Chapter 7: Of the Three Metamorphoses
Is it not this: to debase yourself in order to injure your pride?
Or is it this: to desert our cause when it is celebrating its victory?
To climb high mountains in order to tempt the tempter?
Or is it this: to love those who despise us and to offer our hand to the ghost when it wants to frighten us?
The weight-bearing spirit takes upon itself all these heaviest things: like a camel hurrying laden into the desert, thus it hurries into its desert.
The lowest consciousness of man knows only a life of the desert. Where nothing grows, where nothing is green, where no flower blossoms, where everything is dead and, as far as you can see, it is vast graveyard.
But in the loneliest desert the second metamorphosis occurs: the spirit here becomes a lion.
There are moments, even in the life of those who are groping in darkness and unconsciousness, when just like a lightning, some incident wakes them up and the camel is no more a camel: a metamorphosis, a transformation happens.
Gautam Buddha left his kingdom when he was twenty-nine years old and the reason: a sudden lightning, and the camel became a lion.
When he was born, all the great astrologers of the kingdom were called, because he was the only son of the great emperor, and he was born when the emperor was getting old. It was his life-long prayer, life-long desire to have a child; otherwise, who is going to succeed him? His whole life he has been fighting, invading and creating a vast empire. For whom? There was great rejoicing when Gautam Buddha was born and he wanted to know, in detail, the future of the child. All the great astrologers assembled in the palace. They discussed for hours and the king was asking again and again, “What is your conclusion? Why is it taking so long?”
Finally, the youngest.. Because all the old ones were feeling very embarrassed. “What to say?” The situation was such.they were all in agreement. But the youngest stood up and he said, “These are old people and they don’t want to say anything that may hurt you. But somebody has to break the ice.
“You have a very strange child. His future cannot be predicted definitely, because he has two futures. For hours we have been discussing which one is heavier; they both are of equal weight. We have never come across such a child.”