I became an artist
Marianne lay like a child leaning against my chest.
I supported her and it was as if she was sleeping.
I had walked round like this for hours.
Anyone who met would have thought I was mad.
A person whom I loved lay in my arms.
Yet it was a piece of earth, but various feelings were connected to this earth which I loved.
Was this human love?
Were these pure human thoughts?
Or were they also false, mean and bad, or imagination?
Was it only because I did not possess anyone that I clung to her, sought support from her?
Was I worthy of having this feeling?
I accepted it in any case and it made me happy.
When I came up I wrapped her in a silk cloth and put her away.
‘Sleep gently, Marianne, know that I love you!
I will never forget our childhood, I will always think of you, that will perhaps support me.’
Then I got my things together and stumbled outside.
My vehicle was ready and waiting. I rode off quickly as if the devil was at my heels.
I rode on all night until the following afternoon when the horses had to be changed.
I continued again.
I wanted to leave this country as quickly as possible, I would not be calm until then.
I was afraid I would have to lose my life after all and I wanted to live, because I was too young to die.
I had not yet reached the age of consent, but I thought about everything; as young as I was, I experienced the most daring things.
As a child I already thought like an adult.
Where did that strong development come from?
From my parents?
Had I inherited all of this?
Why was I so very different to them?
Did God create different people?
Was one person not like another?
Did He know what He had created?
But why all those contradictions in characters?
Why did one person clash with another?
Why did they accept their possessions and why was it a curse to me and why did I despise everything?
Why and what purpose did it serve?
Did it have a meaning?
Did God sow conflict between people?
He, the Omniscient?
I thought that people had more from animals than from someone with intellectual capacities.
The nature around me was beautiful.
It was so perfect that there was no doubt about it.
Only people were no good.
I was going to a strange country and I was alone in this cursed world.
The large cities attracted me, that was the place where there was life.
I wanted to see life and become richer through life.
What lay behind me had died in my eyes.
Everything was dead, only Marianne still lived within me.
That night I had a rest and I continued the following day.
I was already away from home for a week and it went on and on.
All these thoughts became obscured.
I felt new, completely different powers coming into me.
I finally arrived in the south, where I remained.
I cashed in my papers, I had to manage with that for a few months.
I had soon put myself under the capable leadership of a great master, who gave me my first education.
I was a grateful pupil.
My love for art grew and I understood what my master meant, so that I made quick progress.
My heart sang in jubilation and everything went according to my wishes.
He was extremely pleased with me.
I learnt almost day and night, absorbed everything which had to do with art and mastered everything.
The most difficult lessons were just child’s play to me.
My soul absorbed it, I was an artist in heart and soul.
How happy I felt.
In this way the years passed with no cares.
I stayed here for more than three years.
I had not heard anything from my parents.
I lived in the big wild world, I could go where I wanted, because I was my own lord and master.
A lot had changed within me.
My character was developing, there were many qualities to it, but the greatest and most beautiful quality which I felt myself that I possessed was my great enthusiasm for my beautiful art.
This feeling grew out above myself, I lost myself in it and it inspired me to other great things.
My teacher predicted a wonderful future for me.
My art had its own style which people did not understand.
It was a mystery to me where those feelings in me came from.
If I was to continue in this way I would have to change master.
He advised one of his friends to me who had reached an awe-inspiring height and where I would complete my studies.
After a year I decided to leave.
He had been a father to me and I had loved him with heart and soul and wept when I had to leave.
‘You have to, my Lantos’, he said, ‘you have to, you cannot learn anything more from me.
You have to develop your talent as far as possible and you need other masters for this.’
I left unwillingly.
I could now move more freely, but I strove after one goal, one point: to reach the highest.
That gift lay within me, I was, as my master said, a born artist.
Thank God, I thought, so I am not born to rule.
I did not think of the past for a second longer, only when he said those words to me.
I settled down in a town where art blossomed and accepted a religion, because it was necessary.
I will not describe life at that time, only what is necessary.
I follow my inner path and will tell you further who I met on my path and what I experienced.
Something in all those centuries remained the same, at least it changed little, very little.
That is the inner life of the human being, which still cannot deny its animal-like attunement.
The human being has not changed in anyway, on the contrary, it is as if he is going downhill, but that is not the case in reality.
These are only temporary situations.
It is ups and downs.
If you gauge and feel one human being, you therefore gauge and feel a nation, you feel world continents.
What the individual human being experiences is experienced by a nation.
If he falls, then a nation falls, world continents fall.
This is laid down in the cosmic psychology; they are laws, it is the cycle of the soul.
That soul follows its path in order to reach the Divine Spheres.
The earth is millions of years old, also the human being, and yet that intellectual being has barely grown above the animal.
You still see pre-animal-like beings wandering around on earth in human forms.
Go out of their way, because they cannot be reached in hundreds of years.
I set to work with new courage.
People admire my capability and I made many friends.
My personality changed and my name received a special reputation.
People saw a future master in me.
I learned a great deal and was satisfied with myself.
I now completely understood my feelings for art from my childhood years.
The only thing that remained a mystery to me was from whom I had received this gift.
Many people asked me whether I had inherited this gift from my ancestors.
I could give them an answer but was silent about my actual origins.
I thought about this a lot, because, as I already said, I did not understand from whom these powers came into me.
From a higher power?
It was not clear to me.
I continued to search for it and ask about it and that problem increased in severity.
I was a born analyst, I wanted to know where I came from, what the purpose of all of this was.
I wanted to get to know all those problems of life.
I could not deal with the harshness of humanity.
My feelings matured as I got older and I descended into life in order to understand that truth better.
I was continually in thought and I was already called a dreamer.
In the first place I felt extremely flattered by this and I was proud that people saw me like this.
