The true and only end of the Übermensch way – the Abyss. Way – as a way of living – cause this is a way of living. One have to spend quite a lot of time over years on thinking (philosophizing). It’s like a second job. But could this way have a different ending? Not, unless someone loses one’s way. More precisely – if one stops before the end, or if one is unable to reach the end. Why am I so sure? Because the truth about reality is to be found. “Seek and ye shall find”. It requires time, effort, toil. But, one way or another – if you want, you’ll find the truth. And the Abyss is part of this truth.
What is the Abyss? Again, it takes time to realize that. At first, it is just a surprise, fear and dejection. It’s not what one expects to find at the end. But you cannot get rid of it. Used to thinking, to keep pressing forward, more or less willingly, you have to deal with it. This means: perception, understanding. Perhaps the Abyss can be overcome? Perhaps there is something more, after all. Perhaps the Abyss is not the end. Too much time and effort had been spent to stop there, now. Day by day you ask questions: what is it? where did it come from? is it purely subjective, or an objective thing in some way? how to classify it? what kind of thing is it? is there anything similar that could be used for comparison? And so on, and so on. Nothing new. Exactly the same way of proceeding, the same procedure used for years for every other problem, every question.
But the Abyss is a border problem. It is not a purely intellectual question – an idea. It is anchored in your mind. Without realizing this, you’ve started a spiritual journey. Apparently, when you start feeling that “the Abyss gazes into you”, that it somehow has ‘a will of its own’ – what you do is no longer purely intellectual. It is not another logical or physical problem. These problems have no ‘will of their own’, they cannot “gaze” into you. A mathematical problem, for instance, can be infuriating, can make you sleepless, nervous; can make you cry over subsequent failures at solving it. But it is totally outside of you. Just like a stubborn stump of a tree that you cannot remove from your garden. Such problems can be abandoned. You can resign, left it, forget it. But the Abyss is in your mind. You cannot ignore or forget it.
So, what is it? What is the Abyss? Obviously, it is black and bottomless. And cold. Fearsome. Slowly, you discover it does, in some way, summon you. It invites you. Somehow intuitively, you feel this invitation is a kind of a cat to a mouse invitation. But there is also a kind of promise of an answer. And a taunting: “Are you afraid? Now? After getting so far, you are afraid of the very end? Afraid of making this last step? Where is your boldness? Where is your courage to tread the path that nobody tread before? Are you an Übermensch, or not?”. Are they your own thoughts, or is it hinted, in some way, by the Abyss?
Black, cold, bottomless. Frightening. At the same time inviting, taunting, promising. Indifferent in its waiting. Inhuman. The Abyss certainly isn’t friendly. That was known from the very beginning. But there is much more. The Abyss presents itself as something eternal, powerful, invincible. Calm in its steady power and knowledge. More and more you feel that it wants to swallow you up. Its coldness is destruction. Death. Cold and eternal. It becomes more and more frightening. The fear it awakes is the most basic, deepest fear of annihilation, of incomprehensible hostile existence.
In the Western civilization built on Christianity, we have a notion which pretty well depicts such ‘thing’. Lucifer. Angel of Enlightenment. Personification of Evil. Could the Abyss be Lucifer? A bold, powerful creature. The one who opposed God Himself. The one, who had chosen his own path.
Such assumption is as good as any other. We need to start with something. So, let’s spend some time thinking about it. What do we know about Lucifer? Christian theology tells us he is the most powerful, wise, Enlightened of angels. A perfect being. Not Perfect as God is, but perfect as a created being can be. What’s the difference? More or less, such as between a very big number – say 1050 – and infinity. But from our – human perspective – Lucifer is a superbeing (an overbeing). What more do we know? Lucifer disagreed and opposed God over us – human beings. God demanded angels (as it is said) – to bow before human. To manifest their servitude to humans. God Himself planned much more – to sacrifice His own Son. This was unbearable for the powerful, proud, perfect creature as Lucifer was. So, he opposed God.
What can we figure out ourselves? A lot. Let’s start from the beginning. When Lucifer opposed God, he was no longer obliged to serve. He was free. He could do whatever he wanted. But what can do a perfect being in a timeless eternity? In a reality consisting of incorporeal (spiritual) intelligences and – as far as we know – nothing more?
Lucifer is perfect – he’s got entire knowledge about reality (God’s creation), he forgets nothing and learns no new knowledge (because there is nothing unknown to him). What can he do? What to fill this timeless eternity with? He has some ‘friends’ – other fallen angels. But they are similar to him. What can they do? Play board games? The angels of Heaven serve God, dwell with Him, His Love makes them Happy. They lack nothing. But what can do Lucifer and his ‘comrades’? Obviously, he would want to ‘fight’ God. Prove Him wrong over the human beings. As much as possible, at least.
Fighting God as we are used to understand the word “fight” is impossible. The difference between God and Lucifer is like the difference between a cartoonist and a comic book character. One has every power, the other is totally powerless against its creator. So, Lucifer can ‘fight’ God only on the level of His creation. He already did what he could in the world of angels. Now, he can only oppose God on the field of His lesser creation – human beings.
But that’s the very reason of his defiance in the first place. Dealing with people was below his dignity. He refused, and now he has nothing left but to deal with people, anyway! Can there be anything more maddening? His frustration grows unbounded. Moreover, this ‘game’ is doomed to fail from the very beginning. God in His infinite Love and Goodness will be perfectly happy with just a handful of human beings worth the Heaven. Even with a single human being! For Lucifer human beings are like bugs – disgusting in their weakness, foolishness, imperfectness. What’s the satisfaction in ‘winning’ their worthless souls? This ‘game’ is lost before it started. No matter what Lucifer does, he cannot ‘prove’ God wrong, make Him suffer, destroy His plans. From God’s perspective, the dealings of Lucifer are of no importance, at all. Lucifer’s frustration must grow infinitely.
