October 31, 2015
Don’t you hurry to consider this as a fantastic kind of story.
What divides us from reality is nothing more than the thickness of a shadow.
It had become his daily ritual, for both his aged body and his ageless mind, taking a brisk walk in that moment of time between dark and aurora, when the world is still an idea with vague circumscription like a shadow. His stick with the steel toecap was beating the cobbled square leading him firmly to the alpine mountain that raised sheer over the Town. Recently, his lonely walks had become progressively more extended, richer in meditation, promoting a state of enlargement that could be best described as a release not only from the environment and his acquaintances, but also from his once egocentric self. The crisp alpine air had added a tinge vision to his morning reflections, a reality which now would drag him off the church and the university “his fiery ideas did not fit in institutions,” from the city residents “tomorrow he would render unnecessary even the baker man,” from his own skull “he would no longer pucker in a dark corner, waiting for the night to offer him remains of dreams, as a prisoner given the permission for a few steps in a courtyard, but he himself would take his dreams to the bright light of day, would form them as he wished, face to face with the world.”
In front of the fountain in the square he stopped, raised his cane and addressed the water arch.
“In my youth I longed for your refreshing body; when I became a mature man, I envied your greatness every time you would have your throws up; now I only desire your momentarily balance in the air before you fall.”
He continued with steps that followed the rhythm of his impatient heart. He left the main road and took a path that meandered within a forest of coniferous trees at the foot of the mountain. The acrid air kept burning his lungs; his shoes were disarranging the pine-needles that had been covering the ground like a carpet; occasionally a light pine would attract his attention or even reminded him of his childhood. At the point where the two paths were crossing he stopped to rest, breathing heavily, with his one hand on the rough stem of a spruce, the other one on the stick which was penetrating the soft soil. Suddenly, as if something stung him, he straightened his body, took a look around and then closed his eyes as if he was listening to something. A bird tried the silence with a bold note, almost imperceptible. A shiver penetrated his backbone. Satisfied with the first note, the bird tweeted again; a chirp overflowing in joy that trembled the forest and made the environment noticeably brighter.
“Precursor!” he exclaimed and a knot climbed his throat due to the emotion. “Prophet of the unique sun! It is said about John the Baptist that no most important man has ever been born by a woman. I say that yours is the most important voice to which Mother Earth has ever given birth. Oh pure voice! Hymn to the light!”
The song of the bird was followed by another, then one more and soon the forest flooded with a discordant chorus of baritone ravens, magpies sopranos, tenors finches.
“The dawn is approaching,” he said and continued his pace with more haste.
He came out of the forest and in a while he was looking lower at the peaked tops of the trees. Now on the expanding outwards the path was steeper, rockier, with traces of hooves and animal dirt of the numerous herds of goats grazing high on the slopes of the mountain. The dawn was somewhere between gray and blue. Without stopping, he took a look on his back on the narrow valley down below: the fields were a patchwork of patches, the city was a collection of pebbles in a childish handful. He continued walking steadily, despite the pain in his feet, determined to greet the sunrise from his favorite spot. Eventually he stumbled and a few stones dislodge from the ground, rolled crackling the hillside and reechoed over the valley.
“Only those who are aware of the heights can look into the abyss. Only those who fall fearless experience the joy of gravity. The falling stone carries the mountain to the sea. Glorified might the stone be!”
At another point higher, his footsteps disturbed a snake coiled asleep. It flinched, crossed the path in front of him crawling and disappeared amid the mild cold covered grass. “It’s time to throw away our old symbols,” he announced, gently tapping a grassy cliff with his pikestaff. “Enough with the responsibility of the snake for all the sin of our creation. Let’s dispel the artificial skin of the snake. There is no good and bad, just the snake, the most faithful companion of the earth. The poets and preachers have been very pompous with their symbols. It is time to denude the language of its symbols and look the snake straight in the eye. It’s time for the truth.”
The sky began getting blue and the world was recovering its colors. Despite the sharp grade of the path, his strides became larger, more decisive, and the pain in his thighs was reduced till he felt even slightly the weight of his body. The air was thinner right at that altitude, his mind was swirling and his thoughts sparkled. His senses sharpened and he perceived details that he wouldn’t have had noticed at low. At a glance he assimilated the number of petals of a small yellow flower and its beauty pleased him. Underneath the ground came the sound of the water flowing drop by drop, reminding him of crystal glasses breaking. The smell of goat dirt was meddling with the penetrating scent of the spruce juice that is left on his palm when he touched the trunk.