I felt older than the age I had reached.
As a result of this I attracted the older artists and they invited me to visit them.
People started to talk about me.
I wanted to complete my studies with a great piece of art.
As the subject for this I chose a mother and child and sculpted it in full length.
The feeling I put into it was that I had wanted my mother to love me.
The statue lived and became a great success.
I put all my love, my pure joy of my soul into it, as I had felt and possessed as a child.
The work was awarded a prize.
The smile on the mother’s face made cold hearts melt.
The child, with both hands raised, looked at the mother and begged for love.
This great and sacred feeling lay in both beings.
Two souls were joined, one feeling, one thought, one love.
I had felt mother love like this as a child, but it was not given to me, whereafter it sunk away deep within me to not resurface again for her, my mother.
This great power lay around and in my work.
The struggle of my childhood, which was behind me, had matured my feeling for art and made it grow.
I swiftly went to meet my happiness.
I was only interested in the human body and its beauty.
I was able to conquer depths, and as a result of this I made many friends but also many enemies.
One person did not wish another happiness, people killed for fame and honour.
A human life had no value, people were killed for a triviality.
All of this shocked me and I suffered because of it, but this suffering only lasted a short time.
I felt that I lived too seriously and I therefore threw myself into the whirlpool of the bubbling life.
The years which followed passed in a haze of fame and honour.
It was time that I stood on my own two feet, something unknown drove me to it.
I released myself, set up on my own and took on a servant who was recommended to me by one of my best friends.
However, I did not trust this man who did everything for me.
There was something bothering me.
I tried to find it but could not.
I could not fathom out his character.
I asked my best friend, Roni, again whether I could trust him with everything.
‘What makes you think that, my dear Lantos’, he said, ‘I am your friend, amn’t I?’
I was already sorry for mistrusting him, but I could not get rid of the feeling, however I repressed it with violence and did not wish to think about it any longer.
I had agreed with my servant that not a single person was allowed to be shown to my studio without my knowledge.
Because no one was allowed to know what I was working on.
I continually produced new work with which I surprised the world and crushed my fellow artists.
I would also reach the great artists who were still above me.
I would soon be a master.
I sent myself there, my art took me there.
I did not remain spared from hatred and envy.
People made this clear to me at one of my meetings.
My best friend was one of them, which caused me a great deal of suffering.
He tried to hide this behind his beautiful face but I still felt it.
When I tried to fathom out his character, this was impossible for me.
His figure was that of an Adonis.
I spent hours on him, but I did not get to know his true inner being.
Then he was as nice as could be again and my best friend; then suddenly I got to know him from another side which was very unpleasant for me.
I tried to release myself from him, but that also appeared impossible.
It was as if an invisible power kept us connected.
I thought that I had met him before, but could not remember it.
However, his figure would not leave me alone.
I kept thinking about him again and again, but he was and remained impenetrable to me.
My feelings were the same as those I felt as a child and which inspired me to release myself from my family.
That power had triumphed; I had left and become what I wanted to be.
Were they invisible powers?
Was I under an influence and did I act accordingly without wanting to myself, or knowing?
I now felt those powers from my childhood more sharply and more awarely, it was as if I was awakening.
I isolated myself in order to think about this problem and went for long walks, as I used to do.
Much became clear to me in nature.
For I felt that both powers were one: one will, one feeling controlled all of this.
Was it God?
An omniscient power, which created heaven and earth, human beings and animals?
Who controlled and managed everything?
Was this leadership, or was I busy suggesting this to myself?
What was it?
I felt true friendship for my friend and yet, I had to honestly admit, I hated him.
Why actually, why hate him?
Had he done anything to me?
He was jealous, did not want me to have my place, the height which I had reached.
That was human, very normal, and I should not let it bother me.
Yet it would not leave me alone, but I did not work it out, however much I thought about and analysed all his character traits.
My feelings differed from his and yet we were friends, even good friends.
His actions were spontaneous, but not sensitive, very much to the disadvantage of his art.
His spontaneity and ambition smothered the deeper vibrations of his soul, the strength to be able to feel his work.
He was too fast at everything, too thoughtless.
He did not feel the silence of life.
He was not conscious in any way, he acted on the spur of the moment and gave himself completely without thinking.
It stormed day and night on his life’s ocean, he was thrown from left to right and he satisfied himself by experiencing life as it came to him.
I let myself be led by him for a time and we wandered together through a bustling life.
However, I gradually sought a safe haven.
This life was too tiring for me, I longed for peace, silence, to come to myself.
I thought and reflected upon everything which I came into contact with.
I was a dreamer, a thinker, as people called me.
But he would not reach my height or he would have to see that he mastered these qualities; only then would his art start to live.
I had and felt one aim, but he had many.
He had reached a great height in the art of painting as it was at that time, but he would not equal me in sculptures.
I now had fame and honour, all earthly possessions lay at my feet.
Yet a sad mood sometimes overcame me and I did not feel satisfied.
But when I was in such a mood, I saw my art growing and coming to life.
Then I saw people and animals differently and I could reach them more easily.
I loved, but did not get to know true love.
The love offered to me gave me nothing.
It was too easy to obtain, that love was too transparent.
When people opened their hearts, they were taken over completely.
People were continually tempted by the great longing of the soul.
However, I learned how to defend myself, I did not want to become a plaything for these feelings and this brought me to thinking.
I got to know and understand their nature.
Yet I sought true love, but did not find it.
Did this love exist on earth?
Did such love lay in other beings?
Did the power lay in them which makes life on earth happy?
Did they not know what love meant and did they not have the realisation, the feeling of having to honour another?
Did they not understand any of the true and real happiness, such as the Omnipotent meant?