In a timeless eternal existence, a perfect being having ‘full’ knowledge of reality does not exist as we are used to. There is no “before” and “after”. There is no pondering anything. Everything is known right from the beginning. This means, Lucifer must have known exactly from the very beginning the results of his mutiny. The very situation he ‘will’ get into. He knew his defiance, his opposing God is totally futile. Against God and His plans Lucifer (as any other being) is totally powerless. Lucifer knew all the consequences in advance. Nothing could be surprising for him. (Being surprised by the results of one’s deed is a condition of imperfect beings.) Nevertheless, in spite of all these consequences Lucifer decided to oppose God. He knew it is all pointless, futile; that he will have to deal with human beings, anyway. Yet, he decided to take this step. How much maddening frustration must have been in that move?
I write here about frustration. I think, this is the word which most closely depicts the situation and the feeling it conceives. External circumstances require you to do things that are below your dignity, things you find disgusting. You would do anything to change the situation, but you cannot. There is no fault of yours – you did nothing to find yourself in such situation. It all happened outside of you. Despite of your wisdom, power, abilities, you are unable to avoid, what you want to avoid. Being so powerful, you are now powerless against the problem. You have only bad choices at your disposal. And you have to choose and face the consequences. What notion describes your feelings? I think: frustration.
What becomes to frustration in eternity? And, by the way, to every other negative feeling like anger, dislike, envy, and so on? How long one can be frustrated? Frustration means anger. One is angry with the situation – the lack of good choices, the inevitability of bad consequences, the dead end that one have to get into. But how long can it last? How long one can be frustrated and angry? Anger is a “hot” feeling. On higher levels it may become rage – one boils up. You have to vent your anger somehow. And if you don’t? If you keep your frustration and anger for a long, long, very long time? You cannot boil up forever. But if you cool down without soothing your anger and frustration? What is anger (or even better: rage) if it becomes calm, steady, emotionless? We call it: hatred. Your frustration and anger become hatred. You start to hate those, who made you into the frustrating situation. You hate those, who did not help you out. You hate those, who did not have to make such bad choices. Who were lucky enough to be in a better situation.
The same goes to every other bad feeling: dislike, envy – how long can you envy someone? Can you envy for years? For decades? At some point your envy must either disappear, or you start hating the person you envy: “She’s got everything, I nothing!”. The same happens to dislike. How long can you actively dislike someone? If the feeling cannot be soothed, it must grow to hate over years. That’s inevitable. There is a truth in saying: “Vengeance is best served cold”. It is hatred, what stands behind such vengeance. Not anger. Anger means acting on impulse, without deliberation, suddenly. In anger one cannot think and plan, and prepare, and wait. Whereas hate, being calm and steady, does not prevent you from thinking calmly, deliberately planning, waiting patiently for opportunities. Hate is patient and calm. Hate can last for eternity. Hate is perfect, in a way.
Perhaps, a host of negative feelings we are able to experience is a result of our imperfectness? That we are able to conceive soft, weakened versions of hate? Anyway, at this point it is easy to make a guess, that at the other end, there is also one true feeling – love. That friendship, liking, compassion, they all either vanish over time or become love. But it is no use to go any further in these reflections. Such questions should be left to theologians. What we can do here, is to ponder perfectness and imperfectness.
From the Christian theology we know much about God’s mercifulness. His mercy is boundless. So, why cannot Lucifer ask for forgiveness? Why hell cannot be saved? The answer is in perfectness. Lucifer and his legion of fallen angels is perfect. A perfect will knows no hesitation. A perfect reason knows no mistakes. A decision once made is made for ever. Perfectness makes it impossible to withdraw. One cannot ask and receive forgiveness against one’s own will and reason. This is the overlooked side of perfectness. We wish for perfectness in desire of certainty of choices, decisions. It would be great to decide without doubts, hesitation, with a clear certainty of making a mistake-free choice. A perfect choice of a perfect reason. Nobody sees the downside: no return. The ability to change one’s mind is a wonderful gift.
A perfect mind cannot change. Choose differently. This would mean imperfectness – that something was wrong with the first choice, or something is wrong with the second choice. If we reasonably change our mind, change our decision – this means either lack of knowledge (or incorrect knowledge), which equals to imperfectness of knowledge; or imperfectness of the very reason, which invented the idea. A perfect being knows no errors. Each and every decision and choice of a perfect intelligence is… perfect. Logically, it is impossible for a perfect mind to willingly and reasonably change in any matter. Lucifer and his angel comrades are damned forever because they are perfect – unable to change in any way. Unable to ask for forgiveness.
While we – the imperfect human beings – can change our minds many times. No decision is final as long as we live. We are able to taste anything, without the immediate threat of making a final, irreversible choice. This is the great upside of our imperfectness.
We went far in our considerations. Nevertheless, they are result of some certain facts. The Abyss is fearsome. It is not friendly towards a human. Quite the contrary. It feels hostile. It seems powerful and it is unchangeable. The Abyss is beyond our influence, but it certainly can influence us. It must have a will of its own, cause it summons us. That’s what one can learn by looking into the Abyss. One certain conclusion is that the Abyss cannot be the source of our existence. It is hostile, but it has no power over us. At least, until we surrender to it voluntarily. The Abyss is not a God-Almighty. That’s certain.
The question: “what is the Abyss?” cannot be answered alone. There is quite a lot of possibilities. But, as every other question concerning reality, it can be answered by seeing the “big picture”, the whole picture. All questions of reality must fit into one, logical, consistent explanation. If we find this explanation – this whole picture; then only one of many possible answers shall become inevitable. Inevitable as truth is.