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Chapter 7: Of the Stillest Hour

Now you have heard everything, and why I must return to my solitude. I have kept nothing back from you, my friends.
And you have heard, too, who is the most silent of men - and intends to remain so!.
When Zarathustra had said these words, however, the violence of his grief and the nearness of his departure from his friends overwhelmed him, so that he wept aloud; and no one knew how to comfort him. But that night he went away alone and forsook his friends.

.Thus spake Zarathustra

The moment comes in every mystic’s life when he feels that he is a failure - a failure because he cannot reach human beings. Not that he is not trying hard, but there are so many hurdles and so many obstacles to reaching human beings.

First, the experience of the mystic is attained in absolute solitude and silence. It needs great articulateness to bring that silence into words, to bring that music into mundane language. Much of the truth is lost in transforming silence into sound. There begins the failure of the mystic.

And then the people who are hearing him are not silent. They are full of prejudices, of their own thoughts - although those thoughts are just rubbish, because they have not been discovered by themselves. They have only borrowed them from others. But they cling to those thoughts as if they are great treasures. So when they hear a mystic talking to them, they don’t hear what he says, they hear what their prejudices allow them to hear. There comes the great failure.

They think they have heard the mystic, but they are absolutely deaf and blind - they have been hearing only their own thoughts, seeing only their own dreams. They have not allowed the mystic the space, the silence, the consciousness to reach to their hearts. They have interpreted him, and all their interpretations are distortions.

In these moments of failure, the mystic has only one way, and that is to go back to his solitude again, go back to his own innermost core, to find some better ways, some better words, some better devices, so that he can communicate. He is burdened with a truth and he wants to share it, but nobody is ready to hear him.

In the solitude he polishes, gives last touches to his words, to his poetry, to his song; he drops all that which has been misunderstood before, and tries again from different angles. Perhaps from a different angle it may be possible to stir the longing in human beings which is lying dormant: the longing to transcend themselves, the longing to grow up, the longing to give birth to the superman.

It is in such a moment that these words have been spoken. Zarathustra wants to depart from his disciples, to go again into solitude. His effort to be understood has not been a success. He has tried his best, he has used the simplest words, the clearest concepts, but the mind is so full of prejudices, it screens everything that goes in.

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