Making Castalia Real
Fall, `76 pics
At the end of Part One, the impression left by Goethe was that Faust
went off to hell with the devil, but in Part Two the Faust story
continued. Faust, after awakening in the Greek classical period, found
himself being nursed back to health by the Spirits in the forest
glade. He resolved to push ahead with life in spite of the fact that
he held himself responsible for the death of all that he had once held
so dear. While convalescing, he learned from the regenerative power of
nature that remorse and pity had no place in the healing process. He
had also learned from watching the rainbowed hues dance above the
waterfall that truth was a subtle quality. Indeed, it could not be
grasped directly. Now more mature, he continued to search for what was
worth looking for.
In the open air of the Greek classical period, Mephistopheles was out
of place and uncomfortable. He was a stranger in a strange land. The
ugly and profane were hard to find, but every once in a while
Mephistopheles was able to indulge himself. Faust, and Mephistopheles
took some comfort in the halls of courtly power. Courtly power
impressed Faust, and, in this new land, it was everywhere. Faust took
his quest right into the center of that power.
The pomp and status of the royal life disappointed Faust. He found
the power there to be illusionary. War brought devastation and
destruction. In the end, it all came down to ashes. He found no value
in that power. It only recycled war and hate. Demoralized, he began to
doubt the usefulness of the “might makes right” doctrine, and he even
began to doubt the usefulness of Mephistopheles.
When Faust said to Mephistopheles, “In your nothing I hope to find
everything,” he showed his new found direction. The more Faust denied
Mephistopheles, the more Mephistopheles’ power over Faust diminished.
In fact, the devil’s waning influence over Faust took on added
significance when, in a chance meeting on the road, Faust saw Helen of
Troy. With one look, Faust knew he wanted her. He had to have her.
Showing decisive action, he grabbed for Helen’s wraith, but before he
could make contact with her, she vanished before his eyes. After that,
Faust set out to find her. More than carnal desire motivated Faust in
his quest for Helen. As a captive of the Greeks, she bore her dignity
well. Her queenly tapestries became an object of scorn and ridicule,
but she was not bowed. In spite of all her tragedy, she was the
personification of dignity. Because of Helen, Faust discovered a new
lease on life.
With help from many, good and bad alike, Faust rediscovered Helen
and, once again, was overwhelmed by her queenly stature. Faust—”To see
her made the empty hearts of men whole.” Her beauty had a softer side,
too. As goddess of poetry, she was a giver of life. She was the
“ideal” of beauty and grace. Faust—”I tremble, scarcely breathe, my
words have fled. Space, time, all gone. I live a dream instead.”
Helen—”I feel my life fordone, yet I live anew in you inwoven the
unknown true.” Faust—”Brood not, the destiny of truth to trace. Being
is duty, were it a moments space.” Their love for each other, fueled
by the regenerative power of the earth, created duty out of misfortune
and affirmation out of privation. Made whole, Faust now followed a
path that only he could walk.
From the union of Faust and Helen, a child was born. Euphorion was
more than a love child; he was a “child of pure love.” To aspire, to
evolve, love had to be set free. Love was never born free, its freedom
had to be earned. Something had to be sacrificed. With the birth of
pure love, mother and child had fulfilled their purpose—both Helen and
Euphorion vanished, leaving Faust alone once again.