeneous objects, i.e. not apples and pears, unless you abstract them into fruits, for example. To add real apples, one would have to assume that all apples are the same. But where do you really find identical apples in nature? They’re always different in some way. Is it even possible to find two completely identical objects anywhere in nature that could truly be added? Experience has shown that not, because only the scientific mind creates something like this through abstraction, in which one only considers mentally limited characteristics. This is very useful in some things, but this abstraction has been elevated to an all-encompassing truth, as well as the statistics used by politics, business and science. And those who don’t believe in it are still considered “stupid and incapable of their office”. Neither the economy nor science need such people, because they are “unusable” in the truest sense of the word. You can’t “count” on them. In other words, they cannot be easily manipulated.

Therefore, we find the role of today’s science very questionable, because it is increasingly becoming a misused tool for politics and business and for this purpose it still propagates a materialistic-egocentric world view, which in principle corresponds to the views of classical physics of the 19th century (see Thumbling). However, since the discoveries of quantum physics, this world view is no longer tenable (see Manifesto for a post-materialistic science). This is also confirmed by the increasing fanaticism with which the dying world view is defended against every other opinion. The situation is similar to that of the medieval Inquisition, and those who were accused of being heretics are now accused of esoterics or conspiracy theorists. Things are really in a mess and the mud fight is on. We do not believe that our current problems of health, climate, nature and the environment can really be solved in this way with the current world view. When young people today take to the streets in desperation and demand “Listen to the scientists!” one must certainly also ask to what extent science was responsible for this catastrophic development and whether one is not putting the fox in charge of the henhouse here.

So one could first look at this fairy tale from a social point of view and reflect on the role of the scammers, and especially on the last sentence: “... they demanded the finest silk and the most magnificent gold, but they put that in their own pockets and worked on the empty looms late into the night.”

But even more interesting is the psychological level with the question of the causes: How does this deceptive illusion arise in a person? The fairy tale says:

“I should like to know how the weavers are getting on with my cloth,” said the Emperor to himself, after some little time had elapsed; he was, however, rather embarrassed, when he remembered that a simpleton, or one unfit for his office, would be unable to see the manufacture. To be sure, he thought he had nothing to risk in his own person; but yet, he would prefer sending somebody else, to bring him intelligence about the weavers, and their work, before he troubled himself in the affair. All the people throughout the city had heard of the wonderful property the cloth was to possess; and all were anxious to learn how wise, or how ignorant, their neighbours might prove to be.

“I will send my faithful old minister to the weavers,” said the Emperor at last, after some deliberation, “he will be best able to see how the cloth looks; for he is a man of sense, and no one can be more suitable for his office than he is.”

So the faithful old minister went into the hall, where the knaves were working with all their might, at their empty looms. “What can be the meaning of this?” thought the old man, opening his eyes very wide. “I cannot discover the least bit of thread on the looms.” However, he did not express his thoughts aloud.

The impostors requested him very courteously to be so good as to come nearer their looms; and then asked him whether the design pleased him, and whether the colours were not very beautiful; at the same time pointing to the empty frames. The poor old minister looked and looked, he could not discover anything on the looms, for a very good reason, viz there was nothing there. “What!” thought he again, “Is it possible that I am a simpleton? I have never thought so myself; and no one must know it now if I am so. Can it be, that I am unfit for my office? No, that must not be said either. I will never confess that I could not see the stuff.”

“Well, Sir Minister!” said one of the knaves, still pretending to work. “You do not say whether the stuff pleases you.”

“Oh, it is excellent!” replied the old minister, looking at the loom through his spectacles. “This pattern, and the colours, yes, I will tell the Emperor without delay, how very beautiful I think them.”

“We shall be much obliged to you,” said the impostors, and then they named the different colours and described the pattern of the pretended stuff. The old minister listened attentively to their words, in order that he might repeat them to the Emperor; and then the knaves asked for more silk and gold, saying that it was necessary to complete what they had begun. However, they put all that was given them into their knapsacks; and continued to work with as much apparent diligence as before at their empty looms.

