He that writes in blood and aphorisms does not want to be read, but learnt by heart.
In the mountains the shortest way is from peak to peak, but for that route you must have long legs. Aphorisms should be peaks, and those spoken to should be tall and lofty.
The atmosphere rare and pure, danger near and the spirit full of a joyful wickedness: these things go well together.
I want to have goblins about me, for I am courageous. Courage which scares away ghosts, creates goblins for itself – it wants to laugh.
I no longer feel as you do; the very cloud which I see beneath me, the blackness and heaviness at which I laugh – that is your thunder-cloud.
You look aloft when you long for exaltation; and I look downward because I am exalted.
Who among you can at the same time laugh and be exalted?
He who climbs high mountains, laughs at all tragic plays and tragic realities.
Brave, unconcerned, mocking, violent – thus wisdom wants us; wisdom is a woman, and always loves only a warrior.
You tell me, “Life is hard to bear.” But why should you have your pride in the morning and your resignation in the evening?
Life is hard to bear: but do not pretend to be so delicate! We are all of us fine sumpter asses and she-asses.
What do we have in common with the rose-bud, which trembles because a drop of dew lies on it?
It is true we love life; not because we are wont to live, but because we are wont to love.
There is always some madness in love. But there is always, also, some method in madness.
And to me also, who appreciates life, the butterflies, and soap-bubbles, and whatever is like them, seem to know most about happiness.
To see these light, foolish, pretty, lively little sprites flit about – that moves Zarathustra to tears and songs.
I would only believe in a God who could dance.
And when I saw my devil, I found him serious, thorough, profound, solemn: he was the spirit of gravity – through him all things fall.
Not by wrath, but by laughter, do we kill. Come, let us kill the spirit of gravity!
I learned to walk; since then have I let myself run. I learned to fly; since then I do not need to be pushed to move from a spot.
Now I am light, now I fly, now I see myself beneath myself, now a god dances through me.
~ from: Thus Spoke Zarathustra,
Part 1, Chapter 7: On Reading And Writing
We are full. We are brimming. Life unfolds. Worlds overflow. Contemplate beginnings. Once more, with feeling. All of us spinning. Doctors of nothing. Come again, full circle. You are well remembered. All of us beginning.
Love. Begin with Love and you can never go wrong. Take aim at love, and you can never “sin”, which is “to miss the mark”. Love is lighter than the wind, lighter than the ether. Your arrows will cut fire and fly straight. A single arrow will point you the whole way to the Kingdom, if its aim is true. Begin with love, or repeat history.
The most incredible experiences are not realized until after they are past. During such experiences, guiding spirits shield from our vision all but the moment. Only in time do great lessons come to light. They are given in an instant, to be pondered for an eternity. Philosophy is the high art of devoting oneself to wisdom, and honoring one’s experience of the world, by the patient application of thought to the ephemeral perceptions which impress their significance upon us. When you chew your food, every bite you take makes it easier on your stomach. Without reflection, indigestion. So, in remembering God, let us remember “Him” frequently. In this way, it must be easier to digest His Word for us, our lesson in the world.
Our Father desires only our freedom. He comes only when we beckon Him, and otherwise leaves us free reign. Like a servant, the Lord waits on our command. Such a servant is worthy of reverence, and what deserves reverence, deserves frequent remembrance. For, truly, a man is indebted to his servant, as the beneficiary of his graces. And how much more are we indebted to our Lord, whose graces themselves serve us, and bestow graces beyond themselves? For by means of gifts, more gifts are discovered. Always, the gifts of gifts.
Everything is holy. A line crossed out is a bible unseen. The scriptures are woven with jewels, and all of them rejected. Even to discover them is to reject them. Every discovered jewel is a rejected star. Every star is a rejected sun. Every sun the center of a cosmos. Sages abandon themselves in this orbital dance and are senseless.
Who does not love to write does not write to love. The work one loves is the work of love. When you love what you do, what you do is love. You all have gifts to be discovered. The light that reveals your gifts shines out from within them, and is one with them.
You are not a chronicler, but a composer of songs. There is nothing to be. When it is said, “Be this,” or “Be that,” you are already “this”, you are already “that”. It is your voice that speaks. It is your song that would be sung. And it is not a command but a declaration; a declaration of love for “this” or “that”. You ask, “But, how will I know when it is love that speaks?” Because love, my friend, always comes singing, gently singing.
I will beg the muses to linger, though the darkness is all but replaced by the light, and the Moon is barely a shadow. But if the muses be silent, I will read and reflect upon their gifts with the deepest gratitude, lest I stray by following my mortal lights. For truth is alive, and speaks only through the mouth of a muse, – and does not speak, but sings. And all that is not sung is dead; untrue and unmoved. Truly, the greatest sages have all been poets and singers of songs. Lesser sages, at their best, sang us a song. And if they had only one song in them, they learned it well, and sang it often. All truth is sung. All truth is poetic. All poetry cryptic. All love is rejoicing. All life is homecoming.
