Narrative (short story and novel) 2004 Faust’s Shadow

‘Faust’s Shadow’, pages 112 to 116 (published by Utriusque Vasconiae, 2004)

-Werther is my name.

The Romantic killed himself. Faust entered into a pact with the devil in return for eternal youth. On this journey I myself have aged (Did I become wiser?). I learnt much. Not only about the Basque language and culture, but also about myself. The human being has to learn how to exist in three places: in the past, the present and the future. So while I live, I shall take with me the things I have lived through. I shall not accept a fourth: the eternal return does not appeal to me. Deep and numerous are the regrets and injuries that come about through indulging in procrastination (which has also been said before now). But this exceeds all the regrets, it causes the greatest, most harmful injuries, it is much more than all the rest of them and causes one to forget them, because it takes one to a future without end, to a bottomless pit, to suffer eternally. Mephisto will not trap me for ever through his pact, despite the fact that my betrayal is clear.

I do not believe in him, just as I do not believe in God. I do not want to be young for ever. I am no activist. Experience has made me aware of the need for scepticism.

For there are no trees without shade, nor sun without shade. Even though I have read that the alder has no heart and that the sea harbours no hope, I have only now grasped their significance. I am not resigned, but neither do I need hope. If I were Faust, I would be afraid and would sell anything to put an end to the fear caused by the hopelessness. The fact is I have begun to frighten away fear. It pleases me even less than smoke does.

As far as religions are concerned, all human beings are evil, starting with oneself. We carry original sin with us from the very moment we are born and until we are resurrected (reborn) through religion. Consequently, learning for life is a succession of denials. By renouncing our own desires (the temptations of the devil) we will develop the education that will enable us to attain the Truth.

Modernity will proclaim the benefits of the ego, to the detriment of the human being who was essentially evil in Ancient times. Emil, who was educated outside society, was the best possible human being for J. J. Rousseau. The “others” are likened to the devil.

The world has to be understood as a mean trick by those who at one time believed in God or the Devil, because there are always hidden explanations. He who had faith in the order of the universe will have difficulty understanding the random world, even though life itself is accidental.

All the people who have turned what is Sacred into reason as well as those who have made Reason sacred, tend to put the human being before the world. In the beginning was the ego. But they do not want to acknowledge that the human being itself is produced. In other words, the human being is no more than the consequence of specific relations. And until they know this, they will not realise what taking a decision is. Not simply to choose or select, but to decide.

In the case of the Elhuyar brothers, Joan Joxe transmitted his secret to Fausto and thus made him a partner. Besides being his brother, Fausto was turned into an accomplice, but in one way or another, the modernity of Faust expressed by Goethe touches all of us.

So Joan Joxe Elhuyar wanted to point out to his brother that history links all of us together. That we are all involved without realising it. It seems that Fausto Elhuyar was not aware of this, but whether or not he was, there was involvement. Being in possession of the secret does not lessen the weight or the fear of indispensable complicity. It seems that Joan Joxe was killed (at least that is what the piece in the Elhuyar journal library reveals) and Fausto rose to fame for having discovered tungsten, because he was blessed with a long life; everything that the discovery gave him belonged just as much to Joan Joxe as to him. Time has put names and dates in their proper places. What Ignatius destroyed will not wipe out the information for ever. This videotape I am recording bears witness to that.

Moreover, one cannot say that there are neutral sciences. Neither history based on equidistance. On the contrary, both science and history are just as much contaminated as all the other activities created and used by human beings. From the very moment our science is created, it is stained and sold out to base interests, and we should not simply complain about the contamination by waste materials that science creates; our concern needs to be expanded starting from the lines of research that science itself adopts. I have experience of this already and I have no regrets. The future holds out no easy hopes, but as Unamuno said, the sceptic is not one for indulging in doubts, but one who loves unending research and discovery. I cannot be embarrassed about this any more, because this is my way after all. I cannot stop being a traveller. I am more a roamer than a Gypsy. Through choice. There lies the key.

The Basques are timid, solitary types, even if their fellow Basques are close to them or are at close quarters. We Saami have always lived in large families. Here the reference of home is essential, whereas ours is an itinerant people on a high plain. A people without a home; one which carries its home around with it. We do not ward off the cold with buildings, but with the heat that we generate among us. That is why our fear of isolation is unusual, but, at the same time, being alone is for us the source of all bad habits and wherever we may be, we feel at home if we are among our own people. So I myself need my people.

Likewise I need to transmit my experience. I am in debt to the Basque Country and I owe my history to the Basque people. Bearing in mind what Goethe himself said, beware of what you want to be when you are young, because that is what you will become when you are older. So besides regaining the goals of youth, I had to tell my little story. Because each person has his or her shadow. So here it is on these videotapes.

In July we have the midnight sun on the banks of the Inari lake, on the ramps close to the North Pole, in the lands of the ancient Saami. I need its warmth.

After singing Pobre de mí! I shall make my way there, because this Saami born in Finland so decides. To the lands of my ancestors which are today under the control of the Finns. To our country which has no state and which accepts no state.


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