138 MODERN GERMAN LITERATURE Rilke's conception of development to divine perfection is centri- fugal or pure humanity, that of George is centripetal or deification of the ego. The meaning of Der Teppich des *Lebens is, apparently, that the world consists of chaos and form, and that form is created by life from chaos; but the law is that what is formed by life must perish. However, in all this alternation of creation and decay one form of creation, and one only, resists the eternal process of dis- solution - what the mind creates, particularly what the mind of the poet creates; and therefore art is the sublimation of life. And since the artist creates his own world he too is related to creation as God is to His universe; he is, therefore, God, and as such to be adored. Once again the volume is monumentally architectural and in triple form: whether because (as in the sonnet) two pillars are needed to support a roof, or because (as in the Trinity) the arch of the spirit (der Geisf) must span the two pillars of creator and created, or because Dante's Divine Comedy (to George the supreme revelation of art) is tripartite, is a problem which may be posed and looked at. One commentator1 even points out that the three sections are dominated respectively by Verb (movement in time), Noun (fixed position in space), and Adjective (hovering above time and space); or in other words by Sense, Measure, Sound. In the face of George's insistent symmetry one is tempted to ask: can inspiration be mathematical ? If one were to say that ecstasy does not create in polygons Stefan George's Circle might answer that God, as the spirit contriving beauty, does so create; to which the answer should be that Stefan George is an intellectual deviser of symmetrical forms but that perfect symmetry does not prove him to be an inspired poet. In sum, it is the old antithesis of mind and imagination; and, though both are good, even in poetry, the result might be that George sometimes awakens Geist but not "Begeisterung. In Das Vorspul) the first part of Der Teppich des Lebens, a naked angel appears to the poet and announces that Life Beautiful (das schone leben) has sent him as envoy. This has an air of medieval alle- gory; but it is philosophy - Life is here conceived as, according to Gundolf, the triad of forces interpreted in Dasjahr der Seek: nature, fate, and soul; which, as a unity, are given the name of spirit (der Geisf); and the spirit which is the law, the meaning, and the shape of this life appears to the poet in corporeal form as the angel. The 1 Walters., p. 199.