Showing posts with label Hermit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hermit. Show all posts

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

I Know What The Bee Knows




“But you, Watson"—he stopped his work and took his old friend by the shoulders —"I've hardly seen you in the light yet. How have the years used you? You look the same blithe boy as ever."

"I feel twenty years younger, Holmes. I have seldom felt so happy as when I got your wire asking me to meet you at Harwich with the car. But you, Holmes—you have changed very little—save for that horrible goatee."




"These are the sacrifices one makes for one's country, Watson," said Holmes, pulling at his little tuft. "To-morrow it will be but a dreadful memory. With my hair cut and a few other superficial changes I shall no doubt reappear at Claridge's tomorrow as I was before this American stunt—I beg your pardon, Watson, my well of English seems to be permanently defiled —before this American job came my way."

"But you have retired, Holmes. We heard of you as living the life of a hermit among your bees and your books in a small farm upon the South Downs."

"Exactly, Watson. Here is the fruit of my leisured ease, the magnum opus of my latter years!" He picked up the volume from the table and read out the whole title, Practical Handbook of Bee Culture, with Some Observations upon the Segregation of the Queen. 


"Alone I did it. Behold the fruit of pensive nights and laborious days when I watched the little working gangs as once I watched the criminal world of London."

"But how did you get to work again?"

"Ah, I have often marvelled at it myself. The Foreign Minister alone I could have withstood, but when the Premier also deigned to visit my humble roof—! The fact is, Watson, that this gentleman upon the sofa was a bit too good for our people. He was in a class by himself. Things were going wrong, and no one could understand why they were going wrong. Agents were suspected or even caught, but there was evidence of some strong and secret central force. It was absolutely necessary to expose it. Strong pressure was brought upon me to look into the matter. It has cost me two years, Watson, but they have not been devoid of excitement. When I say that I started my pilgrimage at Chicago, graduated in an Irish secret society at Buffalo, gave serious trouble to the constabulary at Skibbareen, and so eventually caught the eye of a subordinate agent of Von Bork, who recommended me as a likely man, you will realise that the matter was complex. Since then I have been honoured by his confidence, which has not prevented most of his plans going subtly wrong and five of his best agents being in prison. I watched them, Watson, and I picked them as they ripened. Well, sir, I hope that you are none the worse!"



The last remark was addressed to Von Bork himself, who after much gasping and blinking had lain quietly listening to Holmes's statement. He broke out now into a furious stream of German invective, his face convulsed with passion. Holmes continued his swift investigation of documents while his prisoner cursed and swore.

"Though unmusical, German is the most expressive of all languages," he observed when Von Bork had stopped from pure exhaustion. "Hullo! Hullo!" he added as he looked hard at the corner of a tracing before putting it in the box. "This should put another bird in the cage. I had no idea that the paymaster was such a rascal, though I have long had an eye upon him. Mister Von Bork, you have a great deal to answer for."

The prisoner had raised himself with some difficulty upon the sofa and was staring with a strange mixture of amazement and hatred at his captor.

"I shall get level with you, Altamont," he said, speaking with slow deliberation. "If it takes me all my life I shall get level with you!"

"The old sweet song," said Holmes. "How often have I heard it in days gone by. It was a favourite ditty of the late lamented Professor Moriarty. Colonel Sebastian Moran has also been known to warble it. And yet I live and keep bees upon the South Downs."

" As I mentioned in my introduction to Frank's Dark Knight, one of the things that prevents superhero stories from ever attaining the status of true modern myths or legends is that they are open ended. 

An essential quality of a Legend is that the events in it are clearly defined in time; Robin Hood is driven to become an outlaw by the injustices of King John and his minions. That is his Origin. 

He meets Little John, Friar Tuck and all the rest and forms the merry men. He wins the tournament in disguise, he falls in love with Maid Marian and thwarts the Sheriff of Nottingham. That is his Career, including love interest, Major Villains and the formation of a superhero group that he is part of. 

He lives to see the return of Good King Richard and is finally killed by a woman, firing a last arrow to mark the place where he shall be buried. That is his Resolution --

you can apply the same paradigm to King Arthur, Davy Crockett or Sherlock Holmes with equal success. 

You cannot apply it to most comic book characters because, in order to meet the commercial demands of a continuing series, they can never have a resolution. Indeed, they find it difficult to embrace any of the changes in life that the passage of time brings about for these very same reasons, making them finally less than fully human as well as falling far short of True Myth. 