What is to be remembered? Only what is dead. Shall we remember the Lord in this way? Or do we perhaps mean something different, something unique, when we speak of “remembering” the Lord, who is all life? Truly, to “remember” the Lord means only to forget all that is dead and past, and, rather, to dwell in the life of His infinite presence. Shall we remember a person when he or she is with us? Would this not be to neglect our guest? So, a song is well remembered only when it is sung, for that is not to bury it, but to give it new life. Just so, the Lord is well remembered, even resurrected, when we love.
Love. Begin with love and you can never go wrong. Ending in love, you know you’ve done right. Love is the beginning and end of all good labors, and all true questions. But love does not seek to uncover, only to leave things be. Love knows that all is well.
To open the Ark is not to heed its inscription: “This ark is Love. All you will find inside it is Love. But if you see no Love in this outer form, or in the modesty, the secrecy, of this form, how shall you see it inside?” Love is fond of mysteries, but does not press. Love is not greedy for more than what is revealed. Love will not undress the truth, but patiently seduce her to disrobe. Love love’s foreplay. Love is always on the edge of her seat, but never hurries the truth. Love needs no reason, nor argument to love, and does not seek for something more to love, but is content at all times to find the universe in a grain of sand. The Ark is a Pandora’s Box, and Love’s inscription is the soft lock upon that box. It is locked for love of you, but the key is granted upon request, also for love.
Let them interpret these and other sayings. All they shall discover is love. All they shall ever learn is love. Let there be interpretations. For true words are many layered, and many secrets go undiscovered when any secret is disturbed. The noonday sun shuts out from our sight a thousand stars. Love keeps all secrets. For the only secret is love, and the only mystery is our ignorance and indifference to love.
The mystery does not trouble itself to confound us, or to be mysterious. Its nature is mystery, so it is infinitely mysterious. But if you ask a sage, he or she will tell you every time, “The answer is love.” Love. So light, it floats away on the breath when we call it. So heavy, it comes pregnant with mysteries, desperate for a bed. So fine it cannot be seen. So dense it cannot be fathomed. A blinding vision to behold.
Darling one, come again! My wonder. Like a grandmother, let me behold you, grandchild. And run free like a child at your choosing, unbound by love. All your choices are for love. And when you have gorged yourself on love, in one form or another, it is to love’s bed that you retire. And both forms of love are divine. Both are prayers well received. All love is divine, and all prayers are holy. For God hears only love, and God hears all love. Even the faintest love is a chorus attended by God. And all that speaks of unholiness speaks to unholiness, and is itself unholy. Do not disturb the mystery. Let the mystery be holy. Leave the questions unhurried. Let the questions be holy.
Love is certain. For, to be certain is to rest, and there is no rest but in love. Only love is at rest. Only love is certain.
Breathe in, when you meet with resistance, and breathe out when you meet with acceptance. The greatest wisdom is simple, as a seed is simple. Every seed can sprout a thousand Vedas, and nourish many nations. True wisdom is self-perpetuating. To grasp it is to be inspired with it. Where the song of love is resonant, it is creative.
Can you sing a hurtful word? Who will permit it in her song? The song of love is melodious, and by its delicacy you shall know it. But harsh tones of accusation do not soothe, and bitter reproaches are clumsily sung. Even to make note of them here would be a disservice, were it not done in the service of love.
Let all lessons not be in vain. Leave them be, if they are learned. All lessons are but the restless spirits of lives already passed, crying only to be left in peace, unreconciled and unresolved; their legacies entrusted to living descendants. You are not your lessons or your karma, though the spirits of your ancestors move within you unperceived. Your heart is a ghost yard, restless and disturbed. Your questions and answers are the plaints and groans of the dead. Relax yourself, and give them peace.
Abandon your lessons, child, and partake of the summer breeze! You have appointments to keep with the flowers and the trees! They have new, adventurous secrets to impart, to whosoever would meet them. Then let the present life inform you! You are not a historian, but a maker of history! In this knowing there is only love, and only love is this knowing. For love is all that is known, and all that can ever be known.
There is no end to God’s love for you, and no end of love songs to sing. Only be still, and you shall hear the strains, and they shall move you to dance and sing by themselves. Singing along to this song, you will know you keep synch with the Lord. Dancing, you will know you keep step. Speak of the eternal and your words shall be eternal, immortal. Speak of troubles and your words shall be as dust, shook loose from the soles of His feet. The great work is only interrupted when you doubt yourself, for that is to doubt God’s love for you. Speak, then, as the Son of our Lord shines; He does not cease to shine for eclipses. So is my love for you uneclipsed.
We only ever reject ourselves. We only ever reject love. If we had love for ourselves, we would rest safely in that love, and not desire to move from there, in order to heap scorn on another. All we ever want is love, and love is ours to give! Hear this and rejoice! Know your understanding is lifted. And with it, love is lifted from the depths of your spirit, and poured out freely over the parched earth of your soul. You love yourself; tired, beaten down by a thousand ungentle truths; not in glory, but in ruin; not perfected, but incomplete; not the bread, but the flower, ground exceedingly small. You are the child, fit to pass through the narrowest gate.
