The old saint could see the change; although it is the same man, it is not the same energy; it is the same man, but it is a totally different individual. He has gone into the mountains as ignorant and he is coming out of the mountains as the wisest man possible. He has gone there asleep; he is coming back awakened. He has gone through a transformation.
When he went to the mountains, he was just a mortal, and when he comes out of the mountains, he has attained immortality. Now he is full of joy, full of peace, showering blessings all around him. He is overflowing with love, with compassion.
“Then you carried your ashes to the mountains…”
You were nothing but a corpse. And you had carried your ashes to the mountains.
“…will you today carry your fire into the valleys?”
The transformation has been so radical – instead of being ashes, he is now fire. He has gone as darkness, now he is aflame.
“Do you not fear an incendiary’s punishment?”
This is significant to note. The old saint is saying, “Are you not afraid, going back to the blind people, with eyes? Going to the dead, full of life? Going to the asleep, awakened?”
When you had come from them, you were one of them. Now you are totally different. Don’t you think you are taking a risk? They will punish you. They will not forgive you. Your blissfulness is too much; they will not be able to tolerate it.
It is a strange fact: we can tolerate people’s misery, however deep it is. We have a certain enjoyment when others are miserable, because when they are miserable, you are higher than them. You can show sympathy and you can rejoice in the fact that you are not so miserable. Hence, no miserable person has ever been crucified, ever poisoned, ever stoned to death.
But to be blissful amongst miserable people is dangerous, because you are a height and they feel offended. You can see and they cannot. It is unbearable. They are dead and you are alive. You have to be punished. You have gone astray from the crowd. Are you not afraid of the punishment?
“Yes, I recognize Zarathustra. His eyes are clear, and no disgust lurks in his mouth. Does he not go along like a dancer?”
The eyes are very symbolic. They are part of your body, but they are also windows of your soul. As your soul becomes silent, peaceful, joyous, your eyes attain a depth, a clarity, a purity, an innocence. They become so transparent that you can see into the very soul of the man.