coursehero Thus Spoke Zarathustra Summary
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Thus Spoke Zarathustra
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7 Friedrich Nietzsche
1 Mark Winborn
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76 Friedrich Nietzsche
8 Friedrich Nietzsche
2 Mark Winborn
2 Friedrich Nietzsche
1:Jung's vision for [The Red Book] was ... significantly influenced in form, style, content by The Bible, Dante's Divine Comedy, Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Goethe's Faust, medieval illuminated manuscripts, the illuminated works of William Blake. ~ Mark Winborn,
2:You great star, what would your happiness be had you not those for whom you shine? ~ Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra ,
3:At present I am light, now I fly, now I see myself below me, now a god dances through me. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra trans. Kaufmann,
4:Indeed, I am a forest and a night of dark trees: but he who is not afraid of my darkness will also find rose slopes under my cypresses. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra ,
5:On a thousand bridges and paths they shall throng to the future, and ever more war and inequality shall divide them: thus does my great love make me speak.In their hostilities they shall become inventors of images and ghosts, and with their images and ghosts they shall yet fight the highest fight against one another. Good and evil, and rich and poor, and high and low, and all the names of values-arms shall they be and clattering signs that life must overcome itself again and again.Life wants to build itself up into the heights with pillars and steps; it wants to look into vast distances and out toward stirring beauties: therefore it requires height. And because it requires height, it requires steps and contradiction among the steps and the climbers.Life wants to climb and to overcome itself climbing.And behold, my friends: here where the tarantula has its hole, the ruins of an ancient temple rise; behold it with enlightened eyes Verily, the man who once piled his thoughts to the sky in these stones-he, like the wisest, knew the secret of all life. That struggle and inequality are present even in beauty, and also war for power and more power: that is what he teaches us here in the plainest parable. How divinely vault and arches break through each other in a wrestling match; how they strive against each other with light and shade, the godlike strivers-with such assurance and beauty let us be enemies too, my friends Let us strive against one another like gods. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra trans. Fred Kaufmann,
6:Has any one at the end of the nineteenth century any distinct notion of what poets of a stronger age understood by the word inspiration? If not, I will describe it. If one had the smallest vestige of superstition left in one, it would hardly be possible completely to set aside the idea that one is the mere incarnation, mouthpiece, or medium of an almighty power. The idea of revelation, in the sense that something which profoundly convulses and upsets one becomes suddenly visible and audible with indescribable certainty and accuracy―describes the simple fact. One hears―one does not seek; one takes―one does not ask who gives. A thought suddenly flashes up like lightening; it comes with necessity, without faltering. I have never had any choice in the matter. There is an ecstasy so great that the immense strain of it is sometimes relaxed by a flood of tears, during which one's steps now involuntarily rush and anon involuntarily lag. There is the feeling that one is utterly out of hand, with the very distinct consciousness of an endless number of fine thrills and titillations descending to one's very toes. There is a depth of happiness in which the most painful and gloomy parts do not act as antitheses to the rest, but are produced and required as necessary shades of color in such an overflow of light. There is an instinct of rhythmic relations which embraces a whole world of forms (length, the need of a wide-embracing rhythm, is almost the measure of the force of an inspiration, a sort of counterpart to its pressure and tension). Everything happens quite involuntary, as if in a tempestuous outburst of freedom, of absoluteness, of power and divinity. The involuntary nature of the figures and similes is the most remarkable thing; everything seems to present itself as the readiest, the truest, and simplest means of expression. It actually seems, to use one of Zarathustra's own phrases, as if all things came to one, and offered themselves as similes. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra [trans. Thomas Common] (1999) ,
7:What is the ape to a human? A laughing stock or a painful embarrassment. And that is precisely what the human shall be to the overman: a laughing stock or a painful embarrassment.You have made your way from worm to human, and much in you is still worm. Once you were apes, and even now a human is still more ape than any ape.But whoever is wisest among you is also just a conflict and a cross between plant and ghost. But do I implore you to become ghosts or plants?Behold, I teach you the overman!The overman is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the overman shall be the meaning of the earth!I beseech you, my brothers, remain faithful to the earth and do not believe those who speak to you of extraterrestrial hopes! They are mixers of poisons whether they know it or not.They are despisers of life, dying off and self-poisoned, of whom the earth is weary: so let them fade away!Once the sacrilege against God was the greatest sacrilege, but God died, and then all these desecrators died. Now to desecrate the earth is the most terrible thing, and to esteem the bowels of the unfathomable higher than the meaning of the earth!Once the soul gazed contemptuously at the body, and then such contempt was the highest thing: it wanted the body gaunt, ghastly, starved.Thus it intended to escape the body and the earth.Oh this soul was gaunt, ghastly and starved, and cruelty was the lust of this soul!But you, too, my brothers, tell me: what does your body proclaim about your soul? Is your soul not poverty and filth and a pitiful contentment?Truly, mankind is a polluted stream. One has to be a sea to take in a polluted stream without becoming unclean.Behold, I teach you the overman: he is this sea, in him your great contempt can go under.What is the greatest thing that you can experience? It is the hour of your great contempt. The hour in which even your happiness turns to nausea and likewise your reason and your virtue.The hour in which you say: 'What matters my happiness? It is poverty and filth, and a pitiful contentment. But my happiness ought to justify existence itself!' ~ Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra trans. Fred Kaufmann,
8:Zarathustra, however, looked at the people and wondered. Then he spoke thus: Man is a rope stretched between animal and overman - a rope over an abyss. A dangerous crossing, a dangerous on-the-way, a dangerous looking back, a dangerous trembling and stopping. What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal: what can be loved in man is that he is an over-going and a down-going. I love those who know not how to live except as down-goers, for they are the over-goers. I love the great despisers, because they are the great reverers, and arrows of longing for the other shore. I love those who do not first seek a reason beyond the stars for going down and being sacrifices, but sacrifice themselves to the earth, that the earth of the overman may some day arrive. I love him who lives in order to know, and seeks to know in order that the overman may someday live. Thus he seeks his own down-going. I love him who works and invents, that he may build a house for the overman, and prepare for him earth, animal, and plant: for thus he seeks his own down-going. I love him who loves his virtue: for virtue is the will to down-going, and an arrow of longing. I love him who reserves no drop of spirit for himself, but wants to be entirely the spirit of his virtue: thus he walks as spirit over the bridge. I love him who makes his virtue his addiction and destiny: thus, for the sake of his virtue, he is willing to live on, or live no more. I love him who does not desire too many virtues. One virtue is more of a virtue than two, because it is more of a knot for ones destiny to cling to. I love him whose soul squanders itself, who wants no thanks and gives none back: for he always gives, and desires not to preserve himself. I love him who is ashamed when the dice fall in his favor, and who then asks: Am I a dishonest player? - for he is willing to perish. I love him who scatters golden words in front of his deeds, and always does more than he promises: for he seeks his own down-going. I love him who justifies those people of the future, and redeems those of the past: for he is willing to perish by those of the present. I love him who chastens his God, because he loves his God: for he must perish by the wrath of his God. I love him whose soul is deep even in being wounded, and may perish from a small experience: thus goes he gladly over the bridge. I love him whose soul is so overfull that he forgets himself, and all things are in him: thus all things become his down-going. I love him who is of a free spirit and a free heart: thus is his head only the entrails of his heart; his heart, however, drives him to go down. I love all who are like heavy drops falling one by one out of the dark cloud that hangs over man: they herald the coming of the lightning, and perish as heralds. Behold, I am a herald of the lightning, and a heavy drop out of the cloud: the lightning, however, is called overman. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra ,
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1:You great star, what would your happiness be had you not those for whom you shine?
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra,
2:At present I am light, now I fly, now I see myself below me, now a god dances through me. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, trans. Kaufmann,
3:Indeed, I am a forest and a night of dark trees: but he who is not afraid of my darkness will also find rose slopes under my cypresses. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra,
4:Gott ist ein Gedanke, der macht alles Gerade krumm. ~ God is a thought which makes crooked all that is straight. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche, "Upon the Blessed Isles", Thus Spoke Zarathustra
5:But like infection is the petty thought: it creeps and hides, and wants to be nowhere--until the whole body is decayed and withered by the petty infection... Thus spoke Zarathustra. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
6:Whoever writes in blood and aphorisms wants not to be learned but to be learned by heart. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900), German philosopher. Thus Spoke Zarathustra, First Part, 'On Reading and Writing' (1883)
7:The man consummatig his life dies his death triumphantly,surrounded by men filled with hope and making solmn vows, thus one should learn to die.
Friedrich Nietzsche - thus spoke zarathustra. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
8:Jung's vision for [The Red Book] was ... significantly influenced in form, style, content by The Bible, Dante's Divine Comedy, Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Goethe's Faust, medieval illuminated manuscripts, the illuminated works of William Blake. ~ Mark Winborn,
9:Gott ist eine Mutmaßung; aber ich will, daß euer Mutmaßen nicht weiter reiche, als euer schaffender Wille. ~ God is an assumption; but I want your assuming to reach no further than your creative will. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche, "Upon the Blessed Isles", Thus Spoke Zarathustra
10:"Jung's vision for [The Red Book] was…significantly influenced in form, style, & content by The Bible, Dante's Divine Comedy, Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Goethe's Faust, medieval illuminated manuscripts, & the illuminated works of William Blake." ~ Mark Winborn, next SoJ
11:I loved Debussy, Stravinsky, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, anything with romantic melodies, especially the nocturnes. Nietzsche was a hero, especially with Thus Spoke Zarathustra. He gets a bad rap; hes very misunderstood. Hes a maker of individuals, and he was a teacher of teachers. ~ Joni Mitchell
12:This is how I want man and woman: fit for war the one, fit for bearing children the other, but both fit to dance in head and limb. And let each day be a loss to us on which we did not dance once! And let each truth be false to us which was not greeted by one laugh! --------------------------------------------Thus Spoke Zarathustra, chapter 56 (Old and new tables), number 23 ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
13:The woman, the more of a woman she is, fights tooth and nail against rights in general: after all, the natural state of things, the eternal war between the sexes, gives her the highest rank by far. — Did anyone have ears for my definition of love? It is the only one worthy of a philosopher. — Love — its method is warfare, its foundation is the deadly hatred between the sexes. — Did anyone hear my answer to the question of how to cure – ‘redeem’ – a woman? Give her a baby. Women need children, the man is only ever the means: thus spoke Zarathustra. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
14:Now know I well what people sought formerly above all else when they sought Teachers of virtue. Good sleep they sought for themselves, and poppy-head virtues to promote it! To all those be-lauded sages of the academic chairs, wisdom was sleep Without dreams: they knew no higher significance of life. Even at present, to be sure, there are some like this preacher of virtue, and not always so honorable: but their time is past. And not much longer do they stand: there they already lie. Blessed are those drowsy ones: for they shall soon nod to sleep.-Thus spoke Zarathustra. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
15:In Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Nietzsche introduced the concept of the Übermensch: an exemplary, transcendent figure who is the polar opposite of “the last man” or “men without chests.” The Übermensch is virtuous, loyal, ambitious and outspoken, disdainful of religious dogma and suspicious of received wisdom, intensely engaged in the hurly-burly of the real world. Above all he is passionate—a connoisseur of both “the highest joys” and “the deepest sorrows.” He believes in the moral imperative to defend (with his life, if necessary) ideals such as truth, beauty, honor, and justice. He is self-assured. He is a risk taker. He regards suffering as salutary, and scorns the path of least resistance. ~ Jon Krakauer
16:Thus Spoke Zarathustra (German: Also sprach Zarathustra, sometimes translated Thus Spake Zarathustra), subtitled A Book for All and None (Ein Buch für Alle und Keinen), is a written work by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, composed in four parts between 1883 and 1885. Much of the work deals with ideas such as the "eternal recurrence of the same", the parable on the "death of God", and the "prophecy" of the Overman, which were first introduced in The Gay Science.
Described by Nietzsche himself as "the deepest ever written", the book is a dense and esoteric treatise on philosophy and morality, featuring as protagonist a fictionalized Zarathustra. A central irony of the text is that the style of the Bible is used by Nietzsche to present ideas of his which fundamentally oppose Judaeo-Christian morality and tradition. ~ Lao Tzu
17:Terrell, Paul, 66–67, 68 Tesler, Larry, 96–97, 99, 114, 120, 136, 301 Tevanian, Avadis “Avie,” xvi, 259, 268, 272–74, 300–301, 303, 308–9, 362, 366, 458–59, 461 textbook industry, 509–10, 554 “There Goes My Love” (song), 498 “Things Have Changed” (song), 412 “Think Different” advertising campaign, vii, xviii, 328–32, 358 original Jobs version, 577 Thomas, Brent, 162 Thomas, Dylan, 19 Through the Looking Glass (Carroll), 235 Thurman, Mrs., 12 Thus Spoke Zarathustra (Nietzsche), 119 Tiffany, Louis, 123 Time, xvii, xviii, 90, 166, 218, 290, 323, 381, 383, 429, 473, 495, 504, 506 SJ profiled by, 106–7, 139–41 Time Inc., 330, 473, 478, 504, 506–7 Time-Life Pictures, 330 “Times They Are A-Changing, The” (Dylan), 168, 207 Time Warner, 506 Tin Toy (film), 248 Toshiba, 385, 386 touchscreens, 93 Toy Story (film), 285–91, 305, 311, 372, 373–74, 427, 428, 430, 434, 437, 472, 565 basic idea for, 285–86 blockbuster success of, 290–91 budgeting of, 288 ~ Walter Isaacson
18:On a thousand bridges and paths they shall throng to the future, and ever more war and inequality shall divide them: thus does my great love make me speak.
In their hostilities they shall become inventors of images and ghosts, and with their images and ghosts they shall yet fight the highest fight against one another. Good and evil, and rich and poor, and high and low, and all the names of values-arms shall they be and clattering signs that life must overcome itself again and again.
Life wants to build itself up into the heights with pillars and steps; it wants to look into vast distances and out toward stirring beauties: therefore it requires height. And because it requires height, it requires steps and contradiction among the steps and the climbers.
Life wants to climb and to overcome itself climbing.
And behold, my friends: here where the tarantula has its hole, the ruins of an ancient temple rise; behold it with enlightened eyes Verily, the man who once piled his thoughts to the sky in these stones-he, like the wisest, knew the secret of all life. That struggle and inequality are present even in beauty, and also war for power and more power: that is what he teaches us here in the plainest parable. How divinely vault and arches break through each other in a wrestling match; how they strive against each other with light and shade, the godlike strivers-with such assurance and beauty let us be enemies too, my friends Let us strive against one another like gods. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, trans. Fred Kaufmann,
19:Truly, I advise you: depart from me, and guard yourselves against Zarathustra! And better still: be ashamed of him! Perhaps he has deceived you.
The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies, but also to hate his friends.
One pays back a teacher badly if one remain merely a scholar. And why will you not pluck at my wreath?
You venerate me; but what if your veneration should some day col- lapse? Take heed lest a statue crush you!
You say, you believe in Zarathustra? But of what account is Zarathustra! you are my believers: but of what account are all believers!
You had not yet sought yourselves: then did you find me. So do all believers; therefore all belief is of so little account.
Now do I bid you lose me and find yourselves; and only when you have all denied me, will I return to you.
Truly, with other eyes, my brothers, shall I then seek my lost ones; with another love shall I then love you.
And once again shall you have become friends to me, and children of one hope: then will I be with you for the third time, to celebrate the great noontide with you.
And it is the great noontide, when man is in the middle of his course between animal and overman, and celebrates his advance to the evening as his highest hope: for it is the advance to a new morning.
At such time will the down-goer bless himself, that he should be an over-goer; and the sun of his knowledge will be at noontide.
"Dead are all the Gods: now do we desire the overman to live." - Let this be our final will at the great noontide! -
Thus spoke Zarathustra. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
20:It breaks my heart. Better than your words, your eye tells me all your peril.
You are not yet free, you still search for freedom. Your search has fatigued you and made you too wakeful.
You long for the open heights, your soul thirsts for the stars. But your bad instincts too thirst for freedom.
Your fierce dogs long for freedom; they bark for joy in their cellar when your spirit aspires to break open all prisons.
To me you are still a prisoner who imagines freedom: ah, such prisoners of the soul become clever, but also deceitful and base.
The free man of the spirit, too, must still purify himself. Much of the prison and rottenness still remain within him: his eye still has to become pure.
Yes, I know your peril. But, by my love and hope I entreat you: do not reject your love and hope!
You still feel yourself noble, and the others, too, who dislike you and cast evil glances at you, still feel you are noble. Learn that everyone finds the noble man an obstruction.
The good, too, find the noble man an obstruction: and even when they call him a good man they do so in order to make away with him.
The noble man wants to create new things and a new virtue. The good man wants the old things and that the old things shall be preserved.
But that is not the danger for the noble man — that he may become a good man — but that he may become an impudent one, a derider, a destroyer.
Alas, I have known noble men who lost their highest hope. And henceforth they slandered all high hopes.
Henceforth they lived impudently in brief pleasures, and they had hardly an aim beyond the day.
‘Spirit is also sensual pleasure’ — thus they spoke. Then the wings of their spirit broke: now it creeps around and it makes dirty what it feeds on.
Once they thought of becoming heroes: now they are sensualists. The hero is to them an affliction and a terror.
But, by my love and hope I entreat you: do not reject the hero in your soul! Keep holy your highest hope!
Thus spoke Zarathustra. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
21:Has any one at the end of the nineteenth century any distinct notion of what poets of a stronger age understood by the word inspiration? If not, I will describe it. If one had the smallest vestige of superstition left in one, it would hardly be possible completely to set aside the idea that one is the mere incarnation, mouthpiece, or medium of an almighty power. The idea of revelation, in the sense that something which profoundly convulses and upsets one becomes suddenly visible and audible with indescribable certainty and accuracy―describes the simple fact. One hears―one does not seek; one takes―one does not ask who gives. A thought suddenly flashes up like lightening; it comes with necessity, without faltering. I have never had any choice in the matter. There is an ecstasy so great that the immense strain of it is sometimes relaxed by a flood of tears, during which one's steps now involuntarily rush and anon involuntarily lag. There is the feeling that one is utterly out of hand, with the very distinct consciousness of an endless number of fine thrills and titillations descending to one's very toes. There is a depth of happiness in which the most painful and gloomy parts do not act as antitheses to the rest, but are produced and required as necessary shades of color in such an overflow of light. There is an instinct of rhythmic relations which embraces a whole world of forms (length, the need of a wide-embracing rhythm, is almost the measure of the force of an inspiration, a sort of counterpart to its pressure and tension). Everything happens quite involuntary, as if in a tempestuous outburst of freedom, of absoluteness, of power and divinity. The involuntary nature of the figures and similes is the most remarkable thing; everything seems to present itself as the readiest, the truest, and simplest means of expression. It actually seems, to use one of Zarathustra's own phrases, as if all things came to one, and offered themselves as similes. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra [trans. Thomas_Common] (1999),
22:And when they had walked a while together, Zarathustra began to speak thus: It rends my heart. Better than your words express it, your eyes tell me all your danger.
As yet you are not free; you still seek freedom. Too unslept has your seeking made you, and too wakeful. On the open height would you be; for the stars thirst your soul. But your bad impulses also thirst for freedom. Your wild dogs want liberty; they bark for joy in their cellar when your spirit endeavors to open all prison doors. Still are you a prisoner - it seems to me -who devises liberty for himself: ah! sharp becomes the soul of such prisoners, but also deceitful and wicked.
It is still necessary for the liberated spirit to purify himself. Much of the prison and the mould still remains in him: pure has his eye still to become.
Yes, I know your danger. But by my love and hope I appeal to you: cast not your love and hope away!
Noble you feel yourself still, and noble others also feel you still, though they bear you a grudge and cast evil looks. Know this, that to everybody a noble one stands in the way.
Also to the good, a noble one stands in the way: and even when they call him a good man, they want thereby to put him aside. The new, would the noble man create, and a new virtue. The old, wants the good man, and that the old should be conserved. But it is not the danger of the noble man to turn a good man, but lest he should become an arrogant boor , a mocker, or a destroyer.
Ah! I have known noble ones who lost their highest hope. And then they slandered all high hopes. Then lived they shamelessly in temporary pleasures, and beyond the day had hardly an aim.
"Spirit is also voluptuousness," - said they. Then broke the wings of their spirit; and now it creeps about, and defiles where it gnaws.
Once they thought of becoming heroes; but sensualists are they now. A trouble and a terror is the hero to them.
But by my love and hope I appeal to you: cast not away the hero in your soul! Maintain holy your highest hope! -
Thus spoke Zarathustra. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
23: ON CHASTITY
I love the forest. It is bad to live in cities: there too
many are in heat. Is it not better to fall into the hands
of a murderer than into the dreams of a woman in heat?
And behold these men: their eyes say it-they know
of nothing better on earth than to lie with a woman.
Mud is at the bottom of their souls; and woe if their
mud also has spirit!
Would that you were as perfect as animals at least
But animals have innocence.
Do I counsel you to slay your senses? I counsel the
innocence of the senses.
Do I counsel you to chastity? Chastity is a virtue in
some, but almost a vice in many. They abstain, but
the bitch, sensuality, leers enviously out of everything they do. Even to the heights of their virtue and
to the cold regions of the spirit this beast follows them
with her lack of peace. And how nicely the bitch,
sensuality, knows how to beg for a piece of spirit
when denied a piece of meat.
Do you love tragedies and everything that breaks
the heart? But I mistrust your bitch. Your eyes are
too cruel and you search lustfully for sufferers. Is it
not merely your lust that has disguised itself and now
calls itself pity?
And this parable too I offer you: not a few who
wanted to drive out their devil have themselves entered
Those for whom chastity is difficult should be counseled against it, lest it become their road to hell-the
mud and heat of their souls.
Do I speak of dirty things? That is not the worst
that could happen. It is not when truth is dirty, but
when it is shallow, that the lover of knowledge is reluctant to step into its waters. Verily, some are chaste
through and through: they are gentler of heart, fonder
of laughter, and laugh more than you. They laugh at
chastity too and ask, "What is chastity? Is chastity not
folly? Yet this folly came to us, not we to it. We
offered this guest hostel and heart: now it dwells with
us-may it stay as long as it will!"
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON CHASTITY
24:What is the ape to a human? A laughing stock or a painful embarrassment. And that is precisely what the human shall be to the overman: a laughing stock or a painful embarrassment.
You have made your way from worm to human, and much in you is still worm. Once you were apes, and even now a human is still more ape than any ape.
But whoever is wisest among you is also just a conflict and a cross between plant and ghost. But do I implore you to become ghosts or plants?
Behold, I teach you the overman!
The overman is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the overman shall be the meaning of the earth!
I beseech you, my brothers, remain faithful to the earth and do not believe those who speak to you of extraterrestrial hopes! They are mixers of poisons whether they know it or not.
They are despisers of life, dying off and self-poisoned, of whom the earth is weary: so let them fade away!
Once the sacrilege against God was the greatest sacrilege, but God died, and then all these desecrators died. Now to desecrate the earth is the most terrible thing, and to esteem the bowels of the unfathomable higher than the meaning of the earth!
Once the soul gazed contemptuously at the body, and then such contempt was the highest thing: it wanted the body gaunt, ghastly, starved.
Thus it intended to escape the body and the earth.
Oh this soul was gaunt, ghastly and starved, and cruelty was the lust of this soul!
But you, too, my brothers, tell me: what does your body proclaim about your soul? Is your soul not poverty and filth and a pitiful contentment?
Truly, mankind is a polluted stream. One has to be a sea to take in a polluted stream without becoming unclean.
Behold, I teach you the overman: he is this sea, in him your great contempt can go under.
What is the greatest thing that you can experience? It is the hour of your great contempt. The hour in which even your happiness turns to nausea and likewise your reason and your virtue.
The hour in which you say: 'What matters my happiness? It is poverty and filth, and a pitiful contentment. But my happiness ought to justify existence itself!' ~ Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, trans. Fred Kaufmann,
25:t is discovered an extraordinary similarity between Nietzsche and the Hindu-Aryan Rishi, visionary poets of the Vedas.
They also thought the ideas from outside to inside: they 'appeared' to them. Rishi means 'he who sees'. See an Idea, express it, or try to express it. The job of the Rishis has been fulfilled for millennia and the vision of the Vedas was revised, elaborated, in subsequent visions, in scholastics, in doctrinal buildings and sophisticated verifications, through centuries.
In any case, he, who preached not to subtract anything that life offers as Will of Power, as possession, increasing its power, lived chaste, like a yogi, always looking for the highest tensions of the soul, climbing always, more and more lonely, to be able to open up to that style of thinking, where the ideas could possess him as the most authentic expression of life, as his 'pulse', hitting him in the center of the personal being, or of the existence there accumulated, and that he called, long before Jung and any other psychologist, the Self, to differentiate it from the conscious and limited self, from the rational self.
Let's clarify, then. What Nietzsche called thinking is something else, Nietzsche did not think with his head (because 'synchronistically' it hurt) but with the Self, with all of life and, especially, 'with the feet'. 'I think with my feet,' he said, 'because I think walking, climbing.'
That is, when the effort and exhaustion caused the conscious mind to enter a kind of drowsiness or semi-sleep, there it took possession of the work of thinking that 'other thing', the Self, opening up to the dazzling penetration of the Idea, or that expression of the Original Power of Life, of Being, of the Will of Power, which crosses man from part to part, as in a yoga samadhi, or in a kaivalya, from an ancient rishi, or Tantric Siddha.
Also like those rays that pierced the Etruscan 'fulgurators', to change them, and that they were able to resist thanks to a purified technique of concentration and initiation preparation.
That this is a deep Aryan, Hyperborean, that is, Nordic-polar, Germanic style of origins ('let's face ourselves, we are Hyperborean'), and that he knew it, is proved in the name he gave his more beautiful, bigger work: 'Thus spoke Zarathustra'. Zarathustra is the Aryan Magician-reformer of ancient Persia. ~ Miguel Serrano
26:Zarathustra, however, looked at the people and wondered. Then he spoke thus: Man is a rope stretched between animal and overman - a rope over an abyss. A dangerous crossing, a dangerous on-the-way, a dangerous looking back, a dangerous trembling and stopping. What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal: what can be loved in man is that he is an over-going and a down-going. I love those who know not how to live except as down-goers, for they are the over-goers. I love the great despisers, because they are the great reverers, and arrows of longing for the other shore. I love those who do not first seek a reason beyond the stars for going down and being sacrifices, but sacrifice themselves to the earth, that the earth of the overman may some day arrive. I love him who lives in order to know, and seeks to know in order that the overman may someday live. Thus he seeks his own down-going. I love him who works and invents, that he may build a house for the overman, and prepare for him earth, animal, and plant: for thus he seeks his own down-going. I love him who loves his virtue: for virtue is the will to down-going, and an arrow of longing. I love him who reserves no drop of spirit for himself, but wants to be entirely the spirit of his virtue: thus he walks as spirit over the bridge. I love him who makes his virtue his addiction and destiny: thus, for the sake of his virtue, he is willing to live on, or live no more. I love him who does not desire too many virtues. One virtue is more of a virtue than two, because it is more of a knot for ones destiny to cling to. I love him whose soul squanders itself, who wants no thanks and gives none back: for he always gives, and desires not to preserve himself. I love him who is ashamed when the dice fall in his favor, and who then asks: Am I a dishonest player? - for he is willing to perish. I love him who scatters golden words in front of his deeds, and always does more than he promises: for he seeks his own down-going. I love him who justifies those people of the future, and redeems those of the past: for he is willing to perish by those of the present. I love him who chastens his God, because he loves his God: for he must perish by the wrath of his God. I love him whose soul is deep even in being wounded, and may perish from a small experience: thus goes he gladly over the bridge. I love him whose soul is so overfull that he forgets himself, and all things are in him: thus all things become his down-going. I love him who is of a free spirit and a free heart: thus is his head only the entrails of his heart; his heart, however, drives him to go down. I love all who are like heavy drops falling one by one out of the dark cloud that hangs over man: they herald the coming of the lightning, and perish as heralds. Behold, I am a herald of the lightning, and a heavy drop out of the cloud: the lightning, however, is called overman.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra,
27: ON THE ADDER'S BITE
One day Zarathustra had fallen asleep under a fig
tree, for it was hot, and had put his arms over his face.
And an adder came and bit him in the neck, so that
Zarathustra cried out in pain. When he had taken his
arm from his face, he looked at the snake, and it
recognized the eyes of Zarathustra, writhed awkwardly,
and wanted to get away. "Oh no," said Zarathustra,
"as yet you have not accepted my thanks. You waked
me in time, my way is still long." "Your way is short,"
the adder said sadly; "my poison kills." Zarathustra
smiled. "When has a dragon ever died of the poison
of a snake?" he said. "But take back your poison. You
are not rich enough to give it to me." Then the adder
fell around his neck a second time and licked his
When Zarathustra once related this to his disciples
they asked: "And what, 0 Zarathustra, is the moral of
your story?" Then Zarathustra answered thus:
The annihilator of morals, the good and just call me:
my story is immoral.
But if you have an enemy, do not requite him evil
with good, for that would put him to shame. Rather
prove that he did you some good.
And rather be angry than put to shame. And if you
are cursed, I do not like it that you want to bless.
Rather join a little in the cursing.
And if you have been done a great wrong, then
quickly add five little ones: a gruesome sight is a
person single-mindedly obsessed by a wrong.
Did you already know this? A wrong shared is half
right. And he who is able to bear it should take the
wrong upon himself.
A little revenge is more human than no revenge.
And if punishment is not also a right and an honor for
the transgressor, then I do not like your punishments
It is nobler to declare oneself wrong than to insist
on being right-especially when one is right. Only one
must be rich enough for that.
I do not like your cold justice; and out of the eyes
of your judges there always looks the executioner and
his cold steel. Tell me, where is that justice which is
love with open eyes? Would that you might invent for
me the love that bears not only all punishment but also
all guilt! Would that you might invent for me the
justice that acquits everyone, except him that judges
Do you still want to hear this too? In him who
would be just through and through even lies become
kindness to others. But how could I think of being just
through and through? How can I give each his own?
Let this be sufficient for me: I give each my own.
Finally, my brothers, beware of doing wrong to any
hermit. How could a hermit forget? How could he repay? Like a deep well is a hermit. It is easy to throw
in a stone; but if the stone sank to the bottom, tell me,
who would get it out again? Beware of insulting the
hermit. But if you have done so-well, then kill him
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON THE ADDERS BITE
28: ON READING AND WRITING
Of all that is written I love only what a man has
written with his blood. Write with blood, and you
will experience that blood is spirit.
It is not easily possible to understand the blood of
another: I hate reading idlers. Whoever knows the
reader will henceforth do nothing for the reader. Another century of readers-and the spirit itself will
That everyone may learn to read, in the long run
corrupts not only writing but also thinking. Once the
spirit was God, then he became man, and now he even
Whoever writes in blood and aphorisms does not
want to be read but to be learned by heart. In the
mountains the shortest way is from peak to peak: but
for that one must have long legs. Aphorisms should be
peaks-and those who are addressed, tall and lofty.
The air thin and pure, danger near, and the spirit full
of gay sarcasm: these go well together. I want to have
goblins around me, for I am courageous. Courage that
puts ghosts to flight creates goblins for itself: courage
wants to laugh.
I no longer feel as you do: this cloud which I see
beneath me, this blackness and gravity at which I
laugh-this is your thundercloud.
You look up when you feel the need for elevation.
And I look down because I am elevated. Who among
you can laugh and be elevated at the same time? Whoever climbs the highest mountains laughs at all tragic
plays and tragic seriousness.
Brave, unconcerned, mocking, violent-thus wisdom
wants us: she is a woman and always loves only a
You say to me, "Life is hard to bear." But why
would you have your pride in the morning and your
resignation in the evening? Life is hard to bear; but do
not act so tenderly! We are all of us fair beasts of
burden, male and female asses. What do we have in
common with the rosebud, which trembles because a
drop of dew lies on it?
True, we love life, not because we are used to living
but because we are used to loving. There is always
some madness in love. But there is also always some
reason in madness.
And to me too, as I am well disposed toward life,
butterflies and soap bubbles and whatever among men
is of their kind seem to know most about happiness.
Seeing these light, foolish, delicate, mobile little souls
flutter-that seduces Zarathustra to tears and songs.
I would believe only in a god who could dance. And
when I saw my devil I found him serious, thorough,
profound, and solemn: it was the spirit of gravitythrough him all things fall.
Not by wrath does one kill but by laughter. Come,
let us kill the spirit of gravity!
I have learned to walk: ever since, I let myself run.
I have learned to fly: ever since, I do not want to be
pushed before moving along.
Now I am light, now I fly, now I see myself beneath
myself, now a god dances through me.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON READING AND WRITING
29: ON LOVE
You crowd around your neighbor and have fine
words for it. But I say unto you: your love of the
neighbor is your bad love of yourselves. You flee to
your neighbor from yourselves and would like to make
a virtue out of that: but I see through your "selflessness.
The you is older than the l; the you has been pronounced holy, but not yet the 1: so man crowds toward
Do I recommend love of the neighbor to you?
Sooner I should even recommend flight from the neighbor and love of the farthest. Higher than love of the
neighbor is love of the farthest and the future; higher
yet than the love of human beings I esteem the love
of things and ghosts. This ghost that runs after you,
my brother, is more beautiful than you; why do you
not give him your flesh and your bones? But you are
afraid and run to your neighbor.
You cannot endure yourselves and do not love yourselves enough: now you want to seduce your neighbor
to love, and then gild yourselves with his error. Would
that you could not endure all sorts of neighbors and
their neighbors; then you would have to create your
friend and his overflowing heart out of yourselves.
You invite a witness when you want to speak well
of yourselves; and when you have seduced him to think
well of you, then you think well of yourselves.
Not only are they liars who speak when they know
better, but even more those who speak when they
know nothing. And thus you speak of yourselves to
others and deceive the neighbor with yourselves.
Thus speaks the fool: 'Association with other people
corrupts one's character-especially if one has none."
One man goes to his neighbor because he seeks himself; another because he would lose himself. Your bad
love of yourselves turns your solitude into a prison. It
is those farther away who must pay for your love of
your neighbor; and even if five of you are together,
there is always a sixth who must die.
I do not love your festivals either: I found too many
actors there, and the spectators, too, often behaved
I teach you not the neighbor, but the friend. The
friend should be the festival of the earth to you and
an anticipation of the overman. I teach you the friend
and his overflowing heart. But one must learn to be a
sponge if one wants to be loved by hearts that overflow. I teach you the friend in whom the world stands
completed, a bowl of goodness-the creating friend
who always has a completed world to give away.
And as the world rolled apart for him, it rolls together
again in circles for him, as the becoming of the good
through evil, as the becoming of purpose out of accident.
Let the future and the farthest be for you the cause
of your today: in your friend you shall love the overman as your cause.
My brothers, love of the neighbor I do not recommend to you: I recommend to you love of the farthest.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON LOVE OF THE NEIGHBOUR
30: ON WAR AND
We do not want to be spared by our best enemies,
nor by those whom we love thoroughly. So let me tell
you the truth!
My brothers in war, I love you thoroughly; I am and
I was of your kind. And I am also your best enemy. So
let me tell you the truth!
I know of the hatred and envy of your hearts. You
are not great enough not to know hatred and envy. Be
great enough, then, not to be ashamed of them.
And if you cannot be saints of knowledge, at least
be its warriors. They are the companions and forerunners of such sainthood.
I see many soldiers: would that I saw many warriors!
"Uniform" one calls what they wear: would that what
it conceals were not uniformly
You should have eyes that always seek an enemyyour enemy. And some of you hate at first sight. Your
enemy you shall seek, your war you shall wage-for
your thoughts. And if your thought be vanquished, then
your honesty should still find cause for triumph in that.
You should love peace as a means to new wars-and
the short peace more than the long. To you I do not
recommend work but struggle. To you I do not recommend peace but victory. Let your work be a struggle.
Let your peace be a victory! One can be silent and
sit still only when one has bow and arrow: else one
chatters and quarrels. Let your peace be a victory
You say it is the good cause that hallows even war?
I say unto you: it is the good war that hallows any
cause. War and courage have accomplished more great
things than love of the neighbor. Not your pity but
your courage has so far saved the unfortunate.
"What is good?' you ask. To be brave is good. Let
the little girls say, "To be good is what is at the same
time pretty and touching."
They call you heartless: but you have a heart, and I
love you for being ashamed to show it. You are ashamed
of your flood, while others are ashamed of their ebb.
You are ugly? Well then, my brothers, wrap the
sublime around you, the cloak of the ugly. And when
your soul becomes great, then it becomes prankish; and
in your sublimity there is sarcasm. I know you.
In sarcasm the prankster and the weakling meet. But
they misunderstand each other. I know you.
You may have only enemies whom you can hate, not
enemies you despise. You must be proud of your enemy:
then the successes of your enemy are your successes
Recalcitrance-that is the nobility of slaves. Your
nobility should be obedience. Your very commanding
should be an obeying. To a good warrior "thou shalt"
sounds more agreeable than "I will." And everything
you like you should first let yourself be commanded to
Your love of life shall be love of your highest hope;
and your highest hope shall be the highest thought of
life. Your highest thought, however, you should receive
as a comm and from me-and it is: man is something
that shall be overcome.
Thus live your life of obedience and war. What
matters long life? What warrior wants to be spared?
I do not spare you; I love you thoroughly, my
brothers in war!
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON WAR AND WARRIORS
My brother, if you have a virtue and she is your
virtue, then you have her in common with nobody. To
be sure, you want to call her by name and pet her;
you want to pull her ear and have fun with her. And
behold, now you have her name in common with the
people and have become one of the people and herd
with your virtue.
You would do better to say, "Inexpressible and
nameless is that which gives my soul agony and sweetness and is even the hunger of my entrails."
May your virtue be too exalted for the familiarity of
names: and if you must speak of her, then do not be
ashamed to stammer of her. Then speak and stammer,
"This is my good; this I love; it pleases me wholly;
thus alone do I want the good. I do not want it as
divine law; I do not want it as human statute and
need: it shall not be a signpost for me to overearths
and paradises. It is an earthly virtue that I love: there
is little prudence in it, and least of all the reason of all
men. But this bird built its nest with me: therefore I
love and caress it; now it dwells with me, siting on its
golden eggs." Thus you shall stammer and praise your
Once you suffered passions and called them evil. But
now you have only your virtues left: they grew out of
your passions. You commended your highest goal to
the heart of these passions: then they become your
virtues and passions you enjoyed.
And whether you came from the tribe of the choleric
or of the voluptuous or of the fanatic or of the vengeful, in the end all your passions became virtues and all
your devils, angels. Once you had wild dogs in your
cellar, but in the end they turned into birds and
lovely singers. Out of your poisons you brewed your
balsam. You milked your cow, melancholy; now you
drink the sweet milk of her udder.
And nothing evil grows out of you henceforth, unless
it be the evil that grows out of the fight among your
virtues. My brother, if you are fortunate you have only
one virtue and no more: then you will pass over the
bridge more easily. It is a distinction to have many
virtues, but a hard lot; and many have gone into the
desert and taken their lives because they had wearied
of being the battle and battlefield of virtues.
My brother, are. war and battle evil? But this evil is
necessary; necessary are the envy and mistrust and
calumny among your virtues. Behold how each of your
virtues covets what is highest: each wants your whole
spirit that it might become her herald; each wants your
whole strength in wrath, hatred, and love. Each virtue
is jealous of the others, and jealousy is a terrible thing.
Virtues too can perish of jealousy. Surrounded by the
flame of jealousy, one will in the end, like the scorpion,
turn one's poisonous sting against oneself. Alas, my
brother, have you never yet seen a virtue deny and
Man is something that must be overcome; and therefore you shall love your virtues, for you will perish of
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON ENJOYING AND SUFFERING THE PASSIONS
There are preachers of death; and the earth is full
of those to whom one must preach renunciation of life.
The earth is full of the superfluous; life is spoiled by
the all-too-many. May they be lured from this life with
the "eternal life"! Yellow the preachers of death wear,
or black. But I want to show them to you in still
There are the terrible ones who carry around within
themselves the beast of prey and have no choice but
lust or self-laceration. And even their lust is still selflaceration. They have not even become human beings
yet, these terrible ones: let them preach renunciation
of life and pass away themselves!
There are those with consumption of the soul: hardly
are they born when they begin to die and to long for
doctrines of weariness and renunciation. They would
like to be dead, and we should welcome their wish. Let
us beware of waking the dead and disturbing these
They encounter a sick man or an old man or a
corpse, and immediately they say, "Life is refuted."
But only they themselves are refuted, and their eyes,
which see only this one face of existence. Shrouded in
thick melancholy and eager for the little accidents that
bring death, thus they wait with clenched teeth. Or
they reach for sweets while mocking their own childishness; they clutch the straw of their life and mock that
they still clutch a straw. Their wisdom says, "A fool
who stays alive-but such fools are we. And this is
surely the most foolish thing about life."
"Life is only suffering," others say, and do not lie:
see to it, then, that you cease See to it, then, that the
life which is only suffering ceasesl
And let this be the doctrine of your virtue: "Thou
shalt kill thyself! Thou shalt steal awayl"
"Lust is sin," says one group that preaches death;
'let us step aside and beget no children."
"Giving birth is troublesome," says another group;
"why go on giving birth? One bears only unfortunates"
And they too are preachers of death.
"Pity is needed," says the third group. "Take from
me what I havel Take from me what I aml Life will bind
me that much less"
If they were full of pity through and through, they
would make life insufferable for their neighbors. To
be evil, that would be their real goodness. But they
want to get out of life: what do they care that with
their chains and presents they bind others still more
And you, too, for whom life is furious work and
unrest-are you not very weary of life? Are you not
very ripe for the preaching of death? All of you to
whom furious work is dear, and whatever is fast, new,
and strange-you find it hard to bear yourselves; your
industry is escape and the will to forget yourselves. If
you believed more in life you would fling yourselves
less to the moment. But you do not have contents
enough in yourselves for waiting-and not even for
Everywhere the voice of those who preach death is
heard; and the earth is full of those to whom one must
preach death. Or "eternal life"-tbat is the same to
me, if only they pass away quickly.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON THE PREACHERS OF DEATH
ON THE DESPISES OF THE BODY
I want to speak to the despisers of the body. I would
not have them learn and teach differently, but merely
say farewell to their own bodies-and thus become
"Body am I, and soul"-thus speaks the child. And
why should one not speak like children?
But the awakened and knowing say: body am I entirely, and nothing else; and soul is only a word for
something about the body.
The body is a great reason, a plurality with one
sense, a war and a peace, a herd and a shepherd. An
instrument of your body is also your little reason, my
brother, which you call "spirit"-a little instrument
and toy of your great reason.
"I," you say, and are proud of the word. But greater
is that in which you do not wish to have faith-your
body and its great reason: that does not say "I," but
What the sense feels, what the spirit knows, never
has its end in itself. But sense and spirit would persuade you that they are the end of all things: that is
how vain they are. Instruments and toys are sense and
spirit: behind them still lies the self. The self also
seeks with the eyes of the senses; it also listens with
the ears of the spirit. Always the self listens and seeks:
it compares, overpowers, conquers, destroys. It controls, and it is in control of the ego too.
Behind your thoughts and feelings, my brother,
there stands a mighty ruler, an unknown sage-whose
name is self. In your body he dwells; he is your
There is more reason in your body than in your best
wisdom. And who knows why your body needs precisely your best wisdom?
Your self laughs at your ego and at its bold leaps.
"What are these leaps and flights of thought to me?"
it says to itself. "A detour to my end. I am the leading
strings of the ego and the prompter of its concepts."
The self says to the ego, "Feel pain here" Then the
ego suffers and thinks how it might suffer no more and that is why it is made to think.
The self says to the ego, "Feel pleasure here" Then
the ego is pleased and thinks how it might often be
pleased again-and that is why it is made to think.
I want to speak to the despisers of the body. It is
their respect that begets their contempt. What is it that
created respect and contempt and worth and will? The
creative self created respect and contempt; it created
pleasure and pain. The creative body created the spirit
as a hand for its will.
Even in your folly and contempt, you despisers of
the body, you serve your self. I say unto you: your self
itself wants to die and turns away from life. It is no
longer capable of what it would do above all else: to
create beyond itself. That is what it would do above
all else, that is its fervent wish.
But now it is too late for it to do this: so your self
wants to go under, 0 despisers of the body. Your self
wants to go under, and that is why you have become
despisers of the body For you are no longer able to
create beyond yourselves.
And that is why you are angry with life and the
earth. An unconscious envy speaks out of the squinteyed glance of your contempt.
I shall not go your way, 0 despisers of the body
You are no bridge to the overman!
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON THE DESPISERS OF THE BODY
34:76. David Hume – Treatise on Human Nature; Essays Moral and Political; An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding
77. Jean-Jacques Rousseau – On the Origin of Inequality; On the Political Economy; Emile – or, On Education, The Social Contract
78. Laurence Sterne – Tristram Shandy; A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy
79. Adam Smith – The Theory of Moral Sentiments; The Wealth of Nations
80. Immanuel Kant – Critique of Pure Reason; Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals; Critique of Practical Reason; The Science of Right; Critique of Judgment; Perpetual Peace
81. Edward Gibbon – The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire; Autobiography
82. James Boswell – Journal; Life of Samuel Johnson, Ll.D.
83. Antoine Laurent Lavoisier – Traité Élémentaire de Chimie (Elements of Chemistry)
84. Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison – Federalist Papers
85. Jeremy Bentham – Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation; Theory of Fictions
86. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – Faust; Poetry and Truth
87. Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier – Analytical Theory of Heat
88. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel – Phenomenology of Spirit; Philosophy of Right; Lectures on the Philosophy of History
89. William Wordsworth – Poems
90. Samuel Taylor Coleridge – Poems; Biographia Literaria
91. Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudice; Emma
92. Carl von Clausewitz – On War
93. Stendhal – The Red and the Black; The Charterhouse of Parma; On Love
94. Lord Byron – Don Juan
95. Arthur Schopenhauer – Studies in Pessimism
96. Michael Faraday – Chemical History of a Candle; Experimental Researches in Electricity
97. Charles Lyell – Principles of Geology
98. Auguste Comte – The Positive Philosophy
99. Honoré de Balzac – Père Goriot; Eugenie Grandet
100. Ralph Waldo Emerson – Representative Men; Essays; Journal
101. Nathaniel Hawthorne – The Scarlet Letter
102. Alexis de Tocqueville – Democracy in America
103. John Stuart Mill – A System of Logic; On Liberty; Representative Government; Utilitarianism; The Subjection of Women; Autobiography
104. Charles Darwin – The Origin of Species; The Descent of Man; Autobiography
105. Charles Dickens – Pickwick Papers; David Copperfield; Hard Times
106. Claude Bernard – Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine
107. Henry David Thoreau – Civil Disobedience; Walden
108. Karl Marx – Capital; Communist Manifesto
109. George Eliot – Adam Bede; Middlemarch
110. Herman Melville – Moby-Dick; Billy Budd
111. Fyodor Dostoevsky – Crime and Punishment; The Idiot; The Brothers Karamazov
112. Gustave Flaubert – Madame Bovary; Three Stories
113. Henrik Ibsen – Plays
114. Leo Tolstoy – War and Peace; Anna Karenina; What is Art?; Twenty-Three Tales
115. Mark Twain – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; The Mysterious Stranger
116. William James – The Principles of Psychology; The Varieties of Religious Experience; Pragmatism; Essays in Radical Empiricism
117. Henry James – The American; The Ambassadors
118. Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche – Thus Spoke Zarathustra; Beyond Good and Evil; The Genealogy of Morals;The Will to Power
119. Jules Henri Poincaré – Science and Hypothesis; Science and Method
120. Sigmund Freud – The Interpretation of Dreams; Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis; Civilization and Its Discontents; New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis
121. George Bernard Shaw – Plays and Prefaces ~ Mortimer J Adler
35: ON SCHOLARS
As I lay asleep, a sheep ate of the ivy wreath on my
brow-ate and said, "Zarathustra is no longer a scholar."