Full of joy, he reached the point where the snow never melts and he climbed a rocky hillside strewn in white. At the summit, where the mountain became smooth before it hurtles in another almost vertical slope to reach eventually its highest peak, he stopped next to a pile of snow with barbed grass around it.
“Immaculate conception,” he said, while his breath was regaining its normal rhythm. “Where is the unselfish poet who would write a masterpiece on this carpet of snow, bearing in mind that it would never be red by the humanity, but rather only by a wind without memory?”
He stretched out his stick and wrote on the ice surface, first a large S, which then he surrounded with a circle. “Well! It’s time for a new alphabet. Tomorrow I shall be carving my own letters, symbols that will be expressing more accurately, more personally, my love.”
He started again and went without another stop at the point where he used to meditate, a projection on the mountainside. He filled his lungs with cold air, stretched out his arms at right angles with his body and remained in that position for a considerable hour.
It was a triumphant tone, the victory of spirit over material, the culmination of the struggle of humanity, the very meaning of existence. The development had completely fulfilled its destiny in this moment of supreme joy. The extinction of countless species, the murder of Abel, the rise and fall of civilizations, all compensated by this yelling, all gathered in this resounding syllable.
“Glory to the mountain!” he shouted, and his words echoed in the valley like a thunder. “Glory to the Olympus and Valhalla. Glorious might the mountains of Abraham and Moses be, the mount of Muhammad, the mount of Lama. And glorified be this one, the mountain of the mountains. Many renounced life and went to the mountains for the sake of heaven. But few climbed them for the sake of the earth, to affirm life. Give me a lever and I shall move the Earth, claimed Archimedes. My spirit is this lever, this mountain is my axis. The time has come to launch the earth above all the mountains, to turn it into the new heavens and ourselves worthy of the paradise.”
The sun emerged over the skyline in the background of the valley, the snow-capped peaks of the mountains shone, small daisies opened their eyes like damsels on prices and the forehead of the hiker blushed.
“Behold! The meaning of life!” he exclaimed ecstatically. “Father Sun, Mother Earth and the Man in the middle. Sun, the highest expression of the will of creation, the will as power, the will as light. Earth, the patient receiver and converter of that will. Man, struggling to reach the pure light, the one that the ancients called divine power.”
Suddenly, as if he suffered a vertigo and wobbled, he retreated from the edge of the projection and sat on a rounded rock. His breath whistled amongst a thick moustache that was pouring out of his nostrils and was hiding his lips. He rested his chin on his stick and stared at a flower that loomed out of a crack of the rock.
“The desire to reach the light”, he cogitated aloud, and leaned closer to the flower. “This violet surpassed the darkness of the rock under its longing for sun. Likewise the Man must struggle to get high, to overcome the hope.”
As if called by the word “hope,” a figure appeared, behind the rock, that looked like as if it had been released directly from a Byzantine icon. He was a bald man with a beard, wearing a dark blue alb. He proceeded forward, clutching a book under his left armpit.
“Good morning, Friedrich,” he said in solemnity.
He startled, jumped up and looked at him in an inquiring manner.
“Go behind me,” he warned him. He pick up the stick and its tip flashed in the sunlight.
“I’m not …”
“Go behind me, you spirit of the tomb.”
“I came to talk.”
“You came to poison my joy.”
“I came because you called me.”
“As well as memory, also the will is able to cross millennia.”
“I did not wish you to come.”
“Your wish has depths that you barely know.”
Friedrich lowered his stick and took a step toward him.
“Who are you?” he asked glumly. A sad expression darkened the face of the unknown person and stretched out wrinkles on his forehead that its bony surface protruded below his thin cover skin. Suddenly Frederick realized the robe, the book, the smell of the ocean.
“Are you?” he asked softly.
The stranger had climbed onto the rock and was standing with the vacuum of heaven as background like a figure painted without perspective, beyond space and time, against the backdrop of eternity.
“Yes,” he responded.
“I thought I had left you down there.”
“You carry me with you wherever you go.”
“What do you want?”
“You know.” Friedrich nodded affirmatively as if subordinated to the inevitable.
“You want to talk.”
“You the same, Friedrich.”
“I was on top of the world before you appeared.”
“Up here one can imagine everything”.
“I come on this projection each morning to see the sun rising and painting the earth. The moment floods me with bottomless joy. And now you approach me stealthily as a thief determined to steal my joy with the tricks of your language. Very well, let’s talk.”
