I’ve read a bit of philosophy in my day. Much of it I hardly understood, most of it I enjoyed thoroughly. It was Nietzsche who caught my attention when writing about the spirit’s three metamorphoses. This was, obviously, part of his “Thus Spoke Zarathustra.”
In his description, he told of the three stages the Spirit goes through to achieve a certain completion and peace. Reading it, I couldn’t help but notice a striking resemblance to the stages an entrepreneur goes through when giving birth to an idea.
To me, the spirit represents the spark that is lit along with an idea that springs into mind. It grows to fill you up, lights your insides with thrill and meaning, and starts showing you that it carries a great deal of value. It motivates you to move forward, start exploring, start asking questions. It is then that the spirit transforms into a camel.
The camel, according to Nietzsche, wants to be laden with questions, with worries and doubt. It seeks the opinion of others, looking into their eyes, telling them “burden me with your worries – I’m capable.” It takes all it can carry, and then adds more questions of its own. These questions pick at its mind, and just before the last straw is added, it rises to its feet and runs into the wilderness. Laden with questions, doubt, and fear, it confronts the questions and self doubt by turning into a lion.
There, all alone with its thoughts and fears, the lion is born, and fights its way to dominate its realm. It shakes the questions and attacks them, yet its biggest fight is internal – fear, self doubt, lack of confidence and belief in its right to break through. All this appears in front of it in the form of a dragon, whose name, sure enough, is “Thou-shalt”.
And the lion, a beast of pray, is fully armed to fight that dragon, and splitter its armor made of golden scales. It tears at the most fundamental questions, the most basic and trivial rules that all of a sudden seem arbitrary. Until the dragon is all but an illusion, and the lion has done its duty. Only then, does the child come into being.
The child represents a new beginning. After carrying the burden of others, after battling its demons, the child is there, forgetful of its trials yet full of wisdom to start creating.
Anyone who has ever created, founded, experienced true entrepreneurship, will recognize these metamorphoses as inner battles long fought. It is always important to remember that burden will amount to loads, fears will become dragons, yet the spirit can be transformed to carry and vanquish, and come out as pure, complete, and sure as a child.
But, as philosophy goes, I may have gotten it entirely wrong.