I AM a ridiculous man. Now they almost think I’m crazy. Which would have meant taking into consideration, if he weren’t still a ridiculous man. But I don’t get bored because of that anymore, now I don’t hold a grudge against anyone and I like everyone, even if they laughed at me … yes, sir, now, I don’t know why, but I feel for all my friends. special tenderness nearby. I would be delighted to accompany you in your laughter … not precisely in that laughter at my expense, but for the affection they inspire me, if it would not make me so sorry to see you. It is a pity that they do not know the truth. Oh my God! how much does it cost to be one to know the truth! But they don’t understand it. No, they would never understand this.
At first it made me suffer a lot to look ridiculous. Not to look like him, but to be. I’ve always been ridiculous, and I’ve known it maybe since I was born. Perhaps by the time I was seven years old, I realized that it was ridiculous. Then I went to school, and then to university, but … the more I learned, the more compelled I saw myself recognizing my condition as a ridiculous creature. So that all my university studies had no other purpose than to demonstrate and explain to myself, in my meditations, that I was a ridiculous being. And in life, the same thing happened to me with science. Every year the knowledge of my ridiculous condition increased and strengthened in me, in every way. Everyone laughed at me. But no one knew, nor even suspected, that if there was a man in the world who knew how ridiculous I was, I was myself. And that was precisely what angered me most: that they didn’t know. But that was my fault. I have always been so proud that for nothing in the world I would have confessed it to anyone. And that pride was growing in me as well over the years, and if I had allowed myself to confess to someone, whoever it was, spontaneously, that he was a ridiculous man, I would have immediately shot myself in the head that afternoon. Oh, how much it made me suffer, in my youth, the fear that I might not be able to contain myself and to say it suddenly, myself, to my companions! But, as time went by, when I became a boy and, although I continue to recognize this terrible condition of mine every year, I felt more and more calm … I don’t know why … precisely because some reason that I still ignore today. Perhaps because, at that time, fear entered into my soul before a certain knowledge that was humanly higher than my self … and that was the acquired conviction that everything in this world is, after all, one.
I had sensed it for a long time, but the full conviction has only been based on my spirit in the last year and in a sudden way. I felt from one moment to the next that everything was indifferent to me, that it made me so much that the world existed or not. Little by little I was seeing and feeling that there was nothing outside of me. It seemed to me that, in fact, there had been many things in the beginning, but I also guessed afterwards that there had been nothing before, and that, if it had seemed so, it was for some reason. And little by little, I became convinced that from then on there would also be nothing. From that time until now, I stopped worrying more about mortals and almost and hardly paid attention to them again. Which did not take long to reflect on the most insignificant things, for it occurred to me, for example, when I walked the streets, bumping into everyone. And don’t think it was because I was sinking into meditations, that couldn’t be, because I already had to think about everything, everything was indifferent to me. Even if I had only given myself to problem solving! But no, not one solved it in my life, and that, having them kicked. But as he did so much, the problems left me alone.
And later on, suddenly, I learned the truth. I learned the truth in the last month of November, precisely on the third of November, and since then no detail of my life has been erased from my memory. It was on such a dark night, as dark as I have ever seen another so dark. I came home, around eleven at night, and I still remember thinking that there could be no darker and more gloomy night. Even in a physical sense. It had rained all day, but an extremely cold and boring rain, a rain that depresses the mood to the point that I still remember feeling hostility towards men. And suddenly, the rain stopped and the terrible humidity began to feel, even more humid and colder than the rain, and from all sides a kind of mist arose from every stone in the street and from each corner, when, when passing, a person started to look at the street from afar. It suddenly occurred to me to think if the lamps would have gone out, it would be much better, because with the gas lights everything became sadder, because the light showed everything. I had barely eaten that day and since it was dark I had been at an engineer ‘s house. I hadn’t opened my mouth all that time, and I guess my presence bothered them. They spoke I don’t know what, and suddenly they started to alter, getting caught up in the discussion. But, deep down, none of that interested them at all, I knew that, and if they got hot it was because they got hot. I suddenly went and said to them: “Stop arguing, that this, for you, comes to the same thing”. Instead of taking him badly, they did nothing but laugh at me. Because I had not said that to them in an air of censure, but because everything was indifferent to me. They clearly perceived that everything was indifferent to me and found it funny.
While I was thinking about the extinction of the lamps in the streets, I remembered to look up at the sky. It was tremendously dark, but thick clear clouds were clearly visible, which strayed through it, torn apart, undone, and between them, in the empty space, large black stains. I suddenly discovered a starlet in one of those spots. I stopped and started to watch her, attentive. I did it only because that little star suggested an idea to me: I decided to shoot myself in the body that same night. Two months ago he had decided it so solemnly, and, despite being as bad of money as he was, he had found a beautiful revolver, which he had carried that very day. However, two months had passed and the revolver was still in my drawer, everything was so indifferent to me that I wanted to wait for a moment when it was not so, although I ignored the reason for this postponement. And when I came home every night during those two months, I thought it was going to be the night I shot. I was always waiting for the moment. And suddenly, that little star suggested the idea to me and I decided to put the bullet in the body that night. I don’t know why the star would have suggested such an idea.