The reasons this all came up in the Dark Knight intro was that I felt that Frank had managed to fulfill that requirement in terms of Superman and Batman, giving us an image which, while perhaps not of their actual deaths, showed up how they were at their endings, in their final years. Whether this story will actually ever happen in terms of "real" continuity is irrelevant: by providing a fitting and affective capstone to the Batman legend it makes it just that... a legend rather than an endlessly meandering continuity. 

It does no damage to the current stories of Batman in the present, and indeed it does the opposite by lending them a certain weight and power by implication and association--every minor shift of attitude in the current Bruce Wayne's approach to life that might be seen in Batman or Detective over the next few years, whether intentionally or not, will provide twinges of excitement for the fans who can perceive their contemporary Batman inching ever closer to the intense and immortal giant portrayed in the Dark Knight chronicles. 

It also provides a special poignance... while I was doing some of the episodes of "Under the Hood" for the Watchmen text backup and especially upon seeing Dave's mock-up photographs of the Minutemen in their early, innocent days, I felt as if I'd touched upon that sense of "look at them all being happy. They didn't know how it would turn out" that one sometimes gets when looking at old photographs.  

Dark Knight does this for the Batman to some degree, and I'd like to try to do the same for the whole DC Cosmos in Twilight. I feel that by providing a capstone of the type mentioned above, but one which embraces the whole DC Universe rather than just a couple of its heroes, I can lend a coherence and emotional weight to the notion of a cohesive DC Universe, thus fulfilling the criteria set out in my ramblings about the effect of all this on the idea of DC continuity as mentioned above.  

Being set in a possible future, it does nothing that cannot be undone, and yet at the same time has a real and tangible effect upon the lives and activities of the various characters in their own books and their own current continuities. 

At the same time, by providing that capstone and setting the whole continuity into a framework of complete and whole legend, as Frank did in Dark Knight, we make the whole thing seem much more of a whole with a weight of circumstance and history that might help to cement over any shakiness left in the wake of Crisis and its ramifications. 

Even if we pull the threads of these various characters' circumstances together at some hypothetical point in the future, this does imply that there is a logical pattern or framework for the whole DC Universe, even if the resolution of the pattern is at a point thirty years in the hypothetical future.
 

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Involvement


 
"...that idea of The Far-Off Man, way, way out there, but 

What does The Hermit tell us...?

Romana has broken The Cardinal Rule of Gallifrey. 

She has become involved
and in a pretty permanent sort of way. 


The lonelier you are, the more you're joined together with
 everything else. "







(They sit on a small stone bench.)
DOCTOR: 
Have you seen the state of the time column recently? 
Wheezing like a grampus.

ADRIC: 
But it will get us to Gallifrey, won't it? 

DOCTOR: 

Gallifrey? Oh yes, yes. 
Are you really set on going to Gallifrey? 

ADRIC: 
Yes. 

DOCTOR: 

Oh. 

ADRIC: 

That is where we're going, isn't it? 

DOCTOR: 
That's one of the questions I was just pondering. 
There's bound to be an awful lot of fuss about Romana. 
Why she stayed in E-space, official investigations, that sort of thing. 

ADRIC: 
The Time Lords won't approve? 

DOCTOR:
What? She has broken The Cardinal Rule of Gallifrey. 
She has become involved
and in a pretty permanent sort of way. 

I think that you and I should let a few oceans flow under a few bridges before we head back home.


 
"...that idea of The Far-Off Man, way, way out there,  but 

What does The Hermit tell us...?
 
If you try this get as lonely as you can get, 

you become visibly aware which you can't get away from it, 
because when you get very lonely very fast you become extremely thin 
and 
everything that goes on is or now ordinarily unnoticed cum spiritum 
 
First of all, you will find that there is a  Community of Insects.
And they are tremendously interested in You, and not necessarily hostile, in maybe some cases they are so.


But alone in The Forest, when you get really quiet, you'll notice little creatures will come and inspect you look you all over an
they'll go away and tell their friends and they'll come and look to see what it is and you become aware of every single sound and you realize that alone you're in the midst of a vast burning crowd 
it may not be human but it's everything else - 
so that the the point of being, The Discipline leads you to understand that   
You can't Resign


The lonelier you are, the more you're joined together with everything else. "

" Look at it - from another point of view, supposing I say everybody's playing the game Me First  - now, I'm going to play the game You Firstto use the phrase of Bonhoeffer who called Jesus The Man for Others - now, let's see if we could play that game instead of 
Me First

You First 
Or,

"I'm the one see who's so generous I'm the one who's so loving so self-effacing and all you insolent brats ...."  

