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The Black Books


November 12-December 29, 1913

A huge task lay before me- I saw its enormous size-and its value and meaning escaped me. I got into the dark, and I groped along my path. That path led inward and downward.

  1. Nov. 1913

1My soul, my soul, where are you? Do you hear me? I speak, I call you- are you there? I have returned, here I am again.

I have shaken the dust of all the lands from my feet, and I have come to you again, I am with you.

After long years of long wandering, I have come to you anew. Shall I tell you everything I have seen, experienced, and drunk in?

Or do you not want to hear about all the noise of life and the world?

But one thing you must know, the one thing I have learned is that one must live this life.

This life is the way, the long sought after way to the unfathomable, which we call “divine.” There is no other way.

All other ways are false paths. I found the right way and it led me to you, to my soul. I return, tempered and purified. Do you still know me?

How long the separation lasted! Everything has become so different. And how did I find you? How strange my journey was!

What words should I use to tell you on what twisted paths a good star has guided me to you?

Give me your hand, my almost forgotten soul!

How warm the joy at seeing you again, you long forgotten, long disavowed soul! life has led me back to you.

let us thank the life I have lived for all the happy and all the sad hours, for every joy and every pain, for every hope and every disappointment.

All were stations on the path toward you. My soul, I found you again, I would like to, no, I will stay with you. \

My journey should continue with you.

I will wander with you and ascend to my solitude, no longer alone as before and greedy and impatient, but with comforting courage and quiet delight.

  1. Nov. 13.

am weary, my soul, and lay my head on your shoulder. My wandering has lasted too long, my search for myself outside of myself.

Now I have gone through events and found you behind all the farrago. For on my straying through this farrago7

I discovered [ humanity and the world. I found men.

And you, my soul, I found again, first in images within men and then for real, how you are.

I found you where I believed you the furthest away from me, where God forced me to surrender blindfolded and to lose myself-there you
climbed out of golden shafts and I found you again.

You announced yourself to me in advance in dreams, which were dark to me, and which I sought to grasp in my own inadequate way.

You know these dreams, how they burned in my soul and drove me to all the boldest acts of daring, and forced me to push for the steepest summits, yes, even to rise above myself.

You let me see truths and enjoy their solemn bliss, of which I had no previous inkling.

You let me undertake journeys, whose endless length would have scared my consciousness beyond rescue, if the knowledge of them had not been secure in you.

Maybe I talk too much about myself? Forgive me, my heart is full, because I have come from far wandering.

I wandered for eleven12 years, so long that I forgot that I possessed a soul that I could call my own.  I belonged to men and things.

I did not belong to myself. Where were you all this time?

Which Beyond sheltered you and gave you sanctuary, where you did not starve to death? How did you fare?

Oh, that you must speak through me, that my speech and I are a symbol for you! How should I decipher you? Who are you, child?

You certainly know that you have used this image in my dreams, the image of a little girl.

(And I found you again only through the soul of the woman.)

Childish interpretation shall be far from me, because I must prize the image that you use. How dare I guess about this?

What do I know of your mystery?

(Look, I bear a wound that as yet is not healed: my ambition to make an impression. Hence, close my mouth and keep all my words inside of you. They are directed toward you. Do not believe that I am selfish. I will bend everything in me to alert those I love to the depths and heights that you hold and hide in your child’s hand.)

Forgive me if I speak as in a dream, like a drunkard- are you- God? Is God a child, a female child?

I must tell myself most clearly: does He use the image of a child that dwells in every man’s soul?

Were Horus, Tages, and Christ not children?’7 Dionysus and Heracles were also divine children. Did Christ

, the God of man, not call himself the son of man? What was his innermost thought in doing so?

Should the daughter of man be God’s name? Forgive me if I babble. No one else hears me.

I speak to you quietly, and you know that I am not a drunkard and that my heart twists in pain from the stabbing wound, whose darkness delivers speeches full of mockery:

“You’re starring in your own comedy, you’re lying to yourself! You spoke so as to deceive others and make them believe in you. You want to be a prophet and chase after your ambition.”

Blessed is he who has also overcome his own mockery.

But you see that the wound still bleeds, and that I am far from being able to pretend that I do not hear my own mockery.

I bring it before both you and me and leave it and go on, because I feel that I must speak to you from myself and through myself
from you.

Again and again I think of those “amazingly tortuous paths” that led to you, my child.

(How strange it sounds to me to call you a “child,” you who still hold the all-without-end in your hand)

I am thinking of this first vision that you gave me in a dream, where I saw you hovering. (Is it 14 years since then?)

How thick the darkness was back then!

How impetuous and how egotistic my passion was, how subjugated I was by all the daimons of ambition, the desire for glory, greed, uncharitableness, and zeal at that time!

And how totally ignorant I was then! Life tore me away, and I deliberately moved away from you and I have done so for all these years.

But I remained with you minimally until the love for women tore me completely off and away from you. I recognize how good all of this

But I thought that you were lost or sometimes it seems to me that I was lost.

But you were not lost nor was I. I went on the dusty way of the day.

You went invisibly with me and guided me step by step, putting the pieces together meaningfully and letting me see the whole and ultimate in each part.

You took away where I thought to take hold, and you gave me where I did not expect anything and time and again you brought about fate from new and unexpected quarters.

Where I sowed, you robbed me of the harvest, and where I did not sow, you give me fruit a hundredfold.

And time and again I lost the path and found it again where I would never have foreseen it.

You upheld my belief, when I was alone and near despair.

At every decisive moment you let me believe in myself.