But it happened that, while looking at the sky, a girl elbowed me. The street was already deserted, completely deserted, and there was no soul in those surroundings. Just in the distance a drójki coachman slept on the box. It may be that the girl was only eight years old, she was wearing a very thin dress, as she was wearing only a scarf, she was completely soaked by the rain, but what caught my attention were her little shoes, broken and wet, in such a way who still seems to be seeing them. They jumped out at me, in a strange way. Suddenly, the little girl hit me on the arm and screamed I don’t know what. He did not cry, but he said a few words, which he could not articulate well because of the cold, as in a thief, and his whole body shivered. She was so scared, she was so scared, that in her desperation, she just babbled and screamed the same: “Mum! Bad!”. I turned to look at her, but said nothing and went on my way, she started running after me, constantly pulling me by the arm and screaming in that tone that, in frightened children, denotes despair. I know that tone. Even though the little girl did not express her conflict clearly in words, I understood that her mother was dying at home or that another horrible misfortune must have happened there, and that she had left the house to ask for help from a passerby in order to find something to help the mother with. But I did not go in the direction she was showing me, and even, on the contrary, I started to chase her away from me. At first I told him I was going to look for a night guard. But she opened both hands, imploring, and continued to run after me, sobbing, anxious. It looked like I was afraid of losing myself. I then stepped forward and suddenly I stamped my foot on the floor, and she screamed. He shouted anguish: “My rich lord, my rich lord! …” But then he stopped and, suddenly, he ran across the street, where a figure was seen, leaving me to tease another.
I went up to my fifth floor. I have a room there that I rented to a woman. It is a miserable and small room, with only a skylight in the ceiling. My furniture consists of a divan, lined with oilcloth, a table, on which I have my books, two chairs and an armchair, this one, old, very old, but very comfortable. I sit on it, turn on the light and start thinking. In the adjoining room, separated from mine only by a thin partition, the watering has been going on for three days. A retired captain lived there, who also had guests – six men. They were almost always playing with an old, greasy deck. In the previous nights they had fought, and of two of them I knew that they had pulled each other’s hair. The lady of the house thought to complain, but she didn’t dare, because she was afraid of the captain. In addition to the neighboring sites, there was also a very thin and thin lady in the house, a provincial with three young children who became ill here. Both she and the children have a ridiculous fear of the captain, and whenever they have guests they stay up all night, shivering and crossing themselves, and the little one even suffers from seizures, he is so afraid. This captain, I know very well, sometimes asks Niévski Próspekt passers-by to give alms, and is not at all concerned with getting a job, although – strange thing – during all the time he has been with me, he has never not bothered at all. It is true that I, from the beginning, avoided his coexistence, and that I did everything possible to upset him the first time he came to my cubicle, to visit me, but that they shout there in his room as much as they want … that I do not care. I spend the whole night sitting in my chair, and, to tell you the truth, I don’t even hear them … So much I can forget about them and their screams. But I stay up all night … This has been happening for a year. I sit in the armchair until it clears, and do nothing. Read, I only read during the day. I’m sitting and I don’t even think about anything, I sit quietly and let the thought wander. The light is consumed in one night. I sit down at the table, pick up the revolver and place it in front of me. I still remember that … when I put it there, I asked myself, “Yes?” And that I replied with all tranquility: “Yes”. So I decided to put a bullet in the body that same night. I knew that on that same night I would irrevocably tear the cranial box, but I did not know how long I would still be sitting there until that moment. And there is no doubt that I would have been shot in the head that night, if it weren’t for that little girl …
BUT SEE: despite everything being indifferent, I felt, for example, the pain, yes, the pain, I felt it. If someone had hit me, I would have felt the pain. And the same in the moral field, if something sad had happened, I would have felt pity, just as before I had become indifferent. So, that time, I felt compassion, I had no choice but to help my little one, in any case. Why hadn’t he given it to that one? Because, precisely at that moment, an idea occurred to me: when she pulled me by the arm and spoke to me, a problem arose to which I could not find an answer. It was an idle question, but it still annoyed me. It put me in a bad mood, due to the logical conclusion I had reached, the conclusion that, since I was going to blow up the box of brains, everything must be indifferent to me. But why would I suddenly feel that not everything was indifferent to me and that I felt sorry for the little one? I still remember that it inspired me with genuine pity, yes, to the point of feeling a very special pain, it inspired me pity, a pain that was absolutely unlikely and untimely, in the situation I found myself in. No, I can’t quite describe my elusive feeling back then, but that feeling was still lingering in my spirit after I entered my room and after I was