Yet as an artist I loved such a being.
Her eyes, which laughed, begged and cherished, were dear to me.
Her whole body was to me a temple of beauty, deliciousness and happiness.
I would give my life for this being, but then she would have to really and truly love me.
I already had those feeling in my early childhood, but now they were conscious and developed.
I wanted to possess this awe-inspiring and great happiness.
How my soul longed for understanding, how I ached for that one being, that sweet and beautiful one who would take me to the highest and would spiritualise my art.
Those I had met up until now did not possess those elevated powers of feeling.
They did not possess more than animal-like longings, coarse egoism and lust, which disgusted me.
The rhythmic sound which had to bring the deepest powers of the soul to consciousness was not within them just now.
They lived it up, wandered from one person to another.
Was God, the Creator of all those great things, wrong?
Did He know His own creation?
Why did He create sorts and so many incomprehensible feelings?
Why did He give that being that unprecedented power?
Why was the female not connected to the male, not given one and the same attunement, so that they would understand each other and feel one love and live according to His will?
This was God’s intention, was it not?
The scriptures and the clergy too told about that.
No, I could not work it out, could not grasp this mysterious problem.
Yet I kept busy and did I ask ‘why’ and ‘for what purpose’?
Where would I find this enviable being, gifted with radiant beauty and with this power which brings happiness, so that life becomes a paradise?
Where was she?
My soul required that being, I longed to be able to admire it.
I would give my life for a smile, a kiss on my hand.
I felt it, those powers had reached consciousness within me.
In this sad and desirous mood, I longed for a being which felt like I did, for an ear that could listen and for a face which expressed all those feelings.
I sought and sought, fathomed out hundreds of these beings, but did not find what I wanted to posses.
They were not on earth, God must have been mistaken.
The human being was not perfect, I did not see and feel any love as He possessed and which we were supposed to have within us.
I had loved Him as a child, I had my own God, He had been very close to me, now He was so far away from me and out of reach.
I wanted to ask Him questions, thousands of questions, to which He, the Omnipotent, could give me an answer.
During my childhood years my God fell apart; now I searched until there was nothing left of His creation.
These feelings also came from the same eternal source.
However, then I was not conscious and wanted to own God; now that I had reached this age and got to know life and could feel the human being, I wanted to unveil that power.
My body had grown, my spirit had developed, and yet I had not changed.
What I felt as a child I now also possessed, and the other way round.
I was just more aware, yet in the depth of my soul I had fallen asleep, because I did not understand any of this.
However, in one area I was awake and very conscious, that was in love.
I wanted to possess that love and warm myself from it, only then would I be able to reach the highest.
I saw the highest inspiration in her, that being would push me upwards to unlimited possibilities.
A remarkable thought, something sweet, which I had once possessed, came into me from the past:
During all those years I had not thought about her for a moment.
Was she still alive?
Would she already possess all these qualities?
That thought was hidden in me as if in a closed-off area.
Marianne belonged to the past, she was the only part of it that I had loved.
I would have wiped her from my thoughts if our childhood had not been so beautiful.
I loved her, I held her dear, she had been my life and sun and would remain so until my death.
Oh, if I could see her in this life, she would possess my heart and my deepest soul feelings.
She understood me, sensed me; we were no strangers to each other, we would be sister and brother to each other in the true meaning of the word.
This was clear to me, I felt it, my feelings for her had not changed in any way.
Strange that I had not thought of her before.
However, my life had been filled, my work had taken up too much of my time.
‘Marianne, where are you?’
When I had reached my highest point I would look for her.
I wanted to see her one more time before I died.
She had comforted me and spoiled me without knowing it.
I made up my mind to find her if she was still alive.
I hurried home.
This walk had given me back my childhood memories; in a full life they would not have occurred to me.
I was soon home and took out her statue.
I removed the cloths and was curious whether she would still be alive.
I completed this task very carefully, and yes, she had not been damaged, on the contrary, she had become more solid and more radiant.
I now thought that I saw a noble woman in her.
‘Marianne, are you alive?
Tell me where you are.
Come to me, let us be friend or lovers.
Are you still free?
Come then, dear little girl, sing for me, you voice will inspire me and just give me that soft but pure love, which is the highest.’
The silk cloth in which the statue had lain all that time was completely faded. But the earth, ‘what’ made it retain its power?
I put my nails into it but the material was as hard as marble.
It was remarkable.
I sat down and spoke to her for some time.
‘Are you my dear child?
Come to me, Marianne, not a hair on your head will be hurt.
My childhood happiness, are you satisfied in this life?
Laugh, be cheerful, let me hear your voice and come.’
Did the statue move?
I thought so, but immediately discarded these feelings; I did not want to become sentimental.
I put it on a pedestal and looked at it for some time.
A plan ripened within me.
I became afraid that it could still fall apart and then I would have lost everything from that time.
I would make a life-size Marianne of the statue, as I now felt, saw and loved her.
But how sharply I had portrayed her in my childhood years!
How accurate I had calculated everything.
From whom did I have this gift?
Where did I get that feeling for art?
I had been born with it!
However, in this life people had to master everything, continually learn in order to understand and possess one day.
Did this mystery remain irresolvable?
The statue possessed a sensitivity for which I would now have to exert myself if I wished to be able to equal this.
Where did that keen sense for art come from?
I would try to reveal it but first I had to create this work of art with which I would achieve fame and even more honour.
I was sunk in a deep reflection for hours.
I let myself go and imagined myself in her personality and felt her as never before.
How beautiful and sweet she would be now, if my senses appeared to be right.
However, I also discovered frivolous qualities in her, which made me suffer.
Yet her face radiated an openness such as I had never seen before.
Also love and it was the strongest feeling.
