THUS SPOKE ZARATHUSTRA
A BOOK FOR EVERYONE AND NO ONE
Translated by R.J. Hollingdale
When Zarathustra was thirty years old, he left his home and the lake of his home and went into the mountains. Here he had the enjoyment of his spirit and his solitude and he did not weary of it for ten years. But at last his heart turned - and one morning he rose with the dawn, stepped before the sun, and spoke to it thus:
Great star! What would your happiness be, if you had not those for whom you shine!
You have come up here to my cave for ten years: you would have grown weary of your light and of this journey, without me, my eagle and my serpent.
But we waited for you every morning, took from you your superfluity and blessed you for it.
Behold! I am weary of my wisdom, like a bee that has gathered too much honey; I need hands outstretched to take it.
I should like to give it away and distribute it, until the wise among men have again become happy in their folly and the poor happy in their wealth.
To that end, I must descend into the depths: as you do at evening, when you go behind the sea and bring light to the underworld too, superabundant star!
Like you, I must go down - as men, to whom I want to descend, call it.
So bless me then, tranquil eye, that can behold without envy even an excessive happiness!
Bless the cup that wants to overflow, that the waters may flow golden from him and bear the reflection of your joy over all the world!
Behold! This cup wants to be empty again, and Zarathustra wants to be man again.
Thus began Zarathustra's down-going.
Zarathustra went down the mountain alone, and no-one met him. But when he entered the forest, an old man, who had left his holy hut to look for roots in the forest, suddenly stood before him. And the old man spoke thus to Zarathustra:
"This wanderer is no stranger to me: he passed by here many years ago. He was called Zarathustra; but he has changed.
"Then you carried your ashes to the mountains: will you today carry your fire into the valleys? Do you not fear an incendiary's punishment?
"Yes, I recognize Zarathustra. His eyes are clear, and no disgust lurks about his mouth. Does he not go along like a dancer?
"How changed Zarathustra is! Zarathustra has become - a child, an awakened-one: what do you want now with the sleepers?
"You lived in solitude as in the sea, and the sea bore you. Alas, do you want to go ashore? Alas, do you want again to drag your body yourself?"
Zarathustra answered: "I love mankind."
"Why," said the saint, "did I go into the forest and the desert? Was it not because I loved mankind all too much?
"Now I love God: mankind I do not love. Man is too imperfect a thing for me. Love of mankind would destroy me."
Zarathustra answered: "What did I say of love? I am bringing mankind a gift."
"Give them nothing," said the saint. "Rather take something off them and bear it with them - that will please them best; if only it be pleasing to you!
"And if you want to give to them, give no more than an alms, and let them beg for that!"
"No," answered Zarathustra, "I give no alms. I am not poor enough for that."
The saint laughed at Zarathustra, and spoke thus: "See to it that they accept your treasures! They are mistrustful of hermits, and do not believe that we come to give.
"Our steps ring too lonely through their streets. And when at night they hear in their beds a man going by long before the sun has risen, they probably ask themselves: Where is that thief going?
"Do not go to men, but stay in the forest! Go rather to the animals! Why will you not be as I am - a bear among bears, a bird among birds?"
"And what does the saint do in the forest?" asked Zarathustra.
The saint answered: "I make songs and sing them, and when I make songs, I laugh, weep, and mutter: thus I praise God.
"With singing, weeping, laughing, and muttering I praise the God who is my God. But what do you bring us as a gift?"
When Zarathustra heard these words, he saluted the saint and said: "What should I have to give you! But let me go quickly, that I may take nothing from you!" And thus they parted from one another, the old man and Zarathustra, laughing as two boys laugh.
But when Zarathustra was alone, he spoke thus to his heart: "Could it be possible! This old saint has not yet heard in his forest that God is dead!"
When Zarathustra arrived at the nearest of the towns lying against the forest, he found in that very place many people assembled in the market square: for it had been announced that a tight-rope walker would be appearing. And Zarathustra spoke thus to the people:
I teach you the Superman. Man is something that should be overcome. What have you done to overcome him?
All creatures hitherto have created something beyond themselves: and do you want to be the ebb of this great tide, and return to the animals rather than overcome man?
What is the ape to men? A laughing-stock or a painful embarrassment. And just so shall man be to the Superman: a laughing-stock or a painful embarrassment.
You have made your way from worm to man, and much in you is still worm. Once you were apes, and even now man is more of an ape than any ape.
But he who is the wisest among you, he also is only a discord and hybrid of plant and of ghost. But do I bid you become ghosts or plants?
Behold, I teach you the Superman.
The Superman is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: The Superman shall be the meaning of the earth!
I entreat you, my brothers, remain true to the earth, and do not believe those who speak to you of superterrestrial hopes!
They are poisoners, whether they know it or not.
They are despisers of life, atrophying and self-poisoned men, of whom the earth is weary: so let them be gone!
Once blasphemy against God was the greatest blasphemy, but God died, and thereupon those blasphemers died too. To blaspheme the earth is now the most dreadful offence, and to esteem the bowels of the Inscrutable more highly than the meaning of the earth.
Once the soul looked contemptuously upon the body: and then this contempt was the supreme good - the soul wanted the body lean, monstrous, famished. So the soul thought to escape from the body and from the earth.
Oh, this soul was itself lean, monstrous, and famished: and cruelty was the delight of this soul!
But tell me, my brothers: What does your body say about your soul? Is your soul not poverty and dirt and a miserable ease?
In truth, man is a polluted river. One must be a sea, to receive a polluted river and not be defiled.
Behold, I teach you the Superman: he is this sea, in him your great contempt can go under.
What is the greatest thing you can experience? It is the hour of the great contempt. The hour in which even your happiness grows loathsome to you, and your reason and your virtue also.
The hour when you say: "What good is my happiness? It is poverty and dirt and a miserable ease. But my happiness should justify existence itself!"
The hour when you say: "What good is my reason? Does it long for knowledge as the lion for its food? It is poverty and dirt and a miserable ease!"
The hour when you say: "What good is my virtue? It has not yet driven me mad! How tired I am of my good and my evil! It is all poverty and dirt and a miserable ease!"
The hour when you say: "What good is my justice? I do not see that I am fire and hot coals. But the just man is fire and hot coals!"
The hour when you say: "What good is my pity? Is not pity the cross upon which he who loves man is nailed? But my pity is no crucifixion!"
Have you ever spoken thus? Have you ever cried thus? Ah, that I had heard you crying thus!
It is not your sin, but your moderation that cries to heaven, your very meanness in sinning cries to heaven!
Where is the lightning to lick you with its tongue? Where is the madness, with which you should be cleansed?
Behold, I teach you the Superman: he is this lightning, he is this madness!
When Zarathustra had spoken thus, one of the people cried: "Now we have heard enough of the tight-rope walker; let us see him, too!" And all the people laughed at Zarathustra. But the tight-rope walker, who thought that the words applied to him, set to work.
But Zarathustra looked at the people and marvelled. Then he spoke thus:
Man is a rope, fastened between animal and Superman - a rope over an abyss.
A dangerous going-across, a dangerous wayfaring, a dangerous looking-back, a dangerous shuddering and standing-still.
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 a going-across and a down-going.
I love those who do not know how to live except their lives be a down-going, for they are those who are going across.
I love the great despisers, for they are the great venerators and arrows of longing for the other bank.
I love those who do not first seek beyond the stars for reasons to go down and to be sacrifices: but who sacrifice themselves to the earth, that the earth may one day belong to the Superman.
I love him who lives for knowledge and who wants knowledge that one day the Superman may live. And thus he wills his own downfall.
I love he who works and invents that he may build a house for the Superman and prepare earth, animals, and plants for him: for thus he wills his own downfall.
I love him who loves his virtue: for virtue is will to downfall and an arrow of longing.
I love him who keeps back no drop of spirit for himself, but wants to be the spirit of his virtue entirely: thus he steps as spirit over the bridge.
I love him who makes a predilection and a fate of his virtue: thus for his virtue's sake he will live or not live.
I love him who does not want too many virtues. One virtue is more virtue than two, because it is more of a knot for fate to cling to.
I love him whose soul is lavish, who neither wants nor returns thanks: for he always gives and will not preserve himself.
I love him who is ashamed when the dice fall in his favour and who then asks: Am I then a cheat? - for he wants to perish.
I love him who throws golden words in advance of his deeds and always performs more than he promised: for he wills his own downfall.
I love him who justifies the men of the future and redeems the men of the past: for he wants to perish by the men of the present.
I love him who chastises his God because he loves his God: for he must perish by the anger of his God.
I love him whose soul is deep even in its ability to be wounded, and whom even a little thing can destroy: thus he is glad to go over the bridge.
I love him whose soul is overfull, so that he forgets himself and all things are in him: thus all things become his downfall.
I love him who is of a free spirit and a free heart: thus his head is only the bowels of his heart, but his heart drives him to his downfall.
I love all those who are like heavy drops falling singly from the dark cloud that hangs over mankind: they prophesy the coming of the lightning and as prophets they perish.
Behold, I am a prophet of the lightning and a heavy drop from the cloud: but this lightning is called Superman.
When Zarathustra had spoken these words he looked again at the people and fell silent. There they stand (he said to his heart), there they laugh: they do not understand me, I am not the mouth for these ears.
Must one first shatter their ears to teach them to hear with their eyes? Must one rumble like drums and Lenten preachers? Or do they believe only those who stammer?
They have something of which they are proud. What is it called that makes them proud? They call it culture, it distinguishes them from the goatherds.
Therefore they dislike hearing the word 'contempt' spoken of them. So I shall speak to their pride.
So I shall speak to
them of the most contemptible man: and that is the Ultimate
And thus spoke Zarathustra to the people:
It is time for man to fix his goal. It is time for man to plant the seed of his highest hope.
His soil is still rich enough for it. But this soil will one day be poor and weak; no longer will a high tree be able to grow from it.
Alas! The time is coming when man will no more shoot the arrow of his longing out over mankind, and the string of his bow will have forgotten how to twang!
I tell you: one must have chaos in one, to give birth to a dancing star. I tell you: you still have chaos in you.
Alas! The time is coming will man will give birth to no more stars. Alas! The time of the most contemptible man is coming, the man who can no longer despise himself.
Behold! I shall show you the Ultimate Man.
"What is love? What is creation? What is longing? What is a star?" thus asks the Ultimate Man and blinks.
The earth has become small. His race is as inexterminable as the flea; the Ultimate Man lives longest.
"We have discovered happiness," say the Ultimate Men and blink.
They have left the places where living was hard: for one needs warmth. One still loves one's neighbour and rubs oneself against him: for one needs warmth.
Sickness and mistrust count as sins with them: one should go about warily. He is a fool who still stumbles over stones or over men!
A little poison now and then: that produces pleasant dreams. And a lot of poison at last, for a pleasant death.
They still work, for work is entertainment. But they take care the entertainment does not exhaust them.
Nobody grows rich or poor any more: both are too much of a burden. Who still wants to rule? Who obey? Both are too much of a burden.
No herdsman and one herd. Everyone wants the same thing, everyone is the same: whoever thinks otherwise goes voluntarily into the madhouse.
"Formerly all the world was mad," say the most acute of them and blink.
