The legend of Faust

I have heard about the legend of Faust before but never had the chance to read it. As destiny would have it, I recently stumbled upon Faust again, one of the works by Goethe (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe), the one that made him apparently famous in the literary world of then Europe.

For the past few days, piecemeal I’ve read and it is beautiful. My only regret is that I did not discover this gem before.

The tale of Faust is supposed to be Goethe’s greatest work into which he poured a lifetime of experience; the entire work took him his whole life and he finished the second part only a year before his demise. The literary work is written as a play (a poetical drama actually) and it portrays an interplay of religion, the supernatural, love, tragedy and the surreal. To give you an introduction about Faust, here’s a brief synopsis.

Faust is an old man, a sage or an alchemist, wise, learned and very pious. We see a conversation between God and Mephistopheles (satan) in which God remarks that Mephistopheles may try all he likes to tempt Faust; God is confident that Faust is too moral an individual to be tempted by anything. Mephistopheles sets to work, appearing to Faust and conversing with him. Faust is weary of life, and Mephistopheles is soon able to convince him that he could sample something more.

The story concerns the fate of Faust in his quest for the true essence of life. Frustrated with learning and the limits to his knowledge and power, he attracts the attention of the Devil (Mephistopheles), who agrees to serve Faust until the moment he attains the zenith of human happiness, at which point Mephistopheles may take his soul. Faust is pleased with the deal, as he believes the moment will never come.

In the first part, Mephistopheles leads Faust through experiences that culminate in a lustful and destructive relationship with an innocent and nubile woman named Gretchen. Gretchen and her family are destroyed by Mephistopheles’ deceptions and Faust’s desires and actions. The story ends in tragedy as Gretchen is saved and Faust is left in shame.

The second part begins with the spirits of the earth forgiving Faust (and the rest of mankind) and progresses into rich allegorical poetry. Faust and his devil pass through the world of politics and the world of the classical gods, and meet with Helen of Troy (the personification of beauty). Finally, having succeeded in taming the very forces of war and nature Faust experiences a single moment of happiness.

The devil Mephistopheles, trying to grab Faust’s soul when he dies, is frustrated as the Lord intervenes — recognizing the value of Faust’s unending striving.

This has been one of the most interesting drama’s I have ever read. It portrays one of the imminent weaknesses of the human kind; The quest for knowledge and the impossibility to attain enlightenment without the passion. And It punches in all that with philosophical poetry. Enough said. Go grab a copy now and enjoy it.

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And Thou art Dead, as Young and Fair

By: George Gordon (Lord) Byron (1788-1824)

AND thou art dead, as young and fair
As aught of mortal birth;
And form so soft, and charms so rare,
Too soon return’d to Earth!
Though Earth receiv’d them in her bed,
And o’er the spot the crowd may tread
In carelessness or mirth,
There is an eye which could not brook
A moment on that grave to look.

I will not ask where thou liest low,
Nor gaze upon the spot;
There flowers or weeds at will may grow,
So I behold them not:
It is enough for me to prove
That what I lov’d, and long must love,
Like common earth can rot;
To me there needs no stone to tell,
‘T is Nothing that I lov’d so well.

Yet did I love thee to the last
As fervently as thou,
Who didst not change through all the past,
And canst not alter now.
The love where Death has set his seal,
Nor age can chill, nor rival steal,
Nor falsehood disavow:
And, what were worse, thou canst not see
Or wrong, or change, or fault in me.

The better days of life were ours;
The worst can be but mine:
The sun that cheers, the storm that lowers,
Shall never more be thine.
The silence of that dreamless sleep
I envy now too much to weep;
Nor need I to repine
That all those charms have pass’d away,
I might have watch’d through long decay.

The flower in ripen’d bloom unmatch’d
Must fall the earliest prey;
Though by no hand untimely snatch’d,
The leaves must drop away:
And yet it were a greater grief
To watch it withering, leaf by leaf,
Than see it pluck’d to-day;
Since earthly eye but ill can bear
To trace the change to foul from fair.

I know not if I could have borne
To see thy beauties fade;
The night that follow’d such a morn
Had worn a deeper shade:
Thy day without a cloud hath pass’d,
And thou wert lovely to the last,
Extinguish’d, not decay’d;
As stars that shoot along the sky
Shine brightest as they fall from high.

As once I wept, if I could weep,
My tears might well be shed,
To think I was not near to keep
One vigil o’er thy bed;
To gaze, how fondly! on thy face,
To fold thee in a faint embrace,
Uphold thy drooping head;
And show that love, however vain,
Nor thou nor I can feel again.

Yet how much less it were to gain,
Though thou hast left me free,
The loveliest things that still remain,
Than thus remember thee!
The all of thine that cannot die
Through dark and dread Eternity
Returns again to me,
And more thy buried love endears
Than aught except its living years.

— Don’t know what to say. The depth of the poem chokes me with emotions.

What stays ?

The blissful silence in the depth of the night
Illusion of the mind in control, touching greater height
Peace descends all around in absolute serenity
The concentration opens and reaches the Universe in pure sublimity.

This joy that lingers ; Will it stay ?
All crutches to raise to that, haunts night and day
Tomorrow chaos shall return but memories do remain.
But that something touched feels pure like a elixir’s rain !

Life, this bitter sweet symphony
Still plays its tune amidst ruckus in complete harmony.
Every action, reaction perfect to its end
And so shall it be until all the energy is spent.