Said it and strutted away proudly. A child told it to me.
I like to lie here where the children play, beside the
broken wall, among thistles and red poppies. I am still
a scholar to the children, and also to the thistles and red
poppies. They are innocent even in their malice. But to
the sheep I am no longer a scholar; thus my lot decrees
For this is the truth: I have moved from the house of
the scholars and I even banged the door behind me. My
soul sat hungry at their table too long; I am not, like
them, trained to pursue knowledge as if it were nutcracking. I love freedom and the air over the fresh
earth; rather would I sleep on ox hides than on their
decorums and respectabilities.
I am too hot and burned by my own thoughts; often
it nearly takes my breath away. Then I must go out into
the open and away from all dusty rooms. But they sit
cool in the cool shade: in everything they want to be
mere spectators, and they beware of sitting where the
sun bums on the steps. Like those who stand in the
street and gape at the people who pass by, they too
wait and gape at thoughts that others have thought.
If you seize them with your hands they raise a cloud
of dust like flour bags, involuntarily; but who could
guess that their dust comes from grain and from the
yellow delight of summer fields? When they pose as
wise, their little epigrams and truths chill me: their
wisdom often has an odor as if it came from the
swamps; and verily, I have also heard frogs croak out of
it. They are skillful and have clever fingers: why would
my simplicity want to be near their multiplicity? All
threading and knotting and weaving their fingers understand: thus they knit the socks of the spirit.
They are good clockworks; but take care to wind
them correctly Then they indicate the hour without fail
and make a modest noise. They work like mills and
like stamps: throw down your seed-corn to them and
they will know how to grind it small and reduce it
to white dust.
They watch each other closely and mistrustfully. Inventive in petty cleverness, they wait for those whose
knowledge walks on lame feet: like spiders they wait. I
have always seen them carefully preparing poison; and
they always put on gloves of glass to do it. They also
know how to play with loaded dice; and I have seen
them play so eagerly that they sweated.
We are alien to each other, and their virtues are even
more distasteful to me than their falseness and their
loaded dice. And when I lived with them, I lived above
them. That is why they developed a grudge against me.
They did not want to hear how someone was living
over their heads; and so they put wood and earth and
filth between me and their heads. Thus they muffled the
sound of my steps: and so far I have been heard least
well by the most scholarly. Between themselves and me
they laid all human faults and weaknesses: "false ceilings" they call them in their houses. And yet I live over
their heads with my thoughts; and even if I wanted to
walk upon my own mistakes, I would still be over their
For men are not equal: thus speaks justice. And what
I want, they would have no right to want
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON SCHOLARS
36: ON CHILD AND MARRIAGE
I have a question for you alone, my brother: like a
sounding lead, I cast this question into your soul that
I might know how deep it is.
You are young and wish for a child and marriage.
But I ask you: Are you a man entitled to wish for a
child? Are you the victorious one, the self-conqueror,
the commander of your senses, the master of your
virtues? This I ask you. Or is it the animal and need
that speak out of your wish? Or loneliness? Or lack of
peace with yourself?
Let your victory and your freedom long for a child.
You shall build living monuments to your victory and
your liberation. You shall build over and beyond yourself, but first you must be built yourself, perpendicular
in body and soul. You shall not only reproduce yourself, but produce something higher. May the garden
of marriage help you in that
You shall create a higher body, a first movement, a
self-propelled wheel-you shall create a creator.
Marriage: thus I name the will of two to create the
one that is more than those who created it. Reverence
for each other, as for those willing with such a will, is
what I name marriage. Let this be the meaning and
truth of your marriage. But that which the all-toomany, the superfluous, call marriage-alas, what shall
I name that? Alas, this poverty of the soul in pair
Alas, this filth of the soul in pair Alas, this wretched
contentment in pair Marriage they call this; and they
say that their marriages are made in heaven. Well, I do
not like it, this heaven of the superfluous. No, I do not
like them-these animals entangled in the heavenly net.
And let the god who limps near to bless what he never
joined keep his distance from mel Do not laugh at such
marriages! What child would not have cause to weep
over its parents?
Worthy I deemed this man, and ripe for the sense of
the earth; but when I saw his wife, the earth seemed
to me a house for the senseless. Indeed, I wished that
the earth might tremble in convulsions when a saint
mates with a goose.
This one went out like a hero in quest of truths, and
eventually he conquered a little dressed-up lie. His
marriage he calls it.
That one was reserved and chose choosily. But all at
once he spoiled his company forever: his marriage he
That one sought a maid with the virtues of an angel.
But all at once he became the maid of a woman; and
now he must turn himself into an angel.
Careful I have found all buyers now, and all of them
have cunning eyes. But even the most cunning still
buys his wife in a poke.
Many brief follies-that is what you call love. And
your marriage concludes many brief follies, as a long
stupidity. Your love of woman, and woman's love of
man-oh, that it were compassion for suffering and
shrouded godsl But, for the most part, two beasts find
But even your best love is merely an ecstatic parable
and a painful ardor. It is a torch that should light up
higher paths for you. Over and beyond yourselves you
shall love one day. Thus learn first to love. And for that
you had to drain the bitter cup of your love. Bitterness
lies in the cup of even the best love: thus it arouses
longing for the overman; thus it arouses your thirst,
creator. Thirst for the creator, an arrow and longing
for the overman: tell me, my brother, is this your will
to marriage? Holy I call such a will and such a marriage.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON CHILD AND MARRIAGE
37: ON THE
"There is always one too many around me"-thus
thinks the hermit. "Always one times one-eventually
that makes two."
I and me are always too deep in conversation: how
could one stand that if there were no friend? For the
hermit the friend is always the third person: the third
is the cork that prevents the conversation of the two
from sinking into the depths. Alas, there are too many
depths for all hermits; therefore they long so for a
friend and his height.
Our faith in others betrays in what respect we would
like to have faith in ourselves. Our longing for a friend
is our betrayer. And often love is only a device to overcome envy. And often one attacks and makes an enemy
in order to conceal that one is open to attack. "At least
be my enemyl"-thus speaks true reverence, which
does not dare ask for friendship.
If one wants to have a friend one must also want
to wage war for him: and to wage war, one must be
capable of being an enemy.
In a friend one should still honor the enemy. Can
you go close to your friend without going over to
In a friend one should have one's best enemy. You
should be closest to him with your heart when you
You do not want to put on anything for your friend?
Should it be an honor for your friend that you give
yourself to him as you are? But he sends you to the
devil for that. He who makes no secret of himself,
enrages: so much reason have you for fearing nakedness. Indeed, if you were gods, then you might be
ashamed of your clothes. You cannot groom yourself
too beautifully for your friend: for you shall be to him
an arrow and a longing for the overman.
Have you ever seen your friend asleep-and found
out how he looks? What is the face of your friend anyway? It is your own face in a rough and imperfect
Have you ever seen your friend asleep? Were you
not shocked that your friend looks like that? 0 my
friend, man is something that must be overcome.
A friend should be a master at guessing and keeping still: you must not want to see everything. Your
dream should betray to you what your friend does
Your compassion should be a guess-to know first
whether your friend wants compassion. Perhaps what
he loves in you is the unbroken eye and the glance of
eternity. Compassion for the friend should conceal itself under a hard shell, and you should break a tooth
on it. That way it will have delicacy and sweetness.
Are you pure air and solitude and bread and medicine for your friend? Some cannot loosen their own
chains and can nevertheless redeem their friends.
Are you a slave? Then you cannot be a friend. Are
you a tyrant? Then you cannot have friends. All-toolong have a slave and a tyrant been concealed in
woman. Therefore woman is not yet capable of friendship: she knows only love.
Woman's love involves injustice and blindness against
everything that she does not love. And even in the
knowing love of a woman there are still assault and
lightning and night alongside light.
Woman is not yet capable of friendship: women are
still cats and birds. Or at best, cows.
Woman is not yet capable of friendship. But tell
me, you men, who among you is capable of friendship?
Alas, behold your poverty, you men, and the meanness of your souls As much as you give the friend, I
will give even my enemy, and I shall not be any the
poorer for it. There is comradeship: let there be friendshipl
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON THE FRIEND
38: ON LITTLE OLD AND YOUNG WOMEN
"Why do you steal so cautiously through the twilight, Zarathustra? And what do you conceal so carefully under your coat? Is it a treasure you have been
given? or a child born to you? Or do you yourself now
follow the ways of thieves, you friend of those who are
"Verily, my brother," said Zarathustra, "it is a treasure
I have been given: it is a little truth that I carry. But
it is troublesome like a young child, and if I don't hold
my hand over its mouth, it will cry overloudly.
"When I went on my way today, alone, at the hour
when the sun goes down, I met a little old woman who
spoke thus to my soul: 'Much has Zarathustra spoken
to us women too; but never did he speak to us about
woman.' And I answered her: 'About woman one
should speak only to men.' Then she said: 'Speak to
me too of woman; I am old enough to forget it im-
mediately.' And I obliged the little old woman and I
spoke to her thus:
"Everything about woman is a riddle, and everything about woman has one solution: that is pregnancy.
Man is for woman a means: the end is always the
child. But what is woman for man?
"A real man wants two things: danger and play.
Therefore he wants woman as the most dangerous
plaything. Man should be educated for war, and
woman for the recreation of the warrior; all else is
folly. The warrior does not like all-too-sweet fruit;
therefore he likes woman: even the sweetest woman is
bitter. Woman understands children better than man
does, but man is more childlike than woman.
"In a real man a child is hidden-and wants to
play. Go to it, women, discover the child in man! Let
woman be a plaything, pure and fine, like a gem,
irradiated by the virtues of a world that has not yet
arrived. Let the radiance of a star shine through your
love! Let your hope be: May I give birth to the overman!
"Let there be courage in your lovely With your love
you should proceed toward him who arouses fear in
you. Let your honor be in your love! Little does woman
understand of honor otherwise. But let this be your
honor: always to love more than you are loved, and
never to be second.
"Let man fear woman when she loves: then she
makes any sacrifice, and everything else seems without
value to her. Let man fear woman when she hates: for
deep down in his soul man is merely evil, while
woman is bad. Whom does woman hate most? Thus
spoke the iron to the magnet: 'I hate you most because
you attract, but are not strong enough to pull me to
"The happiness of man is: I will. The happiness of
woman is: he wills. 'Behold, just now the world became perfect!-thus thinks every woman when she
obeys out of entire love. And woman must obey and
find a depth for her surface. Surface is the disposition
of woman: a mobile, stormy film over shallow water.
Man's disposition, however, is deep; his river roars in
subterranean caves: woman feels his strength but does
not comprehend it.
"Then the little old woman answered me: 'Many
fine things has Zarathustra said, especially for those
who are young enough for them. It is strange: Zarathustra knows women little, and yet he is right about
them. Is this because nothing is impossible with
woman? And now, as a token of gratitude, accept a
little truth. After all, I am old enough for it. Wrap it
up and hold your hand over its mouth: else it will cry
overloudly, this little truth.'
"Then I said: 'Woman, give me your little truth.'
And thus spoke the little old woman:
"'You are going to women? Do not forget the
whipl' Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON LITTLE OLD AND YOUNG WOMEN
39:THE LAST SUPPER
For it was at this point that the soothsayer interrupted
the welcome, pushed forward like one who has no time
to lose, seized Zarathustra's hand, and shouted: "But
Zarathustral One thing is more necessary than another:
thus you say yourself. Well then, one thing is more
necessary to me now than anything else. A word at
the right time: did you not invite me to supper? And
here are many who have come a long way. Surely, you
would not feed us speeches alone? Also, all of you have
thought far too much, for my taste, of freezing, drowning, suffocating, and other physical distress; but nobody
has thought of my distress, namely, starving-(Thus spoke the soothsayer; but when Zarathustra's
animals heard these words they ran away in fright. For
they saw that whatever they had brought home during
the day would not be enough to fill this one soothsayer.)
"Including dying of thirst," continued the soothsayer.
"And although I hear water splashing nearby like
speeches of wisdom-that is, abundantly and tirelessly
-I want wine. Not everybody is a born water drinker
like Zarathustra. Nor is water fit for the weary and
wilted: we deserve wine. That alone gives sudden convalescence and immediate health."
On this occasion, as the soothsayer asked for wine, it
happened that the king at the left, the taciturn one, got
a word in too, for once. "For wine," he said, "we have
taken care-I together with my brother, the king at
the right; we have wine enough-a whole ass-load. So
nothing is lacking but bread."
"Bread?" countered Zarathustra, and he laughed.
"Bread is the one thing hermits do not have. But man
does not live by bread alone, but also of the meat of
good lambs, of which I have two. These should be
slaughtered quickly and prepared tastily with sage: I
love it that way. Nor is there a lack of roots and fruit,
good enough even for gourmets and gourmands, nor of
nuts and other riddles to be cracked. Thus we shall
have a good meal in a short while. But whoever would
join in the eating must also help in the preparation,
even the kings. For at Zarathustra's even a king may be
This suggestion appealed to the hearts of all; only
the voluntary beggar objected to meat and wine and
spices. "Now listen to this glutton Zarathustral" he said
jokingly; "is that why one goes into caves and high
mountain ranges, to prepare such meals? Now indeed
I understand what he once taught us: 'Praised be a
little poverty!' And why he wants to abolish beggars."
"Be of good cheer," Zarathustra answered him, "as
I am. Stick to your custom, my excellent friend, crush
your grains, drink your water, praise your fare; as long
as it makes you gayl
"I am a law only for my kind, I am no law for all.
But whoever belongs with me must have strong bones
and light feet, be eager for war and festivals, not
gloomy, no dreamer, as ready for what is most difficult
as for his festival, healthy and wholesome. The best
belongs to my kind and to me; and when one does not
give it to us, we take it: the best food, the purest sky,
the strongest thoughts, the most beautiful women."
Thus spoke Zarathustra; but the king at the right
retorted: "Strangel Has one ever heard such clever
things out of the mouth of a sage? And verily, he is
the strangest sage who is also clever and no ass."
Thus spoke the king at the right, and he was amazed;
but the ass commented on his speech with evil intent:
Yeah-Yuh. But this was the beginning of that longdrawn-out meal which the chronicles call "the last supper." And in the course of it, nothing else was discussed
but the higher man.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, THE LAST SUPPER
You do not want to kill, 0 judges and sacrificers,
until the animal has nodded? Behold, the pale criminal
has nodded: out of his eyes speaks the great contempt.
"My ego is something that shall be overcome: my
ego is to me the great contempt of man," that is what
his eyes say.
That he judged himself, that was his highest moment; do not let the sublime return to his baseness!
There is no redemption for one who suffers so of himself, except a quick death.
Your killing, 0 judges, shall be pity and not revenge. And as you kill, be sure that you yourselves
justify life It is not enough to make your peace with
the man you kill. Your sadness shall be love of the
overman: thus you shall justify your living on.
'Enemy" you shall say, but not "villain"; "sick" you
shall say, but not "scoundrel"; "fool" you shall say, but
And you, red judge, if you were to tell out loud all
that you have already done in thought, everyone would
cry, "Away with this filth and this poisonous worm!"
But thought is one thing, the deed is another, and
the image of the deed still another: the wheel of
causality does not roll between them.
An image made this pale man pale. He was equal to
his deed when he did it; but he could not bear its
image after it was done. Now he always saw himself
as the doer of one deed. Madness I call this: the exception now became the essence for him. A chalk
streak stops a hen; the stroke that he himself struck
stopped his poor reason: madness after the deed I call
Listen, 0 judges: there is yet another madness, and
that comes before the deed. Alas, you have not yet
crept deep enough into this soul.
Thus speaks the red judge, 'Why did this criminal
murder? He wanted to rob." But I say unto you: his
soul wanted blood, not robbery; he thirsted after the
bliss of the knife. His poor reason, however, did not
comprehend this madness and persuaded him: 'What
matters blood?" it asked; "don't you want at least to
commit a robbery with it? To take revenge?" And he
listened to his poor reason: its speech lay upon him likelead; so he robbed when he murdered. He did not
want to be ashamed of his madness.
And now the lead of his guilt lies upon him, and
again his poor reason is so stiff, so paralyzed, so heavy.
If only he could shake his head, then his burden would
roll off: but who could shake this head?
What is this man? A heap of diseases, which, through
his spirit, reach out into the world: there they want
to catch their prey.
What is this man? A ball of wild snakes, which rarely
enjoy rest from each other: so they go forth singly and
seek prey in the world.
Behold this poor body What it suffered and coveted
this poor soul interpreted for itself: it interpreted it as
murderous lust and greed for the bliss of the knife.
Those who become sick today are overcome by that
evil which is evil today: they want to hurt with that
which hurts them. But there have been other ages and
another evil and good. Once doubt was evil and the will
to self. Then the sick became heretics or witches: as
heretics or witches they suffered and wanted to inflict
But your ears do not want to accept this: it harms
your good people, you say to me. But what matter
your good people to me? Much about your good people
nauseates me; and verily, it is not their evil. Indeed, I
wish they had a madness of which they might perish
like this pale criminal.
Verily, I wish their madness were called truth or
loyalty or justice: but they have their virtue in order
to live long and in wretched contentment.
I am a railing by the torrent: let those who can,
grasp mel Your crutch, however, I am not.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON THE PALE CRIMINAL
ON THE THREE METAMORPHOSES
Of three metamorphoses of the spirit I tell you: how
the spirit becomes a camel; and the camel, a lion; and
the lion, finally, a child.
There is much that is difficult for the spirit, the
strong reverent spirit that would bear much: but the
difficult and the most difficult are what its strength
What is difficult? asks the spirit that would bear
much, and kneels down like a camel wanting to be
well loaded. What is most difficult, 0 heroes, asks the
spirit that would bear much, that I may take it upon
myself and exult in my strength? Is it not humbling
oneself to wound one's haughtiness? Letting one's folly
shine to mock one's wisdom?
Or is it this: parting from our cause when it
triumphs? Climbing high mountains to tempt the
Or is it this: feeding on the acorns and grass of
knowledge and, for the sake of the truth, suffering
hunger in one's soul?
Or is it this: being sick and sending home the comforters and making friends with the deaf, who never
hear what you want?
Or is it this: stepping into filthy waters when they
are the waters of truth, and not repulsing cold frogs
and hot toads?
Or is it this: loving those who despise us and offering a hand to the ghost that would frighten us?
All these most difficult things the spirit that would
bear much takes upon itself: like the camel that, burdened, speeds into the desert, thus the spirit speeds
into its desert.
In the loneliest desert, however, the second metamorphosis occurs: here the spirit becomes a lion who
would conquer his freedom and be master in his own
desert. Here he seeks out his last master: he wants to
fight him and his last god; for ultimate victory he
wants to fight with the great dragon.
Who is the great dragon whom the spirit will no
longer call lord and god? "Thou shalt" is the name of
the great dragon. But the spirit of the lion says, 'I
will." 'Thou shalt" lies in his way, sparkling like gold,
an animal covered with scales; and on every scale
shines a golden "thou shalt."
Values, thousands of years old, shine on these scales;
and thus speaks the mightiest of all dragons: "All value
of all things shines on me. All value has long been
created, and I am all created value. Verily, there shall
be no more 'I will.'" Thus speaks the dragon.
My brothers, why is there a need in the spirit for
the lion? Why is not the beast of burden, which renounces and is reverent, enough?
To create new values-that even the lion cannot do;
but the creation of freedom for oneself for new creation-that is within the power of the lion. The creation of freedom for oneself and a sacred "No" even to
duty-for that, my brothers, the lion is needed. To
assume the right to new values-that is the most terrifying assumption for a reverent spirit that would bear
much. Verily, to him it is preying, and a matter for a
beast of prey. He once loved "thou shalt" as most
sacred: now he must find illusion and caprice even in
the most sacred, that freedom from his love may become his prey: the lion is needed for such prey.
But say, my brothers, what can the child do that
even the lion could not do? Why must the preying lion
still become a child? The child is innocence and forgetting, a new beginning, a game, a self-propelled
wheel, a first movement, a sacred "Yes." For the game
of creation, my brothers, a sacred "Yes" is needed: the
spirit now wills his own will, and he who had been
lost to the world now conquers his own world.
Of three metamorphoses of the spirit I have told
you: how the spirit became a camel; and the cameL a
lion; and the lion, finally, a child.
Thus spoke Zarathustra. And at that time he sojourned in the town that is called The Motley Cow.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON THE THREE METAMORPHOSES
42: THE DANCING
One evening Zarathustra walked through a forest
with his disciples; and as he sought a well, behold, he
came upon a green meadow, silently surrounded by
trees and shrubs, and upon it girls were dancing with
each other. As soon as the girls recognized Zarathustra
they ceased dancing. But Zarathustra walked up to
them with a friendly gesture and spoke these words:
"Do not cease dancing, you lovely girls No killjoy
has come to you with evil eyes, no enemy of girls. God's
advocate am I before the devil: but the devil is the
spirit of gravity. How could I, you lightfooted ones, be
an enemy of godlike dances? Or of girls' feet with
"Indeed, I am a forest and a night of dark trees: but
he who is not afraid of my darkness will also find rose
slopes under my cypresses. And he will also find the
little god whom girls like best: beside the well he lies,
still, with his eyes shut. Verily, in bright daylight he
fell asleep, the sluggard Did he chase after butterflies
too much? Do not be angry with me, you beautiful
dancers, if I chastise the little god a bit. He may cry
and weep-but he is laughable even when he weeps.
And with tears in his eyes he shall ask you for a dance,
and I myself will sing a song for his dance: a dancing and mocking song on the spirit of gravity, my supreme and most powerful devil, of whom they say that
he is 'the master of the world.'"
And this is the song that Zarathustra sang while
Cupid and the girls danced together:
Into your eyes I looked recently, 0 life! And into
the unfathomable I then seemed to be sinking. But
you pulled me out with a golden fishing rod; and you
laughed mockingly when I called you unfathomable.
"Thus runs the speech of all fish," you said; "what
they do not fathom is unfathomable. But I am merely
changeable and wild and a woman in every way, and
not virtuous-even if you men call me profound, faithful, eternal, and mysterious. But you men always present us with your own virtues, 0 you virtuous men!"
Thus she laughed, the incredible one; but I never
believe her and her laughter when she speaks ill of
And when I talked in confidence with my wild wisdom she said to me in anger, "You will, you want, you
love-that is the only reason why you praise life." Then
I almost answered wickedly and told the angry woman
the truth; and there is no more wicked answer than
telling one's wisdom the truth.
For thus matters stand among the three of us: Deeply
I love only life-and verily, most of all when I hate life.
But that I am well disposed toward wisdom, and often
too well, that is because she reminds me so much of
life. She has her eyes, her laugh, and even her little
golden fishing rod: is it my fault that the two
look so similar?
And when life once asked me, "Who is this wisdom?"
I answered fervently, "Oh yes, wisdom One thirsts
after her and is never satisfied; one looks through veils,
one grabs through nets. Is she beautiful? How should
I know? But even the oldest carps are baited with her.
She is changeable and stubborn; often I have seen her
bite her lip and comb her hair against the grain. Perhaps she is evil and false and a female in every way;
but just when she speaks ill of herself she is most
When I said this to life she laughed sarcastically and
closed her eyes. "Of whom are you speaking?" she
asked; "no doubt, of me. And even if you are right
-should that be said to my face? But now speak of
your wisdom too."
Ah, and then you opened your eyes again, 0 beloved
life. And again I seemed to myself to be sinking into
Thus sang Zarathustra. But when the dance was over
and the girls had gone away, he grew sad.
"The sun has set long ago," he said at last; "the
meadow is moist, a chill comes from the woods. Something unknown is around me and looks thoughtfuL
What? Are you still alive, Zarathustra?
"Why? What for? By what? Whither? Where? How?
Is it not folly still to be alive?
"Alas, my friends, it is the evening that asks thus
through me. Forgive me my sadness. Evening has come;
forgive me that evening has come."
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, THE DANCING SONG
Still is the bottom of my sea: who would guess that
it harbors sportive monsters? Imperturbable is my
depth, but it sparkles with swimming riddles and laughters.
One who was sublime I saw today, one who was solemn, an ascetic of the spirit; oh, how my soul laughed
at his ugliness! With a swelled chest and like one who
holds in his breath, he stood there, the sublime one,
silent, decked out with ugly truths, the spoil of his
hunting, and rich in torn garments; many thorns too
adorned him-yet I saw no rose.
As yet he has not learned laughter or beauty. Gloomy
this hunter returned from the woods of knowledge. He
came home from a fight with savage beasts; but out of
his seriousness there also peers a savage beast-one not
overcome. He still stands there like a tiger who wants
to leap; but I do not like these tense souls, and my
taste does not favor all these who withdraw.
And you tell me, friends, that there is no disputing
of taste and tasting? But all of life is a dispute over
taste and tasting. Taste-that is at the same time
weight and scales and weigher; and woe unto all the
living that would live without disputes over weight and
scales and weighersi
If he grew tired of his sublimity, this sublime one,
only then would his beauty commence; and only then
will I taste him and find him tasteful. And only when
he turns away from himself, will he jump over his
shadow-and verily, into his sun. All-too-long has he
been sitting in the shadow, and the cheeks of this ascetic of the spirit have grown pale; he almost starved to
death on his expectations. Contempt is still in his eyes,
and nausea hides around his mouth. Though he is resting now, his rest has not yet lain in the sun. He should
act like a bull, and his happiness should smell of the
earth, and not of contempt for the earth. I would like to
see him as a white bull, walking before the plowshare,
snorting and bellowing; and his bellowing should be
in praise of everything earthly.
His face is still dark; the shadow of the hand plays
upon him. His sense of sight is still in shadows. His
deed itself still lies on him as a shadow: the hand still
darkens the doer. As yet he has not overcome his deed.
Though I love the bull's neck on him, I also want to
see the eyes of the angel. He must still discard his heroic will; he shall be elevated, not merely sublime: the
ether itself should elevate him, the will-less one.
He subdued monsters, he solved riddles: but he must
still redeem his own monsters and riddles, changing
them into heavenly children. As yet his knowledge has
not learned to smile and to be without jealousy; as yet
his torrential passion has not become still in beauty.
Verily, it is not in satiety that his desire shall grow
silent and be submerged, but in beauty. Gracefulness
is part of the graciousness of the great-souled.
His arm placed over his head: thus should the hero
rest; thus should he overcome even his rest. But just
for the hero the beautiful is the most difficult thing. No
violent will can attain the beautiful by exertion. A little
more, a little less: precisely this counts for much here,
this matters most here.
To stand with relaxed muscles and unharnessed will:
that is most difficult for all of you who are sublime.
When power becomes gracious and descends into
the visible-such descent I call beauty.
And there is nobody from whom I want beauty as
much as from you who are powerful: let your kindness
be your final self-conquest.
Of all evil I deem you capable: therefore I want the
good from you.
Verily, I have often laughed at the weaklings who
thought themselves good because they had no claws.
You shall strive after the virtue of the column: it
grows more and more beautiful and gentle, but internally harder and more enduring, as it ascends.
Indeed, you that are sublime shall yet become beautiful one day and hold up a mirror to your own beauty.
Then your soul will shudder with godlike desires, and
there will be adoration even in your vanity.
For this is the soul's secret: only when the hero has
abandoned her, she is approached in a dream by the
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON THOSE WHO ARE SUBLIME
44: ON THE THOUSAND AND ONE GOALS
Zarathustra saw many lands and many peoples: thus
he discovered the good and evil of many peoples. And
Zarathustra found no greater power on earth than good
No people could live without first esteeming; but if
they want to preserve themselves, then they must not
esteem as the neighbor esteems. Much that was good to
one people was scorn and infamy to another: thus I
found it. Much I found called evil here, and decked
out with purple honors there. Never did one neighbor
understand the other: ever was his soul amazed at the
neighbor's delusion and wickedness.
A tablet of the good hangs over every people. Behold, it is the tablet of their overcomings; behold, it
is the voice of their will to power.
Praiseworthy is whatever seems difficult to a people;
whatever seems indispensable and difficult is called
good; and whatever liberates even out of the deepest
need, the rarest, the most difficult-that they call holy.
Whatever makes them rule and triumph and shine,
to the awe and envy of their neighbors, that is to them
the high, the first, the measure, the meaning of all
Verily, my brother, once you have recognized the
need and land and sky and neighbor of a people, you
may also guess the law of their overcomings, and why
they climb to their hope on this ladder.
"You shall always be the first and excel all others:
your jealous soul shall love no one, unless it be the
friend"-that made the soul of the Greek quiver: thus
he walked the path of his greatness.
"To speak the truth and to handle bow and arrow
well"-that seemed both dear and difficult to the
people who gave me my name-the name which is
both dear and difficult to me.
"To honor father and mother and to follow their
will to the root of one's soul"- this was the tablet of
overcoming that another people hung up over themselves and became powerful and eternal thereby.
"To practice loyalty and, for the sake of loyalty, to
risk honor and blood even for evil and dangerous
things"-with this teaching another people conquered
themselves; and through this self-conquest they became
pregnant and heavy with great hopes.
Verily, men gave themselves all their good and evil.
Verily, they did not take it, they did not find it, nor
did it come to them as a voice from heaven. Only
man placed values in things to preserve himself-he
alone created a meaning for things, a human meaning.
Therefore he calls himself "man," which means: the
To esteem is to create: hear this, you creators! Esteeming itself is of all esteemed things the most estimable treasure. Through esteeming alone is there value:
and without esteeming, the nut of existence would
be hollow. Hear this, you creators
Change of values-that is a change of creators. Whoever must be a creator always annihilates.
First, peoples were creators; and only in later times,
individuals. Verily, the individual himself is still the
most recent creation.
Once peoples hung a tablet of the good over themselves. Love which would rule and love which would
obey have together created such tablets.
The delight in the herd is more ancient than the
delight in the ego; and as long as the good conscience
is identified with the herd, only the bad conscience
Verily, the clever ego, the loveless ego that desires
its own profit in the profit of the many-that is not
the origin of the herd, but its going under.
Good and evil have always been created by lovers
and creators. The fire of love glows in the names of
all the virtues, and the fire of wrath.
Zarathustra saw many lands and many peoples. No
greater power did Zarathustra find on earth than the
works of the lovers: "good" and "evil" are their names.
Verily, a monster is the power of this praising and
censuring. Tell me, who will conquer it, 0 brothers?
Tell me, who will throw a yoke over the thousand
necks of this beast?
A thousand goals have there been so far, for there
have been a thousand peoples. Only the yoke for the
thousand necks is still lacking: the one goal is lacking.
Humanity still has no goal.
But tell me, my brothers, if humanity still lacks a
goal-is humanity itself not still lacking too?
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON THE THOUSAND AND ONE GOALS
45: ON THE LAND
I flew too far into the future: dread overcame me.
and when I looked around, behold, time was my sole
contemporary. Then I flew back toward home, faster
and faster; and thus I came to you, 0 men of today,
and into the land of education. For the first time I
really had eyes for you, and a genuine desire; verily, it
was with longing in my heart that I came.
But what happened to me? For all my anxiety I had
to laugh. Never had my eyes beheld anything so dappled and motley. I laughed and laughed while my foot
was still trembling, and my heart no less. "This is
clearly the home of all paint pots," I said.
With fifty blotches painted on your faces and limbs
you were sitting there, and I was amazed, you men of
today. And with fifty mirrors around you to flatter and
echo your color display! Verily, you could wear no better masks, you men of today, than your own faces! Who
could possibly find you out?
With the characters of the past written all over you,
and these characters in turn painted over with new
characters: thus have you concealed yourselves perfectly from all interpreters of characters. And even if
one could try the reins, who would be fool enough to
believe that you have reins? You seem baked out of
colors and pasted notes. Motley, all ages and peoples
peek out of your veils; motley, all customs and faiths
speak out of your gestures.
If one took the veils and wraps and colors and
gestures away from you, just enough would be left to
scare away the crows. Verily, I myself am the scared
crow who once saw you naked and without color;
and I flew away when the skeleton beckoned to me
lovingly. Rather would I be a day laborer in Hades
among the shades of the past! Even the underworldly
are plumper and fuller than you.
This, indeed this, is bitterness for my bowels, that
I can endure you neither naked nor clothed, you men
of today. All that is uncanny in the future and all that
has ever made fugitive birds shudder is surely more
comfortable and cozy than your "reality." For thus you
speak: "Real are we entirely, and without belief or
superstition." Thus you stick out your chests-but alas,
they are hollow! Indeed, how should you be capable
of any belief, being so dappled and motley-you who
are paintings of all that men have ever believed? You
are walking refutations of all belief, and you break the
limbs of all thought. Unbelievable: thus I call you, for
all your pride in being real!
All ages prate against each other in your spirits; and
the dreams and ratings of all ages were yet more real
than your waking. You are sterile: that is why you lack
faith. But whoever had to create also had his prophetic
dreams and astral signs-and had faith in faith. You are
half-open gates at which the gravediggers wait. And
this is your reality: "Everything deserves to perish."
How you stand there, you who are sterile, how thin
around the ribsl And some among you probably realized
this and said, "Probably some god secretly took something from me while I slept. Verily, enough to make
himself a little female! Strange is the poverty of my
ribs." Thus have some men of today already spoken.
Indeed, you make me laugh, you men of today, and
particularly when you are amazed at yourselves. And 1
should be in a sorry plight if I could not laugh at your
amazement and had to drink down everything disgusting out of your bowls. But I shall take you more lightly,
for I have a heavy burden; and what does it matter to
me if bugs and winged worms still light on my bundle?
Verily, that will not make it heavier. And not from
you, you men of today, shall the great weariness come
Alas, where shall I climb now with my longing? From
all mountains I look out for fatherlands and motherlands. But home I found nowhere; a fugitive am I in
all cities and a departure at all gates. Strange and a
mockery to me are the men of today to whom my heart
recently drew me; and I am driven out of fatherlands
and motherlands. Thus I now love only my children's
land, yet undiscovered, in the farthest sea: for this I
bid my sails search and search.
In my children I want to make up for being the child
of my fathers-and to all the future, for this today.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON THE LAND OF EDUCATION
46: THE CHILD WITH THE MIRROR
Then Zarathustra returned again to the mountains
and to the solitude of his cave and withdrew from men,
waiting like a sower who has scattered his seed. But his
soul grew full of impatience and desire for those whom
he loved, because he still had much to give them. For
this is what is hardest: to close the open hand because
one loves, and to keep a sense of shame as a giver.
Thus months and years passed for the solitary; but
his wisdom grew and caused him pain with its fullness.
One morning, however, he woke even before the dawn,
reflected long, lying on his bed, and at last spoke to his
Why was I so startled in my dream that I awoke?
Did not a child step up to me, carrying a mirror? "0
Zarathustra," the child said to me, 'look at yourself in
the mirror." But when I looked into the mirror I cried
out, and my heart was shaken: for it was not myself I
saw, but a devil's grimace and scornful laughter. Verily,
all-too-well do I understand the sign and admonition of
the dream: my teaching is in danger; weeds pose as
wheat. My enemies have grown powerful and have distorted my teaching till those dearest to me must be
ashamed of the gifts I gave them. I have lost my friends;
the hour has come to seek my lost ones."
With these words Zarathustra leaped up, not like a
frightened man seeking air but rather as a seer and
singer who is moved by the spirit. Amazed, his eagle
and his serpent looked at him: for, like dawn, a coming
happiness lay reflected in his face.
What has happened to me, my animals? said Zarathustra. Have I not changed? Has not bliss come to me
as a storm? My happiness is foolish and will say foolish
things: it is still young, so be patient with it. I am
wounded by my happiness: let all who suffer be my
physicians. I may go down again to my friends, and to
my enemies too. Zarathustra may speak again and give
and do what is dearest to those dear to him. My impatient love overflows in rivers, downward, toward sunrise
and sunset. From silent mountains and thunderstorms
of suffering my soul rushes into the valleys.
Too long have I longed and looked into the distance.
Too long have I belonged to loneliness; thus I have forgotten how to be silent. Mouth have I become through
and through, and the roaring of a stream from towering
cliffs: I want to plunge my speech down into the valleys. Let the river of my love plunge where there is no
wayl How could a river fail to find its way to the sea?
Indeed, a lake is within me, solitary and self-sufficient;
but the river of my love carries it along, down to the
New ways I go, a new speech comes to me; weary I
grow, like all creators, of the old tongues. My spirit no
longer wants to walk on worn soles.
Too slowly runs all speech for me: into your chariot I
leap, storm! And even you I want to whip with my
sarcasm. Like a cry and a shout of joy I want to sweep
over wide seas, till I find the blessed isles where my
friends are dwelling. And my enemies among them
How I now love all to whom I may speak! My enemies
too are part of my bliss.
And when I want to mount my wildest horse, it is always my spear that helps me up best, as the ever-ready
servant of my foot: the spear that I hurl against my
enemies. How grateful I am to my enemies that I may
finally hurl itl
The tension of my cloud was too great: between the
laughter of lightning bolts I want to throw showers of
hail into the depths. Violently my chest will expand,
violently will it blow its storm over the mountains and
thus find relief. Verily, like a storm come my happiness
and my freedom. But let my enemies believe that the
evil one rages over their heads.
Indeed, you too will be frightened, my friends, by my
wild wisdom; and perhaps you will flee from it, together
with my enemies. Would that I knew how to lure you
back with shepherds' flutes! Would that my lioness, wisdom, might learn how to roar tenderly And many
things have we already learned together.
My wild wisdom became pregnant on lonely mountains; on rough stones she gave birth to her young, her
youngest. Now she runs foolishly through the harsh
desert and seeks and seeks gentle turf-my old wild
wisdom. Upon your hearts' gentle turf, my friends, upon
your love she would bed her most dearly beloved.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, THE CHILD WITH THE MIRROR
A sage was praised to Zarathustra for knowing how
to speak well of sleep and of virtue: he was said to be
honored and rewarded highly for this, and all the
youths were said to be sitting at his feet. To him
Zarathustra went, and he sat at his feet with all the
youths. And thus spoke the sage:
"Honor sleep and be bashful before it-that first of
all. And avoid all who sleep badly and stay awake at
night. Even the thief is bashful before sleep: he always
steals silently through the night. Shameless, however,
is the watchman of the night; shamelessly he carries
"Sleeping is no mean art: for its sake one must stay
awake all day. Ten times a day you must overcome
yourself: that makes you good and tired and is opium
for the soul. Ten times you must reconcile yourself
again with yourself; for, overcoming is bitterness, and
the unreconciled sleep badly. Ten truths a day you
must find; else you will still be seeking truth by night,
and your soul will remain hungry. Ten times a day you
must laugh and be cheerful; else you will be disturbed
at night by your stomach, this father of gloom.
"Few know it, but one must have all the virtues to
sleep well. Shall I bear false witness? Shall I commit
adultery? Shall I covet my neighbor's maid? All that
would go ill with good sleep.
"And even if one has all the virtues, there is one
further thing one must know: to send even the virtues
to sleep at the right time. Lest they quarrel with each
other, the fair little women, about you, child of mis-
fortune. Peace with God and the neighbor: that is
what good sleep demands. And peace even with the
neighbor's devil-else he will haunt you at night.
"Honor the magistrates and obey them-even the
crooked magistrates. Good sleep demands it. Is it my
fault that power likes to walk on crooked legs?
"I shall call him the best shepherd who leads his
sheep to the greenest pasture: that goes well with good
"I do not want many honors, or great jewels: that inflames the spleen. But one sleeps badly without a good
name andl a little jewel.
"A little company is more welcome to me than evil
company: but they must go and come at the right
time. That goes well with good sleep.
"Much, too, do I like the poor in spirit: they promote sleep. Blessed are they, especially if one always
tells them that they are right.
"Thus passes the day of the virtuous. And when
night comes I guard well against calling sleep. For
sleep, who is the master of the virtues, does not want
to be called. Instead, I think about what I have done
and thought during the day. Chewing the cud, I ask
myself, patient as a cow, Well, what were your ten
overcomings? and what were your ten reconciliations
and the ten truths and the ten laughters with which
your heart edified itself? Weighing such matters and
rocked by forty thoughts, I am suddenly overcome by
sleep, the uncalled, the master of the virtues. Sleep
knocks at my eyes: they become heavy. Sleep touches
my mouth: it stays open. Verily, on soft soles he comes
to me, the dearest of thieves, and steals my thoughts:
stupid I stand, like this chair here. But not for long do
I stand like this: soon I lie."
When Zarathustra heard the sage speak thus he
laughed in his heart, for an insight had come to him.
And thus he spoke to his heart:
"This sage with his forty thoughts is a fool; but I
believe that he knows well how to sleep. Happy is he
that even lives near this sagel Such sleep is contagious-contagious even through a thick wall. There
is magic even in his chair; and it is not in vain that
the youths sit before this preacher of virtue. His wisdom is: to wake in order to sleep well. And verily,
if life had no sense and I had to choose nonsense,
then I too should consider this the most sensible
"Now I understand clearly what was once sought
above all when teachers of virtue were sought. Good
sleep was sought, and opiate virtues for it. For all these
much praised sages who were teachers of virtue, wisdom was the sleep without dreams: they knew no
better meaning of life.
"Today too there may still be a few like this
preacher of virtue, and not all so honest; but their time
is up. And not for long will they stand like this: soon
they will lie.
"Blessed are the sleepy ones: for they shall soon
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON THE TEACHERS OF VIRTUE
48: UPON THE BLESSED ISLES
The figs are falling from the trees; they are good and
sweet; and, as they fall, their red skin bursts. I am a
north wind to ripe figs.
Thus, like figs, these teachings fall to you, my friends;
now consume their juice and their sweet meat. It is
autumn about us, and pure sky and afternoon. Behold
what fullness there is about usl And out of such overflow
it is beautiful to look out upon distant seas. Once one
said God when one looked upon distant seas; but now
I have taught you to say: overman.
God is a conjecture; but I desire that your conjectures
should not reach beyond your creative will. Could you
create a god? Then do not speak to me of any gods. But
you could well create the overman. Perhaps not you
yourselves, my brothers. But into fathers and forefa thers
of the overman you could re-create yourselves: and let
this be your best creation.
God is a conjecture; but I desire that your conjectures should be limited by what is thinkable. Could you
think a god? But this is what the will to truth should
mean to you: that everything be changed into what is
thinkable for man, visible for man, feelable by man. You
should think through your own senses to their consequences.
And what you have called world, that shall be created
only by you: your reason, your image, your will, your
love shall thus be realized. And verily, for your own
bliss, you lovers of knowledge.
And how would you bear life without this hope, you
lovers of knowledge? You could not have been born
either into the incomprehensible or into the irrational.
But let me reveal my heart to you entirely, my
friends: if there were gods, how could I endure not to
be a godl Hence there are no gods. Though I drew this
conclusion, now it draws me.
God is a conjecture; but who could drain all the
agony of this conjecture without dying? Shall his faith
be taken away from the creator, and from the eagle, his
soaring to eagle heights?
God is a thought that makes crooked all that is
straight, and makes turn whatever stands. How? Should
time be gone, and all that is impermanent a mere lie?
To think this is a dizzy whirl for human bones, and a
vomit for the stomach; verily, I call it the turning sickness to conjecture thus. Evil I call it, and misanthropic
-all this teaching of the One and the Plenum and the
Unmoved and the Sated and the Permanent. All the
permanent-that is only a parable. And the poets lie
It is of time and becoming that the best parables
should speak: let them be a praise and a justification of
Creation-that is the great redemption from suffering,
and life's growing light. But that the creator may be,
suffering is needed and much change. Indeed, there
must be much bitter dying in your life, you creators.
Thus are you advocates and justifiers of all impermanence. To be the child who is newly born, the creator
must also want to be the mother who gives birth and
the pangs of the birth-giver.
Verily, through a hundred souls I have already passed
on my way, and through a hundred cradles and birth
pangs. Many a farewell have I taken; I know the heartrending last hours. But thus my creative will, my destiny, wills it. Or, to say it more honestly: this very
destiny-my will wills.
Whatever in me has feeling, suffers and is in prison;
but my will always comes to me as my liberator and
joy-bringer. Willing liberates: that is the true teaching
of will and liberty-thus Zarathustra teaches it. Willing
no more and esteeming no more and creating no moreoh, that this great weariness might always remain far
from mel In knowledge too I feel only my will's joy in
begetting and becoming; and if there is innocence in
my knowledge, it is because the will to beget is in it.
Away from God and gods this will has lured me; what
could one create if gods existed?
But my fervent will to create impels me ever again
toward man; thus is the hammer impelled toward the
stone. 0 men, in the stone there sleeps an image,
the image of my images. Alas, that it must sleep in the
hardest, the ugliest stone! Now my hammer rages
cruelly against its prison. Pieces of rock rain from the
stone: what is that to me? I want to perfect it; for a
shadow came to me-the stillest and lightest of all
things once came to me. The beauty of the overman
came to me as a shadow. 0 my brothers, what are the
gods to me now?
