And this defeat
immediately persuaded me that the truth that we had recognized together was
the good one. This conviction was not arrived at by reasoning. A new intuition
had thrust it on me.
And calmed, at
last, I said to the fool:
"You are too weak, but this mission you imposed upon yourself, from which I
shrank, do not believe it was illusory. Just because you were not up to it,
don't think someone else might not have been. Such a person will come one day,
stronger in his presciences and his intuitions. He will act without knowing
it. You knew what you were attempting. This is why you failed. But that person
to come may be you. It might also be me. It would be enough for us to be making
"Yes," he said,
"and I was wrong to be scornful of you. Everything must be done again. But the
joy of having thought of it is still ours."
Evening was falling.
The room was growing dark. I did not turn on any light. But I opened the window
and both of us looked out at the street.
Some people were
passing by without haste. I felt myself filled with love for them. I loved them
because I know in a certain way that their indifference concealed a whole world
of expectations and disappointments. I was not different from other men. I realized
that the common lot was not so banal. And I told myself that, consumed with
useless efforts and torn by thousand hesitations, my life was beautiful because
of these hesitations, since they are so many sufferings.
I was at this point
in my reflections when I felt the fool's hand upon mine. And the contact with
his hand, reminding me of an external presence, made a new lightning flash and
a new prescience surge up in me.
I saw clearly that
I was lying to myself. And it was because the life was a sweet one.
I did not believe
that I was thinking. I would not put my decisions into action. For I was thinking
and deciding too mch. I was trying in vain to find my true thought: there are
some truths one discovers suddenly at a detour of the mind and from which one
turns away with horror in order not to discover them fully.
The evening air
was brisk and the tiresome noises of the town rose up to us.
And the fool said
to me: "Seek in order not to find. Always. For you are much too tormented to
abandon the quest. . . . But, you see, we shall at least have found something."
I. --"Lassitude." What more shall I say? I am sick of so much like other evenings.
All of what I have said, I ought to have kept silent about. But my pride is
not great enough for that. I am sad from having been stripped so bare. But I
love my falsehoods and my expectations too much not to shout them out with fervor.
Where shall I turn?
I know one thing only: my mystical soul burning to give itself with enthusiasm,
with faith, with fervor.