“Build a strong inner life” was what Dr. Winkler said. He sat behind his desk casually holding a weighty golden ruler that precisely spanned the space between his open palms. “An inner world where you learn to form and hold images more vivid than dreams. A place where you are the master of the images, and where you place only those images that come from the inspiration of the Masters. Avoid outer representations and ready-made pictures. Rather, build the images up from their essential nature. Imbue them in this way, with a living quality, so that they shine with Life and Being of their own. When they fade, build them up again. Hold them for a few seconds, then a few minutes. This is a holy place; be in a pious mood. Practice, as if you had a musical instrument to work on, and you will have an instrument to work on. Be thankful; you are being given this. Understand that you are not yet playing the real music. Then don’t stop trying to play that instrument beautifully and skillfully. You will learn that this is not only your instrument; learn to know who is playing it along with you, who is lovingly holding your bow hand.” I played the violin. I felt this image sing.
Now, I realize, after 44 years, that this is not an exact quote, nor was it all said by Dr. Winkler in one sitting. Very likely, it was not all said by him alone, and some has come to me in other ways, in the course of the decades since. But they are not my words, and I did not make them up arbitrarily. I live with them as they live in me. I believe them to be inspired, in any case. It almost makes no difference how they arrived in this journal this morning.