They are clever and know everything that has ever happened: so there is no end to their mockery. They still quarrel, but they soon make up - otherwise indigestion would result.
They have their little pleasure for the day and their little pleasure for the night: but they respect health.
"We have discovered happiness," say the Ultimate Men and blink.
And here ended Zarathustra's first discourse, which is also called 'The Prologue': for at this point the shouting and mirth of the crowd interrupted him. "Give us this Ultimate Man, O Zarathustra" - so they cried - "make us into this Ultimate Man! You can have the Superman!" And all the people laughed and shouted. But Zarathustra grew sad and said to his heart:
They do not understand me: I am not the mouth for these ears.
Perhaps I lived too long in the mountains, listened too much to the trees and the streams: now I speak to them as to goatherds.
Unmoved is my soul and bright as the mountains in the morning. But they think me cold and a mocker with fearful jokes.
And now they look at me and laugh: and laughing, they still hate me. There is ice in their laughter.
But then something happened that silenced every mouth and fixed every eye. In the meantime, of course, the tight-rope walker had begun his work: he had emerged from a little door and was proceeding across the rope, which was stretched between two towers and thus hung over the people and the market square. Just as he had reached the middle of his course the little door opened again and a brightly-dressed fellow like a buffoon sprang out and followed the former with rapid steps. "Forward, lame-foot!" cried hiss fearsome voice, "forward sluggard, intruder, pallid-face! Lest I tickle you with my heels! What are you doing here between towers? You belong in the tower, you should be locked up, you are blocking the way of a better man than you!" And with each word he came nearer and nearer to him: but when he was only a single pace behind him, there occurred the dreadful thing that silenced every mouth and fixed every eye: he emitted a cry like a devil and sprang over the man standing in his path. But the latter, which he saw his rival thus triumph, lost his head and the rope; he threw away his pole and fell, faster even than it, like a vortex of legs and arms. The market square and the people were like a sea in a storm: they flew apart in disorder, especially where the body would come crashing down.
But Zarathustra remained still and the body fell quite close to him, badly injured and broken but not yet dead. After a while, consciousness returned to the shattered man and he saw Zarathustra kneeling beside him. "What are you doing?" he asked at length. "I've known for a long time that the Devil would trip me up. Now he's dragging me to Hell: are you trying to prevent him?"
"On my honour, friend," answered Zarathustra, "all you have spoken of does not exist: there is no Devil and no Hell. Your soul will be dead even before your body: therefore fear nothing any more!"
The man looked up mistrustfully. "If you are speaking the truth," he said then, "I leave nothing when I leave life. I am not much more than an animal which has been taught to dance by blows and starvation."
"Not so," said Zarathustra. "You have made danger your calling, there is nothing in that to despise. Now you perish through your calling: so I will bury you with my own hands."
When Zarathustra had said this the dying man replied no more; but he motioned with his hand, as if he sought Zarathustra's hand to thank him.
In the meanwhile, evening had come and the market square was hidden in darkness: then the people dispersed, for even curiosity and terror grow tired. But Zarathustra sat on the ground beside the dead man and was sunk in thought: thus he forgot the time. But at length it became night and a cold wind blew over the solitary figure. Then Zarathustra arose and said to his heart:
Truly, Zarathustra has had a handsome catch today! He caught no man, but he did catch a corpse.
Uncanny is human existence and still without meaning: a buffoon can be fatal to it.
I want to teach men the meaning of their existence: which is the Superman, the lightning from the dark cloud man.
But I am still distant from them, and my meaning does not speak to their minds. To men, I am still a cross between a fool and a corpse.
Dark is the night, dark are Zarathustra's ways. Come, cold and stiff companion! I am going to carry you to the place where I shall bury you with my own hands.
When Zarathustra had said this to his heart he loaded the corpse on to his back and set forth. He had not gone a hundred paces when a man crept up to him and whispered in his ear - and behold! it was the buffoon of the tower who spoke to him. "Go away from this town, O Zarathustra," he said. "Too many here hate you. The good and the just hate you and call you their enemy and despiser; the faithful of the true faith hate you, and they call you a danger to the people. It was lucky for you that they laughed at you: and truly you spoke like a buffoon. It was lucky for you that you made company was the dead dog; by so abasing yourself you have saved yourself for today. But leave this town - or tomorrow I shall jump over you, a living man over a dead one." And when he had said this, the man disappeared; Zarathustra, however, went on through the dark streets.
At the town gate the gravediggers accosted him: they shone their torch in his face, recognized Zarathustra and greatly derided him. "Zarathustra is carrying the dead dog away: excellent that Zarathustra has become a gravedigger! For our hands are too clean for this roast. Does Zarathustra want to rob the Devil of his morsel? Good luck then! A hearty appetite! But if the Devil is a better thief than Zarathustra! - he will steal them both, he will eat them both!" And they laughed and put their heads together.
Zarathustra said nothing and went his way. When he had walked for two hours past woods and swamps he had heard too much hungry howling of wolves and he grew hungry himself. So he stopped at a lonely house in which a light was burning.
"Hunger has waylaid me," said Zarathustra, "like a robber. My hunger has waylaid me in woods and swamps, and in the depth of night.
"My hunger has astonishing moods. Often it comes to me only after mealtimes, and today it did not come at all: where has it been?"
And with that, Zarathustra knocked on the door of the house. An old man appeared; he carried a light and asked: "Who comes here to me and to my uneasy sleep?"
"A living man and a dead," said Zarathustra. "Give me food and drink, I forgot about them during the day. He who feeds the hungry refreshes his own soul: thus speaks wisdom."
The old man went away, but returned at once and offered Zarathustra bread and wine. "This is a bad country for hungry people," he said. "That is why I live here. Animals and men come here to me, the hermit. But bid your companion eat and drink, he is wearier than you."
Zarathustra answered: "My companion is dead, I shall hardly be able to persuade him."
"That is nothing to do with me," said the old man morosely. "Whoever knocks at my door must take what I offer him. Eat, and fare you well!"
After that, Zarathustra walked two hours more and trusted to the road and to the light of the stars: for he was used to walking abroad at night and liked to look into the face of all that slept. But when morning dawned, Zarathustra found himself in a thick forest and the road disappeared. Then he laid the dead man in a hollow tree at his head - for he wanted to protect him from the wolves - and laid himself down on the mossy ground. And straightway he fell asleep, weary in body but with a soul at rest.
Zarathustra slept long, and not only the dawn but the morning too passed over his head. But at length he opened his eyes: in surprise Zarathustra gazed into the forest and the stillness, in surprise he gazed into himself. Then he arose quickly, like a seafarer who suddenly sees land, and rejoiced: for he beheld a new truth. And then he spoke to his heart thus:
A light has dawned for me: I need companions, living ones, not dead companions and corpses which I carry with me wherever I wish.
But I need living companions who follow me because they want to follow themselves - and who want to go where I want to go.
A light has dawned for me: Zarathustra shall not speak to the people but to companions! Zarathustra shall not be herdsman and dog to the herd!
To lure many away from the herd - that I why I have come. The people and the herd shall be angry with me: the herdsmen shall call Zarathustra a robber.
I say herdsmen, but they call themselves the good and the just. I say herdsmen: but they call themselves the faithful of the true faith.
Behold the good and the just! Whom do they hate most? Him who smashes their tables of values, the breaker, the law-breaker - but he is the creator.
Behold the faithful of all faiths! Whom do they hate the most? Him who smashes their tables of values, the breaker, the law-breaker - but he is the creator.
The creator seeks companions, not corpses or herds or believers. The creator seeks fellow-creators, those who inscribe new values on new tables.
The creator seeks companions and fellow-harvesters: for with him everything is ripe for harvesting. But he lacks his hundred sickles: so he tears of the ears of corn and is vexed.
The creator seeks companions and such as know how to whet their sickles. They will be called destroyers and despisers of good and evil. But they are harvesters and rejoicers.
Zarathustra seeks fellow-creators, fellow-harvesters, and fellow-rejoicers: what has he to do with herds and herdsmen and corpses!
And you, my first companion, fare you well! I have buried you well in your hollow tree, I have hidden you well from the wolves.
But I am leaving you, the time has come. Between dawn and dawn a new truth has come to me.
I will not be herdsman or gravedigger. I will not speak again to the people: I have spoken to a dead man for the last time.
I will make company with creators, with harvesters, with rejoicers: I will show them the rainbow and the stairway to the Superman.
I shall sing my song to the lone hermit and to the hermits in pairs; and I will make the heart of him who still has ears for unheard-of-things heavy with my happiness.
I make for my goal, I go my way; I shall leap over the hesitating and the indolent. Thus may my going-forward be their going-down!
Zarathustra said this to his heart as the sun stood at noon: then he looked inquiringly into the sky - for he heard above him the sharp cry of a bird. And behold! An eagle was sweeping through the air in wide circles, and from it was hanging a serpent, not like a prey but like a friend: for it was coiled around the eagle's neck.
"It is my animals!" said Zarathustra and rejoiced in his heart.
"The proudest animal under the sun and the wisest animal under the sun - they have come scouting.
"They wanted to learn if Zarathustra was still alive. Am I in fact alive?
"I found it more dangerous among men than among animals; Zarathustra is following dangerous paths. May my animals lead me!"
When Zarathustra had said this he recalled the words of the saint in the forest, sighed, and spoke thus to his heart:
"I wish I were wise! I wish I were wise from the heart of me, like my serpent!
"But I am asking the impossible: therefore I ask my pride always to go along with my wisdom!
"And if one day my wisdom should desert me - ah, it loves to fly away! - then may my pride too fly with my folly!"
Thus began Zarathustra's down-going.
Of the Three Metamorphoses
I NAME you three metamorphoses of the spirit: how the spirit shall become a camel, and the camel a lion, and the lion at last a child.
There are many heavy things for the spirit, for the strong, weight-bearing spirit in which dwell respect and awe: its strength longs for the heavy, the heaviest.
What is heavy? thus asks the weight-bearing spirit, thus it kneels down like the camel and wants to be well-laden.
What is the heaviest thing, you heroes? so asks the weight-bearing spirit, that I may take it upon me and rejoice in my strength.
Is it not this: to debase yourself in order to injure your pride? To let your folly shine out in order to mock your wisdom?
Or is it this: to desert our cause when it is celebrating its victory? To climb high mountains in order to tempt the tempter?
Or is it this: to feed upon the acorns and grass of knowledge and for the sake of truth to suffer hunger of the soul?
Or is it this: to be sick and to send away comforters and make friends with the deaf, who never hear what you ask?
Or is it this: to wade into dirty water when it is the water of truth, and not to disdain cold frogs and hot toads?
Or is it this: to love those who despise us and to offer our hand to the ghost when it wants to frighten us?
The weight-bearing spirit takes upon itself all these heaviest things: like a camel hurrying laden into the desert, thus it hurries into its desert.
But in the loneliest desert the second metamorphosis occurs: the spirit here becomes a lion; it wants to capture freedom and be lord in its own desert.
It seeks here it ultimate lord: it will be an enemy to him and to his ultimate God, it will struggle for victory with the great dragon.
What is the great dragon which the spirit no longer wants to call lord and God? The great dragon is called 'Thus shalt'. But the spirit of the lion says "I will!"
