I have learned to walk: since then I have run. I have learned to fly, since then I do not have to be pushed in order to move.
Now I am nimble, now I fly, now I see myself under myself, now a god dances within me.
—Of Reading And Writing, Thus Spoke Zarathustra
A long time ago, maybe almost ten years ago, I met a guy who was the same age as me named Alvin. We got along extremely well, which was a rarity for me at the time. He was a complete enigma. There was always an air about him, something in his stable demeanor, that told me he had everything figured out. I asked him once, “Do you feel any pain?”. “Only when I want to”, was his response. I couldn’t possibly understand.
How can I describe this feeling? How can I explain? I’ve been looking for the right words for so long, but nothing comes through. Only images and ideas. Thoughts without expression.
All I know is that it feels like I’ve arrived at something, like I’ve finally come to a point where I’m comfortable with myself. Where I can hurt without being sad. Where I can love without pain.
The key is understanding how dissatisfaction breeds improvement, how pain breeds happiness, how there must be a balance of good and bad, and living by these beliefs with committed industry and absolute humility. It’s what Taoists express as Yin and Yang, what Nietzsche was saying through Zarathustra. And when one’s life goal is self-improvement, everything falls into place.
Now there is no going back. Now I truly feel like I’m alive.
Now a god dances within me.