Monday, June 28, 2010

Thus Spake Geothustra, Episode 3

As he wandered, Geothustra beheld yonder a large city he had never visited. Out of curiosity, he walked towards it, and then a beggar, a wrinkled old man with white hair, held his palm out, and asked, “Five shillings please, for cigarettes?”
“Come with me to the city,” Geothustra answered, “and we can get you a job washing dishes, so that you may indulge in your vice.”
“No!” the beggar cried out. “Do not go to the city! You will suffer loss! Turn around!”
“Why there and not here?” asked Geothustra.
“Everything in the city is corrupted and crumbling. Thieves abound. There is filth everywhere. Nobody is safe.”
“This is odd,” said Geothustra. Here in the woods, it is peaceful. Here, there is blissful silence. But where people are gathered, there is noise and sadness. Why would people create misery for themselves?”
“I don’t know,” said the beggar. “I just need a smoke.”
“Maybe I can introduce there some new values,” said Geothustra.
“Useless!” cried the old man. “You will be ignored. Nobody will understand. There are many voices there, saying different things, and nobody knows who is correct.
“Excessive noise murders thoughts,” said Geothustra. “But do not logic and evidence tell us what is right?”
Just then, a woman who looked deceptively youthful appeared.
“Please stay here a while,” Geothustra called out to her. “You are beautiful, and I wish to enjoy your company for a little while. I am named Geothustra, after my grand-uncle Zarathustra. If I may ask, what is your name?”
“My name is Eternity,” she answered.
“If you went away and came back, would this be an Eternal recurrence?” asked Geothustra.
She smiled. “Let us go down to the city. There must be some good people there.”
“Everywhere,” said Geothustra, “there are those who call themselves ‘good.’ But they are flies which buzz around bothering people. They are mosquitos who sting and say it is for your good.”
“The good say they help the poor. Do you not pity the poor?” said Eternity.
“Pity fouls the air,” said Geothustra. “If all we do is give alms to the poor, then our pity becomes a cruel prison. That is why I despise pity.”
“The government should do something,”said the beggar.
“Who is in government?” asked Geothustra. “Those who lust to rule. They become hard hearted. Their democracy exploits the vanity of the people. The people are camels.”
“One hump or two?” asked the beggar.
“Nothing but humps,” said Geothustra. “Like a camel, the proletarian man kneels down and lets himself be burdened. He then walks around carrying a useless sack of rocks.”
“And it goes on for eternity!” said Eternity.
“Oh, I am falling in love with you!” exclaimed Geothustra.
“I need a cigarette,” said the beggar.
“Going back to the good,” said Eternity. “Why is it bad to be good?”
“The ordinary man believes that his good is a universal good. The superior being, who reasons rather than reacts, understands the difference between his personal good and the universal good. He rejects the chief who seeks to impose his personal good on all. The greatest evil is the sin of Adam and Eve, whose conceit led them to believe they could replace the tree of knowledge of good and evil, with a new plant of their own sowing. We need to go beyond the stifling good and evil dictated by cultural and personal conceit. Go your way, and let other folks go their ways.”
Spoke Eternity, “If you say this to the city folk, you will disturb their sleep, and they will not like it, despite their sleep being plagued with nightmares.”
“Very well,” said Geothustra. “We will not venture into the city. Instead, let us instead go into the woods, where there is a meadow, where the gods are dancing naked.”
“Why naked?” said the beggar. Geothustra noticed that his shirt was stained, his trousers were
torn, and his shoes worn out. Is naked worse than rags?
“The dancing gods are ashamed of all clothing,” said Geothustra. “It is the opposite of the city.”
“Dancing gods? You speak in riddles and stories,” said the beggar.
“These are metaphors and similes,” explained Eternity.
“I must speak in parables,” said Geothustra, “so that people ponder what I say, rather than reject it in reflex.”
“Like a poet,” said Eternity.
“Oh! I love you, Eternity!” exclaimed Geothustra.
“Tell us another parable,” said the beggar.
Replied Geothustra, “The sun pours gold into the sea from its inexhaustible wealth, so that even the poorest may row with golden oars, but man has ruined the sea and prefers to till rocky soil.”
“Government should give me free smokes,” said the beggar, “because I badly need them!”
Said Geothustra, “The rabble wants to live free of charge, but I propose a new nobility. If we accepted the gold naturally offered to us, then we would be able to earn wealth and receive goods in exchange.”
“Well,” said the beggar. “If you can’t give me money for smokes, good bye,” and he departed.
“He will be back,” said Eternity. “Beggars are an eternal recurrence.”
“What about truth?” asked Geothustra,.
“Truths are eternal,” said Eternity. “People cast them aside, yet truth always comes back. Truth gets lost and then rediscovered over and over again. Truth too is an eternal recurrence.”
“Oh, my soul,” spoke Geothustra, “I have longed for you all my life. There is no soul that could be more encompassing! Into your eyes I looked, and I caught a glimpse of nirvana. Never before have I found a woman whom I could love, Eternally, Recurrently, until now!
I love you, O Eternity!”
Thus spake Geothustra.

(Reference: Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzche, Cambridge University Press, 2006; Third Part.)


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