Hope Denies Hope

Last night I wrote of the stage of being lost is a lesson on the dangers of hope.

I read today a quote by Nietzsche:

In reality, hope is the worst of all evils, because it prolongs man’s torments. –Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human, 1878

As I was driving back from the barn today, I had a thought. The sun was setting in the desert sky and I, smiling still from the feel of the horse, thought: Hope denies hope.

What Nietzsche wrote somehow rings true all the way to my bones. And I don’t know why. On the surface it seems so bleak, so devoid of what keeps us moving, thriving, even when all we want to do is bury ourselves in our worst fears or anxieties, when doubt, not certainty, wakes us in the morning.

But as I drove, watching the light and clouds change second by second, a tribute to time and its false body that surrounds us, I thought exactly this: Hope does not need its own name uttered. It does not need to be called upon, or recited into our kitchen sinks or mirrors. It is. It is itself even when in hiding. And it is always hiding. Hope is not for our eyes or even for our world. It is higher and truer and lies next to our Original Nature, eating plums and laughing and crying and tilling soil.

Hope denies hope because it is more itself than we can contain.

Even when we give up on hope, or take our own human minds and evict hope from our landscape, it is. It will be.

It carries us when we forget to be ourselves. When we refuse to be our Original Nature, it continues to be exactly that for us.

I am not a pessimist, so when the weight and shadows call for me, I listen. Sometimes I answer. Sometimes I even pack my bag and go into that desert. But Hope, knowing what I will never know, continues to be without being. And in that veil I am dancing, eating plums and celebrating every success and joy my ego, in its blind stupidity, refuses.

And thank God it does refuse. Thank God what tethers us to trouble slowly rids us, eventually, of ever needing to call on hope.


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