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Chapter 10: Before Sunrise

O sky above me! O pure, deep sky! You abyss of light! Gazing into you, I tremble with divine desires.
To cast myself into your height - that is my depth! To hide myself in your purity - that is my innocence!
The god is veiled by his beauty: thus you hide your stars. You do not speak: thus you proclaim to me your wisdom..
We have been friends from the beginning:.
We do not speak to one another, because we know too much: we are silent together, we smile our knowledge to one another.
Are you not the light of my fire? Do you not have the sister-soul of my insight?
Together we learned everything; together we learned to mount above ourselves to ourselves and to smile uncloudedly - to smile uncloudedly down from bright eyes and from miles away when under us compulsion and purpose and guilt stream like rain.
And when I wandered alone, what did my soul hunger after by night and on treacherous paths? And when I climbed mountains, whom did I always seek, if not you, upon mountains?
And all my wandering and mountain-climbing: it was merely a necessity and an expedient of clumsiness: my whole will desires only to fly, to fly into you!
And what have I hated more than passing clouds and all that defiles you? And I have hated even my own hatred, because it defiled you!
I dislike the passing clouds, these stealthy cats of prey: they take from you and from me what we have in common - the vast and boundless declaration of yes and amen..
I, however, am one who blesses and declares yes, if only you are around me, you pure, luminous sky! You abyss of light! - then into all abysses do I carry my consecrating declaration yes.
I have become one who blesses and one who declares yes: and for that I wrestled long and was a wrestler, so that I might one day have my hands free for blessing.
This, however, is my blessing: to stand over everything as its own sky, as its round roof, its azure bell and eternal certainty: and happy is he who thus blesses!
For all things are baptized at the fount of eternity and beyond good and evil; good and evil themselves, however, are only intervening shadows and damp afflictions and passing clouds..
The world is deep: and deeper than day has ever comprehended. Not everything may be spoken in the presence of day. But day is coming: so let us part!
O sky above me, you modest, glowing sky! O you, my happiness before sunrise! Day is coming: so let us part!

.Thus spake Zarathustra.

Zarathustra cannot speak except in poetry. He is helpless. Prose is almost impossible for him, because there are heights and there are depths which are only available to poetry - prose is too mundane.

Poetry is not just a form, but a certain spirit, a certain beauty, a certain grace. Linguistically his statements may not be called poetry, but nobody can deny that they are the pure essence of what poetry is. Their very foundation, their very spirit, is poetic.

So please do not understand this prose the way prose is being understood. It has no logic in it but it has great aesthetic sensitivity. His words don’t say what the dictionary words say about them. His words are only wings, indications, but they are always indicative beyond themselves. They are always hinting towards much that they cannot contain.

In other words, Zarathustra has to be understood metaphorically, not literally. He is not a man of letters but a man of genuine experiences. These statements, before sunrise, are not only beautiful but contain great insight, and can be helpful to all those who do not want to remain confined to the mind but want to transcend it.

Transcendence of man and man’s mind is Zarathustra’s basic teaching.

O sky above me! O pure, deep sky! You abyss of light! Gazing into you, I tremble with divine desires.

The sky symbolizes emptiness, but not in a negative sense.emptiness which is full, over-full. The sky is the ancient word - what we now call “space.”

Zarathustra’s whole longing is for spaciousness: no boundaries to the human spirit, no limitations to the human flight. That’s why he used to carry an eagle with himself, as a symbol of a longing to go beyond the stars. He is the first man who has longed so much; and unless you long so much you remain small. Your desires are very small - for money, for respectability, for a certain social status, for some political power.

That’s the difference between desires and longings: longings are always of the sacred, desires are achievable. Longings are for the impossible; and unless you long for the impossible you cannot rise to your ultimate height, and you cannot penetrate to your ultimate depth either.

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