Rosicrucian Writings Online


By Martha Pingel, Ph.D.

[From The Rosicrucian Digest May 1961]
Remember The Emperor and the Nightingale--the deeply moving fairy tale of the man so enamored with the glitter of the artificial nightingale that he realized the value of reality only at the point of death?  Recall Nathaniel Hawthorne's haunting story of the artist who made a naturally beautiful woman into a perfect artificial, doll-like beauty and destroyed a living being in the process?
These tales, centuries apart, have meaning for us, for our age worships the Artificial.  We constantly alter what is natural into something man-made.  Artificial flowers (I grant they seem to "improve on nature" by being a bit more durable) are everywhere.  We love the gaudy, the lurid, the honky-tonk of life; the put-on personality and the public-relations grin.  We love tinsel and forget that it tarnishes.  The natural, the sincere, are old-fashioned and out of date!  Advertisers spend small fortunes to make ads "natural looking," and mark them unmistakably as artificial.
We seem to have come the full circle as man sets himself in competition with God.  Yet man achieves only a poor copy of the original.  We should learn to use the artificial, yes, but not to worship it.


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