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Chapter 12: Of the Apostates

Even in ordinary life you may have observed the fact: when you are laughing, suddenly you are one in your laughter, and when you are crying you are alone. When you are joyous and dancing you start melting into each other, and when you are miserable all the bridges are broken; you have suddenly become absolutely lonely in a vast universe.

Zarathustra is right: whoever has my sort of will is bound to encounter experiences of my sort, because all experiences depend on your consciousness. Experiences don’t depend on outside things, they depend on your inner growth, inner vision.

There is an ancient story:

A king, his prime minister and his bodyguard have all lost their way in a deep forest where they have been hunting. The sun is setting and they come across a blind beggar sitting under a tree. The first man to come to the blind beggar is the bodyguard.

He says to the beggar, “What are you doing here, you blind man?”

He said, “I am not doing anything. I don’t have any other place. The whole day I beg and in the night I come here to rest.”

And the bodyguard said, “Can you tell us the way to the town?”

He said, “Of course, but first I will tell you, that you seem to be a very lower kind of person. Perhaps you are a constable, a bodyguard, who does not even know how to talk to an old blind man.”

Then comes the prime minister and with great etiquette he asks the old man, “I have lost the way. It would be very kind of you if you could help me to find the way.”

The old man says, “Just now, one man - perhaps he was part of your party - has passed and I have shown him the way. Was he a bodyguard?”

The prime minister said, “You are blind, how could you figure it out? You seem to be immensely wise. Yes, he was a bodyguard. Forgive me if he has misbehaved with you.”

The blind man said, “Nobody can misbehave with me. Life has misbehaved with me. But I can say about you, that you are a man of manners. Perhaps a member of the court of the king, or maybe the prime minister.”

Then came the king. He touched the feet of the old man and said, “There is no need to remain here in the open under the sky - the clouds are gathering. You can come with me to the palace, and you can show me the way to it. We have been hunting and we have lost our way.”

The old man said, “Just by your compassion you show the quality of your consciousness. You certainly are the king of this kingdom. And it is not just a coincidence, you have the qualities to be the king. Just before you, your prime minister passed me, and before that your guard passed me.”

The king said, “You are blind, how can you manage to figure out who is who?”

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