Chapter 37: A Dewdrop Cannot Offend the Ocean
Can a firefly offend the spirit of the stars? Should she confess, should she go to a Catholic Church? Nobody is offended. In fact, the firefly brings something of the stars closer to you, closer to your garden, closer to your roses and your flowers, sometimes even inside your house - something of the stars in the darkness of your room.
It is not offending the stars. It is a messenger; there is no question of any regret. It is not competing with the stars, it is simply bringing, in a small amount, the same light, the same dance. Where stars cannot reach, the firefly can reach.
And shall your flame or your smoke burden the wind?
Do you think your flame, your youth, your smoke or your old age can burden the wind? Then what is the need to repent? Jesus was obsessed with repentance; he repeats the word more than any other word: “Repent, repent,” again and again.
Christianity is a religion of repentance, hence I say it is the lowest religion in comparison to other religions. And the sole responsibility goes to Jesus because he is emphasizing repentance, making you feel guilty. But life is always balancing.
Zarathustra balances Jesus. Zarathustra is the only person out of all the religious founders who is in deep love with life. Perhaps that is the reason why the followers of Zarathustra are the smallest minority in the world. They live here in Mumbai, mostly; Mumbai is their whole world. Just a few fragments maybe live in Khandala and Lonavala, but Pune is the end; beyond it, you will not find any follower of Zarathustra. And nobody thinks them religious because they love life, they enjoy life.
When Friedrich Nietzsche wanted to write something parallel to the gospels of Jesus, he chose the name of Zarathustra - although he knew not much about Zarathustra. It is such a small minority that nobody counts it in the world’s religions. But Friedrich Nietzsche was as much in love with life as Zarathustra, and that is the link.
When he wrote Thus Spake Zarathustra he was speaking in the name of Zarathustra; but whatever he was speaking, without knowing Zarathustra, was harmonious with the spirit of Zarathustra because it is the only life-affirmative religion in the world. Friedrich Nietzsche is Zarathustra reborn. Neither Zarathustra has been understood, nor Friedrich Nietzsche.
This book, The Prophet, was written by Kahlil Gibran under the impact of Friedrich Nietzsche’s book Thus Spake Zarathustra. He was so impressed by the book that he himself tried to write a book on similar lines. Zarathustra was not a historical figure to Nietzsche because he knew nothing about Zarathustra except the name, but he had chosen the right spokesman for his own philosophy.