I believe I'm a caterpillar buried deep down under the ground. The entire earth is above me, crushing me and I begin to bore through the soil, making a passage to the surface so that I can penetrate the crust and issue into the light. It's hard work boring through the entire earth, but I'm able to be patient because I have a strong premonition that as soon as I do issue into the light I shall become a butterfly.
All the political, social, and economic improvements, all the technical progress cannot have any regenerating significance, so long as our inner life remains as it is at present. The more the intelligence unveils and violates the secrets of Nature, the more the danger increases and the heart shrinks.
Man hurries, God does not. That is why man's works are uncertain and maimed, while God's are flawless and sure. My eyes welling with tears, I vowed never to transgress this eternal law again. Like a tree I would be blasted by wind, struck by sun and rain, and would wait with confidence; the long-desired hour of flowering and fruit would come.
Once more there sounded within me the terrible warning that there is only one life for all men, that there is only one life for all men, that there is no other and that all that can be enjoyed must be enjoyed here. In eternity no other chance will be given to us.
What first truly stirred my soul was not fear or pain, nor was it pleasure or games; it was the yearning for freedom. I had to gain freedom-but from what, from whom? Little by little, in the course of time, I mounted freedom's rough unaccommodating ascent. To gain freedom first of all from the Turk, that was the initial step; after that, later, this new struggle began: to gain freedom from the inner Turk-from ignorance, malice and envy, from fear and laziness, from dazzling false ideas; and finally from idols, all of them, even the most revered and beloved.
Cursed be all those on land and sea who eat their fill, cursed be all those who starve yet raise no hand in protest, cursed be all the bread, the wine, the meat which day by day descends deep in the entrails of the exploited man and turns not into freedom's cry, the murderer's ruthless knife!
This is true happiness: to have no ambition and to work like a horse as if you had every ambition. To live far from men, not to need them and yet to love them. To have the stars above, the land to your left and the sea to your right and to realize of a sudden that in your heart, life has accomplished its final miracle: it has become a fairy tale.