'Thus shalt' lies in its path, sparkling with gold, a scale-covered beast, and on every scale glitters golden 'Thou shalt'.
Values of a thousand years glitter on the scales, and thus speaks the mightiest of all dragons: "All the values of things - glitter on me.
"All values have already been created, and all created values - are in me. Truly, there shall be no more 'I will'!" Thus speaks the dragon.
My brothers, why is the lion needed in the spirit? Why does the beast of burden, that renounces and is reverent, not suffice?
To create new values - even the lion is incapable of that: but to create itself freedom for new creation - that the might of the lion can do.
To create freedom for itself and a sacred No even to duty: the lion is needed for that, my brothers.
To seize the right to new values - that is the most terrible proceeding for a weight-bearing and reverential spirit. Truly, to this spirit it is a theft and a work for an animal of prey.
Once it loved this 'Thou shalt' as its holiest thing: now it has to find illusion and caprice even in the holiest, that it may steal freedom from its love: the lion is needed for this theft.
But tell me, my brothers, what can the child do that even the lion cannot? Why must the preying lion still become a child?
The child is innocence and forgetfulness, a new beginning, a sport, a self-propelling wheel, a first motion, a sacred Yes.
Yes, a sacred Yes is needed, my brothers, for the sport of creation: the spirit now wills its own will, the spirit now sundered from the world now wins its own world.
I have named you three metamorphoses of the spirit: how the spirit becomes a camel, and the camel a lion, and the lion at last a child.
Thus spoke Zarathustra. And at that time he was living in the town called the Pied Cow.
Of the Chairs of Virtue
ZARATHUSTRA heard a wise man praised who was said to discourse well on sleep and virtue: he was greatly honoured and rewarded for it, and all the young men sat before his chair. Zarathustra went to him and sat before his chair with all the young men. And thus spoke the wise man:
Honour to sleep and modesty before it! That is the first thing! And avoid all those who sleep badly and are awake at night!
Even the thief is ashamed when confronted with sleep: he always steals softly through the night. But shameless is the night-watchman, shamelessly he bears his horn.
Sleeping is no mean art: you need to stay awake all day to do it.
You must overcome yourself ten times a day: that causes a fine weariness and is opium to the soul.
Ten times must you be reconciled to yourself again: for overcoming is bitterness and the unreconciled man sleeps badly.
You must discover ten truths a day: otherwise you will seek truth in the night too, with your soul still hungry.
You must laugh and be cheerful ten times a day: or your stomach, that father of affliction, will disturb you in the night.
Few know it, but one must have all the virtues in order to sleep well. Shall I bear false witness? Shall I commit adultery?
Shall I covert my neighbour's maidservant? None of this would be consistent with good sleep.
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.
That they may not quarrel among themselves, the pretty little women! And over you, unhappy man!
Peace with God and with your neighbour: thus good sleep will have it. And peace too with your neighbour's devil. Otherwise he will haunt you at night.
Honour and obedience to the authorities, and even to the crooked authorities! Thus good sleep will have it. How can I help it that power likes to walk on crooked legs?
I shall always call him the best herdsman who leads his sheep to the greenest meadows: that accords with good sleep.
I do not desire much honour, nor great treasure: they excite spleen. But one sleeps badly without a good name and a small treasure.
The company of a few is more welcome to me than bad company: but they must come and go at the proper time. That accords with good sleep.
The poor in spirit, too, please me greatly: they further sleep. Blessed and happy they are indeed, especially if one always agrees with their views.
Thus for the virtuous man does the day pass. And when night comes I take good care not to summon sleep! He, the lord of virtues, does not like to be summoned!
But I remember what I have done and thought during the day. Ruminating I ask myself, patient as a cow: What were your ten overcomings?
And which were the ten reconciliations and the ten truths and the ten fits of laughter with which my heart enjoyed itself?
As I ponder such things rocked by my forty thoughts, sleep, the lord of virtue, suddenly overtakes me uncalled.
Sleep knocks on my eyes: they grow heavy. Sleep touches my mouth: it stays open.
Truly, he comes to me on soft soles, the dearest of thieves, and steals my thoughts from me: I stand as silent as this chair.
But I do not stand for long: already I am lying down.
When Zarathustra heard the wise man's words he laughed in his heart: for through them a light had dawned upon him. And he spoke thus to his heart:
This wise man with his forty thoughts seems to me a fool: but I believe he knows well enough how to sleep.
Happy is he who lives in this wise man's neighbourhood. Such sleep is contagious, even through a thick wall.
A spell dwells even in his chair. And the young men have not sat in vain before the preacher of virtue.
His wisdom is: stay awake in order to sleep well. And truly, if life had no sense and I had to choose nonsense, this would be the most desirable nonsense for me, too.
Now it is clear to me what people were once seeking above all when they sought the teachers of virtue. They sought good sleep and opium virtues to bring it about!
To all of these lauded wise men of the academic chairs, wisdom meant sleep without dreams: they knew no better meaning of life.
And today too there are some like this preacher of virtue, and not always so honourable: but their time is up. And they shall not stand for much longer: already they are lying down.
Blessed are these drowsy men: for they shall soon drop off.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
Of the Afterworldsmen
ONCE Zarathustra too cast his deluded fancy beyond mankind, like all afterworldsmen. Then the world seemed to me the work of a suffering and tormented God.
Then the world seemed to me the dream and fiction of a God; coloured vapour before the eyes of a discontented God.
Good and evil and joy and sorrow and I and You - I thought them coloured vapour before the creator's eyes. The creator wanted to look away from himself, so he created the world.
It is intoxicating joy for the sufferer to look away from his suffering and to forget himself. Intoxicating joy and self-forgetting - that is what I once thought the world.
This world, the eternally imperfect, the eternal and imperfect image of a contradiction - an intoxicating joy to its imperfect creator - that is what I once thought the world.
Thus I too once cast my deluded fancy beyond mankind, like all afterworldsmen. Beyond mankind in reality?
Ah, brothers, this God which I created was human work and human madness, like all gods!
He was human, and only a poor piece of man and Ego: this phantom came to me from my own fire and ashes, that is the truth! It did not come to me from the 'beyond'!
What happened, my brothers? I, the sufferer, overcame myself, I carried my own ashes to the mountains, I made for myself a brighter flame. And behold! the phantom fled from me!
Now to me, the convalescent, it would be suffering and torment to believe in such phantoms: it would be suffering to me now and humiliation. Thus I speak to the afterworldsmen.
It was suffering and impotence - that created all afterworlds; and that brief madness of happiness that only the greatest sufferer experiences.
Weariness, which wants to reach the ultimate with a single leap, with a death-leap, a poor ignorant weariness, which no longer wants even to want: that created all gods and afterworlds.
Believe me, my brothers! It was the body that despaired of the body - that touched the ultimate walls with the fingers of its deluded spirit.
Believe me, my brothers! It was the body that despaired of the earth - that heard the belly of being speak to it.
And then it wanted to get its head through the ultimate walls - and not its head only - over into the 'other world'.
But that 'other world', that inhuman, dehumanized world which is a heavenly Nothing, is well hidden from men; and the belly of being does not speak to man, except as man.
Truly, all being is hard to demonstrate; it is hard to make it speak. Yet, tell me, brothers, is not the most wonderful of all things most clearly demonstrated?
Yes, this Ego, with its contradictions and confusion, speaks most honestly of its being - this creating, willing, evaluating Ego, which is the measure and value of things.
And this most honest being, the Ego - it speaks of the body, and it insists upon the body, even when it fables and fabricates and flutters with broken wings.
Even more honestly it learns to speak, the Ego: and the more it learns, the more it finds titles and honours for the body and the earth.
My Ego taught me a new pride, I teach it to men: no longer to bury the head in the sand of heavenly things, but to carry it freely, an earthly head which creates meaning for the earth!
I teach mankind a new will: to desire this path that men have followed blindly, and to call it good and no more to creep aside from it, like the sick and dying!
It was the sick and dying who despised the body and the earth and invented the things of heaven and the redeeming drops of blood: but even these sweet and dismal poisons they took from the body and the earth!
They wanted to escape from their misery and the stars were too far for them. Then they sighed: "Oh, if only there were heavenly paths by which to creep into another existence and into happiness!" - then they contrived for themselves their secret ways and their draughts of blood!
Now they thought themselves transported from their bodies and from this earth, these ingrates. Yet to what do they own the convulsion and joy of their transport? To their bodies and to this earth.
Zarathustra is gentle with the sick. Truly, he is not angry at the manner of consolation and ingratitude. May they become convalescents and overcomers and make for themselves a higher body!
Neither is Zarathustra angry with the convalescent if he glances tenderly at his illusions and creeps at midnight around the grave of his God: but even his tears still speak to me of sickness and a sick body.
There have always been many sickly people among those who invent fables and long for God: they have a raging hate for the enlightened man and for the youngest of virtues which is called honesty.
They are always looking back to dark ages: then, indeed, illusion and faith were a different question; raving of the reason was likeness to God, and doubt was sin.
I know these Godlike people all too well: they want to be believed in, and doubt to be sin. I also know all too well what it is they themselves most firmly believe in.
Truly not in afterworlds and redeeming drops of blood: they believe most firmly in the body, and their own body is for them their thing-in-itself.
But it is a sickly thing to them: and they would dearly like to get out of their skins. That is why they hearken to preachers of death and themselves preach afterworlds.
Listen rather, my brothers, to the voice of the healthy body: this is a purer voice and a more honest one.
Purer and more honest of speech is the healthy body, perfect and square-built: and it speaks of the meaning of the earth.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
Of the Despisers of the Body
I WISH to speak to the despisers of the body. Let them now learn differently nor teach differently, but only bid farewell to their own bodies - and so become dumb.
"I am body and soul" - so speaks the child. And why should one not speak like children?
But the awakened, the enlightened man says: I am body entirely, and nothing beside; and soul is only a word for something in the body.
The body is a great intelligence, a multiplicity with one sense, a war and a peace, a herd and a herdsman.
Your little intelligence, my brother, which you call 'spirit', is also an instrument of your body, a little instrument and toy of your great intelligence.
You say "I" and you are proud of this word. But greater than this - although you will not believe in it - is your body and its great intelligence, which does not say "I" but performs "I".
What the sense feels, what the spirit perceives, is never an end in itself. But sense and spirit would like to persuade you that they are the end of all things: they are as vain as that.
Sense and spirit are instruments and toys: behind them still lies the Self. The Self seeks with the eyes of the sense, it listens too with the ears of the spirit.
The Self is always listening and seeking: it compares, subdues, conquers, destroys. It rules and is also the Ego's ruler.
Behind your thoughts and feelings, my brother, stands a mighty commander, an unknown sage - he is called Self. He lives in your body, he is your body.
There is more reason in your body than in your best wisdom. And who knows for what purpose your body requires precisely your best wisdom?
Your Self laughs at your Ego and its proud leapings. "What are these leapings and flights of thought to me?" it says to itself. "A by-way to my goal. I am the Ego's leading string and I prompt its conceptions."
The Self says to the Ego: "Feel pain!" Thereupon it suffers and gives thought how to end its suffering - and it is meant to think for just that purpose.
I want to say a word to the despisers of the body. It is their esteem that produces this disesteem. What is it that created esteem and disesteem and value and will?
