#63 – On Pain: In AVTA & Our World

A Voyage to Arcturus – 


Hator said, “I am here falsely, and therefore I am subject to your false pleasures. But I wrap myself in pain – not because it is good, but because I wish to keep myself as far from you as possible. For pain is not yours, neither does it belong to the other world, but it is the shadow cast by your false pleasures.”


“Don’t spare him pain, dear Shaping, but let him seek his own pain. Breathe into him a noble soul.”

Nietzsche – 


To those human beings who are of any concern to me I wish suffering, desolation, sickness, ill-treatment, indignities—I wish that they should not remain unfamiliar with profound self-contempt, the torture of self-mistrust, the wretchedness of the vanquished: I have no pity for them, because I wish them the only thing that can prove today whether one is worth anything or not—that one endures.


Only great pain is, as the teacher of great suspicion, the ultimate liberator of the spirit…I doubt whether such pain improves us – but I do know it deepens us.


Life without pain is meaningless. Pain is the source of all value in the world. It is the test of one’s true worth. And it is as sacred as the gods.


Colin Wilson – 


Lindsay believes that humans are stuck on a fly-paper of delusions, and the glue is mixed with sugar – pleasure… it is only through pain… that man glimpses the ‘sublime’ of which he is capable and which is his true element.

*       *       *

The line preceding quote iii. from A Voyage to Arcturus relates how, in the company of Joiwind, Maskull grows acutely aware of his own impurity. On arriving at Shaping’s Well, Maskull entreaties Joiwind to pray for him.

“What do you wish for?”

“For purity,” answered Maskull, in a troubled voice.

*       *       *

Branchspell, “the same kind of sun as our own, lighting man’s road,” and Alppain, which “lights God’s road.” The former pins the subject to the sublunary world of pleasure, reactive feeling, and illusion. The latter rouses vehemently the innermost spirit (the daemon, desirous of reunion with godhead), pulling it back toward Muspel; No-thing.

Just as the principal character of an ordinary dawn [Branchspell; Solar] is mystery, the outstanding character of this dawn was wildness.

Branchspell, the all-too-familiar jailkeeper, Alppain the salvific alien.


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