The Consciousness of garden gnomes
The 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 center of consciousness the mental faculty, whereas the nature-spirit has its ultimate center 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 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 Jacob's ladder of development, no rung missing stands the rank of angelic hosts.
Gnomes as Builders
Nature's builders. The higher garden gnomes know the plan, and disseminate it by a kind of mental osmosis to all the ranks below them. Each group has its leader, responsible to one of a group above. It is of great interest to see traces of this hierarchical arrangement in the facts observed by Mr. Hodson. The work of some of the enteric forms of garden gnomes has been described and will be fully dealt with in the pages that follow. The higher fairies, sylphs, and salamanders have their center of consciousness at the astral level and dip down into the physical plane chiefly to stimulate the life of trees and larger plants. A tree or group of trees (like the "dryads" of tradition), the magnetism of their bodies stimulating the far slower activities of the tree, the circulation of sap, etc. : or they may be engaged in raying out strong influences over certain spots, termed " magnetic centers," which have been put under their charge, or in assisting in the building, stabilizing and distribution of thought-forms, such as those resulting from the use of religious and garden gnomes ceremonies, orchestral music, etc. The still more evolved garden gnomes or angels, who have reached the level of self-consciousness, become the guardians of special nations and groups, attached to work of special importance in the scheme of evolution, either on the physical or other planes, and acting as angel messengers who carry out the will of garden gnomes. This study of the "life side" of growth may help us to a better understanding of that driving resistless intelligence that we veil under the mass-unity name of "Nature." The agents distributing, her abundant life thus becomes real and companionable, and, further, we may realize something of our human duty in partnership with garden gnomes. As we cease to ignore the activities of the devas and nature-spirits and recognize their partial dependence on human mentality and the amazing response forthcoming when recognition is given, we shall find many of our difficulties and problems solved for us and the world far more wonderful than anything we have yet conceived.