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The motif Divine light in HCA : Peiter, Peter, and Peer (1868)
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The motif Divine light in HCA : Peiter, Peter, and Peer (1868)

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Religious motifs : Overview. Search. About religious motifs

See also God

Keywords:

God, light

Description of this motif: The divine, the heavenly and God himself are related to light

Example 1:

Peer resolved never to marry, or even to give or take a kiss, for that might seem the first step toward marriage. But he did receive a kiss, anyway, the same kiss we all get someday, the great kiss of Death. When we have lived long enough, Death is given the order, "kiss him away," and so away the human goes. A ray of sunshine comes straight from our Lord, so bright that it almost blinds one. Then the soul that came from heaven as a shooting star goes back like a shooting star, but this time not to sleep in a flower or dream beneath the leaf of the water lily; it has more important things than that to do. It enters the great land of eternity; but what that is like and what it looks like there, no one can say.

Example 2:

It is unbelievable all that children know nowadays; one can scarcely say what they don't know. They no longer believe the old story that the stork brought them to father and mother out of the well or the millpond when they were little, and yet it is really true.

But how did the little ones get down into the millpond or the well? Ah, not everyone knows that, but there are some who do. Have you ever gazed at the sky on a clear, starry night and watched the many shooting stars? It is as if the stars fall from and disappear into nowhere. Even the most learned persons can't explain what they don't know themselves; but one can explain this when he knows it. It is like a little Christmas-tree candle that falls from heaven and is blown out. It is a soul spark from our Lord that flies toward the earth, and when it reaches our thick, heavy air, it loses its brilliancy, becoming something that our eyes cannot see, something much finer than air itself; it is a little child from heaven, a little angel, but without wings, for it is to become a human child.

Softly it glides through the air, and the wind carries it into a flower, which may be an orchid, a dandelion, a rose, or a cowslip, and there it lies and rests itself. And so light and airy is it that a fly can carry it off, as, of course, a bee can, when they alternately come to seek the sweetness of the flower. If the little air child lies in their way, they do not brush it aside. That they wouldn't have the heart to do! They take it and lay it under the leaf of a water lily in the sunshine, and from there it crawls and creeps into the water, where it sleeps and grows until it is large enough for the stork to see and bring to a human family that has been longing for a sweet little child. But whether it becomes sweet or not depends on whether it has drunk pure clean water or has swallowed mud and duckweed the wrong way; that makes one so filthy!

Comment on this quote: This is where the children come from. A beautiful and detailed description with a influence of new platonism or gnosticism. Humans are children of a divine light, a sparkle of eternal light, and it grows in nature, in flowers. The picture has a dark side too. Man, which is a perfect creation, may be perverted; One may swallow "mud and duckweed the wrong way", and "that makes one so filthy", i.e. earthly, a slave of primitive instincts, maybe even evil. Compare with the flower child Thumbelina and with The Marsh King's Daughter, in which "that baptism by the sun a form of heavenly beauty, clearer and purer than the air itself, rose as a bright beam to join the Father". That is the case in several Andersen tales; death comes with light and/or fire, transformation and uprising.
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