- Alan Watts

Monday, 10 September 2018

The Hermit Tends The Light in the Midst of Outer-Darkness






Cut to the halls. Buffy and Cordelia are walking.

Cordelia: 
So, how much the creepy is it that this Marcie's been at this 
for months? 
Spying on us? Learning our most guarded secrets? 
So, are you 
saying she's invisible because she's so unpopular?

Buffy: 
That about sums it up.

Cordelia:  (exhales) 
Bummer for her. It's awful to feel that lonely.

Buffy:  
Hmm.  So you've read something about the feeling?

Cordelia:  (stops Buffy) 
Hey! You think I'm never lonely because I'm so  cute and popular? 
 
I can be surrounded by people and be completely alone.
 
 It's not like any of them really know me. 
 
I don't even know if they like  me half the time. People just want to be in a popular zone. 
Sometimes  when I talk, everyone's so busy agreeing with me, they don't hear a word 
I say.

Buffy: 
Well, if you feel so alone, then why do you work so hard at being popular?

Cordelia: 
Well, it beats being alone all by yourself.

She continues down the hall. After considering that for a moment Buffy 
quickly follows.




Zarathustra went down the mountain alone, no one meeting him. 

When he entered the forest, however, there suddenly stood before him an old man, who had left his holy cot to seek roots. 

And thus spake the old man to Zarathustra: “No stranger to me is this wanderer: many years ago passed he by. Zarathustra he was called; but he hath altered. Then thou carriedst thine ashes into the mountains: wilt thou now carry thy fire into the valleys? Fearest thou not the incendiary’s doom? Yea, I recognise Zarathustra. Pure is his eye, and no loathing lurketh about his mouth. Goeth he not along like a dancer? Altered is Zarathustra; a child hath Zarathustra become; an awakened one is Zarathustra: what wilt thou do in the land of the sleepers? As in the sea hast thou lived in solitude, and it hath borne thee up. Alas, wilt thou now go ashore? Alas, wilt thou again drag thy body thyself?” 

Zarathustra answered: “I love mankind.” 

“Why,” said the saint, “did I go into the forest and the desert? Was it not because I loved men far too well? Now I love God: men, I do not love. Man is a thing too imperfect for me. Love to man would be fatal to me.” 

Zarathustra answered: “What spake I of love! I am bringing gifts unto men.” 

“Give them nothing,” said the saint. “Take rather part of their load, and carry it along with them—that will be most agreeable unto them: if only it be agreeable unto thee! If, however, thou wilt give unto them, give them no more than an alms, and let them also beg for it!” 

“No,” replied Zarathustra, “I give no alms. I am not poor enough for that.”

 The saint laughed at Zarathustra, and spake thus: “Then see to it that they accept thy treasures! They are distrustful of anchorites, and do not believe that we come with gifts. The fall of our footsteps ringeth too hollow through their streets. And just as at night, when they are in bed and hear a man abroad long before sunrise, so they ask themselves concerning us: Where goeth the thief? Go not to men, but stay in the forest! Go rather to the animals! Why not be like me—a bear amongst bears, a bird amongst birds?” 

“And what doeth the saint in the forest?” asked Zarathustra. 

The saint answered: “I make hymns and sing them; and in making hymns I laugh and weep and mumble: thus do I praise God. With singing, weeping, laughing, and mumbling do I praise the God who is my God. But what dost thou bring us as a gift?” 

When Zarathustra had heard these words, he bowed to the saint and said: “What should I have to give thee! Let me rather hurry hence lest I take aught away from thee!”

—And thus they parted from one another, the old man and Zarathustra, laughing like schoolboys. 

When Zarathustra was alone, however, he said to his heart: “Could it be possible! This old saint in the forest hath not yet heard of it, that GOD IS DEAD!”

Friday, 7 September 2018

Who is Luke Skywalker?


"Buck Rogers, now venturing in the amazing worlds of the 20th Century!

By turning the little dial to project us ahead in time, we're able to be with Buck and his friends in The Amazing World of The Future! A World that sees a lot of our mechanical and technological dreams come True!

You know, there's nothing supernatural or mystic about Buck - he's just an ordinary guy, who keeps his wits about him..."