Oh, if I could call her mine, how would I encompass her with my love.
All kinds of thoughts came to me and faded away again.
Before me stood a huge piece of marble, I would soon be able to begin work, everything lay ready.
I felt the correct mood coming to me in order to accomplish something beautiful.
My heart beat more strongly than usual, but devout peace lay in my soul, which surprise me because I was not like that in reality.
I never prayed, I would not know how.
I had learned a few prayers but I had forgotten them.
I did not feel any urge to pray because I was continually in rebellion against God.
I gathered all my tools and started to work.
In a fast tempo, with the continual knowledge of Marianne’s whole being inside me, I modelled the snow-white marble.
With every blow my friendship and love for her grew.
I did not know how long I had been occupied, but a terrible blow awoke me with a fright.
I had worked in a kind of dream state, because I became completely involved in this work.
What had happened?
An old statue had fallen from its pedestal.
The shattered pieces lay spread around me.
Was this an omen, or was it coincidence?
I swept up the pieces so that I could continue working again.
What a pity, that interruption, I had been so completely engrossed in my work.
It was frightening; a cold shiver ran through me.
My inspiration had been broken and I had to wait a time before I could return to this enviable state.
I felt intensely happy, because I was connected to the happiest time of my life.
After a few hours of intense labour I felt tired and tried to have a sleep.
I awoke in the morning and set to work again, which I kept up until the afternoon.
Why that rush?
A driving force lay within me to complete this statue as soon as possible.
I was urged to a great hurry, as I had never experienced before and I felt in a remarkable mood.
It was an unprecedented power which inspired me more strongly than I had ever felt.
After having a bite to eat, I went for a long walk.
Nature would give me new strength and strengthen my spirit.
After my walk I met Roni.
‘Dear Lantos’, he said, ‘where have you been for such a long time?
I have not seen you for some time.
Are you busy with a new task?’
His face was radiant and he was very enthusiastic and open; at least I thought I felt that.
‘I have had something dear for some months now’, he started to say; after all, this was the only thing that interested him.
I did not answer him and let him finish.
‘Very dear, Lantos, and she sings so beautifully, like a nightingale.’
His eyes sparkled and radiated light.
Where had I met a person like that before, I knew him.
He continued: ‘She loves me, however!’
I understood what he meant by this.
He would soon discard her like a rag and then her honour, if she still had any, would be sullied.
His old way of loving.
You are a bastard, I thought, and felt hate entering me, which I suppressed however.
I replied: ‘Why are you continually telling me your secrets of the heart?’
‘But you are my friend, my best friend, Lantos.’
That was true, but his life made me shiver.
I had also lead a life like that, but I was already largely cured of it.
‘Are you busy?’ he asked with interest.
‘Yes’, I replied, ‘and I will not be available to talk for some months.’
‘May I admire the new work?’
‘No’, I said strictly, without meaning to, ‘not yet.’
‘Oh’, he said, ‘how abrupt you are!’
I could sense his jealousy, his beautiful face became contorted and a cruel twist came over his lips.
I thought I could see behind his mask for a moment, but he recovered and was geniality itself.
Then I said goodbye to him.
I thought about our meeting for a long time, but could not fathom out Roni.
Where did he really come from?
Some soul or other longing for love would become caught in his spider’s web and then she would be lost.
Anyone who dared that would also have to experience everything, suffering and sorrow awaited her.
A demonic power lay hidden within him; he stood above all those beings who kissed his feet.
The Adonis played with female souls and tore hearts apart.
A demonic game!
He smashed them up, he sucked them empty, because they appeared to want that themselves.
It was nothing more than lust.
Innocent women were amongst them and I sympathised with them.
I had already spoken to him about this, about sparing those innocent women, but he wouldn’t listen to reason.
He did what he wanted himself.
He was a seducer of the worst kind and he was proud of it.
The past few months I had felt a strong revulsion growing towards him and I therefore had to try and free myself from his influence.
However, this was apparently impossible and I started to think of invisible powers, but I discarded that thought, because I was too sensible for it.
I thought it was ridiculous to imagine such a thing.
His world had been mine, but I could not have led his life.
I had another mentality, because I appeared to sensitive to such behaviour.
He was my opposite as it were; but we both loved life.
I sought one type of woman, he did not seek, but took anyone at all, rich or poor.
Only one longing lived within him, to possess the human being, to possess them completely, but only materially.
My thoughts called me back to work and I hurried home.
I immediately got into the right mood and started work.
I felt drugged, it was a delicious sensation.
Only then is an artist happy and does he sense his own creation.
How intimately I now got to know Marianne!
She lived within me and I in her, were one.
I would die for her; I now felt it clearly.
If only I had her with me, then I could make her happy.
I imagined myself deep in her being and portrayed all her qualities in marble, I established them.
The statue grew.
The work went really fast and I admired myself.
My capacities now seemed unlimited to me, now I could achieve the highest.
A few weeks passed in a flash and I had made great progress.
A sweet smile lay around her endearing mouth, her whole being radiated love.
She would look like this at this moment if she was still alive.
I sculpted her in the way I sensed her.
Her golden blond curls hung on her shoulders in a satiny glow and she began to live.
Weeks were like days to me, no, hours, and I felt the happiest person in the world.
Was it my love for her which took me to this height?
It could not be any other way, because this product of creation was of the highest kind.
I sat watching her from some distance.
It was silent in and around the statue, which brought me peace.
She stood there like a queen.
Her appearance was in accordance with her inner being, both well portrayed and I felt satisfied.
‘Where are you, Marianne?
Just tell me where you are living just now.’
I felt her smile again.
Now I changed to polishing.
A sunbeam lay over the whole statue.