already sitting at the table, and I was as agitated as I hadn’t been in a long time. One appreciation betrayed the other. However it is evident that I, despite being a man and not a zero, that is, although I have not yet become a zero, it is evident, I repeat, that I am alive … and therefore I can still be bored- me and suffer without feeling ashamed of my actions. Well. As for me … But if I, for example, kill myself within two hours, what can that poor little girl care about me and that shame and the whole world may bother me? I become a zero, an absolute zero. And it could really be the awareness that I will soon cease to exist, and, as a consequence, that everything will also cease to exist, not having the slightest influence on the feeling of piety that inspires this being, nor on the feeling of shame for the brutality that a person has incurred? It was only for this reason that I stamped my foot on the floor and let out that furious cry, because I wanted to demonstrate that I … not only did I feel no pity but was also able to commit the most inhuman rudeness, since in two hours everything would be over and there would be absolutely nothing. Will you believe me if I tell you that’s why I chased you away? I am absolutely convinced of this. At that moment it was absolutely evident to me that life and the world depended almost solely on me. I can say even more: that the world now seemed almost created to me only … because when I had shot, the world would cease to exist, at least for me. Not to mention that maybe there was really nothing left for anyone after me, and that maybe the whole world, when my knowledge was extinguished, would immediately disappear as a vision, as a simple attribute of that knowledge of mine and leave to exist, because maybe this whole world and all these men are … just me. I remember that I was abandoning all these new questions, which assault me one after the other, and I was thinking something completely new to me. All of this, sitting in my chair, always thinking. And suddenly, among others, a strange thought occurred to me: if I, for example, had lived on the Moon in another time, or on the planet Mars, and committed some incredibly dishonest action there, the most dishonest I can imagine, and because of that action he had seen me outraged and dishonored there in a way that only can sometimes be seen in dreams, under the influence of a nightmare, and then, on Earth, the memory of what I had done in others would not abandon me planets, and knew, moreover, that I would never, in any way, return to those other planets – I ask then: “When I looked at the Moon, here on Earth, would everything be indifferent to me … or not? Would I be ashamed or not, then, of my actions? ”
These questions were idle or superfluous, since the revolver was there in front of my eyes, on the table, and I knew with absolute certainty that it was going to happen infallibly … But, nevertheless, these questions stung me and harassed me. It seemed to me that after all I couldn’t die without having solved these problems anyway. In short: that little girl saved me, because, because of those questions, I postponed my death. Meanwhile, in the captain’s room there was silence, the owner of the house and the guests had just finished playing and were preparing to sleep, although they did not stop grumbling or insulting themselves until the end, in their drinking. And then I suddenly fell asleep, something that had never happened to me before, sitting in the armchair, by the table. I fell asleep from one moment to the next.
As you know, dreams are a very strange thing. We perceive in them, with frightening clarity, with an artistic elaboration, certain details, while we pass others completely over, as if they did not exist, thus succeeding, for example, with time and space. I believe that dreams do not dream reason, but desire, not the head, but the heart, and yet, about what such complicated things my reason sometimes passes through, in the dream! Absolutely incomprehensible things. For example: my brother died five years ago, but I often see him in my dreams, he takes part in everything that interests me, we talk at length about everything imaginable, but at the same time, I always have the conscience and I never forget a moment that my brother has been dead and buried for a long time. But why is it that I am not surprised at all by your presence? That I am not surprised that the dead man sits next to me and that he speaks to me? Why is my reason not revolted? But that’s enough. I will now tell you about my dream. Yes, at that time I had that dream, my dream of November 3rd. You will tell me now that it was just a dream. But is it completely indifferent whether it was a dream or not, once this dream had revealed the truth to me? Because once the truth has been recognized, after it is seen, we already know that it is the only truth, that outside of it there can be no other, whether we are asleep or awake. Well, if it is a dream, for me, I admit it. But this life, which you appreciate so much, I was willing to leave it to serve suicide, while my dream, my dream … oh, my dream came to reveal a new, great life to me , Wonderful!
I SAID that I had let myself fall asleep without realizing it, it seemed to me that I was doing nothing but continue to meditate on these problems. Suddenly, I take the revolver – that is, it seemed to me that I took it in my dreams, that I aim it at the heart, at the heart and not at the head, when at last I decided to shoot myself in the head, irrevocably in the head, and, for even better accuracy, in the right source. After leaning the pipe against my chest, I waited a second, just a second, and the light, the table and the wall suddenly started to fall on me and dance. I quickly pulled the trigger.