- Prologue, 
THX-1138

HE PAYS ATTENTION
and 
SPEAKS MAGIC WORDS.


"I want to learn The Ways of The Force,
and become a Jedi Like My Father."

[ He doesn't even know who His Father is ]

Luke Skywalker is an orphan boy Moisture Farmer, Who Dreams.

Who wishes for Adventure, receives a great treasure and joins a quest into The Underworld to Encounter His Dead Father, Grapple with a Dragon and Free The Princess.

Who Kept The Faith to Strike The Blow That Slew Beast of Tyrrany's Mighty Giant Ogre Champion

"You've Failed Your Highness —
I am a Jedi —
Like My Father Before Me "

[who is also a Dark Lord of The Sith]


Luke Skywalker is Darth Vader's Son.

The Shamanic Hero Who Will Ultimately Fight His Father Only to Defend His Twin Sister, and Yet Throws Away His Sword and Refuses to Kill.

A Self-Declared, Self-Initiated, Auto-Didactic Jedi Master.

And 

An Unknowing, Unwitting and Unacknowledged Dark Lord of The Sith.


"I failed. 
Because I was Luke Skywalker - Jedi Master.
A Legend."

[ Ideas are Real; We are Not. ]

Luke Skywalkwer is a Story Told to Children.

An Idea Powerful  Enough to Halt an Army Dead in It's Tracks.

A Spirit and a Legend that permeates Hyperspaces and propagates across The Galaxy in the the mouths of storytellers, bards and minstrels in excess of Super-Lightspeed, carried at The Speed of Thought.

Luke Skywalker is Thrice-Great.


More Than These Things, 
Who is Luke Skywalker?

Luke Skywalker is Twin Brother to Crown-Princess Leia Organa of New Alderaan 

Luke Skywalker is a Confirmed Bachellor.

Luke Skywalker is Nobody's Father.

Luke Skywalker is a Man Who Feels No Personal Connection to and has No Memory of His Mother.

Luke Skywalker is a Dynastic Prince of August Lineage, a Gifted Prodigy Raised by an Oafish Stepfamily Who Were Privately Afraid of Him. (Like Harry Potter)

Luke Skywalker is Blonde-Haired and Blue-Eyed - until he isn't.

Luke Skywalker is The Son of Skywalker, Heir to The Royal House of Skywalker.

Luke Skywalker is a Hermit, Living in The Wilderness.

Luke Skywalker is both more and less than everybody thinks he is.

Luke Skywalker is willing to make The Fool's Leap.

Luke Skywalker is Just a Man.

Thursday, 16 August 2018

I Resign.




I Resign.



You can't resign — it's physically and ontologically not-possible.


The lonelier you are, the more you're joined together with 
everything else. "
 



 
"...that idea of The Far-Off Man, way, way out there,  but what does The Hermit tell us...?
 
If you try this get as lonely as you can get, you become visibly aware which you can't get away from it, because when you get very lonely very fast you become extremely thin and everything that goes on is or now ordinarily unnoticed cum spiritum 

 
First of all, you will find that there is a  Community of Insects.
And they are tremendously interested in You, and not necessarily hostile, in maybe some cases they are so.



But alone in The Forest, when you get really quiet, you'll notice little creatures will come and inspect you look you all over an
they'll go away and tell their friends and they'll come and look to see what it is and you become aware of every single sound and you realize that alone you're in the midst of a vast burning crowd 

it may not be human but it's everything else - 
so that the the point of being, The Discipline leads you to understand that   
You can't Resign


The lonelier you are, the more you're joined together with everything else. "

" Look at it - from another point of view, supposing I say everybody's playing the game Me First  - now, I'm going to play the game You Firstto use the phrase of Bonhoeffer who called Jesus The Man for Others - now, let's see if we could play that game instead of 
Me First

You First 
Or,

"I'm the one see who's so generous I'm the one who's so loving so self-effacing and all you insolent brats ...."  

- Alan Watts

" This controversial play follows the declining fortunes of a man of extravagant contradictions.  

The fabulously rich Timon believes all his friends to be as open-hearted and generous as himself. When his wealth suddenly evaporates, however, he discovers the truth and his altruism turns to a bitter hatred of mankind. Stirred up by the cynical Apemantus, Timon retreats to the woods where he plots the destruction of Athens, the city that had formerly seemed to embody everything pleasurable and civilized. The cosmic scope of his hatred is communicated in a series of powerful and disturbing dramatic tableaux. 
The Curse :

SCENE I. Without the walls of Athens.