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, UPON THE BLESSED ISLES
49: ON THE PITYING
My friends, a gibe was related to your friend: "Look
at Zarathustral Does he not walk among us as if we
But it were better said: "He who has knowledge
walks among men as among animals."
To him who has knowledge, man himself is "the
animal with red cheeks." How did this come about? Is
it not because man has had to be ashamed too often?
0 my friends Thus speaks he who has knowledge:
shame, shame, shame-that is the history of man. And
that is why he who is noble bids himself not to shame:
shame he imposes on himself before all who suffer.
Verily, I do not like them, the merciful who feel
blessed in their pity: they are lacking too much in
shame. If I must pity, at least I do not want it known;
and if I do pity, it is preferably from a distance.
I should also like to shroud my face and flee before
I am recognized; and thus I bid you do, my friends.
Would that my destiny led those like you, who do not
suffer, across my way, and those with whom I may
share hope and meal and honey. Verily, I may have
done this and that for sufferers; but always I seemed to
have done better when I learned to feel better joys. As
long as there have been men, man has felt too little joy:
that alone, my brothers, is our original sin. And learning
better to feel joy, we learn best not to hurt others or to
plan hurts for them.
Therefore I wash my hand when it has helped the
sufferer; therefore I wipe even my soul. Having seen the
sufferer suffer, I was ashamed for the sake of his shame;
and when I helped him, I transgressed grievously
against his pride.
Great indebtedness does not make men grateful, but
vengeful; and if a little charity is not forgotten, it turns
into a gnawing worm.
"Be reserved in accepting! Distinguish by accepting!"
Thus I advise those who have nothing to give.
But I am a giver of gifts. I like to give, as a friend to
friends. Strangers, however, and the poor may themselves pluck the fruit from my tree: that will cause them
But beggars should be abolished entirely! Verily, it is
annoying to give to them and it is annoying not to give
And also sinners and bad consciences! Believe me, my
friends: the bite of conscience teaches men to bite.
Worst of all, however, are petty thoughts. Verily,
even evil deeds are better than petty thoughts.
To be sure, you say: "The pleasure in a lot of petty
nastiness saves us from many a big evil deed." But here
one should not wish to save.
An evil deed is like a boil: it itches and irritates and
breaks open-it speaks honestly. "Behold, I am disease"
-thus speaks the evil deed; that is its honesty.
But a petty thought is like a fungus: it creeps and
stoops and does not want to be anywhere-until the
whole body is rotten and withered with little fungi.
But to him who is possessed by the devil I whisper
this' word: "Better for you to rear up your devil! Even
for you there is still a way to greatness!"
My brothers, one knows a little too much about
everybody. And we can even see through some men and
yet we can by no means pass through them.
It is difficult to live with people because it is so difficult to be silent. And not against him who is repugnant
to us are we most unfair, but against him who is no
concern of ours.
But if you have a suffering friend, be a resting place
for his suffering, but a hard bed as it were, a field cot:
thus will you profit him best.
And if a friend does you evil, then say: 'I forgive
you what you did to me; but that you have done it to
yourself-how could I forgive that?" Thus speaks all
great love: it overcomes even forgiveness and pity.
One ought to hold on to one's heart; for if one lets it
go, one soon loses control of the head too. Alas, where
in the world has there been more folly than among the
pitying? And what in the world has caused more suffering than the folly of the pitying? Woe to all who love
without having a height that is above their pityl
Thus spoke the devil to me once: "God too has his
hell: that is his love of man." And most recently I heard
him say this: "God is dead; God died of his pity for
Thus be warned of pity: from there a heavy cloud
will yet come to man. Verily, I understand weather
signs. But mark this too: all great love is even above all
its pity; for it still wants to create the beloved.
"Myself I sacrifice to my love, and my neighbor as
myself}-thus runs the speech of all creators. But all
creators are hard.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON THE PITYING
50: ON THE GREAT LONGING
o my soul, I taught you to say "today' and "one day"
and "formerly" and to dance away over all Here and
There and Yonder.
o my soul, I delivered you from all nooks; I brushed
dust, spiders, and twihght off you.
0 my soul, I washed the little bashfulness and the
nook-virtue off you and persuaded you to stand naked
before the eyes of the sun. With the storm that is called
"spirit" I blew over your wavy sea; I blew all clouds
away; I even strangled the strangler that is called "sin."
o my soul, I gave you the right to say No like the
storm, and to say Yes as the clear sky says Yes: now you
are still as light whether you stand or walk through
storms of negation.
o my soul, I gave you back the freedom over the
created and untreated; and who knows, as you know,
the voluptuous delight of what is yet to come?
o my soul, I taught you the contempt that does not
come like the worm's gnawing, the great, the loving
contempt that loves most where it despises most.
o my soul, I taught you to persuade so well that you
persuade the very ground-like the sun who persuades
even the sea to his own height.
o my soul, I took from you all obeying, knee-bending,
and "Lord"-saying; I myself gave you the name "cessation of need" and "destiny."
o my soul, I gave you new names and colorful toys;
I called you "destiny" and "circumference of circumferences" and "umbilical cord of time" and "azure bell."
o my soul, I gave your soil all wisdom to drink, all
the new wines and also all the immemorially old strong
wines of wisdom.
o my soul, I poured every sun out on you, and every
night and every silence and every longing: then you
grew up like a vine.
o my soul, overrich and heavy you now stand there,
like a vine with swelling udders and crowded brown
gold-grapes-crowded and pressed by your happiness,
waiting in your superabundance and still bashful about
0 my soul, now there is not a soul anywhere that
would be more loving and comprehending and comprehensive. Where would future and past dwell closer together than in you?
o my soul, I gave you all, and I have emptied all my
hands to you; and now-now you say to me, smiling
and full of melancholy, "Which of us has to be thankful? Should not the giver be thankful that the receiver
received? Is not giving a need? Is not receiving mercy?"
o my soul, I understand the smile of your melancholy: now your own overrichness stretches out longing
hands. Your fullness gazes over roaring, seas and seeks
and waits; the longing of overfullness gazes out of the
smiling skies of your eyes. And verily, 0 my soul, who
could see your smile and not be melted by tears? The
angels themselves are melted by tears because of the
overgraciousness of your smile. Your graciousness and
overgraciousness do not want to lament and weep; and
yet, 0 my soul, your smile longs for tears and your
trembling mouth for sobs. "Is not all weeping a lamentation? And all lamentation an accusation?" Thus you
speak to yourself, and therefore, my soul, you would
sooner smile than pour out your suffering-pour out
into plunging tears all your suffering over your fullness
and over the vine's urge for the vintage and his knife.
But if you will not weep, not weep out your crimson
melancholy, then you will have to sing, 0 my soul. Behold, I myself smile as I say this before you: sing with
a roaring song till all seas are silenced, that they may
listen to your longing-till over silent, longing seas the
bark floats, the golden wonder around whose gold all
good, bad, wondrous things leap-also many great and
small animals and whatever has light, wondrous feet for
running on paths blue as violets-toward the golden
wonder, the voluntary bark and its master; but that is
the vintage who is waiting with his diamond knife-
your great deliverer, 0 my soul, the nameless one for
whom only future songs will find names. And verily,
even now your breath is fragrant with future songs;
even now you are glowing and dreaming and drinking
thirstily from all deep and resounding wells of comfort;
even now your melancholy is resting in the happiness of
0 my soul, now I have given you all, and even the
last I had, and I have emptied all my hands to you:
that I bade you sing, behold, that was the last I had.
That I bade you sing-speak now, speak: which of us
has to be thankful now? Better yet, however: sing to
me, sing, 0 my soul And let me be thankful.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON THE GREAT LONGING
51: ON PRIESTS
Once Zarathustra gave his disciples a sign and spoke
these words to them:
"Here are priests; and though they are my enemies,
pass by them silently and with sleeping swords. Among
them too there are heroes; many of them have suffered
too much: therefore they want to make others suffer.
"They are evil enemies: nothing is more vengeful
than their humility. And whoever attacks them, soils
himself easily. Yet my blood is related to theirs, and I
want to know that my blood is honored even in theirs."
And when they had passed, pain seized Zarathustra;
and he had not wrestled long with his pain when he
began to speak thus:
I am moved by compassion for these priests. I also
find them repulsive; but that matters least of all to me
since I have been among men. But I suffer and have
suffered with them: prisoners they are to me, and
marked men. He whom they call Redeemer has put
them in fetters: in fetters of false values and delusive
words. Would that someone.would yet redeem them
from their Redeemerl
Once when the sea cast them about, they thought
they were landing on an island; but behold, it was a
sleeping monster. False values and delusive words: these
are the worst monsters for mortals; long does calamity
sleep and wait in them. But eventually it comes and
wakes and eats and devours what built huts upon it.
Behold these huts which these priests built! Churches
they call their sweet-smelling caves. Oh, that falsified
lightly That musty airl Here the soul is not allowed to
soar to its height. For thus their faith commands:
"Crawl up the stairs on your knees, ye sinners"
Verily, rather would I see even the shameless than
the contorted eyes of their shame and devotion Who
created for themselves such caves and stairways of repentance? Was it not such as wanted to hide themselves
and were ashamed before the pure sky?
And only when the pure sky again looks through
broken ceilings and down upon grass and red poppies
near broken walls, will I again turn my heart to the
abodes of this god.
They have called "God" what was contrary to them
and gave them pain; and verily, there was much of the
heroic in their adoration. And they did not know how
to love their god except by crucifying man.
As corpses they meant to live; in black they decked
out their corpses; out of their speech, too, I still smell
the bad odor of death chambers. And whoever lives
near them lives near black ponds out of which an
ominous frog sings its song with sweet melancholy.
They would have to sing better songs for me to learn
to have faith in their Redeemer: and his disciples would
have to look more redeemed
Naked would I see them: for only beauty should
preach repentance. But who would be persuaded by
this muffled melancholy? Verily, their redeemers themselves did not come out of freedom and the seventh
heaven of freedom. Verily, they themselves have never
walked on the carpets of knowledge. Of gaps was the
spirit of these redeemers made up; but into every gap
they put their delusion, their stopgap, which they called
Their spirit was drowned in their pity; and when
they were swollen and overswollen with pity, it was always a great folly that swam on top. Eagerly and with
much shouting they drove their herd over their path; as
if there were but a single path to the future. Verily,
these shepherds themselves belonged among the sheep.
Small spirits and spacious souls these shepherds had;
but my brothers, what small domains have even the
most spacious souls proved to be so farl
They wrote signs of blood on the way they walked,
and their folly taught that with blood one proved truth.
But blood is the worst witness of truth; blood poisons
even the purest doctrine and turns it into delusion and
hatred of the heart. And if a man goes through fire for
his doctrine-what does that prove? Verily, it is more
if your own doctrine comes out of your own fire.
A sultry heart and a cold head: where these two meet
there arises the roaring wind, the "Redeemer." There
have been greater ones, verily, and more highborn than
those whom the people call redeemers, those roaring
winds which carry away. And you, my brothers, must
be redeemed from still greater ones than all the redeemers if you would find the way to freedom.
Never yet has there been an overman. Naked I saw
both the greatest and the smallest man: they are still
all-too-similar to each other. Verily, even the greatest I
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON PRIESTS
Somewhere there are still peoples and herds, but not
where we live, my brothers: here there are states.
State? What is that? Well then, open your ears to me,
for now I shall speak to you about the death of peoples.
State is the name of the coldest of all cold monsters.
Coldly it tells lies too; and this lie crawls out of its
mouth: "I, the state, am the people." That is a lie! It
was creators who created peoples and hung a faith and
a love over them: thus they served life.
It is annihilators who set traps for the many and
call them "state": they hang a sword and a hundred
appetites over them.
Where there is still a people, it does not understand
the state and hates it as the evil eye and the sin
against customs and rights.
This sign I give you: every people speaks its tongue
of good and evil, which the neighbor does not understand. It has invented its own language of customs and
rights. But the state tells lies in all the tongues of
good and evil; and whatever it says it lies-and whatever it has it has stolen. Everything about it is false;
it bites with stolen teeth, and bites easily. Even its
entrails are false. Confusion of tongues of good and
evil: this sign I give you as the sign of the state. Verily,
this sign signifies the will to death. Verily, it beckons
to the preachers of death.
All-too-many are born: for the superfluous the state
Behold, how it lures them, the all-too-many-and
how it devours them, chews them, and ruminatesl
"On earth there is nothing greater than I: the ordering finger of God am I"-thus roars the monster. And
it is not only the long-eared and shortsighted who sink
to their knees. Alas, to you too, you great souls, it
whispers its dark lies. Alas, it detects the rich hearts
which like to squander themselves. Indeed, it detects
you too, you vanquishers of the old god. You have
grown weary with fighting, and now your weariness
still serves the new idol. With heroes and honorable
men it would surround itself, the new idol! It likes to
bask in the sunshine of good consciences-the cold
It will give you everything if you will adore it, this
new idol: thus it buys the splendor of your virtues
and the look of your proud eyes. It would use you as
bait for the all-too-many.
Indeed, a hellish artifice was invented there, a horse
of death, clattering in the finery of divine honors. Indeed, a dying for many was invented there, which
praises itself as life: verily, a great service to all preachers of death!
State I call it where all drink poison, the good and
the wicked; state, where all lose themselves, the good
and the wicked; state, where the slow suicide of all is
Behold the superfluous They steal the works of the
inventors and the treasures of the sages for themselves;
"education" they call their theft-and everything turns
to sickness and misfortune for them.
Behold the superfluous They are always sick; they
vomit their gall and call it a newspaper. They devour
each other and cannot even digest themselves.
Behold the superfluous! They gather riches and become poorer with them. They want power and first
the lever of power, much money-the impotent paupersl
Watch them clamber, these swift monkeys They
clamber over one another and thus drag one another
into the mud and the depth. They all want to get to
the throne: that is their madness-as if happiness sat
on the throne. Often mud sits on the throne-and often
also the throne on mud. Mad they all appear to me,
clambering monkeys and overardent. Foul smells their
idol, the cold monster: foul they smell to me altoge ther,
My brothers, do you want to suffocate in the fumes
of their snouts and appetites? Rather break the windows and leap to freedom.
Escape from the bad smell Escape from the idolatry
of the superfluous!
Escape from the bad smell Escape from the steam
of these human sacrifices!
The earth is free even now for great souls. There
are still many empty seats for the lonesome and the
twosome, fanned by the fragrance of silent seas.
A free life is still free for great souls. Verily, whoever possesses little is possessed that much less: praised
be a little poverty
Only where the state ends, there begins the human
being who is not superfluous: there begins the song
of necessity, the unique and inimitable tune.
Where the state ends-look there, my brothers Do
you not see it, the rainbow and the bridges of the overman?
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON THE NEW IDOL
Life is a well of joy; but where the rabble drinks too,
all wells are poisoned. I am fond of all that is clean, but
I have no wish to see the grinning snouts and the thirst
of the unclean. They cast their eye into the well: now
their revolting smile shines up out of the well. They
have poisoned the holy water with their lustfulness; and
when they called their dirty dreams "pleasure," they
poisoned the language too. The flame is vexed when
their moist hearts come near the fire; the spirit itself
seethes and smokes where the rabble steps near the fire.
In their hands all fruit grows sweetish and overmellow;
their glance makes the fruit tree a prey of the wind and
withers its crown.
And some who turned away from life only turned
away from the rabble: they did not want to share well
and flame and fruit with the rabble.
And some who went into the wilderness and suffered
thirst with the beasts of prey merely did not want to sit
around the cistern with filthy camel drivers.
And some who came along like annihilators and like
a hailstorm to all orchards merely wanted to put a foot
into the gaping jaws of the rabble to plug up its throat.
The bite on which I gagged the most is not the
knowledge that life itself requires hostility and death
and torture-crosses-but once I asked, and I was almost
choked by my question: What? does life require even
the rabble? Are poisoned wells required, and stinking
fires and soiled dreams and maggots in the bread of life?
Not my hatred but my nausea gnawed hungrily at my
life. Alas, I often grew weary of the spirit when I found
that even the rabble had esprit. And I turned my back
on those who rule when I saw what they now call ruling: higgling and haggling for power-with the rabble.
I have lived with closed ears among people with foreign
tongues: would that the tongue of their higgling and
their haggling for power might remain foreign to me.
And, holding my nose, I walked disgruntled through all
of yesterday and today: verily, all of yesterday and today smells foul of the writing rabble.
Like a cripple who has become deaf and blind and
dumb: thus have I lived for many years lest I live with
the power-, writing- and pleasure-rabble. Laboriously
and cautiously my spirit climbed steps; alms of pleasure
were its refreshment; and life crept along for the blind
as on a cane.
What was it that happened to me? How did I redeem
myself from nausea? Who rejuvenated my sight? How
did I fly to the height where no more rabble sits by the
well? Was it my nausea itself which created wings for
me and water-divining powers? Verily, I had to fly to
the highest spheres that I might find the fount of pleasure again.
Oh, I found it, my brothers! Here, in the highest
spheres, the fount of pleasure wells up for me! And here
is a life of which the rabble does not drink.
You flow for me almost too violently, fountain of
pleasure. And often you empty the cup again by wanting to fill it. And I must still learn to approach you more
modestly: all-too-violently my heart still flows Toward
you-my heart, upon which my summer bums, short,
hot, melancholy, overblissful: how my summer-heart
craves your coolness!
Gone is the hesitant gloom of my spring Gone the
malice of my snowflakes in Junel Summer have I become entirely, and summer noonl A summer in the
highest spheres with cold wells and blissful silence: oh,
come, my friends, that the silence may become still
For this is our height and our home: we live here too
high and steep for all the unclean and their thirst. Cast
your pure eyes into the well of my pleasure, friends
How should that make it muddy? It shall laugh back at
you in its own purity.
On the tree, Future, we build our nest; and in our
solitude eagles shall bring us nourishment in their beaks.
Verily, no nourishment which the unclean might share:
they would think they were devouring fire and they
would burn their mouths. Verily, we keep no homes
here for the unclean: our pleasure would be an ice cave
to their bodies and their spirits.
And we want to live over them like strong winds,
neighbors of the eagles, neighbors of the snow, neighbors of the sun: thus live strong winds. And like a wind
I yet want to blow among them one day, and with my
spirit take the breath of their spirit: thus my future
Verily, a strong wind is Zarathustra for all who are
low; and this counsel he gives to all his enemies and all
who spit and spew: "Beware of spitting against the
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON THE RABBLE
54: ON FREE
Many die too late, and a few die too early. The
doctrine still sounds strange: "Die at the right timely"
Die at the right time-thus teaches Zarathustra. Of
course, how could those who never live at the right time
die at the right time? Would that they had never been
born Thus I counsel the superfluous. But even the
superfluous still make a fuss about their dying; and
even the hollowest nut still wants to be cracked. Everybody considers dying important; but as yet death is no
festival. As yet men have not learned how one hallows
the most beautiful festivals.
I show you the death that consummates-a spur and
a promise to the survivors. He that consummates his
life dies his death victoriously, surrounded by those
who hope and promise. Thus should one learn to die;
and there should be no festival where one dying thus
does not hallow the oaths of the living.
To die thus is best; second to this, however, is to die
fighting and to squander a great soul. But equally hateful to the fighter and the victor is your grinning death,
which creeps up like a thief-and yet comes as the
My death I praise to you, the free death which
comes to me because I want it. And when shall I want
it? He who has a goal and an heir will want death at
the right time for his goal and heir. And from reverence
for his goal and heir he will hang no more dry wreaths
in the sanctuary of life. Verily, I do not want to be like
the ropemakers: they drag out their threads and always
Some become too old even for their truths and victories: a toothless mouth no longer has the right to
every truth. And everybody who wants fame must take
leave of honor betimes and practice the difficult art of
leaving at the right time.
One must cease letting oneself be eaten when one
tastes best: that is known to those who want to be
loved long. There are sour apples, to be sure, whose lot
requires that they wait till the last day of autumn: and
they become ripe, yellow, and wrinkled all at once. In
some, the heart grows old first; in others, the spirit.
And some are old in their youth. but late youth preserves long youth.
For some, life turns out badly: a poisonous worm eats
its way to their heart. Let them see to it that their dying turns out that much better. Some never become
sweet; they rot already in the summer. It is cowardice
that keeps them on their branch.
All-too-many live, and all-too-long they hang on their
branches. Would that a storm came to shake all this
worm-eaten Tot from the tree
Would that there came preachers of quick death! I
would like them as the true storms and shakers of the
trees of life. But I hear only slow death preached, and
patience with everything "earthly."
Alas, do you preach patience with the earthly? It is
the earthly that has too much patience with you, blasphemersl
Verily, that Hebrew died too early whom the preachers of slow death honor; and for many it has become a
calamity that he died too early. As yet he knew only
tears and the melancholy of the Hebrew, and hatred of
the good and the just-the Hebrew Jesus: then the
longing for death overcame him. Would that he had
remained in the wilderness and far from the good and
the just Perhaps he would have learned to live and to
love the earth-and laughter too.
Believe me, my brothers! He died too early; he himself would have recanted his teaching, had he reached
my age. Noble enough was he to recant. But he was not
yet mature. Immature is the love of the youth, and immature his hatred of man and earth. His mind and the
wings of his spirit are still tied down and heavy.
But in the man there is more of the child than in the
youth, and less melancholy: he knows better how to die
and to live. Free to die and free in death, able to say a
holy No when the time for Yes has' passed: thus he
knows how to die and to live.
That your dying be no blasphemy against man and
earth, my friends, that I ask of the honey of your soul.
In your dying, your spirit and virtue should still glow
like a sunset around the earth: else your dying has
turned out badly.
Thus I want to die myself that you, my friends, may
love the earth more for my sake; and to earth I want
to return that I may find rest in her who gave birth to
Verily, Zarathustra had a goal; he threw his ball:
now you, my friends, are the heirs of my goal; to you I
throw my golden ball. More than anything, I like to see
you, my friends, throwing the golden ball. And so I still
linger a little on the earth: forgive me for that.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON FREE DEATH
55: ON THE WAY OF THE CREATOR
Is it your wish, my brother, to go into solitude? Is
it your wish to seek the way to yourself? Then linger
a moment, and listen to me.
"He who seeks, easily gets lost. All loneliness is
guilt"-thus speaks the herd. And you have long belonged to the herd. The voice of the herd will still be
audible in you. And when you will say, "I no longer
have a common conscience with you," it will be a
lament and an agony. Behold, this agony itself was
born of the common conscience, and the last glimmer
of that conscience still glows on your affliction.
But do you want to go the way of your affliction,
which is the way to yourself? Then show me your right
and your strength to do so. Are you a new strength
and a new right? A first movement? A self-propelled
wheel? Can you compel the very stars to revolve
Alas, there is so much lusting for the heights There
are so many convulsions of the ambitious. Show me
that you are not one of the lustful and ambitious.
Alas, there are so many great thoughts which do
no more than a bellows: they puff up and make emptier.
You call yourself free? Your dominant thought I
want to hear, and not that you have escaped from a
yoke. Are you one of those who had the right to escape
from a yoke? There are some who threw away their
last value when they threw away their servitude.
Free from what? As if that mattered to Zarathustral
But your eyes should tell me brightly: free for what?
Can you give yourself your own evil and your own
good and hang your own will over yourself as a law?
Can you be your own judge and avenger of your law?
Terrible it is to be alone with the judge and avenger
of one's own law. Thus is a star thrown out into the
void and into the icy breath of solitude. Today you
are still suffering from the many, being one: today
your courage and your hopes are still whole. But the
time will come when solitude will make you weary,
when your pride will double up, and your courage
gnash its teeth. And you will cry, "I am alone" The
time will come when that which seems high to you
will no longer be in sight, and that which seems low will
be all-too-near; even what seems sublime to you will
frighten you like a ghost. And you will cry, "All is
There are feelings which want to kill the lonely; and
if they do not succeed, well, then they themselves
must die. But are you capable of this-to be a murderer?
My brother, do you know the word "contempt" yet?
And the agony of your justice-being just to those who
despise you? You force many to relearn about you;
they charge it bitterly against you. You came close to
them and yet passed by: that they will never forgive.
You pass over and beyond them: but the higher you
ascend, the smaller you appear to the eye of envy. But
most of all they hate those who fly.
"How would you be just to me?" you must say. "I
choose your injustice as my proper lot." Injustice and
filth they throw after the lonely one: but, my brother,
if you would be a star, you must not shine less for
them because of that.
And beware of the good and the just They like to
crucify those who invent their own virtue for themselves-they hate the lonely one. Beware also of holy
simplicity Everything that is not simple it considers
unholy; it also likes to play with fire-the stake. And
beware also of the attacks of your lovely The lonely
one offers his hand too quickly to whomever he encounters. To some people you may not give your band,
only a paw: and I desire that your paw should also
But the worst enemy you can encounter will always
be you, yourself; you lie in wait for yourself in caves
Lonely one, you are going the way to yourself. And
your way leads past yourself and your seven devils.
You will be a heretic to yourself and a witch and
soothsayer and fool and doubter and unholy one and a
villain. You must wish to consume yourself in your
own flame: how could you wish to become new unless
you had first become ashes!
Lonely one, you are going the way of the creator:
you would create a god for yourself out of your seven
Lonely one, you are going the way of the lover:
yourself you love, and therefore you despise yourself,
as only lovers despise. The lover would create because
he despises. What does he know of love who did not
have to despise precisely what he loved
Co into your loneliness with your love and with
your creation, my brother; and only much later will
justice limp after you.
With my tears go into your loneliness, my brother. I
love him who wants to create over and beyond himself and thus perishes.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON THE WAY OF THE CREATOR
ON THE TREE ON THE MOUNTAINSIDE
Zarathustra's eye had noted that a youth avoided
him. And one evening as he walked alone through the
mountains surrounding the town which is called The
Motley Cow-behold, on his walk he found this youth
as he sat leaning against a tree, looking wearily into
the valley. Zarathustra gripped the tree under which the
youth was sitting and spoke thus:
"If I wanted to shake this tree with my hands I
should not be able to do it. But the wind, which we
do not see, tortures and bends it in whatever direction
it pleases. It is by invisible hands that we are bent and
Then the youth got up in consternation and said: "I
hear Zarathustra, and just now I was thinking of him."
Zarathustra replied: "Why should that frighten you?
But it is with man as it is with the tree. The more he
aspires to the height and light, the more strongly do
his roots strive earthward, downward, into the dark,
the deep-into evil."
"Yes, into evil" cried the youth. "How is it possible
that you discovered my soul?"
Zarathustra smiled and said: "Some souls one will
never discover, unless one invents them first."
"Yes, into evil" the youth cried once more. "You
have spoken the truth, Zarathustra. I no longer trust
myself since I aspire to the height, and nobody trusts
me any more; how did this happen? I change too fast:
my today refutes my yesterday. I often skip steps when
I climb: no step forgives me that. When I am at the
top I always find myself alone. Nobody speaks to me;
the frost of loneliness makes me shiver. What do I
want up high? My contempt and my longing grow at
the same time; the higher I climb, the more I despise
the climber. What does he want up high? How ashamed
I am of my climbing and stumbling! How I mock at
my violent panting! How I hate the fliert How weary
I am up highly"
Here the youth stopped. And Zarathustra contemplated the tree beside which they stood and spoke thus:
"This tree stands lonely here in the mountains; it grew
high above man and beast. And if it wanted to speak
it would have nobody who could understand it, so
high has it grown. Now it waits and waits-for what
is it waiting? It dwells too near the seat of the clouds:
surely, it waits for the first lightning."
When Zarathustra had said this the youth cried with
violent gestures: "Yes, Zarathustra, you are speaking
the truth. I longed to go under when I aspired to the
height, and you are the lightning for which I waited.
Behold, what am I, now that you have appeared
among us? It is the envy of you that has destroyed me."
Thus spoke the youth, and he wept bitterly. But Zarathustra put his arm around him and led him away.
And when they had walked together for a while,
Zarathustra began to speak thus: "It tears my heart.
Better than your words tell it, your eyes tell me of
all your dangers. You are not yet free, you still search
for freedom. You are worn from your search and overawake. You aspire to the free heights, your soul thirsts
for the stars. But your wicked instincts, too, thirst for
freedom. Your wild dogs want freedom; they bark with
joy in their cellar when your spirit plans to open all
prisons. To me you are still a prisoner who is plotting
his freedom: alas, in such prisoners the soul becomes
clever, but also deceitful and bad. And even the liber-
ated spirit must still purify himself. Much prison and
mustiness still remain in him: his eyes must still become pure.
"Indeed, I know your danger. But by my love and hope
I beseech you: do not throw away your love and hope.
"You still feel noble, and the others too feel your
nobility, though they bear you a grudge and send you
evil glances. Know that the noble man stands in everybody's way. The noble man stands in the way of the
good too: and even if they call him one of the good,
they thus want to do away with him. The noble man
wants to create something new and a new virtue. The
good want the old, and that the old be preserved. But
this is not the danger of the noble man, that he might
become one of the good, but a churl, a locker, a
"Alas, I knew noble men who lost their highest hope.
Then they slandered all high hopes. Then they lived
impudently in brief pleasures and barely cast their goals
beyond the day. Spirit too is lust, so they said. Then
the wings of their spirit broke: and now their spirit
crawls about and soils what it gnaws. Once they thought
of becoming heroes: now they are voluptuaries. The
hero is for them an offense and a fright.
"But by my love and hope I beseech you: do not
throw away the hero in your soul! Hold holy your highest hope!"
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON THE TREE ON THE MOUNTAINSIDE
Not the height but the precipice is terrible. That
precipice where the glance plunges down and the hand
reaches up. There the heart becomes giddy confronted
with its double will. Alas, friends, can you guess what is
my heart's double will?
This, this is my precipice and my danger, that my
glance plunges into the height and that my hand would
grasp and hold on to the depth. My will clings to man;
with fetters I bind myself to man because I am swept
up toward the overman; for that way my other will
wants to go. And therefore I live blind among men as
if I did not know them, that my hand might not wholly
lose its faith in what is firm.
I do not know you men: this darkness and consolation
are often spread around me. I sit at the gateway, exposed to every rogue, and I ask: who wants to deceive
me? That is the first instance of my human prudence,
that I let myself be deceived in order not to be on guard
against deceivers. Alas, if I were on guard against men,
how could man then be an anchor for my ball? I should
be swept up and away too easily. This providence lies
over my destiny, that I must be without caution.
And whoever does not want to die of thirst among
men must learn to drink out of all cups; and whoever
would stay clean among men must know how to wash
even with dirty water. And thus I often comforted myself, "Well then, old heart! One misfortune failed you;
enjoy this as your good fortune."
This, however, is the second instance of my human
prudence: I spare the vain more than the proud. Is not
hurt vanity the mother of all tragedies? But where pride
is hurt, there something better than pride is likely to
That life may be good to look at, its play must be
well acted; but for that good actors are needed. All the
vain are good actors: they act and they want people
to enjoy looking at them; all their spirit is behind
this will. They enact themselves, they invent themselves; near them I love to look at life: that cures my
melancholy. Therefore I spare the vain, for they are the
physicians of my melancholy and keep me attached to
life as to a play.
And then: who could fathom the full depth of the
modesty of the vain man? I am well disposed to him
and I pity his modesty. It is from you that he wants to
acquire his faith in himself; he nourishes himself on
your glances, he eats your praise out of your hands. He
even believes your lies if you lie well about him; for, at
bottom, his heart sighs: what am l? And if the true
virtue is the one that is unaware of itself-well, the
vain man is unaware of his modesty.
This, however, is the third instance of my human
prudence: that I do not permit the sight of the evil to
be spoiled for me by your timidity. I am delighted to
see the wonders hatched by a hot sun: tigers and palms
and rattlesnakes. Among men too a hot sun hatches a
beautiful breed. And there are many wonderful things
in those who are evil.
To be sure, even as your wisest men did not strike
me as so very wise, I found men's evil too smaller than
its reputation. And often I asked myself, shaking my
head: why go on rattling, you rattlesnakes?
Verily, there is yet a future for evil too. And the
hottest south has not yet been discovered for man. How
many things are now called grossest wickedness and
are yet only twelve shoes wide and three months long
One day, however, bigger dragons will come into this
world. For in order that the overman should not lack
his dragon, the overdragon that is worthy of him, much
hot sunshine must yet glow upon damp jungles. Your
wildcats must first turn into tigers, and your poisonous
toads into crocodiles; for the good hunter shall have
Verily, you who are good and just, there is much
about you that is laughable, and especially your fear
of that which has hitherto been called devil. What is
great is so alien to your souls that the overman would
be awesome to you in his kindness. And you who are
wise and knowing, you would flee from the burning
sun of that wisdom in which the overman joyously
bathes his nakedness. You highest men whom my eyes
have seen, this is my doubt concerning you and my
secret laughter: I guess that you would call my overman-devil.
Alas, I have wearied of these highest and best men:
from their "height" I longed to get up, out, and away
to the overman. A shudder came over me when I saw
these best ones naked; then I grew wings to soar off
into distant futures. Into more distant futures, into more
southern souths than any artist ever dreamed of-where
gods are ashamed of all clothes. But I want to see you
disguised, my neighbors and fellow men, and well
decked out, and vain, and dignified, as "the good and
the just." And I myself want to sit among you disguised-mis/udging you and myself: for that is the
final instance of my human prudence.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON HUMAN PRUDENCE
58: ON THE
You have served the people and the superstition of
the people, all you famous wise men-and not truth.
And that is precisely why you were accorded respect.
And that is also why your lack of faith was tolerated:
it was a joke and a circuitous route to the people. Thus
the master lets his slaves have their way and is even
amused by their pranks.
But the free spirit, the enemy of fetters, the nonadorer who dwells in the woods, is as hateful to the
people as a wolf to dogs. To hound him out of his lair
-that is what the people have ever called "a sense of
decency"; and against him the people still set their
"Truth is there: after all, the people are there Let
those who seek beware1"-these words have echoed
through the ages. You wanted to prove your people
right in their reverence: that is what you called "will
to truth," you famous wise men. And your hearts ever
said to themselves: "From among the people I came,
and from there too the voice of God came to me. As
the people's advocates you have always been stiff-necked
and clever like asses.
And many who were powerful and wanted to get
along smoothly with the people harnessed in front of
their horses a little ass, a famous wise man.
And now I should wish, you famous wise men, that
you would at long last throw off the lion's skin completely. The skin of the beast of prey, mottled, and the
mane of those who search, seek, and conquer.
Oh, to make me believe in your "truthfulness" you
would first have to break your revering will.
Truthful I call him who goes into godless deserts,
having broken his revering heart. In the yellow sands,
burned by the sun, he squints thirstily at the islands
abounding in wells, where living things rest under dark
trees. Yet his thirst does not persuade him to become
like these, dwelling in comfort; for where there are
oases there are also idols.
Hungry, violent, lonely, godless: thus the lion-will
wants itself. Free from the happiness of slaves, redeemed from gods and adorations, fearless and fearinspiring, great and lonely: such is the will of the truthful.
It was ever in the desert that the truthful have dwelt,
the free spirits, as masters of the desert; but in the
cities dwell the well-fed, famous wise men-the beasts
of burden. For, as asses, they always pull the people's
cart. Not that I am angry with them for that: but for
me they remain such as serve and work in a harness,
even when they shine in harnesses of gold. And often
they have been good servants, worthy of praise. For thus
speaks virtue: "If you must be a servant, seek him who
profits most from your service. The spirit and virtue of
your master shall grow by your being his servant: then
you yourself will grow with his spirit and his virtue."
And verily, you famous wise men, you servants of the
people, you yourselves have grown with the spirit and
virtue of the people-and the people through you. In
your honor I say this. But even in your virtues you rexnain for me part of the people, the dumb-eyed people
-the people, who do not know what spirit is.
Spirit is the life that itself cuts into life: with its own
agony it increases its own knowledge. Did you know
And the happiness of the spirit is this: to be anointed
and through tears to be consecrated as a sacrificial
animal. Did you know that?
And the blindness of the blind and their seeking and
groping shall yet bear witness to the power of the sun,
into which they have looked. Did you know that?
And the lover of knowledge shall learn to build with
mountains. It means little that the spirit moves mountains. Did you know that?
You know only the spark of the spirit, but you do not
see the anvil it is, nor the cruelty of its hammer.
Verily, you do not know the pride of the spirit! But
even less would you endure the modesty of the spirit,
if ever it would speak.
And you have never yet been able to cast your spirit
into a pit of snow: you are not hot enough for that.
Hence you also do not know the ecstasies of its coldness.
In all things, however, you act too familiarly with the
spirit, and you have often made wisdom into a poorhouse and a hospital for bad poets.
You are no eagles: hence you have never experienced
the happiness that is in the terror of the spirit. And he
who is not a bird should not build his nest over abysses.
You are lukewarm to me, but all profound knowledge
fows cold. Ice cold are the inmost wells of the spirit:
refreshing for hot hands and men of action. You stand
there honorable and stiff and with straight backs, you
famous wise men: no strong wind and will drives you.
Have you never seen a sail go over the sea, rounded
and taut and trembling with the violence of the wind?
Like the sail, trembling with the violence of the spirit,
my wisdom goes over the sea-my wild wisdom.
But you servants of the people, you famous wise
men-how could you go with me?
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON THE FAMOUS WISE MEN
Into your eyes I looked recently, 0 life: I saw gold
blinking in your night-eye; my heart stopped in delight:
a golden boat I saw blinking on nocturnal waters, a
golden rocking-boat, sinking, drinking, and winking
again. At my foot, frantic to dance, you cast a glance, a
laughing, questioning, melting rocking-glance: twice
only you stirred your rattle with your small hands, and
my foot was already rocking with dancing frenzy.
My heels twitched, then my toes hearkened to understand you, and rose: for the dancer has his ear in his
I leaped toward you, but you fled back from my leap,
and the tongue of your fleeing, flying hair licked me in
Away from you I leaped, and from your serpents' ire;
and already you stood there, half turned, your eyes full
With crooked glances you teach me-crooked ways;
on crooked ways my foot learns treachery.
I fear you near, I love you far; your flight lures me,
your seeking cures me: I suffer, but what would I not
gladly suffer for you?
You, whose coldness fires, whose hatred seduces,
whose flight binds, whose scorn inspires:
Who would not hate you, you great binder, entwiner,
temptress, seeker, and finder? Who would not love you,
you innocent, impatient, wind-swift, child-eyed sinner?
Whereto are you luring me now, you never-tame extreme? And now you are fleeing from me again, you
sweet wildcat and ingratel
I dance after you, I follow wherever your traces
linger. Where are you? Give me your hand! Or only one
Here are caves and thickets; we shall get lost. Stop!
Stand still Don't you see owls and bats whirring past?
You owll You batl Intent to confound Where are we?
Such howling and yelping you have learned from a
Your lovely little white teeth are gnashing at me; out
of a curly little mane your evil eyes are flashing at me.
That is a dance up high and down low: I am the
hunter; would you be my dog or my doe?
Alongside me nowl And swift, you malicious leaping
belle! Now up and over there Alas, as I leaped I fell.
Oh, see me lying there, you prankster, suing for
grace. I should like to walk with you in a lovelier place.
Love's paths through silent bushes, past many-hued
plants. Or there along that lake: there goldfish swim
You are weary now? Over there are sunsets and
sheep: when shepherds play on their flutes-is it not
lovely to sleep?
You are so terribly weary? I'll carry you there; just
let your arms sink. And if you are thirsty-I have got
something, but your mouth does not want it to drink.
Oh, this damned nimble, supple snake and slippery
witch! Where are you? In my face two red blotches
from your hand itch.
I am verily weary of always being your sheepish
shepherd. You witch, if I have so far sung to you, now
you shall cry.
Keeping time with my whip, you shall dance and cryl
Or have I forgotten the whip? Not II
Then life answered me thus, covering up her delicate
ears: "O Zarathustra, don't crack your whip so frightfullyl After all, you know that noise murders thoughtand just now such tender thoughts are coming to me. We
are both two real good-for-nothings and evil-for-nothings. Beyond good and evil we found our island and
our green meadow-we two alone. Therefore we had
better like each other. And even if we do not love each
other from the heart-need we bear each other a
grudge if we do not love each other from the heart?
And that I like you, often too well, that you know; and
the reason is that I am jealous of your wisdom. Oh, this
mad old fool of a wisdom! If your wisdom ever ran
away from you, then my love would quickly run away
from you too."
Then life looked back and around thoughtfully and
said softly: "O Zarathustra, you are not faithful enough
to me. You do not love me nearly as much as you say;
I know you are thinking of leaving me soon. There is
an old heavy, heavy growl-bell that growls at night all
the way up to your cave; when you hear this bell strike
the hour at midnight, then you think between one and
twelve-you think, 0 Zarathustra, I know it, of how you
want to leave me soon."
"Yes," I answered hesitantly, "but you also know-"
and I whispered something into her ear, right through
her tangled yellow foolish tresses.
"You know that, 0 Zarathustra? Nobody knows that."
And we looked at each other and gazed on the green
meadow over which the cool evening was running just
then, and we wept together. But then life was dearer to
me than all my wisdom ever was.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
0 man, take care
What does the deep midnight declare?
"I was asleepFour!
"From a deep dream I woke and swear:
"The world is deep,
"Deeper than day had been aware.
"Deep is its woe;
"Joy-deeper yet than agony:
"Woe implores: Gol
"But all joy wants eternity-
'Wants deep, wants deep eternity."
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, THE OTHER DANCING SONG
60: ON IMMACULATE
When the moon rose yesterday I fancied that she
wanted to give birth to a sun: so broad and pregnant
she lay on the horizon. But she lied to me with her
pregnancy; and I should sooner believe in the man in
the moon than in the woman.
Indeed, he is not much of a man either, this shy
nocturnal enthusiast. Verily, with a bad conscience he
passes over the roofs. For he is lecherous and jealous,
the monk in the moon, lecherous after the earth and all
the joys of lovers.
No, I do not like him, this tomcat on the roofs! I
loa the all that crawl about half-closed windows! Piously
and silently he passes over carpets of stars; but I do not
like softly treading men's feet, on which no spur
jingles. The step of everything honest speaks; but the
cat steals over the ground. Behold, like a cat the moon
comes along, dishonestly.
This parable I offer you, sentimental hypocrites, you
who are "pure perceivers." I call you-lechers.
You too love the earth and the earthly: I have seen
through you; but there is shame in your love and bad
conscience-you are like the moon. Your spirit has been
persuaded to despise the earthly; but your entrails have
not been persuaded, and they are what is strongest in
you. And now your spirit is ashamed at having given in
to your entrails, and, to hide from its shame, it sneaks
on furtive and lying paths.
"This would be the highest to my mind"-thus says
your lying spirit to itself-"to look at life without desire
and not, like a dog, with my tongue hanging out. To be
happy in looking, with a will that has died and without
the grasping and greed of selfishness, the whole body
cold and ashen, but with drunken moon eyes. This I
should like best"-thus the seduced seduces himself"to love the earth as the moon loves her, and to touch
her beauty only with my eyes. And this is what the immaculate perception of all things shall mean to me: that
I want nothing from them, except to be allowed to lie
prostrate before them like a mirror with a hundred
o you sentimental hypocrites, you lechers! You lack
innocence in your desire and therefore you slander all
desire. Verily, it is not as creators, procreators, and
those who have joy in becoming that you love the earth.
Where is innocence? Where there is a will to procreate.
And he who wants to create beyond himself has the
Where is beauty? Where I must will with all my will;
where I want to love and perish that an image may not
remain a mere image. Loving and perishing: that has
rhymed for eternities. The will to love, that is to be
willing also to die. Thus I speak to you cowards
But now your emasculated leers wish to be called
contemplation." And that which permits itself to be
touched by cowardly glances you would baptize "beautiful." How you soil noble names!
But this shall be your curse, you who are immaculate,
you pure perceivers, that you shall never give birth,
even if you lie broad and pregnant on the horizon.
Verily, you fill your mouth with noble words; and are
we to believe that your heart is overflowing, you liars?
But my words are small, despised, crooked words:
gladly I pick up what falls under the table at your
meals. I can still use it to tell hypocrites the truth.
Indeed, my fishbones, clamshells, and thorny leaves
shall tickle the noses of hypocrites. Bad air always surrounds you and your meals: for your lecherous thoughts,
your lies and secrets, are in the air. Would that you
dared to believe yourselves-yourselves and your entrails. Whoever does not believe himself always lies.
Behind a god's mask you hide from yourselves, in
your "purity"; your revolting worm has crawled into a
god's mask. Verily, you deceive with your "contemplation." Zarathustra too was once fooled by your godlike
skins and did not realize that they were stuffed with
snakes' coils. I once fancied that I saw a god's soul at
play in your play, you pure perceivers. No better art I
once fancied than your arts. Snakes' filth and bad odors
were concealed from me by the distance, and that the
cunning of a lizard was crawling around lecherously.
But I came close to you, and the day dawned on me,
and now it dawns on you too; the moon's love has come
to an end. Look there Caught and pale he stands there,
confronted by the dawn. For already she approaches,
glowing; her love for the earth approaches. All solar
love is innocence and creative longing.
Look there: how she approaches impatiently over the
sea. Do you not feel the thirst and the hot breath of
her love? She would suck at the sea and drink its depth
into her heights; and the sea's desire rises toward her
with a thousand breasts. It wants to be kissed and
sucked by the thirst of the sun; it wants to become air
and height and a footpath of light, and itself light.
Verily, like the sun I love life and all deep seas. And
this is what perceptive knowledge means to me: all that
is deep shall rise up to my heights.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON IMMACULATE PERCEPTION
And Zarathustra ran and ran and did not find anybody any more, and he was alone and found himself
again and again, and he enjoyed and quaffed his
solitude and thought of good things for hours. But
around the hour of noon, when the sun stood straight
over Zarathustra's head, he came to an old crooked
and knotty tree that was embraced, and hidden from
itself, by the rich love of a grapevine; and yellow
grapes hung from it in abundance, inviting the wanderer. Then he felt the desire to quench a slight thirst
and to break off a grape; but even as he was stretching out his arm to do so, he felt a still greater desire for
something else: namely, to lie down beside the tree at
the perfect noon hour, and to sleep.