“The emperor thought... he is a man of sense... saw through his spectacles... patterns and colours...” If you read this text carefully, you will quickly find a reference to the thought factory that works in every human being. To do this, we first use the five senses to see the world. And as we all know, these are already very deceptive. But even more deceptive is our thinking as a function of the mind, which looks at the sensory impressions through the glasses of accumulated experience and breaks them down into certain patterns and abstracts them. The glasses act like a magnifying glass, allowing you to see only a small part of the whole picture in focus, and the rest blurs and fades out.

Truly the fabric of mental fleece
Resembles a weaver’s masterpiece,
Where a thousand threads one treadle throws,
Where fly the shuttles hither and thither,
Unseen the threads are knit together,
And an infinite combination grows.
Then, the philosopher steps in
And shows, no otherwise it could have been:
The first was so, the second so,
Therefore the third and fourth are so;
Were not the first and second, then
The third and fourth had never been.
The scholars are everywhere believers,
But never succeed in being weavers. [Faust I]

This weaving of thoughts creates the “stuff” that we ordinarily believe in and that seems so real and material to us. But they “did not become weavers”, that is to say, man does not rule the weave, but the weave rules him. And whoever is ruled by and entangled in this web of thoughts and ideas is ruled by illusion. Part of this illusion is primarily the idea of “I” and “mine” and from this arises passionate desire, and so it is said: “Now the swindlers asked for more money, more silk and more gold to use for weaving, and put everything in their own pockets.”

Eckhart Tolle says something similar in his book “The Power of Now” regarding our world today:

The philosopher Descartes believed he had found the most fundamental truth when he made his famous statement, “I think, therefore I am.” In fact, he was expressing the most basic error... Identification with your mind creates a dark veil of concepts, labels, ideas, words, judgments and definitions that obstruct any true relationship... Thinking has become a disease. Illness comes when things get out of balance... The mind is a formidable tool when properly used. However, if used incorrectly, it can become very destructive. More specifically, it’s not that you misuse your mind - you don’t usually use it at all. It uses you. That’s the disease. You think you’re the mind. That’s the delusion. The instrument has gained power over you.

The Emperor now sent another officer of his court to see how the men were getting on, and to ascertain whether the cloth would soon be ready. It was just the same with this gentleman as with the minister; he surveyed the looms on all sides, but could see nothing at all but the empty frames.

“Does not the stuff appear as beautiful to you, as it did to the minister?” asked the impostors the Emperor’s second ambassador; at the same time making the same gestures as before, and talking of the design and colours which were not there.

“I certainly am not stupid!” thought the messenger. “It must be, that I am not fit for my good, profitable office! That is very odd; however, no one shall know anything about it.” And accordingly he praised the stuff he could not see, and declared that he was delighted with both colours and patterns. “Indeed, your Imperial Majesty,” said he to his sovereign when he returned, “the cloth which the weavers are preparing is extraordinarily magnificent.”

Well, everyone knows how deceptive thoughts can be. But who could decide what is true and false? This is probably where we face the biggest challenge in life. Children can ask their parents, students can ask their teachers, workers can ask scientists, and citizens can ask politicians. But who has good advice? Because if you look around, it becomes increasingly clear that you can hardly rely on so-called “facts”. Every “fact” is basically a matter of believing in thoughts, and at this level there can only be relative truth, which must never be blindly relied on, or as Herman Hesse wrote: “Of every truth, the opposite is just as true!” What now? Now it’s about working on yourself and developing a higher spiritual level above the intellectual mind, which is called reason or universal intelligence. Universal because it is no longer limited to the little “me” or narrow, greedy thoughts. What the mind dissects or distinguishes and regards as “facts” can be settled or decided by reason, just as a good judge decides in the sense of truth. In this sense, reason should be the emperor in us and thoughts should be the statesmen or ministers whose job it is to help the emperor in his decisions. But if the Emperor is corrupt, blind, and allows himself to be deceived, what kind of decisions should one expect? Then the whole state sinks into lies and deceit.

The whole city was talking of the splendid cloth which the Emperor had ordered to be woven at his own expense.

And now the Emperor himself wished to see the costly manufacture, while it was still in the loom. Accompanied by a select number of officers of the court, among whom were the two honest men who had already admired the cloth, he went to the crafty impostors, who, as soon as they were aware of the Emperor’s approach, went on working more diligently than ever; although they still did not pass a single thread through the looms.

