But when the king came to look at the guests, he saw a man who had no wedding garment; and he said to him, Friend, how didst thou come in here, and yet have not a wedding garment? But he fell silent. (Mt 22: 11-12)
Feeling watched can make us feel nervous. Self-consciousness is not the same as self-awareness, as one might think; it points to a kind of embarrassment; to knowing that we are being looked at. This is the beginning of shame, as the story of Adam and Eve in paradise shows: once removed from their origin in God, they experience the attention of the higher world as a threat. This gives rise to their impulse to clothe themselves and to hide from the divine world.
The ranks of the celestial hierarchies are distinguished from each other by ever growing orbits of consciousness. While I see the course of my life only partially and intermittently, my angel sees it continually and completely. The archangel has the fate of a whole community of human beings in view, and the time spirit the destiny of the epoch. One can start from the experience of one’s own consciousness and imagine its counterpart in the consciousness of the angels; one can even ask: How might my angel look at my day; how might the folk-spirit see the election campaign; how does the time spirit behold the crises of mankind? To practise such questions can help us overcome our paralysis, our silence in the face of the higher worlds and to find words, words of prayer that may be of service to them.