This Zarathustra did; and as soon as he lay on the
ground in the stillness and secrecy of the many-hued
grass, he forgot his slight thirst and fell asleep. For, as
Zarathustra's proverb says, one thing is more necessary
than another. Only his eyes remained open: for they
did not tire of seeing and praising the tree and the
love of the grapevine. Falling asleep, however, Zarathustra spoke thus to his heart:
Still! Still! Did not the world become perfect just
now? What is happening to me? As a delicate wind
dances unseen on an inlaid sea, light, feather-light,
thus sleep dances on me. My eyes he does not close,
my soul he leaves awake. Light he is, verily, featherlight. He persuades me, I know not how. He touches
me inwardly with caressing hands, he conquers me. Yes,
he conquers me and makes my soul stretch out: how
she is becoming long and tired, my strange soul! Did
the eve of a seventh day come to her at noon? Has she
already roamed happily among good and ripe things
too long? She stretches out long, long-longer. She
lies still, my strange soul. Too much that is good has
she tasted; this golden sadness oppresses her, she makes
a wry mouth.
Like a ship that has sailed into its stillest cove-now
it leans against the earth, tired of the long voyages
and the uncertain seas. Is not the earth more faithful?
The way such a ship lies close to, and nestles to, the
land-it is enough if a spider spins its thread to it from
the land: no stronger ropes are needed now. Like such
a tired ship in the stillest cove, I too rest now near the
earth, faithful, trusting, waiting, tied to it with the
0 happiness! 0 happiness! Would you sing, 0 my
soul? You are lying in the grass. But this is the secret
solemn hour when no shepherd plays his pipe. Refrain!
Hot noon sleeps on the meadows. Do not single Stilll
The world is perfect. Do not sing, you winged one in
the grass, 0 my soul-do not even whisper Behold-
still!-the old noon sleeps, his mouth moves: is he not
just now drinking a drop of happiness, an old brown
drop of golden happiness, golden wine? It slips over
him, his happiness laughs. Thus laughs a god. Still!
"O happiness, how little is sufficient for happiness!"
Thus I spoke once and seemed clever to myself. But
it was a blasphemy: that I have learned now. Clever
fools speak better. Precisely the least, the softest,
lightest, a lizard's rustling, a breath, a breeze, a moment's glance-it is little that makes the best happiness.
What happened to me? Listen Did time perhaps fly
away? Do I not fall? Did I not fall-listen!-into the
well of eternity? What is happening to me? Still! I
have been stung, alas-in the heart? In the heart! Oh
break, break, heart, after such happiness, after such a
sting. How? Did not the world become perfect just
now? Round and ripe? Oh, the golden round ringwhere may it fly? Shall I run after it? Quick! Still! (And
here Zarathustra stretched and felt that he was asleep.)
"Upl" he said to himself; "you sleeper You noon
napperl Well, get up, old legsl It is time and overtime;
many a good stretch of road still lies ahead of you. Now
you have slept out-how long? Half an eternity! Well!
Up with you now, my old heart! After such a sleep, how
long will it take you to-wake it off?" (But then he
fell asleep again, and his soul spoke against him and
resisted and lay down again.) "Leave me alone Stilll
Did not the world become perfect just now? Oh, the
golden round ball"
"Get upl" said Zarathustra, "you little thief, you
lazy little thief of time What? Still stretching, yawning,
sighing, falling into deep wells? Who are you? 0 my
soul!" (At this point he was startled, for a sunbeam fell
from the sky onto his face.) "O heaven over mel" he
said, sighing, and sat up. "You are looking on? You are
listening to my strange soul? When will you drink this
drop of dew which has fallen upon all earthly things?
When will you drink this strange soul? When, well of
eternity? Cheerful, dreadful abyss of noonl When will
you drink my soul back into yourself?"
Thus spoke Zarathustra, and he got up from his
resting place at the tree as from a strange drunkenness;
and behold, the sun still stood straight over his head.
But from this one might justly conclude that Zarathustra had not slept long.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, AT NOON
"Since I have come to know the body better," Zarathustra said to one of his disciples, "the spirit is to me
only quasi-spirit; and all that is 'permanent is also a
"I have heard you say that once before," the disciple
replied; "and at that time you added, 'But the poets lie
too much.' Why did you say that the poets lie too
"Why?" said Zarathustra. "You ask, why? I am not
one of those whom one may ask about their why. Is my
experience but of yesterday? It was long ago that I
experienced the reasons for my opinions. Would I not
have to be a barrel of memory if I wanted to carry my
reasons around with me? It is already too much for me
to remember my own opinions; and many a bird flies
away. And now and then I also find a stray in my dovecot that is strange to me and trembles when I place my
hand on it. But what was it that Zarathustra once said to
you? That the poets lie too much? But Zarathustra too
is a poet. Do you now believe that he spoke the truth
here? Why do you believe that?"
The disciple answered, "I believe in Zarathustra.'
But Zarathustra shook his head and smiled.
"Faith does not make me blessed," he said, 'especially
not faith in me. But suppose somebody said in all seriousness, the poets lie too much: he would be right; we
do lie too much. We also know too little and we are
bad learners; so we simply have to lie. And who among
us poets has not adulterated his wine? Many a poisonous
hodgepodge has been contrived in our cellars; much
that is indescribable was accomplished there. And because we know so little, the poor in spirit please us
heartily, particularly when they are young females. And
we are covetous even of those things which the old
females tell each other in the evening. That is what we
ourselves call the Eternal-Feminine in us. And, as if
there were a special secret access to knowledge, buried
for those who learn something, we believe in the people
and their 'wisdom.'
"This, however, all poets believe: that whoever
pricks up his ears as he lies in the grass or on lonely
slopes will find out something about those things that
are between heaven and earth. And when they feel
tender sentiments stirring, the poets always fancy that
nature herself is in love with them; and that she is
creeping to their ears to tell them secrets and amorous
flatteries; and of this they brag and boast before all
'Alas, there are so many things between heaven and
earth of which only the poets have dreamed.
"And especially above the heavens: for all gods are
poets' parables, poets' prevarications. Verily, it always
lifts us higher-specifically, to the realm of the clouds:
upon these we place our motley bastards and call them
gods and overmen. For they are just light enough for
these chairs-all these gods and overmen. Ah, how
weary I am of all the imperfection which must at all
costs become events Ah, how weary I am of poets!"
When Zarathustra spoke thus, his disciple was angry
with him, but he remained silent. And Zarathustra too
remained silent; and his eye had turned inward as if he
were gazing into vast distances. At last he sighed and
drew a deep breath.
"I am of today and before," he said then, "but there
is something in me that is of tomorrow and the day after
tomorrow and time to come. I have grown weary of the
poets, the old and the new: superficial they all seem to
me, and shallow seas. Their thoughts have not penetrated deeply enough; therefore their feelings did not
"Some lust and some boredom: that has so far been
their best reflection. All their harp jingling is to me the
breathing and flitting of ghosts; what have they ever
known of the fervor of tones?
"Nor are they clean enough for me: they all muddy
their waters to make them appear deep. And they like
to pose as reconcilers: but mediators and mixers they
remain for me, and half-and-half and unclean.
"Alas, I cast my net into their seas and wanted to
catch good fish; but I always pulled up the head of
some old god. Thus the sea gave him who was hungry a
stone. And they themselves may well have come from
the sea. Certainly, pearls are found in them: they are
that much more similar to hard shellfish. And instead
of a soul I often found salted slime in them.
"From the sea they learned even its vanity: is not the
sea the peacock of peacocks? Even before the ugliest
buffalo it still spreads out its tail, and never wearies of
its lace fan of silver and silk. Sulky, the buffalo stares
back, close to the sand in his soul, closer still to the
thicket, closest of all to the swamp. What are beauty
and sea and peacock's finery to him? This parable I
offer the poets. Verily, their spirit itself is the peacock of
peacocks and a sea of vanity! The spirit of the poet
craves spectators-even if only buffaloes.
"But I have grown weary of this spirit; and I foresee
that it will grow weary of itself. I have already seen thepoets changed, with their glances turned back on themselves. I saw ascetics of the spirit approach; they grew
out of the poets."
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON POETS
o heaven above me, pure and deep! You abyss of
lightly Seeing you, I tremble with godlike desires. To
throw myself into your height, that is my depth. To
hide in your purity, that is my innocence.
Gods are shrouded by their beauty; thus you conceal
your stars. You do not speak; thus you proclaim your
wisdom to me. Today you rose for me silently over the
roaring sea; your love and your shyness are a revelation
to my roaring soul. That you came to me, beautiful,
shrouded in your beauty, that you speak to me silently,
revealing your wisdom-oh, how should I not guess
all that is shy in your soul! Before the sun you came to
me, the loneliest of all.
We are friends from the beginning: we share grief
and ground and gray dread; we even share the sun.
We do not speak to each other, because we know
too much; we are silent to each other, we smile our
knowledge at each other. Are you not the light for my
fire? Have you not the sister soul to my insight? Together we have learned everything; together we have
learned to ascend over ourselves to ourselves and to
smile cloudlessly-to smile down cloudlessly from
bright eyes and from a vast distance when constraint
and contrivance and guilt steam beneath us like rain.
And when I wandered alone, for whom did my soul
hunger at night, on false paths? And when I climbed
mountains, whom did I always seek on the mountains,
if not you? And all my wandering and mountain climbing were sheer necessity and a help in my helplessness:
what I want with all my will is to fly, to fly up into you.
And whom did I hate more than drifting clouds and
all that stains you? And I hated even my own hatred
because it stained you. I loa the the drifting clouds,
those stealthy great cats which prey on what you and
I have in common-the uncanny, unbounded Yes and
Amen. We loa the these mediators and mixers, the drifting clouds that are half-and-half and have learned
neither to bless nor to curse from the heart.
Rather would I sit in a barrel under closed heavens,
rather sit in the abyss without a heaven, than see you,
bright heaven, stained by drifting clouds.
And often I had the desire to tie them fast with the
jagged golden wires of the lightning, that, like thunder, I might beat the big drums on their kettle-bellyan angry kettle-drummer-because they rob me of
your Yes and Amen, 0 heaven over me, pure and lightly
You abyss of light! Because they rob you of my Yes and
Amen. For I prefer even noise and thunder and stormcurses to this deliberate, doubting cats' calm; and
among men too I hate most of all the soft-treaders and
those who are half-and-half and doubting, tottering
And "whoever cannot bless should learn to curse"this bright doctrine fell to me from a bright heaven;
this star stands in my heaven even in black nights.
But I am one who can bless and say Yes, if only you
are about me, pure and light, you abyss of light; then
I carry the blessings of my Yes into all abysses. I have
become one who blesses and says Yes; and I fought
long for that and was a fighter that I might one day
get my hands free to bless. But this is my blessing: to
stand over every single thing as its own heaven, as its
round roof, its azure bell, and eternal security; and
blessed is he who blesses thus.
For all things have been baptized in the well of
eternity and are beyond good and evil; and good and
evil themselves are but intervening shadows and damp
depressions and drifting clouds.
Verily, it is a blessing and not a blasphemy when I
teach: "Over all things stand the heaven Accident, the
heaven Innocence, the heaven Chance, the heaven
"By Chance"-that is the most ancient nobility of
the world, and this I restored to all things: I delivered
them from their bondage under Purpose. This freedom
and heavenly cheer I have placed over all things like
an azure bell when I taught that over them and through
them no "eternal will" wills. This prankish folly I have
put in the place of that will when I taught: "In everything one thing is impossible: rationality."
A little reason, to be sure, a seed of wisdom scattered
from star to star-this leaven is mixed in with all
things: for folly's sake, wisdom is mixed in with all
things. A little wisdom is possible indeed; but this
blessed certainty I found in all things: that they would
rather dance on the feet of Chance.
O heaven over me, pure and high! That is what your
purity is to me now, that there is no eternal spider or
spider web of reason; that you are to me a dance floor
for divine accidents, that you are to me a divine table
for divine dice and dice players. But you blush? Did I
speak the unspeakable? Did I blaspheme, wishing to
bless you? Or is it the shame of twosomeness that makes
you blush? Do you bid me go and be silent because
the day is coming now?
The world is deep-and deeper than day had ever
been aware. Not everything may be put into words in
the presence of the day. But the day is coming, so let
0 heaven over me, bashful and glowing! 0 you, my
happiness before sunrise The day is coming, so let us
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, BEFORE SUNRISE
ON THE FLIES OF THE MARKET PLACE
Flee, my friend, into your solitude! I see you dazed
by the noise of the great men and stung all over by
the stings of the little men. Woods and crags know
how to keep a dignified silence with you. Be like the
tree that you love with its wide branches: silently
listening, it hangs over the sea.
Where solitude ceases the market place begins; and
where the market place begins the noise of the great
actors and the buzzing of the poisonous flies begins too.
In the world even the best things amount to nothing
without someone to make a show of them: great men
the people call these showmen.
Little do the people comprehend the great-that is,
the creating. But they have a mind for all showmen
and actors of great things.
Around the inventors of new values the world revolves: invisibly it revolves. But around the actors
revolve the people and fame: that is "the way of the
The actor has spirit but little conscience of the
spirit. Always he has faith in that with which he inspires the most faith-faith in himself. Tomorrow he
has a new faith, and the day after tomorrow a newer
one. He has quick senses, like the people, and capricious moods. To overthrow-that means to him: to
prove. To drive to frenzy-that means to him: to persuade. And blood is to him the best of all reasons. A
truth that slips into delicate ears alone he calls a lie
and nothing. Verily, he believes only in gods who make
a big noise in the world!
Full of solemn jesters is the market place-and the
people pride themselves on their great men, the;:. masters of the hour. But the hour presses them; so they
press you. And from you too they want a Yes or No.
Alas, do you want to place your chair between pro and
Do not be jealous of these unconditional, pressing
men, you lover of truth! Never yet has truth hung on
the arm of the unconditional. On account of these
sudden men, go back to your security: it is only in
the market place that one is assaulted with Yes? or No?
Slow is the experience of all deep wells: long must
they wait before they know what fell into their depth.
Far from the market place and from fame happens
all that is great: far from the market place and from
fame the inventors of new values have always dwelt.
Flee, my friend, into your solitude: I see you stung
all over by poisonous flies. Flee where the air is raw
Flee into your solitude! You have lived too close to
the small and the miserable. Flee their invisible revengel Against you they are nothing but revenge.
No longer raise up your arm against them. Numberless are they, and it is not your lot to shoo flies.
Numberless are these small and miserable creatures;
and many a proud building has perished of raindrops
and weeds. You are no stone, but you have already
become hollow from many drops. You will yet burst
from many drops. I see you wearied by poisonous flies,
bloody in a hundred places; and your pride refuses
even to be angry. Blood is what they want from you in
all innocence. Their bloodless souls crave blood, and
so they sting in all innocence. But you, you deep one,
suffer too deeply even from small wounds; and even
before you have healed, the same poisonous worm
crawls over your hand. You are too proud to kill these
greedy creatures. But beware lest it become your downfall that you suffer all their poisonous injustice.
They hum around you with their praise too: obtrusiveness is their praise. They want the proximity of
your skin and your blood. They flatter you as a god or
devil; they whine before you as before a god or devil.
What does it matter? They are flatterers and whiners
and nothing more.
Often they affect charm. But that has always been
the cleverness of cowards. Indeed, cowards are cleverly
They think a lot about you with their petty soulsyou always seem problematic to them. Everything that
one thinks about a lot becomes problematic.
They punish you for all your virtues. They forgive
you entirely-your mistakes.
Because you are gentle and just in disposition you
say, "They are guiltless in their small existence." But
their petty souls think, "Guilt is every great existence."
Even when you are gentle to them they still feel
despised by you: and they return your benefaction with
hidden malefactions. Your silent pride always runs
counter to their taste; they are jubilant if for once you
are modest enough to be vain. That which we recognize in a person we also inflame in him: therefore, beware of the small creatures. Before you they feel small,
and their baseness glimmers and glows in invisible revenge. Have you not noticed how often they became
mute when you stepped among them, and how their
strength went from them like smoke from a dying fire?
Indeed, my friend, you are the bad conscience of
your neighbors: for they are unworthy of you. They
hate you, therefore, and would like to suck your blood.
Your neighbors will always be poisonous flies; that
which is great in you, just that must make them more
poisonous and more like flies.
Flee, my friend, into your solitude and where the
air is raw and strong! It is not your lot to shoo flies.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON THE FLIES OF THE MARKETPLACE
65:ON PASSING BY
Thus, walking slowly among many peoples and
through numerous towns, Zarathustra returned on
roundabout paths to his mountains and his cave. And
on the way he also came unexpectedly to the gate of the
great city; but here a foaming fool jumped toward him
with outspread hands and barred his way. This, however, was the same fool whom the people called "Zarathustra's ape": for he had gathered something of his
phrasing and cadences and also liked to borrow from
the treasures of his wisdom. But the fool spoke thus to
"O Zarathustra, here is the great city; here you could
find nothing and lose everything. Why do you want to
wade through this mire? Have pity on your foot Rather
spit on the city gate and turn back. Here is hell for a
hermit's thoughts: here great thoughts are boiled alive
and cooked till they are small. Here all great feelings
decay: only the smallest rattleboned feelings may rattle
here. Don't you smell the slaughterhouses and ovens of
the spirit even now? Does not this town steam with the
fumes of slaughtered spirit?
"Don't you see the soul hanging like a limp, dirty rag?
And they still make newspapers of these ragst
"Don't you hear how the spirit has here been reduced
to plays on words? It vomits revolting verbal swill. And
they still make newspapers of this swill!
"They hound each other and know not where. They
overheat each other and know not why. They tinkle
with their tin, they jingle with their gold. They are cold
and seek warmth from brandy; they are heated and seek
coolness from frozen spirits; they are all diseased and
sick with public opinions.
"All lusts and vices are at home here; but there are
also some here who are virtuous: there is much serviceable, serving virtue-much serviceable virtue with pen
fingers and hard sitting- and waiting-flesh, blessed with
little stars on the chest and with padded, rumpless
daughters. There is also much piety, and there are many
devout lickspittles, batteries of fakers and flattery-bakers
before the God of Hosts. For it is 'from above' that the
stars and the gracious spittle trickle; every starless chest
"The moon has her courtyard, and the courtyard has
its mooncalves; to everything, however, that comes from
the court, the beggarly mob and all serviceable beggarvirtue pray. 'I serve, you serve, we serve'-thus all
serviceable virtue prays to the prince, that the deserved
star may finally be pinned on the narrow chest.
"The moon, however, still revolves around all that is
earthly: So too the prince still revolves around that
which is earthliest-but that is the gold of the shopkeeper. The God of Hosts is no god of gold bars; the
prince proposes, but the shopkeeper disposes.
"By everything in you that is bright and strong and
good, 0 Zarathustra, spit on this city of shopkeepers
and turn back! Here all blood flows putrid and lukewarm and spumy through all the veins; spit on the great
city which is the great swill room where all the swill
spumes together. Spit on the city of compressed souls
and narrow chests, of popeyes and sticky fingers-on
the city of the obtrusive, the impudent, the scribble and scream-throats, the overheated ambitious-conceited
-where everything infirm, infamous, lustful, dusky,
overmusty, pussy, and plotting putrefies together: spit
on the great city and turn back"
Here, however, Zarathustra interrupted the foaming
fool and put his hand over the fool's mouth. "Stop at
last" cried Zarathustra; "your speech and your manner
have long nauseated me. Why did you live near the
swamps so long, until you yourself have become a frog
and a toad? Does not putrid, spumy swamp-blood flow
through your own veins now that you have learned to
croak and revile thus? Why have you not gone into the
woods? Or to plow the soil? Does not the sea abound in
green islands? I despise your despising; and if you
warned me, why did you not warn yourself?
"Out of love alone shall my despising and my warning bird fly up, not out of the swamp.
"They call you my ape, you foaming fool; but I call
you my grunting swine: with your grunting you spoil
for me my praise of folly. What was it that first made
you grunt? That nobody flattered you sufficiently; you
sat down to this filth so as to have reason to grunt much
-to have reason for much revenge. For all your foaming is revenge, you vain fool; I guessed it well.
"But your fool's words injure me, even where you are
right. And even if Zarathustra's words were a thousand
times right, still you would always do wrong with my
Thus spoke Zarathustra; and he looked at the great
city, sighed, and long remained silent. At last he spoke
thus: "I am nauseated by this great city too, and not only
by this fool. Here as there, there is nothing to better,
nothing to worsen. Woe unto this great city And I wish
I already saw the pillar of fire in which it will be
burned. For such pillars of fire must precede the great
noon. But this has its own time and its own destiny.
"This doctrine, however, I give you, fool, as a parting
present: where one can no longer love, there one should
Thus spoke Zarathustra, and he passed by the fool
and the great city.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON PASSING BY
66: ON THE VIRTUOUS
Slack and sleeping senses must be addressed with
thunder and heavenly fireworks. But the voice of beauty
speaks gently: it creeps only into the most awakened
souls. Gently trembled and laughed my shield today;
that is the holy laughter and tremor of beauty. About
you, the virtuous, my beauty laughed today. And thus
its voice came to me: "They still want to be paid."
You who are virtuous still want to be paid Do you
want rewards for virtue, and heaven for earth, and the
eternal for your today?
And now are you angry with me because I teach that
there is no reward and paymaster? And verily, I do not
even teach that virtue is its own reward.
Alas, that is my sorrow: they have lied reward and
punishment into the foundation of things, and now also
into the foundation of your souls, you who are virtuous.
But like the boar's snout, my words shall tear open the
foundation of your souls: a plowshare will I be to you.
All the secrets of your foundation shall come to light;
and when you lie uprooted and broken in the sun, then
will your lies also be separated from your truths.
For this is your truth: you are too pure for the filth
of the words: revenge, punishment, reward, retri bution.
You love your virtue as a mother her child; but when
has a mother ever wished to be paid for her love? Your
virtue is what is dearest to you. The thirst of the ring
lives in you: every ring strives and turns to reach itself
again. And like a dying star is every work of your virtue: its light is always still on its way and it wandersand when will it no longer be on its way? Thus the
light of your virtue is still on its way even when the
work has been done. Though it be forgotten and dead,
the ray of its light still lives and wanders. That your
virtue is your self and not something foreign, a skin, a
cloak, that is the truth from the foundation of your souls,
you who are virtuous.
Yet there are those for whom virtue is the spasm under the scourge, and you have listened to their clamor
And there are others who call it virtue when their
vices grow lazy; and when their hatred and jealousy
stretch their limbs for once, then their "justice" comes
to life and rubs its sleepy eyes.
And there are others who are drawn downward: their
devils draw them. But the more they sink, the more
fervently glow their eyes and their lust for their god.
Alas, their clamor too has reached your ears, you who
are virtuous: "What I am not, that, that to me are God
And there are others who come along, heavy and
creaking like carts carrying stones downhill: they talk
much of dignity and virtue-they call their brake virtue.
And there are others who are like cheap clocks that
must be wound: they tick and they want the tick-tock
to be called virtue. Verily, I have my pleasure in these:
wherever I find such clocks, I shall wind and wound
them with my mockery, and they shall whir for me.
And others are proud of their handful of justice and
commit outrages against all things for its sake, till the
world is drowned in their injustice. Oh, how ill the word
virtue comes out of their mouths And when they say,
"I am just," it always sounds like "I am just-revenged."
With their virtue they want to scratch out the eyes of
their enemies, and they exalt themselves only to humble
And then again there are such as sit in their swamp
and speak thus out of the reeds: "Virtue-that is sitting
still in a swamp. We bite no one and avoid those who
want to bite; and in all things we hold the opinion that
is given to us."
And then again there are such as love gestures and
think that virtue is some kind of gesture. Their knees
always adore, and their hands are hymns to virtue, but
their heart knows nothing about it.
And then again there are such as consider it virtue
to say, "Virtue is necessary"; but at bottom they believe
only that the police is necessary.
And some who cannot see what is high in man call it
virtue that they see all-too-closely what is low in man:
thus they call their evil eye virtue.
And some want to be edified and elevated, and they
call that virtue, while others want to be bowled over,
and they call that virtue too.
And thus almost all believe that they have a share in
virtue; and at the very least everyone wants to be an
expert on good and evil.
Yet Zarathustra did not come to say to all these liars
and fools: "What do you know of virtue? What could
you know of virtue?"
Rather, that you, my friends, might grow weary of
the old words you have learned from the fools and liars.
Weary of the words: reward, retri bution, punishment,
and revenge in justice.
Weary of saying: what makes an act good is that it
Oh, my friends, that your self be in your deed as the
mother is in her child-let that be your word concerning virtue
Verily, I may have taken a hundred words from you
and the dearest toys of your virtue, and now you are
angry with me, as children are angry. They played by
the sea, and a wave came and carried off their toy to the
depths: now they are crying. But the same wave shall
bring them new toys and shower new colorful shells before them. Thus they will be comforted; and like them,
you too, my friends, shall have your comfortings-and
new colorful shells.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON THE VIRTUOUS
ON THE AFTERWORLDLY
At one time Zarathustra too cast his delusion beyond
man, like all the afterworldly. The work of a suffering
and tortured god, the world then seemed to me. A
dream the world then seemed to me, and the fiction
of a god: colored smoke before the eyes of a dissatisfied deity. Good and evil and joy and pain and I and
you-colored smoke this seemed to me before creative
eyes. The creator wanted to look away from himself;
so he created the world.
Drunken joy it is for the sufferer to look away from
his suffering and to lose himself. Drunken joy and loss
of self the world once seemed to me. This world,
eternally imperfect, the image of an eternal contradiction, an imperfect image-a drunken joy for its imperfect creator: thus the world once appeared to me.
Thus I too once cast my delusion beyond man, like
all the afterworldly. Beyond man indeed?
Alas, my brothers, this god whom I created was
man-made and madness, like all gods! Man he was,
and only a poor specimen of man and ego: out of my
own ashes and fire this ghost came to me, and, verily,
it did not come to me from beyond. What happened,
my brothers? I overcame myself, the sufferer; I carried
my own ashes to the mountains; I invented a brighter
flame for myself. And behold, then this ghost fled from
me. Now it would be suffering for me and agony for
the recovered to believe in such ghosts: now it would
be suffering for me and humiliation. Thus I speak to
It was suffering and incapacity that created all afterworlds-this and that brief madness of bliss which is
experienced only by those who suffer most deeply.
Weariness that wants to reach the ultimate with one
leap, with one fatal leap, a poor ignorant weariness
that does not want to want any more: this created all
gods and afterworlds.
Believe me, my brothers: it was the body that despaired of the body and touched the ultimate walls with
the fingers of a deluded spirit. Believe me, my brothers: it was the body that despaired of the earth and
heard the belly of being speak to it. It wanted to crash
through these ultimate walls with its head, and not
only with its head-over there to "that world." But
"that world" is well concealed from humans-that dehumanized inhuman world which is a heavenly nothing; and the belly of being does not speak to humans
at all, except as a human.
Verily, all being is hard to prove and hard to induce
to speak. Tell me, my brothers, is not the strangest of
all things proved most nearly?
Indeed, this ego and the ego's contradiction and confusion still speak most honestly of its being-this creating, willing, valuing ego, which is the measure and
value of things. And this most honest being, the ego,
speaks of the body and still wants the body, even
when it poetizes and raves and flutters with broken
wings. It learns to speak ever more honestly, this ego:
and the more it learns, the more words and honors it
finds for body and earth.
A new pride my ego taught me, and this I teach
men: no longer to bury one's head in the sand of
heavenly things, but to bear it freely, an earthly head,
which creates a meaning for the earth.
A new will I teach men: to will this way which man
has walked blindly, and to affirm it, and no longer to
sneak away from it like the sick and decaying.
It was the sick and decaying who despised body and
earth and invented the heavenly realm and the redemptive drops of blood: but they took even these
sweet and gloomy poisons from body and earth. They
wanted to escape their own misery, and the stars were
too far for them. So they sighed: "Would that there
were heavenly ways to sneak into another state of being and happiness!" Thus they invented their sneaky
ruses and bloody potions. Ungrateful, these people
deemed themselves transported from their bodies and
this earth. But to whom did they owe the convulsions
and raptures of their transport? To their bodies and
Zarathustra is gentle with the sick. Verily, he is not
angry with their kinds of comfort and ingratitude. May
they become convalescents, men of overcoming, and
create a higher body for themselves Nor is Zarathustra
angry with the convalescent who eyes his delusion ten-
derly and, at midnight, sneaks around the grave of his
god: but even so his tears still betray sickness and a
sick body to me.
Many sick people have always been among the
poetizers and God-cravers; furiously they hate the lover
of knowledge and that youngest among the virtues,
which is called "honesty." They always look backward
toward dark ages; then, indeed, delusion and faith
were another matter: the rage of reason was godlikeness, and doubt was sin.
I know these godlike men all too well: they want
one to have faith in them, and doubt to be sin. All too
well I also know what it is in which they have most
faith. Verily, it is not in afterworlds and redemptive
drops of blood, but in the body, that they too have
most faith; and their body is to them their thing-initself. But a sick thing it is to them, and gladly would
they shed their skins. Therefore they listen to the
preachers of death and themselves preach afterworlds.
Listen rather, my brothers, to the voice of the
healthy body: that is a more honest and purer voice.
More honestly and purely speaks the healthy body that
is perfect and perpendicular: and it speaks of the
meaning of the earth.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON THE AFTERWORLDLY
In the morning after this night, Zarathustra jumped
up from his resting place, girded his loins, and came
out of his cave glowing and strong as a morning sun
that comes out of dark mountains.
"'You great star," he said as he had said once before,
"you deep eye of happiness, what would your happiness
be had you not those for whom you shine? And if they
stayed in their chambers even after you had awakened
and come and given and distri buted, how angry would
your proud shame be!
"Well then, they still sleep, these higher men, while
I am awake: these are not my proper companions. It is
not for them that I wait here in my mountains. I want
to go to my work, to my day: but they do not understand the signs of my morning; my stride is for them
no summons to awaken. They still sleep in my cave,
their dream still drinks of my drunken songs. The ear
that listens for me, the heedful ear is lacking in their
Thus had Zarathustra spoken to his heart when the
sun rose; then he looked questioning into the height, for
he heard the sharp cry of his eagle above him. "Well
then" he cried back; "thus it pleases and suits me. My
animals are awake, for I am awake. My eagle is awake
and honors the sun as I do. With eagle talons he grasps
for the new light. You are the right animals for me; I
love you. But I still lack the right men."
Thus spoke Zarathustra. But then it happened that
he suddenly heard himself surrounded as by innumerable
swarming and fluttering birds: but the whirring of so
many wings and the thronging about his head were so
great that he closed his eyes. And verily, like a cloud it
came over him, like a cloud of arrows that empties itself over a new enemy. But behold, here it was a cloud
of love, and over a new friend.
"What is happening to me?" thought Zarathustra in
his surprised heart, and slowly he sat down on the big
stone that lay near the exit of his cave. But as he reached
out with his hands around and over and under himself,
warding off the affectionate birds, behold, something
stranger yet happened to him: for unwittingly he
reached into a thick warm mane; and at the same time
he heard a roar in front of him-a soft, long lion roar.
"The sign is at hand," said Zarathustra, and a change
came over his heart. And indeed, as it became light
before him, a mighty yellow animal lay at his feet and
pressed its head against his knees and out of love did
not want to let go of him, and acted like a dog that
finds its old master again. But the doves were no less
eager in their love than the lion; and whenever a dove
slipped over the lion's nose, the lion shook its head and
was amazed and laughed.
About all this Zarathustra spoke but a single sentence:
"My children are near, my children." Then he became
entirely silent. But his heart was loosed, and tears
dropped from his eyes and fell on his bands. And he no
longer heeded anything and sat there motionless, without warding off the animals any more. Then the doves
flew about and sat on his shoulders and caressed his
white hair and did not weary of tenderness and jubilation. But the strong lion kept licking up the tears that
fell on Zarathustra's hands and roared and growled
bashfully. Thus acted these animals.
All this lasted a long time, or a short time: for properly
speaking, there is no time on earth for such things. But
meanwhile the higher men in Zarathustra's cave had
awakened and arranged themselves in a procession to
meet Zarathustra and bid him good morning; for they
had found when they awakened that he was no longer
among them. But when they reached the door of the
cave and the sound of their steps ran ahead of them, the
lion started violently, turned away from Zarathustra
suddenly, and jumped toward the cave, roaring savagely.
But when the higher men heard it roar, they all cried
out as with a single mouth, and they fled back and
disappeared in a flash.
Zarathustra himself, however, dazed and strange, rose
from his seat, looked around, stood there amazed, questioned his heart, reflected, and was alone. "What did
I hear?" he finally said slowly; "what happened to me
just now?" And presently memory came to him and
with a single glance he grasped everything that had
happened between yesterday and today. "Here is the
stone," he said, stroking his beard, "where I sat yesterday morning; and here the soothsayer came to me, and
here I first heard the cry which I heard just now, the
great cry of distress.
"O you higher men, it was your distress that this old
soothsayer prophesied to me yesterday morning; to your
distress he wanted to seduce and tempt me. 0 Zarathustra, he said to me, I come to seduce you to your
"To my final sin?" shouted Zarathustra, and he
laughed angrily at his own words; "what was it that was
saved up for me as my final sin?"
And once more Zarathustra became absorbed in himself, and he sat down again on the big stone and reflected. Suddenly he jumped up. "Pity! Pity for the
higher man!" he cried out, and his face changed to
bronze. "Well then, that has had its time! My suffering
and my pity for suffering-what does it matter? Am I
concerned with happiness? I am concerned with my
"Well then! The lion came, my children are near,
Zarathustra has ripened, my hour has come: this is my
morning, my day is breaking: rise now, rise, thou great
Thus spoke Zarathustra, and he left his cave, glowing
and strong as a morning sun that comes out of dark
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, THE SIGN
69: ON THE
Behold, this is the hole of the tarantula. Do you want
to see the tarantula itself? Here hangs its web; touch it,
that it tremble!
There it comes willingly: welcome, tarantula! Your
triangle and symbol sits black on your back; and I also
know what sits in your soul. Revenge sits in your soul:
wherever you bite, black scabs grow; your poison makes
the soul whirl with revenge.
Thus I speak to you in a parable-you who make
souls whirl, you preachers of equality. To me you are
tarantulas, and secretly vengeful. But I shall bring your
secrets to light; therefore I laugh in your faces with my
laughter of the heights. Therefore I tear at your webs,
that your rage may lure you out of your lie-holes and
your revenge may leap out from behind your word justice. For that man be delivered from revenge, that is
for me the bridge to the highest hope, and a rainbow
after long storms.
The tarantulas, of course, would have it otherwise.
"What justice means to us is precisely that the world be
filled with the storms of our revenge"-thus they speak
to each other. "We shall wreak vengeance and abuse on
all whose equals we are not"-thus do the tarantulahearts vow. "And 'will to equality' shall henceforth be
the name for virtue; and against all that has power we
want to raise our clamorl"
You preachers of equality, the tyrannomania of impotence clamors thus out of you for equality: your most
secret ambitions to be tyrants thus shroud themselves
in words of virtue. Aggrieved conceit, repressed envy
-perhaps the conceit and envy of your fathers-erupt
from you as a flame and as the frenzy of revenge.
What was silent in the father speaks in the son; and
often I found the son the unveiled secret of the father.
They are like enthusiasts, yet it is not the heart that
fires them-but revenge. And when they become elegant and cold, it is not the spirit but envy that makes
them elegant and cold. Their jealousy leads them even
on the paths of thinkers; and this is the sign of their
jealousy: they always go too far, till their weariness
must in the end lie down to sleep in the snow. Out of,
every one of their complaints sounds revenge; in their
praise there is always a sting, and to be a judge seems
bliss to them.
But thus I counsel you, my friends: Mistrust all in
whom the impulse to punish is powerful. They are people of a low sort and stock; the hangman and the bloodhound look out of their faces. Mistrust all who talk
much of their justice Verily, their souls lack more than
honey. And when they call themselves the good and the
just, do not forget that they would be pharisees, if only
My friends, I do not want to be mixed up and confused with others. Some preach my doctrine of life and
are at the same time preachers of equality and tarantulas. Although they are sitting in their holes, these
poisonous spiders, with their backs turned on life, they
speak in favor of life, but only because they wish to
hurt. They wish to hurt those who now have power, for
among these the preaching of death is still most at
home. If it were otherwise, the tarantulas would teach
otherwise; they themselves were once the foremost slanderers of the world and burners of heretics.
I do not wish to be mixed up and confused with
these preachers of equality. For, to me justice speaks
thus: "Men are not equal." Nor shall they become
equal! What would my love of the overman be if I
On a thousand bridges and paths they shall throng
to the future, and ever more war and inequality shall
divide them: thus does my great love make me speak.
In their hostilities they shall become inventors of images
and ghosts, and with their images and ghosts they shall
yet fight the highest fight against one another. Good
and evil, and rich and poor, and high and low, and all
the names of values-arms shall they be and clattering
signs that life must overcome itself again and again.
Life wants to build itself up into the heights with
pillars and steps; it wants to look into vast distances
and out toward stirring beauties: therefore it requires
height. And because it requires height, it requires steps
and contradiction among the steps and the climbers.
Life wants to climb and to overcome itself climbing.
And behold, my friends: here where the tarantula
has its hole, the ruins of an ancient temple rise; behold
it with enlightened eyes Verily, the man who once
piled his thoughts to the sky in these stones-he, like
the wisest, knew the secret of all life. That struggle and
inequality are present even in beauty, and also war for
power and more power: that is what he teaches us here
in the plainest parable. How divinely vault and arches
break through each other in a wrestling match; how
they strive against each other with light and shade,
the godlike strivers-with such assurance and beauty
let us be enemies too, my friends Let us strive against
one another like gods.
Alas, then the tarantula, my old enemy, bit me. With
godlike assurance and beauty it bit my finger. "Punishment there must be and justice," it thinks; "and here he
shall not sing songs in honor of enmity in vain."
Indeed, it has avenged itself. And alas, now it will
make my soul, too, whirl with revenge. But to keep me
from whirling, my friends, tie me tight to this column.
Rather would I be a stylite even, than a whirl of revenge.
Verily, Zarathustra is no cyclone or whirlwind; and
if he is a dancer, he will never dance the tarantella.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON THE TARANTULAS
It was about midnight when Zarathustra started
across the ridge of the island so that he might reach
the other coast by early morning; for there he wanted
to embark. There he would find a good roadstead where
foreign ships too liked to anchor, and they often took
along people who wanted to cross the sea from the
Now as Zarathustra was climbing the mountain he
thought how often since his youth he had wandered
alone and how many mountains and ridges and peaks
he had already climbed.
I am a wanderer and a mountain climber, he said to
his heart; I do not like the plains, and it seems I cannot
sit still for long. And whatever may yet come to me as
destiny and experience will include some wandering
and mountain climbing: in the end, one experiences
only oneself. The time is gone when mere accidents
could still happen to me; and what could still come to
me now that was not mine already? What returns, what
finally comes home to me, is my own self and what of
myself has long been in strange lands and scattered
among all things and accidents. And one further thing
I know: I stand before my final peak now and before
that which has been saved up for me the longest. Alas,
now I must face my hardest path! Alas, I have begun
my loneliest walk But whoever is of my kind cannot
escape such an hour-the hour which says to him:
"Only now are you going your way to greatness!
Peak and abyss-they are now joined together.
"You are going your way to greatness: now that
which has hitherto been your ultimate danger has become your ultimate refuge.
"You are going your way to greatness: now this must
give you the greatest courage that there is no longer
any path behind you.
"You are going your way to greatness: here nobody
shall sneak after you. Your own foot has effaced the
path behind you, and over it there is written: impossibility.
"And if you now lack all ladders, then you must know
how to climb on your own head: how else would you
want to climb upward? On your own head and away
over your own heart! Now what was gentlest in you
must still become the hardest. He who has always spared
himself much will in the end become sickly of so much
consideration. Praised be what hardens! I do not praise
the land where butter and honey flow.
"One must learn to look away from oneself in order
to see much: this hardness is necessary to every climber
"But the lover of knowledge who is obtrusive with
his eyes-how could he see more of all things than
their foregrounds? But you, 0 Zarathustra, wanted to
see the ground and background of all things; hence you
must climb over yourself-upward, up until even your
stars are under you!"
Indeed, to look down upon myself and even upon my
stars, that alone I should call my peak; that has remained for me as my ultimate peak.
Thus spoke Zarathustra to himself as he was climbing, comforting his heart with hard maxims; for his
heart was sore as never before. And when he reached
the height of the ridge, behold, the other sea lay spread
out before him; and he stood still and remained silent
a long time. But the night was cold at this height, and
clear and starry bright.
I recognize my lot, he finally said sorrowfully. Well,
I am ready. Now my ultimate loneliness has begun.
Alas, this black sorrowful sea below mel Alas, this
pregnant nocturnal dismay! Alas, destiny and seal To
you I must now go down! Before my highest mountain
I stand and before my longest wandering; to that end
I must first go down deeper than ever I descendeddeeper into pain than ever I descended, down into its
blackest flood. Thus my destiny wants it. Well, I am
Whence come the highest mountains? I once asked.
Then I learned that they came out of the sea. The
evidence is written in their rocks and in the walls of
their peaks. It is out of the deepest depth that the
highest must come to its height.
Thus spoke Zarathustra on the peak of the mountain, where it was cold; but when he came close to
the sea and at last stood alone among the cliffs, he had
become weary from walking and even more full of longing than before.
Everything is still asleep now, he said; even the sea
is asleep. Drunk with sleep and strange it looks at me.
But its breath is warm, that I feel. And I also feel that
it is dreaming. In its dreams it tosses on hard pillows.
Listen Listenl How it groans with evil memories Or
evil forebodings? Alas, I am sad with you, you dark
monster, and even annoyed with myself for your sake.
Alas, that my hand does not have strength enough!
Verily, I should like to deliver you from evil dreams.
And as Zarathustra was speaking thus he laughed at
himself in melancholy and bitterness. What, Zarathustra,
he said, would you sing comfort even to the sea? 0 you
loving fool, Zarathustra, you are trust-overfull. But thus
have you always been: you have always approached
everything terrible trustfully. You have wanted to pet
every monster. A whiff of warm breath, a little soft
tuft on the paw-and at once you were ready to love
and to lure it.
Love is the danger of the loneliest; love of everything if only it is alive. Laughable, verily, are my folly
and my modesty in love.
Thus spoke Zarathustra and laughed for the second
time. But then he recalled his friends whom he had
left; and, as if he had wronged them with his thoughts,
he was angry with himself for his thoughts. And soon
it happened that he who had laughed wept: from
wrath and longing Zarathustra wept bitterly.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, THE WANDERER
After the song of the wanderer and shadow, the cave
all at once became full of noise and laughter; and since
all of the assembled guests talked at the same time and
even the ass, thus encouraged, would no longer remain
silent, Zarathustra was overcome by a slight aversion
and by scorn for his company, although he enjoyed their
gaiety. For this seemed to him a sign of convalescence.
So he slipped out into the open and talked to his
'Where is their distress now?" he said, and immediately he felt relief from his own little annoyance. "Up
here with me, it seems, they have unlearned crying in
distress. Although unfortunately not yet crying in general." And Zarathustra covered up his ears, for just then
the Yeah-Yuh of the ass was strangely blended with the
jubilating noise of these higher men.
"They are merry," he began again, "and, who knows?
perhaps at their hoses expense. And if they learned to
laugh from me, it still is not my laughter that they have
learned. But what does it matter? They are old people,
convalescing in their own way, laughing in their own
way; my ears have suffered worse things without becoming grumpy. This day represents a triumph: he is
even now retreating, he is fleeing, the spirit of gravity,
my old archenemy. How happily this day wants to end
after beginning so badly and gravely. And it wants to
end. Even now evening is approaching: he is riding over
the sea, this good rider. How the blessed one, returning
home, sways in his crimson saddle! The sky looks clear,
the world lies deep: 0 all you strange visitors, living
with me is well worth while!"
Thus spoke Zarathustra. And again the clamor and
laughter of the higher men came to him from the cave,
so he began again: "They are biting, my bait is working: from them too their enemy retreats, the spirit of
gravity. Even now they have learned to laugh at themselves: do I hear right? My virile nourishment, the savor
and strength of my words, are taking effect; and verily,
I did not feed them bloating vegetables, but warriors'
nourishment, conquerors' nourishment: I wakened new
desires. New hopes throb in their arms and legs; their
hearts stretch out. They are finding new words, soon
their spirit will brea the prankishness. Such nourishment,
to be sure, may not be suitable for children or for
nostalgic old and young little females. Their entrails are
persuaded in a different way; I am not their physician
"Nausea is retreating from these higher men. Well
then That is my triumph. In my realm they feel safe,
all stupid shame runs away, they unburden themselves.
They unburden their hearts, good hours come back to
them, they celebrate and chew the cud: they become
grateful. This I take to be the best sign: they become
grateful. Not much longer, and they will think up
festivals and put up monuments to their old friends.
They are convalescing" Thus spoke Zarathustra gaily
to his heart, and he looked out; but his animals pressed
close to him and respected his happiness and his
Suddenly, however, Zarathustra's ears were startled;
for the cave which had so far been full of noise and
laughter suddenly became deathly still, while his nose
perceived a pleasant smoke and incense, as of burning
pine cones. "What is going on? What are they doing?"
he asked himself, and he stole to the entrance to watch
his guests, unnoticed. But, wonder upon wonder What
did he have to see with his own eyes?
"They have all become pious again, they are praying,
thev are mad!" he said, and he was amazed beyond
measure. And indeed, all these higher men, the two
kings, the retired pope, the wicked magician, the voluntary beggar, the wanderer and shadow, the old soothsayer, the conscientious in spirit, and the ugliest manthey were all kneeling like children and devout little
old women and adoring the ass. And just then the ugliest
man began to gurgle and snort as if something inexpressible wanted to get out of him; but when he really
found words, behold, it was a pious, strange litany to
glorify the adored and censed ass. And this litany went
Amen! And praise and honor and wisdom and thanks
and glory and strength be to our god, from everlasting
But the ass brayed: Yea-Yuh.
He carries our burden, he took upon himself the
form of a servant, he is patient of heart and never says
No; and whoever loves his God, chastises him.
But the ass brayed: Yea-Yuh.
He does not speak, except he always says Yea to the
world he created: thus he praises his world. It is his
cleverness that does not speak: thus he is rarely found
to be wrong.
But the ass brayed: Yea-Yuh.
Plain-looking, he walks through the world. Gray is
the body color in which he shrouds his virtue. If he has
spirit, he hides it; but everybody believes in his long
But the ass brayed: Yea-Yuh.
