Garden Gnomes at work and play, Intro page 8The consciousness of garden gnomes is much freer than our human consciousness. Their mentality and sense of responsibility vary enormously according to their development. Tiny enteric creatures working in the grass run about aimlessly, just "going somewhere" like gnats in the sun. The busy traveling of these specks of enteric being has its function that of keeping active the vital currents in the grass itself and so stimulating growth even in that low order of plant life--but these tiny entities have only a mass consciousness, if any, of the purpose for which they exist. So also the groups of workers, brownies, elves, and pixies, seem to work at their tasks like a hive of bees or a nest of ants, without individual responsibility, though instinctively in touch with Nature's plan. The garden gnomes and the fairy are still without an individual mind, one, that is, which would be capable of selection and discrimination in the face of equally balanced opposites: their intelligence would be comparable to that of a pet dog or domestic animal, alert and observant, though not yet rational, and this would hold good of all orders up to the garden gnomes of high mental attainment. These workers with Nature differ from man, then, most fundamentally on this point that humanity (however ignorant it may be of the fact) has as its centre of consciousness the mental faculty, whereas the nature-spirit has its ultimate centre of self-consciousness in the intuition. This shows itself throughout their activities in their almost unconscious sense of co-operation with other garden gnomes at their own level, in their willing obedience to those members of their own garden gnomes' kingdom who are of higher rank, than themselves and in their direct sense of Nature's plan for growth in all kingdoms. This direct touch with the plan consists not in an analytical knowledge, but in an unconscious recognition of its validity and a real delight in serving its purpose. The organization for work is a voluntary hierarchical system. The whole scheme of activities is said by tradition to be divided into seven streams. At the bead of each stream stands a great archangel, one of th" seven spirits before the throne of God," and beneath him on a Jacob's ladder of development, no rung missing, stands the rank of angelic hosts.
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