Thus Spake Zarathustra: Involuntary Bliss

involutary-blissPrevious Post: The Vision and the Enigma

With enigmas and bitterness in his heart, Zarathustra sailed over the sea. When he was four day’s journey from the Happy Isles and from his friends, he surmounted all his pain. Triumphantly and firmly, he again accepted his fate. Zarathustra spoke with his exulting conscience:

I’m alone again, and like to be so; alone with the pure heavens, and the open sea. Once again, the afternoon around me. In the afternoon I found my friends for the first time. In the afternoon, I found them a second time, at the hour when all light becomes stiller.

Whatever happiness is still on its way between heaven and earth, now seeks lodging in a luminous soul. With happiness, all light has now become stiller. In the afternoon of my life, my happiness descend with me into the valley to seek lodging. It found those open hospitable souls.

What didn’t I surrender that I might have one thing: a living plantation of my thoughts, and the dawn of my highest hope! The creating one sought companions, and children of his hope. It turned out that he could not find them, and had to first create them. I am in the midst of my work, going to my children going, and returning from them. For the sake of his children, Zarathustra must perfect himself.

One’s heart loves only one’s child and one’s work. Where there is great love of oneself, this is a sign of pregnancy. So have I found it. My children are still verdant, in their first spring, standing near one another, and shaken in common by the winds. They are the trees of my garden and of my best soil. Truly, where such trees stand beside one another, there are Happy Isles!

One day will I take them up, and put each by itself alone, so that it may learn loneliness, defiance, and carefulness. Gnarled and crooked with flexible hardness, it will then stand by the sea, a living lighthouse of unconquerable life. Where storms rush down into the sea, and the snout of the mountain drinks water, each will take a turn at his day and night watches, for his testing and recognition.

Each must be recognized and tested to see if he is of my type and lineage—whether he is the master of a strong will, silent even when he speaks, and giving in such a way that he takes in giving—so that he may one day become my companion, a fellow creator and fellow enjoyer with Zarathustra; one who shares my will and my values for the fuller perfection of all things.

For his sake and the sake of those like him, must I perfect myself. Therefore, I now avoid my happiness and present myself to every misfortune, for my final testing and recognition. Truly, it was time that I went away. The wanderer’s shadow, the longest tedium, and the stillest hour have all said to me “It is the highest time!”

The word blew to me through the keyhole and said “Come!” The door sprang subtly open to me, and said “Go!” But I lay enchained by my love for my children. Desire spread this snare for me—the desire for love—so that I would become the prey of my children, and lose myself in them.

Desiring is now, for me, to have lost myself. I possess you, my children, but everything about my possessing will be assurance and nothing desire. The brooding sun of my love lay upon me, and I stewed in my own juices. Then shadows and doubts flew past me. I longed for frost and winter.

“If only frost and winter would once again make me crack and crunch!” I sighed.

Then an icy mist rose out of me. My past burst its tomb, and many pains I had buried alive woke up. They had merely slept, concealed in burial shrouds. Everything called to me in signs “It is time!” But I didn’t hear until at last my abyss moved, and my thoughts bit me.

Ah, abysmal thoughts that are my thoughts! When shall I find strength to hear you burrowing and no longer tremble? My heart throbs in my throat when I hear you burrowing! Your muteness is likely to strangle me, you abysmal mute ones! As yet have I never ventured to call you up. It has been enough that I have carried you about with me! As yet have I not been strong enough for my final lion wantonness and playfulness. Your weight has always been sufficiently formidable to me. One day I will find the strength and the lion’s voice that will call you up!

When I have surpassed myself in this, I will then surmount myself in that which is greater as well. This victory will seal my perfection! Meanwhile. I sail along on uncertain seas. Chance flatters me, smooth tongued chance. Forward and backward I gaze, but I see no end. The hour of my final struggle has yet to come, unless perhaps it is coming just now. With insidious beauty, the sea and life surround me, gazing upon me.

How I distrust the afternoon of my life, the happiness before evening, this haven upon high seas, and my peace in uncertainty! I am truly distrustful of your insidious beauty! I am like a lover who distrusts too sleek a smile. As he pushes his beloved away from him, tender even in severity, the jealous on, so I push this blissful hour away from me.

Away with you, blissful hour! Involuntary bliss has come to me with you! I stand here ready for my most severe pain, and you have come at the wrong time! I would rather you harbour with my children! Go quickly and bless them before evening with my happiness! Evening approaches, and the sun sinks. Away with you, my happiness!

So said Zarathustra. And he waited for his misfortune the whole night, but he waited in vain. The night remained clear and calm, and happiness itself came closer and closer to him. Towards morning, Zarathustra laughed in his heart.

“Happiness runs after me,” he said self-mockingly. “That is because I do not run after women. However, happiness, is a woman.”

Next Post: Before Sunrise

About jimbelton

I'm a software developer, and a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, and I blog about movies, books, and philosophy. My interest in religious philosophy and the search for the truth inspires much of my writing.
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2 Responses to Thus Spake Zarathustra: Involuntary Bliss

  1. Pingback: Thus Spake Zarathustra: The Vision and the Enigma | Jim's Jumbler

  2. Pingback: Thus Spake Zarathustra: Before Sunrise | Jim's Jumbler

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