In so far as we can tell


In so far as we can tell
The world has always been like this
And horrid!

The human being
Is indeed unique
But only in one single aspect
Of all his doing:
He can if he truly wished
Go beyond his pain and suffering,
He can leap away
From all the passions and impulses
That are instilled in him
Without choice
Like all other animals.
If for anything we are unique
At all meaningful
It is because of this;
We can understand the conditions
Which make us what we are
And just by means of that understanding
We can break free
From all conditions.

In everything else
Human is like everything else: 
Neither force nor agent
But a mere object
Of existence.

Whether we just live and die
And again live and die
And again,
And again,
Without end
Without purpose
Without meaning;
Whether the world can one day
Truly become something other than
What it has always been;
Whether the human being
Will one day
Cease and vanish;
Or whether it is true
That there is a heaven
Beyond reach
In which some of us
At last
Will find each other again,
In which all of us
At last
Will find each other again.


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