What hidden wisdom it is that he has long ears and
only says Yea and never No! Has he not created the
world in his own image, namely, as stupid as possible?
But the ass brayed: Yea-Yuh.
You walk on straight and crooked paths; it matters
little to you what seems straight or crooked to us men.
Beyond good and evil is your kingdom. It is your innocence not to know what innocence is.
But the ass brayed: Yea-Yuh.
Behold how you push none away from you, not the
beggars nor the kings. Little children you let come unto
you, and when sinners entice you, you simply say YeaYuh.
But the ass brayed: Yea-Yuh.
You love she-asses and fresh figs; you do not despise
food. A thistle tickles your heart if you happen to be
hungry. In this lies the wisdom of a god.
But the ass brayed: Yea-Yuh.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, THE AWAKENING
72:ON INVOLUNTARY BLISS
With such riddles and bitternesses in his heart Zarathustra crossed the sea. But when he was four days
away from the blessed isles and from his friends, he
had overcome all his pain; triumphant and with firm
feet he stood on his destiny again. And then Zarathustra spoke thus to his jubilant conscience
I am alone again and I want to be so; alone with
the pure sky and open sea; again it is afternoon around
me. It was in the afternoon that I once found my
friends for the first time; it was afternoon the second
time too, at the hour when all light grows quieter. For
whatever of happiness is still on its way between heaven
and earth now seeks a shelter in a bright soul; it is from
happiness that all light has grown quieter.
0 afternoon of my life Once my happiness too
descended to the valley to seek shelter; and found those
open, hospitable souls. 0 afternoon of my life What
have I not given up to have one single thing: this
living plantation of my thoughts and this morning light
of my highest hope
Companions the creator once sought, and children of
his hope; and behold, it turned out that he could
not find them, unless he first created them himself.
Thus I am in the middle of my work, going to my
children and returning from them: for his children's
sake, Zarathustra must perfect himself. For from the
depths one loves only one's child and work; and where
there is great love of oneself it is the sign of pregnancy:
thus I found it to be. My children are still verdant in
their first spring, standing close together and shaken by
the same winds-the trees of my garden and my best
soil. And verily, where such trees stand together there
are blessed isles. But one day I want to dig them up
and place each by itself, so it may learn solitude and
defiance and caution. Gnarled and bent and with supple hardness it shall then stand by the sea, a living
lighthouse of invincible life.
Where the storms plunge down into the sea and the
mountain stretches out its trunk for water, there every
one shall once have his day and night watches for his
testing and knowledge. He shall be known and tested,
whether he is of my kind and kin, whether he is the
master of a long will, taciturn even when he speaks,
and yielding so that in giving he receives-so that he
may one day become my companion and a fellow
creator and fellow celebrant of Zarathustra-one who
writes my will on my tablets to contri bute to the greater
perfection of all things. And for his sake and the sake
of those like him I must perfect myself; therefore I now
evade my happiness and offer myself to all unhappiness,
for my final testing and knowledge.
And verily, it was time for me to leave; and the
wanderer's shadow and the longest boredom and the
stillest hour-they all urged me: "It is high time."
The wind blew through my keyhole and said, "Come!"
Cunningly, the door flew open and said to me, "Go!"
But I lay there chained to the love for my children:
desire set this snare for me-the desire for love that I
might become my children's prey and lose myself to
them. Desire-this means to me to have lost myself.
I have you, my children! In this experience everything
shall be security and nothing desire.
But, brooding, the sun of my love lay on me; Zarathustra was cooking in his own juice-then shadows
and doubts flew over me. I yearned for frost and
winter: "Oh, that frost and winter might make me crack
and crunch again" I sighed; then icy mists rose from
me. My past burst its tombs; many a pain that had been
buried alive awoke, having merely slept, hidden in
Thus everything called out to me in signs: "It is time!"
But I did not hear, until at last my abyss stirred and
my thought bit me. Alas, abysmal thought that is my
thought, when shall I find the strength to hear you
burrowing, without trembling any more? My heart
pounds to my very throat whenever I hear you burrowing. Even your silence wants to choke me, you who are
so abysmally silent. As yet I have never dared to summon you; it was enough that I carried you with me.
As yet I have not been strong enough for the final overbearing, prankish bearing of the lion. Your gravity was
always terrible enough for me; but one day I shall yet
find the strength and the lion's voice to summon you.
And once I have overcome myself that far, then I also
want to overcome myself in what is still greater; and
a victory shall seal my perfection.
Meanwhile I still drift on uncertain seas; smoothtongued accident flatters me; forward and backward I
look, and still see no end. As yet the hour of my final
struggle has not come to me-or is it coming just now?
Verily, with treacherous beauty sea and life look at me.
0 afternoon of my life 0 happiness before evening!
0 haven on the high seasl 0 peace in uncertainty How
I mistrust all of youl Verily, I am mistrustful of your
treacherous beauty. I am like the lover who mistrusts
the all-too-velvet smile. As he pushes his most beloved
before him, tender even in his hardness, and jealous,
thus I push this blessed hour before me.
Away with you, blessed hour: with you bliss came
to me against my will. Willing to suffer my deepest
pain, I stand here: you came at the wrong time.
Away with you, blessed hour: rather seek shelter
there-with my children. Hurry and bless them before
evening with my happiness.
There evening approaches even now: the sun sinks.
Thus spoke Zarathustra. And he waited for his unhappiness the entire night, but he waited in vain. The
night remained bright and still, and happiness itself
came closer and closer to him. Toward morning, however, Zarathustra laughed in his heart and said mockingly, "Happiness runs after me. That is because I do
not run after women. For happiness is a woman."
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON INVOLUNTARY BLISS
73: ON SELF-OVERCOMING
'Will to truth," you who are wisest call that which
impels you and fills you with lust?
A will to the thinkability of all beings: this I call
your will. You want to make all being thinkable, for
you doubt with well-founded suspicion that it is already
thinkable. But it shall yield and bend for you. Thus your
will wants it. It shall become smooth and serve the
spirit as its mirror and reflection. That is your whole
will, you who are wisest: a will to power-when you
speak of good and evil too, and of valuations. You still
want to create the world before which you can kneel:
that is your ultimate hope and intoxication.
Ihe unwise, of course, the people-they are like a
river on which a bark drifts; and in the bark sit the
valuations, solemn and muffled up. Your will and your
valuations you have placed on the river of becoming;
and what the people believe to be good and evil, that
betrays to me an ancient will to power.
It was you who are wisest who placed such guests in
this bark and gave them pomp and proud names-you
and your dominant will. Now the river carries your
bark farther; it has to carry it. It avails nothing that the
broken wave foams and angrily opposes the keel. Not
the river is your danger and the end of your good and
evil, you who are wisest, but that will itself, the will
to power-the unexhausted procreative will of life.
But to make you understand my word concerning
good and evil, I shall now say to you my word concerning life and the nature of all the living.
I pursued the living; I walked the widest and the
narrowest paths that I might know its nature. With a
hundredfold mirror I still caught its glance when its
mouth was closed, so that its eyes might speak to me.
And its eyes spoke to me.
But wherever I found the living, there I heard also
the speech on obedience. Whatever lives, obeys.
And this is the second point: he who cannot obey
himself is commanded. That is the nature of the living.
This, however, is the third point that I heard: that
commanding is harder than obeying; and not only because he who commands must carry the burden of all
who obey, and because this burden may easily crush
him. An experiment and hazard appeared to me to be
in all commanding; and whenever the living commands,
it hazards itself. Indeed, even when it commands itself,
it must still pay for its commanding. It must become
the judge, the avenger, and the victim of its own law.
How does this happen? I asked myself. What persuades
the living to obey and command, and to practice obedience even when it commands?
Hear, then, my word, you who are wisest. Test in all
seriousness whether I have crawled into the very heart
of life and into the very roots of its heart.
Where I found the living, there I found will to
power; and even in the will of those who serve I found
the will to be master.
That the weaker should serve the stronger, to that
it is persuaded by its own will, which would be master
over what is weaker still: this is the one pleasure it does
not want to renounce. And as the smaller yields to the
greater that it may have pleasure and power over the
smallest, thus even the greatest still yields, and for
the sake of power risks life. That is the yielding of the
greatest: it is hazard and danger and casting dice for
And where men make sacrifices and serve and cast
amorous glances, there too is the will to be master.
Along stealthy paths the weaker steals into the castle
and into the very heart of the more powerful-and
there steals power.
And life itself confided this secret to me: "Behold,"
it said, "I am that which must always overcome itself.
Indeed, you call it a will to procreate or a drive to an
end, to something higher, farther, more manifold: but
all this is one, and one secret.
"Rather would I perish than forswear this; and verily,
where there is perishing and a falling of leaves, behold,
there life sacrifices itself-for power. That I must be
struggle and a becoming and an end and an opposition
to ends-alas, whoever guesses what is my will should
also guess on what crooked paths it must proceed.
"Vhatever I create and however much I love itsoon I must oppose it and my love; thus my will wills it.
And you too, lover of knowledge, are only a path and
footprint of my will; verily, my will to power walks
also on the heels of your will to truth.
"Indeed, the truth was not hit by him who shot at it
with the word of the 'will to existence': that will does
not exist. For, what does not exist cannot will; but
what is in existence, how could that still want existence? Only where there is life is there also will: not
will to life but-thus I teach you-will to power.
"There is much that life esteems more highly than
life itself; but out of the esteeming itself speaks the will
Thus life once taught me; and with this I shall yet
solve the riddle of your heart, you who are wisest.
Verily, I say unto you: good and evil that are not
transitory, do not exist. Driven on by themselves, they
must overcome themselves again and again. With your
values and words of good and evil you do violence
when you value; and this is your hidden love and the
splendor and trembling and overflowing of your soul.
But a more violent force and a new overcoming grow
out of your values and break egg and eggshell.
And whoever must be a creator in good and evil,
verily, he must first be an annihilator and break values.
Thus the highest evil belongs to the highest goodness:
but this is creative.
Let us speak of this, you who are wisest, even if it
be bad. Silence is worse; all truths that are kept silent
And may everything be broken that cannot brook
our truths! There are yet many houses to be built!
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON SELF-OVERCOMING
But as soon as the voluntary beggar had run away
and Zarathustra was alone again, he heard a new voice
behind him, shouting, "Stop, Zarathustral Waitl It is I,
0 Zarathustra, I, your shadow" But Zarathustra did not
wait, for a sudden annoyance came over him at the
many intruders and obtruders in his mountains. "Where
has my solitude gone?" he said. "Verily, it is becoming
too much for me; this mountain range is teeming, my
kingdom is no longer of this world, I need new mountains. My shadow calls me? What does my shadow
matter? Let him run after mel I shall run away from
Thus spoke Zarathustra to his heart, and he ran away.
But he who was behind him followed him, so that soon
there were three runners, one behind the other, first the
voluntary beggar, then Zarathustra, and third and last
his shadow. It was not long that they ran this way before Zarathustra realized his folly and with a single
shrug shook off all discontent and disgust. "Well!" he
said; "have not the most ridiculous things always happened among us old hermits and saints? Verily, my
folly has grown tall in the mountains. Now I hear six
old fools' legs clattering along in a row. But may
Zarathustra be afraid of a shadow? Moreover, it seems
to me that he has longer legs than I."
Thus spoke Zarathustra, laughing with his eyes and
entrails; he stopped quickly and turned around-and
behold, he almost threw his follower and shadow to the
ground: so close was the shadow by then, and so weak
too. And when Zarathustra examined him with his
eyes, he was startled as by a sudden ghost: so thin,
swarthy, hollow, and outlived did this follower look.
"WVho are you?" Zarathustra asked violently. "What are
you doing here? And why do you call yourself my
shadow? I do not like you."
"Forgive me," answered the shadow, "that it is I;
and if you do not like me, well then, 0 Zarathustra, for
that I praise you and your good taste. I am a wanderer
who has already walked a great deal at your heelsalways on my way, but without any goal, also without
any home; so that I really lack little toward being the
Eternal Jew, unless it be that I am not eternal, and not
a Jew. How? Must I always be on my way? Whirled
by every wind, restless, driven on? 0 earth, thou hast
become too round for me!
"I have already sat on every surface; like weary dust,
I have gone to sleep on mirrors and windowpanes: everything takes away from me, nothing gives, I become
thin-I am almost like a shadow. But after you, 0 Zarathustra, I flew and blew the longest; and even when I
hid from you I was still your best shadow: wherever
you sat, I sat too.
"With you I haunted the remotest, coldest worlds
like a ghost that runs voluntarily over wintery roofs and
snow. With you I strove to penetrate everything that
is forbidden, worst, remotest; and if there is anything in
me that is virtue, it is that I had no fear of any forbiddance. With you I broke whatever my heart revered;
I overthrew all boundary stones and images; I pursued
the most dangerous wishes: verily, over every crime I
have passed once. With you I unlearned faith in words
and values and great names. When the devil sheds his
skin, does not his name fall off too? For that too is skin.
The devil himself is perhaps-skin.
"'Nothing is true, all is permitted': thus I spoke to
myself. Into the coldest waters I plunged, with head
and heart. Alas, how often have I stood there afterward,
naked as a red crab! Alas, where has all that is good
gone from me-and all shame, and all faith in those
who are good? Alas, where is that mendacious innocence that I once possessed, the innocence of the good
and their noble lies?
"Too often, verily, did I follow close on the heels of
truth: so she kicked me in the face. Sometimes I thought
I was lying, and behold, only then did I hit the truth.
Too much has become clear to me: now it no longer
concerns me. Nothing is alive any more that I love; how
should I still love myself? 'To live as it pleases me, or
not to live at all': that is what I want, that is what the
saintliest want too. But alas, how could anything please
me any more? Do I have a goal any more? A haven
toward which my sail is set? A good wind? Alas, only
he who knows where he is sailing also knows which
wind is good and the right wind for him. What is left
to me now? A heart, weary and impudent, a restless
will, flutter-wings, a broken backbone. Trying thus to
find my home-O Zarathustra, do you know it?-trying
this was my trial; it consumes me. 'Where is-my home?'
I ask and search and have searched for it, but I have
not found it. 0 eternal everywhere, 0 eternal nowhere,
0 eternal-in vainl"
Thus spoke the shadow, and Zarathustra's face grew
long as he listened. "You are my shadow," he finally said
sadly. "Your danger is no small one, you free spirit and
wanderer. You have had a bad day; see to it that you
do not have a still worse evening. To those who are as
restless as you, even a jail will at last seem bliss. Have
you ever seen how imprisoned criminals sleep? They
sleep calmly, enjoying their new security. Beware lest
a narrow faith imprison you in the end-some harsh
and severe illusion. For whatever is narrow and solid
seduces and tempts you now.
"You have lost your goal; alas, how will you digest
and jest over this loss? With this you have also lost
your way. You poor roaming enthusiast, you weary
butterfly! Would you have a rest and home this evening?
Then go up to my cave. Up there goes the path to my
"And now let me quickly run away from you again.
Even now a shadow seems to lie over me. I want to
run alone so that it may become bright around me
again. For that, I shall still have to stay merrily on my
legs a long time. In the evening, however, there will
be dancing in my cave."
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, THE SHADOW
And thoughtfully Zarathustra went farther and
deeper, through woods and past swampy valleys; but
as happens to everybody who reflects on grave matters,
he stepped on a man unwittingly. And behold, all at
once a cry of pain and two curses and twenty bad insults splashed into his face and startled him so that he
raised his stick and beat the man on whom he had
stepped. A moment later, however, he recovered his
senses, and his heart laughed at the folly he had just
"Forgive me," he said to the man he had stepped on,
who had angrily risen and sat down; "forgive me
and, above all, listen to a parable first. As a wanderer
who dreams of distant matters will unwittingly stumble
over a sleeping dog on a lonely road-a dog lying in
the sun-and both start and let fly at each other like
mortal enemies, because both are mortally frightened:
thus it happened to us. And yet-and yet, how little
was lacking, and they might have caressed each other,
this dog and this lonely man. For after all they were
"Whoever you may be," said the man he had stepped
on, still angry, "your parable too offends me, and not
only your foot. After all, am I a dog?" And at that the
seated man got up and pulled his bare arm out of the
swamp. For at first he had been lying stretched out on
the ground, concealed and unrecognizable, as one lying
in wait for some swamp animal.
"But what are you doing?" cried Zarathustra, startled,
for he saw that much blood was flowing down the bare
arm. 'What has happened to you? Did a bad animal
bite you, you poor wretch?"
The bleeding man laughed, still angry. 'What is that
to you?" he said and wanted to go on. "Here I am at
home and in my realm. Let whoever wants to, ask me;
but I certainly won't answer a bumpkin."
"You are wrong," said Zarathustra, full of pity, and
he held him back. "You are wrong. This is not your
realm but mine, and here nobody shall come to grief.
Call me whatever you like; I am who I must be. I call
myself Zarathustra. Well! Up there runs the path to
Zarathustra's cave, which is not far. Do you not want
to look after your wounds in my place? Things have
gone badly for you in this life, you poor wretch; first
the beast bit you and then man stepped on you."
When the man who had been stepped on heard
Zarathustra's name he changed completely. "What is
happening to me?" he cried out. "Who else matters to
me any more in this life but this one man, Zarathustra,
and that one beast which lives on blood, the leech?
For the leech's sake I lay here beside this swamp like
a fisherman, and my arm, which I had cast, had already
been bitten ten times when a still more beautiful leech
bit, seeking my blood, Zarathustra himself. 0 happiness!
o miracle Praised be this day that lured me into this
swamp! Praised be the best, the most alive cupper
living today, praised be the great leech of the conscience, Zarathustral"
Thus spoke the man who had been stepped on; and
Zarathustra enjoyed his words and their fine, respectful
manner. "Who are you?" he asked and offered him his
hand. "There is much between us that remains to be
cleared up and cheered up; but even now, it seems to
me, the day dawns pure and bright."
"I am the conscientious in spirit," replied the man;
"and in matters of the spirit there may well be none
stricter, narrower, and harder than I, except he from
whom I have learned it, Zarathustra himself.
"Rather know nothing than half-know much Rather
be a fool on one's own than a sage according to the
opinion of others I go to the ground-what does it
matter whether it be great or small? whether it be
called swamp or sky? A hand's breadth of ground
suffices me, provided it is really ground and foundation.
A hand's breadth of ground-on that one can stand.
In the conscience of science there is nothing great and
"Then perhaps you are the man who knows the
leech?" Zarathustra asked. "And do you pursue the
leech to its ultimate grounds, my conscientious friend?"
"O Zarathustra," replied the man who had been
stepped on, "that would be an immensity; how could I
presume so much That of which I am the master and
expert is the brain of the leech: that is my world. And
it really is a world too. Forgive me that here my pride
speaks up, for I have no equal here. That is why I said,
'Here is my home.' How long have I been pursuing this
one thing, the brain of the leech, lest the slippery truth
slip away from me here again Here is my realm. For
its sake I have thrown away everything else; for its
sake everything else has become indifferent to me; and
close to my knowledge lies my black ignorance.
"The conscience of my spirit demands of me that I
know one thing and nothing else: I loa the all the half
in spirit, all the vaporous that hover and rave.
"Where my honesty ceases, I am blind and I also
want to be blind. But where I want to know, I also
want to be honest-that is, hard, strict, narrow, cruel,
"That you, 0 Zarathustra, once said, 'Spirit is the life
that itself cuts into life,' that introduced and seduced
me to your doctrine. And verily, with my own blood I
increased my own knowledge."
"As is quite apparent," Zarathustra interrupted, for
the blood still flowed down the bare arm of the conscientious man, ten leeches having bitten deep into it.
"O you strange fellow, how much I learn from what is
apparent here, namely from you. And perhaps I had
better not pour all of it into your strict ears. Well! Here
we part. But I should like to find you again. Up there
goes the path to my cave: tonight you shall be my dear
guest there. To your body too, I should like to make
up for Zarathustra's having stepped on you with his
feet: I shall reflect on that. Now, however, a cry of
distress urgently calls me away from you."
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, THE LEECH
At this point of the litany Zarathustra could no longer
control himself and himself shouted Yea-Yuh, even
louder than the ass, and he jumped right into the middle
of his guests, who had gone mad. "But what are you
doing there, children of men?" he cried as he pulled the
praying men up from the floor. "Alas, if someone other
than Zarathustra had watched youth Everyone would
judge that with your new faith you were the worst
blasphemers or the most foolish of all little old women.
"And you too, old pope, how do you reconcile this
with yourself that you adore an ass in this way as a
"O Zarathustra," replied the pope, "forgive me, but
in what pertains to God I am even more enlightened
than you. And that is proper. Better to adore God in
this form than in no form at all! Think about this maxim,
my noble friend: you will quickly see that there is
wisdom in such a maxim.
"He who said, 'God is a spirit,' took the biggest step
and leap to disbelief that anybody has yet taken on
earth: such a saying can hardly be redressed on earth.
My old heart leaps and jumps that there is still something on earth to adore. Forgive, 0 Zarathustra, an old
pious pope's heart!"
"And you," Zarathustra said to the wanderer and
shadow, "you call and consider yourself a free spirit?
And you go in for such idolatry and popery? You are
behaving even more wickedly, verily, than with your
wicked brown girls, you wicked new believer."
"Wickedly enough," replied the wanderer and
shadow; "you are right: but is it my fault? The old god
lives again, Zarathustra, you may say what you will. It
is all the fault of the ugliest man: he has awakened him
again. And when he says that he once killed him-in
the case of gods death is always a mere prejudice."
"And you," said Zarathustra, "you wicked old magician, what have you done? Who should henceforth believe in you in this free age, if you believe in such theoasininities? It was a stupidity that you committed; how
could you, you clever one, commit such a stupidity?"
"O Zarathustra," replied the clever magician, "you are
right, it was a stupidity; and it was hard enough for me
"And you of all people," said Zarathustra to the conscientious in spirit, "consider with a finger alongside
your nose: doesn't anything here go against your con-
science? Is your spirit not too clean for such praying
and the haze of these canters?"
"There is something in this," replied the conscientious
man, placing a finger alongside his nose; "there is something in this spectacle that even pleases my conscience.
Perhaps I may not believe in God; but it is certain
that God seems relatively most credible to me in this
form. God is supposed to be eternal, according to the
witness of the most pious: whoever has that much time,
takes his time. As slowly and as stupidly as possible:
in this way, one like that can still get very far.
"And whoever has too much spirit might well grow
foolishly fond of stupidity and folly itself. Think about
yourself, 0 Zarathustral You yourself-verily, overabundance and wisdom could easily turn you too into
an ass. Is not the perfect sage fond of walking on the
most crooked ways? The evidence shows this, 0 Zarathustra-and you are the evidence."
"And you yourself, finally," said Zarathustra, turning to the ugliest man, who still lay on the ground, and
raising his arm toward the ass (for he was offering him
wine to drink). "Speak, you inexpressible one, what
have you done? You seem changed to me, your eyes are
glowing, the cloak of the sublime lies over your ugliness: what have you done? Is it true what they say, that
you have wakened him again? And why? Had he not
been killed and finished for a reason? You yourself seem
awakened to me: what have you done? Why did you
revert? Why did you convert yourself? Speak, you inexpressible onel"
"O Zarathustra," replied the ugliest man, "you are a
roguel Whether that one still lives or lives again or is
thoroughly dead-which of the two of us knows that
best? I ask you. But one thing I do know; it was from
you yourself that I learned it once, 0 Zarathustra: whoever would kill most thoroughly, laughs.
"'Not by wrath does one kill, but by laughter'-thus
you once spoke. 0 Zarathustra, you hidden one, you
annihilator without wrath, you dangerous saint-you
are a rogue!"
But then it happened that Zarathustra, amazed at all
these roguish answers, jumped back toward the door of
his cave and, turning against all his guests, cried out
with a strong voice:
"O you roguish fools, all of you, you jestersl Why do
you dissemble and hide before me? How all your hearts
wriggled with pleasure and malice that at last you had
become again as little children, that is, pious; that at
last you did again what children do, namely, prayed,
folded your hands, and said, 'Dear God!' But now leave
this nursery, my own cave, where all childishness is at
home today! Cool your hot children's prankishness and
the noise of your hearts out there!
"To be sure: except ye become as little children, ye
shall not enter into that kingdom of heaven. (And Zarathustra pointed upward with his hands.) But we have
no wish whatever to enter into the kingdom of heaven:
we have become men-so we want the earth."
And yet once more Zarathustra began to speak. "O
my new friends," he said, "you strange higher men, how
well I like you now since you have become gay again.
Verily, you have all blossomed; it seems to me such
flowers as you are require new festivals, a little brave
nonsense, some divine service and ass festival, some old
gay fool of a Zarathustra, a roaring wind that blows your
"Do not forget this night and this ass festival, you
higher men. This you invented when you were with me
and I take that for a good sign: such things are invented only by convalescents.
"And when you celebrate it again, this ass festival,
do it for your own sakes, and also do it for my sake. And
in remembrance of me."
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, THE ASS FESTIVAL
77:THE CRY OF DISTRESS
The next day Zarathustra again sat on his stone before his cave, while the animals were roaming through
the outside world to find new nourishment-also new
honey, for Zarathustra had spent and squandered the
old honey down to the last drop. But as he was sitting
there, a stick in his hand, tracing his shadow on the
ground, thinking-and verily, not about himself and his
shadow-he was suddenly frightened, and he started:
for beside his own shadow he saw another shadow. And
as he looked around quickly and got up, behold, the
soothsayer stood beside him-the same he had once
feted at his table, the proclaimer of the great weariness
who taught, "All is the same, nothing is worth while,
the world is without meaning, knowledge strangles."
But his face had changed meanwhile; and when Zarathustra looked into his eyes, his heart was frightened
again: so many ill tidings and ashen lightning bolts ran
over this face.
The soothsayer, who had noticed what went on in
Zarathustra's soul, wiped his hand over his face as if he
wanted to wipe it away; and Zarathustra did likewise.
And when both had thus silently composed and
streng thened themselves, they shook hands as a sign
that they wanted to recognize each other.
"Welcome," said Zarathustra, "you soothsayer of the
great weariness; not for nothing were you once my
guest. Eat and drink with me again today, and forgive
a cheerful old man for sitting at the table with you."
"A cheerful old man?" tle soothsayer replied, shaking
his head; "but whatever you may be or want to be,
Zarathustra, you shall not be up here much longer: soon
your bark shall not be stranded any more."
"But am I stranded?" Zarathustra asked, laughing.
"The waves around your mountain," replied the
soothsayer, "are climbing and climbing, the waves of
great distress and melancholy; soon they will lift up
your bark too, and carry you off."
Zarathustra fell silent at that and was surprised.
"Do you not hear anything yet?" continued the soothsayer. "Does it not rush and roar up from the depth?"
Zarathustra remained silent and listened, and he
heard a long, long cry, which the abysses threw to each
other and handed on, for none wanted to keep it: so
evil did it sound.
"You proclaimer of ill tidings," Zarathustra said
finally, "this is a cry of distress and the cry of a man; it
might well come out of a black sea. But what is human
distress to me? My final sin, which has been saved up
for me-do you know what it is?"
"Pity!" answered the soothsayer from an overflowing
heart, and he raised both hands. "O Zarathustra, I have
come to seduce you to your final sin."
And no sooner had these words been spoken than the
cry resounded again, and longer and more anxious than
before; also much closer now.
"Do you hear? Do you hear, 0 Zarathustra?" the
soothsayer shouted. "The cry is for you. It calls you:
Come, come, come! It is time It is high time!"
Then Zarathustra remained silent, confused and
shaken. At last he asked, as one hesitant in his own
mind, "And who is it that calls me?"
"But you know that," replied the soothsayer violently;
"why do you conceal yourself? It is the higher man that
cries for youl"
"The higher man?" cried Zarathustra, seized with
horror. "What does he want? What does he want? The
higher manl What does he want here?" And his skin
was covered with perspiration.
The soothsayer, however, made no reply to Zarathustra's dread, but listened and listened toward the
depth. But when there was silence for a long time, he
turned his glance back and saw Zarathustra standing
there trembling. "O Zarathustra," he began in a sad
tone of voice, "you are not standing there as one made
giddy by his happiness: you had better dance lest you
fall. But even if you would dance before me, leaping all
your side-leaps, no one could say to me, 'Behold, here
dances the last gay man' Anybody coming to this
height, looking for that man, would come in vain: caves
he would find, and caves behind caves, hiding-places
for those addicted to hiding, but no mines of happiness
or treasure rooms or new gold veins of happiness. Happiness-how should one find happiness among hermits
and those buried like this? Must I still seek the last
happiness on blessed isles and far away between forgotten seas? But all is the same, nothing is worth while,
no seeking avails, nor are there any blessed isles any
Thus sighed the soothsayer. At his last sigh, however,
Zarathustra grew bright and sure again, like one emerging into the light out of a deep gorge. "Nol Nol Three
times no!" he shouted with a strong voice and stroked
his beard. "That I know better: there still are blessed
isles. Be quiet about that, you sighing bag of sadness
Stop splashing about that, you raincloud in the morning
Do I not stand here even now, wet from your melancholy and drenched like a dog? Now I shake myself and
run away from you to dry again; you must not be surprised at that. Do I strike you as discourteous? But this
is my court. As for your higher man-well then, I shall
look for him at once in those woods: thence came his
cry. Perhaps an evil beast troubles him there. He is in
my realm: there he shall not come to grief. And verily,
there are many evil beasts around me."
With these words Zarathustra turned to leave. Then
the soothsayer said, "O Zarathustra, you are a roguel I
know it: you want to get rid of me. You would sooner
run into the woods and look for evil beasts. But what
will it avail you? In the evening you will have me back
anyway; in your own cave I shall be sitting, patient and
heavy as a block-waiting for you."
"So be itl" Zarathustra shouted back as he was walking away. "And whatever is mine in my cave belongs to
you too, my guest. And if you should find honey in
there-well, then, lick it up, you growling bear, and
sweeten your soul. For in the evening we should both
be cheerful-cheerful and gay that this day has come
to an end. And you yourself shall dance to my songs as
my dancing bear. You do not believe it? You shake your
head? Well then, old bear! But I too am a soothsayer."
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, THE CRY OF DISTRESS
78:THE RETURN HOME
o solitude 0 my home, solitude! Too long have I
lived wildly in wild strange places not to return home
to you in tears. Now you may threaten me with your
finger, as mothers threaten; now you may smile at me,
as mothers smile; now you may say to me:
"And who was it that, like a storm, once stormed
away from me? Who shouted in parting, 'Too long I
have sat with solitude; I have forgotten how to be
silent!' That, I suppose, you have learned again now? 0
Zarathustra, I know everything. Also that you were
more forsaken among the many, being one, than ever
with me. To be forsaken is one thing, to be lonely, another: that you have learned now. And that among men
you will always seem wild and strange-wild and
strange even when they love you; for above all things
they want consideration.
"Here, however, you are in your own home and
house; here you can talk freely about everything and
pour out all the reasons; nothing here is ashamed of
obscure, obdurate feelings. Here all things come caressingly to your discourse and flatter you, for they want to
ride on your back. On every parable you ride to every
truth. Here you may talk fairly and frankly to all things:
and verily, it rings in their ears like praise when somebody talks straight to all things.
"To be forsaken, however, is another matter. Fordo you still remember, Zarathustra? When your bird
cried high above you, when you stood in the forest, undecided where to turn, ignorant, near a corpse-when
you said, 'May my animals lead mel I found it more
dangerous to be among men than among animals'-
then you were forsaken And do you still remember,
Zarathustra? When you sat on your island, a well of
wine among empty pails, spending and expending, bestowing and flowing among the thirsty, until finally you
sat thirsty among drunks and complained by night, 'Is
it not more blessed to receive than to give, and to steal
still more blessed than to receive?'-then you were forsaken! And do you still remember, Zarathustra? When
your stillest hour came and drove you away from yourself, speaking in an evil whisper, 'Speak and break!'when it made you repent all your waiting and silence
and discouraged your humble courage-then you were
0 solitude! 0 my home, solitude! How happily and
tenderly your voice speaks to mel We do not question
each other, we do not complain to each other, we often
walk together through open doors. For where you are,
things are open and bright; and the hours too walk on
lighter feet here. For in darkness, time weighs more
heavily on us than in the light. Here the words and
word-shrines of all being open up before me: here all
being wishes to become word, all becoming wishes to
learn from me how to speak.
Down there, however, all 'speech is in vain. There,
forgetting and passing by are the best wisdom: that I
have learned now. He who would grasp everything
human would have to grapple with everything. But for
that my hands are too clean. I do not even want to inhale their breath; alas, that I lived so long among their
noises and vile breath!
O happy silence around me! 0 clean smells around
me! Oh, how this silence draws deep breaths of clean
air! Oh, how it listens, this happy silence
But down there everyone talks and no one listens.
You could ring in your wisdom with bells: the shopkeepers in the market place would outjingle it with
Everyone among them talks; no one knows how to
understand any more. Everything falls into the water,
nothing falls into deep wells any longer.
Everyone among them talks; nothing turns out well
any more and is finished. Everyone cackles; but who
still wants to sit quietly in the nest and hatch eggs?
Everyone among them talks; everything is talked to
pieces. And what even yesterday was still too hard for
time itself and its tooth, today hangs, spoiled by scraping and gnawing, out of the mouths of the men of
Everyone among them talks; everything is betrayed.
And what was once called the secret and the secrecy of
deep souls today belongs to the street trumpeters and
Oh, everything human is strange, a noise on dark
streets But now it lies behind me again: my greatest
danger lies behind me!
Consideration and pity have ever been my greatest
dangers, and everything human wants consideration and
pity. With concealed truths, with a fool's hands and a
fond, foolish heart and a wealth of the little lies of pity:
thus I always lived among men. Disguised I sat among
them, ready to mistake myself that I might endure
them, and willingly urging myself, 'You fool, you do
not know men."
One forgets about men when one lives among men;
there is too much foreground in all men: what good are
far-sighted, far-seeking eyes there? And whenever they
mistook me, I, fool that I am, showed them more consideration than myself, being used to hardness against
myself, and often I even took revenge on myself for
being too considerate. Covered with the bites of poisonous flies and hollowed out like a stone by many drops
of malice, thus I sat among them, and I still reminded
myself, "Everything small is innocent of its smallness."
Especially those who call themselves "the good" I
found to be the most poisonous flies: they bite in all
innocence, they lie in all innocence; how could they
possibly be just to me? Pity teaches all who live among
the good to lie. Pity surrounds all free souls with musty
air. For the stupidity of the good is unfathomable.
To conceal myself and my wealth, that I learned
down there; for I have found everyone poor in spirit.
The lie of my pity was this, that I knew I could see and
smell in everyone what was spirit enough for him and
what was too much spirit for him. Their stiff sages-I
called them sagacious, not stiff; thus I learned to swallow words. Their gravediggers-I called them researchers and testers; thus I learned to change words. The
gravediggers dig themselves sick; under old rubbish lie
noxious odors. One should not stir up the morass. One
should live on mountains.
With happy nostrils I again brea the mountain freedom. At last my nose is delivered from the smell of
everything human. Tickled by the sharp air as by
sparkling wines, my soul sneezes-sneezes and jubilates
to itself: Gesundheit!
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, THE RETURN HOME
"-And I saw a great sadness descend upon mankind.
The best grew weary of their works. A doctrine appeared, accompanied by a faith: 'All is empty, all is the
same, all has been!' And from all the hills it echoed:
'All is empty, all is the same, all has been' Indeed we
have harvested: but why did all our fruit turn rotten
and brown? What fell down from the evil moon last
night? In vain was all our work; our wine has turned to
poison; an evil eye has seared our fields and hearts. We
have all become dry; and if fire should descend on us,
we should turn to ashes; indeed, we have wearied the
fire itself. All our wells have dried up; even the sea
has withdrawn. All the soil would crack, but the depth
refuses to devour. 'Alas, where is there still a sea in
which one might drown?' thus are we wailing across
shallow swamps. Verily, we have become too weary
even to die. We are still waking and living on-in
Thus Zarathustra heard a soothsayer speak, and the
prophecy touched his heart and changed him. He
walked about sad and weary; and he became like those
of whom the soothsayer had spoken.
"Verily," he said to his disciples, "little is lacking and
this long twilight will come. Alas, how shall I save my
light through it? It must not suffocate in this sadness.
For it shall be a light for distant worlds and even more
Thus grieved in his heart, Zarathustra walked about;
and for three days he took neither food nor drink, had
no rest, and lost his speech. At last he fell into a deep
sleep. But his disciples sat around him in long night
watches and waited with great concern for him to wake
and speak again and recover from his melancholy.
And this is the speech of Zarathustra when he awoke;
but his voice came to his disciples as if from a great
"Listen to the dream which I dreamed, my friends,
and help me guess its meaning. This dream is still a
riddle to me; its meaning is concealed in it and imprisoned and does not yet soar above it with unfettered
"I had turned my back on all life, thus I dreamed. I
had become a night watchman and a guardian of tombs
upon the lonely mountain castle of death. Up there I
guarded his coffins: the musty vaults were full of such
marks of triumph. Life that had been overcome, looked
at me out of glass coffins. I breathed the odor of dusty
eternities: sultry and dusty lay my soul. And who could
have aired his soul there?
"The brightness of midnight was always about me;
loneliness crouched next to it; and as a third, death-rattle silence, the worst of my friends. I had keys, the
rustiest of all keys; and I knew how to use them to
open the most creaking of all gates. Like a wickedly
angry croaking, the sound ran through the long corridors
when the gate's wings moved: fiendishly cried this bird,
ferocious at being awakened. Yet still more terrible and
heart-constricting was the moment when silence returned and it grew quiet about me, and I sat alone in
this treacherous silence.
"Thus time passed and crawled, if time still existedhow should I know? But eventually that happened
which awakened me. Thrice, strokes struck at the gate
like thunder; the vaults echoed and howled thrice; then
I went to the gate. 'Alpa,' I cried, 'who is carrying his
ashes up the mountain? Alpal Alpal Who is carrying his
ashes up the mountain?' And I pressed the key and
tried to lift the gate and exerted myself; but still it did
not give an inch. Then a roaring wind tore its wings
apart; whistling, shrilling, and piercing, it cast up a
black coffin before me.
"And amid the roaring and whistling and shrilling the
coffin burst and spewed out a thousandfold laughter.
And from a thousand grimaces of children, angels, owls,
fools, and butterflies as big as children, it laughed and
mocked and roared at me. Then I was terribly frightened; it threw me to the ground. And I cried in horror
as I have never cried. And my own cry awakened meand I came to my senses."
Thus Zarathustra told his dream and then became
silent; for as yet he did not know the interpretation of
his dream. But the disciple whom he loved most rose
quickly, took Zarathustra's hand, and said:
"Your life itself interprets this dream for us, 0 Zarathustra. Are you not yourself the wind with the shrill
whistling that tears open the gates of the castles of
death? Are you not yourself the coffin full of colorful
sarcasms and the angelic grimaces of life? Verily, like
a thousandfold children's laughter Zarathustra enters
all death chambers, laughing at all the night watchmen
and guardians of tombs and at whoever else is rattling
with gloomy keys. You will frighten and prostrate them
with your laughter; and your power over them will
make them faint and wake them. And even when the
long twilight and the weariness of death come, you will
not set in our sky, you advocate of life. New stars you
have let us see, and new wonders of the night; verily,
laughter itself you have spread over us like a colorful
tent. Henceforth children's laughter will well forth from
all coffins; henceforth a strong wind will come triumphantly to all weariness of death: of this you yourself
are our surety and soothsayer. Verily, this is what you
dreamed of: your enemies. That was your hardest
dream. But as you woke from them and came to your
senses, thus they shall awaken from themselves-and
come to you."
Thus spoke the disciple; and all the others crowded
around Zarathustra and took hold of his hands and
wanted to persuade him to leave his bed and his sadness
and to return to them. But Zarathustra sat erect on his
resting place with a strange look in his eyes. Like one
coming home from a long sojourn in strange lands, he
looked at his disciples and examined their faces; and
as yet he did not recognize them. But when they lifted
him up and put him on his feet, behold, his eyes suddenly changed; he comprehended all that had happened, stroked his beard, and said in a strong voice:
"Now then, there is a time for this too. But see to it,
my disciples, that we shall have a good meal, and soon.
Thus I plan to atone for bad dreams. The soothsayer,
however, shall eat and drink by my side; and verily, I
shall show him a sea in which he can drown."
Thus spoke Zarathustra. But then he looked a long
time into the face of the disciple who had played the
dream interpreter and he shook his head.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, THE SOOTHSAYER
There is an island in the sea-not far from Zarathustra's blessed isles-on which a fire-spewing mountain smokes continually; and the people say of it, and
especially the old women among the people say, that
it has been placed like a huge rock before the gate to
the underworld, and that the narrow path that leads to
this gate to the underworld goes through the fire-spewing mountain.
Now it was during the time when Zarathustra was
staying on the blessed isles that a ship anchored at the
island with the smoking mountain and the crew went
ashore to shoot rabbits. Around noon, however, when
the captain and his men were together again, they suddenly saw a man approach through the air, and a voice
said distinctly, "It is time It is high time!" And when
the shape had come closest to them-and it flew by
swiftly as a shadow in the direction of the fire-spewing
mountain-they realized with a great sense of shock
that it was Zarathustra; for all of them had seen him
before, except the captain, and they loved him as the
people love-with a love that is mixed with an equal
amount of awe. "Look there" said the old helmsman.
"There is Zarathustra descending to hell!"
At the time these seamen landed at the isle of fire
there was a rumor abroad that Zarathustra had disappeared; and when his friends were asked, they
said that he had embarked by night without saying
where he intended to go. Thus uneasiness arose; and
after three days the story of the seamen was added to
this uneasiness; and now all the people said that the
devil had taken Zarathustra. His disciples laughed at
such talk to be sure, and one of them even said, "Sooner
would I believe that Zarathustra has taken the devil."
But deep in their souls they were all of them full of
worry and longing; thus their joy was great when on the
fifth day Zarathustra appeared among them.
And this is the story of Zarathustra's conversation
with the fire hound:
"The earth," he said, "has a skin, and this skin has
diseases. One of these diseases, for example, is called
'man.' And another one of these diseases is called 'fire
hound': about him men have told each other, and believed, many lies. To get to the bottom of this mystery
I went over the sea, and I have seen truth nakedverily, barefoot up to the throat. Now I am informed
concerning the fire hound, and also concerning all scum-
and overthrow devils, of whom not only old women
"'Out with you, fire houndl Out from your depth!' I
cried. 'And confess how deep this depth is! Whence
comes what you are snorting up here? You drink copiously from the sea: your salty eloquence shows that.
Indeed, for a hound of the depth you take your nourishment too much from the surface. At most, I take you for
the earth's ventriloquist; and whenever I have heard
overthrow- and scum-devils talking, I found them like
you: salty, mendacious, and superficial. You know how
to bellow and to darken with ashes. You are the best
braggarts and great experts in the art of making mud
seethe. Wherever you are, mud must always be nearby,
and much that is spongy, cavernous, compressed-and
wants freedom. Freedom is what all of you like best
to bellow; but I have outgrown the belief in "great
events" wherever there is much bellowing and smoke.
"'Believe me, friend Hellishnoise: the greatest events
-they are not our loudest but our stillest hours. Not
around the inventors of new noise, but around the
inventors of new values does the world revolve; it
"'Admit it! Whenever your noise and smoke were
gone, very little had happened. What does it matter if
a town became a mummy and a statue lies in the mud?
And this word I shall add for those who overthrow
statues: nothing is more foolish than casting salt into the
sea and statues into the mud. The statue lay in the mud
of your contempt; but precisely this is its law, that out
of contempt life and living beauty come back to it. It
rises again with more godlike features, seductive
through suffering; and verily, it will yet thank you for
having overthrown it, 0 you overthrowers. This counsel,
however, I give to kings and churches and everything
that is weak with age and weak in virtue: let yourselves
be overthrown-so that you may return to life, and
virtue return to you.'
"Thus I spoke before the fire hound; then he interrupted me crossly and asked, 'Church? What is that?'
"'Church?' I answered. 'That is a kind of state-the
most mendacious kind. But be still, you hypocritical
houndl You know your own kind best! Like you, the
state is a hypocritical hound; like you, it likes to talk
with smoke and bellowing-to make himself believe,
like you, that he is talking out of the belly of reality.
For he wants to be by all means the most important
beast on earth, the state; and they believe him too.'
"When I had said that, the fire hound carried on as
if crazy with envy. 'What?' he cried, 'the most important
beast on earth? And they believe him too?' And so much
steam and so many revolting voices came out of his
throat that I thought he would suffocate with anger and
"At last, he grew calmer and his gasping eased; and
as soon as he was calm I said, laughing, 'You are angry,
fire hound; so I am right about you! And that I may
continue to be right, let me tell you about another fire
hound. He really speaks out of the heart of the earth.
He exhales gold and golden rain; thus his heart wants
it. What are ashes and smoke and hot slime to him?
Laughter flutters out of him like colorful clouds; nor is
he well disposed toward your gurgling and spewing
and intestinal rumblings. This gold, however, and this
laughter he takes from the heart of the earth; forknow this-the heart of the earth is of gold.'
'When the fire hound heard this he could no longer
bear listening to me. Shamed, he drew in his tail, in a
cowed manner said 'bow-wow,' and crawled down into
Thus related Zarathustra. But his disciples barely
listened, so great was their desire to tell him of the seamen, the rabbits, and the flying man.
"What shall I think of that?" said Zarathustra; "am I
a ghost then? But it must have been my shadow. I suppose you have heard of the wanderer and his shadow?
This, however, is clear: I must watch it more closelyelse it may yet spoil my reputation."
And once more Zarathustra shook his head and wondered. "What shall I think of that?" he said once more.
"Why did the ghost cry, 'It is time! It is high time!'
High time for what?"
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON GREAT EVENTS
Zarathustra had not yet walked an hour in his mountains and woods when he suddenly saw a strange procession. On the very path he wanted to follow down,
two kings were approaching, adorned with crowns and
crimson belts and colorful as flamingos; and they were
driving a laden ass before them. "What do these kings
want in my realm?" Zarathustra said in his heart, surprised, and quickly he hid behind a bush. But when the
kings came close he said half aloud, as if talking to himself, "Strangel Strangel How does this fit together? Two
kings I see-and only one assl"
The two kings stopped, smiled, looked in the direction from which the voice had come, and then looked
at each other. "Something of the sort may have occurred
to one of us too," said the king at the right; "but one
does not say it." The king at the left, however, shrugged
his shoulders and replied, "It inay well be a goatherd.