“Is not the work absolutely magnificent?” said the two officers of the crown, already mentioned. “If your Majesty will only be pleased to look at it! What a splendid design! What glorious colours!” and at the same time they pointed to the empty frames; for they imagined that everyone else could see this exquisite piece of workmanship.

“How is this?” said the Emperor to himself. “I can see nothing! This is indeed a terrible affair! Am I a simpleton, or am I unfit to be an Emperor? That would be the worst thing that could happen--Oh! The cloth is charming,” said he, aloud. “It has my complete approbation.” And he smiled most graciously, and looked closely at the empty looms; for on no account would he say that he could not see what two of the officers of his court had praised so much. All his retinue now strained their eyes, hoping to discover something on the looms, but they could see no more than the others; nevertheless, they all exclaimed, “Oh, how beautiful!” and advised his majesty to have some new clothes made from this splendid material, for the approaching procession. “Magnificent! Charming! Excellent!” resounded on all sides; and everyone was uncommonly gay. The Emperor shared in the general satisfaction; and presented the impostors with the riband of an order of knighthood, to be worn in their button-holes, and the title of “Gentlemen Weavers.”

The sad problem is that the market economy in which we live has practically no interest in citizens developing a higher level of reason in order to be able to decide between true and false. Because then the monopoly of power of advertising and public media would disappear, and people would be much less manipulable. That is why the opposite happens: through science, the intellectual mind is promoted and not reason. This development can be traced back many centuries, and you can recognize it above all by the fact that the more reason dwindles, the more damage man causes in the organism of nature, because the holistic view is lost, egoism grows and only pursues short-sighted and selfish goals that are harmful in the long run. It goes so far that today hardly anyone knows what reason actually is. It is also no longer part of the school curriculum, and the term is even increasingly being used as a swear word. Business consultants seriously ask: “How often has life got you anywhere if you were reasonable?” Long live selfishness!

But well, this is certainly a never-ending topic. We would now like to go into the spiritual level of this fairy tale. The core of such symbolic stories is ancient. A similar symbolism can already be found in ancient Indian writings, such as the Mahabharata epic:

The body is compared to a city. Reason is its king, and the indwelling mind is like a minister bringing matters before the king, who should decide them. The sense organs are the citizens employed by thoughts (to serve the king). In order to cherish the citizens, thinking with sense objects constantly impels them to action. For this it uses two questionable fellows called passion and ignorance (rajas and tamas). All residents live from the fruits of this activity together with the lords of the city, but the dubious fellows also gain strength in their insidious power. Thereby reason, hitherto king, sinks to the same level as thoughts (coming under the influence of passion and ignorance). When reason is weak, the senses lose their clarity and thoughts their reliability, just as the ministers become corrupt and the citizens insecure when the king has no strength. [MHB 12.254]

Here, too, two deceivers are described, and it is clearly stated that one should look for these deceivers not so much in the outer world as within oneself. Interestingly, when the ancient Indian texts speak of “ignorance,” they mean so-called scholarliness, intellectual knowledge that always remains questionable. Thousands of years ago people realized that one cannot rely on the five senses and thoughts. These experiences are good and useful in this world, but they are mostly abstractions that always capture only a small part of the whole. In the end it is about a higher level of knowledge, above the sensory-mental level. The ancient Indians already knew, that matter, which appears so solid to us, is only a sensory-mental abstraction, just as modern physics actually knows, that matter consists only of energy or even only of information. And from this point of view, we are constantly being deceived by the senses and thoughts until reason can rise above the mind and put a stop to the deception.

Until then, the ego wraps itself in a material body and believes in the material that makes it so beautiful and special. And for this we often work our whole lives:

The rogues sat up the whole of the night before the day on which the procession was to take place, and had sixteen lights burning, so that everyone might see how anxious they were to finish the Emperor’s new suit. They pretended to roll the cloth off the looms; cut the air with their scissors; and sewed with needles without any thread in them. “See!” they cried, at last. “The Emperor’s new clothes are ready!”

And now the Emperor, with all the grandees of his court, came to the weavers; and the rogues raised their arms, as if in the act of holding something up, saying, “Here are your Majesty’s trousers! Here is the scarf! Here is the mantle! The whole suit is as light as a cobweb; one might fancy one has nothing at all on, when dressed in it; that, however, is the great virtue of this delicate cloth.”