Sometimes we dream that we fall from a great height or that they kill or hit us, but we don’t feel any pain, in these cases, unless a person gets hurt in bed: in that case, yes, we feel a little pain that wakes us up. That’s exactly what happened to me in my dream then: I did not feel pain, but it seemed to me that, because of the shot, all of me … had gone and suddenly fell apart, and everything around me was plunged into dreadful darkness. I stopped, almost blind and dumb, and realized that I was lying on something hard, with my mouth up, and I saw nothing and could not make the slightest movement. And around me people passed by, screaming, I heard the captain’s voice below and the housewife’s soprano voice, and suddenly, another pause … and they start putting me in the coffin, and I feel like the My coffin bearers stagger as I walk, and I start to think about it, and suddenly I become aware for the first time that I am dead, that I am deceased, that I have no doubt, that I cannot see or move. me, although, despite everything, feel and think. But it doesn’t take long for me to resign myself, and, as we usually do in dreams, I accept reality without fighting back.
But behold, they throw me into a deep pit and bury me. Everyone leaves and I stay there alone, completely alone, which can be said absolutely alone. Before, when I started thinking about the day when they buried me, the idea of the tomb was only linked to a feeling of humidity and cold. And so it was now, I felt very cold, especially at the tips of my fingers, but, in addition, I felt nothing else.
He lay in the tomb and, strange thing … he expected nothing, as he accepted without contradiction the idea that a dead man has nothing to wait for. But it was too damp. I don’t know, however, how long it would have been: if an hour, if a few or many days. When, suddenly … I hit my left eye, which had closed, a small drop of cold water, which had infiltrated through the lid of the coffin, a minute passed and a second drop splashed me, then a third, and so on. , always, from minute to minute. This produced a violent setback, and I suddenly felt a physical pain in my heart. “It’s the wound – I thought – that’s where the bullet got in.” But the droplet continued to fall every minute and always exactly in my left eye. And then I screamed, not with my voice, since I couldn’t make any movement, but with my whole being, to the author of everything that happened to me:
- O whoever you are, if you exist and that there is something more reasonable than what happens to me, also order him to impose his dominion here. But if you want to punish me for my foolish suicide with the folly of continuing to exist, learn that nothing that is reserved for me can compare with the contempt that I will feel in silence, even though my torture and my martyrdom may last millions of years.
I screamed like that and then I shut up. That deep silence would have lasted close to a minute and, after that time, the usual drop fell on my closed eye again, but I knew, knew in an infinite and unbreakable way, that everything would change immediately. And behold, my tomb suddenly opens. That is, I am not sure if they would have opened it to me, the fact is that an obscure being, and for me unknown, took over me, and we both went to interplanetary spaces. And suddenly I recovered my sight, it was night, deep night, and I had never, never seen such darkness. We crossed the sidereal spaces, already far from Earth. I didn’t ask my driver any questions, I expected and felt immense pride. I made sure I wasn’t afraid and almost fainted with joy when I thought I wasn’t. I don’t know how long we would have flown through spaces like this, I can’t even imagine it well, it all happened as things usually happen in dreams, going beyond the laws of reason, space and time, and everything being limited to what our heart dreams of . I remember that suddenly, in the midst of that darkness, I saw a little light.
- Is it Sirius? – I asked him against my will, because I didn’t want to ask anything.
- No, this is the same little star you saw among the clouds when you came home – replied the being who led me, and of which I only knew that he had a human face. But, strange thing: that being was not nice to me and inspired even a deep aversion. I had counted on absolute non-being and, based on that hypothesis, I had decided to commit suicide. And now I found myself in the arms of a being who was not, of course, a human being, but who was nevertheless a reality, and was effectively.
“So there is a life after death! – I thought with that strange quickness of the one who sleeps, although the fundamental essence of my heart retained all its depth in me. – Since I have to exist again and again, I have to live, under a mandate of I don’t know what an unappealable will, I don’t want anyone to win or humiliate me!
“You know I’m afraid of you and that’s why you despise me,” he said suddenly to my driver. I had not been able to contain myself and had asked the humiliating question that implied confession, and I felt the pain of my embarrassment in my heart, like a stab. The being did not answer my question, but I suddenly felt that he did not despise me or laugh at me, and that he did not even feel sorry, and that our flight had a purpose, an unknown and mysterious goal, and that only interested me. . And the fear grew in my heart. Something emanated from my dumb conductor, silently but painfully, over me, and it overwhelmed my heart. We passed through obscure and ignored spheres. The known constellations had long since disappeared from my sight. I knew that in interplanetary spaces there are stars whose rays of light take thousands and even millions of years to reach Earth. But it is possible that we had already covered even greater distances. I hoped I didn’t know what, and nostalgia tortured my heart. And suddenly, a familiar, familiar feeling came to me, I saw the sun! I knew that it could not be our Sun, the father of our Earth, which gave birth to our Earth, but I understood, because I do not know that, with my being, that Sun was a Sun absolutely like ours, that it was its reproduction and its double. A sweet, uplifting feeling filled my soul with pleasure, the precious, bodily force of light that had engendered me, found an impact on my soul and made it resurrect, and I felt life, the life of yore, for the first time after of my burial.
