Thursday, September 02, 2010

Thus Spake Geothustra, Episode 4

Geothustra was now old, with white hair, and word had spread in the region that there was a wise, though odd, guru who lived on the mountain. Now Geothustra had a stream of visitors who climbed up to tap his wisdom.
“I have become a caricature,” huffed Geothustra to himself. “A cartoon guru that people climb up to for one-liner answers. If such must be, then I shall be cartoon squared!”
Word spread that Geothustra wandered about the mountain naked, not caring if others were male or female. Often he was naked when visitors arrived. “This is how I assert and express my sovereignty,” he would explain to startled visitors.
There was a knock on the door, the 5th visitor for the day. “How can I get rich?” asked the visitor. “Compound interest,” replied Geothustra.
A young man came and asked, “How can I get a date?” “Ask a hundred women. One will say yes, although she may be the one you like the least.”
“How can I achieve peace on earth?” asked a young lady.
“Put in your will that you wish to be buried in soil,” replied Geothustra.
Another asked, “What is the true religion?”
Replied Geothustra, “Why do you think there is one?”
A teacher asked him, “What makes you so wise?”
Geothustra replied thus: “I go to the ground of things.”
A college student asked, “Is money the root of evil?”
Geothustra: “Why do you speak of money? You are not going to the ground of things!”
“What is the ground?” asked the student.
“The ground is the ground!” exclaimed Geothustra.
Another visitor overheard this. “Oh, Geothustra, you hit hard with your truths! From whence do you get your truths?”
“When one is in touch with the universe” explained Geothustra. “Truth comes to one of its own accord.”
A member of parliament asked, “What advice do you have for law makers?”
Replied Geothustra, “Will nothing beyond your capacity.”
Asked the legislator, “And what is my capacity?”
Geothustra: “Your capacity is exceeded when you believe you are more sovereign than others.”
One day there were a dozen visitors. Geothustra thought it would be appropriate to have a party. “This evening at my place, there will be dancing!” he said. There was an odd assortment of people gathered. Sitting together were two kings, an old magician, the brother of the pope, a beggar, a man afraid of his shadow, a woman who claimed to be spiritual but not religious, a soothsayer, a man voted the ugliest in the valley, and a donkey.
“Tell us a story,” said the magician.
Thus replied Geothustra: “I once met a woman whose name was Eternity. I loved her, but she did not reciprocate. I then realized that in seeking Eternity, I was willing beyond my capacity. Later I met a woman whose name was Destiny. I sought her too, but she could not love me, and I realized that again I willed to power beyond my capacity, as Destiny is simply what must be. Now I ask only for my sovereignty.”
Geothustra turned towards the woman who was spiritual but not religious.
“What is your name? If I may ask.”
She replied, “My name is, indeed, Sovereignty.”
“Oh!” exclaimed Geothustra. “Who here besides her is sovereign?”
The two kings raised their hands. “They call us the sovereigns.”
“You are all sovereigns,” said Geothustra. “But people give away their sovereignty, even while they over-reach into the sovereignty of others. Thus is it said, the law is an ass.”
The donkey went “Yee haw!”
“Is the donkey also sovereign?” asked the ugly man.
“Usually not,” answered Geothustra. “But then suddenly the donkey will refuse his load.”
“Now let’s dance!” said Geothustra. “Lift up your legs!”
“I don’t know how to dance,” said the pope’s brother.
“Then stand on your head and kick your legs,” answered Geothustra.
The kings were too embarrassed to dance. “We must maintain dignity,” they explained. What if one of our subjects were to visit here?”
“They are kings,” thought Geothustra, “yet they have heavy feet. They are slaves of custom and pomposity.”
“Keep dancing” exclaimed Geothustra. “Your very souls should be dancing!”
Geothustra’s cave was full of laughing and dancing. Except for the solemn kings.
Then late in the evening, out of the forest came a loud roar. They all looked towards the direction of the bellow, and there emerged a large yellow beast. The lion shook its head and roared out again, and then he came running towards the cave. Everybody except Geothustra and Sovereignty fled down the mountain.
“Everyone who hosts a party should have such a lion on hand,” said Geothustra.
“Oh, Sovereignty,” exclaimed Geothustra. “You are all I desire. I have been seeking the higher man, and now I have found the higher woman. Please, will you stay with me?’
“Yes, Geothustra, I will stay. For you have taught me to love the earth!”
“The higher man should ask for nothing more than his Sovereignty,” said Geothustra. “Accept nothing less, and demand nothing more.”
“You shall have your Sovereignty!” she said.
“I have fulfilled my destiny, for eternity.”
Thus spake Geothustra.
(This has been a deconstruction and reconstruction of Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche, Cambridge University Press, 2006; Fourth Part.)


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