Innocence is bliss,
But isn’t that wretchedness too ?
Thy burden on this earth
What use is thee without knowledge ?

Fear the cold innocence.
What you fear, you don’t know;
What you know, thee fear not.
Knowledge enlightens thy darkness,
The light burns the innocence
The light refines and polishes thee.

To break the innocence, aspire on.
Ponder and clutter thy mind with thoughts.
The release, the opening of the door to knowledge
Shall dawn when thy fear burns out completely.

The count of knowledge exceeds the grasp.
Is there ever a release then from fear ?
Is there an alternate to reverse the curse ?
The thoughts coarse and intense strike
The heart excited and depressed pleads
Show me the ultimate path o thee.


Eye, the Eye that contains the I;
Eye, more powerful than fire.
Thy gaze more penetrating than the strongest force,
The path to truth, the realization of the eye.

The two eyes serene, concealing aspiration,
the third burns silently, watching thy tempation.
The eye, thy mind, what difference do they have ?
The lord of ashes conceals it all.
The sovereign observer never sleeps,
the blue throated consciousness, ever aware
of even the billionth of the heat dissipated

Burn thyself and feed the ultimate eye;
Oh thee who never closes thy eye,
Tell me that this place isn’t baked by the poison in me.
Give me strength to bear the sting
To prolong, to proceed and to rise, to meet thy eye.

Burning Desire

Wild thoughts engross the weaker mind,
Fight against and provide resistance,
Let thee be blessed by the ultimate intervention ;
For that is the only power to rely upon.
Rewarded will thee be, if thy aspiration persists.

Obstacles come and go,
Dissipation the motive, bringing down the silence,
Aspiration the antidote, to cure the morose.
Hang on and thee shall be spoken to.

Chant the name, the name that you love,
For every name bears the mark of the supreme,
Realize the identity in every entity,
For that is the stepping stone to the truth.

Analysis of the complex and the reason eludes,
But persist and thee shall see the true image;
Walk, without sleep and everything will fall into place,
And thee shall reach the point of no haze.

Aspiration implodes

Fear is realization of ignorance;
Relight the fire of knowledge,
Burn it with thy aspiration,
Cream it with thy inner intuition
and ye shall be free of the monster forever.

Concentrate thy senses and focus in thy mind,
Pour the emotions in an unbroken stream
Upon the path to realization of the inner self,
he who he is and he is not everywhere,

Silence burns its way,
Pay attention and give more silence as food,
The agni shall rise and enlighten the day
Feel the truth that everything happens for good.

Pray to thee who is formless and yet has the perfect form,
Adore thee who is the self and the shadow,
Aspire for thee who has always lived and yet never aged,
Surrender thyself to the ultimate, a part of thyself too.

Without Aspiration wretched is thy soul, this decaying self ;
Meditation purifies Aspiration,
Silence pours ghee and supplies vigour to meditation ;
Without Aspiration silence means nothing.

Depth of the heart

It is so very confusing trying to figure out the subtle difference between the mind and the heart. The mind is so very egoistic, morphed by facades, has burnt beleives unlike the heart which knows not of any such morosities and is pure in its intentions to the depth. It is like a bottomless abyss, a never ending container that expands itself according to its content. Anything pure from the heart is boundless, expecting nothing in return which is quite opposite to the ways of the mind.

Sometime back, i ended up in a discussion with a friend on ‘liking’ and ‘obsession’. Like a repeated folklore story, my mental model didn’t seem to fit theirs and theirs to mine as before. It was like a puzzle but of course such intricacies of the heart are moulded by the personality and so i consoled myself that there is nothing here to ponder. The thought hidden, has been eating away my patience silently, for quite some time until the ever dissipating ‘anger’ showed up from nowhere to inform me that the thought was matured. I started pondering on it again and it was just a flash, an image pretty descriptive and yet cryptic as ever, showed up before my inner eye to explain such a makeup of the mind.

The image was about a heart shaped entity dissected in the middle and with different layers of stuffs covering over it. It seemed very much like layers of metals covering or rather protecting something delicate which can easily be affected. It was precisely like layers of iron covering the core made up of cotton. So the desire, the emotion, the feelings, the longings which are all basically different forms of heat, have to penetrate the outer strong layer to touch the deeper one. And once it finds its way, or in other words when the emotion becomes so intense that it can touch the cotton, then cotton will go on a fire, on a rage in effect of the emotion. The longing of the mind will join hands with the burning heat provided by the heart, amplifying the result such that desperation creeps in.

I have come to realise that i see no difference between ‘liking’ and ‘obsession’. It may mean that i am weak and the single layer of iron will fall for every emotion, giving way to burn the cotton for every silly desire, amplifying it as obsession unlike others for whom the gradient of protection prevents such a thing and hence the variation in liking is evident. It also seemed to answer why i have boundless energy inspite of my paltry food supplies, less water, but spend lots of my heat in doing things that i am obsessed with. The cotton keeps burning, not leaving the mind at rest, the underlying flame keeps the body moving, pushing it farther and farther, not realising that the bag shall tear beyong a certain threshold, not withstanding the heat it has to handle.

Oh thee dark one, Oh lord of ashes, Ye who haunts my dreams,
Take my heat, supply me with pure aspiration,
Burn my desire once and for all
Bless me with peace and calm this swelling heart.