“You’ve been avoiding me for a long time.”
“And now that you got me?”
“We haven’t got much time.
“Is my soul in fatal danger?” Frederick laughed beneath his moustache.
“You shouldn’t be joking with these things.”
“Laughter stimulates the soul.”
“Soul is above the laughter.”
“Yes, the position of the soul that is unable to laugh is in heaven.”
“Get real, please.”
“Yes, I’m serious … As serious could a man be who suffers from a fatal disease. And how should I call you? Saul? Paul? Apostle Paul? Holy?”
“But my fine name. Paul.”
“How shall we begin?”
“As friends who have not seen each other for years.”
“We are not friends and we will never be. As to amicably discuss our ideas, it is out of the question! I’m not a philosopher of the chair and you’re not a theologian of the catechism. My ideas are not mathematical suggestions, I experience them as others experience an intense experience. When some people attack my ideas, they attack the substance of my Being and I counterattack as if I have a fatal enemy opposite.”
“Am I your enemy?”
“As long as I am yours.”
“No, Friedrich. You are a man who has lived too long locked within himself. It’s time to get close to those around you, to learn how to love.”
“I do not want your pity!” he roared and his teeth flashed under his moustache. “I do not need the self-righteous soup you serve to the poor ones, the harassed and the ignorant ones. If we are to talk, we’ll do it as equals, like two deer entangling their horns during a power struggle.”
“I know your aspects on compassion.”
“It’s a parasite that paralyzes the strong ones.”
“Why are you contentious?”
“We are here as competitors, Paul.”
“I am here to …”
“To weaken my volition and my power, a power that raises the sun, makes a flower bloom, creates works of art.”
“Your desire for power stems from fear, not from courage; from the fear that makes a creature sneaking in the dark until its feet are hardened and gain sharp claws. But fear and death are shattered, Friedrich. Christ brought a new power to the world, the will for love.”
“Love is for the despondent.”
“He turned to cross the sword of Rome.”
“Rome collapsed because of its decline.”
“Constantine transmuted thanks to the will for love. The vision of the cross he had seen was the revelation of this love, he took note of it and recognized Christianity as a state religion.”
“It was a political expediency, Paul. The cross in the place of the sword. Constantine was not pyromaniac like Nero, he realized that Christianity could become a powerful tool. The promise of the heavenly reward would make people docile! And not only that, he was so ingenious that he realized that the absolute subjugation does not lie in flagellating the uxorious, but putting the whip in their own hands and persuading them to use it on themselves in the name of freedom and salvation of the soul. Disclaim the body, renounce the world; this perception didn’t take long to offer everything to Caesar. Never before has there been a more subtle, a more insidious weapon of tyranny. Rome appropriated and used this strange religion and continues using it up to date, because instinctively it attracts the poor, the sick, the hungry, the repressed and all those whose desire for power has been shattered. No wonder of the reason why Christianity became a world religion at the time of the sovereignty of Rome. From the thorny beginnings at the desert of Judea, it didn’t take long to become a rich vine that expanded because it fascinated the repressed ones. The pride and vigor had been sentenced, and were replaced by the compassion and humility. Nothing similar had been said until then. He managed to proselytize the world, because he preached in the dialect of a slave: blessed is the poverty, the weakness, your misery, and even your own death is blessed.”
Paul tried to interrupt him at several points, but the words of Friedrich were flowing uncontrollably as lava.
“The new state religion was unusually effective, the oppressed felt hope and it gave them a sense of the will of power lost time ago. They offered willingly to Caesar, because now they were considering themselves as the heirs of a much vaster kingdom –beware the wicked selection of the keywords– a kingdom that belonged exclusively to the poor, the sick, and the oppressed. The rich and powerful would not be able to go through the gates of heaven, which are smaller than the eye of a needle and they would suffer the eternal condemnation for their sin to make use of their will for power on Earth. It was a masterful action of diabolical intelligence carrying the position of power from earth to heaven; which replaced the importance of the body with the transcendence of the soul; that made the weakness and humility of the most important virtues; who posted the meaning of life to the other side of the world.”
“And Christ?” asked Paul.
Friedrich bowed his head, as if trying to regain his breath. Then he straightened his body, put the stick on his neck, over his shoulders, and held it tight on both sides.