The creative Self created for itself esteem and disesteem, it created for itself joy and sorrow. The creative body created spirit for itself, as a hand of its will.
Even in your folly and contempt, you despisers of the body, you serve your Self. I tell you: your Self itself wants to die and turn away from life.
Your Self can no longer perform that act which it most desires to perform: to create beyond itself. That is what it most wishes to do, that is its whole ardour.
But now it has grown too late for that: so your Self wants to perish, you despisers of the body.
Your Self wants to perish, and that is why you have become despisers of the body! For no longer are you able to create beyond yourselves.
And therefore you are now angry with life and with the earth. An unconscious envy lies in the sidelong glance of your contempt.
I do not go your way, you despisers of the body! You are not bridges to the Superman!
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
Of Joys and Passions
MY brother, if you have a virtue and it is your own virtue, you have it in common with no-one.
To be sure, you want to call it by a name and caress it; you want to pull its ears and amuse yourself with it.
And behold! Now you have its name in common with the people and have become of the people and the herd with your virtue!
You would do better to say: "Unutterable and nameless is that which torments and delights my soul and is also the hunger of my belly."
Let your virtue be too exalted for the familiarity of names: and if you have to speak of it, do not be ashamed to stammer.
Thus say and stammer: "This is my good, this I love, just thus do I like it, only thus do I wish the good.
"I do not want it as a law of God, I do not want it as a human statute: let it be no sign-post to superearths and paradises.
"It is an earthly virtue that I love: there is little prudence in it, and least of all common wisdom.
"But this bird has built its nest beneath my roof: therefore I love and cherish it - now it sits there upon its golden eggs."
Thus should you stammer and praise your virtue.
Once you had passions and called them evil. But now you have only your virtues: they grew from out your passions.
You laid your highest aim in the heart of these passions: then they became your virtues and joys.
And though you came from the race of the hot-tempered or of the lustful or of the fanatical or of the vindictive:
At last all your passions have become virtues and all your devils angels.
Once you had fierce dogs in your cellar: but their changed at last into birds and sweet singers.
From your poison you brewed your balsam: you milked your cow, affliction, now you drink the sweet milk of her udder.
And henceforward nothing evil shall come out of you, except it be the evil that comes from the conflict of your virtues.
My brother, if you are lucky you will have one virtue and no more: thus you will go more easily over the bridge.
To have many virtues is to be distinguished, but it is a hard fate; and many a man has gone into the desert and killed himself because he was tired of being a battle and battleground of virtues.
My brother, are war and battle evil? But this evil is necessary, envy and mistrust and calumny among your virtues is necessary.
Behold how each of your virtues desires the highest place: it wants your entire spirit, that your spirit may be its herald, it wants your entire strength in anger, hate, and love.
Every virtue is jealous of the others, and jealousy is a terrible thing. Even virtues can be destroyed through jealousy.
He whom the flames of jealousy surround at last turns his poisoned sting against himself, like the scorpion.
Ah my brother, have you never yet seen a virtue turn upon itself and stab itself?
Man is something that must be overcome: and for that reason you must love your virtues - for you will perish by them.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
Of the Pale Criminal
YOU do not intend to kill, you judges and sacrificers, before the beast has bowed its neck? Behold, the pale criminal his bowed his neck: from his eye speaks the great contempt.
"My Ego is something that should be overcome: my Ego is to me the great contempt of man": that is what this eye says.
He judged himself - that was his supreme moment: do not let the exalted man relapse again into his lowly condition!
There is no redemption for him who thus suffers from himself, except it be a quick death.
Your killing, you judges, should be a mercy and not a revenge. And since you kill, see to it that you yourselves justify life!
It is not sufficient that you should be reconciled with him you kill. May your sorrow be love for the Superman: thus will you justify your continuing to live!
You should say "enemy", but not "miscreant"; you should say "invalid", but not "scoundrel"; you should say "fool", but not "sinner".
And you, scarlet judge, if you would speak aloud all you have done in thought, everyone would cry: "Away with this filth and poisonous snake!"
But the thought is one thing, the deed is another, and another yet is the image of the deed. 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 endure its image after it was done.
Now for evermore he saw himself as the perpetrator of one deed. I call this madness: in him the exception has become the rule.
The chalk-line charmed the hen; the blow he struck charmed his simple mind - I call this madness after the deed.
Listen, you judges! There is another madness as well; and it comes before the deed. Ah, you have not crept deep enough into this soul!
Thus says the scarlet judge: "Why did this criminal murder? He wanted to steal." But I tell you: his soul wanted blood not booty: he thirsted for the joy of the knife!
But his simple mind did not understand this madness and it persuaded him otherwise. "What is the good of blood?" it said. "Will you not at least commit a theft too? Take a revenge?"
And he hearkened to his simple mind: its words lay like lead upon him - then he robbed as he murdered. He did not want to be ashamed of his madness.
And now again the lead of his guilt lies upon him, and again his simple mind is so numb, so paralysed, so heavy.
If only he could shake his head his burden would roll off: but who can shake this head?
What is this man? A heap of diseases that reach into the world through the spirit: there they want to catch their prey.
What is this man? A knot of savage serpents that are seldom at peace among themselves - thus they go forth alone to seek prey in the world.
Behold this poor body! This poor soul interpreted to itself what this body suffered and desired - it interpreted it as lust for murder and greed for the joy of the knife.
The evil which is now evil overtakes him who now becomes sick: he wants to do harm with that which harms him. But there have been other ages and another evil and good.
Once doubt and the will to Self were evil. Then the invalid became heretic and witch: as heretic and witch he suffered and wanted to cause suffering.
But this will not enter your ears: you tell me it hurts your good people. But what are your good people to me?
Much about your good people moves me to disgust, and it is not their evil I mean. How I wished they possessed a madness through which they could perish, like this pale criminal.
Truly, I wish their madness were called truth or loyalty or justice: but they possess their virtue in order to live long and in a miserable ease.
I am a railing beside the stream: he who can grasp me, let him grasp me! I am not, however, your crutch.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
Of Reading and Writing
OF all writings I love only that which is written with blood. Write with blood: and you will discover that blood is spirit.
It is not an easy thing to understand unfamiliar blood: I hate the reading idler.
He who knows the reader, does nothing further for the reader. Another century of readers - and spirit itself will stink.
That everyone can learn to read will ruin in the long run not only writing, but thinking too.
Once spirit was God, then it became man, and now it is even becoming mob.
He who writes in blood and aphorisms does not want to be read, he wants to be learned by heart.
In the mountains the shortest route is from peak to peak, but for that you must have long legs. Aphorisms should be peaks, and those to whom they are spoken should be big and tall of stature.
The air thin and pure, danger near, and the spirit full of a joyful wickedness: these things suit one another.
I want hobgoblins around me, for I am courageous. Courage that scares away phantoms makes hobgoblins for itself - courage wants to laugh.
I no longer feel as you do: this cloud which I see under me, this blackness and heaviness at which I laugh - precisely this is your thunder-cloud.
You look up when you desire to be exalted. And I look down, because I am exalted.
Who among you can at the same time laugh and be exalted?
He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary.
Untroubled, scornful, outrageous - that is how wisdom wants us to be: she is a woman and never loves anyone but a warrior.
You tell me: "Life is hard to bear." But if it were otherwise why should you have your pride in the morning and your resignation in the evening?
Life is hard to bear: but do not pretend to be so tender! We are all of us pretty fine asses and assesses of burden!
What have we in common with the rosebud, which trembles because a drop of dew is lying upon it?
It is true: we love life, not because we are used to living but because we are used to loving.
There is always a certain madness in love. But also there is always a certain method in madness.
And to me too, who loves life, it seems that butterflies and soap-bubbles, and whatever is like them among men, know most about happiness.
To see these light, foolish, dainty, affecting little souls flutter about - that moves Zarathustra to tears and to song.
I should believe only in a God who understood how to dance.
And when I beheld my devil, I found him serious, thorough, profound, solemn: it was the Spirit of Gravity - through him all things are ruined.
One does not kill by anger but by laughter. Come, let us kill the Spirit of Gravity!
I have leaned to walk: since then I have run. I have learned to fly: since then I do not have to be pushed in order to move.
Now I am nimble, now I fly, now I see myself under myself, now a god dances with me.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
Of the Tree on the Mountainside
ZARATHUSTRA had noticed that a young man was avoiding him. And as he was walking alone one evening through the mountains surrounding the town called the Pied Cow, behold! he found this young man leaning against a tree and gazing wearily into the valley. Zarathustra grasped the tree beside which the young man was sitting and spoke thus:
"If I wanted to shake this tree with my hands I should be unable to do it.
"But the wind, which we cannot see, torments it and bends it where it wishes. It is invisible hands that torment and bend us the worst."
At that the young man stood up in confusion and said: "I hear Zarathustra and I was just thinking of him."
Zarathustra replied: "Why are you alarmed on that account? Now it is with men as with this tree.
"The more it wants to rise into the heights and the light, the more determinedly do its roots strive earthwards, downwards, into the darkness, into the depths - into evil."
"Yes, into evil!" cried the young man. "How is it possible you can uncover my soul?"
Zarathustra smiled and said: "There are many souls one will never uncover, unless one invents them first."
"Yes, into evil!" cried the young man again.
"You have spoken the truth, Zarathustra. Since I wanted to rise into the heights I have no longer trusted myself, and no-one trusts me any more. How did this happen?
"I change too quickly: my today refutes my yesterday. When I ascend I often jump over steps, and no step forgives me that.
"When I am aloft, I always find myself alone. No-one speaks to me, the frost of solitude makes me tremble. What do I want in the heights?
"How ashamed I am of my climbing and stumbling! How I scorn my violent panting! How I hate the man who can fly! How weary I am in the heights!"
Here the young man fell silent. And Zarathustra contemplated the tree beside which they were standing, and spoke thus:
"This tree stands here alone on the mountainside; it has grown up high above man and animal.
"And if it wished to speak, it would find no-one who understood it: so high has it grown.
"Now it waits and waits - yet what is it waiting for? It lives too near the seat of the clouds: it is waiting, perhaps, for the first lightning?"
When Zarathustra said this, the young man cried with violent gestures: "Yes, Zarathustra, you speak true. I desired my destruction when I wanted to ascend into the heights, and you are the lightning for which I have been waiting! Behold, what have I been since you appeared among us? It is envy of you which has destroyed me!" Thus spoke the young man and wept bitterly. But Zarathustra laid his arm about him and drew him along with him.
And when they had been walking together for a while, Zarathustra began to speak thus:
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 you 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 poison 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.
Of the Preachers of Death
THERE are preachers of death: and the earth is full of those to whom departure from life must be preached.
The earth is full of the superfluous, life has been corrupted by the many-too-many. Let them be lured by 'eternal life' out of this life!
Yellow men or black men: that is what the preachers of death are called. But I want to show them to you in other colours.
There are the dreadful creatures who carry a beast of prey around with them, and have no choice except lusts or self-mortification. And even their lusts are self-mortification.
They have not yet even become men, these dreadful creatures. Let them preach departure from life and depart themselves!
There are the consumptives of the soul: they are hardly born before they begin to die and to long for doctrines of weariness and renunciation.