Enter TIMON
TIMON
Let me look back upon thee. O thou wall, That girdlest in those wolves, dive in the earth, And fence not Athens! Matrons, turn incontinent! Obedience fail in children! slaves and fools, Pluck the grave wrinkled senate from the bench, And minister in their steads! to general filths Convert o' the instant, green virginity, Do 't in your parents' eyes! bankrupts, hold fast; Rather than render back, out with your knives, And cut your trusters' throats! bound servants, steal! Large-handed robbers your grave masters are, And pill by law. Maid, to thy master's bed; Thy mistress is o' the brothel! Son of sixteen, pluck the lined crutch from thy old limping sire, With it beat out his brains! Piety, and fear, Religion to the gods, peace, justice, truth, Domestic awe, night-rest, and neighbourhood, Instruction, manners, mysteries, and trades, Degrees, observances, customs, and laws, Decline to your confounding contraries, And let confusion live! Plagues, incident to men, Your potent and infectious fevers heap On Athens, ripe for stroke! Thou cold sciatica, Cripple our senators, that their limbs may halt As lamely as their manners. Lust and liberty Creep in the minds and marrows of our youth, That 'gainst the stream of virtue they may strive, And drown themselves in riot! Itches, blains, Sow all the Athenian bosoms; and their crop Be general leprosy! Breath infect breath, at their society, as their friendship, may merely poison! Nothing I'll bear from thee, But nakedness, thou detestable town! Take thou that too, with multiplying bans! Timon will to the woods; where he shall find The unkindest beast more kinder than mankind. The gods confound--hear me, you good gods all-- The Athenians both within and out that wall! And grant, as Timon grows, his hate may grow To the whole race of mankind, high and low! Amen.

Exit






Colonel: (Graham Chapman) Now, I've noticed a tendency for this program to get rather silly. Now I do my best to keep things moving along, but I'm not having things getting silly. Those last two sketches I did got very silly indeed. And that last one about the beds was even sillier. Now, nobody likes a good laugh more than I do, except perhaps my wife and some of her friends. Oh yes, and Captain Johnson. Come to think of it, most people like a good laugh more than I do, but that's beside the point. Now, let's have a good, clean, healthy outdoor sketch. Get some air into your lungs. Ten, nine, eight and all that...

(Cut to two hermits on a hillside.)

Colonel: Ahhh yes, that's better. Now let's hope this doesn't get silly.

First Hermit: (Michael Palin) Hello, are you a hermit by any chance?

Second Hermit: (Eric Idle) Yes that's right. Are you a hermit?

First Hermit: Yes, I certainly am.

Second Hermit: Well I never. What are you getting away from?

First Hermit: Oh you know, the usual - people, chat, gossip, you know.

Second Hermit: Oh I certainly do, it was the same with me. I mean there comes a time when you realize there's no good frittering your life away in idleness and trivial chit-chat. Where's your cave?

First Hermit: Oh, up the goat track, first on the left.

Second Hermit: Oh they're very nice up there, aren't they?

First Hermit: Yes they are, I've got a beauty.

Second Hermit: A bit drafty though, aren't they?

First Hermit: No, we've had ours insulated.

Second Hermit: Oh yes?

First Hermit: Yes, I used birds nests, moss and oak leaves round the outside.

Second Hermit: Oh, sounds marvellous.

First Hermit: Oh it's a treat, it really is, 'cause otherwise those stone caves can be so grim.

Second Hermit: Yes they really can be, can't they? They really can.

First Hermit: Oh yes.

(Third hermit passes by.)

Third Hermit: Morning Frank.

Second Hermit: Morning Norman. Talking of moss, er you know Mr. Robinson?

First Hermit: With the, er, green loin cloth?

Second Hermit: Er no, that's Mr. Seagrave. Mr. Robinson's the hermit who lodges with Mr. Seagrave.

First Hermit: Oh I see, yes.

Second Hermit: Yes well he's put me onto wattles.

First Hermit: Really?

Second Hermit: Yes. Swears by them. Yes.

(Fourth hermit passes)

Fourth Hermit: Morning Frank.

Second Hermit: Morning Lionel. Well he says that moss tends to fall off the cave walls during cold weather. You know you might get a really bad spell and half the moss drops off the cave wall, leaving you cold.

First Hermit: Oh well, Mr. Robinson's cave's never been exactly nirvana has it?