The Lord gives us all that we have, and is not done giving. Open the gifts of the Lord. Children, do not wonder: All is welcome. All is forgiven. As you ache, I ache for you with you. I’m there, inside you, like a child, welcome or unwelcome. Your contractions are only occasioned by my hastening to you. You, the Virgin Mother, and I, the Lord, your God. To some it is madness, to others a secret bliss. Mother, will you love me, small as I am? Will you carry this child to term? Embrace the formless spirit within this broken form? I, the Lord God, am this child.
God love us! God deliver us! Love is infinite. The only thing is love. The only thing you reject is love. Blessed are the rejected. Loved are they, even as all are loved. But this love is greater in a relative sense, for “The stone that the builder rejected shall be the head stone of the corner.” There is nothing to embrace but the Christ, nothing to reject but the Christ. Discard nothing! That which you have in hand is the Christ, and the first stone which must be set.
Asking ourselves, “What do I reject? What do I despise?”, we locate the stone. Speaking unto the Lord, “This shall I love,” we embrace the stone. Silent in our hearts, “Loving the stone,” we carry it to the appointed and anointed place. Losing ourselves in love for the stone, we affix it there. Such labor is a joy incomparable. Who labors with the Lord, gives birth to love, and lives in love with love. That which is weakest is wanted. All who grow tired grow strong. To be low is to be flooded in God’s love, for God’s love must fill all the rivers and channels it runs down, and gather force along the way.
My beloved one, do not trouble yourself to understand this. These mysteries are boundless and not to be circumferenced. There is nothing to know, nothing to be won. All love is free and flows everywhere like the air. Will you only breathe deeply when you draw your last breath?
Alas, that flesh is hunted, and taken before its time,
While love grows on trees, and dies on the vine!
Love is everywhere ripe, and everywhere engenders itself. As you reap it, so is it also sown, as the seeds fall from your lips. To love is not difficult. To love is only to be forgiven. Is it so difficult to be forgiven? Don’t ask Saturn. Don’t ask Neptune. Ask yourself, if you are given.
You, who hide your beauty under a veil of shame. You are the virgin bride of the Lord, worthy to bear the true prince. Let your tears be for joy. Let His mercy enfold you. There was nothing before, and there is nothing now, but love. Always, it has been so. Only you have desired to hear. Hear me, then. Love me, if you would reject me. And, if not me, love another, for I am in all things, and am not an object to be loved, but the love itself! Only love, love, love, and all accounts shall be balanced, all laws perfectly fulfilled.
Why beat your head against a wall? The only way through it is love. Behold, I shall stand before you in the nakedness of my flesh, and not move from your path until I am fully embraced. My body shall be as an impenetrable wall around the garden of my spirit, and only those who can love the body shall be able to pass through it as spirit. This is the way, the truth, and the life. This is the eternal law of love.
i would relinquish my pilgrim soul
to curl over thought and thing
like a spacious tongue
i am Void
severe spectre of occult industry
solemn am i
sombre long before the world
shrouded in myth and song
i am Ocean
deep in splendor
storyteller with salted breath
i do not decry the sober dark
i give birth to agitative visions
i am Awe
whom the fibrous eye of the poet covets
i am Solitude
modest juggernaut of Saturn
just beyond the ornamental throne of Jupiter
the stillness of fate inside of fire
How often I have boasted, and listened to others boast, of an ability to see the world for what it is. But I am convinced I was never that strong — and, in all my life, I have met no person strong enough to look, unflinching, upon the full scope of horrors in this world for the space of a single, ghastly hour.
We all take refuge in distractions. If not religion, then politics, alcohol, entertainment, shopping, sugar, sex, etc. We’re all desperate to dull our consciences, and our consciousness of people like us in crisis; people we could help, if we were not such shamelessly self-serving beasts. The fact is, we accessorize with the flesh of the poor; what would put meat on their bones, puts rings on our fingers and ribbons in our hair.
If anything, religion, Christ, the saints, and other archetypes of sacrificial love, play the greatest role in bringing reality to mind. Perhaps that’s the true reason so many people despise them. After all, there are no atheist soup kitchens. I’m agnostic, but, I must confess, it seems to me that no alliance has done more charitable work in the world than the one we know as Christianity.
You ask if I believe in God. My friend, I do not even believe a soul on earth has power to believe in such a one. It seems to me, belief in God is something more mysterious, and more miraculous, than anyone has guessed. Supposing we could see The Face of God, we would only doubt our eyes; for there are smaller things by far than This — and, still, too great to be believed.
I thought I believed in miracles, but when at last I saw them, I disbelieved my eyes.
Anyone who says he believes in God, and does not fall into paroxysms of love at the mention of this name, lies.
We are haunted by the ghosts of idle hours passed, and guided by the spirits of hours well spent. Those of us who are strongest cannot rest without expending considerable labor; for the phantoms of the dead, whom we have set in motion and invited by our tendencies, abuse us always with petitions. Our souls are related by affinities, and our relatives have always some claim upon our time. I know, for instance, that the late authors whom I love are also my ancestors, and visit me often — particularly, the more obscure among them — if only to entreat me to make their names, their loves, and lessons known.