Her being shone like the sun, she possessed what I had sought in her; it could not be any other way.
I was soon finished.
I kissed both her cheeks, thanked her inwardly for this beautiful inspiration and burst into tears.
However much I resisted it, the tears rolled down my cheeks.
I felt like a fool, but something had come into me which could not be denied.
I was sad, in a very sad mood, but why, really?
I had been the happiest person on earth all this time.
Nothing bothered me, everything happened of its own accord, I lived, felt her love, her personality and that brought me great happiness.
Why did I have to weep now?
I kept asking myself this, but I could not work it out.
I became bad-tempered, because I was ungrateful, which I did not want to be under any circumstances.
My love was real, I dared to admit that.
I thought for a long time, then I suddenly knew it.
It was my longing for this love.
A moment ago it flowed deep into my soul and that made me weep.
Oh, how beautiful this life on earth could be, but it became a torture if you really cherished pure love.
‘Oh’, I kept calling: ‘Where are you, Marianne, where are you living?’
If I had dared to pray to God I would have begged him to show me the place where she lived, but I did not believe in miracles.
The statue was finished, many people would envy me.
I would likely wound my friend Roni with it until he bled.
What he achieved in love, I achieved in art.
This was dearer to me than his cursed life.
Had I not been cursed in my childhood as well?
Was there a curse upon my life?
My parents had cursed me and I them.
I could still hear their words clearly, they still cut my soul.
I should not think about that anymore, that was over.
I now stood before my Marianne, my purest inspiration.
I would show this work of art to everyone, but first I wanted to have a rest, because the work had had a tremendous impact on me.
It had taken up all my life forces, but I did not mind at all.
I would do anything for her.
I felt really tired, but a bit of amusement would do me good and I headed for the place where artists met up.
On the way I suddenly remained still and was gasping for breath.
Before me stood Roni, who noticed my attitude.
Damn, I thought, I have to keep meeting him.
Would this be of any significance?
‘Did I give you a fright, Lantos?’ he started the conversation.
‘You look so pale.
Have you worked too hard?
Where have you been the past while? Have you just been working all the time?’
I looked at him, his face was like a grinning mask.
We sounded each other out for a few seconds, he sensed me and I him, we both knew at that moment that we were enemies and I said, in order to hurt him: ‘My new piece of work is finished.’
Now it was my turn to ask: ‘Are you not well?
You are becoming so pale all of sudden, is there something the matter?
Is you luck in love over?’
I continued to look at him and clearly sensed him.
He did not want me to have my art.
How I hated him.
Scoundrel, I thought.
However, he remained extremely friendly and was polite in every way.
‘Where are you going, Lantos?’
‘I am looking for some amusement’, I said honestly, ‘I am a little tired.’
I felt that I was coming to myself and as a result of his politeness my hate lessened.
He was a remarkable person.
We walked on together.
‘What do you think of your work yourself?’ he asked with interest.
I said: ‘I have never achieved anything so beautiful.’
‘Well, well, you are making me curious.
May I come and admire it?’
‘No, not yet’, I replied coolly.
I looked at him as I spoke, but his tense face hid his inner feelings.
‘What is the significance of this work?’ he asked again.
I got a fright, but was able to control myself, he would not share my most sacred feelings.
I avoided his question by saying: ‘Soon, later.’
‘I have made progress, Lantos.’
‘Progress, you say?’
‘Yes, in my new love.’
‘Well, well’, I said, but had my own thoughts.
Progress in love?
Was it not beyond him to destroy?
‘The game has been played’, he said, ‘I am the winner.’
‘Winner, did you say?’
‘The girl I told you about, do you remember, is lying at my feet.
Delightful, Lantos, a beauty, but a stupid being.
Very stupid, to me she is like a former farmer’s daughter.’
‘But she sings beautifully and is a beautiful person, but I can see her past.’
‘Past?’ I asked.
‘Well, yes, I have just about sounded her out.
She will dream of her happiness.
She is expecting me, come with me, you are looking for amusement, after all, aren’t you?’
‘No’, I said, ‘go ahead.’
We said goodbye, but I was very absent-minded.
Why was I so shocked? My heart beat in my throat when I saw him.
It was clear to me again that I had met him before in my life.
How did I know that scoundrel?
Or was I just imagining things, he was polite, after all?
I was probably a bit stressed out.
What business were his love affairs to me?
But was I any different?
If I was to carry on like this, I would not have a single friend left.
I was sullen, dissatisfied and rude and would have to behave differently towards him.
What was I imagining anyway?
I was already sorry that I had treated him so surly.
I was already called an eccentric and I did not want to be that.
I was like everyone else.
Or was I different after all?
I tried to get to know myself better, this was really necessary.
However, after some time I lost myself inside myself and had to laugh heartily about it.
I had now reached the age of thirty-eight, had worked my way up to a great height and could be satisfied.
Soon I would score triumphs with my latest creation, my Marianne.
Strange that I thought about this for the first time.
I kept talking about my child, my Marianne.
Would she love me as I loved her?
I would just have to wait and see.
In any case we were friends and that already made me happy.
Now I would have a rest first, because although I wanted to go to my friends, without realising it, I had gone back home, after all.
That was strange, but it was very likely because I was so absent-minded.
This work had really worn me out and exhausted me.
It could not be any other way, the statue was a work of art.
The work had been emotional, if I just looked at it, those powers penetrated me.
I insisted again to my servant to let no one, no matter who, into my sanctuary.
I had hung a cloth over Marianne.
I saw how every fold in this cloth had fallen into a pleat.
I absorbed the whole picture because I still did not trust my servant completely.
I thought I was a terrible master, but I was just not capable of changing anything about it.
I felt flustered and agitated and could not concentrate my thoughts on one idea.
