The Opening of the Egg - an excerpt from Liber Novus

Recommended Posts











The Opening of the Egg.


On the evening of the third day, I kneel down on the rug and carefully open the egg. Something resembling smoke rises up from it and suddenly Izdubar is standing before me, enormous, transformed, and complete. His limbs are whole and I find no trace of damage on them. It's as if he had awoken from a deep sleep. He says: 


Where am I?

How narrow it is here, how dark, how cool - am I in the grave

Where was I?

It seemed to me as if I had been outside in the universe

over and under me was an endlessly dark, star-glittering sky 

and I was in a passion of unspeakable yearning.

Streams of fire broke from my radiating body-

I surged through blazing flames-

I swam in a sea that wrapped me in living fires

Full of light, full of longing, full of eternity-

I was ancient and perpetually renewing myself

falling from the heights to the depths,

and whirled glowing from the depths to the heights

hovering around myself amidst glowing clouds 

as raining embers beating down like the foam of the surf,

engulfing myself in stifling heat-

Embracing and rejecting myself in a boundless game

Where was I 

I was completely sun."


I: "Oh Izdubar! Divine one! How wonderful! You are healed!"


Healed? Was I ever sick? Who speaks of sickness? I was sun, completely sun. I am the sun.


An inexpressible light breaks from his body, a light that my eyes cannot grasp. I must cover my face and cast my gaze to the ground.


I: "You are the sun, the eternal light-most powerful one, forgive me for carrying you."


Everything is quiet and dark. I look around me: the empty egg shell is lying on the rug. I feel myself the floor, the walls: everything is as usual, utterly plain and utterly real. I would like to say that everything around me has turned to gold. But it is not true-everything is as it always has been. Here reigned eternal light, immeasurable and overpowering.




It happened that I opened the egg and that the God left the egg. He was healed and his figure shone transformed, and I knelt like a child and could not grasp the miracle. He who had been pressed into the core of the beginning rose up, and no trace of illness could be found on him. And when I thought that I had caught the mighty one and held him in my cupped hands, he was the sun itself.


I wandered toward the East where the sun rises. I probably wanted to rise, too, as if I were the sun. I wanted to embrace the sun and rise with it into daybreak. But it came toward me and stood in my way. It told me that I had no chance of reaching the beginning. But I lamed the one who wanted to rush down in order to set with the sun in the womb of the night; he was deprived of all hope of reaching the blessed Western lands. 


But behold! I caught the sun without realizing it and carried it in my hand. He who wanted to go down with the sun found me through his down-going. I became his nocturnal mother who incubated the egg of the beginning. And he rose up, renewed, reborn to greater splendor. 


While he rises, however, I go down. When I conquered the God, his force streamed into me. But when the God rested in the egg and awaited his beginning, my force went into him. And when he rose up radiantly, I lay on my face. He took my life with him. All my force was now in him. My soul swam like a fish in his sea of fire. But I lay in the frightful cool of the shadows of the earth and sank down deeper and deeper to the lowest darkness. All light had left me. The God rose in the Eastern lands and I fell into the horror of the underworld. I lay there like a child-bearer cruelly mauled and bleeding her life into the child, uniting life and death in a dying glance, the day's mother, the night's prey. My God had torn me apart terribly, he had drunk the juice of my life, he had drunk my highest power into him and became marvelous and strong like the sun, an unblemished God who bore no stigma or flaw. He had taken my wings from me, he had robbed me of the swelling force of my muscles, and the power of my will disappeared with him. He left me powerless and groaning. 


I did not know what was happening to me, since simply everything powerful, beautiful, blissful, and superhuman had leaked from my maternal womb; none of the radiant gold remained. Cruelly and unthinkably the sunbird spread its wings and flew up into infinite space. I was left with the broken shells and the miserable casing of his beginning; the emptiness of the depths opened beneath me. 


Woe betide the mother who gives birth to a God! If she gives birth to a wounded and pain-stricken God, a sword will pierce her soul. But if she gives birth to an unblemished God, then Hell will open to her, from which monstrous serpents will rise convulsively to suffocate the mother with miasma. Birth is difficult, but a thousand times more difficult is the hellish afterbirth. All the dragons and monstrous serpents of eternal emptiness follow behind the divine son. 


What remains of human nature when the God has become mature and has seized all power? Everything incompetent, everything powerless, everything eternally vulgar, everything adverse and unfavorable, everything reluctant, diminishing, exterminating, everything absurd, everything that the unfathomable night of matter encloses in itself that is the afterbirth of the God and his hellish and dreadfully deformed brother. 


The God suffers when man does not accept his darkness. Consequently men must have a suffering God, so long as they suffer from evil. To suffer from evil means: you still love evil and yet love it no longer. You still hope to gain something, but you do not want to look closely for fear that you might discover that you still love evil. The God suffers because you continue to suffer from loving evil. You do not suffer from evil because you recognize it, but because it affords you secret pleasure, and because you believe it promises the pleasure of an unknown opportunity.


So long as your God suffers, you have sympathy with him and with yourself. You thus spare your Hell and prolong his suffering. If you want to make him well without engaging in secret sympathy with yourself, evil puts a spoke in your wheel - the evil whose form you generally recognize, but whose hellish strength in yourself you do not know. Your unknowing stems from the previous harmlessness of your life, from the peaceful passage of time, and from the absence of the God. But if the God draws near, your essence starts to seethe and the black mud of the depths whirls up. 


