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We aeronauts of the spirit!

All those brave birds which fly out into the distance, into the farthest distance–it is certain! Somewhere or other they will be unable to go on and will perch down on a mast or a bare cliff face, and they will even be thankful for this miserable accommodation! But who could venture to infer from that, that there was not an immense open space before them, that they had flown as far as one could fly! All our great teachers and predecessors have at last come to a stop…; it will be the same with you and me! But what does that matter to you and me! Other birds will fly farther! This insight and faith of ours vies with them in flying up and away; it rises above our heads and above our impotence into the heights, and from there surveys the distance and sees the flocks of birds which, far stronger than we, still strive whither we have striven, and where everything is sea, sea, sea! And whither then would we go? Would we cross the sea? Whither does this mighty longing draw us, this longing that is worth more to us than any pleasure? Why just in this direction, thither where all the suns of humanity have hitherto gone down? Will it perhaps be said of us one day that we too, steering westward, hoped to reach India, but that it was our fate to be wrecked against infinity? Or, my brothers? Or?

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