I most definitely needed some rest.
Yet I still went for a walk, but my thoughts returned to Roni.
His fanaticism bothered me, I thought he was a braggart.
Sooner or later my happiness would also come.
I would wait for it, because it was madness to try and search for it.
How long had I not already sought it? However, there was no one who bore real pure love, who could really love.
Did Roni throw himself into this life in order to get inspiration?
Many people got drunk first before they could achieve something.
Yet their figures lived and people thought they were wonderful.
It was a great world!
Of the many inspirations which I had received, the last one was the most beautiful.
What was inspiration for that matter?
Was it conscious connection to something higher?
I felt that I could not think.
What an impression it had made on me.
I felt feverish, my head was on fire.
The silence of nature would do me good.
Was I ill, or was I becoming ill?
I sat down in a beautiful area, surrounded by flowers and cypresses.
It was like a paradise here, only people spoil it.
I felt that I also spoilt it.
Birds sung their songs, their warbling did me good.
I saw young life everywhere.
All of this was God’s creation, also we people.
Why did we actually live on this earth?
Why were we here?
How I would have like to know that and get to know the human being.
How deep was the human being?
Who knew him?
Where did he come from?
Was there an afterlife?
A life after this life?
Or did life come to an end with death?
What was the point of being here then?
One person tore another apart.
I saw only suffering.
Was there an eternal life?
If that was the case, I had a lot to make up for.
It was in the bible, the clergy spoke of it, but no one knew for certain.
Yet it occupied me continually.
I kept having these thoughts.
I kept asking.
Was I too aware?
Did I experience life too deeply?
Was I not satisfied?
I was searching for something.
Was it happiness in the home?
A wife and children and a happy life?
Had this not been laid away for me?
God was a Father of Love, wasn’t he?
Why did He not give His children any happiness then?
Yet it was remarkable, even now I did not feel satisfied, although I had fame and everything which I had longed for during my childhood.
There was something which deprived me of the happiness I desired.
I saw as it were in a deep pit and I would never find out the secret.
Was it the same power which had already made me difficult to handle as a child?
I could not be tamed, after all, something drove me away from home.
Now I was searching and could feel it clearly, they were the same feelings.
Was that power my fate then?
Was I possessed by the devil?
Or were they forces of nature, laws, which I could not avoid?
If I accepted this, I would feel as if I had not lived, as if there was a power which controlled me and according to which I had to act.
Was that possible?
Were there powers which made me difficult to handle?
To what degree was the human being himself?
Did he have an own free will?
Or had we nothing to say?
Did we live unconsciously, conscious of nothing?
How far did the human conscious reach?
Were we here in order to become conscious?
Did all people experience these things?
I never heard Roni and many others asking questions, they lived and were happy.
Would I ever experience that?
Or was it because I dreamed and was different to them?
Were there people living on earth who were conscious?
If that was not the case, how far are we away from it?
Where is the beginning and where is the end?
I could have gone on like this and could have asked thousands of questions, but not a single one was answered.
A thick veil covered everything and my life as well.
I was faced with a mystery.
I thought I was a problem, because I could not fathom myself out.
Would I ever get to know myself?
I was not yet aware in any aspect, unaware in all aspects.
There was always that mystery, the unknown power which directed my life.
I would become mad if I went on any longer.
Stop, Lantos, stop, you are asking too much.
Live your life as Roni and the others and you will be happy!
I looked up.
There above, behind the firm purple-blue cloth of the firmament, lay the secret.
God lived there and His heaven was there.
We would come there one day, one day, in order to be judged.
I would receive a great deal of punishment, would burn and be doomed, because I had not lived like a saint; on the contrary, I lived as if there was no tomorrow.
That was apparently not the point.
People had to pray, pray a lot and in general I did not do that at all.
I had not given anything to the poor either, I only lived for myself.
They were all sins and for which I would have to pay when I lived on that side, at least if it was true, because I would have to wait and see.
No one knew.
I was considered a heathen, a faithless person, and that was terrible.
If lived on, my body would have endure that eternal fire.
For those few sins I had committed.
It was awful.
People called Him a God of Love, but was that love to doom His children?
I trembled from that God, Whom the clergy knew and Whom the bible spoke of.
Was I beginning to become religious?
At least I was starting to think of religion.
I did not dream anymore, but analysed.
Something changed in me, every day, but I did not get to know for certain.
Had I to become conscious by thinking in this way?
I kept wondering about this.
It lay there beyond, there, it lived there, there was God.
What a vastness!
Oh, that awe-inspiring universe; I felt myself becoming small.
He, the Creator of all this life, of heaven and earth, had shrouded Himself in a haze.
He remained invisible to everyone.
And people wanted to get to know Him so much, I too.
Everything up there appeared boundless to me, I did not see any end.
Behind that the heart of God beat for all His children.
However, I did not hear it beat, no matter how much effort I made to listen.
Was my hearing no good for His mighty sound?
Or was I not properly equipped?
Would I have to equip myself in the way I experienced art?
Many people like me asked: ‘Why and for what purpose is this life? For what purpose that injustice, all these terrible things on earth?’
People prayed to Him and did not get an answer.
People called and shouted for help and did not get any reply.
They lived in suffering, sorrow and misery, hunger and cold, and asked to be released from it, but it did not happen.
Also those who went to church every day and prayed constantly; their prayers were not answered either and they also asked ‘why’ and ‘for what purpose’.
There was no end to their suffering.
No God of Love intervened and called the rulers to a halt. He let them continue to destroy people’s lives.
Yet He was a God of Love.
Incomprehensible, to recognise Him as a God of Love and justice.
People did not receive a clear ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to a single question.
Everything remained shrouded in that invisible haze and no one could penetrate it.
