Kafka's parable/paradox

The Hunger Strike

"The most insatiable people are certain ascetics, who go on hunger-strike in all spheres of life, thinking that in this way they will simultaneously acheive the following:

a voice will say: Enough, you have fasted
enough, now you may eat like the others and it will not be accounted unto you as eating.

the same voice will at the same time say: You have fasted for so long under compulsion, from now on you will fast with joy, it will be sweeter than food (at the same time, however, you will also really eat).

the same voice will at the same time say: You have conquered the world, I release you from it, as from eating and from fasting (at the same time, however, you will both fast and eat).

In addition to this there also comes a voice that has been speaking to them ceaselessly all the time: Though you do not fast completely, you have the good will, and that suffices."


So their eating little portions of enlightenment? The second and third ones?

I think it is actually ironically playing with the ‘consumers of enlightenment’ in general…although it can be also read otherwise.

Enlightenment is impossible for me. I go crazy when I try meditating. It’s very bad. I am better off keeping myself stimulated all day until I go to sleep.

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lucky you don’t burn out, i need rest and lots of it,

i do something then come home and lie on my sofa under a cover with tea and maybe some music, then i go online, chills me out, i couldn’t be stimulated all day

I find this hilarious.
It reminds me of so many believers
( Catholics and Muslims both) in my life, including my own mother - she used to fast two days a week…and all sort of other worshippers that we encounter or happen to deal with: they are right even when they are wrong.

Does the human ever get away from guilty eating?

my body usually tells me when to eat but sometimes i get greedy, actually a lot of the time i get greedy and that is one of the seven deadly sins (probably will kill me) lol, i wish i could fast like that but i get pains and i start to feel unwell, i genuinely think lack of food causes symptoms, not just physical but mental as well

But you know all this. (For others who may not, however…)

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No, I don’t… It took me a lot to figure out what he meant and I still miss to spot the concrete examples IRL.

( also I wonder why Mr.Watts is barely known among the intelligent population of Balkan.)

Also I find it amazing how the use of ‘eating’ and ‘fasting’ metaphors serves the multiple meanings: the guy had his own neurotic regime of food and exercises and such a big father’s complex that he wrote couple of books about it. Plus being a Jew in his time.

So, they tell everyone they’re fasting and get all the praise for fasting, when really they only fasted a bit, and ate a bit. But they felt very pious, and convinced everyone that they are, so much so that the rigors and expectations of life don’t apply to them. They are released from humanity by their delusion. There are people like that.

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fasting is good for your brain

Occam’s Rectaglia:

“Among competing hypotheses, the one promulgated by the most annoying individual should be selected.”

Hey, I’m mentally ill. You were expecting something else?




Yep. We can understand the concepts until we’re purple, but one’s gotta have a “shorthand practice” like the 10 StEPs (or some such; there are others) to be able to notice the stuff… and then make (useful) sense of it.

Kafka. The Russian Nietzsche? Maybe ya gotta be seriously neurotic to want to plough through the BS to get to some reality the way those guys did.

Copious amounts of vodka help, I’m sure.


C’mon you gotta have some opinion about this. You are among the most opinionated ones in this community! :sunglasses:

I believe so. That’s why the believers are the brainest people in the world.

“The Kafka paradox: art depends on truth, but truth, being indivisible, cannot know itself: to tell the truth is to lie. Thus the writer is the truth, and yet when he speaks he lies.”

That’s a long way of saying… Photoshop.


p.s. I’m not even half as opinionated as @notmoses, so there.

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I don’t know…excessive writing…hundreds of unsorted pages, novels, confessions… which were destined to be buried for they imperfection if Max Brod wasn’t the best friend ever; proven hypochondriac tendencies; his unsuccessful two relationships which were more fictional than consumed&factional; obsession with metamorphosis of the body to non human creatures… There gotta be something more than vodka…
( I guess that people in those times put a lot of thing under the ‘neurosis’ label…maybe it was fashionable?)