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Chapter 4: Be a Seed

The philosopher looked long at the grain of wheat, and silence fell upon the palace while he meditated. At length he said, “I do not regret my many months of journeying, for now I know that Zarathustra is in truth the great teacher that I have long believed him to be. This tiny grain of wheat can indeed teach us the laws of the universe and the forces of nature, for it contains them in itself right now. You must not keep the grain of wheat in its golden box. You are missing the whole point.

“If you plant this little grain in the earth, where it belongs, in contact with the soil, the rain, the air, the sunshine, and the light of the moon and the stars, then like a universe in itself it will begin to grow bigger and bigger. Likewise you, if you would grow in knowledge and understanding, must leave your artificial life and go where you will be close to all the forces of nature and of the universe, to the sum total of things. Just as inexhaustible sources of energy are ever flowing towards the grain planted in the earth, so will innumerable sources of knowledge open and flow towards you till you become one with nature and the organic universe. If you watch the growth of this seed of grain, you will find that there is an indestructible and mysterious power in it - the power of life. The grain disappears, and in that disappearance there is victory over death.”

“All that you say is true,” answered the king, “yet in the end the plant will wither and die and will be dissolved into the earth.”

“But not,” said the philosopher, “until it has done an act of creation and has turned itself into hundreds of grains, each like the first. The tiny grain disappeared as it grew into a plant, and you too as you grow must turn yourself into something and someone else. Life always create more life, truth more abundant truth, the seed more abundant seeds. The only art one needs to know is the art how to die. Then one is reborn. I propose that we journey to Zarathustra himself that he may teach us more of these things.”

In a few days, they came to the garden of Zarathustra. His only book was the great book of nature, and he taught his disciples to read in it. The two visitors learned another great truth in Zarathustra’s garden that life and work. Leisure and study, are one and the same: that the right way to live is a simple, natural life - a creative life within which individual growth is a single, total dynamism. They spent a year in the garden, learning to read the laws of existence and of life from the vast book of nature. At the end of that time, the king returned to his own city and asked Zarathustra to set out systematically the essence of his great teaching. Zarathustra did so, and the result was the great book of the Zend-Avesta, the great book of the Parsis.

This long story is the whole story of how a man becomes God, how that which you are hiding within yourself can become revealed.

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