Was this the unconscious life?
Was God an unconscious thing?
Did I see it wrong?
Was I in rebellion?
Did all people feel like I did?
Did they not search for the real and true life?
Or was I an exception?
Would man have to find his way out of this chaos?
It was said that people should believe, then they would reach the truth.
I stared and stared up for a long time, but I did not find God.
It remained tense up there, secretive and insensitive.
The depth of the universe grinned back at me, which could not be penetrated by a single person.
It remained blue.
Only at night the life of the stars could be seen.
However, the scholars did not understand much about that either.
Did the secret of the whole creation lie there?
I should have become a scholar, because science interested me very much.
People had been searching for thousands of years, people asked ‘why’ and ‘for what purpose’.
How long would they still have to ask?
When would the moment come that God said: ‘See, I am alive.
Feel that I love all of you, that I lead and control everything, which you do not understand and cannot grasp.'
I would no longer experience it, my life was too short for that.
I would probably be dead tomorrow and then all those questions and begging for the truth would be over.
The human being had an awe-inspiring power and yet he was a creature of a moment.
Those people met yesterday were no longer here today, because death had called them.
They were in heaven or would burn eternally in hell.
Dead, yes, what was death actually?
A word with a terrible sound.
I did not understand death, nor the other problems.
I had three problems: death, God and my own life.
God was the greatest mystery to me.
He created something mighty and let it die.
When I had achieved something beautiful, I admired it for hours and could not get enough of it, I had to keep on admiring it.
However, what was my creation in comparison to His?
Nothing, for that matter.
How astonishing His creation is, man, the animal and all other life.
Yet the most beautiful of all creation is man.
But he died and would perish to dust, to nothing.
But why had He created man then?
I could see, I could hear and feel and I could go where I wanted.
Everything about man was perfect and yet he had to die one day.
Even worse, then he would have to burn!
He would also have to pay for the small sins which man committed.
I suffered because of it and thought the judgement was too harsh.
Could this life have a purpose then?
To me all of this was a torture, something impenetrable.
How could I accept God’s word now that I felt this within me?
It appeared impossible for me to believe and to understand everything without question.
Roni was like an Adonis, his body was attractive; yet he would also die one day.
I was sorry for him, yet I did not wish him his life.
I saw and felt justice in his death.
Another few years and then his beauty would be over.
He envied me my art and success.
How could God give him such a character?
A perfect body and yet an animal.
Because he was undeniably an animal.
Every woman who came into contact with him was irrevocably lost.
He sucked her empty and then discarded her.
Was that God’s will?
Why did He give that animal such power to destroy and to break?
If he was not to die either, I would probably be capable of killing him.
Then there would be no suffering and sorrow and no innocent hearts would be broken anymore.
However, he would also die, that was certain.
See, for this reasons alone I could be grateful to God again.
God was only perfect and just in that one aspect.
No one, not a single person or animal could remain alive, hold onto life.
Everything died and had to perish.
God had not only given Roni his beauty but also beautiful gifts, which he wasted.
Nothing became of his art, he lived it up and brought nothing but misery.
My friend Roni was like this and yet he was a blessed human child.
Is God not incomprehensible?
Who would understand Him?
Did such a thing not conflict with everything?
People let such an animal-like human being as Roni go his way, he could make and break what he wanted.
What a terrible injustice!
Other people would achieve something beautiful if they had such a feeling for art.
Many people longed for it and yet they received none of those wonderful qualities.
This was also a mystery to me.
In my childhood such thoughts already occurred to me and I wondered why one person received so much earthly happiness and another had to suffer hunger and misery.
I felt even more questions entering me but it was just a hopeless task to ask questions for any longer.
I felt a bit calmer and not so agitated anymore.
This thinking in the middle of nature had brought me peace.
That philosophising was good for me, it put me in a better mood.
It was already late in the afternoon before I went home.
I wanted to start a new statue and would soon exhibit Marianne.
What would I now sculpt?
Something which would take me to the highest inspiration.
Thoughts came into me from my deepest inner self which made me shiver.
Such a thing was unthinkable to me.
How would I sculpt Him?
I did not know Him, did not feel Him and did not understand anything about Him.
And I had to feel Him, be able to sense Him completely, if I wanted to make something of it.
However, within me also lay the thought of death, that terror, which cut a human being’s life off, and I also wanted to portray that.
Death, that thought occurred to me, would become a wonderful piece of art, a product of creation of the highest order.
However, I felt another plan arising and that seemed to attract me even more.
I would make an Adonis and let him die.
This would represent Roni, life and death lay within him.
How would I be able to connect these two?
I thought about it for a long time in order to get a feel for the whole idea.
How beautiful these thoughts were, I thought I was a genius in thinking.
Death and Roni and God as Creator of this group.
How deeply thought out the whole idea was.
People would kneel in worship if I managed to achieve this work.
I already felt the significance of this statue.
To me it was a God, life and death.
It could not be better, any deeper, or more perfect.
I went back to the place where I had come from in order to carry on thinking.
Nature would have to help me, otherwise I would not make it.
I had to sense it, feel it completely within me, only then could I experience it.
When I had reached this stage, I would be ready and could start sculpting.
Everyone would recognise him from this portrayal, my friend whom I hated.
I would put all my hate into it.
I would mock his life, show him that he was doomed to die.
I was glad and felt happy that these thoughts had come into me.
Would an artist ever have thought of them?
Where did these thoughts come from?
Were they mine?
They were fearfully deep, almost incomprehensible to man.
Yet it must be possible to accomplish this.
It was still an unconscious thought, but it would certainly become conscious.
This also became clear to me now, because I now started to feel something of the unconscious and the conscious.
