The Guardian [of the Threshold] calls us to stand close to him. He looks at us with earnest countenance. And he shows us how our willing, our feeling, our thinking appear before the countenance of the gods as Imaginations. There this willing, this feeling, this thinking is not yet human; it is still animal-like. There self-knowledge is dismaying, even shattering.
But we must pass through knowledge of that self, which is the result of the errors embedded in us by our times, our cosmic time, in order to press forward to true self-knowledge.
This erroneous self-knowledge, the knowledge of the self which we carry within us from the spirit of our times, is shown to us by the Guardian by letting the first of the beasts, which represents willing, to arise from the yawning abyss of being. Then, raising his hand and pointing to the yawning abyss of being, he lets the second beast arise, representing feeling. Again pointing to the yawning abyss of being, he lets the third beast emerge, which represents thinking.
They arise one after the other thus:
The first beast — the true spiritual form of our willing, created by the fear of knowledge, which can only be overcome by having the courage for spiritual knowledge.
And then the second beast — born from the hate of spiritual knowledge, which at the present time is in the subconsciousness of the Gemüt [soul, heart or mind] of all people, which can only be overcome by the right enthusiasm for knowledge, for the right heartfelt blaze of knowledge; whereas today nonchalance and tepidity in respect of knowledge — yes, hate of knowledge due to nonchalance and tepidity — is in the hearts.
And then the third beast — created in its ghostly nature by doubt about the spiritual world that today gnaws at the souls' roots, and which can only be overcome if knowledge awakens in itself the strength to create in one's own soul [Gemüt] the things of the spiritual world beyond.
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