They should like to be dead, and we should approve their wish! Let us guard against awakening these dead men and damaging these living coffins.
They encounter an invalid or an old man or a corpse; and straightway they say: "Life is refuted!"
But only they are refuted, they are their eye that sees only one aspect of existence.
Muffled in deep depression, and longing for the little accidents that bring about death: thus they wait and clench their teeth.
Or: they snatch at sweets and in doing so mock their childishness: they cling to their straw of life and mock that they are still clinging to a straw.
Their wisdom runs: "He who goes on living is a fool, but we are such fools! And precisely that is the most foolish thing in life!"
"Life is only suffering" - thus others of them speak, and they do not lie: so see to it that you cease to live! So see to it that the life which is only suffering ceases!
And let the teaching of your virtue be: "You shall kill yourself! You shall steal away from yourself!"
"Lust is sin" - thus say some who preach death - "let us go aside and beget no children!"
"Giving birth is laborious" - say others - "why go on giving birth? One gives birth only to unhappy children!" And they too are preachers of death.
"Men are to be pitied" - thus say others again. "Take what I have! Take what I am! By so much less am I bound to life!"
If they were compassionate from the very heart they would seek to make their neighbours disgusted with life. To be evil - that would be their true good.
But they want to escape from life: what is it to them that, with their chains and gifts, they bind others still more firmly to it?
And you too, to whom unrestrained labour, and the swift, the new, the strange, are dear, you endure yourselves ill, your industry is flight and will to forget yourselves.
If you believed more in life, you would devote yourselves less to the moment. But you have insufficient capacity for waiting - or even for laziness!
Everywhere resound the voices of those who preach death: and the earth is full of those to whom death must be preached.
Or 'eternal life': it is all the same to me - provided they pass away quickly!
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
Of War and Warriors
WE do not wish to be spared by our best enemies, nor by those whom we love from the very heart. So let me tell you the truth!
My brothers in war! I love you from the very heart, I am and have always been of your kind. And I am also your best enemy. So let me tell you the truth!
I know the hatred and envy of your hearts. You are not great enough not to know hatred and envy. So be great enough 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: if only I could see many warriors! What they wear is called uniform: may what they conceal with it not be uniform too!
You should be such men as are always looking for an enemy - for your enemy. And with some of you there is hate at first sight.
You should seek your enemy, you should wage your war - a war for your opinions. And if your opinion is defeated, your honesty should still cry triumph over that!
You should love peace as a means to new wars. And the short peace more than the long.
I do not exhort you to work but to battle. I do not exhort you to peace, but to victory. May your work be a battle, may your peace be a victory!
One can be silent and sit still only when one has arrow and bow: otherwise one babbles and quarrels. May your peace be a victory!
You say it is the good cause that hallows even war? I tell you: it is the good war that hallows every cause.
War and courage have done more great things than charity. Not your pity but your bravery has saved the unfortunate up to now.
"What is good?" you ask. To be brave is good. Let the little girls say: "To be good is to be what is pretty and at the same time touching."
They call you heartless: but your heart is true, and I love the modesty of your kind-heartedness. You feel ashamed of your flow, while others feel ashamed of their ebb.
Are you ugly? Very well, my brothers! Take the sublime about you, the mantle of the ugly!
And when your soul grows great, it grows arrogant, and there is wickedness in your sublimity. I know you.
In wickedness, the arrogant and the weak man meet. But they misunderstand one another. I know you.
You may have enemies whom you hate, but not enemies whom you despise. You must be proud of your enemy: then the success of your enemy shall be your success too.
To rebel - that shows nobility in a slave. Let your nobility show itself in obeying! Let even your commanding be an obeying!
To a good warrior, 'thus shalt' sounds more agreeable than 'I will'. And everything that is dear to you, you should first have commanded to you.
Let your love towards life be love towards your highest hope: and let your highest hope be the highest idea of life!
But you should let me commend to you your highest idea - and it is: Man is something that should be overcome.
Thus live your life of obedience and war! What good is long life? What warrior wants to be spared?
I do not spare you, I love you from the very heart, my brothers in war!
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
Of the New Idol
THERE are still peoples and herds somewhere, but not with us, my brothers: here there are states.
The state? What is that? Well then! Now open your ears, for now I shall speak to you of the death of peoples.
The state is the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly it lies, too; and this lie creeps from its mouth: "I, the state, am the people."
It is a lie! It was creators who created peoples and hung a faith and a love over them: thus they served life.
It is destroyers who set snares for many and call it the state: they hang a sword and a hundred desires over them.
Where a people still exists, there the people do not understand the state and hate it as the evil eye and sin against custom and law.
I offer you this sign: its neighbour does not understand this language. It invented this language for itself in custom and law.
But the state lies in all languages of good and evil; I offer you this sign as the sign of the state. Truly, this sign indicates the will to death! Truly, it beckons to the preachers of death!
Many too many are born: the state was invented for the superfluous!
Just see how it lures them, the many-too-many! How it devours them, and chews them, and re-chews them!
"There is nothing greater on earth than I, the regulating finger of God" - thus the monster bellows. And not only the long-eared and short-sighted sink to their knees!
Ah, it whispers its dismal lies to you too, you great souls! Ah, it divines the abundant hearts that like to squander themselves!
Yes, it divines you too, you conquerors of the old God! You grew weary in battle and now your weariness serves the new idol!
It would like to range heroes and honourable men about it, this new idol! It likes to sun itself in the sunshine of good consciences - this cold monster!
It will give you everything if you worship it, this new idol: thus it buys for itself the lustre of your virtues and the glance of your proud eyes.
It wants to use you to lure the many-too-many. Yes, a cunning device of Hell has here been devised, a horse of death jingling with the trappings of fine honours!
Yes, a death for many has here been devised that glorifies itself as life: truly, a heart-felt service to all preachers of death!
I call it the state where everyone, good and bad, is a poison-drinker: the state where everyone, good and bad, loses himself: the state where universal slow suicide is called - life.
Just look at these superfluous people! They steal for themselves the works of inventors and the treasures of the wise: they call their theft culture - and they turn everything to sickness and calamity.
Just look at these superfluous people! They are always ill, they vomit their bile and call it a newspaper. They devour one another and cannot even digest themselves.
Just look at these superfluous people! They acquire wealth and make themselves poorer with it. They desire power and especially the lever of power, plenty of money - these impotent people!
See them clamber, these nimble apes! They clamber over one another and so scuffle into the mud and the abyss.
They all strive towards the throne: it is a madness they have - as if happiness sat upon the throne! Often filth sits upon the throne - and often the throne upon filth, too.
They all seem madmen to me and clambering apes and too vehement. Their idol, that cold monster, smell unpleasant to me: all of them, all these idolaters, smell unpleasant to me.
My brothers, do you then want to suffocate in the fumes of their animals mouths and appetites? Better to break the window and leap into the open air.
Avoid this bad odour! Leave the idolatry of the superfluous!
Avoid this bad odour! Leave the smoke of these human sacrifices!
The earth still remains free for great souls. Many places - the odour of tranquil seas blowing about them - are still empty for solitaries and solitary couples.
A free life still remains for great souls. Truly, he who possesses little is so much the less possessed: praised be a moderate poverty!
Only there, where the state ceases, does the man who is not superfluous begin: does the song of the necessary man, the unique and irreplaceable melody, begin.
There where the state ceases - look there, my brothers. Do you not see it: the rainbow and the bridges to the Superman?
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
Of the Flies of the Marketplace
FLEE, my friend, into your solitude! I see you deafened by the uproar of the great men and pricked by the stings of the small ones.
Forest and rock know well how to be silent with you. Be like the tree again, the wide-branching tree that you love: calmly and attentively it leans out over the sea.
Where solitude ceases, there the market-place begins; and where the market-place begins, there begins the uproar of the great actors and the buzzing of the poisonous flies.
In the world even the best things are worthless apart from him who first presents them: people call these presenters 'great men'.
The people have little idea of greatness, that is to say: creativeness. But they have a taste for all presenters and actors of great things.
The world revolves about the inventor of new values: imperceptibly it revolves. But the people and the glory revolve around the actor: that is 'the way of the world'.
The actor possesses spirit but little conscience of the spirit. He always believes in that with which he most powerfully produces belief - produces belief in himself!
Tomorrow he will have a new faith and the day after tomorrow a newer one. He has a quick perception, as the people have, and a capricious temperament.
To overthrow - to him that means: to prove. To drive frantic - to him that means: to convince. And blood is to him the best of all arguments.
A truth that penetrates only sensitive ears he calls a lie and a thing of nothing. Truly, he believes only in gods who make a great noise in the world!
The market-place is full of solemn buffoons - and the people boast of their great men! These are their heroes of the hour.
But the hour presses them: so they press you. And from you too they require a Yes or a No. And woe to you if you want to set your chair between For and Against.
Do not be jealous, lover of truth, because of these inflexible and oppressive men! Truth has never yet clung to the arm of an inflexible man.
Return to your security because of these abrupt men: only in the market-place is one assailed with Yes? or No?
The experience of all deep wells is slow: they must wait long until they know what has fallen into their depths.
All great things occur away from glory and the market-place: the inventors of new values have always lived away from glory and the market-place.
Flee, my friend, into your solitude: I see you stung by poisonous flies. Flee to where the raw, rough breeze blows!
Flee into your solitude! You have lived too near the small and the pitiable men. Flee from their hidden vengeance! Towards you they are nothing but vengeance!
No longer lift your arm against them! They are innumerable and it is not your fate to be a fly-swat.
Innumerable are these small and pitiable men; and raindrops and weeds have already brought about the destruction of many a proud building.
You are no stone, but already these many drops have made you hollow. You will not break and burst apart through these many drops.
I see you wearied by poisonous flies, I see you bloodily torn in a hundred places; and your pride refuses even to be angry.
They want blood from you in all innocence, their bloodless souls thirst for blood - and therefore they sting in all innocence.
But you, profound man, you suffer too profoundly even from small wounds; and before you have recovered, the same poison-worm is again crawling over your hand.
You are too proud to kill these sweet-toothed creatures. But take care that it does not become your fate to bear all their poisonous injustice!
They buzz around you even with their praise: and their praise is importunity. They want to be near your skin and your blood.
They flatter you as if you were a god or a devil; they whine before you as before a god or a devil. What of it! They are flatterers and whiners, and nothing more.
And they are often kind to you. But that has always been the prudence of the cowardly. Yes, the cowardly are prudent!
They think about you a great deal with their narrow souls - you are always suspicious to them. Everything that is thought about a great deal is finally thought suspicious.
They punish you for all your virtues. Fundamentally they forgive you only - your mistakes.
Because you are gentle and just-minded, you say: "They are not to be blamed for their little existence." But their little souls think: "All great existence is blameworthy."
Even when you are gentle towards them, they still feel you despise them; and they return your kindness with secret unkindness.
Your silent pride always offends their taste; they rejoice if you are ever modest enough to be vain.
When we recognize a peculiarity in a man we also inflame that peculiarity. So guard yourself against the small men!
Before you, they feel themselves small, and their baseness glimmers and glows against you in hidden vengeance.
Have you not noticed how often they became silent when you approached them, and how their strength left them like smoke from a dying fire?
