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On Rebellion

February 2008

On Rebellion:

To do ought good never will be our task,
But ever to do ill our sole delight,
As being the contrary to his high will
Whom we resist.

— Beelzebub speaking in John Milton's Paradise Lost

It seems to me that to be defined by the will of another, whether contrarily or not, is just another form of slavery. As long as one tries to act solely in rebellion, one is as much a slave as the one who is wholly obedient.

Rejection is, I think, a similar thing. When we reject something, we admit that it still holds some thrall over us; if it did not, rejection would not be needed, and we could just move on.

Jody commented:

Two words here: raw vegan.

KT commented:

"Three metamorphoses of the spirit do I designate to you: how the spirit becometh a camel, the camel a lion, and the lion at last a child.

Many heavy things are there for the spirit, the strong load-bearing spirit in which reverence dwelleth. All the heaviest things the load-bearing spirit taketh upon itself: and like the camel, which, when laden, hasteneth into the wilderness, so hasteneth the spirit into its wilderness.

But in the loneliest wilderness happeneth the second metamorphosis: here the spirit becometh a lion; freedom will it capture, and lordship in its own wilderness. Its last Lord it here seeketh: hostile will it be to him, and to its last God; for victory will it struggle with the great dragon.

What is the great dragon which the spirit is no longer inclined to call Lord and God? "Thou-shalt," is the great dragon called. But the spirit of the lion saith, "I will."

To create new values- that, even the lion cannot yet accomplish: but to create itself freedom for new creating- that can the might of the lion do. To create itself freedom, and give a holy Nay even unto duty: for that, my brethren, there is need of the lion.

But tell me, my brethren, what the child can do, which even the lion could not do? Why hath the preying lion still to become a child? Innocence is the child, and forgetfulness, a new beginning, a game, a self-rolling wheel, a first movement, a holy Yea.

Aye, for the game of creating, my brethren, there is needed a holy Yea unto life: its own will, willeth now the spirit; his own world winneth the world's outcast.

Three metamorphoses of the spirit have I designated to you: how the spirit became a camel, the camel a lion, and the lion at last a child.-

Thus spake Zarathustra.

Matt commented:

Thanks KT, I'd forgotten about that bit. So that'd mean that the rebellion/rejection phase is a necessary part of the journey, yes?

KT commented:

Perhaps. But in any case, as you say, it's not the end - though rather easy to get stuck in if one hasn't the courage to move on. Rather like cynicism really :)

It's a pity, I was always an excellent camel.

Nato commented:

Reminds me of Chapters 2 and 3 of the Tao. Too long to quote in it's entirety, and I just can't pick one part out. People will have to follow the links.

era commented:

Does it follow that by accepting your designated three metamorphoses you just end up being a meta-camel? But then, would saying you will become a meta-lion just make you a meta-meta-camel?