Man stands between emptiness and fullness. If his strength combines with fullness, it becomes fully formative. There is always something good about such formation. If his strength combines with emptiness, it has a dissolving and destructive effect, since emptiness can never be formed, but only strives to satisfy itself at the cost of fullness. Combined thus human force turns emptiness into evil. If your force shapes fullness, it does so because of its association with fullness. But to ensure that your formation continues to exist, it must remain tied to your strength. Through constant shaping, you gradually lose your force, since ultimately all force is associated with the shapeliness that has been given form. Ultimately, where you mistakenly imagine that you are rich, you have actually become poor, and you stand amidst your forms like a beggar. That is when the blinded man is seized by an increasing desire to give shape to things, since he believes that manifold increased formation will satisfy his desire. Because he has spent his force, he becomes desirous; he begins to compel others into his service and takes their force to pursue his own designs. 


In this moment, you need evil. When you notice that your strength is coming to an end and desire sets in, you must withdraw it from what has been formed into your emptiness; through this association with the emptiness you will succeed in dissolving the formation in you. You will thus regain your freedom, in that you have saved your strength from oppressive association with the object. So long as you persist with the standpoint of the good, you cannot dissolve your formation, precisely because it is what is good. You cannot dissolve good with good. You can dissolve good only with evil. For your good also leads ultimately to death through its progressive binding of your force by progressively binding your force. You are entirely unable to live without evil. 


Your shaping first produces an image of your formation within you. This image remains in you and it is the first and unmediated expression of your shaping. It then produces precisely through this image an outer one, which can exist without you and outlive you. Your strength is not directly linked to your outer formation, but only through the image that remains in you. When you set about dissolving your formation with evil, you do not destroy the outer shape, or else you would be destroying your own work. But what you do destroy is the image that you have formed in yourself. For it is this image that clings to your force. You will need evil to dissolve your formation, and to free yourself from the power of what has been, to the same extent which this image fetters your strength. 


Hence their formation causes many good persons to bleed to death, because they cannot attend to evil in the same measure. The better one is and the more attached one is to one's formation, the more one will lose one's force. But what happens when the good person has lost their force completely to their formation? Not only will they seek to force others into the service of their formation with unconscious cunning and power, but they will also become bad in their goodness without knowing it, since their longing for satisfaction and strengthening will make them more and more selfish. But because of this the good ones will ultimately destroy their own work, and all those whom they forced into the service of their own work will become their enemies, because they will have alienated them. But you will also secretly begin to hate whoever alienates you from yourself against your own wishes, even if this were in the best interest of things. Unfortunately, the good person who has bound his strength will all too easily find slaves for his service, since there are more than plenty who yearn for nothing more strongly than to be alienated from themselves under a good pretext.


You suffer from evil because you love it secretly and are unaware of your love. You wish to escape your predicament, and you begin to hate evil. And once more you are bound to evil through your hate, since whether you love or hate it, it makes no difference: you are bound to evil. Evil is to be accepted. What we want remains in our hands. What we do not want, and yet is stronger than us, sweeps us away and we cannot stop it without damaging ourselves, for our force remains in evil. Thus we probably have to accept our evil without love and hate, recognizing that it exists and must have its share in life. In doing so, we can deprive it of the power it has to overwhelm us. 




When we have succeeded in making a God, and if through this creation our whole force has entered into this design, we are filled with an overwhelming desire to rise with the divine sun and to become a part of its magnificence. But we forget that we are then no more than hollow forms, since giving form to God has sapped us completely. We are not only poor but have become sluggish matter throughout, which would never be entitled to share in divinity. 


Like a terrible suffering or an inescapable devilish persecution, the misery and neediness of our matter creeps up on us. The powerless matter begins to suckle and would like to swallow its shape back into itself again. But since we are always enamored of our own design, we believe that the God calls us to him, and we make desperate attempts to follow the God into the higher realm, or we turn preachingly and demandingly to our fellow men to at any rate force others into following the God. Unfortunately there are men who allow themselves to be persuaded into doing this, to their and our detriment.


Much undoing resides in this urge: since who could suspect that he who has made the God is himself condemned to Hell? But this is the way it is, because the matter that is stripped of the divine radiance of force is empty and dark. If the God alights from matter, we feel the emptiness of matter as one part of endless empty space. 


Through haste and increased willing and action we want to escape from emptiness and also from evil. But the right way is that we accept emptiness, destroy the image of the form within us, negate the God, and descend into the abyss and awfulness of matter. The God as our work stands outside us and no longer needs our help. He is created and remains left to his own devices. A created work that perishes again immediately once we turn away from it is not worth anything, even if it were a God.


But where is the God after his creation and after his separation from me? If you build a house, you see it standing in the outer world. When you have created a God whom you cannot see with your own eyes, then he is in the spiritual world that is no less valuable than the outer physical world. He is there and does everything for you and others that you would expect from a God. 


Thus your soul is your own self in the spiritual world. As the abode of the spirits, however, the spiritual world is also an outer world. Just as you are also not alone in the visible world, but are surrounded by objects that belong to you and obey only you, you also have thoughts that belong to you and obey only you. But just as you are surrounded in the visible world by things and beings that neither belong to you nor obey you, you are also surrounded in the spiritual world by thoughts and beings of thought that neither obey you nor belong to you. Just as you engender or bear your physical children, and just as they grow up and separate themselves from you to live their own fate, you also produce or give birth to beings of thought which separate themselves from you and live their own lives. Just as we leave our children when we grow old and give our body back to the earth, I separate myself from my God, the sun, and sink into the emptiness of matter and obliterate the image of my child in me. This happens in that I accept the nature of matter and allow the force of my form to flow into emptiness. Just as I gave birth anew to the sick God through my engendering force, I henceforth animate the emptiness of matter from which the formation of evil grows.



Nature is playful and terrible. Some see the playful side and dally with it and let it sparkle. Others see the horror and cover their heads and are more dead than alive. The way does not lead between both, but embraces both. It is both cheerful play and cold horror.



  • Like 3

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites