The Spirit of Gravity
My mouthpiece is of the people: too coarsely and cordially do I talk for Angora rabbits. And still stranger soundeth my word unto all ink-fish and pen-foxes.
My handis a fools hand: woe unto all tables and walls and whatever hath room for fools sketching, fools scrawling!
My footis a horse-foot; therewith do I trample and trot over stick and stone, in the fields up and down, and am bedevilled with delight in all fast racing.
My stomachis surely an eagles stomach? For it preferreth lambs flesh. Certainly it is a birds stomach.
Nourished with innocent things, and with few, ready and impatient to fly awaythat is now my nature; why should there not be something of bird-nature therein.
And especially that I am hostile to the spirit of gravity, that is bird-nature; verily, deadly hostile, supremely hostile, originally hostile! Oh, whither hath my hostility not flown and misflown!
Thereof could I sing a songand will sing it, though I be alone in an empty house, and must sing it to mine own ears.
Other singers are there, to be sure, to whom only the full house maketh the voice soft, the hand eloquent, the eye expressive, the heart wakeful: those do I not resemble.
He who one day teacheth men to fly will have shifted all land-marks; to him will all landmarks themselves fly into the air; the earth will he christen anewas the light body.
The ostrich runneth faster than the fastest horse, but it also thrusteth its head heavily into the heavy earth; thus is it with the man who cannot yet fly.
Heavy unto him are earth and life, and so willeth the spirit of gravity! But he who would become light, and be a bird, must love himselfthus do I teach.
Not, to be sure, with the love of the sick and infected, for with them stinketh even self-love!
One must learn to love oneselfthus do I teachwith a wholesome and healthy love, that one may endure to be with oneself, and not go roving about.
Such roving about christeneth itself brotherly love; with these words hath there hitherto been the best lying and dissembling, and especially by those who have been burdensome to every one.
And verily, it is no commandment for today and tomorrow to learn to love oneself. Rather is it of all arts the finest, subtlest, last and most patient.
For to its possessor is all possession well concealed, and of all treasure-pits ones own is last excavatedso causeth the spirit of gravity.
Almost in the cradle are we apportioned with heavy words and worths: good and evilso calleth itself this dowry. For the sake of it we are forgiven for living.
And therefore suffereth one little children to come unto one, to forbid them betimes to love themselvesso causeth the spirit of gravity.
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