Or a hermit who has lived too long among rocks and
trees. For no society at all also spoils good manners."
"Good manners?" the other king retorted angrily and
bitterly; "then what is it that we are trying to get away
from? Is it not 'good manners'? Our 'good society'? It is
indeed better to live among hermits and goatherds than
among our gilded, false, painted mob-even if they
call themselves 'good society,' even if they call themselves 'nobility.' They are false and foul through and
through, beginning with the blood, thanks to bad old
diseases and worse quacks. Best and dearest to me today is a healthy peasant, coarse, cunning, stubborn,
enduring: that is the noblest species today. The peasant
is the best type today, and the peasant type should be
master. But it is the realm of the mob; I shall not be
deceived any more. Mob, however, means hodgepodge.
Mob-hodgepodge: there everything is mixed up in every
way, saint and scamp and Junker and Jew and every
kind of beast out of Noah's ark. Good manners Everything among us is false and foul. Nobody knows how to
revere any longer: we are trying to get away from precisely that. They are saccharine, obtrusive curs; they
gild palm leaves.
"This nausea suffocates me: we kings ourselves have
become false, overhung and disguised with ancient yellowed grandfa thers' pomp, showpieces for the most
stupid and clever and anyone who haggles for power
today. We are not the first and yet must represent them:
it is this deception that has come to disgust and nauseate us. We have tried to get away from the rabble, all
these scream-throats and scribbling bluebottles, the
shopkeepers' stench, the ambitious wriggling, the foul
breath-phew for living among the rabble! Phew for
representing the first among the rabble! Nauseal
Nauseal Nauseal What do we kings matter now?"
"Your old illness is upon you," the king at the left
said at this point; "nausea is seizing you, my poor
brother. But you know that somebody is listening to us."
Immediately Zarathustra, who had opened his ears
and eyes wide at this talk, rose from his hiding-place,
walked toward the kings, and began, "He who is listening to you, he who likes to listen to you, 0 kings, is
called Zarathustra. I am Zarathustra, who once said,
'What do kings matter now?' Forgive me, I was delighted when you said to each other, 'What do we kings
matter now?' Here, however, is my realm and my
dominion: what might you be seeking in my realm?
But perhaps you found on your way what I am looking
for: the higher man.'
When the kings heard this, they beat their breasts
and said as with one voice, 'We have been found out.
With the sword of this word you cut through our hearts'
thickest darkness. You have discovered our distress, for
behold, we are on our way to find the higher man-the
man who is higher than we, though we are kings. To
him we are leading this ass. For the highest man shall
also be the highest lord on earth. Man's fate knows no
harsher misfortune than when those who have power
on earth are not also the first men. That makes everything false and crooked and monstrous. And when they
are even the last, and more beast than man, then the
price of the mob rises and rises, and eventually the
virtue of the mob even says, 'Behold, I alone am virtuel'
"What did I just hear?" replied Zarathustra. "What
wisdom in kings I am delighted and, verily, even
feel the desire to make a rhyme on this-even if it
should be a rhyme which is not fit for everybody's ears.
I have long become unaccustomed to any consideration
for long ears. Well then" (But at this point it happened
that the ass too got in a word; but he said clearly and
with evil intent, Yea-Yuh.)
"Once-in the year of grace number one, I thinkThe Sibyl said, drunken without any drink,
'Now everything goes wrong! Oh, woel
Decayl The world has never sunk so lowl
Rome sank to whoredom and became a stew,
The Caesars became beasts, and God-a Jewl'"
These rhymes of Zarathustra delighted the kings; but
the king at the right said, "O Zarathustra, how well we
did to go forth to see youl For your enemies showed us
your image in their mirror: there you had the mocking
grimace of a devil, so that we were afraid of you. But
what could we do? Again and again you pierced our
ears and hearts with your maxims. So we said at last:
what difference does it make how he looks? We must
hear him who teaches: 'You shall love peace as a means
to new wars, and the short peace more than the long!'
Nobody ever spoke such warlike words: 'What is good?
To be brave is good. It is the good war that hallows
any cause.' Zarathustra, the blood of our fathers stirred
in our bodies at such words: it was like the speech of
spring to old wine barrels. When the swords ran wild
like snakes with red spots, our fathers grew fond of
life; the sun of all peace struck them as languid and
lukewarm, and any long peace caused shame. How our
fathers sighed when they saw flashing dried-up swords
on the wall! Like them, they thirsted for war. For a
sword wants to drink blood and glistens with desire."
When the kings talked thus and chatted eagerly of
the happiness of their fathers, Zarathustra was overcome
with no small temptation to mock their eagerness: for
obviously they were very peaceful kings with old and
fine faces. But he restrained himself. "Well!" he said,
"that is where the path leads; there lies Zarathustra's
cave; and this day shall yet have a long evening. Now,
however, a cry of distress calls me away from you
urgently. My cave is honored if kings want to sit in it
and wait: only, you will have to wait long. But what
does it matter? Where does one now learn better how
to wait than at court? And all the virtue left to kings
today-is it not called: being able to wait?"
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, CONVERSATION WITH THE KINGS
82: ON THE SPIRIT OF GRAVITY
My tongue is of the people: I speak too crudely and
heartily for Angora rabbits. And my speech sounds even
stranger to all ink-fish and pen-hacks.
My hand is a fool's hand: beware, all tables and walls
and whatever else still offer room for foolish frill or
My foot is a cloven foot; with it I trample and trot
over sticks and stones, crisscross, and I am happy as the
devil while running so fast.
My stomach-is it an eagle's stomach? For it likes
lamb best of all. Certainly it is the stomach of some
bird. Nourished on innocent things and on little, ready
and impatient to fly, to fly off-that happens to be my
way: how could there not be something of the bird's
way in that? And above all, I am an enemy of the spirit
of gravity, that is the bird's way-and verily, a sworn
enemy, archenemy, primordial enemy. Oh, where has
not my enmity flown and misflown in the past?
Of that I could well sing a song-and will sing it,
although I am alone in an empty house and must sing
it to my own ears. There are other singers, of course,
whose throats are made mellow, whose hands are made
talkative, whose eyes are made expressive, whose hearts
are awakened, only by a packed house. But I am not
He who will one day teach men to fly will have
moved all boundary stones; the boundary stones themselves will fly up into the air before him, and he will
rebaptize the earth-"the light one."
The ostrich runs faster than the fastest horse, but
even he buries his head gravely in the grave earth; even
so, the man who has not yet learned to fly. Earth and
life seem grave to him; and thus the spirit of gravity
wants it. But whoever would become light and a bird
must love himself: thus I teach.
Not, to be sure, with the love of the wilting and
wasting: for among those even self-love stinks. One
must learn to love oneself-thus I teach-with a wholesome and healthy love, so that one can bear to be with
oneself and need not roam. Such roaming baptizes itself "love of the neighbor": with this phrase the best lies
and hypocrisies have been perpetrated so far, and especially by such as were a grave burden for all the world.
And verily, this is no comm and for today and tomorrow, to learn to love oneself. Rather, it is of all
arts the subtlest, the most cunning, the ultimate, and
the most patient. For whatever is his own is well concealed from the owner; and of all treasures, it is our
own that we dig up last: thus the spirit of gravity
We are presented with grave words and values almost from the cradle: "good" and "evil" this gift is
called. For its sake we are forgiven for living.
And therefore one suffers little children to come unto
one-in order to forbid them betimes to love themselves: thus the spirit of gravity orders it.
And we-we carry faithfully what one gives us to
bear, on hard shoulders and over rough mountains. And
should we sweat, we are told: "Yes, life is a grave
burden." But only man is a grave burden for himself
That is because he carries on his shoulders too much
that is alien to him. Like a camel, he kneels down and
lets himself be well loaded. Especially the strong,
reverent spirit that would bear much: he loads too
many alien grave words and values on himself, and
then life seems a desert to him.
And verily, much that is our own is also a grave
burden! And much that is inside man is like an oyster:
nauseating and slippery and hard to grasp, so that a
noble shell with a noble embellishment must plead for
it. But this art too one must learn: to have a shell and
shiny sheen and shrewd blindness. Moreover, one is
deceived about many things in man because many a
shell is shabby and sad and altoge ther too much shell.
Much hidden graciousness and strength is never
guessed; the most exquisite delicacies find no tasters.
Women know this-the most exquisite do: a little fatter, a little slimmer-oh, how much destiny lies in so
Man is hard to discover-hardest of all for himself:
often the spirit lies about the soul. Thus the spirit of
gravity orders it. He, however, has discovered himself
who says, "This is my good and evil"; with that he has
reduced to silence the mole and dwarf who say, "Good
for all, evil for all."
Verily, I also do not like those who consider everything good and this world the best. Such men I call
the omni-satisfied. Omni-satisfaction, which knows how
to taste everything, that is not the best taste. I honor
the recalcitrant choosy tongues and stomachs, which
have learned to say "I" and "yes" and "no." But to
chew and digest everything-that is truly the swine's
manner. Always to bray Yea-Yuh-that only the ass has
learned, and whoever is of his spirit.
Deep yellow and hot red: thus my taste wants it; it
mixes blood into all colors. But whoever whitewashes
his house betrays a whitewashed soul to me. Some in
love with mummies, the others with ghosts, and both
alike enemies of all flesh and blood-oh, how both
offend my taste. For I love blood.
And I do not want to reside and abide where everybody spits and spews: that happens to be my taste;
rather I would live even among thieves and perjurers.
Nobody has gold in his mouth. Still more revolting,
however, I find all lickspittles; and the most revolting
human animal that I found I baptized "parasite": it
did not want to love and yet it wanted to live on love.
Cursed I call all who have only one choice: to become evil beasts or evil tamers of beasts; among such
men I would not build my home.
Cursed I call those too who must always wait; they
offend my taste: all the publicans and shopkeepers and
kings and other land- and storekeepers. Verily, I too
have learned to wait-thoroughly-but only to wait for
myself. And above all I learned to stand and walk and
run and jump and climb and dance. This, however, is
my doctrine: he who would learn to fly one day must
first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and
dance: one cannot fly into flying. With rope ladders I
have learned to climb to many a window; with swift
legs I climbed high masts; and to sit on high masts of
knowledge seemed to me no small happiness: to flicker
like small flames on high masts-a small light only and
yet a great comfort for shipwrecked sailors and castaways.
By many ways, in many ways, I reached my truth:
it was not on one ladder that I climbed to the height
where my eye roams over my distance. And it was only
reluctantly that I ever inquired about the way: that
always offended my taste. I preferred to question and
try out the ways themselves.
A trying and questioning was my every move; and
verily, one must also learn to answer such questioning.
That, however, is my taste-not good, not bad, but my
taste of which I am no longer ashamed and which I
have no wish to hide.
"This is my way; where is yours?"-thus I answered
those who asked me "the way." For the way-that does
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON THE SPIRIT OF GRAVITY
Not long, however, after Zarathustra had got away
from the magician, he again saw somebody sitting by
the side of his path: a tall man in black, with a gaunt
pale face; and this man displeased him exceedingly.
"Alas!" he said to his heart, "there sits muffled-up
melancholy, looking like the tribe of priests: what do
they want in my realm? How now? I have scarcely
escaped that magician; must another black artist cross
my way so soon-some wizard with laying-on of hands,
some dark miracle worker by the grace of God, some
anointed world-slanderer whom the devil should fetch?
But the devil is never where he should be: he always
comes too late, this damned dwarf and clubfoot!"
Thus cursed Zarathustra, impatient in his heart, and
he wondered how he might sneak past the black man,
looking the other way. But behold, it happened otherwise. For at the same moment the seated man had
already spotted him; and not unlike one on whom unexpected good fortune has been thrust, he jumped up
and walked toward Zarathustra.
"Whoever you may be, you wanderer," he said, "help
one who has lost his way, a seeker, an old man who
might easily come to grief here. This region is remote
and strange to me, and I have heard wild animals
howling; and he who might have offered me protection
no longer exists himself. I sought the last pious man, a
saint and hermit who, alone in his forest, had not yet
heard what all the world knows today."
"What does all the world know today?" asked Zarathustra. "Perhaps this, that the old god in whom all
the world once believed no longer lives?"
"As you say," replied the old man sadly. "And I
served that old god until his last hour. But now I am
retired, without a master, and yet not free, nor ever
cheerful except in my memories. That is why I climbed
these mountains, that I might again have a festival at
last, as is fitting for an old pope and church father-for
behold, I am the last pope-a festival of pious memories
and divine services. But now he himself is dead, the
most pious man, that saint in the forest who constantly
praised his god with singing and humming. I did not
find him when I found his cave; but there were two
wolves inside, howling over his death, for all animals
loved him. So I ran away. Had I then come to these
woods and mountains in vain? Then my heart decided
that I should seek another man, the most pious of all
those who do not believe in God-that I should seek
Thus spoke the old man, and he looked with sharp
eyes at the man standing before him; but Zarathustra
seized the hand of the old pope and long contemplated
it with admiration. "Behold, venerable one!" he said
then; "what a beautiful long hand! That is the hand of
one who has always dispensed blessings. But now it
holds him whom you seek, me, Zarathustra. It is I, the
godless Zarathustra, who speaks: who is more godless
than I, that I may enjoy his instruction?"
Thus spoke Zarathustra, and with his glances he
pierced the thoughts and the thoughts behind the
thoughts of the old pope. At last the pope began, "He
who loved and possessed him most has also lost him
most now; behold, now I myself am probably the more
godless of the two of us. But who could rejoice in that?"
"You served him to the last?" Zarathustra asked
thoughtfully after a long silence. "You know how he
died? Is it true what they say, that pity strangled him,
that he saw how man hung on the cross and that he
could not bear it, that love of man became his hell, and
in the end his death?"
The old pope, however, did not answer but looked
aside, shy, with a pained and gloomy expression. "Let
him go!" Zarathustra said after prolonged reflection,
still looking the old man straight in the eye. "Let him
gol He is gone. And although it does you credit that
you say only good things about him who is now dead,
you know as well as I who he was, and that his ways
"Speaking in the confidence of three eyes," the old
pope said cheerfully (for he was blind in one eye), "in
what pertains to God, I am-and have the right to be
-more enlightened than Zarathustra himself. My love
served him many years, my will followed his will in
everything. A good servant, however, knows everything,
including even things that his master conceals from
himself. He was a concealed god, addicted to secrecy.
Verily, even a son he got himself in a sneaky way. At
the door of his faith stands adultery.
"Whoever praises him as a god of love does not have
a high enough opinion of love itself. Did this god not
want to be a judge too? But the lover loves beyond
reward and retri bution.
"When he was young, this god out of the Orient, he
was harsh and vengeful and he built himself a hell to
amuse his favorites. Eventually, however, he became
old and soft and mellow and pitying, more like a grandfa ther than a father, but most like a shaky old grandmo ther. Then he sat in his nook by the hearth, wilted,
grieving over his weak legs, weary of the world, weary
of willing, and one day he choked on his all-too-great
"You old pope," Zarathustra interrupted at this point,
"did you see that with your own eyes? Surely it might
have happened that way-that way, and also in some
other way. When gods die, they always die several
kinds of death. But-well then! This way or that, this
way and that-he is gone! He offended the taste of my
ears and eyes; I do not want to say anything worse
about him now that he is dead.
"I love all that looks bright and speaks honestly. But
he-you know it, you old priest, there was something
of your manner about him, of the priests manner: he
was equivocal. He was also indistinct. How angry he
got with us, this wrath-snorter, because we understood
him badly! But why did he not speak more cleanly?
And if it was the fault of our ears, why did he give us
ears that heard him badly? If there was mud in our
ears-well, who put it there? He bungled too much, this
potter who had never finished his apprenticeship. But
that he wreaked revenge on his pots and creations for
having bungled them himself, that was a sin against
good taste. There is good taste in piety too; and it was
this that said in the end, 'Away with such a god! Rather
no god, rather make destiny on one's own, rather be a
fool, rather be a god oneselfl"
"What is this I hear?" said the old pope at this
point, pricking up his ears. "0 Zarathustra, with such
disbelief you are more pious than you believe. Some
god in you must have converted you to your godlessness.
Is it not your piety itself that no longer lets you believe
in a god? And your overgreat honesty will yet lead you
beyond good and evil too. Behold, what remains to you?
You have eyes and hands and mouth, predestined for
blessing from all eternity. One does not bless with the
hand alone. Near you, although you want to be the
most godless, I scent a secret, sacred, pleasant scent of
long blessings: it gives me gladness and grief. Let me
be your guest, 0 Zarathustra, for one single night! Nowhere on earth shall I now feel better than with you."
"Amen! So be it!" said Zarathustra in great astonishment. "Up there goes the way, there lies Zarathustra's
cave. I should indeed like to accompany you there myself, you venerable one, for I love all who are pious. But
now a cry of distress urgently calls me away from you.
In my realm no one shall come to grief; my cave is a
good haven. And I wish that I could put everyone who
is sad back on firm land and firm legs.
"But who could take your melancholy off your shoulders? For that I am too weak. Verily, we might wait
long before someone awakens your god again. For this
old god lives no more: he is thoroughly dead."
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, RETIRED
84: ON THE
In a dream, in the last dream of the morning, I stood
in the foothills today-beyond the world, held scales,
and weighed the world. Alas, the jealous dawn came
too early and glowed me awakel She is always jealous
of my glowing morning dreams.
Measurable by him who has time, weighable by a
good weigher, reachable by strong wings, guessable by
divine nutcrackers: thus my dream found the worldmy dream, a bold sailor, half ship, half hurricane,
taciturn as butterflies, impatient as falcons: how did it
have the patience or the time to weigh the world? Did
my wisdom secretly urge it, my laughing, wide-awake
day-wisdom which mocks all "infinite worlds"? For it
speaks: "Wherever there is force, number will become
Mistress: she has more force."
How surely my dream looked upon this finite world,
not inquisitively, not acquisitively, not afraid, not begging, as if a full apple offered itself to my hand, a ripe
golden apple with cool, soft, velvet skin, thus the world
offered itself to me; as if a tree waved to me, broadbranched, strong-willed, bent as a support, even as a
footstool for one weary of his way, thus the world stood
on my foothills; as if delicate hands carried a shrine toward me, a shrine open for the delight of bashful,
adoring eyes, thus the world offered itself to me today;
not riddle enough to frighten away human love, not
solution enough to put to sleep human wisdom: a
humanly good thing the world was to me today, though
one speaks so much evil of it.
How shall I thank my morning dream that I thus
weighed the world this morning? As a humanly good
thing it came to me, this dream and heart-comforter.
And to imitate it by day and to learn from it what was
best in it, I shall now place the three most evil things
on the scales and weigh them humanly well. He that
taught to bless also taught to curse; what are the three
best cursed things in the world? I shall put them on the
Sex, the lust to rule, selfishness: these three have so
far been best cursed and worst reputed and lied about;
these three I will weigh humanly well.
Well then, here are my foothills and there the sea:
that rolls toward me, shaggy, flattering, the faithful old
hundred-headed canine monster that I love. Well then,
here I will hold the scales over the rolling sea; and a
witness I choose too, to look on-you, solitary tree,
fragrant and broad-vaulted, that I love.
On what bridge does the present pass to the future?
By what compulsion does the higher compel itself to the
lower? And what bids even the highest grow still
Now the scales are balanced and still: three weighty
questions I threw on it; three weighty answers balance
the other scale.
Sex: to all hair-shirted despisers of the body, their
thorn and stake, and cursed as "world" among all the
afterworldly because it mocks and fools all teachers of
error and confusion.
Sex: for the rabble, the slow fire on which they are
burned; for all worm-eaten wood and all stinking rags,
the ever-ready rut and oven.
Sex: for free hearts, innocent and free, the garden
happiness of the earth, the future's exuberant gratitude
to the present.
Sex: only for the wilted, a sweet poison; for the lionwilled, however, the great invigoration of the heart and
the reverently reserved wine of wines.
Sex: the happiness that is the great parable of a
higher happiness and the highest hope. For to many is
marriage promised, and more than marriage-to many
who are stranger to each other than man and woman.
And who can wholly comprehend how strange man and
woman are to each other?
Sex-but I want to have fences around my thoughts
and even around my words, lest swine and swooners
break into my garden!
The lust to rule: the scalding scourge of the hardest
among the hardhearted; the hideous torture that is
saved up for the cruelest; the dark flame of living pyres.
The lust to rule: the malicious gadfly imposed on the
vainest peoples; the mocker of all uncertain virtues; the
rider on every horse and every pride.
The lust to rule: the earthquake that breaks and
breaks open everything worm-eaten and hollow; the
rumbling, grumbling punisher that breaks open whited
sepulchers; the lightning-like question mark beside premature answers.
The lust to rule: before whose glances man crawls
and ducks and slaves and becomes lower than snake
and swine, until finally the great contempt cries out of
The lust to rule: the terrible teacher of the great contempt, who preaches "away with you" to the very faces
of cities and empires, until it finally cries out of them
themselves, "Away with me!"
The lust to rule: which, however, also ascends luringly to the pure and lonely and up to self-sufficient
heights, glowing like a love that luringly paints crimson
fulfillments on earthly skies.
The lust to rule-but who would call it lust when
what is high longs downward for power? Verily, there
is nothing diseased or lustful in such longing and condescending. That the lonely heights should not remain
lonely and self-sufficient eternally; that the mountain
should descend to the valley and the winds of the
height to the low plains-oh, who were to find the right
name for such longing? "Gift-giving virtue"-thus Zarathustra once named the unnamable.
And at that time it also happened-and verily, it
happened for the first time-that his word pronounced
selfishness blessed, the wholesome, healthy selfishness
that wells from a powerful soul-from a powerful soul
to which belongs the high body, beautiful, triumphant,
refreshing, around which everything becomes a mirror
-the supple, persuasive body, the dancer whose parable and epitome is the self-enjoying soul. The selfenjoyment of such bodies and souls calls itself "virtue."
With its words about good and bad, such self-enjoyment screens itself as with sacred groves; with the
names of its happiness it banishes from its presence
whatever is contemptible. From its presence it banishes
whatever is cowardly; it says: bad-that is cowardly
Contemptible to its mind is anyone who always worries,
sighs, is miserable, and also anyone who picks up even
the smallest advantages. It also despises all wisdom
that wallows in grief; for verily, there is also wisdom
that blooms in the dark, a nightshade wisdom, which
always sighs: all is vain.
Shy mistrust it holds in low esteem, also anyone who
wants oaths instead of eyes and hands; also all wisdom
that is all-too-mistrustful, for that is the manner of
cowardly souls. In still lower esteem it holds the subservient, the doglike, who immediately lie on their
backs, the humble; and there is wisdom too that is
humble and doglike and pious and subservient. Altoge ther hateful and nauseating it finds those who never
offer resistance, who swallow poisonous spittle and evil
glances, the all-too-patient, all-suffering, always satisfied; for that is servile.
Whether one be servile before gods and gods' kicks
or before men and stupid men's opinions-whatever is
servile it spits on, this blessed selfishness. Bad: that is
what it calls everything that is sorely stooped and
sordidly servile, unfree blink-eyes, oppressed hearts, and
that false yielding manner that kisses with wide cowardly lips.
And sham wisdom: that is what it calls the would-be
wit of the servile and old and weary, and especially the
whole wicked, nitwitted, witless foolishness of priests.
The sham-wise, however-all the priests, the worldweary, and all those whose souls are womanish and
servile-oh, what wicked tricks has their trickery always
played on selfishness And what was considered virtue
and called virtue was playing wicked tricks on selfishnessl And "selfless"-that is how all these world-weary
cowards and cross-marked spiders wanted themselves,
for good reasons.
But for all these the day is now at hand, the change,
the sword of judgment, the great noon: much shall be
And whoever proclaims the ego wholesome and holy,
and selfishness blessed, verily, he will also tell what he
knows, foretelling: "Verily, it is at hand, it is near, the
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON THE THREE EVILS
85:THE UGLIEST MAN
And again Zarathustra's feet ran over mountains and
through woods, and his eyes kept seeking, but he whom
they wanted to see was nowhere to be seen: the great
distressed one who had cried out. All along the way,
however, Zarathustra jubilated in his heart and was
grateful. 'What good things," he said, "has this day
given me to make up for its bad beginning! What
strange people have I found to talk with Now I shall
long chew their words like good grains; my teeth shall
grind them and crush them small till they flow like milk
into my soul."
But when the path turned around a rock again the
scenery changed all at once, and Zarathustra entered a
realm of death. Black and red cliffs rose rigidly: no
grass, no tree, no bird's voice. For it was a valley that
all animals avoided, even the beasts of prey; only a
species of ugly fat green snakes came here to die when
they grew old. Therefore the shepherds called this
valley Snakes' Death.
Zarathustra, however, sank into a black reminiscence,
for he felt as if he had stood in this valley once before.
And much that was grave weighed on his mind; he
walked slowly, and still more slowly, and finally stood
still. But when he opened his eyes he saw something
sitting by the way, shaped like a human being, yet
scarcely like a human being-something inexpressible.
And all at once a profound sense of shame overcame
Zarathustra for having laid eyes on such a thing:
blushing right up to his white hair, he averted his eyes
and raised his feet to leave this dreadful place. But at
that moment the dead waste land was filled with a
noise, for something welled up from the ground, gurgling and rattling, as water gurgles and rattles by night
in clogged waterpipes; and at last it became a human
voice and human speech-thus:
"Zarathustra! Zarathustral Guess my riddle! Speak,
speak! What is the revenge against the witness? I lure
you back, here is slippery ice. Take care, take care that
your pride does not break its legs here! You think yourself wise, proud Zarathustra. Then guess the riddle, you
cracker of hard nuts-the riddle that I am. Speak then:
who am I?"
But when Zarathustra had heard these words-what
do you suppose happened to his soul? Pity seized him;
and he sank down all at once, like an oak tree that has
long resisted many woodcutters-heavily, suddenly,
terrifying even those who had wanted to fell it. But immediately he rose from the ground again, and his face
"I recognize you well," he said in a voice of bronze;
'you are the murderer of God! Let me go. You could
not bear him who saw you-who always saw you
through and through, you ugliest man! You took revenge on this witness!"
Thus spoke Zarathustra, and he wanted to leave; but
the inexpressible one seized a corner of his garment and
began again to gurgle and seek for words. "Stayl" he
said finally. "Stay! Do not pass by! I have guessed what
ax struck you to the ground: hail to you, 0 Zarathustra,
that you stand again! You have guessed, I know it
well, how he who killed him feels-the murderer of
God. Stay! Sit down here with me! It is not for nothing.
Whom did I want to reach, if not you? Stay! Sit down!
But do not look at me! In that way honor my ugliness
They persecute me; now you are my last refuge. Not
with their hatred, not with their catchpoles: I would
mock such persecution and be proud and glad of itl
"Has not all success hitherto been with the wellpersecuted? And whoever persecutes well, learns readily
how to follow; for he is used to going after somebody
else. But it is their pity-it is their pity that I flee,
fleeing to you. 0 Zarathustra, protect me, you my last
refuge, the only one who has solved my riddle: you
guessed how he who killed him feels. Stay! And if you
would go, you impatient one, do not go the way I
came. That way is bad. Are you angry with me that I
have even now stammered too long-and even advise
you? But know, it is I, the ugliest man, who also has
the largest and heaviest feet. Where I have gone, the
way is bad. I tread all ways till they are dead and
"But that you passed me by, silent; that you blushed,
I saw it well: that is how I recognized you as Zarathustra. Everyone else would have thrown his alms to
me, his pity, with his eyes and words. But for that I
am not beggar enough, as you guessed; for that I am
too rich, rich in what is great, in what is terrible, in
what is ugliest, in what is most inexpressible. Your
shame, Zarathustra, honored me! With difficulty I
escaped the throng of the pitying, to find the only one
today who teaches, 'Pity is obtrusive'-you, 0 Zarathustra. Whether it be a god's pity or man's-pity
offends the sense of shame. And to be unwilling to help
can be nobler than that virtue which jumps to help.
"But today that is called virtue itself among all the
little people-pity. They have no respect for great misfortune, for great ugliness, for great failure. Over this
multitude I look away as a dog looks away over the
backs of teeming flocks of sheep. They are little gray
people, full of good wool and good will. As a heron
looks away contemptuously over shallow ponds, its
head leaning back, thus I look away over the teeming
mass of gray little waves and wills and souls. Too long
have we conceded to them that they are right, these
little people; so that in the end we have also conceded
them might. Now they teach: 'Good is only what little
people call good.'
"And today 'truth' is what the preacher said, who
himself came from among them, that queer saint and
advocate of the little people who bore witness about
himself: 'I am the truth.' This immodest fellow has long
given the little people swelled heads-he who taught
no small error when he taught, 'I am the truth.' Has an
immodest fellow ever been answered more politely?
You, however, 0 Zarathustra, passed him by and said,
'No! No! Three times no!' You warned against his error,
you, as the first, warned against pity-not all, not none,
but you and your kind.
"You are ashamed of the shame of the great sufferer;
and verily, when you say, 'From pity, a great cloud
approaches; beware, 0 men!'; when you teach, 'All
creators are hard, all great love is over and above its
pity'-O Zarathustra, how well you seem to me to understand storm signs. But you-warn yourself also
against your pity. For many are on their way to you,
many who are suffering, doubting, despairing, drowning, freezing. And I also warn you against myself. You
guessed my best, my worst riddle: myself and what I
did. I know the ax that fells you.
"But he had to die: he saw with eyes that saw everything; he saw man's depths and ultimate grounds, all
his concealed disgrace and ugliness. His pity knew no
shame: he crawled into my dirtiest nooks. This most
curious, overobtrusive, overpitying one had to die. He
always saw me: on such a witness I wanted to have
revenge or not live myself. The god who saw everything, even man-this god had to die! Man cannot
bear it that such a witness should live."
Thus spoke the ugliest man. But Zarathustra rose and
was about to leave, for he felt frozen down to his very
entrails. "You inexpressible one," he said, "you have
warned me against your way. In thanks I shall praise
mine to you. Behold, up there lies Zarathustra's cave.
My cave is large and deep and has many nooks; even
the most hidden can find a hiding-place there. And
close by there are a hundred dens and lodges for crawling, fluttering, and jumping beasts. You self-exiled exile,
would you not live among men and men's pity? Well
then Do as I do. Thus you also learn from me; only
the doer learns. And speak first of all to my animals.
The proudest animal and the wisest animal-they
should be the right counselors for the two of us."
Thus spoke Zarathustra, and he went his way, still
more reflectively and slowly than before; for he asked
himself much, and he did not know how to answer himself readily. "How poor man is after all," he thought in
his heart; "how ugly, how wheezing, how full of hidden
shame! I have been told that man loves himself: ah,
how great must this self-love bel How much contempt
stands against it! This fellow too loved himself, even as
he despised himself: a great lover he seems to me, and
a great despiser. None have I found yet who despised
himself more deeply: that too is a kind of height. Alas,
was he perhaps the higher man whose cry I heard? I
love the great despisers. Man, however, is something
that must be overcome."
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, THE UGLIEST MAN
When it got abroad among the sailors that Zarathustra was on board-for another man from the blessed
isles had embarked with him-there was much curiosity
and anticipation. But Zarathustra remained silent for
two days and was cold and deaf from sadness and answered neither glances nor questions. But on the evening of the second day he opened his ears again,
although he still remained silent, for there was much
that was strange and dangerous to be heard on this
ship, which came from far away and wanted to sail
even farther. But Zarathustra was a friend of all who
travel far and do not like to live without danger. And
behold, eventually his own tongue was loosened as he
listened, and the ice of his heart broke. Then he began
to speak thus:
To you, the bold searchers, researchers, and whoever
embarks with cunning sails on terrible seas-to you,
drunk with riddles, glad of the twilight, whose soul
flutes lure astray to every whirlpool, because you do not
want to grope along a thread with cowardly hand; and
where you can guess, you hate to deduce-to you
alone I tell the riddle that I saw, the vision of the
Not long ago I walked gloomily through the deadly
pallor of dusk-gloomy and hard, with lips pressed
together. Not only one sun had set for me. A path that
ascended defiantly through stones, malicious, lonely, not
cheered by herb or shrub-a mountain path crunched
under the defiance of my foot. Striding silently over
the mocking clatter of pebbles, crushing the rock that
made it slip, my foot forced its way upward. Upwarddefying the spirit that drew it downward toward the
abyss, the spirit of gravity, my devil and archenemy.
Upward-although he sat on me, half dwarf, half
mole, lame, making lame, dripping lead into my ear,
leaden thoughts into my brain.
"O Zarathustra," he whispered mockingly, syllable by
syllable; "you philosopher's stone You threw yourself
up high, but every stone that is thrown must fall. 0
Zarathustra, you philosopher's stone, you slingstone,
you star-crusherl You threw yourself up so high; but
every stone that is thrown must fall. Sentenced to
yourself and to your own stoning-O Zarathustra, far
indeed have you thrown the stone, but it will fall back
Then the dwarf fell silent, and that lasted a long
time. His silence, however, oppressed me; and such
twosomeness is surely more lonesome than being alone.
I climbed, I climbed, I dreamed, I thought; but everything oppressed me. I was like one sick whom his
wicked torture makes weary, and who as he falls asleep
is awakened by a still more wicked dream. But there is
something in me that I call courage; that has so far
slain my every discouragement. This courage finally
bade me stand still and speak: "Dwarf! It is you or II"
For courage is the best slayer, courage which attacks;
for in every attack there is playing and brass.
Man, however, is the most courageous animal: hence
he overcame every animal. With playing and brass he
has so far overcome every pain; but human pain is the
Courage also slays dizziness at the edge of abysses:
and where does man not stand at the edge of abysses?
Is not seeing always-seeing abysses?
Courage is the best slayer: courage slays even pity.
But pity is the deepest abyss: as deeply as man sees
into life, he also sees into suffering.
Courage, however, is the best slayer-courage which
attacks: which slays even death itself, for it says, "Was
that life? Well then! Once morel"
In such words, however, there is much playing and
brass. He that has ears to hear, let him hear
"Stop, dwarf!" I said. "It is I or you! But I am the
stronger of us two: you do not know my abysmal
thought. That you could not bear!"
Then something happened that made me lighter, for
the dwarf jumped from my shoulder, being curious; and
he crouched on a stone before me. But there was a
gateway just where we had stopped.
"Behold this gateway, dwarfl" I continued. "It has
two faces. Two paths meet here; no one has yet followed either to its end. This long lane stretches back
for an eternity. And the long lane out there, that is
another eternity. They contradict each other, these
paths; they offend each other face to face; and it is
here at this gateway that they come together. The name
of the gateway is inscribed above: 'Moment.' But whoever would follow one of them, on and on, farther and
farther-do you believe, dwarf, that these paths contradict each other eternally?"
"All that is straight lies," the dwarf murmured contemptuously. "All truth is crooked; time itself is a
"You spirit of gravity," I said angrily, "do not make
things too easy for yourself Or I shall let you crouch
where you are crouching, lamefoot; and it was I that
carried you to this height.
"Behold," I continued, "this moment! From this gateway, Moment, a long, eternal lane leads backward:
behind us lies an eternity. Must not whatever can walk
have walked on this lane before? Must not whatever
can happen have happened, have been done, have
passed by before? And if everything has been there
before-what do you think, dwarf, of this moment?
Must not this gateway too have been there before? And
are not all things knotted together so firmly that this
moment draws after it all that is to come? Therefore
itself too? For whatever can walk-in this long lane out
there too, it must walk once more.
"And this slow spider, which crawls in the moonlight,
and this moonlight itself, and I and you in the gateway,
whispering together, whispering of eternal things-must
not all of us have been there before? And return and
walk in that other lane, out there, before us, in this
long dreadful lane-must we not eternally return?"
Thus I spoke, more and more softly; for I was afraid
of my own thoughts and the thoughts behind my
thoughts. Then suddenly I heard a dog howl nearby.
Had I ever heard a dog howl like this? My thoughts
raced back. Yes, when I was a child, in the most distant
childhood: then I heard a dog howl like this. And I saw
him too, bristling, his head up, trembling, in the stillest
midnight when even dogs believe in ghosts-and I
took pity: for just then the full moon, silent as death,
passed over the house; just then it stood still, a round
glow-still on the flat roof, as if on another's property
-that was why the dog was terrified, for dogs believe
in thieves and ghosts. And when I heard such howling
again I took pity again.
Where was the dwarf gone now? And the gateway?
And the spider? And all the whispering? Was I dreaming, then? Was I waking up?
Among wild cliffs I stood suddenly alone, bleak, in
the bleakest moonlight. But there lay a man. And there
-the dog, jumping, bristling, whining-now he saw
me coming; then he howled again, he cried. Had I ever
heard a dog cry like this for help? And verily, what I
saw-I had never seen the like. A young shepherd I
saw, writhing, gagging, in spasms, his face distorted,
and a heavy black snake hung out of his mouth. Had
I ever seen so much nausea and pale dread on one
face? He seemed to have been asleep when the snake
crawled into his throat, and there bit itself fast. My
hand tore at the snake and tore in vain; it did not tear
the snake out of his throat. Then it cried out of me:
"Bitel Bite its head offl Bitel" Thus it cried out of memy dread, my hatred, my nausea, my pity, all that is
good and wicked in me cried out of me with a single
You bold ones who surround mel You searchers, researchers, and whoever among you has embarked with
cunning sails on unexplored seas. You who are glad
of riddles Guess me this riddle that I saw then, interpret me the vision of the loneliest. For it was a vision
and a foreseeing. What did I see then in a parable?
And who is it who must yet come one day? Who is the
shepherd into whose throat the snake crawled thus?
Who is the man into whose throat all that is heaviest
and blackest will crawl thus?
The shepherd, however, bit as my cry counseled him;
he bit with a good bite. Far away he spewed the head
of the snake-and he jumped up. No longer shepherd,
no longer human-one changed, radiant, laughing!
Never yet on earth has a human being laughed as he
laughed! 0 my brothers, I heard a laughter that was no
human laughter; and now a thirst gnaws at me, a longing that never grows still. My longing for, this laughter
gnaws at me; oh, how do I bear to go on living And
how could I bear to die nowl
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON THE VISION AND THE RIDDLE
When Zarathustra crossed over the great bridge one
day the cripples and beggars surrounded him, and a
hunchback spoke to him thus: "Behold, Zarathustra.
The people too learn from you and come to believe in
your doctrine; but before they will believe you entirely
one thing is still needed: you must first persuade us
cripples. Now here you have a fine selection and, verily,
an opportunity with more than one handle. You can
heal the blind and make the lame walk; and from him
who has too much behind him you could perhaps take
away a little. That, I think, would be the right way to
make the cripples believe in Zarathustra."
But Zarathustra replied thus to the man who had
spoken: "When one takes away the hump from the
hunchback one takes away his spirit-thus teach the
people. And when one restores his eyes to the blind
man he sees too many wicked things on earth, and he
will curse whoever healed him. But whoever makes the
lame walk does him the greatest harm: for when he can
walk his vices run away with him-thus teach the
people about cipples. And why should Zarathustra not
learn from the people when the people learn from
"But this is what matters least to me since I have
been among men: to see that this one lacks an eye and
that one an ear and a third a leg, while there are others
who have lost their tongues or their noses or their heads.
I see, and have seen, what is worse, and many things
so vile that I do not want to speak of everything; and
concerning some things I do not even like to be silent:
for there are human beings who lack everything, except
one thing of which they have too much-human beings
who are nothing but a big eye or a big mouth or a big
belly or anything at all that is big. Inverse cripples I
"And when I came out of my solitude and crossed
over this bridge for the first time I did not trust my
eyes and looked and looked again, and said at last, 'An
earl An ear as big as a man!' I looked still more closely
-and indeed, underneath the ear something was moving, something pitifully small and wretched and slender.
And, no doubt of it, the tremendous ear was attached
to a small, thin stalk-but this stalk was a human being!
If one used a magnifying glass one could even recognize
a tiny envious face; also, that a bloated little soul was
dangling from the stalk. The people, however, told me
that this great ear was not only a human being, but a
great one, a genius. But I never believed the people
when they spoke of great men; and I maintained my
belief that it was an inverse cripple who had too little
of everything and too much of one thing."
When Zarathustra had spoken thus to the hunchback
and to those whose mouthpiece and advocate the
hunchback was, he turned to his disciples in profound
dismay and said: "Verily, my friends, I walk among
men as among the fragments and limbs of men. This is
what is terrible for my eyes, that I find man in ruins and
scattered as over a battlefield or a butcher-field. And
when my eyes flee from the now to the past, they always find the same: fragments and limbs and dreadful
accidents-but no human beings.
"The now and the past on earth-alas, my friends,
that is what I find most unendurable; and I should not
know how to live if I were not also a seer of that which
must come. A seer, a wilder, a creator, a future himself
and a bridge to the future-and alas, also, as it were, a
cripple at this bridge: all this is Zarathustra.
"And you too have often asked yourselves, 'Who is
Zarathustra to us? What shall we call him? And, like
myself, you replied to yourselves with questions. Is he
a promiser? or a fulfiller? A conqueror? or an inheritor?
An autumn? or a plowshare? A physician? or one who
has recovered? Is he a poet? or truthful? A liberator?
or a tamer? good? or evil?
"I walk among men as among the fragments of the
future-that future which I envisage. And this is all my
creating and striving, that I create and carry together
into One what is fragment and riddle and dreadful
accident. And how could I bear to be a man if man
were not also a creator and guesser of riddles and
redeemer of accidents?
"To redeem those who lived in the past and to recreate all 'it was' into a 'thus I willed it'-that alone
should I call redemption. Will-that is the name of the
liberator and joy-bringer; thus I taught you, my friends.
But now learn this too: the will itself is still a prisoner.
Willing liberates; but what is it that puts even the liberator himself in fetters? 'It was'-that is the name of
the will's gnashing of teeth and most secret melancholy.
Powerless against what has been done, he is an angry
spectator of all that is past. The will cannot will backwards; and that he cannot break time and time's
covetousness, that is the wills loneliest melancholy.
"Willing liberates; what means does the will devise
for himself to get rid of his melancholy and to mock
his dungeon? Alas, every prisoner becomes a fool; and
the imprisoned will redeems himself foolishly. That time
does not run backwards, that is his wrath; 'that which
was' is the name of the stone he cannot move. And so
he moves stones out of wrath and displeasure, and he
wreaks revenge on whatever does not feel wrath and
displeasure as he does. Thus the will, the liberator, took
to hurting; and on all who can suffer he wreaks revenge
for his inability to go backwards. This, indeed this
alone, is what revenge is: the will's ill will against time
and its 'it was.'
"Verily, a great folly dwells in our will; and it has
become a curse for everything human that this folly has
"The spirit of revenge, my friends, has so far been the
subject of man's best reflection; and where there was
suffering, one always wanted punishment too.
"For 'punishment' is what revenge calls itself; with a
hypocritical lie it creates a good conscience for itself.
"Because there is suffering in those who will, inasmuch as they cannot will backwards, willing itself and
all life were supposed to be-a punishment. And now
cloud upon cloud rolled over the spirit, until eventually
madness preached, 'Everything passes away; therefore
everything deserves to pass away. And this too is justice,
this law of time that it must devour its children.' Thus
"'Things are ordered morally according to justice and
punishment. Alas, where is redemption from the flux of
things and from the punishment called existence?' Thus
"'Can there be redemption if there is eternal justice?
Alas, the stone It was cannot be moved: all punishments
must be eternal too.' Thus preached madness.
"'No deed can be annihilated: how could it be undone by punishment? This, this is what is eternal in the
punishment called existence, that existence must eternally become deed and guilt again. Unless the will
should at last redeem himself, and willing should be-
come not willing.' But, my brothers, you know this
fable of madness.
"I led you away from these fables when I taught you,
'The will is a creator.' All 'it was' is a fragment, a riddle, a dreadful accident-until the creative will says to
it, 'But thus I willed it.' Until the creative will says to
it, 'But thus I will it; thus shall I will it.'
"But has the will yet spoken thus? And when will
that happen? Has the will been unharnessed yet from
his own folly? Has the will yet become his own redeemer and joy-bringer? Has he unlearned the spirit of
revenge and all gnashing of teeth? And who taught him
reconciliation with time and something higher than any
reconciliation? For that will which is the will to power
must will something higher than any reconciliation; but
how shall this be brought about? Who could teach him
also to will backwards?"
At this point in his speech it happened that Zarathustra suddenly stopped and looked altoge ther like one
who has received a severe shock. Appalled, he looked
at his disciples; his eyes pierced their thoughts and the
thoughts behind their thoughts as with arrows. But after
a little while he laughed again and, pacified, he said:
"It is difficult to live with people because silence is so
difficult. Especially for one who is garrulous."
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
The hunchback, however, had listened to this discourse and covered his face the while; but when he
heard Zarathustra laugh he looked up curiously and
said slowly: "But why does Zarathustra speak otherwise
to us than to his disciples?"
Zarathustra answered: "What is surprising in that?
With hunchbacks one may well speak in a hunchbacked
"All right," said the hunchback; "and one may well
tell pupils tales out of school. But why does Zarathustra
speak otherwise to his pupils than to himself?"
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON REDEMPTION
But when Zarathustra came around a rock he beheld,
not far below on the same path, a man who threw his
limbs around like a maniac and finally flopped down
on his belly. "Waitl" Zarathustra said to his heart; "that
must indeed be the higher man; from him came that
terrible cry of distress; let me see if he can still be
helped." But when he ran to the spot where the man lay
on the ground he found a trembling old man with
vacant eyes; and however Zarathustra exerted himself
to help the man to get up on his feet again, it was all
in vain. Nor did the unfortunate man seem to notice
that anybody was with him; rather he kept looking
around with piteous gestures, like one abandoned and
forsaken by all the world. At last, however, after many
shudders, convulsions, and contortions, he began to
"Who warms me, who loves me still?
Give hot hands
Give a heart as glowing coalsl
Stretched out, shuddering,
Like something half dead whose feet one warmsShaken, alas, by unknown fevers,
Shivering with piercing icy frost-arrows,
Hunted by thee, 0 thought
Unnamable, shrouded, terrible onel
Thou hunter behind clouds
Struck down by thy lightning bolt,
Thou mocking eye that stares at me from the dark:
Thus I lie
Writhing, twisting, tormented
With all eternal tortures,
By thee, cruelest hunter,
Thou unknown god!
Hit once more yetl
Drive a stake through and break this heart!