“My disagreement is not with Christ,” he said with a restrained voice. “If we leave aside the question of his dubious nature of the divine, then Christ was simply a result of his environment, a poor Nazarene, essentially Jewish in temperament and mentality, perhaps influenced by the Essenes, a sect of messianic beliefs. If it wasn’t for you, Paul, the popularity of Christ would have been limited in some local towns and villages, and in the end it would have taken the path of the other Jesus, the son of Baruch, who is said that he had also attracted many fans as a reformer. No, my argument is not with Christ. He talked to the people he knew and loved; his intentions were innocent; he would have never taken his message to Athens and Rome. He was virtuous -by this word I mean the opposite of the intellectual ploy- he believed in his uncomplicated words, he believed in them as a man who is not aware of other cultures and other truths. For all these reasons, I am not opposed to Christ; on the contrary, and I confide that I used some of his aspects to realize my Zarathustra. My disagreement Paul, is with you.”
“I know your Zarathustra, Friedrich.”
“What do you think of him?”
“Wasteful, excessive, declamatory.”
“I didn’t write this work, I plated it.”
“Using the fire of hell”.
“Your humor astonishes me.”
“I’m absolutely serious.”
“Do you consider the work evil?”
“For many reasons.”
“From a theological point of view?”
“From a teleological point of view.”
“So tell me your arguments”.
“To start with, your creature owes Christ more than you hinted. I will go even further, Zarathustra has been developed out of your envy for Christ.”
The word echoed in the valley.
“Yes, Friedrich, your condescending attitude toward Christ betrays passionate envy for him and his teaching. You made your own creation with Christ as a model on purpose to transcend him. You consider your Zarathustra and hence yourself as true Messiah. However you know very well that Zarathustra is condemned to live within the cover page of a book, with ink in his veins and paper for skin.”
“Let’s not implicate Christ in our differences.”
“He is the substance of the matter.”
“It is you I disagree with.”
“Then you also disagree with Christ, for I am nothing without him.”
“I’m not the crowd, Paul. No need to talk as if you are proselytizing. Leave aside the non-worldly rhetoric which made you famous. Speak simply, honestly. Further to the envy, which I emphatically refuse, what other defects do you find in me or my creation?”
“The way you use the word.”
“My profession is philologist.”
“You take advantage of the capability of your word to seduce and deceive.”
“As you know, for the letter kills.”
“Yes, when it is written by a hand motivated by vanity and arrogance.”
“Would you condemn me for my artistry?”
“Art has a demonic aspect that few realize.”
“And therewith are you implying that I have the evil inside of me?”
“It’s not me who will put in the balance of good and evil. Despite the fact that I admire the mastery in your language and your prose which is infused with music, I fear their impact on young people”.
“It surprises me that you understand music.”
“I know the world.”
“You’re no good as Christ, huh?”
“I recognize your talent with words, yet I condemn your works, because they are nothing more than perverted thoughts and feelings which gained poetic quality thanks to your skill. Your writing is like the song of the sirens, pleasant and also disastrous for the reckless reader. I am sure that some future generation, motivated by the march of the walking goose underlying your prose, will adopt your ideas and use it to lure countries to war.”
“As the Inquisition that mistakenly used Christianity?”
“They interpreted it in their own way.”
“All allegory projects leave space to a variety of interpretation and mine is no different in this issue than your Gospel.”
“Okay, Friedrich, let’s talk simple. What is the nature of your disagreement with me?”
“Look around you, Paul.”
With a circular motion of both his hands, Friedrich included the slow sun, the linen sky, the wild mountain, the forest full of songs, the valley full of patches, the city strewn with pebbles. Paul looked in apathy, shading his eyes with the book whose cover page had been decorated with colored gems.
“What do you see?” asked the Friedrich.
“A tired world that awakens to greet another day of labors.”
“There you are!” Frederick said curtly and lifted his stick critical. “Therein exactly lies my disagreement. You got so obsessed with the Son of God, that you do not see the sun. I don’t know what happened on the road to Damascus, but I’m sure you ever recovered completely of that temporary blindness that put you down that fateful day. How else could someone explain the absence of the natural world in your scripts. Blinded by the Son, you see the sun, the world, nature, ‘through a glass darkly,’ to use your phrase. But it’s not only your eyesight, this experience of refutation of life affected also the other senses. Your vision despises the light, prefers the night or darkness of the message; your ears are deaf to everything, both in music as also in singing, excluding the unspeakable word of God; your taste prefers the bitterness and spit the fleshy fig; your smell abhors the lily, but rejoices the decay of the body; your touch has been accustomed to stone and rejects the feather of the dove. I disagree with you, Paul, because your preachment denies the world and makes man ashamed of himself. I disagree with you, Paul, because your preachment has charged the man with the burden of conscience. I disagree with you, Paul, because you have destroyed the joyful nature of man, you disseminated his heart the bush of guilt and turned him against himself and the world. I disagree with you, Paul, because you took the smile of a man and substituted it with a frown thinking, you took his confidence and gave him hope, you promised him the light but you delivered him to shade. I disagree with you, Paul, because you scared the cheerful person -the Greeks and Romans, not the Jews, who were never a merry race and you could not influence them- and you turned him into introspective. You and that waffler Socrates, with the short lifted nose, you both harmed the human race more than all of the wars together. Socrates!” he pronounced the name with disgust.
