“Battle not with monsters..”

Battle not with monsters lest you become a monster. And if you gaze for long into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you—Nietzsche

Today, this phrase strikes me like: You have to learn to speak monster if you want to talk to monsters. Like: monsters speak a certain language (a fight language if you want). Becoming a monster is as simple as battling with them—or, even, as simple as talking to them. For if I learn to talk monster, I have become a monster—tripped by the trap, I become one by being tricked into fighting with them

The only solution for not becoming a monster is not to battle. Even to discourse with monsters is to battle with them, to become them

The only way to catch tiger cubs is to go into the tiger’s den—Fortune cookie

This is another of my favorite phrases. It strikes me as a warning that you can talk with monsters, you can get a tiger cub, but there's going to be this price, see, of risking your life or learning to speak monster, which exists in each case, as a mythological bar keeping the mortal of us from the rest—from those who became monsters or got their tiger cub. One saying seems to warn against this, the other seems to encourage us

To be great. To have crossed the line into the unknown

But both are laced with a warning

To discuss with a certain creature of politics, to participate with angry people, to fit into my birth family—these are impossible without changing my own shape. And in all those cases I say no, I am not going to learn to speak your language. To speak with you (to speak in the way that you do) compromises me. It makes me become a monster just a little

To seek what I want (to write) I must go and get my tiger cub. I must go into the (dangerous) life places where truths can be found. I must go there unafraid so I can bring back (hopefully) a tiger cub. Or tiger cub after tiger cub, risking my life every step of the way

Whether we decide to go or not, the tiger's den is life threatening. It's usually not desirable to become a monster. But do I sit on the side (like I do with the monsters) or do I go in for the capture (like in the case of the tiger cub)?

The answers to those questions will determine how rich I am—and how depraved