- Since there is the Sun and it is a Sun completely like ours – I exclaimed -, where is the Earth?
And my companion pointed to a little star that emitted an emerald glow. We flew just over it.
- How is it possible to have such copies in the Universe? Is this really the law of the Universe? And, if this is the Earth, tell me: it will be an Earth like ours … an Earth also deprived and poor, but no less appreciated and dear, that inspires the same painful love for your most ungrateful children, like ours Earth? – I exclaimed, trembling with a rapturous, audacious, irrepressible love for that sacred Land, the muddy and dusty Land that I had just abandoned. And the little girl’s figure, which I screamed with a scream, instantly appeared in my memory.
“You will see with your own eyes,” replied my companion, and sadness vibrated in his voice.
We were fast approaching the planet. It was looming before my eyes, and I could already make out the oceans, then perceive the contours of Europe, and suddenly, a great and sacred envy woke up in my heart.
- How could a copy exist, and what is the purpose of its existence? I love and I can only love this Earth that I have just left, in which the drops of that blood still remain, how thankless! I shed when I let go of life. But never, never did I stop loving our Earth, and maybe even that night when I abandoned it would have been the moment I loved it most passionately and painfully! Is there also pain in this new Earth? In ours, can we only live with pain or thanks to it? We don’t know how to love any other way nor do we know any other love. I want pain to be able to love. Yes, at this moment I just want to be able to kiss, bathed in tears, the Earth that I abandoned! And I don’t want to, I don’t accept any other life but that of our Earth!
But my partner had already left me. I had arrived, without realizing it, to that other Earth, in the clear sunlight of a day of paradisiacal beauty. I believe I was on one of those islands that form the Hellenic archipelago, if it was not, perhaps, some point on the coast that surrounds the Aegean Sea there. Oh! It was everything just like us, everything just seemed to be in a firm disposition and to shine in a great victory, holy and finally conquered. The smooth, dark blue sea beat gently against the coastline and girded itself with immense, visible and almost unconscious love. The shadowy trees appeared in all the splendor of their flowering, and I am convinced that their innumerable leaves welcomed me with their light and friendly whisper, murmuring ignored words of love. The grass was very fresh and shiny; birds flocked through the air, and the birds landed me, without fear, on their shoulders and arms, and gave me cheerful pats with their trembling wings, and finally, I looked and recognized the men of that one too. Happy land. People came to me spontaneously; they surrounded me and kissed me. They were children of the Sun, children of their Sun … Oh, and how beautiful they were!
I have never seen such beautiful men on our Earth. At most we can find in children, in their youngest years, a weak and distant reflection of such beauty. These happy men had clear, bright faces. In his face there was intelligence and a knowledge that, allow expression, seemed complete even to tranquility, and yet these faces breathed a special uproar; both the words and the voice of these men showed childlike joy. Oh, the first look I landed on those faces, I understood everything, everything! That was the Earth, the Earth untainted by original sin, in which men who had no sin lived, and lived in a Paradise identical to that in which, according to all the traditions of mankind, our first parents lived before the “fall”, without the slightest difference, except that the whole earth was, everywhere, a single Paradise. Those men approached me with affection, smiled and caressed me; they took me to their home and everyone tried hard to reassure me. Oh, they didn’t ask me any questions; they seemed to know everything, and they only yearned to chase away, as soon as possible from my face, every trace of pain.
NOW SEE: Let us admit that all of this was just a dream. But the feeling of love, which those beautiful and innocent men showed me, lingers on me through time, and I feel how that love, already distant, falls on me. I saw them, met them, loved them, and later, I suffered for them. Oh! I understand, and I understood it from the first moment, that I could not understand them in many things; it seemed incomprehensible to me, as it seems to contemporary Russian progressives and bad petersburgers, the fact that, knowing as much as they knew, they did not possess our science. But I was not late in proving that his science was nurtured by knowledge different from that of Earth, and that his concerns were also of a different nature. They had no desires; they were calm and content; they did not aspire, as we do, to know life, because their life was completely filled. But her knowledge was deeper and higher than our science, because our science seeks to explain life, it intends to cement it itself, to show men how to live, and this I understood, whereas they already know how to live, and I understand this, even though I cannot understand their science. They showed me their trees, but I could not feel the greatness of the love with which they beheld the same way as they did: as if the trees were men. And see: I may not be fooled into saying that they even spoke to them. Yes, they knew their language and I am convinced that the trees understood them. And they looked in the same way all the rest of Nature and the animals that lived peacefully with them, and, far from attacking them, they loved them, overcome by their love. They would point to others and tell me anything I didn’t understand; but I am convinced that they were in relationship with the stars of Heaven, not through thought, but in another way. Oh, those men did not strive for me to understand them; they loved each other without needing it; but besides that, I knew that they would never understand me either, and that’s why I never told them about our Earth.
