(Why, certainly, good Ase, little gray-haired mother! You and all the rest of us; and to the Land of Cockaigne too, where all the houses are covered with cakes!)
Thus, Peer Gynt redivivus!
Well, make-believe castles are fine places. Without some of them, at least, we could not carry on at all. They are built, of course, in the kingdom of Ideals, which is a most varied and spacious realm. Everything anybody thinks desirable is found there, from tin whistles to world empires - and atobombs and space ships. As with castles in Spain, no one can condemn or approve the whole variety of them: some are very beautiful places to live in, and others are the outward shells of ignorance and deceit.
Shall we mention some of those latter, very briefly? Orthodox religionism is one builder of them, with its lisping of a childish heaven and a God who is a sort of omnipotent man. It wants the whole world to come live in that castle - and if we do not, it shell be the worse for us, because there is make-believe hell too, with its jaws a-slavoring. And dreamers of power and conquest build them, and in their dreams all lands and peoples enter in and are subject to their tyrannies. From those two well-springs of self-deceit the streams of human suffering have flowed for unnumbered centuries.
Scientism is also a great builder of make-believe heaven and earth. We do not say "science!", because that is an attitude and a method for the discovery of truth. That "science says" this and that, is of course a fiction, and a silly and deceitful one. But the idea that scientific achievement makes man a better creature, more honest, decent, less selfish, more intelligent in dealing with his fellows, or even happier, is given the lie by the whole of our contemporary life. This knowledge which might help to bring prosperity and peace to all peoples, has in its application produced misery and destruction without parallel. The dream that science of itself can solve any basic human problem, is born in Cloud-Cuckoo Land - yet half of our child-minded humanity is fascinated by it.
Myopic intellectualists and materialists who keep blatting that "one world at a time is enough", and pettifogging "investigators" who are secretly determined to learn nothing at all, about any other world than that of grams and meters, watts and clocks, keep the doors of make-believe castle shut very tight behind them. But there's no such thing, really, as an other world, but the omniverse is all one, and no man can live in any separated portion of it. You can go live with those super-smug ones if you like, but first you must let them stop your ears and blind your eyes.
So, make-believe castles are for people who refuse to face facts, or, back of that, to make any honest effort to discover facts. Very good people, millions of them, and it is understandable that they do not went to be disturbed or frightened, or compelled to reckon with unfamiliar happenings and strange explanations. But our world and the universe so far as we knew about it, moves and changes, and the laws of change held us as with unbreakable nets, with which we must reckon whether we would or no.
Of course, as we said at the beginning, there are other make-believe castles of a different sort, where poets and musicians and their kin love to dwell, and I also all who hope and aspire toward beauty and wisdom, and to the service of humanity; but to speak of them here would expand our theme too much. Yet to these too we are continually invited. "There's a sparkling and a gleaming afar-off now! Whence comes that blaze of light?"