“Yes indeed!” said all the courtiers, although not one of them could see anything of this exquisite manufacture. “If your Imperial Majesty will be graciously pleased to take off your clothes, we will fit on the new suit, in front of the looking glass.” The Emperor was accordingly undressed, and the rogues pretended to array him in his new suit; the Emperor turning round, from side to side, before the looking glass. “How splendid his Majesty looks in his new clothes, and how well they fit!” everyone cried out. “What a design! What colours! These are indeed royal robes!”

“The canopy which is to be borne over your Majesty, in the procession, is waiting,” announced the chief master of the ceremonies. “I am quite ready,” answered the Emperor. “Do my new clothes fit well?” asked he, turning himself round again before the looking glass, in order that he might appear to be examining his handsome suit. The lords of the bedchamber, who were to carry his Majesty’s train felt about on the ground, as if they were lifting up the ends of the mantle; and pretended to be carrying something; for they would by no means betray anything like simplicity, or unfitness for their office.

So now the Emperor walked under his high canopy in the midst of the procession, through the streets of his capital; and all the people standing by, and those at the windows, cried out, “Oh! How beautiful are our Emperor’s new clothes! What a magnificent train there is to the mantle; and how gracefully the scarf hangs!” in short, no one would allow that he could not see these much-admired clothes; because, in doing so, he would have declared himself either a simpleton or unfit for his office. Certainly, none of the Emperor’s various suits, had ever made so great an impression, as these invisible ones.

“But the Emperor has nothing at all on!” said a little child. “Listen to the voice of innocence!” exclaimed his father; and what the child had said was whispered from one to another.

Who is the father? One could see the higher reason in him, that is, a pure consciousness that can hear the voice of innocence. And what is the innocence of a child? A child has not yet gone through the school of the mind and is little governed by mental abstractions. It still knows nothing about the abstract value of money, securities, property deeds and identity cards. The intellectual abstractions as well as our value system are only developed in the course of life, as for example many children in the following picture still recognize the two reddish circles of the same size, but adults are usually deceived by the external relation:

It is not for nothing that the Bible says: “Truly I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3)” It does not say here that man should remain like a child and not develop his mind. That’s the right way in the beginning. But after that he should turn back and become like a child. And this certainly also means reversing the process of mental abstraction and developing a holistic and direct view that is not distorted and divided by the glasses of thoughts. In addition, man can transform the mind with all his accumulated knowledge into reason and wisdom. That would be the real wealth of the people. Thus they free themselves from the bonds of thought, cast off the heavy burden of worldly cares, most of which are self-made, and can literally ascend to heaven with ease. Life becomes easy and friendly, because the greatest abstraction that a man imagines in the course of his life is the person with “I” and “mine”. It is not for nothing that the term “person” derives from the Latin word “persona”, which originally referred to an actor’s mask. And so it goes on in the Bible: “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

“But he has nothing at all on!” at last cried out all the people. The Emperor was vexed, for he knew that the people were right; but he thought the procession must go on now! And the lords of the bedchamber took greater pains than ever, to appear holding up a train, although, in reality, there was no train to hold.

Whoever develops wisdom within himself makes reason emperor, and when the emperor is reasonable, the ministers and the whole people become reasonable, that is, our senses, thoughts and all accumulated knowledge. Then one can use the mental mind as a useful tool without being dominated or overwhelmed by it.

And what speaks against it? Two great, eloquent deceivers, namely egoism and thoughts, which can paint images of enemies where there are no enemies, and can see where there is nothing. This leaves the emperor blind and unable to reason. Then the illusion of the ego will increasingly take over and the ministers or thoughts will serve this delusion and see things that are not there. And what happens inside people naturally also happens in the outer world, as can be clearly observed today. So it would certainly be salutary if we not only develop the mind with more and more knowledge, but also reason with wisdom, which can bring us significantly more blessings in life than all the money in the world.


.....
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)
Simeli Mountain - (topic: material and spiritual world)
... Table of contents of all fairy tale interpretations ...

[1837] Fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, Source www.worldoftales.com/fairy_tales, Translator unknown
[Faust I] Faust Part 1, translated by Bayard Taylor, 1870/71
[Faust II] Faust Part 2, translated by Bayard Taylor
[2020] Text and Pictures by Undine & Jens / www.pushpak.de