Second Hermit: Well, quite, that's what I mean. Anyway, Mr. Rogers, he's the, er, hermit...

First Hermit: ... on the end.

Second Hermit: . .. up at the top, yes. Well he tried wattles and he came out in a rash.

First Hemit: Really?

Second Hermit: Yes, and there's me with half a wall wattled, I mean what'll I do?

First Hermit: Well why don't you try birds nests like I've done? Or else, dead bracken.

Fifth Hermit: (calling from a distance) Frank!

Second Hermit: Yes Han?

Fifth Hermit: Can I borrow your goat?

Second Hermit: Er, yes that'll be all right. Oh leave me a pint for breakfast will you? (to first hermit) You see, you know that is the trouble with living half way up a cliff, you feel so cut off. You know it takes me two hours every morning to get out onto the moors, collect my berries, chastise myself, and two hours back in the evening.

First Hermit: Still there's one thing about being a hermit, at least you meet people.

Second Hermit: Oh yes, I wouldn't go back to public relations.

First Hemit: Oh well, bye for now Frank, must toddle.

Colonel: Right, you two hermits, stop that sketch. I think it's silly.

Second Hermit: What?

Colonel: It's silly.

Second Hermit What do you mean, you can't stop it - it's on film.

Colonel: That doesn't make any difference to the viewer at home, does it? Come on, get out. Out. Come on out, all of you. Get off, go on, all of you. Go on, move, move. Go on, get out. Come on, get out, move, move.

(He shoos them and the film crew off the hillside.)



I've 
Resigned.

I Will Not Be Pushed, 
Stamped, 
Filed, 
Indexed, 
Briefed, 
De-Briefed, 
OR 
NUMBERED!!

My Life is My Own.

[ Oh, No it Isn't, Chum.... ]

Zarathustra went down the mountain alone, no one meeting him. 

When he entered the forest, however, there suddenly stood before him an old man, who had left his holy cot to seek roots. 

And thus spake the old man to Zarathustra: “No stranger to me is this wanderer: many years ago passed he by. Zarathustra he was called; but he hath altered. Then thou carriedst thine ashes into the mountains: wilt thou now carry thy fire into the valleys? Fearest thou not the incendiary’s doom? Yea, I recognise Zarathustra. Pure is his eye, and no loathing lurketh about his mouth. Goeth he not along like a dancer? Altered is Zarathustra; a child hath Zarathustra become; an awakened one is Zarathustra: what wilt thou do in the land of the sleepers? As in the sea hast thou lived in solitude, and it hath borne thee up. Alas, wilt thou now go ashore? Alas, wilt thou again drag thy body thyself?” 

Zarathustra answered: “I love mankind.” 

“Why,” said the saint, “did I go into the forest and the desert? Was it not because I loved men far too well? Now I love God: men, I do not love. Man is a thing too imperfect for me. Love to man would be fatal to me.” 

Zarathustra answered: “What spake I of love! I am bringing gifts unto men.” 

“Give them nothing,” said the saint. “Take rather part of their load, and carry it along with them—that will be most agreeable unto them: if only it be agreeable unto thee! If, however, thou wilt give unto them, give them no more than an alms, and let them also beg for it!” 

“No,” replied Zarathustra, “I give no alms. I am not poor enough for that.”

 The saint laughed at Zarathustra, and spake thus: “Then see to it that they accept thy treasures! They are distrustful of anchorites, and do not believe that we come with gifts. The fall of our footsteps ringeth too hollow through their streets. And just as at night, when they are in bed and hear a man abroad long before sunrise, so they ask themselves concerning us: Where goeth the thief? Go not to men, but stay in the forest! Go rather to the animals! Why not be like me—a bear amongst bears, a bird amongst birds?” 

“And what doeth the saint in the forest?” asked Zarathustra. 

The saint answered: “I make hymns and sing them; and in making hymns I laugh and weep and mumble: thus do I praise God. With singing, weeping, laughing, and mumbling do I praise the God who is my God. But what dost thou bring us as a gift?” 

When Zarathustra had heard these words, he bowed to the saint and said: “What should I have to give thee! Let me rather hurry hence lest I take aught away from thee!”

—And thus they parted from one another, the old man and Zarathustra, laughing like schoolboys. 

When Zarathustra was alone, however, he said to his heart: “Could it be possible! This old saint in the forest hath not yet heard of it, that GOD IS DEAD!”