Yes, my friend, you are a bad conscience to your neighbours: for they are unworthy of you. Thus they hate you are would dearly like to suck your blood.
Your neighbours will always be poisonous flies: that about you which is great, that itself must make them more poisonous and ever more fly-like.
Flee, my friend, into your solitude and to where the raw, rough breeze blows! It is not your fate to be a fly-swat.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
I LOVE the forest. It is bad to live in towns: to many of the lustful live there.
Is it not better to fall into the hands of a murderer than into the dreams of a lustful woman?
And just look at these men: their eye reveals it - they know of nothing better on earth than to lie with a woman.
There is filth at the bottom of their souls; and it is worse if this filth still has something of the spirit in it!
If only you had become perfect at least as animals! But to animals belongs innocence.
Do I exhort you to kill your senses? I exhort you to an innocence of the senses.
Do I exhort you to chastity? With some, chastity is a virtue, but with many it is almost a vice.
These people abstain, it is true: but the bitch Sensuality glares enviously out of all they do.
This restless beast follows them even into the heights of their virtue and the depths of their cold spirit.
And how nicely the bitch Sensuality knows how to beg for a piece of spirit, when a piece of flesh is denied her.
Do you love tragedies and all that is heartbreaking? But I mistrust your bitch Sensuality.
Your eyes are too cruel for me; you look upon sufferers lustfully. Has your lasciviousness not merely disguised itself and called itself pity?
And I offer you this parable: Not a few who sought to drive out their devil entered into the swine themselves.
Those to whom chastity is difficult should be dissuaded from it, lest it become the way to Hell - that is, to filth and lust of soul.
Am I speaking of dirty things? That does not seem to me the worst I could do.
Not when truth is dirty, but when it is shallow, does the enlightened man dislike to wade into its waters.
Truly, there are those who are chaste from the very heart: they are more gentle of heart and they laugh more often and more heartily than you.
They laugh at chastity too, and ask: "What is chastity?
"Is chastity not folly? But this folly came to us and not we to it.
"We offered this guest love and shelter: now it lives with us - let it stay as long as it wishes!"
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
Of the Friend
"ONE is always one too many around me" - thus speaks the hermit. "Always once one - in the long run that makes two!"
I and Me are always too earnestly in conversation with one another: how could it be endured, if there were not a friend?
For the hermit the friends is always the third person:: the third person is the cork that prevents the conversation of the other two from sinking to the depths.
Alas, for all hermits there are too many depths. That is why they long so much for a friend and for his heights.
Our faith in others betrays wherein we would dearly like to have faith in ourselves. Our longing for a friend is our betrayer.
And often with our love we only want to leap over envy. And often we attack and make an enemy in order to conceal that we are vulnerable to attack.
"At least be my enemy!" - thus speaks the true reverence, that does not venture to ask for friendship.
If you want a friend, you must also be willing to wage war for him: and to wage war, you must be capable of being an enemy.
You should honour even the enemy in your friend. Can you go near to your friend without giving over to him?
In your friend you should possess your best enemy. Your heart should feel closest to him when you oppose him.
Do you wish to go naked before your friend? Is it in honour of your friend that you show yourself to him as you are? But he wishes you to the Devil for it!
He who makes no secret of himself excites anger in others: that is how much reason you have to fear nakedness! If you were gods you could then be ashamed of your clothes!
You cannot adorn yourself too well for your friend: for you should be to him an arrow and a longing for the Superman.
Have you ever watched your friend asleep - to discover what he looked like? Yet your friend's face is something else besides. It is your own face, in a rough and imperfect mirror.
Have you ever watched your friend asleep? Were you not startled to see what he looked like? O my friend, man is something that must be overcome.
The friend should be a master in conjecture and in keeping silence: you must not want to see everything. Your dream should tell you what your friend does when awake.
May your pity be a conjecture: that you may first know if your friend wants pity. Perhaps what he loves in you is the undimmed eye and the glance of eternity.
Let your pity for your friend conceal itself under a hard shell; you should break a tooth biting upon it. Thus it will have delicacy and sweetness.
Are you pure air and solitude and bread and medicine to your friend? Many a one cannot deliver himself from his own chains and yet he is his friend's deliverer.
Are you a slave? If so, you cannot be a friend. Are you a tyrant? If so, you cannot have friends.
In woman, a slave and a tyrant have all too long been concealed. For that reason, woman is not yet capable of friendship: she knows only love.
In a woman's love is injustice and blindness towards all that she does not love. And in the enlightened love of a woman, too, there is still the unexpected attack and lightning and night, along with the 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, which of you is yet capable of friendship?
Oh your poverty, you men, and your avarice of soul! As much as you give to your friend I will give even to my enemy, and will not have grown poorer in doing so.
There is comradeship: may there be friendship!
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
Of the Thousand and One Goals
ZARATHUSTRA has seen many lands and many peoples: thus he has discovered the good and evil of many peoples. Zarathustra has found no greater power on earth than good and evil.
No people could live without evaluating: but if it wishes to maintain itself it must not evaluate as its neighbour evaluates.
Much that seemed good to one people seemed shame and disgrace to another: thus I found. I found much that was called evil in one place was in another decked with purple honours.
One neighbour never understood another: his soul was always amazed at his neighbour's madness and wickedness.
A table of values hangs over every people. Behold, it is the table of its overcomings; behold, it is the voice of its will to power.
What it accounts hard it calls praiseworthy; what it accounts indispensable and hard it calls good; and that which relieves the greatest need, the rare, the hardest of all - it glorifies as holy.
Whatever causes it to rule and conquer and glitter, to the dread and envy of its neighbour, that it accounts the sublimest, the paramount, the evaluation and the meaning of all things.
Truly, my brother, if you only knew a people's need and land and sky and neighbour, you could surely divine the law of its overcomings, and why it is upon this ladder that it mounts towards its hope.
"You should always be the first and outrival all others: your jealous soul should love no-one, except your friend" - this precept made the soul of a Greek tremble: in following it he followed his path to greatness.
"To speak the truth and to know well how to handle bow and arrow" - this seemed both estimable and hard to that people from whom I got my name - a name which is both estimable and hard to me.
"To honour father and mother and to do their will even from the roots of the soul": another people hung this table of overcoming over itself and became mighty and eternal with it.
"To practise loyalty and for the sake of loyalty to risk honour and blood even in dangerous and evil causes": another people mastered itself with such teaching, and thus mastering itself it became pregnant and heavy with great hopes.
Truly, men have given themselves all their good and evil. Truly, they did not take it, they did not find it, it did not descend to them as a voice from heaven.
Man first implanted values into things to maintain himself - he created the meaning of things, a human meaning! Therefore he calls himself: 'Man', that is: the evaluator.
Evaluation is creation: hear it, you creative men! Valuating is itself the value and jewel of all created things.
Only through evaluation is there value: and without evaluation the nut of existence would be hollow. Hear it, you creative men!
A change in values - that means a change in the creators of values. He who has to be a creator always has to destroy.
Peoples were the creators at first; only later were individuals creators. Indeed, the individual himself is still the latest creation.
Once the peoples hung a table of values over themselves. The love that wants to rule and the love that wants to obey created together such tables as these.
Joy in the herd is older than joy in the Ego: and as long as the good conscience is called herd, only the bad conscience says: I.
Truly, the cunning, loveless Ego, that seeks its advantage in the advantage of many - that is not the origin of the herd, but the herd's destruction.
It has always been creators and loving men who created good and evil. Fire of love and fire of anger glow in the names of all virtues.
Zarathustra has seen many lands and many peoples: Zarathustra has found no greater power on earth than the works of these loving men: these works are named 'good' and 'evil'.
Truly, the power of this praising and blaming is a monster. Tell me, who will subdue it for me, brothers? Tell me, who will fasten fetters upon the thousand necks of this beast?
Hitherto there have been a thousand goals, for there have been a thousand peoples. Only fetters are still lacking for these thousand necks, the one goal is still lacking.
Yet tell me, my brothers: if a goal for humanity is still lacking, is there not still lacking - humanity itself?
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
Of Love of One's Neighbour
YOU crowd together with your neighbours and have beautiful words for it. But I tell you: Your love of your neighbour is your bad love of yourselves.
You flee to your neighbour away from yourselves and would like to make a virtue of it:: but I see through your 'selflessness'.
The 'You' is older than the 'I'; the 'You' has been consecrated, but not yet the 'I': so man crowds towards his neighbour.
Do I exhort you to love of your neighbour? I exhort you rather to flight from your neighbour and to love of the most distant!
Higher than love of one's neighbour stands love of the most distant man and of the man of the future; higher still than love of man I account love of causes and of phantoms.
This phantom that runs along behind you, my brother, is fairer than you; why do you not give it your flesh and bones? But you are afraid and you run to your neighbour.
You cannot endure to be alone with yourselves and do not love yourselves enough: now you want to mislead your neighbour into love and gild yourselves with his mistake.
I wish rather that you could not endure to be with any kind of neighbour or with your neighbour's neighbour; then you would have to create your friend and his overflowing heart out of yourselves.
You invite in a witness when you want to speak well of yourselves; and when you have misled him into thinking well of you, you then think well of yourselves.
It is not only he who speaks contrary to what he knows who lies, but even more he who speaks contrary to what he does not know. And thus you speak of yourselves in your dealings with others and deceive your neighbour with yourselves.
Thus speaks the fool: "Mixing with people ruins the character, especially when one has none."
One man runs to his neighbour because he is looking for himself, and another because he wants to lose himself. Your bad love of yourselves makes solitude a prison to you.
It is the distant man who pays for your love of your neighbour; and when there are five of you together, a sixth always has to die.
I do not like your festivals, either: I have found too many actors there, and the audience, too, behaved like actors.
I do not teach you the neighbour but the friend. May the friend be to you a festival of the earth and a foretaste of the Superman.
I teach you the friend and his overflowing heart. But you must understand how to be a sponge if you want to be loved by overflowing hearts.
I teach you the friend in whom the world stands complete, a vessel of the good - the creative friend, who always has a complete world to bestow.
And as the world once dispersed for him, so it comes back to him again, as the evolution of good through evil, as the evolution of design from chance.
May the future and the most distant be the principle of your today: in your friend you should love the Superman as your principle.
My brothers, I do not exhort you to love of your neighbour: I exhort you to love of the most distant.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
Of the Way of the Creator
MY brother, do you want to go apart and be alone? Do you want to seek the way to yourself? Pause just a moment and listen to me.
"He who seeks may easily get lost himself. It is a crime to go apart and be alone" - thus speaks the herd.
The voice of the herd will still ring within you. And when you say: "We have no longer the same conscience, you and I", it will be a lament and a grief.
For see, it is still this same conscience that causes your grief: and the last glimmer of this conscience still glows in your affliction.
But you want to go the way of your affliction, which is the way to yourself? If so, show me your strength for it and your right to it!
Are you a new strength and a new right? A first motion? A self-propelling wheel? Can you also compel stars to revolve about you?
Alas, there is so much lusting for eminence! There is so much convulsion of the ambitious! Show me that you are not one of the lustful or ambitious!
Alas, there are so many great ideas that do no more than a bellows: they inflate and make emptier.
Do you call yourself free? I want to hear your ruling idea, and not that you have escaped from a yoke.