I limited myself to kissing the Earth in which they lived before them, and to worshiping it, and they saw this and let me do it, without saying anything, without being ashamed that I loved it at the same time as they did. They did not suffer because of me, when, devastated with tears, I kissed their feet, because I knew the love with which they paid me. Sometimes I asked myself, astonished: how could they offend a man like me, once, or how could they arouse a feeling of envy or jealousy in me either? Sometimes I also asked myself how I, as if I were a fraud and deceiver, did not communicate some of my knowledge, which, of course, they had no idea, to make them fall in amazement, or simply because their love … They were bonacheirões and jovial like children. They roamed among their magnificent woods and flowering meadows, singing beautiful songs, and supported themselves from the fruits of the trees and the milk of the animals that accompanied them. They cared very little about food and clothing. Love also existed between them and they begat children; but I never realized that they were victims of those raptures of cruel lust, which take over almost all the men of this Earth of ours, all, without exception, and which constitute the sole source of almost all the sins of our humanity. They rejoiced with the newborns, as new co-participants in their happiness. They knew neither the fight nor the envy, and they didn’t even know what that was. The children of others were also their children, for they were all one family. They had almost no disease, counting on death; and their old people were extinguished gently, as if sleeping, surrounded by loved ones, pouring out blessings, smiling and accompanied by their clear and happy looks.
I have never seen pain or tears at the head of a dying man, but a love exalted to ecstasy, to a calm and pure fervor. One could almost believe that even after death they remained in communication with their dead, and that she did not interrupt her earthly life. They hardly understood me when I asked them about eternal life; but apparently they were so convinced of its existence that they did not for a moment remember to question it. They had no temples, but they maintained a vital identification with the Whole; they professed no belief, but they were convinced that, when their earthly joys had reached the limits of earthly nature, a more intimate contact with the Whole would come to all of them, both the living and the dead. They waited happily for that moment, but they neither longed for it to arrive nor suffered because of it, they already had their anticipated enjoyment in their soul, and communicated it to each other. At night, before falling asleep, they sang in harmonious choirs. In these afternoon songs, they expressed the feelings they experienced during the day, and they boasted and cherished the day that had passed, saying goodbye to him. They praised Nature, the Earth, the sea and the forests. They praised and praised each other in their songs, just as children praise; his songs were simple, but they put his heart in them and they reached the hearts. And not only in their songs, but in their whole life, they did nothing but love one another. It was, in fact, a life of mutual love, a great life, universal love. But some of his songs, which had a triumphant and inspired expression, I could not understand. As much as he understood its lyrics, it could not penetrate all its meaning. They were intangible for my reason, even though they penetrated deeper and deeper into my heart, without me being able to realize what was going on. I used to tell them that I had already guessed all this; that already on our Earth the presentiment of that whole adventure, that joyful song of praise, had made me experience a sterile and sometimes excessive enthusiasm; that I had seen it all in my soul’s dreams and in my senses; that far away, on our Earth, the sunset had brought tears to me more than once; that there had always been pain in my hatred for the men of our Earth. Why couldn’t I hate them, since I didn’t love them; why couldn’t I forgive them, why did it make me suffer to love them, why could I love them by hating? They listened to me, and I saw clearly that they could not imagine any of this, but I did not regret having spoken to them about these things; I knew that they understood all the power of my nostalgia for those I had abandoned. Yes, when I felt his diaphanous and pleasant look resting on me, pierced with love, I felt how among them my heart also became pure and innocent like yours, I did not regret not being able to understand them. I lacked the breath, because I felt the fullness of life so intensely, and I was silent worshiping them.
Oh! everyone now laughs in my face and tells me that nothing similar to what I am describing can be seen; that, in my dream, I did nothing more than experience a feeling elaborated by my own heart and that all these details should have architected them later, already awake. And when I agreed and said that it could be that they were right … God knows the laughter, the hilarity that my words provoked. Naturally, I was just overwhelmed by the feeling of the dream, and only this single feeling lingered in my bleeding heart. But, in addition, the real visions and figures of my dream, that is, those that I had seen precisely during the time of my dream, kept such harmony among themselves, they were so perfect, so charming, seductive and beautiful, that, waking up, of course, was unable to bring them back to life in our poor language. So, of course, they had to fade in my conscience and fade away, and maybe that was why I really felt obliged to imagine the details afterwards, to which I would have decidedly commissioned the mission to reproduce, given my passionate desire, which was, in a way at least, the main feeling. But nevertheless, why not believe that everything was real? It could be a thousand times better, more radiant and beautiful than I describe. It may have been a dream, but it is not possible that it was completely. Look, I’m going to trust you with a secret: maybe all of this wasn’t even a dream away. For something like this happened, something so real until saturation, that a person could not even have dreamed it! It may be that it was my soul that engendered that dream; but how could she have engendered this terrible truth that I later felt? How could I have imagined it or my heart dreams of it alone? Could it be possible that my petty little heart and my humble and capricious reason could have led to such a revelation of the truth? Oh! Judge yourselves for yourselves; so far I haven’t talked about the case, but now I’m going to tell the whole truth.
