Chapter 4: Unless You Create Your Face
Sannyas means a creative approach towards God. Your prayer should not be just impotent. It should show that you really want it to be that way. You should do all that you can do - no stone should be left unturned, only then God’s help arises, comes, descends, transforms. God certainly comes, but only when you have done all that you could do, never before.
And the problem has become very very great - particularly for the modern mind. In the past man has always lived with a “giver-God.” He was there in the heaven and everything was right on the earth. People have lived very lethargically, uncreatively, just dependent on God - praying, praising him, and thinking that they have done all that they can do - prayer and praise. Now that is no more possible - not after Friedrich Nietzsche. That God is dead.
Let me tell you this small parable from Nietzsche.
Have you not heard of the madman who lit a lantern in the bright morning hours, ran to the market place and cried incessantly “I seek God! I seek God!” As many of those who do not believe in God were standing around just then, he provoked much laughter.
“Why, did he get lost?” said one. “Is he afraid of us? Is he hiding?” said another. “Has he lost his way? or gone on voyage? or emigrated?” said the third. Thus they yelled and laughed. The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his glances.
“Whither is God?” he cried. “I shall tell you. We have killed him - you and I. All of us are his murderers. And now we are plunging continuously into nothingness. Do you not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is not night and more night coming on all the while? Must not lanterns be lit even in the morning? Do we not hear anything of the noise of the grave-diggers who are digging a grave for God and burying him? Do we not smell anything yet of God’s decomposition? Gods too decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.”
Here the madman fell silent and looked again at his listeners. And they too were silent and stared at him in astonishment. At last he threw his lantern on the ground, and it broke and went out. “I come too early” he said to them; “my time has not come yet. The tremendous event is still on its way, still wandering. It has not yet reached the ears of man. Lightning and thunder require time, the light of the stars requires time, deeds require time, even after they are done, before they can be seen and heard. This deed is still more distant from them than the most distant stars - and they have done it themselves.”
What Nietzsche’s madman has said :I have come a little too early, maybe my right time has not come. People cannot understand it.. That time has come now, after one hundred years. The whole world is full of the smell of the decomposing God. But it always happens. This parable is of infinite significance.