The Free Spirit

by Peter Saint-Andre

I find a searching certainty,
A pale and subtle happiness,
Through discipline and mastery
(Experimenting here no less
In what I practice than in thought).
My birdlike flights in bracing air
And colder heights will, freely sought,
Help bring me knowledge hard and spare.

The certainties that I can find
Require endurance, strength, and vigor
In how I exercise my mind,
Reflection that is full of rigor,
A terseness and simplicity
Of thinking and deliberation.
These free me from authority
And lead me out to liberation.

Although my certainties are few,
They cleanse and purify my mind
Of views not grounded in what's true.
Through joy and innocence combined
I come to live without vexation,
Reposing calmly in my soul;
My thoughts lead me to moderation,
For they decide each act and goal.

With knowledge as my great intention,
I see things as they really stand.
This knowing and a close attention
To my needs help me understand
Myself in ways both tough and tender.
Unchained from false desire, I see
Me as I am — and thus I render
My thinking and my spirit free.

(Human, All Too Human, passim)

Peter Saint-Andre > Writings > Nietzsche