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Acquainted With the Night    by Robert Frost

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain -- and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say goodbye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
One luminary clock against the sky
Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.

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From Thus Spoke Zarathustra    by Friedrich Nietzsche
The Three Metamorphoses

    Three metamorphoses of the spirit do I name you: how the spirit shall become 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 dwells: for the heavy and the heaviest longs for its strength.
    What is heavy? so asks the load-bearing spirit; then kneels down like the camel, and wants to be well laden.
    What is the heaviest thing, you heroes? asks the load-bearing spirit, that I may take it upon me and rejoice in my strength.
    Is it not this: To humiliate oneself in order to mortify one's pride? To exhibit one's folly in order to mock at one's wisdom?
    Or is it this: To desert our cause when it celebrates its triumph? To ascend high mountains to tempt the tempter?
    Or is it this: To feed on the acorns and grass of knowledge, and for the sake of truth to suffer hunger of soul?
    Or is it this: To be sick and dismiss comforters, and make friends of the deaf, who never hear your requests?
    Or is it this: To go into foul water when it is the water of truth, and not disdain cold frogs and hot toads?
    Or is it this: To love those who despise us, and give one's hand to the phantom when it is going to frighten us?
    All these heaviest things the load-bearing spirit takes upon itself: and like the camel, which, when laden, hastens into the wilderness, so hastens the spirit into its wilderness.
    But in the loneliest wilderness happens the second metamorphosis: here the spirit becomes a lion; it will capture freedom, and be lord in its own wilderness.
    Its ultimate lord it seeks here: 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? The great dragon is called "Thou-shalt." But the spirit of the lion says, "I will."
    "Thou-shalt," lies in its path, sparkling with gold--a scale-covered beast; and on every scale glitters golden, "Thou shalt!"
    The values of a thousand years glitter on those scales, and thus speaks the mightiest of all dragons: "All the values of things - glitter on me.
    All values have already been created, and all created values - do I represent. Truly, there shall be no 'I will' any more. Thus speaks the dragon.
    My brethren, wherefore is there need of the lion in the spirit? Why does not the beast of burden, which renounces and is reverent, suffice?
    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 No even unto duty: for that, my brethren, there is need of the lion.
    To assume the right to new values - that is the most formidable assumption for a load-bearing and reverent spirit. Truly, unto such a spirit it is theft, and the work of a beast of prey.
    As its holiest, it once loved "Thou-shalt": now is it forced to find illusion and arbitrariness even in the holiest things, that it may capture freedom from its love: the lion is needed for this capture.
    But tell me, my brethren, what the child can do, which even the lion could not do? Why has 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 Yes.
    Yes, for the game of creating, my brethren, there is needed a holy Yes unto life: its OWN will, wills now the spirit; the spirit outcast from the world wins its OWN world.
    Three metamorphoses of the spirit have I named to you: how the spirit became a camel, the camel a lion, and the lion at last a child.--

    Thus spoke Zarathustra. And at that time he lived in the town which is
called The Pied Cow.

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From The Phenomenology of Spirit    by G.W.F. Hegel

The whole is only complete when the two propositions are made together, and when the first is asserted and maintained, it must be countered by clinging to the other with invincible stubbornness. Since both are equally right, they are both equally wrong, and the mistake consists in taking such abstract forms as 'the same' and 'not the same,' 'identity' and 'non-identity,' to be something true, fixed, and actual, and in resting on them. Neither the one nor the other has truth; the truth is just their movement...

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From Duino Elegies    by Rainer Maria Rilke

Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the angels' hierarchies?
and even if one of them pressed me suddenly against his heart:
I would be consumed in that overwhelming existence.
For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror, which we are still just able
to endure, and we are so awed because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.
Every angel is terrifying.
And so I hold myself back and swallow the call-note of my dark sobbing.
Ah, whom can we ever turn to in our need?
Not angels, not humans, and already the knowing animals are aware
that we are not really at home in our interpreted world.
Perhaps there remains for us some tree on a hillside, which every day we can
take into our vision;
there remains for us yesterday's street and the loyalty of a habit so much at ease
when it stayed with us that it moved in and never left.
Oh and night: there is night, when a wind full of infinite space gnaws at our faces.
Whom would it not remain for--that longed-after, mildly disillusioning presence,
which the solitary heart so painfully meets.
Is it any less difficult for lovers?
But they keep on using each other to hide their own fate.
Don't you know yet?
Fling the emptiness out of your arms into the spaces we breathe;
perhaps the birds will feel the expanded air with more passionate flying.

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