You saw that it was the life of the whole and the death of each individual. You felt yourself entwined in the collective death, from death to the earth's deepest place, from death in your own strangely breathing depths. Oh-you long to be beyond; despair and mortal fear seize you in this death that breathes slowly and streams back and forth eternally. All this light and dark, warm, tepid, and cold water, all these wavy; swaying, twisting plantlike animals and bestial plants, all these nightly wonders become a horror to you, and you long for the sun, for light dry air, for firm stones, for a fixed place and straight lines, for the motionless and firmly held, for rules and preconceived purpose, for .singleness and your own intent.
The knowledge of death came to me that night, from the dying that engulfs the world. I saw how we live toward death, how the swaying golden wheat sinks together under the scythe of the reaper, / like a smooth wave on the sea-beach. He who abides in common life becomes aware of death with fear. Thus the fear of death drives him toward singleness. He does not live there, but he becomes aware of life and is happy; since in singleness he is one who becomes, and has overcome death. He overcomes death through overcoming common life. He does not live his individual being, since he is not what he is, but what he becomes.
One who becomes grows aware of life, whereas one who simply exists never will, since he is in the midst of life. He needs the heights and singleness to become aware of life. But in life he becomes aware of death. And it is good that you become aware of collective death, since then you know why your singleness and your heights are good. Your heights are like the moon that luminously wanders alone and through the night looks eternally clear. Sometimes it covers itself and then you are totally in the darkness of the earth, but time and again it fills itself out with light. The death of the earth is foreign to it. Motionless and clear, it sees the life of the earth from afar, without enveloping haze and streaming oceans. Its unchanging form has been solid from eternity. It is the solitary clear light of the night, the individual being, and the near fragment of eternity.
From there you look out, cold, motionless, and radiating. With otherworldly silvery light and green twilights, you pour out into the distant horror. You see it but your gaze is clear and cold. Your hands are red from living blood, but the moonlight of your gaze is motionless. It is the life blood of your brother, yes, it is your own blood, but your gaze remains luminous and embraces the entire horror and the earth's round. Your gaze rests on silvery seas, on snowy peaks, on blue valleys, and you do not hear the groaning and howling of the human animal.
The moon is dead. Your soul went to the moon, to the preserver of souls.4o Thus the soul moved toward death Y I went into the inner death and saw that outer dying is better than inner death. And I decided to die outside and to live within. For that reason I turned and sought the place of the inner life.