Are you such a man as ought to escape a yoke? There are many who threw off their final worth when they threw off their bondage.
Free from what? Zarathustra does not care about that! But your eye should clearly tell me: free for what?
Can you furnish yourself with your own good and evil and hang up your own will above yourself as a law? Can you be judge of yourself and avenger of your law?
It is terrible to be alone with the judge and avenger of one's own law. It is to be like a star thrown forth into empty space and into the icy breath of solitude.
Today you still suffer from the many, O man set apart: today you still have your courage whole and your hopes.
But one day solitude will make you weary, one day your pride will bend and your courage break. One day you will cry: "I am alone!"
One day you will no longer see what is exalted in you; and what is base in you, you will see all too closely; your sublimity itself will make you afraid, as if it were a phantom. One day you will cry: "Everything is false!"
There are emotions that seek to kill the solitary; if they do not succeed, well, they must die themselves! But are you capable of being a murderer?
My brother, have you ever known the word 'contempt'? And the anguish of your justice in being just to those who despise you?
You compel many to change their opinion about you; they hold that very much against you. You approached them and you went on past them: that they will never forgive you.
You go above and beyond them: but the higher you climb, the smaller you appear to the eye of envy. And he who flies is hated most of all.
"How could you be just towards me?" - that is how you must speak - "I choose your injustice as my portion."
They throw injustice and dirt at the solitary: but, my brother, if you want to be a star, you must shine none the less brightly for them on that account!
And be on your guard against the good and just! They would like to crucify those who devise their own virtue - they hate the solitary.
Be on your guard, too, against holy simplicity! Everything which is not simple is unholy to it: and it, too, likes to play with fire - in this case, the fire of the stake.
And be on your guard, too, against the assaults your love makes upon you! The solitary extends his hand too quickly to anyone he meets.
To many men, you ought not to give your hand, but only your paw: and I should like it if your paw had claws, too.
But you yourself will always be the worst enemy you can encounter; you yourself lie in wait for yourself in caves and forests.
Solitary man, 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 a prophet and an evil-doer and a villain.
You must be ready to burn yourself in your own flame: how could you become new, if you had not first become ashes?
Solitary man, you are going the way of the creator: you want to create yourself a god from your seven devils!
Solitary man, you are going the way of the lover: you love yourself and for that reason you despise yourself as only lovers can despise.
The lover wants to create, because he despises! What does he know of love who has not had to despise precisely what he loved?
Go apart and be alone with your love and your creating, my brother; and justice will be slow to limp after you.
Go apart and be alone with my tears, my brother. I love him who wants to create beyond himself, and thus perishes.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
Of Old and Young Women
"WHY do you slink so shyly through the twilight, Zarathustra? And what are you hiding so carefully under your cloak?
"Is it a treasure someone has given you? Or a child that has been born to you? Or are you now taking the way of thieves yourself, friend of the wicked?"
Truly, my brother! (said Zarathustra) it is a treasure that has been given me: it is a little truth that I carry.
But it is as unruly as a little child, and if I do not stop its mouth it will cry too loudly.
Today as I was going my way alone, at the hour when the sun sets, a little old woman encountered me and spoke thus to my soul:
"Zarathustra has spoken much to us women, too, but he has never spoken to us about woman."
And I answered her: "One should speak about women only to men."
"Speak to me too of woman," she said; "I am old enough soon to forget it."
And I obliged the little old woman and spoke to her thus:
Everything about woman is a riddle, and everything about woman has one solution: it is called pregnancy.
For the woman, the man is a means: the end is always the child. But what is the woman for the man?
The true man wants two things: danger and play. For that reason he wants woman, as the most dangerous plaything.
Man should be trained for war and woman for the recreation of the warrior: all else is folly.
The warrior does not like fruit that is too sweet. Therefore he likes woman; even the sweetest woman is still bitter.
Woman understands children better than a man, but man is more childlike than woman.
A child is concealed in the true man: it wants to play. Come, women, discover the child in man!
Let woman be a plaything, pure and fine like a precious stone illumined by the virtues of a world that does not yet exist.
Let the flash of a star glitter in your love! With your love you should attack him who inspires you with fear.
Let your honour be in your love! Woman has understood little otherwise about honour. But let this be your honour: always to love more than you are loved and never to be second in this.
Let man fear woman when she loves. Then she bears every sacrifice and every other thing she accounts valueless.
Let man fear woman when she hates: for man is at the bottom of his soul only wicked, but woman is base.
Whom does woman hate most? - Thus spoke the iron to the magnet: "I hate you most, because you attract me, but are not strong enough to draw me towards you."
The man's happiness is: I will. The woman's happiness is: He will.
"Behold, now the world has become perfect!" - thus thinks every woman when she obeys with all her love.
And woman has to obey and find a depth for her surface. Woman's nature is surface, a changeable, stormy film upon shallow waters.
But a man's nature is deep, its torrent roars in subterranean caves: woman senses its power but does not comprehend it.
Then the little old woman answered me: "Zarathustra has said many nice things, especially for those who are young enough for them.
"It is strange, Zarathustra knows little of women and yet he is right about them! Is this because with women nothing is impossible?
"And now accept as thanks a little truth! I am certainly old enough for it!
"Wrap it up and stop its mouth: otherwise it will cry too loudly, this little truth!"
"Give me your little truth, woman!" I said. And thus spoke the little old woman:
"Are you visiting women? Do not forget your whip!"
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
Of the Adder's Bite
ONE day Zarathustra had fallen asleep under a fig tree because of the heat, and had laid his arms over his face. An adder came along and bit him on the neck, so that Zarathustra cried out with pain. When he had taken his arm from his face he regarded the snake: it recognized Zarathustra's eyes, turned away awkwardly and was about to go. "No, don't go," said Zarathustra; "you have not yet received my thanks! You have awakened me at the right time, I still have a long way to go."
"You have only a short way to go," said the adder sadly, "my poison is deadly."
Zarathustra smiled: "When did a dragon ever die from the poison of a snake?" he said. "But take your poison back! You are not rich enough to give it me!" Then the adder fell upon his neck again and licked his wound.
When Zarathustra once told this to his disciples, they asked: "And what, O Zarathustra, is the moral of your story?" Zarathustra answered the question thus:
The good and just call me the destroyer of morals: my story is immoral.
When, however, you have an enemy, do not requite him good for evil: for that would make him ashamed. But prove that he has done something good to you.
Better to be angry than make ashamed! And when you are cursed, I do not like it that you then want to bless. Rather curse a little back!
And should a great injustice be done you, then quickly do five little injustices besides. He who bears injustice alone is terrible to behold!
Did you know this already? Shared injustice is half justice. And he who can bear it should take the injustice upon himself.
A little revenge is more human than no revenge at all. And if the punishment be not also a right and an honour for the transgressor, then I do not like your punishment.
It is more noble to declare yourself wrong than to maintain you are right, especially when you are right. Only you must be rich enough for it.
I do not like your cold justice; and from the eye of your judges there always gazes only the executioner and his cold steel.
Tell me, where is the justice which is love with seeing eyes to be found?
Then devise the love that bears not only punishment but also all guilt!
Then devise the justice that acquits everyone except the judges!
Will you learn this, too? To him who wants to be just from the very heart even a lie becomes philanthropy.
But how could I be just from the very heart? How can I give everyone what is his? Let this suffice me: I give everyone what is mine.
Finally, my brothers, guard yourselves against doing wrong to any hermit! How could a hermit forget? How could he requite?
A hermit is like a deep well. It is easy to throw a stone into it; but if it sink to the bottom, tell me, who shall fetch it out again?
Guard yourselves against offending the hermit! But if you have done so, well then, kill him as well!
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
Of Marriage and Children
I HAVE a question for you alone, my brother: I throw this question like a plummet into your soul, to discover how deep it is.
You are young and desire marriage and children. But I ask you: are you a man who ought to desire a child?
Are you the victor, the self-conqueror, the ruler of your senses, the lord of your virtues? Thus I ask you.
Or do the animal and necessity speak from your desire? Or isolation? Or disharmony with yourself?
I would have your victory and your freedom long for a child. You should build living memorials to your victory and your liberation.
You should build beyond yourself. But first you must be built yourself, square-built in body and soul.
You should propagate yourself not only forward, but upward! May the garden of marriage help you to do it!
You should create a higher body, a first motion, a self-propelling wheel - you should create a creator.
Marriage: that I call the will of two to create the one who is more than those who created it. Reverence before one another, as before the willers of such a will - that I call marriage.
Let this be the meaning and the truth of your knowledge. But that which the many-too-many, the superfluous, call marriage - ah, what shall I call it?
Ah, this poverty of soul in partnership! Ah, this filth of soul in partnership! Ah, this miserable ease in partnership!
All this they call marriage; and they say 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 caught in the heavenly net!
And let the God who limps hither to bless what he has not joined stay far from me!
Do not laugh at such marriages! What child has not had reason to weep over its parents?
This man seemed to me worthy and ripe for the meaning of the earth: but when I saw his wife the earth seemed to me a house for the nonsensical.
Yes, I wish that the earth shook with convulsions when a saint and a goose mate together.
This man set forth like a hero in quest of truth and at last he captured a little dressed-up lie. He calls it his marriage.
That man used to be reserved in his dealings and fastidious in his choice. But all at once he spoilt his company once and for all: he calls it his marriage.
That man sought a handmaiden with the virtues of an angel. But all at once he became a handmaiden of a woman, and now he needs to become an angel too.
I have found all buyers cautious, and all of them have astute eyes. But even the most astute man buys his wife while she is still wrapped.
Many brief follies - that is called love with you. And your marriage makes an end of many brief follies with one long stupidity.
Your love for women and woman's love for man: ah, if only it were pity for suffering and failed gods! But generally two animals sense one another.
But even your best love too is only a passionate impersonation and a painful ardour. It is a torch which should light your way to higher paths.
One day you shall love beyond yourselves! So first learn to love! For that you have had to drink the bitter cup of your love.
There is bitterness in the cup of even the best love: thus it arouses longing for the Superman, thus it arouses thirst in you, the creator!
A creator's thirst, arrow, and longing for the Superman: speak, my brother, is this your will to marriage?
I call holy such a will and such a marriage.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
Of Voluntary Death
MANY die too late and some die too early. Still the doctrine sounds strange: "Die at the right time."
Die at the right time: thus Zarathustra teaches.
To be sure, he who never lived at the right time could hardly die at the right time! Better if he were never to be born! - Thus I advise the superfluous.
But even the superfluous make a great thing of their dying; yes, even the hollowest nut wants to be cracked.
Everyone treats death as an important matter: but as yet death is not a festival. As yet, men have not learned to consecrate the fairest festivals.
I shall show you the consummating death, which shall be a spur and a promise to the living.
The man consummating his life dies his death triumphantly, surrounded by men filled with hope and making solemn vows.
Thus one should learn to die; and there should be no festivals at which such a dying man does not consecrate the oaths of the living!
To die thus is the best death; but the second best is: to die in battle and to squander a great soul.
But equally hateful to the fighter as to the victor is your grinning death, which comes creeping up like a thief - and yet comes as master.
I commend to you my sort of death, voluntary death that comes to me because I wish it.
And when shall I wish it? - He who has a goal and an heir wants death at the time most favourable to his goal and his heir.