Why this torture
With blunt-toothed arrows?
Why dost thou stare again,
Not yet weary of human agony,
With gods' lightning eyes that delight in suffering?
Thou wouldst not kill,
Only torture, torture?
Why torture me,
Delighted by suffering, thou unknown god?
Hahl hah! Thou art crawling close?
In such midnightWhat dost thou want? Speakl
Thou art crowding, pressing meHah! Far too closely
Thou art listening to me breathe,
Thou art listening to my heart,
Thou jealous one
Jealous of what?
Awayl Awayl Why the ladder?
Wouldst thou enter
Climb in, deep into my
Most secret thoughts?
Shameless onel Unknown thief
What wouldst thou steal?
What wouldst thou gain by listening?
What wouldst thou gain by torture,
Or should I, doglike,
Roll before thee?
Devotedly, frantic, beside myself,
Wag love to thee?
In vain! Pierce on,
Cruelest thorn! No,
No dog-only thy game am I,
Thy proudest prisoner,
Thou robber behind clouds!
Speak at last!
What wouldst thou, waylayer, from me?
Thou lightning-shrouded onel Unknown one! Speak,
What wilt thou, unknown-god?
Why wilt thou ransom?
Demand much Thus my pride advises.
And make thy speech short! That my other pride
Me thou wilt have? Me?
And art torturing me, fool that thou art,
Torturing my pride?
Give love to me-who warms me still?
Who loves me still?-Give hot hands,
Give a heart as glowing coals,
Give me, the loneliest
Whom ice, alas, sevenfold ice
Teaches to languish for enemies,
Even for enemies,
Give, yes, give wholly,
He himself fled,
My last, only companion,
My great enemy,
Nol Do come back
With all thy tortures!
To the last of all that are lonely,
Oh, come back!
All my tear-streams run
Their course to thee;
And my heart's final flameFlares up for theel
Oh, come back,
My unknown godl My pain! My last-happiness!"
At this point, however, Zarathustra could not restrain
himself any longer, raised his stick, and started to beat
the moaning man with all his might. "Stop itl" he
shouted at him furiously. "Stop it, you actor You
counterfeiter! You liar from the bottom! I recognize you
well! I'll warm your legs for you, you wicked magician.
I know well how to make things hot for such as you."
"Leave offl" the old man said and leaped up from the
ground. "Don't strike any more, Zarathustral I did all
this only as a game. Such things belong to my art; it
was you that I wanted to try when I treated you to this
tryout. And verily, you have seen through me very well.
But you too have given me no small sample of yourself to
try out: you are hard, wise Zarathustra. Hard do you hit
with your 'truths'; your stick forces this truth out of me."
"Don't flatter!" replied Zarathustra, still excited and
angry, "you actor from the bottom! You are false; why
do you talk of truth? You peacock of peacocks, you sea
of vanity, what were you playing before me, you wicked
magician? In whom was I to believe when you were
moaning in this way?"
"The ascetic of the spirit," said the old man, "I played
him-you yourself once coined this word-the poet
and magician who at last turns his spirit against himself, the changed man who freezes to death from his
evil science and conscience. And you may as well confess it: it took a long time, 0 Zarathustra, before you
saw through my art and lie. You believed in my distress
when you held my head with both your hands; I heard
you moan, 'He has been loved too little, loved too little.'
That I deceived you to that extent made my malice
jubilate inside me."
"You may have deceived people subtler than I,"
Zarathustra said harshly. "I do not guard against
deceivers; I have to be without caution; thus my lot
wants it. You, however, have to deceive: that far I
know you. You always have to be equivocal-tri-,
quadri-, quinquevocal. And what you have now confessed, that too was not nearly true enough or false
enough to suit me. You wicked counterfeiter, how could
you do otherwise? You would rouge even your disease
when you show yourself naked to your doctor. In the
same way you have just now rouged your lie when you
said to me, 'I did all this only as a game.' There was
seriousness in it too: you are something of an ascetic
of the spirit. I solve your riddle: your magic has
enchanted everybody, but no lie or cunning is left to
you to use against yourself: you are disenchanted for
yourself. You have harvested nausea as your one truth.
Not a word of yours is genuine any more, except your
mouth-namely, the nausea that sticks to your mouth."
"Who are you?" cried the old magician at this point,
his voice defiant. "Who may speak thus to me, the
greatest man alive today?" And a green lightning bolt
flashed from his eye toward Zarathustra. But immediately afterward he changed and said sadly, "O Zarathustra, I am weary of it; my art nauseates me; I am
not great-why do I dissemble? But you know it too:
I sought greatness. I wanted to represent a great human
being and I persuaded many; but this lie went beyond
my strength. It is breaking me. 0 Zarathustra, everything about me is a lie; but that I am breaking-this,
my breaking, is genuine."
"It does you credit," said Zarathustra gloomily, looking aside to the ground, "it does you credit that you
sought greatness, but it also betrays you. You are not
great. You wicked old magician, this is what is best
and most honest about you, and this I honor: that you
wearied of yourself and said it outright: 'I am not
great.' In this I honor you as an ascetic of the spirit;
and even if it was only a wink and a twinkling, in this
one moment you were genuine.
"But speak, what are you seeking here in my woods
and rocks? And lying down on my path, how did you
want to try me? In what way were you seeking to test
me?' Thus spoke Zarathustra, and his eyes flashed.
The old magician remained silent for a while, then
said, "Did I seek to test you? I-merely seek. 0 Zarathustra, I seek one who is genuine, right, simple,
unequivocal, a man of all honesty, a vessel of wisdom,
a saint of knowledge, a great human being. Do you not
know it, Zarathustra? I seek Zarathustra."
And at this point there began a long silence between
the two. But Zarathustra became deeply absorbed and
closed his eyes. Then, however, returning to his partner
in the conversation, he seized the hand of the magician
and said, full of kindness and cunning, "Well! Up there
goes the path; there lies Zarathustra's cave. There you
may seek him whom you would find. And ask my
animals for advice, my eagle and my serpent: they shall
help you seek. But my cave is large. I myself, to be
sure-I have not yet seen a great human being. For
what is great, even the eyes of the subtlest today are
too coarse. It is the realm of the mob. Many have I seen,
swollen and straining, and the people cried, 'Behold a
great manly' But what good are all bellows? In the end,
the wind comes out. In the end, a frog which has
puffed itself up too long will burst: the wind comes out.
To stab a swollen man in the belly, I call that a fine
pastime. Hear it well, little boys
"Today belongs to the mob: who could still know
what is great and what small? Who could still successfully seek greatness? Only a fool: fools succeed. You
seek great human beings, you queer fool? Who taught
you that? Is today the time for that? 0 you wicked
seeker, why did you seek to test me?"
Thus spoke Zarathustra, his heart comforted, and he
continued on his way, laughing.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, THE MAGICIAN
When Zarathustra was on land again he did not proceed straight to his mountain and his cave, but he undertook many ways and questions and found out this
and that; so that he said of himself, joking: "Behold
a river that flows, winding and twisting, back to its
source" For he wanted to determine what had happened to man meanwhile: whether he had become
greater or smaller. And once he saw a row of new
houses; then he was amazed and said:
"What do these houses mean? Verily, no great soul
put them up as its likeness. Might an idiotic child have
taken them out of his toy box? Would that another
child might put them back into his box! And these
rooms and chambers-can men go in and out of them?
They look to me as if made for silken dolls, or for
stealthy nibblers who probably also let themselves be
And Zarathustra stood still and reflected. At last he
said sadly: "Everything has become smaller Everywhere I see lower gates: those who are of my kind
probably still go through, but they must stoop. Oh,
when shall I get back to my homeland, where I need
no longer stoop-no longer stoop before those who are
small And Zarathustra sighed and looked into the
distance. On that same day, however, he made his
speech on virtue that makes small.
I walk among this people and I keep my eyes open:
they do not forgive me that I do not envy their virtues.
They bite at me because I say to them: small people
need small virtues-and because I find it hard to accept that small people are needed.
I am still like the rooster in a strange yard, where
the hens also bite at him; but I am not angry with the
hens on that account. I am polite to them as to all
small annoyances; to be prickly to what is small strikes
me as wisdom for hedgehogs.
They all speak of me when they sit around the fire
in the evening; they speak of me, but no one thinks
of me. This is the new stillness I have learned: their
noise concerning me spreads a cloak over my thoughts.
They noise among themselves: "What would this
gloomy cloud bring us? Let us see to it that it does not
bring us a plague." And recently a woman tore back
her child when it wanted to come to me. "Take the
children awayl" she cried; "such eyes scorch children's
souls." They cough when I speak: they think that a
cough is an argument against strong winds; they guess
nothing of the roaring of my happiness. "We have no
time yet for Zarathustra," they argue; but what matters
a time that "has no time" for Zarathustra?
And when they praise me, how could I go to sleep
on their praise? Their praise is a belt of thorns to me:
it scratches me even as I shake it off. And this too I
have learned among them: he who gives praise poses
as if he were giving back; in truth, however, he wants
Ask my foot whether it likes their way of lauding
and luring Verily, after such a beat and ticktock it has
no wish either to dance or to stand still. They would
laud and lure me into a small virtue; they would persuade my foot to the ticktock of a small happiness.
I walk among this people and I keep my eyes open:
they have become smaller, and they are becoming
smaller and smaller; but this is due to their doctrine of
happiness and virtue. For they are modest in virtue,
too-because they want contentment. But only a modest
virtue gets along with contentment.
To be sure, even they learn in their way to stride
and to stride forward: I call it their hobbling. Thus they
become a stumbling block for everyone who is in a
hurry. And many among them walk forward while
looking backward with their necks stiff: I like running
into them. Foot and eye should not lie nor give the lie
to each other. But there is much lying among the small
people. Some of them will, but most of them are only
willed. Some of them are genuine, but most of them are
bad actors. There are unconscious actors among them
and involuntary actors; the genuine are always rare,
especially genuine actors.
There is little of man here; therefore their women
strive to be mannish. For only he who is man enough
will release the woman in woman.
And this hypocrisy I found to be the worst among
them, that even those who command, hypocritically
feign the virtues of those who serve. "I serve, you
serve, we serve"-thus prays even the hypocrisy of the
rulers; and woe, if the first lord is merely the first
Alas, into their hypocrisies too the curiosity of my
eyes flew astray; and well I guessed their fly-happiness
and their humming around sunny windowpanes. So
much kindness, so much weakness do I see; so much
justice and pity, so much weakness.
Round, righteous, and kind they are to each other,
round like grains of sand, righteous and kind with grains
of sand. Modestly to embrace a small happiness-that
they call "resignation"-and modestly they squint the
while for another small happiness. At bottom, these
simpletons want a single thing most of all: that nobody
should hurt them. Thus they try to please and gratify
everybody. This, however, is cowardice, even if it be
And if they once speak roughly, these small people, I
hear only their hoarseness, for every draft makes them
hoarse. They are clever, their virtues have clever fingers.
But they lack fists, their fingers do not know how to
hide behind fists. Virtue to them is that which makes
modest and tame: with that they have turned the wolf
into a dog and man himself into man's best domestic
'"e have placed our chair in the middle," your
smirking says to me; "and exactly as far from dying
fighters as from amused sows." That, however, is mediocrity, though it be called moderation.
I walk among this people and I let many a word
drop; but they know neither how to accept nor how to
They are amazed that I did not come to revile venery
and vice; and verily, I did not come to warn against
They are amazed that I am not prepared to teach wit
to their cleverness and to whet it-as if they did not
have enough clever boys, whose voices screech like
And when I shout, "Curse all cowardly devils in you
who like to whine and fold their hands and pray," they
shout, "Zarathustra is godless." And their teachers of
resignation shout it especially; but it is precisely into
their ears that I like to shout, "Yes, I am Zarathustra
the godless!" These teachers of resignation! Whatever
is small and sick and scabby, they crawl to like lice;
and only my nausea prevents me from squashing them.
Well then, this is my preaching for their ears: I am
Zarathustra the godless, who speaks: 'Who is more godless than I, that I may delight in his instruction?'
I am Zarathustra the godless: where shall I find my
equal? And all those are my equals who give themselves
their own will and reject all resignation.
I am Zarathustra the godless: I still cook every
chance in my pot. And only when it has been cooked
through there do I welcome it as my food. And verily,
many a chance came to me domineeringly; but my will
spoke to it still more domineeringly-and immediately
it lay imploringly on its knees, imploring that it might
find a hearth and heart in me, and urging with flattery,
"Look, Zarathustra, how only a friend comes to his
But why do I speak where nobody has my ears? And
so let me shout it into all the winds: You are becoming
smaller and smaller, you small people You are crumbling, you comfortable ones. You will yet perish of
your many small virtues, of your many small abstentions,
of your many small resignations. Too considerate, too
yielding is your soil. But that a tree may become great,
it must strike hard roots around hard rocks.
What you abstain from too weaves at the web of all
human future; your nothing too is a spider web and a
spider, which lives on the blood of the future. And
when you receive it is like stealing, you small men of
virtue; but even among rogues, honor says, "One should
steal only where one cannot rob."
"It will give eventually"-that is another teaching of
resignation. But I tell you who are comfortable: it will
take and will take more and more from youl Oh, that
you would reject all halfhearted willing and would become resolute in sloth and deedl
Alas, that you would understand my word: "Do whatever you will, but first be such as are able to will.
"Do love your neighbor as yourself, but first be such
as love themselves-loving with a great love, loving
with a great contempt." Thus speaks Zarathustra the
But why do I speak where nobody has my ears? It is
still an hour too early for me here. I am my own
precursor among this people, my own cock's crow
through dark lanes. But their hour will come! And mine
will come tool Hourly, they are becoming smaller,
poorer, more sterile-poor herbs poor soil and soon
they shall stand there like dry grass and prairie
and verily, weary of themselves and languishing even
more than for water-for fire.
0 blessed hour of lightning! 0 secret before noonl I
yet hope to turn them into galloping fires and heralds
with fiery tongues-they shall yet proclaim with fiery
tongues: It is coming, it is near-the great noonl
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON VIRTUE THAT MAKES SMALL
It was only late in the afternoon that Zarathustra,
after much vain searching and roaming, returned to
his cave again. But when he was opposite it, not twenty
paces away, that which he now least expected came
about: again he heard the great cry of distress. Andamazing!-this time it came from his own cave. But
it was a long-drawn-out, manifold, strange cry, and
Zarathustra could clearly discern that it was composed
of many voices, though if heard from a distance it might
sound like a cry from a single mouth.
Then Zarathustra leaped toward his cave, and behold, what a sight awaited him after this soundly For
all the men whom he had passed by during the day
were sitting there together: the king at the right and
the king at the left, the old magician, the pope, the
voluntary beggar, the shadow, the conscientious in spirit,
the sad soothsayer, and the ass; and the ugliest man had
put on a crown and adorned himself with two crimson
belts, for like all who are ugly he loved to disguise
himself and pretend that he was beautiful. But in the
middle of this melancholy party stood Zarathustra's
eagle, bristling and restless, for he had been asked too
many questions for which his pride had no answer;
and the wise serpent hung around his neck.
Zarathustra beheld all this with great amazement;
then he examined every one of his guests with friendly
curiosity, read their souls, and was amazed again.
Meanwhile all those gathered had risen from their
seats and were waiting respectfully for Zarathustra
to speak. But Zarathustra spoke thus:
"You who despair You who are strange! So it was
your cry of distress that I heard? And now I also know
where to find him whom I sought in vain today: the
higher man. He sits in my own cave, the higher man.
But why should I be amazed? Have I not lured him to
myself with honey sacrifices and the cunning siren calls
of my happiness?
"Yet it seems to me that you are poor company; you
who utter cries of distress upset each other's hearts as
you sit here together. First someone must come-someone to make you laugh again, a good gay clown, a
dancer and wind and wildcat, some old fool. What do
"Forgive me, you who despair, that I speak to you
with such little words, unworthy, verily, of such guests.
But you do not guess what makes me so prankish: it is
you yourselves who do it, and the sight of you; forgive
me! For everyone becomes brave when he observes one
who despairs. To encourage one who despairs-for
that everyone feels strong enough. Even to me you gave
this strength: a good gift, my honored guests A proper
present to ensure hospitality! Well then, do not be
angry if I also offer you something of what is mine.
"This is my realm and my dominion; but whatever is
mine shall be yours for this evening and this night. My
animals shall serve you, my cave shall be your place
of rest. In my home and house nobody shall despair; in
my region I protect everybody from his wild animals.
And this is the first thing I offer you: security. The
second thing, however, is my little finger. And once
you have that, by all means take the whole hand; well,
and my heart tool Be welcome here, welcome, my
Thus spoke Zarathustra, and he laughed from love
and malice. After this welcome his guests bowed again
and were respectfully silent; but the king at the right
hand answered him in their name: "From the manner,
o Zarathustra, in which you offered us hand and welcome, we recognize you as Zarathustra. You humbled
yourself before us; you almost wounded our reverence.
But who would know as you do, how to humble himself
with such pride? That in itself uplifts us; it is refreshing for our eyes and hearts. Merely to see this one thing,
we would gladly climb mountains higher than this one.
For we came, eager to see; we wanted to behold what
makes dim eyes bright. And behold, even now we are
done with all our cries of distress. Even now our minds
and hearts are opened up and delighted. Little is lacking, and our spirits will become sportive.
"Nothing more delightful grows on earth, 0 Zarathustra, than a lofty, strong will: that is the earth's most
beautiful plant. A whole landscape is refreshed by one
such tree. Whoever grows up high like you, 0 Zarathustra, I compare to the pine: long, silent, hard, alone,
of the best and most resilient wood, magnificent-and
in the end reaching out with strong green branches for
his own dominion, questioning wind and weather and
whatever else is at home on the heights with forceful
questions, and answering yet more forcefully, a commander, triumphant: oh, who would not climb high
mountains to see such plants? Your tree here, 0 Zarathustra, refreshes even the gloomy ones, the failures;
your sight reassures and heals the heart even of the
restless. And verily, toward your mountain and tree
many eyes are directed today; a great longing has arisen,
and many have learned to ask, 'Who is Zarathustra?'
"And those into whose ears you have once dripped
your song and your honey, all the hidden, the lonesome,
the twosome, have all at once said to their hearts, 'Does
Zarathustra still live? Life is no longer worth while, all
is the same, all is in vain, or-we must live with Zarathustra.'
"'Why does he not come who has so long announced
himself?' ask many. 'Has solitude swallowed him up? Or
are we perhaps supposed to come to him?'
"Now it happens that solitude itself grows weary
and breaks, like a tomb that breaks and can no longer
hold its dead. Everywhere one sees the resurrected.
Now the waves are climbing and climbing around your
mountain, 0 Zarathustra. And however high your height
may be, many must come up to you: your bark shall not
be stranded much longer. And that we who were despairing have now come to your cave and no longer
despair-that is but a sign and symbol that those better
than we are on their way to you; for this is what is on
its way to you: the last remnant of God among men that is, all the men of great longing, of great nausea,
of great disgust, all who do not want to live unless they
learn to hope again, unless they learn from you, 0 Zarathustra, the great hope."
Thus spoke the king at the right, and he seized Zarathustra's hand to kiss it; but Zarathustra resisted his
veneration and stepped back, startled, silent, and as if
he were suddenly fleeing into remote distances. But
after a little while he was back with his guests again,
looking at them with bright, examining eyes, and he
said: "My guests, you higher men, let me speak to you
in plain and clear German. It was not for you that I
waited in these mountains."
("Plain and clear German? Good God!" the king at
the left said at this point, in an aside. "One can see that
he does not know our dear Germans, this wise man from
the Eastl But what he means is 'coarse German'; well,
these days that is not the worst of tastes.")
"You may indeed all be higher men," continued Zarathustra, "but for me you are not high and strong enough.
For me-that means, for the inexorable in me that is
silent but will not always remain silent. And if you
do belong to me, it is not as my right arm. For whoever
stands on sick and weak legs himself, as you do, wants
consideration above all, whether he knows it or hides
it from himself. To my arms and my legs, however, I
show no consideration; I show my warriorsno consideration: how then could you be fit for my war? With you I
should spoil my every victory. And some among you
would collapse as soon as they heard the loud roll of
"Nor are you beautiful and wellborn enough for me.
I need clean, smooth mirrors for my doctrines; on your
surface even my own image is distorted. Many a burden,
many a reminiscence press on your shoulders; many a
wicked dwarf crouches in your nooks. There is hidden
mob in you too. And even though you may be high and
of a higher kind, much in you is crooked and misshapen.
There is no smith in the world who could hammer you
right and straight for me.
"You are mere bridges: may men higher than you
stride over you. You signify steps: therefore do not be
angry with him who climbs over you to his height. A
genuine son and perfect heir may yet grow from your
seed, even for me: but that is distant. You yourselves
are not those to whom my heritage and name belong.
"It is not for you that I wait in these mountains; it is
not with you that I am to go down for the last time.
Only as signs have you come to me, that those higher
than you are even now on their way to me: not the men
of great longing, of great nausea, of great disgust, and
that which you called the remnant of God; no, no,
three times nol It is for others that I wait here in these
mountains, and I will not lift my feet from here without
them; it is for those who are higher, stronger, more
triumphant, and more cheerful, such as are built perpendicular in body and soul: laughing lions must come
"O my strange guests Have you not yet heard anything of my children? And that they are on their way to
me? Speak to me of my gardens, of my blessed isles, of
my new beauty-why do you not speak to me of that?
This present I beseech from your love, that you speak
to me of my children. For this I am rich, for this I grew
poor; what did I not give, what would I not give to
have one thing: these children, this living plantation,
these life-trees of my will and my highest hope!"
Thus spoke Zarathustra, and suddenly he stopped in
his speech, for a longing came over him, and he closed
his eyes and mouth as his heart was moved. And all his
guests too fell silent and stood still in dismay; only the
old soothsayer made signs and gestures with his hands.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, THE WELCOME
One morning, not long after his return to the cave,
Zarathustra jumped up from his resting place like a
madman, roared in a terrible voice, and acted as if
somebody else were still lying on his resting place who
refused to get up. And Zarathustra's voice resounded so
that his animals approached in a fright, while out of all
the caves and nooks that were near Zarathustra's cave
all animals fled-flying, fluttering, crawling, jumping,
according to the kind of feet or wings that were givert
to them. Zarathustra, however, spoke these words:
Up, abysmal thought, out of my depth! I am your
cock and dawn, sleepy worm. Up! Up! My voice shall
yet crow you awakel Unfasten the fetters of your ears:
listen For I want to hear you. Up! Up! Here is thunder
enough to make even tombs learn to listen. And wipe
sleep and all that is purblind and blind out of your eyes
Listen to me even with your eyes: my voice cures even
those born blind. And once you are awake, you shall
remain awake eternally. It is not my way to awaken
great-grandmo thers from their sleep to bid them sleep
You are stirring, stretching, wheezing? Up! Up! You
shall not wheeze but speak to me. Zarathustra, the god-
less, summons youl I, Zarathustra, the advocate of life,
the advocate of suffering, the advocate of the circle; I
summon you, my most abysmal thought!
Hail to mel You are coming, I hear you. My abyss
speaks, I have turned my ultimate depth inside out into
the light. Hail to mel Come here Give me your handle
Huhl Let gol Huhhuhl Nausea, nausea, nausea-woe
No sooner had Zarathustra spoken these words than
he fell down as one dead and long remained as one
dead. But when he regained his senses he was pale, and
he trembled and remained lying there, and for a long
time he wanted neither food nor drink. This behavior
lasted seven days; but his animals did not leave him by
day or night, except that the eagle flew off to get food.
And whatever prey he got together, he laid on Zarathustra's resting place; and eventually Zarathustra lay
among yellow and red berries, grapes, rose apples,
fragrant herbs, and pine cones. But at his feet two
lambs lay spread out, which the eagle had with difficulty robbed from their shepherds.
At last, after seven days, Zarathustra raised himself
on his resting place, took a rose apple into his hand,
smelled it, and found its fragrance lovely. Then his
animals thought that the time had come to speak to him.
"O Zarathustra," they said, 'it is now seven days that
you have been lying like this with heavy eyes; won't
you at last get up on your feet again? Step out of your
cave: the world awaits you like a garden. The wind is
playing with heavy fragrances that want to get to you,
and all the brooks would run after you. All things have
been longing for you, while you have remained alone foi
seven days. Step out of your cavel All things would be
your physicians. Has perhaps some new knowledge
come to you, bitter and hard? Like leavened dough you
have been lying; your soul rose and swelled over all its
"O my animals," replied Zarathustra, "chatter on like
this and let me listen. It is so refreshing for me to hear
you chattering: where there is chattering, there the
world lies before me like a garden. How lovely it is that
there are words and sounds Are not words and sounds
rainbows and illusive bridges between things which are
"To every soul there belongs another world; for every
soul, every other soul is an afterworld. Precisely between what is most similar, illusion lies most beautifully; for the smallest cleft is the hardest to bridge.
"For me-how should there be any outside-myself?
There is no outside. But all sounds make us forget this;
how lovely it is that we forget. Have not names and
sounds been given to things that man might find things
refreshing? Speaking is a beautiful folly: with that man
dances over all things. How lovely is all talking, and all
the deception of sounds With sounds our love dances
on many-hued rainbows."
"O Zarathustra," the animals said, "to those who
think as we do, all things themselves are dancing: they
come and offer their hands and laugh and flee-and
come back. Everything goes, everything comes back;
eternally rolls the wheel of being. Everything dies,
everything blossoms again; eternally runs the year of
being. Everything breaks, everything is joined anew;
eternally the same house of being is built. Everything
parts, everything greets every other thing again; eternally the ring of being remains faithful to itself. In
every Now, being begins; round every Here rolls the
sphere There. The center is everywhere. Bent is the
path of eternity."
"O you buffoons and barrel organs" Zarathustra replied and smiled again. "How well you know what had
to be fulfilled in seven days, and how that monster
crawled down my throat and suffocated me. But I bit
off its head and spewed it out. And you, have you already made a hurdy-gurdy song of this? But now I lie
here, still weary of this biting and spewing, still sick
from my own redemption. And you watched all this? 0
my animals, are even you cruel? Did you want to watch
my great pain as men do? For man is the cruelest
"At tragedies, bullfights, and crucifixions he has so
far felt best on earth; and when he invented hell for
himself, behold, that was his heaven on earth.
"When the great man screams, the small man comes
running with his tongue hanging from lasciviousness.
But he calls it his 'pity.'
"The small man, especially the poet-how eagerly he
accuses life with words Hear him, but do not fail to
hear the delight that is in all accusation. Such accusers
of life-life overcomes with a wink. 'Do you love me?'
she says impudently. 'Wait a little while, just yet I
have no time for you.'
"Man is the cruelest animal against himself; and
whenever he calls himself 'sinner' and 'cross-bearer' and
'penitent,' do not fail to hear the voluptuous delight
that is in all such lamentation and accusation.
'And I myself-do I thus want to be man's accuser?
Alas, my animals, only this have I learned so far, that
man needs what is most evil in him for what is best in
him-that whatever is most evil is his best power and
the hardest stone for the highest creator; and that man
must become better and more evil.
"My torture was not the knowledge that man is evil
-but I cried as no one has yet cried: 'Alas, that his
greatest evil is so very small! Alas, that his best is so
"The great disgust with man-this choked me and
had crawled into my throat; and what the soothsayer
said: 'All is the same, nothing is worth while, knowledge chokes.' A long twilight limped before me, a sadness, weary to death, drunken with death, speaking
with a yawning mouth. 'Eternally recurs the man of
whom you are weary, the small man'-thus yawned my
sadness and dragged its feet and could not go to sleep.
Man's earth turned into a cave for me, its chest sunken;
all that is living became human mold and bones and
musty past to me. My sighing sat on all human tombs
and could no longer get up; my sighing and questioning
croaked and gagged and gnawed and wailed by day
and night: 'Alas, man recurs eternally! The small man
"Naked I had once seen both, the greatest man and
the smallest man: all-too-similar to each other, even the
greatest all-too-human. All-too-small, the greatestl-that
was my disgust with man. And the eternal recurrence
even of the smallest-that was my disgust with all
existence. Alasl Nausea! Nauseal Nauseal"
Thus spoke Zarathustra and sighed and shuddered,
for he remembered his sickness. But then his animals
would not let him go on.
"Do not speak on, 0 convalescent" thus his animals
answered him; "but go out where the world awaits you
like a garden. Go out to the roses and bees and dovecots. But especially to the songbirds, that you may learn
from them how to single For singing is for the convalescent; the healthy can speak. And when the healthy man
also wants songs, he wants different songs from the
"O you buffoons and barrel organs, be silent!" Zarathustra replied and smiled at his animals. "How well
you know what comfort I invented for myself in seven
days! That I must sing again, this comfort and convalescence I invented for myself. Must you immediately turn
this too into a hurdy-gurdy song?"
"Do not speak on!" his animals answered him again;
"rather even, 0 convalescent, fashion yourself a lyre
first, a new lyrel For behold, Zarathustra, new lyres are
needed for your new songs. Sing and overflow, 0 Zarathustra; cure your soul with new songs that you may
bear your great destiny, which has never yet been any
man's destiny. For your animals know well, 0 Zarathustra, who you are and must become: behold, you
are the teacher of the eternal recurrence-thatis your
destiny! That you as the first must teach this doctrinehow could this great destiny not be your greatest danger
and sickness too?
"Behold, we know what you teach: that all things
recur eternally, and we ourselves too; and that we have
already existed an eternal number of times, and all
things with us. You teach that there is a great year of
becoming, a monster of a great year, which must, like
an hourglass, turn over again and again so that it may
run down and run out again; and all these years are
alike in what is greatest as in what is smallest; and we
ourselves are alike in every great year, in what is greatest as in what is smallest.
"And if you wanted to die now, 0 Zarathustra, behold, we also know how you would then speak to yourself. But your animals beg you not to die yet. You
would speak, without trembling but breathing deeply
with happiness, for a great weight and sultriness would
be taken from you who are most patient.
"'Now I die and vanish,' you would say, 'and all at
once I am nothing. The soul is as mortal as the body.
But the knot of causes in which I am entangled recurs
and will create me again. I myself belong to the causes
of the eternal recurrence. I come again, with this sun,
with this earth, with this eagle, with this serpent-not
to a new life or a better life or a similar life: I come
back eternally to this same, selfsame life, in what is
greatest as in what is smallest, to teach again the eternal
recurrence of all things, to speak again the word of the
great noon of earth and man, to proclaim the overman
again to men. I spoke my word, I break of my word:
thus my eternal lot wants it; as a proclaimer I perish.
The hour has now come when he who goes under should
bless himself. Thus ends Zarathustra's going under.'"
When the animals had spoken these words they were
silent and waited for Zarathustra to say something to
them; but Zarathustra did not hear that they were silent.
Rather he lay still with his eyes closed, like one sleeping, although he was not asleep; for he was conversing
with his soul. The serpent, however, and the eagle,
when they found him thus silent, honored the great
stillness around him and cautiously stole away.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, THE CONVALESCENT
92:THE STILLEST HOUR
What happened to me, my friends? You see me distracted, driven away, unwillingly obedient, prepared to
go-alas, to go away from you. Indeed, Zarathustra
must return once more to his solitude; but this time
the bear goes back to his cave without joy. What happened to me? Who ordered this? Alas, my angry mistress wants it, she spoke to me; have I ever yet
mentioned her name to you? Yesterday, toward evening,
there spoke to me my stillest hour: that is the name of
my awesome mistress. And thus it happened; for I must
tell you everything lest your hearts harden against me
for departing suddenly.
Do you know the fright of him who falls asleep? He
is frightened down to his very toes because the ground
gives under him and the dream begins. This I say to
you as a parable. Yesterday, in the stillest hour, the
ground gave under me, the dream began. The hand
moved, the clock of my life drew a breath; never had
I heard such stillness around me: my heart took fright.
Then it spoke to me without voice: "You know it,
Zarathustra?" And I cried with fright at this whispering,
and the blood left my face; but I remained silent.
Then it spoke to me again without voice: "You know
it, Zarathustra, but you do not say itl" And at last I
answered defiantly: "Yes, I know it, but I do not want
to say itl"
Then it spoke to me again without voice: "You do
not want to, Zarathustra? Is this really true? Do not
hide in your defiance." And I cried and trembled like
a child and spoke: "Alas, I would like to, but how can
I? Let me off from this! It is beyond my strength!"
Then it spoke to me again without voice: "What do
you matter, Zarathustra? Speak your word and break"
And I answered: "Alas, is it my word? Who am l?
I await the worthier one; I am not worthy even of being
broken by it."
Then it spoke to me again without voice: "What do
you matter? You are not yet humble enough for me.
Humility has the toughest hide." And I answered:
at the foot of my height. How high are my peaks? No
one has told me yet. But my valleys I know well."
Then it spoke to me again without voice: "O Zarathustra, he who has to move mountains also moves
valleys and hollows." And I answered: "As yet my
words have not moved mountains, and what I said did
not reach men. Indeed, I have gone to men, but as yet
I have not arrived."
Then it spoke to me again without voice: "What do
you know of that? The dew falls on the grass when the
night is most silent." And I answered: "They mocked
me when I found and went my own way; and in truth
my feet were trembling then. And thus they spoke to
me: 'You have forgotten the way, now you have also
forgotten how to walk.'"
Then it spoke to me again without voice: "What
matters their mockery? You are one who has forgotten
how to obey: now you shall command. Do you not
know who is most needed by all? He that commands
great things. To do great things is difficult; but to
comm and great things is more difficult. This is what
is most unforgivable in you: you have the power, and
you do not want to rule." And I answered: "I lack the
lion's voice for commanding."
Then it spoke to me again as a whisper: "It is the
stillest words that bring on the storm. Thoughts that
come on doves' feet guide the world. 0 Zarathustra, you
shall go as a shadow of that which must come: thus you
will comm and and, commanding, lead the way." And I
answered: "I am ashamed."
Then it spoke to me again without voice: "You must
yet become as a child and without shame. The pride of
youth is still upon you; you have become young late;
but whoever would become as a child must overcome
his youth too." And I reflected for a long time and
trembled. But at last I said what I had said at first; "I
do not want to."
Then laughter surrounded me. Alas, how this laughter tore my entrails and slit open my heart! And it
spoke to me for the last time: "O Zarathustra, your
fruit is ripe, but you are not ripe for your fruit. Thus
you must return to your solitude again; for you must
yet become mellow." And again it laughed and fled;
then it became still around me as with a double stillness. But I lay on the ground and sweat poured from
Now you have heard all, and why I must return to
my solitude. Nothing have I kept from you, my friends.
But this too you have heard from me, who is still the
most taciturn of all men-and wants to be. Alas, my
friends, I still could tell you something, I still could
give you something. Why do I not give it? Am I stingy?
But when Zarathustra had spoken these words he was
overcome by the force of his pain and the nearness of
his parting from his friends, and he wept loudly; and
no one knew how to comfort him. At night, however,
he went away alone and left his friends.
Thus Spoke Zarathustra: Third Part
You look up when you feel the need for elevation.
And I look down because I am elevated. Who
among you can laugh and be elevated at the same
time? Whoever climbs the highest mountains
laughs at all tragic plays and tragic seriousness.
(Zarathustra, "On Reading and Writing," I, p.
TRANSLATOR S NOTES
1. The Wanderer: The contrast between Zarathustra's sentimentality and his praise of hardness remains characteristic
of the rest of the book.
2. On the Vision and the Riddle: Zarathustra's first account
of the eternal recurrence (see my Nietzsche, .i, II) is
followed by a proto-surrealistic vision of a triumph over
3. On Involuntary Bliss: Zarathustra still cannot face the
thought of the eternal recurrence.
4. Before Sunrise: An ode to the sky. Another quotation
from Zweig's essay on Nietzsche seems pertinent: "His
nerves immediately register every meter of height and
every pressure of the weather as a pain in his organs, and
they react rebelliously to every revolt in nature. Rain or
gloomy skies lower his vitality ('overcast skies depress me
deeply'), the weight of low clouds he feels down into his
very intestines, rain 'lowers the potential,' humidity debilitates, dryness vivifies, sunshine is salvation, winter is a kind
of paralysis and death. The quivering barometer needle of
his April-like, changeable nerves never stands still-most
nearly perhaps in cloudless landscapes, on the windless tablelands of the Engadine." In this chapter the phrase "beyond
good and evil" is introduced; also one line, slightly varied,
of the "Drunken Song" (see below). Another important
theme in Nietzsche's thought: the praise of chance and "a
little reason" as opposed to any divine purpose.
5. On Virtue That Makes Small: "Do whatever you will,
but . . .": What Nietzsche is concerned with is not casuistry but character, not a code of morals but a kind of man,
not a syllabus of behavior but a state of being.
6. Upon the Mount of Olives: "'The ice of knowledge will
yet freeze him to death!' they moan." Compare Stefan
George's poem on the occasion of Nietzsche's death (my
Nietzsche, Prologue, II): "He came too late who said to thee
imploring: There is no way left over icy cliffs."
7. On Passing By: Zarathustra's ape, or "grunting swine,"
unintentionally parodies Zarathustra's attitude and style.
His denunciations are born of wounded vanity and vengefulness, while Zarathustra's contempt is begotten by love;
and "where one can no longer love, there one should pass
8. On Apostates: Stylistically, Zarathustra is now often little
better than his ape. But occasional epigrams show his old
power: the third paragraph in section 2, for instance.
9. The Return Home: "Among men you will always seem
wild and strange," his solitude says to Zarathustra. But
"here all things come caressingly to your discourse and flatter
you, for they want to ride on your back. On every parable
you ride to every truth." The discipline of communication might have served the philosopher better than the
indiscriminate flattery of his solitude. But in this respect
too, it was not given to Nietzsche to live in blissful
ignorance: compare, for example, "The Song of Melancholy" in Part Four.
io. On the Three Evils: The praise of so-called evil as an
ingredient of greatness is central in Nietzsche's thought,
from his early fragment, Homer's Contest, to his Antichrist.
There are few problems the self-styled immoralist pursued
so persistently. Whether he calls attention to the element
of cruelty in the Greek agon or denounces Christianity for
vilifying sex, whether he contrasts sublimation and extirpation or the egoism of the creative and the vengeful: all
these are variations of one theme. In German, the three
evils in this chapter are Wollust, Herrschsucht, Selbstsucht.
For the first there is no exact equivalent in English. In
this chapter, "lust" might do in some sentences, "voluptuousness" in others, but each would be quite inaccurate
half the time, and the context makes it imperative that
the same word be used throughout. There is only one
word in English that renders Nietzsche's meaning perfectly
in every single sentence: sex. Its only disadvantage: it is,
to put it mildly, a far less poetic word than Wollust, and
hence modifies the tone though not Nietzsche's meaning.
But if we reflect on the three things which, according to
Nietzsche, had been maligned most, under the influence of
Christianity, and which he sought to rehabilitate or revaluate-were they not selfishness, the will to power, and sex?
Nietzsche's early impact was in some ways comparable to
that of Freud or Havelock Ellis. But prudery was for him
at most one of three great evils, one kind of hypocrisy, one
aspect of man's betrayal of the earth and of himself.
i1. On the Spirit of Gravity: It is not only the metaphor
of the camel that points back to the first chapter of Part
One: the dead weight of convention is a prime instance of
what is meant by the spirit of gravity; and the bird that
outsoars tradition is, like the child and the self-propelled
wheel at the beginning of the book, a symbol of creativity.
The creator, however, is neither an "evil beast" nor an
"evil tamer of beasts"-neither a profligate nor an ascetic:
he integrates what is in him, perfects and lavishes himself, and says, "This is my way; where is yours?" Michelangelo and Mozart do not offer us "the way" but a challenge and a promise of what is possible.
12. On Old and New Tablets: Attempt at a grand summary,
full of allusions to, and quotations from, previous chapters
Its unevenness is nowhere more striking than in section 12,
with its puns on "crusades." Such sections as 5, 7, and 8,
on the other hand, certainly deserve attention. The despot
in section ii, who has all history rewritten, seems to point
forward in time to Hitler, of whose racial legislation it
could indeed be said: "with the grandfa ther, however,
time ends." Section 15 points back to Luther. Section zo
exposes in advance Stefan George's misconception when he
ended his second poem on Nietzsche (my Nietzsche, p.
"The warner went-the wheel that downward rolls /
To emptiness no arm now tackles in the spokes." The
penultimate paragraph of this section is more "playful"
in the original: Ein Vorspiel bin ich besserer Spieler, oh
meine Braiderl Ein Beispiell In section 25 the key word is
Versuch, one of Nietzsche's favorite words, which means
experiment, attempt, trial. Sometimes he associates it with
suchen, searching. (In Chapter 2, "On the Vision and
the Riddle," Sucher, Versucher has been rendered "searchers, researchers.") Section 29, finally, is used again, with
minute changes, to conclude Twilight of the Idols.
13. The Convalescent: Zarathustra still cannot face the
thought of the eternal recurrence but speaks about human
speech and cruelty. In the end, his animals expound the
14 On the Great Longing: Hymn to his soul: Zarathustra
and his soul wonder which of them should be grateful to
15. The Other Dancing Song: Life and wisdom as women
again; but in this dancing song, life is in complete control,
and when Zarathustra's imagination runs away with him
he gets his face slapped. What he whispers into the ear
of life at the end of section 2 is, no doubt, that after his
death he will yet recur eternally. The song at the end,
punctuated by the twelve strokes of the bell, is interpreted
in "The Drunken Song" in Part Four.
i6. The Seven Seals: The eternal recurrence of the small
man no longer nauseates Zarathustra. His affirmation now is
boundless and without reservation: "For I love you, 0
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, THE STILLEST HOUR
93: ON THE GIFT-GIVING VIRTUE
When Zarathustra had said farewell to the town to
which his heart was attached, and which was named
The Motley Cow, many who called themselves his disciples followed him and escorted him. Thus they came
to a crossroads; then Zarathustra told them that he now
wanted to walk alone, for he liked to walk alone. His
disciples gave him as a farewell present a staff with a
golden handle on which a serpent coiled around the
sun. Zarathustra was delighted with the staff and leaned
on it; then he spoke thus to his disciples:
Tell me: how did gold attain the highest value? Because it is uncommon and useless and gleaming and
gentle in its splendor; it always gives itself. Only as the
image of the highest virtue did gold attain the highest
value. Goldlike gleam the eyes of the giver. Golden
splendor makes peace between moon and sun. Uncommon is the highest virtue and useless; it is gleaming and
gentle in its splendor: a gift-giving virtue is the highest
Verily, I have found you out, my disciples: you strive,
as I do, for the gift-giving virtue. What would you have
in common with cats and wolves? This is your thirst: to
become sacrifices and gifts yourselves; and that is why
you thirst to pile up all the riches in your soul. Insatiably your soul strives for treasures and gems, because
your virtue is insatiable in wanting to give. You force
all things to and into yourself that they may flow back
out of your well as the gifts of your love. Verily, such
a gift-giving love must approach all values as a robber;
but whole and holy I call this selfishness.
There is also another selfishness, an all-too-poor and
hungry one that always wants to steal-the selfishness
of the sick: sick selfishness. With the eyes of a thief it
looks at everything splendid; with the greed of hunger
it sizes up those who have much to eat; and always it
sneaks around the table of those who give. Sickness
speaks out of such craving and invisible degeneration;
the thievish greed of this selfishness speaks of a diseased
Tell me, my brothers: what do we consider bad and
worst of all? Is it not degeneration?And it is degeneration that we always infer where the gift-giving soul is
lacking. Upward goes our way, from genus to overgenus. But we shudder at the degenerate sense which
says, "Everything for me." Upward flies our sense: thus
it is a parable of our body, a parable of elevation.
Parables of such elevations are the names of the virtues.
Thus the body goes through history, becoming and
fighting. And the spirit-what is that to the body? The
herald of its fights and victories, companion and echo.
All names of good and evil are parables: they do not
define, they merely hint. A fool is he who wants knowledge of them!
Watch for every hour, my brothers, in which your
spirit wants to speak in parables: there lies the origin
of your virtue. There your body is elevated and resurrected; with its rapture it delights the spirit so that it
turns creator and esteemer and lover and benefactor of
When your heart flows broad and full like a river, a
blessing and a danger to those living near: there is the
origin of your virtue.
When you are above praise and blame, and your will
wants to comm and all things, like a lover's will: there is
the origin of your virtue.
When you despise the agreeable and the soft bed and
cannot bed yourself far enough from the soft: there is
the origin of your virtue.
When you will with a single will and you call this
cessation of all need "necessity": there is the origin of
Verily, a new good and evil is she. Verily, a new deep
murmur and the voice of a new well
Power is she, this new virtue; a dominant thought is
she, and around her a wise soul: a golden sun, and
around it the serpent of knowledge.
Here Zarathustra fell silent for a while and looked
lovingly at his disciples. Then he continued to speak
thus, and the tone of his voice had changed:
Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the
power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your
knowledge serve the meaning of the earth. Thus I beg
and beseech you. Do not let them fly away from earthly
things and beat with their wings against eternal walls.
Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has
flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew
away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it
may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning.
In a hundred ways, thus far, have spirit as well as
virtue flown away and made mistakes. Alas, all this de-
lusion and all these mistakes still dwell in our body:
they have there become body and will.
In a hundred ways, thus far, spirit as well as virtue
has tried and erred. Indeed, an experiment was man.
Alas, much ignorance and error have become body
Not only the reason of millennia, but their madness
too, breaks out in us. It is dangerous to be an heir. Still
we fight step by step with the giant, accident; and over
the whole of humanity there has ruled so far only nonsense-no sense.
Let your spirit and your virtue serve the sense of the
earth, my brothers; and let the value of all things be
posited newly by you. For that shall you be fighters! For
that shall you be creators!
With knowledge, the body purifies itself; making experiments with knowledge, it elevates itself; in the
lover of knowledge all instincts become holy; in the
elevated, the soul becomes gay.
Physician, help yourself: thus you help your patient
too. Let this be his best help that he may behold with
his eyes the man who heals himself.
There are a thousand paths that have never yet been
trodden-a thousand health and hidden isles of life.
Even now, man and man's earth are unexhausted and
Wake and listen, you that are lonely! From the future
come winds with secret wing-beats; and good tidings
are proclaimed to delicate ears. You that are lonely today, you that are withdrawing, you shall one day be
the people: out of you, who have chosen yourselves,
there shall grow a chosen people-and out of them, the
overman. Verily, the earth shall yet become a site of
recovery. And even now a new fragrance surrounds it,
bringing salvation-and a new hope.