The conclusion was that I had … spoiled it all.
YES YES; the conclusion was that I screwed up. How it was … is that I don’t know. I no longer remember how it happened. The dream lasted thousands of years and just left me with an overall impression … I just remember that it was me who fell from original sin. Like an amazing trinquine, like a pestiferous bacillus that devastates the Earth, so I devastated that whole innocent and happy Earth. Those men learned to lie, took a liking to the lie and recognized how beautiful they were. Oh !, it could be that, at first, they did it innocently, for pure game, for fun, that it was just a bacillus; but this lie atom took root in their hearts and was to their liking. It was not long before voluptuousness derived from it, and this voluptuousness engendered envy, and this, cruelty. Oh! I don’t know, I don’t remember how, but it was not long before the first drop of blood spilled; at first they only felt astonishment; but then they got scared and started to walk away from each other. Censorship and incrimination came. They knew shame and erected it in virtue. The concept of honor arose and each group joined in the shadow of its flag. They began to torture the animals, and the animals moved away from them, went into hiding in the woods and became their enemies. The struggle for separation, individualization, personality, “yours” and “mine” began. They started to speak several languages. They knew the pain and took its taste; they longed for suffering and said that the truth was only bought at the price of martyrdom. Then science came. As they had become evil, they spoke of brotherhood and humanity, and understood these ideas. As they had become criminals, they invented justice and drafted codes to enclose it in them, and, to ensure compliance with those codes, they raised the guillotine. They barely remembered what they had lost and did not want to believe that they had ever been innocent and happy. They even laughed at the possibility of their past happiness and called it a fantastic dream.
They could not even have an idea of that state, and, moreover, something strange happened: now that they had lost all faith in past happiness and classified it as fantasy, they went so far as to be innocent and happy again that they they knelt like children before their hearts’ desires; they worshiped these desires, built temples for them and prayed to their own idea, to their own “will”, while continuing to believe, with an unshakable conviction, in the possibility of fulfilling and fulfilling that idea, just of begging for it from them. knees. And yet … if it could have been the case that they returned again to that innocent and blissful state that they lost; if someone had consulted them, asking them: “Do you want to go back to him?”, they would have resolutely replied that they did not. They said to me: “Well, we will be liars, bad and unjust; we know it and regret it, and that is our torture, and perhaps that is why we torment and punish ourselves more than this merciful Judge who will judge us in the future, but whose name is unknown to us, would do. But, on the other hand, we have science, and thanks to it we must find the truth again, and then we will accept it with conscience. Knowledge is above feeling; the knowledge of life … above life itself. Science will make us omniscient; omniscience knows all laws, and knowledge of the law of happiness … is above happiness itself. ” That was how they spoke to me, and, judging by these words, each of them became more fond of himself than of the others; he had valued himself more than anything in the world; yes … and it could not have been otherwise. They all became so jealous of their selves that each one was eager to demean, oppress and diminish the self of others, by all possible means, and that was the only thing about his life. Slavery developed and even voluntary slaves emerged; the weak submitted with pleasure to the strongest, but with the proviso that they help them to subdue the weaker than themselves. Prophets appeared among them who spoke to them of their weeping pride, of the loss of measure and the harmony of the feeling of modesty. But they laughed and made fun of these prophets and ended up polishing them. Sacred blood flowed over the threshold of the temple. But there were also men who began to discuss how to bring them all together again, without, however, ceasing to want themselves more than anyone, nor to harm others, so that everyone would thus live again. common, forming a single friendly and agree society. This idea was, among them, the cause of great wars. All the belligerents believed at the same time that science, omniscience and the instinct of conservation itself would finally compel men to unite in a reasonable and reasonable society, for which, however, the “omniscient” endeavored, in order to to speed things up, by exterminating all non-omniscient people and those who did not understand his idea, lest they be an obstacle to his triumph. But it was not long before the general feeling of conservation diminished and voluptuous and proud people appeared who openly proclaimed that they wanted everything or nothing. Achievements of all kinds were recorded, and when they achieved nothing with them … the remedy of suicide remained. There were religions devoted to the cult of non-being and annihilation itself, in honor of eternal rest in nothingness. Until, finally, those men got tired of their absurd efforts and in their faces the pain was reflected, and they proclaimed: pain is beauty, because only pain has meaning. And they sang the pain in their poems. I was in an agitation among them, wringing my hands and crying; but he loved them, however, and perhaps more than before, when there was still no pain on his face and they were beautiful and innocent. The Earth stained by them then seemed to me more valuable than before, when it was a paradise, and that was only because the pain had appeared on it. Oh, I have always loved pain and sadness, but only for me, only for me! But, as they were suffering now, he wept with compassion.