“It was too late when they gave him the hemlock. The damage had been accomplished, he had had corrupted the minds of the Athenians with the devastating words. He, more than anyone or anything else, killed the Dionysian spirit. The beauty, the bravery, the friendship – the ideals of Athenian life, which gave us insurmountable artistic achievements were destroyed therefrom that waffler. One’s response was no longer sufficient to the beauty, Socrates, the ugly one, insisted that people should doubt that response of theirs. Bravery could no longer be a spontaneous expression of self-confidence, strength, joy – it should be explored, be rationalized, be analyzed till it was worn. If the emotions could not be described in words and relegated to a reasoning system based on questions, which always led to new questions, they were deemed as insignificant. ‘Life is worthless if you do not examine it,’ this was the motto and fell in the life of the Athenians as a coffin lid. He the useless waffler! If he was a shoemaker and used his mouth to hold nails or a zucchinis’ peddler and touted his wares on the market, it would corrupt the minds of young people who surrounded him. His inactivity gave birth to the contagious disease of rational conversation and to introspection and had been spread all over Athens most destructive than even the plague which ravaged the city. However, despite his speech before the Supreme Court and his refusal to live in exile, I’m sure the old-flibbertigibbet saw the error of his views before he died. He didn’t disowned them, at least not with words, but Plato or Xenophon mentions the strange incidence that Socrates asked for a lyre during the last days of his life. This unnecessary detail is worth a textbook of psychology. It reveals how disappointed he had been by logic – the words, the ground, the dispute. When people counter death, they turn to what they strongly believe most of all, in whatever had been the background of their lives. Socrates, however, did not want to talk or to philosophize his experience, he just wanted to play the lyre. He overcame death with the melody, not with the logic. All those for which he used to chat throughout his life were scattered like leaves in the fall and he turned to the spirit of music for relief and consolation.”
“Maybe he was under the influence of his daemon, that spirit which was said to be dominating him from time to time and keeping him in ecstasy for days.”
“His demon became my own demon, is that what you mean? Are you comparing me with the old- waffler?”
“His ears were larger than even those of a donkey, but they could not hold a single note. The music did not touched him.”
“While it brings you the chills, Friedrich.”
“It makes my body melt, like yours melts with Christ.”
“You know as much as I do that music has the power to seduce man and leads him…”
“To the jaws of hell?” he replied him.
Paul frowned and three parallel wrinkles on his forehead became deeper. As he was standing upright with background the blue of the sky and the book under his left arm, he raised his right hand as if addressing a secret greeting – the thumb and the ring finger forming a circle, while the rest of the fingers were raised and slightly bent.
“You’re very short tempered,” said Paul.
“The more stretched the bow, the farther the arrow casts.”
“And your soul is restless.”
“Better restless than in a stupor due to sermons.”
“As you speak, a vein pops on your left temple, as if it’s about to burst.”
“This proves that there is no hypocrisy in what I say”.
“What’s the significance for the salvation of your soul if Socrates played the lyre in the last days of his life?”
“Do you know anything about him?”
“What I learned in the Greek academy in Tarsus. And what I heard afterwards during my stay in Athens”.
“Have you realized that he and not John the Baptist is the true precursor of Christianity?”
“In times claiming that God has died one is able to suggest anything.”
“How was your stay in Athens?”
“There were a lot of people, the city was dirty, full of loud traders and shopkeepers and idlers with thirst for hearing new affairs from other places. Thessalonica is the city I loved the most”.
“And the Parthenon?”
“I saw him from afar.”
“The statuary of Phidias?”
“The whole place was full of idols.”
“Did you go to the theater?”
“I didn’t go there for entertainment, Friedrich.”
