At the turning of the year, and the beginning of a new lunation, my soul is being transported through a ritual death and re-birth, of cleansing and renewal in a spiritual sacrifice on the Yew that holds all. From the trials and tribulations experienced in this :J:ear, to the dawn of a new one, I find myself waxing in thought, leading yet to another thought, and preparing for deed upon deed. I also find myself contemplating the poesy of the mead, and the strung wyrd stanzas voiced and written by minds before my own, particularly two from authors that have inspired me to higher states in my youth, and to this very day instill a wodened state of mind, and countenance that is remarkable to sit with. I wanted to share these words of wisdom from these two poets and thinkers, as they are motifs of the self in being and becoming, on the journey of man to become overman.
One of Nietzsche’s early poems, written when he was 20. The relevance to our path seems self-evident.
To the Unknown God
Once more, before I move on
and set my sights ahead,
I lift my hands up to you in isolation,
you to whom I flee,
to whom I, in the utmost depths of my heart,
solemnly consecrated altars
so that at any time
your voice may summon me again.
Deeply graved into those altars
glows the phrase: “To the Unknown God.”
I am his, although I have, until now,
lingered too among the unholy mob;
I am his—and I feel the snares
that pull me down in the struggle and,
if I would flee,
compel me yet into his service.
I want to know you, Unknown One,
Who reaches deep into my soul,
Who roams through my life like a storm—
You Unfathomable One, akin to me!
I want to know you, even serve you.
—Friedrich Nietzsche, 1864
Original: Dem unbekannten Gott
Noch einmal, eh ich weiter ziehe
und meine Blicke vorwärts sende,
heb’ ich vereinsamt meine Hände
zu dir empor, zu dem ich fliehe,
dem ich in tiefster Herzenstiefe
Altäre feierlich geweiht,
mich deine Stimme wieder riefe.
Darauf erglüht tiefeingeschrieben
das Wort: dem unbekannten Gotte.
Sein bin ich, ob ich in der Frevler Rotte
auch bis zur Stunde bin geblieben:
sein bin ich—und ich fühl’ die Schlingen,
die mich im Kampf darniederziehn
und, mag ich fliehn,
mich doch zu seinem Dienste zwingen.
Ich will dich kennen, Unbekannter,
du tief in meine Seele Greifender,
mein Leben wie ein Sturm Durchschweifender
du Unfaßbarer, mir Verwandter!
Ich will dich kennen, selbst dir dienen.
And Rudyard Kiplings poem ‘IF’, for every Man to know
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream–and not make dreams your master,
If you can think–and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings–nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And–which is more-you’ll be a Man, my son!
So while others are making new years resolutions that (lets face it), you will probably break by next week, I’ve adopted these into my heart to face the forthcoming 13 moons, they serve as axioms of strength, belief, and will to face the ever changing faces of Life itself and my place within it.