I extended my hands to them and, in my despair, accused me, cursed me and despised myself. I told them that it was all my doing; that I, just me and no one else, was to blame for everything. That I had taken them corruption, plague and lies. I asked them to crucify me, I taught them to set up a cross and to lift it. I couldn’t kill myself; I didn’t have the courage to do it; but I wanted to suffer torment at the hands, I longed to spill my blood to the last drop in the torment. But they did nothing more than laugh at me, ending up saying that I was a crazy nut. They even defended me, saying that they had now no more than what they had wanted, and that all this had happened because it had, inevitably, to happen. Finally, they declared that I was a danger to them, and that, therefore, they had decided to lock me up in a mental institution, if I did not give up my sermons. When I heard them say this, the pain was so great that it pierced my soul that my heart was confused and I felt myself die, and … it was then that I woke up from my dream.
It was already morning; the sun had not yet risen, it was six in the morning. I woke up in my chair; the light had gone out completely; in the adjoining room the captain and his people slept, and in the house there was a strange silence. At first I shuddered, amazed; nothing similar had ever happened to me; even small things impressed me; for example, he had never fallen asleep like that, in the chair. And then … as I stood up and just woke up, I suddenly looked at the revolver, the loaded revolver, but at the same moment I threw it away. Oh, life, great and sacred life! I opened my arms and invoked eternal truth; sobbed; enthusiasm, immeasurable enthusiasm filled my whole being. Yes, life and … annunciation! The announcement was decided for me at that very moment … decided for my whole life. I will go, I will go and I will announce! What? … The truth, once I saw it, I saw it with my own eyes, and I recognized all its magnificence!
And since then I announce the good news! … I love you all, and, more than anyone, those who laugh at me. Why do I love these more? I don’t know, nor can I explain it, but that’s how it is. They say I am mistaken … But if I am mistaken now, how will it be further on? Yes, they are probably right; I am mistaken and the more I am, the worse it may be. I will probably still make a mistake frequently, until I learn how to preach, that is, with what words and with what acts, because it is difficult to know. Now it is as clear to me as light; but listen to one thing: who doesn’t make a mistake? And yet, they all struggle for the same object; everyone, from the sage to the last criminal, simply proceeds differently. This is an old truth; but here’s another new one: I can’t be so wrong. For I saw the truth, I know it; men can become beautiful and happy without having to stop living on Earth. I do not want nor can I believe that evil is the normal state of man. But they make fun of my belief. They don’t believe me! I saw the truth! Not that I discovered it with my intelligence, no: I saw it, what is called seeing, and its living face filled my soul for all eternity. I saw it in such complete integrity that … how could I now believe that this truth cannot exist among men as well? And how, how could I be mistaken? You may be a little disoriented, you may also use strange words, but this should not last long; the living image of what I saw will live in me forever and will serve as a guide and a guide. Oh, I am very happy and hopeful, and I will not tire of walking, even though I have been on a pilgrimage for a thousand years. Look: at first, I wanted to hide from you that I had been the cause of his doom; but that would have been a fault on my part … because then we already had the first fault. But the truth told me in my ear that I lied, saved me from error and led me on the right path. But I couldn’t find out how they got to Heaven, because I can’t express it in words. I lost the words in the dream. At least all the necessary words, the most accurate. But it does not matter; I will walk through these worlds and announce the good news, since I saw it with my own eyes, although I cannot express what I saw. But this is precisely what the mockers cannot understand. “He had a dream, as he says; a feverish delusion, a hallucination. ” Ah! Is that wise? And they are all swollen. A dream? But what is a dream? Is our life not a dream? Wait, I’ll tell you more. Well, let us admit that this will never happen and that this paradise will never become a reality (I admit this myself!); well, because, despite everything, I will continue announcing the good news. And yet, how simple that would be! In one day, in one hour, everything would change. Love humanity as yourself! That’s all; this is all and nothing more is needed; then you will know how to live. And besides, there is only one truth … an ancient, ancient truth, but one that needs to be repeated over and over again, and that until now has not taken root in our hearts. The knowledge of life is above life; knowledge of the law of happiness … is above happiness itself … This is what you must fight against. And I will fight it! If everyone wanted, everything would change on Earth in a moment.
But I’m still looking for that young girl … And I continue, I continue ….