“Yes, yes, you went there to preach. I have read your sermon on the Areopagus. You stood there, as the old- waffler when he defended himself, and you announced that new religion of yours. The marvelous achievements of Athens caused you no impression; instead of the marvels that reveal the highest genius of man, you only saw an empty altar with the inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.”
“The pantheon was already buried in time, when I spoke to the Athenians about Christ.”
“In the same way the death of the god inspired me to announce my Zarathustra to the Europeans.”
“Zarathustra is a work of art, nothing more.”
“And you, of course, reject any art.”
“I reject those who claim that art and religion have a common source. Art is anthropocentric, it begins and ends within the human Ego. Although it sometimes seeks it aims at higher truths, it will always be constrained by the defects of the artist. Religion on the other hand, is theocentric, is a continuing origin, with God as the creator and not a creation, as you would put it.”
“Your Jewish temperament obstructs you from appreciating art. A man who grew up in Jerusalem will never understand the spirit of Athens.’’
“Many Athenians though understood the spirit of Jerusalem.”
“That shows how much more open-minded Athenians had been than Jews.”
“Or less, depends on the point of view you look at things.”
“Yet there is this similarity between them: as the prophets of your Old Testament visualized the New Jerusalem, also the Greek prophet, Plato, envisioned the New Athens, which he called Utopia.”
“And this fundamental difference: our prophets starting from God descend to man, while Plato starts from the man and…”
“This is the greatness of the artistic temperament,” said Friedrich with a bright smile and approached dangerously on the edge of the overhang. “The artist begins from the man, from the only certain he beholds, and strives to surpass him, pulling himself upwards from his own hair. This is an overjoyed struggle, because nothing imposes on the artist from outside, he creates in complete freedom, acting as judge and executioner at the same time. The religious temperament starts from an unknown god, the ‘x’ of the equation, and constructs a theology based on a condition that is impossible to be verified. Underestimates the value of man and humiliates his senses, insisting that the Ego, the core of consciousness, should be eliminated for the sake of the unknown. As city people, the preachers -also you, Paul, you’re essentially a preacher, unlike Christ who was a prophet and a man of desert- are transmitters, the public image of the lonely prophet, performers wrapping the spirit into logic.”
“Art is not able to exceed the human nature, as well as the human creatures are not able to be exalted from their own hair. Such a feat requires a power over and above the man and this power is Christ. Divine grace is the opposite of gravity, the supererogation above selfishness of the Ego, the lightness of being that is due to the faith.”
“Faith!” taunted Friedrich. “To live with incomplete consciousness! To live like a handicapped! Be hostile to power and turn this animus to a virtue! To say no to life! No to the sun! Never, Paul! I shall live artistically, aesthetically, with the blossom of my feelings with the utmost gratitude for the earth and the sun.”
“I am concerned for your wellbeing, Friedrich.”
“You are scared of wellbeing, so you promote the weakness.”
“You live too much for your ideas of life and not enough for life itself. The ship has to be light, but also needs the ballast. Your mind, Friedrich, is so lightweight, has no ballast; this may lead you only to disaster.”
“I detect a tone of pity in your voice, the stench of the tomb in your breath.”
“You spend many hours over here, loneliness is only for the Eagles.”
“And for the gods.”
“Man finds God through the human nature of Christ.”
“Go behind me!”
Friedrich turned his back to Paul and waked to the edge of the overhang.
“Your art itself shall be always clogging its way to the truth. The marble will always hide the ideal; the human breath will be always polluting the word; the instrument shall always be intercepting the evolution of music. In short, the art will never exceed the natural world.”
“Go behind me!” Frederick shouted again.
“The one who has faith has the ideal, but without having the need for the marble; he tells the truth, without speaking words; he listens to the perfect melody, without instruments or perhaps from instruments that will not ever be made…”
“Go behind me!” he whispered.
Behind him stones rattled, rebounded over the projection, rolled noisily reminding chuckling on the steep mountainside. A black mark appeared far away, as if it was a sign created by the sunlight, and soon took the shape of an eagle with a snake squirming in its beak. It looked at him as gliding toward him and circling over his head with wings outstretched and immobile. During the third round, it threw the snake, which twirled in the air and fell with a thud by the feet Friedrich. Its silver-colored scales iridescent in the morning light. He prodded it with his stick and watched his reflection in its green slits of his eyes. Then he bent and picked up the dead snake. With his toes of his feet outside the edge of the overhang, his arms outstretched and his body upstanding, the snake in his right hand and the stick in his left, sang a hymn to the sun…
This story was previously published in the author’s book, “The Wise Man Path“