When I thought through this statue I was aware that I could create it.
Was this the correct concept, the true consciousness, or was it not the case?
Now I started again.
However, I would have to stick to that one thing, not think about other things, only allow this great thing to come into me, in order to bring it to consciousness.
I felt happy, a new power had awakened in me.
Did all my fellow artists experience their products of creation like I did?
I would ask a few people about it who still felt sympathy for me.
They could probably give me new impressions.
However, I would tell them nothing about my plan, that would remain my secret.
I got up and hurried to them, perhaps I would still meet them.
I would not have peace anyway, I would have to act soon.
At the same time I would try to fathom out my friend Roni, because this was necessary because I would have to know him completely.
I would go for long walks with him, let him into my studio after all, so that my friendship would appear closer.
I would have to see more of him, meet him more often, or my creation would not be perfect.
This would put the crown on my work.
My idea was wonderful, incredibly beautiful and profound.
I wanted to see him, I wanted to look at him for a long time.
If he felt this, I would say that I had started a new project and that it would show a similarity to him.
He would think I was strange, but I was considered a dreamer, anyway, wasn’t I?
Now I liked that and made use of it.
I hoped to meet many other people as well.
I would fathom out the feelings of everyone, at least if it was possible.
Only now did I start to show an interest in my friends and search for their inner self.
When I entered I saw that he was there.
Would he be intoxicated?
He walked towards me and gave me a hearty handshake and said: ‘My Lantos, dear friend, finally together again.
The days were too long for me!’
I was amazed, I had also met him in the morning.
It was always the case with him, drinking and having fun, nothing became of work recently.
What a contrast: his beautiful body and his horrible character.
I started to fathom out his feelings and looked at him with a penetrating gaze.
‘I am going to portray her, Lantos, make something beautiful of my loved one’, he said.
I had to make an effort not to burst out laughing.
He would make something beautiful, now, then he was in love and that had broken his power.
We sat down together in a niche.
Roni was very loud and I warned him to calm down.
‘As you wish, Lantos, I will control myself.’
He never forgot his politeness, even if the wine had dulled his feelings and made his head turn.
‘A beautiful afternoon, Lantos, what a pity that you did not come along.’
He appeared to remember our meeting and said: ‘May we come to see you together?
You will see a beautiful couple and be surprised.’
It could not be better and I accepted eagerly.
‘You can come and see me tomorrow’, I said.
‘If you wish, take her with you, I would like to meet her.’
He grasped both my hands and squeezed them heartily.
‘I thought that you would agree.
You are my friend, Lantos, and will remain so, won’t you?’
I did not answer and he continued: ‘What time will you receive us?’
‘At one o’clock in the afternoon’, I said; I was indifferent to it.
‘I have to tell you something, Lantos.’
‘I am listening’, I said, curious what he would have to tell me.
Of course, about his life again and his latest conquest.
‘I have gone too far, Lantos, something has to happen, which is very unpleasant for me.’
I immediately understood what he meant.
Bastard, I thought, that on top of everything else.
‘Do you think you will marry her?’
He burst out laughing, it sounded like a devilish laugh in my ears.
‘What makes you think that, Lantos?
My freedom, dear friend, is too precious to me.
What do you advise me to do?’
‘I don’t know, I cannot answer that.’
‘She is worth it, Lantos, she is beautiful.’
‘Why will you not marry her then?’
‘As I already told you, my freedom is so precious to me.
But tell me what I should do?
I cannot release myself, wherever I am she will find me and ask what she should do.
She is stronger than I am, she will not be trifled with, Lantos.
I have now miscalculated, because I have not met such a being before.
Believe me when I tell you that I wish to free myself, shake her off me, but it is impossible for me.
I know her better than I know myself.
Come one, tell me, give advice, what should I do?’
‘You want to make a statue of her?’ I asked.
‘Something like that, but I do not know if I will manage.
I have to do something, but what?
This is just a means, you see, in order to give myself time to think.
But my freedom, my so precious freedom, Lantos!’
Vicious animal, I thought, how mean you are.
All my good intentions were suffocated by his devilish thoughts.
Unexpectedly he said: ‘That is true, I have to go.
Oh, that I didn’t think of that.
I have to go, Lantos. See you tomorrow, won’t I?’
He shook my hand and left.
A strange person.
Inebriated a moment ago, now he was suddenly sober.
How could that be?
Why that sudden change?
Was his behaviour pretence, just a game?
Was I allowing myself to be deceived?
Was he playing a game with me?
No, I was going too far, I had to believe him and have a bit more faith in him.
The hours passed and I was still sitting in the same place thinking.
I finally got up and left.
I had not fathomed out my fellow artists, had not been able to ask anything, those who were there first had to awaken.
They did not have that feeling, they were empty and unaware.
Was I aware then?
That conscious and unconscious life always in everything.
I was deeply affected by everything which he had told me.
The poor human child which this suffering affected.
First he called her a farmer’s daughter, then a beauty and now this.
If she was a different personality to him, I would be interested in meeting and getting to know this being.
To me it was impossibility to see through Roni’s mask, and would she be able to do this?
But women were different to men, saw more keenly and felt more deeply, if it concerned everything and anything.
I was very curious not only to see her but also to get to know her.
That would probably help me with my new work.
Perhaps she was a miracle, gifted with other powers than I knew and possessed.
Was she his superior in everything?
It was almost impossible.
She would have to be a she-devil then.
I also saw a devil in him in human form.
A beautiful couple!
To meet a devil and a she-devil would be entertaining, but it would also be horrific to get to know such a pair.
I already longed for tomorrow.
What a pity that I had not asked them for this evening or tonight, but this was no longer possible.
I would therefore have to wait until tomorrow and not be impatient.