When Zarathustra had said these words he became
silent, like one who has not yet said his last word; long
he weighed his staff in his hand, doubtfully. At last he
spoke thus, and the tone of his voice had changed.
Now I go alone, my disciples. You too go now, alone.
Thus I want it. Verily, I counsel you: go away from me
and resist Zarathustra! And even better: be ashamed of
him! Perhaps he deceived you.
The man of knowledge must not only love his
enemies, he must also be able to hate his friends.
One repays a teacher badly if one always remains
nothing but a pupil. And why do you not want to pluck
at my wreath?
You revere me; but what if your reverence tumbles
one day? Beware lest a statue slay you.
You say you believe in Zarathustra? But what matters
Zarathustra? You are my believers-but what matter all
believers? You had not yet sought yourselves: and you
found me. Thus do all believers; therefore all faith
amounts to so little.
Now I bid you lose me and find yourselves; and only
when you have all denied me will I return to you.
Verily, my brothers, with different eyes shall I then
seek my lost ones; with a different love shall I then love
And once again you shall become my friends and the
children of a single hope-and then shall I be with you
the third time, that I may celebrate the great noon with
And that is the great noon when man stands in the
middle of his way between beast and overman and
celebrates his way to the evening as his highest hope:
for it is the way to a new morning.
Then will he who goes under bless himself for being
one who goes over and beyond; and the sun of his
knowledge will stand at high noon for him.
"Dead are all gods: now we want the overman to
live"-on that great noon, let this be our last will.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
Thus Spoke Zarathustra: Second Part
. . . and only when you have all denied me will
I return to you.
Verily, my brothers, with different eyes shall I
then seek my lost ones; with a different love shall
I then love you. (Zarathustra, "On the Gift-Giving Virtue." 1, p. 78)
TRANSLATOR S NOTES
1. The Child with the Mirror: Transition to Part Two with
its partly new style: "A new speech comes to me.
My spirit no longer wants to walk on worn soles."
2. Upon the Blessed Isles: The creative life versus belief
in God: "God is a conjecture." The polemic against the
opening lines of the final chorus in Goethe's Faust is taken
up again in the chapter "On Poets" (see comments, p. 81 ).
But the lines immediately following in praise of impermanence and creation are thoroughly in the spirit of Goethe.
3. On the Pitying: A return to the style of Part One and
a major statement of Nietzsche's ideas on pity, ressentiment,
4. On Priests: Relatively mild, compared to the portrait
of the priest in The Antichrist five years later.
5. On the Virtuous: A typology of different conceptions of
virtue, with vivisectional intent. Nietzsche denounces "the
filth of the words: revenge, punishment, reward, retri bution," which he associates with Christianity; but also
that rigorism for which "virtue is the spasm under
the scourge" and those who "call it virtue when their
vices grow lazy." The pun on "I am just" is, in German:
wenn sie sagen: "ich bin gerecht," so klingt es immer
gleich wie: "ich bin gerdcht!"
6. On the Rabble: The theme of Zarathustra's nausea is
developed ad nauseam in later chapters. La Nausge-to
speak in Sartre's terms-is one of his chief trials, and its
eventual conquest is his greatest triumph. "I often grew
weary of the spirit when I found that even the rabble had
esprit" may help to account for some of Nietzsche's remarks
elsewhere. Generally he celebrates the spirit-not in opposition to the body but as mens sana in corpore sano.
7. On the Tarantulas: One of the central motifs of Nietzsche's philosophy is stated in italics: "that man be delivered
from revenge." In this chapter, the claim of human equality
is criticized as an expression of the ressentiment of the subequal.
8. On the Famous Wise Men: One cannot serve two
masters: the people and the truth. The philosophers of
the past have too often rationalized popular prejudices. But
the service of truth is a passion and martyrdom, for "spirit
is the life that itself cuts into life: with its agony it
increases its own knowledge." The song of songs on the
spirit in this chapter may seem to contradict Nietzsche's
insistence, in the chapter "On the Despisers of the Body,"
that the spirit is a mere instrument. Both themes are
central in Nietzsche's thought, and their apparent contradiction is partly due to the fact that both are stated metaphorically. For, in truth, Nietzsche denies any crude dualism of body and spirit as a popular prejudice. The life of
the spirit and the life of the body are aspects of a single
life. But up to a point the contradiction can also be resolved
metaphorically: life uses the spirit against its present form
to attain a higher perfection. Man's enhancement is
inseparable from the spirit; but Nietzsche denounces the
occasional efforts of the spirit to destroy life instead of
9. The Night Song: "Light am I; ah, that I were nightly"
io. The Dancing Song: Life and wisdom as jealous women.
The Tomb Song: "Invulnerable am I only in the heel."
12. On Self-Overcoming: The first long discussion of the
will to power marks, together with the chapters "On the
Pitying" and "On the Tarantulas," one of the high points
of Part Two. Philosophically, however, it raises many difficulties. (See my Nietzsche, 6, III.)
On Those Who Are Sublime: The doctrine of self-
overcoming is here guarded against misunderstandings: far
from favoring austere heroics, Nietzsche praises humor (and
practices it: witness the whole of Zarathustra, especially
Part Four) and, no less, gracefulness and graciousness.
The three sentences near the end, beginning "And there
is nobody . . .
represent a wonderfully concise statement
of much of his philosophy.
14. On the Land of Education: Against modern eclecticism
and lack of style. "Rather would I be a day laborer in
Hades . . :": in the Odyssey, the shade of Achilles would
rather be a day laborer on the smallest field than king of
all the dead in Hades. Zarathustra abounds in similar
allusions. "Everything deserves to perish," for example, is
an abbreviation of a dictum of Goethe's Mephistopheles.
15. On Immaculate Perception: Labored sexual imagery,
already notable in "The Dancing Song," keeps this critique
of detachment from becoming incisive. Not arid but,
judged by high standards, a mismatch of message and
metaphor. Or put positively: something of a personal document. Therefore the German references to the sun as
feminine have been retained in translation. "Loving and
perishing (Lieben und Untergehn)" do not rhyme in
16. On Scholars: Nietzsche's, not Zarathustra's, autobiography.
17. On Poets: This chapter is full of allusions to the final
chorus in Goethe's Faust, which might be translated thus:
What is destructible
Is but a parable;
What fails ineluctably
Here it was seen,
Here it was action;
Lures to perfection.
i8. On Great Events: How successful Nietzsche's attempts
at narrative are is at least debatable. Here the story
distracts from his statement of his anti-political attitude.
But the curious mixture of the solemn and frivolous, myth,
epigram, and "bow-wow," is of course entirely intentional.
Even the similarity between the ghost's cry and the words
of the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderl and probably would
not have dismayed Nietzsche in the least.
1g. The Soothsayer: In the chapter "On the Adder's Bite"
a brief parable introduces some of Zarathustra's finest sayings; but here the parable is offered for its own sake, and
we feel closer to Rimbaud than to Proverbs. The soothsayer
reappears in Part Four.
20. On Redemption: In the conception of inverse cripples
and the remarks on revenge and punishment Zarathustra's
moral pathos reappears to some extent; but the mood of
the preceding chapter figures in his subsequent reflections,
which lead up to, but stop short of, Nietzsche's notion of
the eternal recurrence of the same events.
21. On Human Prudence: First: better to be deceived
occasionally than always to watch out for deceivers. Second:
vanity versus pride. Third: men today (1883) are too
concerned about petty evil, but great things are possible
only where great evil is harnessed.
22. The Stillest Hour: Zarathustra cannot yet get himself
to proclaim the eternal recurrence and hence he must
leave in order to "ripen."
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON THE GIFT-GIVING VIRTUE
THE SEVEN SEALS
YES AND AMEN SONG)
If I am a soothsayer and full of that soothsaying spirit
which wanders on a high ridge between two seas, wandering like a heavy cloud between past and future, an
enemy of all sultry plains and all that is weary and can
neither die nor live-in its dark bosom prepared for
lightning and the redemptive flash, pregnant with lightning bolts that say Yes and laugh Yes, soothsaying
lightning bolts-blessed is he who is thus pregnant!
And verily, long must he hang on the mountains like a
dark cloud who shall one day kindle the light of the
future: Oh, how should I not lust after eternity and
after the nuptial ring of rings, the ring of recurrence?
Never yet have I found the woman from whom I
wanted children, unless it be this woman whom I love:
for I love you, 0 eternity.
For I love you, 0 eternity!
If ever my wrath burst tombs, moved boundary
stones, and rolled old tablets, broken, into steep depths;
if ever my mockery blew moldy words into the wind,
and I came as a broom to the cross-marked spiders and
as a sweeping gust to old musty tomb chambers; if ever
I sat jubilating where old gods lie buried, world-blessing, world-loving, beside the monuments of old worldslanders-for I love even churches and tombs of gods,
once the sky gazes through their broken roofs with its
pure eyes, and like grass and red poppies, I love to sit
on broken churches: Oh, how should I not lust after
eternity and after the nuptial ring of rings, the ring of
Never yet have I found the woman from whom I
wanted children, unless it be this woman whom I love:
for I love you, 0 eternity.
For I love you, 0 eternity!
If ever one breath came to me of the creative breath
and of that heavenly need that constrains even accidents
to dance star-dances; if I ever laughed the laughter of
creative lightning which is followed obediently but
grumblingly by the long thunder of the deed; if I ever
played dice with gods at the gods' table, the earth, till
the earth quaked and burst and snorted up floods of
fire-for the earth is a table for gods and trembles with
creative new words and gods' throws: Oh, how should
I not lust after eternity and after the nuptial ring of
rings, the ring of recurrence?
Never yet have I found the woman from whom I
wanted children, unless it be this woman whom I love:
for I love you, 0 eternity.
For I love you, 0 eternity!
If ever I drank full drafts from that foaming spice and blend-mug in which all things are well blended; if
my hand ever poured the farthest to the nearest, and
fire to spirit, and joy to pain, and the most wicked to
the most gracious; if I myself am a grain of that redeeming salt which makes all things blend well in the
blend-mug-for there is a salt that unites good with
evil; and even the greatest evil is worthy of being used
as spice for the last foaming over: Oh, how should I
not lust after eternity and after the nuptial ring of rings,
the ring or recurrence?
Never yet have I found the woman from whom I
wanted children, unless it be this woman whom I love:
for I love you, 0 eternity.
For I love you, 0 eternity!
If I am fond of the sea and of all that is of the sea's
kind, and fondest when it angrily contradicts me; if that
delight in searching which drives the sails toward the
undiscovered is in me, if a seafarer's delight is in my
delight; if ever my jubilation cried, "The coast has
vanished, now the last chain has fallen from me; the
boundless roars around me, far out glisten space and
time; be of good cheer, old heart!" Oh, how should I
not lust after eternity and after the nuptial ring of rings,
the ring of recurrence?
Never yet have I found the woman from whom I
wanted children, unless it be this woman whom I love:
for I love you, 0 eternity.
For I love you, 0 eternity!
If my virtue is a dancer's virtue and I have often
jumped with both feet into golden-emerald delight; if
my sarcasm is a laughing sarcasm, at home under rose
slopes and hedges of lilies-for in laughter all that is
evil comes together, but is pronounced -holy and absolved by its own bliss; and if this is my alpha and
omega, that all that is heavy and grave should become
light; all that is body, dancer; all that is spirit, bird and verily, that is my alpha and omega: Oh, how should
I not lust after eternity and after the nuptial ring of
rings, the fing of recurrence?
Never yet have I found the woman from whom I
wanted children, unless it be this woman whom I love:
for I love you, 0 eternity.
For I love you, 0 eternity
If ever I spread tranquil skies over myself and soared
on my own wings into my own skies; if I swam playfully in the deep light-distances, and the bird-wisdom
of my freedom came-but bird-wisdom speaks thus:
"Behold, there is no above, no below Throw yourself
around, out, back, you who are lightly Sing! Speak no
morel Are not all words made for the grave and heavy?
Are not all words lies to those who are light? Single
Speak no morel" Oh, how should I not lust after eternity and after the nuptial ring of rings, the ring of recurrence?
Never yet have I found the woman from whom I
wanted children, unless it be this woman whom I love:
for I love you, 0 eternity.
For I love you, 0 eternity
Thus Spoke Zarathustra:
Fourth and Last Part
Alas, where in the world has there been more
folly than among the pitying? And what in the
world has caused more suffering than the folly of
the pitying? Woe to all who love without having
a height that is above their pityl
Thus spoke the devil to me once: "God too has
his hell: that is his love of man." And most recently I heard him say this: "God is dead; God
died of his pity for man." (Zarathustra, II, p. go)
Part Four was originally intended as an intermezzo, not
as the end of the book. The very appearance of a collection
of sayings is abandoned: Part Four forms a whole, and
as such represents a new stylistic experiment-as well as
a number of widely different stylistic experiments, held
together by a unity of plot and a pervasive sense of
The Honey Sacrifice: Prologue. The "queer fish" are not
long in coming: the first of them appears in the next chapter.
2. The Cry of Distress: Beginning of the story that continues to the end of the book. The soothsayer of Part Two
reappears, and Zarathustra leaves in search of the higher
man. Now that he has overcome his nausea, his final
trial is: pity.
3. Conversation with the Kings: The first of seven encounters in each of which Zarathustra meets men who have
accepted some part of his teaching without, however,
embodying the type he envisages. Their revolting and tiresome flatteries might be charged to their general inadequacy. But Zarathustra's own personality, as it emerges
in chapter after chapter, poses a more serious problem. At
least in part, this is clearly due to the author's deliberate
malice: he does not want to be a "new idol": "I do not
want to be a saint, rather even a buffoon. Perhaps I am a
buffoon. And nevertheless, or rather not nevertheless-for
there has never been anybody more mendacious than
saints-truth speaks out of me" (Ecce Homo). Earlier in
the same work he says of Shakespeare: "What must a
man have suffered to have found it that necessary to be
a buffoon!" In these pages Nietzsche would resemble the
dramatist rather than the hagiographer, and a Shakespearean fool rather than the founder of a new cult.
4. The Leech: Encounter with "the conscientious in spirit."
5. The Magician: In the magician some of Nietzsche's
own features blend with some of Wagner's as conceived
by Nietzsche. The poem appears again in a manuscript of
a888, which bears the title "Dionysus Dithyrambs" and
the motto: "These are the songs of Zarathustra which he
sang to himself to endure his ultimate loneliness." In this
later context, the poem is entitled "Ariadne's Lament,"
and a new conclusion has been added by Nietzsche:
visible in emerald
Be clever, Ariadnel
You have small ears, you have my ears:
Put a clever word into them
Must one not first hate each other
if one is to love each other?
I am your labyrinth.
The song is not reducible to a single level of meaning. The
outcry is (1) Nietzsche's own; and the unnamable, terrible
thought near the beginning is surely that of the eternal
recurrence; it is (2) projected onto Wagner, who is here
imagined as feeling desperately forsaken after Nietzsche
left him (note especially the penultimate stanza); it is
(3) wishfully projected onto Cosima Wagner-Nietzsche's
Ariadne (see my Nietzsche, i, 11)-who is here imagined as desiring and possessed by Nietzsche-Dionysus.
Part Four is all but made up of similar projections. All the
characters are caricatures of Nietzsche. And like the magician, he too would lie if he said: "'I did all this only as a
game.' There was seriousness in it too."
6. Retired: Encounter with the last pope. Reflections on
the death and inadequacies of God.
7. The Ugliest Man: The murderer of God. The sentence
beginning "Has not all success . . ." reads in German:
War nicht aller Erfolg fisher bei den Gut-Verfolgten? Und
wer gut verfolgt, lernt leicht folgen:-ist er doch einmalhinterherl
8. The Voluntary Beggar: A sermon on a mount-about
9. The Shadow: An allusion to Nietzsche's earlier work,
The Wanderer and His Shadow (188o).
10. At Noon: A charming intermezzo.
:i. The Welcome: Zarathustra rejects his guests, though
together they form a kind of higher man compared to their
contemporaries. He repudiates these men of great longing
and nausea as well as all those who enjoy his diatribes and
denunciations and desire recognition and consideration
for being out of tune with their time. What Nietzsche
envisages is the creator for whom all negation is merely
incidental to his great affirmation: joyous spirits, "laughing
12. The Last Supper: One of the persistent themes of Part
Four reaches its culmination in this chapter: Nietzsche not
only satirizes the Gospels, and all hagiography generally,
but he also makes fun of and laughs at himself.
13. On the Higher Man: A summary comparable to "On
Old and New Tablets" in Part Three. Section 5 epitomizes
Nietzsche's praise of "evir"-too briefly to be clear apart
from the rest of his work-and the conclusion should be
noted. The opening paragraph of section 7 takes up the
same theme: Nietzsche opposes sublimation to both license
and what he elsewhere calls "castratism." A fine epigram
is mounted in the center of section 9. The mellow moderation of the last lines of section 15 is not usually associated
with Nietzsche. And the chapter ends with a praise of
14. The Song of Melancholy: In the 3888 manuscript of
the "Dionysus Dithyrambs" this is the first poem and it
bears the title "Only Fooll Only Poetl" The two introductory sections of this chapter help to dissociate Nietzsche
from the poem, while the subsquent references to this song
show that he considered it far more depressing than it
appears in its context. Though his solitude sometimes
flattered him, "On every parable you ride to every truth"
("The Return Home"), he also knew moments when he
said to himself, "I am ashamed that I must still be a poet"
("On Old and New Tablets"). Although Zarathustra's
buffooneries are certainly intended as such by the author,
the thought that he might be "only" a fool, "only" a poet
"climbing around on mendacious word bridges," made
Nietzsche feel more than despondent. Soon it led him to
abandon further attempts to ride on parables in favor of
some of the most supple prose in German literature.
15. On Science: Only the origin of science is considered.
The attempt to account for it in terms of fear goes back to
the period of The Dawn (188i), in which Nietzsche tried
to see how far he could reduce different phenomena to
fear and power. Zarathustra suggests that courage is crucial
-that is, the will to power over fear.
i6. Among Daughters of the Wilderness: Zarathustra, about
to slip out of his cave for the second time because he cannot stand the bad smell of the "higher men," is called
back by his shadow, who has nowhere among men smelled
better air-except once. In the following song Nietzsche's
buffoonery reaches its climax. But though it can and should
be read as thoroughly delightful nonsense, it is not entirely
void of personal significance. Wilste means "desert" or
"wilderness," and wdist can also mean wild and dissolute;
and the "flimsy little fan-, flutter-, and tinsel-skirts" seem
to have been suggested by the brothel to which a porter
in Cologne once took the young Nietzsche, who had asked
to be shown to a hotel. (He ran away, shocked; cf. my
Nietzsche, 3, I.) Certainly the poem is full of sexual
fantasies. But the double meaning of "date" is not present
in the original.
17. The Awakening: The titles of this and the following
chapter might well be reversed; for it is this chapter that
culminates in the ass festival, Nietzsche's version of the
Black Mass. But "the awakening' here does not refer to the
moment when an angry Moses holds his people accountable
for their worship of the golden calf, but to the moment
when "they have learned to laugh at themselves." In this
art, incidentally, none of the great philosophers excelled
the author of Part Four of Zarathustra.
i8. The Ass Festival: Five of the participants try to justify
themselves. The pope satirizes Catholicism (Luther was
last made fun of at the end of the song in Chapter i6),
while the conscientious in spirit develops a new theology
-and suggests that Zarathustra himself is pretty close to
being an ass.
19. The Drunken Song: Nietzsche's great hymn to joy invites comparison with Schiller's-minus Beethoven's music.
That they use different German words is the smallest difference. Schiller writes:
Suffer bravely, myriadsl
Suffer for the better world
Up above the firmament
A great God will give rewards.
Nietzsche wants the eternity of this life with all its agonies
-and seeing that it flees, its eternal recurrence. As it is expressed in sections 9, io, and 3i, the conception of the
eternal recurrence is certainly meaningful; but its formulation as a doctrine depended on Nietzsche's mistaken belief
that science compels us to accept the hypothesis of the
eternal recurrence of the same events at gigantic intervals.
(See "On the Vision and the Riddle" and "The Convalescent," both in Part Three, and, for a detailed discussion,
my Nietzsche, 11, II.)
20. The Sign: In "The Welcome," Zarathustra repudiated
the "higher men" in favor of "laughing lions." Now a lion
turns up and laughs, literally. And in place of the single
dove in the New Testament, traditionally understood as a
symbol of the Holy Ghost, we are presented with a whole
flock. Both the lion and the doves were mentioned before
("On Old and New Tablets," section 3) as the signs for
which Zarathustra must wait, and now afford Nietzsche an
opportunity to preserve his curious blend of myth, irony,
and hymn to the very end.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, THE SEVEN SEALS OR THE YES AND AMEN SONG
95:ON OLD AND NEW TABLETS
Here I sit and wait, surrounded by broken old
tablets and new tablets half covered with writing. When
will my hour come? The hour of my going down and
going under; for I want to go among men once more.
For that I am waiting now, for first the signs must
come to me that my hour has come: the laughing lion
with the flock of doves. Meanwhile I talk to myself as
one who has time. Nobody tells me anything new: so
I tell myself-myself.
When I came to men I found them sitting on an old
conceit: the conceit that they have long known what
is good and evil for man. All talk of virtue seemed an
old and weary matter to man; and whoever wanted to
sleep well still talked of good and evil before going to
I disturbed this sleepiness when I taught: what is
good and evil no one knows yet, unless it be he who
creates. He, however, creates man's goal and gives the
earth its meaning and its future. That anything at all
is good and evil-that is his creation.
And I bade them overthrow their old academic
chairs and wherever that old conceit had sat; I bade
them laugh at their great masters of virtue and saints
and poets and world-redeemers. I bade them laugh at
their gloomy sages and at whoever had at any time sat
on the tree of life like a black scarecrow. I sat down by
their great tomb road among cadavers and vultures,
and I laughed at all their past and its rotting, decaying
Verily, like preachers of repentance and fools, I
raised a hue and cry of wrath over what among them
is great and small, and that their best is still so small.
And that their greatest evil too is still so small-at
that I laughed.
My wise longing cried and laughed thus out of me
-born in the mountains, verily, a wild wisdom-my
great broad-winged longing! And often it swept me
away and up and far, in the middle of my laughter; and
I flew, quivering, an arrow, through sun-drunken delight, away into distant futures which no dream had yet
seen, into hotter souths than artists ever dreamed of,
where gods in their dances are ashamed of all clothesto speak in parables and to limp and stammer like
poets; and verily, I am ashamed that I must still be a
Where all becoming seemed to me the dance of gods
and the prankishness of gods, and the world seemed
free and frolicsome and as if fleeing back to itself-as
an eternal fleeing and seeking each other again of many
gods, as the happy controverting of each other, conversing again with each other, and converging again
of many gods.
Where all time seemed to me a happy mockery of
moments, where necessity was freedom itself playing
happily with the sting of freedom.
Where I also found again my old devil and archenemy, the spirit of gravity, and all that he created:
constraint, statute, necessity and consequence and purpose and will and good and evil.
For must there not be that over which one dances
and dances away? For the sake of the light and the
lightest, must there not be moles and grave dwarfs?
There it was too that I picked up the word "overman" by the way, and that man is something that must
be overcome-that man is a bridge and no end: proclaiming himself blessed in view of his noon and
evening, as the way to new dawns-Zarathustra's word
of the great noon, and whatever else I hung up over
man like the last crimson light of evening.
Verily, I also let them see new stars along with new
nights; and over clouds and day and night I still spread
out laughter as a colorful tent.
I taught them all my creating and striving, to create
and carry together into One what in man is fragment
and riddle and dreadful accident; as creator, guesser of
riddles, and redeemer of accidents, I taught them to
work on the future and to redeem with their creation
all that has been. To redeem what is past in man and
to re-create all "it was" until the will says, "Thus I
willed itl Thus I shall will it"-this I called redemption
and this alone I taught them to call redemption.
Now I wait for my own redemption-that I may go
to them for the last time. For I want to go to men
once more; under their eyes I want to go under; dying,
I want to give them my richest gift. From the sun I
learned this: when he goes down, overrich; he pours
gold into the sea out of inexhaustible riches, so that
even the poorest fisherman still rows with golden oars.
For this I once saw and I did not tire of my tears as I
Like the sun, Zarathustra too wants to go under; now
he sits here and waits, surrounded by broken old tablets
and new tablets half covered with writing.
Behold, here is a new tablet; but where are my
brothers to carry it down with me to the valley and
into hearts of flesh?
Thus my great love of the farthest demands it: do
not spare your neighbor! Man is something that must
There are many ways of overcoming: see to that
yourself! But only a jester thinks: "Man can also be
Overcome yourself even in your neighbor: and a
right that you can rob you should not accept as a gift.
What you do, nobody can do to you in turn. Behold,
there is no retri bution.
He who cannot comm and himself should obey. And
many can comm and themselves, but much is still lacking before they also obey themselves.
This is the manner of noble souls: they do not want
to have anything for nothing; least of all, life. Whoever
is of the mob wants to live for nothing; we others,
however, to whom life gave itself, we always think
about what we might best give in return. And verily,
that is a noble speech which says, "What life promises
us, we ourselves want to keep to life."
One shall not wish to enjoy where one does not give
joy. And one shall not wish to enjoy For enjoyment and
innocence are the most bashful things: both do not want
to be sought. One shall possess them-but rather seek
even guilt and suffering.
My brothers, the firstling is always sacrificed. We,
however, are firstlings. All of us bleed at secret sacrificial altars; all of us burn and roast in honor of old
idols. What is best in us is still young: that attracts old
palates. Our flesh is tender, our hide is a mere lambskin: how could we fail to attract old idol-priests? Even
in ourselves the old idol-priest still lives who roasts
what is best in us for his feast. Alas, my brothers, how
could firstlings fail to be sacrifices?
But thus our kind wants it; and I love those who do
not want to preserve themselves. Those who are going
under I love with my whole love: for they cross over.
To be true-only a few are able! And those who are
still lack the will. But the good have this ability least
of all. Oh, these good men! Good men never speak the
truth; for the spirit, to be good in this way is a disease.
They give in, these good men; they give themselves up;
their heart repeats and their ground obeys: but whoever
heeds commands does not heed himself.
Everything that the good call evil must come together
so that one truth may be born. 0 my brothers, are you
evil enough for this truth? The audacious daring, the
long mistrust, the cruel No, the disgust, the cutting into
the living-how rarely does all this come together. But
from such seed is truth begotten.
Alongside the bad conscience, all science has grown
so far. Break, break, you lovers of knowledge, the old
When the water is spanned by planks, when bridges
and railings leap over the river, verily, those are not
believed who say, "Everything is in flux." Even the
blockheads contradict them. "How now?" say the blockheads. "Everything should be in flux? After all, planks
and railings are over the river. Whatever is over the
river is firm; all the values of things, the bridges, the
concepts, all 'good' and 'evil'-all that is firm."
But when the hard winter comes, the river-animal
tamer, then even the most quick-witted learn mistrust;
and verily, not only the blockheads then say, "Does not
everything stand still?"
"At bottom everything stands still"-that is truly a
winter doctrine, a good thing for sterile times, a fine
comfort for hibernators and hearth-squatters.
"At bottom everything stands still"-against this the
thawing wind preaches. The thawing wind, a bull
that is no plowing bull, a raging bull, a destroyer who
breaks the ice with wrathful horns. Ice, however, breaks
O my brothers, is not everything in flux now? Have
not all railings and bridges fallen into the water? Who
could still cling to "good" and "evil"?
"Woe to us! Hail to usl The thawing wind blows!"thus preach in every street, my brothers.
There is an old illusion, which is called good and evil.
So far the wheel of this illusion has revolved around
soothsayers and stargazers. Once man believed in soothsayers and stargazers, and therefore believed: "All is
destiny: you ought to, for you must."
Then man again mistrusted all soothsayers and star-
gazers, and therefore believed: "All is freedom: you
can, for you will."
0 my brothers, so far there have been only illusions
about stars and the future, not knowledge; and therefore there have been only illusions so far, not knowledge, about good and evil.
"Thou shalt not rob! Thou shalt not kill" Such words
were once called holy; one bent the knee and head and
took off one's shoes before them. But I ask you: where
have there ever been better robbers and killers in this
world than such holy words?
Is there not in all life itself robbing and killing? And
that such words were called holy-was not truth itself
killed thereby? Or was it the preaching of death that
was called holy, which contradicted and contravened all
life? 0 my brothers, break, break the old tablets!
This is my pity for all that is past: I see how all of
it is abandoned-abandoned to the pleasure, the spirit,
the madness: of every generation, which comes along
and reinterprets all that has been as a bridge to itself.
A great despot might come along, a shrewd monster
who, according to his pleasure and displeasure, might
constrain and strain all that is past till it becomes a
bridge to him, a harbinger and herald and cockcrow.
This, however, is the other danger and what prompts
my further pity: whoever is of the rabble, thinks back
as far as the grandfa ther; with the grandfa ther, however, time ends.
Thus all that is past is abandoned: for one day the
rabble might become master and drown all time in
Therefore, my brothers, a new nobility is needed to
be the adversary of all rabble and of all that is despotic
and to write anew upon new tablets the word "noble."
For many who are noble are needed, and noble men
of many kinds, that there may be a nobility. Or as I
once said in a parable: "Precisely this is godlike that
there are gods, but no God."
0 my brothers, I dedicate and direct you to a new
nobility: you shall become procreators and cultivators
and sowers of the future-verily, not to a nobility that
you might buy like shopkeepers and with shopkeepers'
gold: for whatever has its price has little value.
Not whence you come shall henceforth constitute
your honor, but whither you are going Your will and
your foot which has a will to go over and beyond yourselves-that shall constitute your new honor.
Verily, not that you have served a prince-what do
princes matter now?-or that you became a bulwark
for what stands that it might stand more firmly.
Not that your tribe has become courtly at court and
that you have learned, like a flamingo, to stand for long
hours in a colorful costume in shallow ponds-for the
ability to stand is meritorious among courtiers; and all
courtiers believe that blessedness after death must comprise permission to sit.
Nor that a spirit which they call holy led your ancestors into promised lands, which I do not praise-for
where the worst of all trees grew, the cross, that land
deserves no praise. And verily, wherever this "Holy
Spirit" led his knights, on all such crusades goose aids
goat in leading the way, and the contrary and crude
0 my brothers, your nobility should not look back-
ward but ahead! Exiles shall you be from all father- and
forefa ther-landsl Your children's land shall you love:
this love shall be your new nobility-the undiscovered
land in the most distant sea. For that I bid your sails
search and search.
In your children you shall make up for being the
children of your fathers: thus shall you redeem all that
is past. This new tablet I place over you.
"Why live? All is vanity Living-that is threshing
straw; living-that is consuming oneself in flames without becoming warm." Such antiquarian babbling is still
considered "wisdom"; it is honored all the more for
being old and musty. Mustiness too ennobles.
Children might speak thus: they fear the fire because it burned them. There is much childishness in
the old books of wisdom. And why should those who
always "thresh straw" be allowed to blaspheme threshing? Such oxen should be muzzled after all.
Such men sit down to the table and bring nothing
along, not even a good appetite; and then they blaspheme: "All is vanity." But eating and drinking well, 0
my brothers, is verily no vain art. Break, break the old
tablets of the never gay!
"To the clean all is clean," the people say. But I say
unto you, "To the mean all becomes mean."
Therefore the swooners and head-hangers, whose
hearts also hang limply, preach, "The world itself is a
filthy monster." For all these have an unclean spirit but especially those who have neither rest nor repose
except when they see the world from abaft, the afterworldly. To these I say to their faces, even though it
may not sound nice: the world is like man in having
a backside abaft; that much is true. There is much
filth in the world; that much is true. But that does not
make the world itself a filthy monster.
There is wisdom in this, that there is much in the
world that smells foul: nausea itself creates wings and
water-divining powers. Even in the best there is still
something that nauseates; and even the best is something that must be overcome. 0 my brothers, there is
much wisdom in this, that there is much filth in the
Such maxims I heard pious afterworldly people
speak to their conscience-verily, without treachery or
falseness, although there is nothing falser in the whole
world, nothing more treacherous:
'Let the world go its wayl Do not raise one finger
"Let him who wants to, strangle and stab and fleece
and flay the people. Do not raise one finger against itl
Thus will they learn to renounce the world."
"And your own reason-you yourself should stifle
and strangle it; for it is a reason of this world; thus
will you yourself learn to renounce the world."
Break, break, 0 my brothers, these old tablets of the
pious. Break the maxims of those who slander the
"Whoever learns much will unlearn all violent desire"
-that is whispered today in all the dark lanes.
"Wisdom makes weary; worth while is-nothing;
thou shalt not desire!"-this new tablet I found hanging even in the open market places.
Break, 0 my brothers, break this new tablet too.
The world-weary hung it up, and the preachers of
death, and also the jailers; for behold, it is also an
exhortation to bondage. Because they learned badly,
and the best things not at all, and everything too early
and everything too hastily; because they ate badly,
therefore they got upset stomachs; for their spirit is an
upset stomach which counsels death. For verily, my
brothers, the spirit is a stomach. Life is a well of joy;
but for those out of whom an upset stomach speaks,
which is the father of melancholy, all wells are poisoned.
To gain knowledge is a joy for the lion-willedl But
those who have become weary are themselves merely
being "willed," and all the billows play with them. And
this is always the manner of the weak: they get lost on
the way. And in the end their weariness still asks, "Why
did we ever pursue any way at all? It is all the same."
Their ears appreciate the preaching, "Nothing is worth
while! You shall not will!" Yet this is an exhortation to
o my brothers, like a fresh roaring wind Zarathustra
comes to all who are weary of the way; many noses he
will yet make sneeze. Through walls too, my free breath
blows, and into prisons and imprisoned spirits. To will
liberates, for to will is to create: thus I teach. And you
shall learn solely in order to create.
And you shall first learn from me how to lear-how
to learn well. He that has ears to hear, let him hear
There stands the bark; over there perhaps the great
nothing lies. But who would embark on this "perhaps"?
No one of you wants to embark on the bark of death.
Why then do you want to be world-weary? Worldwearyl And you are not even removed from the earth.
Lusting after the earth I have always found you, in
love even with your own earth-weariness. Not for
nothing is your lip hanging; a little earthly wish still
sits on it. And in your eyes-does not a little cloud of
unforgotten earthly joy float there?
There are many good inventions on earth, some useful, some pleasing: for their sake, the earth is to be
loved. And there is such a variety of well-invented
things that the earth is like the breasts of a woman:
useful as well as pleasing.
But you who are world-weary, you who are earthlazy, you should be lashed with switches: with lashes
one should make your legs sprightly again. For when
you are not invalids and decrepit wretches of whom the
earth is weary, you are shrewd sloths or sweet-toothed,
sneaky pleasure-cats. And if you do not want to run
again with pleasure, then you should pass away. To
the incurable, one should not try to be a physicianthus Zarathustra teaches-so you shall pass awayl
But it takes more courage to make an end than to
make a new verse: all physicians and poets know that.
o my brothers, there are tablets created by weariness
and tablets created by rotten, rotting sloth; but though
they speak alike, they must be understood differently.
Behold this man languishing here He is but one span
from his goal, but out of weariness he has defiantly
lain down in the dust-this courageous man! Out of
weariness he yawns at the way and the earth and the
goal and himself: not one step farther will he go-this
courageous man! Now the sun glows on him and the
dogs lick his sweat; but he lies there in his defiance
and would sooner die of thirst-die of thirst one span
away from his goal Verily, you will yet have to drag
him by the hair into his heaven-this herol Better yet,
let him lie where he lay down, and let sleep, the comforter, come to him with cooling, rushing rain. Let him
lie till he awakes by himself, till he renounces by himself all weariness and whatever weariness taught through
him. Only, my brothers, drive the dogs away from him,
the lazy creepers, and all the ravenous vermin-all the
raving vermin of the "educated," who feast on every
I draw circles around me and sacred boundaries;
fewer and fewer men climb with me on ever higher
mountains: I am building a mountain range out of ever
more sacred mountains. But wherever you may climb
with me, 0 my brothers, see to it that no parasite
climbs with you. Parasites: creeping, cringing worms
which would batten on your secret sores. And this is
their art, that they find where climbing souls are weary;
in your grief and discouragement, in your tender parts,
they build their nauseating nests. Where the strong are
weak and the noble all-too-soft-there they build their
nauseating nests: the parasites live where the great have
little secret sores.
What is the highest species of all being and what is
the lowest? The parasite is the lowest species; but whoever is of the highest species will nourish the most
parasites. For the soul that has the longest ladder and
reaches down deepest-how should the most parasites
not sit on that? The most comprehensive soul, which
can run and stray and roam farthest within itself; the
most necessary soul, which out of sheer joy plunges itself into chance; the soul which, having being, dives
into becoming; the soul which has, but wants to want
and will; the soul which flees itself and catches up with
itself in the widest circle; the wisest soul, which folly
exhorts most sweetly; the soul which loves itself most,
in which all things have their sweep and countersweep
and ebb and flood-oh, how should the highest soul
not have the worst parasites?
0 my brothers, am I cruel? But I say: what is falling,
we should still push. Everything today falls and decays:
who would check it? But I-I even want to push it.
Do you know the voluptuous delight which rolls
stones into steep depths? These human beings of today-look at them, how they roll into my depth!
I am a prelude of better players, 0 my brothers! A
precedent! Follow my precedent
And he whom you cannot teach to fly, teach to fall
I love the valiant; but it is not enough to wield a
broadsword, one must also know against whom. And
often there is more valor when one refrains and passes
by, in order to save oneself for the worthier enemy.
You shall have only enemies who are to be hated,
but not enemies to be despised: you must be proud of
your enemy; thus I taught once before. For the worthier
enemy, 0 my friends, you shall save yourselves; therefore you must pass by much-especially much rabble
who raise a din in your ears about the people and about
peoples. Keep your eyes undefiled by their pro and
conl There is much justice, much injustice; and whoever
looks on becomes angry. Sighting and smiting here
become one; therefore go away into the woods and lay
your sword to sleep.
Go your own ways And let the people and peoples
go theirs-dark ways, verily, on which not a single hope
flashes any more. Let the shopkeeper rule where all that
still glitters is-shopkeepers' gold. The time of kings is
past: what calls itself a people today deserves no kings.
Look how these peoples are now like shopkeepers: they
pick up the smallest advantages from any rubbish. They
lie around lurking and spy around smirking-and call
that "being good neighbors." 0 blessed remote time
when a people would say to itself, "I want to be master
-over peoples." For, my brothers, the best should rule,
the best also want to rule. And where the doctrine is
different, there the best is lacking.
If those got free bread, alas! For what would they
clamor? Their sustenance-that is what sustains their
attention; and it should be hard for them. They are
beasts of prey: in their "work" there is still an element
of preying, in their "earning" still an element of overreaching. Therefore it should be hard for them. Thus
they should become better beasts of prey, subtler, more
prudent, more human; for man is the best beast of prey.
Man has already robbed all the beasts of their virtues,
for of all beasts man has had the hardest time. Only the
birds are still over and above him. And if man were to
learn to fly-woe, to what heights would his rapaciousness fly?
Thus I want man and woman: the one fit for war, the
other fit to give birth, but both fit to dance with head
and limbs. And we should consider every day lost on
which we have not danced at least once. And we should
call every truth false which was not accompanied by at
least one laugh.
Your wedlock: see to it that it not be a bad lock. If
you lock it too quickly, there follows wedlock-breaking:
adultery. And better even such wedlock-breaking than
wedlock-picking, wedlock-tricking. Thus said a woman
to me: "Indeed I committed adultery and broke my
wedlock, but first my wedlock broke me!"
The worst among the vengeful I always found to be
the ill-matched: they would make all the world pay fox
it that they no longer live singly.
Therefore I would have those who are honest say to
each other, "We love each other; let us see to it that we
remain in love. Or shall our promise be a mistake?"
"Give us a probation and a little marriage, so that we
may see whether we are fit for a big marriage. It is a
big thing always to be two."
Thus I counsel all who are honest; and what would
my love for the overman and for all who shall yet come
amount to if I counseled and spoke differently? Not
merely to reproduce, but to produce something higher
-toward that, my brothers, the garden of marriage
should help you.
Whoever has gained wisdom concerning ancient
origins will eventually look for wells of the future and
for new origins. 0 my brothers, it will not be overlong
before new peoples originate and new wells roar down
into new depths. For earthquakes bury many wells and
leave many languishing, but they also bring to light
inner powers and secrets. Earthquakes reveal new
wells. In earthquakes that strike ancient peoples, new
wells break open.
And whoever shouts, "Behold, a well for many who
are thirsty, a heart for many who are longing, a will for
many instruments"-around that man there will gather
a people; that is: many triers.
Who can command, who must obey-that is tried out
there. Alas, with what long trials and surmises and unpleasant surprises and learning and retrials!
Human society is a trial: thus I teach it-a long trial;
and what it tries to find is the commander. A trial, 0 my
brothers, and not a "contract." Break, break this word
of the softhearted and half-and-halfl
my brothers, who represents the greatest danger
for all of man's future? Is it not the good and the just?
Inasmuch as they say and feel in their hearts, "We already know what is good and just, and we have it too;
woe unto those who still seek here" And whatever harm
the evil may do, the harm done by the good is the most
harmful harm. And whatever harm those do who slander the world, the harm done by the good is the most
o my brothers, one man once saw into the hearts of
the good and the just and said, "They are the pharisees." But he was not understood. The good and the
just themselves were not permitted to understand him:
their spirit is imprisoned in their good conscience. The
stupidity of the good is unfathomably shrewd. This,
however, is the truth: the good must be pharisees they have no choice. The good must crucify him who
invents his own virtue. That is the truth
The second one, however, who discovered their land
-the land, heart, and soil of the good and the justwas he who asked, "Whom do they hate most?" The
creator they hate most: he breaks tablets and old values.
He is a breaker, they call him lawbreaker. For the good
are unable to create; they are always the beginning of
the end: they crucify him who writes new values on
new tablets; they sacrifice the future to themselves they crucify all man's future.
The good have always been the beginning of the end.
O my brothers, have you really understood this word?
And what I once said concerning the 'last man"? Who
represents the greatest danger for all of man's future?
Is it not the good and the just? Break, break the good
and the just! 0 my brothers, have you really understood
You flee from me? You are frightened? You tremble
at this word?
o my brothers, when I bade you break the good and
the tablets of the good, only then did I embark man on
his high sea. And only now does there come to him the
great fright, the great looking-around, the great sickness, the great nausea, the great seasickness.
False coasts and false assurances the good have
taught you; in the lies of the good you were hatched
and huddled. Everything has been made fraudulent and
has been twisted through and through by the good.
But he who discovered the land "man," also discovered the land "man's future." Now you shall be seafarers, valiant and patient. Walk upright betimes, 0 my
brothers; learn to walk upright. The sea is raging; many
want to right themselves again with your help. The sea
is raging; everything is in the sea. Well then, old sea
dogs What of fatherland? Our helm steers us toward
our children's land Out there, stormier than the sea,
storms our great longingly
"Why so hard?" the kitchen coal once said to the
diamond. "After all, are we not close kin?"
Why so soft? 0 my brothers, thus I ask you: are you
not after all my brothers?
Why so soft, so pliant and yielding? Why is there so
much denial, self-denial, in your hearts? So little destiny
in your eyes?
And if you do not want to be destinies and inexorable
ones, how can you triumph with me?
And if your hardness does not wish to flash and cut
and cut through, how can you one day create with me?
For creators are hard. And it must seem blessedness
to you to impress your hand on millennia as on wax,
Blessedness to write on the will of millennia as on
bronze-harder than bronze, nobler than bronze. Only
the noblest is altoge ther hard.
This new tablet, 0 my brothers, I place over you:
0 thou my will Thou cessation of all need, my own
necessity Keep me from all small victories! Thou destination of my soul, which I call destiny! Thou in-mel
Over-mel Keep me and save me for a great destiny
And thy last greatness, my will, save up for thy last
feat that thou mayest be inexorable in thy victory. Alas,
who was not vanquished in his victory? Alas, whose
eye would not darken in this drunken twilight? Alas,
whose foot would not reel in victory and forget how to
That I may one day be ready and ripe in the great
noon: as ready and ripe as glowing bronze, clouds
pregnant with lightning, and swelling milk udders-
ready for myself and my most hidden will: a bow lusting for its arrow, an arrow lusting for its star-a star
ready and ripe in its noon, glowing, pierced, enraptured
by annihilating sun arrows-a sun itself and an inexorable solar will, ready to annihilate in victory
O will, cessation of all need, my own necessity Save
me for a great victory!
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, ON OLD AND NEW TABLETS
4 Friedrich Nietzsche
4 Thus Spoke Zarathustra
1.02_-_On_the_Service_of_the_Soul, #The Red Book Liber Novus, #unset, #Poetry
69. The Draft continues: They may serve your redemption (p.34)
70. In Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Nietzsche wrote: And even when one has all the virtues, there is still one thing to remember: to send even these virtues to sleep at the proper time (Of the chairs of virtue, p. 56). In 1939 Jung commented on the Eastern notion of liberation from virtues and vices ("Commentary to the Tibetan Book of Great Liberation, CW II, 826).
1.18_-_ON_LITTLE_OLD_AND_YOUNG_WOMEN, #Thus Spoke Zarathustra, #Friedrich Nietzsche, #Philosophy
whipl' Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
4.05_-_THE_MAGICIAN, #Thus Spoke Zarathustra, #Friedrich Nietzsche, #Philosophy
want to try me? In what way were you seeking to test
me?' Thus Spoke Zarathustra, and his eyes flashed.
The old magician remained silent for a while, then
4.17_-_THE_AWAKENING, #Thus Spoke Zarathustra, #Friedrich Nietzsche, #Philosophy
festivals and put up monuments to their old friends.
They are convalescing" Thus Spoke Zarathustra gaily
to his heart, and he looked out; but his animals pressed
Thus_Spoke_Zarathustra_text, #Thus Spoke Zarathustra, #Friedrich Nietzsche, #Philosophy
pride. Let me speak to them of what is most contemptible: but that is the last man."
And Thus Spoke Zarathustra to the people: "The time
has come for man to set himself a goal. The time has
Wikipedia - Thus Spoke Zarathustra -- Philosophical novel by Friedrich Nietzsche
Wikipedia - Zarathustra's roundelay -- Poem that figures as a central motif in the book Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Nietzsche