And out of reverence for his goal and his heir he will hang up no more withered wreaths in the sanctuary of life.
Truly, I do not want to be like the rope-makers: they spin out their yarn and as a result continually go backwards themselves.
Many a one grows too old even for his truths and victories; a toothless mouth no longer has the right to every tooth.
And everyone who wants glory must take leave of honour in good time and practise the difficult art of - going at the right time.
One must stop permitting oneself to be eaten when one tastes best: this is understood by those who want to be loved long.
To be sure, there are sour apples who fate is to wait until the last day of autumn: and they become at the same time ripe, yellow, and shrivelled.
In some the heart ages first and in others the spirit. And some are old in their youth: but those who are young late stay young long.
For many a man, life is a failure: a poison-worm eats at his heart. So let him see to it that his death is all the more a success.
Many a man never becomes sweet, he rots even in the summer. It is cowardice that keeps him fastened to his branch.
Many too many live and they hang on their branches much too long. I wish a storm would come a shake all this rottenness and worm-eatenness from the tree!
I wish preachers of speedy death would come! They would be the fitting storm and shakers of the trees of life! But I hear preached only slow death and patience with all 'earthly things'.
Ah, do you preach patience with earthly things? It is these earthly things which have too much patience with you, you blasphemers!
Truly, too early died that Hebrew whom the preachers of slow death honour: and that he died too early has since been a fatality for many.
As yet he knew only tears and the melancholy of the Hebrews, together with the hatred of the good and just - the Hebrew Jesus: then he was seized by the longing for death.
Had he only remained in the desert and far from the good and just! Perhaps he would have learned to live and learned to love the earth - and laughter as well!
Believe it, my brothers! He died too early; he himself would have recanted his teaching had he lived to my age! He was noble enough to recant!
But he was still immature. The youth loves immaturely and immaturely too he hates man and the earth. His heart and the wings of his spirit are still bound and heavy.
But there is more child in the man than in the youth, and less melancholy: he has a better understanding of life and death.
Free for death and free in death, one who solemnly says No when there is no longer time for Yes: thus he understands life and death.
That your death may not be a blasphemy against man and the earth, my friends: that is what I beg from the honey of your soul.
In your death, your spirit and your virtue should still glow like a sunset glow around the earth: otherwise yours is a bad death.
Thus I want to die myself, that you friends may love the earth more for my sake; and I want to become earth again, that I may have peace in her who bore me.
Truly, Zarathustra had a goal, he threw his ball: now may you friends be the heirs of my goal, I throw the golden ball to you.
But best of all I like to see you, too, throwing on the golden ball, my friends! So I shall stay on earth a little longer: forgive me for it!
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
Of the Bestowing Virtue
WHEN Zarathustra has taken leave of the town to which his heart was attached and which called 'The Pied Cow', there followed him many who called themselves his disciples and escorted him. Thus they came to a cross-road: there Zarathustra told them that from then on he wanted to go alone: for he was a friend of going-alone. But his disciples handed him in farewell a staff, upon the golden haft of which a serpent was coiled about a sun. Zarathustra was delighted with the staff and leaned upon it; then he spoke thus to his disciples:
Tell me: how did gold come to have the highest value? Because it is uncommon and useless and shining and mellow in lustre; it always bestows itself.
Only as an image of the highest virtue did gold come to have the highest value. Gold-like gleams the glance of the giver. Gold-lustre makes peace between moon and sun.
The highest virtue is uncommon and useless, it is shining and mellow in lustre: the highest virtue is a bestowing virtue.
Truly, I divine you well, my disciples, you aspire to the bestowing virtue, as I do. What could you have in common with cats and wolves?
You thirst to become sacrifices and gifts yourselves; and that is why you thirst to heap up all riches in your soul.
Your soul aspires insatiably after treasures and jewels, because your virtue is insatiable in wanting to give.
You compel all things to come to you and into you, that they may flow back from your fountain as gifts of your love.
Truly, such a bestowing love must become a thief of all values; but I call this selfishness healthy and holy.
There is another selfishness, an all-too-poor, a hungry selfishness that always wants to steal, that selfishness of the sick, the sick selfishness.
It looks with the eye of a thief upon all lustrous things; with the greed of hunger it measures him who has plenty to eat; and it is always skulking about the table of the givers.
Sickness speaks from such craving, and hidden degeneration; the thieving greed of this longing speaks of a sick body.
Tell me, my brothers: what do we account bad and the worst of all? Is it not degeneration? - And we always suspect degeneration where the bestowing soul is lacking.
Our way is upward, from the species across to the superspecies. But the degenerate mind which says "All for me" is a horror to us.
Our mind flies upward: thus it is an image of our bodies, an image of an advance and elevation.
The names of the virtues are such images of advances and elevations.
Thus the body goes through history, evolving and battling. And the spirit - what is it to the body? The herald, echo, and companion of its battles and victories.
All names of good and evil are images: they do not speak out, they only hint. He is a fool who seeks knowledge from them.
Whenever your spirit wants to speak in images, pay heed; for that is when your virtue has its origin and beginning.
Then your body is elevated and risen up; it enraptures the spirit with its joy, that it may become creator and evaluator and lover and benefactor of all things.
When your heart surges broad and full like a river, a blessing and a danger to those who live nearby: that is when your virtue has its origin and beginning.
When you are exalted above praise and blame, and your will wants to command all things as the will of a lover: that is when your virtue has its origin and beginning.
When you despise the soft bed and what is pleasant and cannot make your bed too far away from the soft-hearted: that is when your virtue has its origin and beginning.
When you are the willers of a single will, and you call this dispeller of need your essential and necessity: that is when your virtue has its origin and beginning.
Truly, it is a new good and evil! Truly, a new roaring in the depths and the voice of a new fountain!
It is power, this new virtue; it is a ruling idea, and around it a subtle soul: a golden sun, and around it the serpent of knowledge.
Here Zarathustra fell silent a while and regarded his disciples lovingly. Then he went on speaking thus, and his voice was different:
Stay loyal to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue! May your bestowing love and your knowledge serve towards the meaning of the earth! Thus I beg and entreat you.
Do not let it fly away from the things of earth and beat with its wings against the eternal walls! Alas, there has always been much virtue that has flown away!
Lead, as I do, the flown-away virtue back to earth - yes, back to body and life: that it may give the earth its meaning, a human meaning!
A hundred times hitherto has spirit as well as virtue flown away and blundered. Alas, all this illusion and blundering still dwells in our bodies: it has there become body and will.
A hundred times has spirit as well as virtue experimented and gone astray. Yes, man was an experiment. Alas, much ignorance and error has become body in us!
Not only the reason of millennia - the madness of millennia too breaks out in us. It is dangerous to be an heir.
We are still fighting step by step with the giant Chance, and hitherto the senseless, the meaningless, has still ruled over mankind.
May your spirit and your virtue serve the meaning of the earth, my brothers: and may the value of all things be fixed anew by you. To that end you should be fighters! To that end you should be creators!
The body purifies itself through knowledge; experimenting with knowledge it elevates itself; to the discerning man all instincts are holy; the soul of the elevated man grows joyful.
Physician, heal yourself: thus you will heal your patient too. Let his best healing-aid be to see with his own eyes him who makes himself well.
There are a thousand paths that have never yet been trodden, a thousand forms of health and hidden islands of life. Man and man's earth are still unexhausted and undiscovered.
Watch and listen, you solitaries! From the future come winds with a stealthy flapping of wings; and good tidings go out to delicate ears.
You solitaries of today, you who have seceded from society, you shall one day be a people: from you, who have chosen out yourselves, shall a chosen people spring - and from this chosen people, the Superman.
Truly, the earth shall yet become a house of healing! And already a new odour floats about it, an odour that brings health - and a new hope!
When Zarathustra had said these words he paused like one who has not said his last word; long he balanced the staff doubtfully in his hand. At last he spoke thus, and his voice was different:
I now go away alone, my disciples! You too now go away and be alone! So I will have it.
Truly, I advisee you: go away 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 repays a teacher badly if one remains only a pupil. And why, then, should you not pluck at my laurels?
You respect me; but how if one day your respect should tumble? Take care that a falling statue does not strike you dead!
You say you believe in Zarathustra? But of what importance is Zarathustra? You are my believers: but of what importance are all believers?
You had not yet sought yourselves when you found me. Thus do all believers; therefore all belief is of so little account.
Now 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, I shall then seek my lost ones; with another love I shall then love you.
And once more you shall have become my friends and children of hope: and then I will be with you a third time, that I may celebrate the great noontide with you.
And this is the great noontide: it is when man stands at the middle of his course between animal and Superman and celebrates his journey to the evening as his highest hope: for it is the journey to a new morning.
Then man, going under, will bless himself; for he will be going over to Superman; and the sun of his knowledge will stand at noontide.
"All gods are dead: now we want the Superman to live" - let this be our last will one day at the great noontide!
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
"- and only when you have all denied me
will I return to you.
"Truly, with other eyes, my brothers, I
shall then seek my lost ones; with another
love I shall then love you."
'Of the Bestowing Virtue'
The Child with the Mirror
THEN Zarathustra went back into the mountains and into the solitude of his cave and withdrew from mankind: waiting like a sower who has scattered his seed. His soul, however, became full of impatience and longing for those whom he loved: for he still had much to give them. This, indeed, is the most difficult thing: to close the open hand of love and to preserve one's modesty as a giver.
Thus months and years passed over the solitary; but his wisdom increased and caused him pain by its abundance.
One morning, however, he awoke before dawn, deliberated long upon his bed, and at length spoke to his heart:
Why was I so frightened in my dream that I awoke? Did not a child carrying a mirror come to me?
"O 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 I did not see myself, I saw the sneer and grin of a devil.
Truly, I understand the dream's omen and warning all too well: my doctrine is in danger, weeds want to be called wheat!
My enemies have grown powerful and have distorted the meaning of my doctrine, so that my dearest ones are ashamed of the gifts I gave them.
My friends are lost to me; the hour has come to seek my lost ones!
With these words Zarathustra sprang up - not, however, as if gasping for air, but rather like a seer and a singer whom the spirit has moved. His eagle and his serpent regarded him with amazement: for a dawning happiness lit up his face like the dawn.
What has happened to me, my animals? (said Zarathustra). Have I not changed? Has bliss not come to me like a stormwind?
My happiness is foolish and it will speak foolish things: it is still too young - so be patient with it!
My happiness has wounded me: all sufferers shall be physicians to me!
I can go down to my friends again and to my enemies too! Zarathustra can speak and give again, and again show love to those he loves.
My impatient love overflows in torrents down towards morning and evening. My soul streams into the valleys out of silent mountains and storms of grief.
I have desired and gazed into the distance too long. I have belonged to solitude too long: thus I have forgotten how to be silent.
I have become nothing but speech and the tumbling of a brook from high rocks: I want to hurl my words down into the valleys.
And let my stream of love pass into impassable and pathless places! How should a stream not find its way to the sea at last!
There is surely a lake in me, a secluded, self-sufficing lake; but my stream of love draws it down with it - to the sea!
I go new ways, a new speech has come to me; like all creators, I have grown weary of the old tongues. My spirit no longer wants to walk on worn-out soles.
All speech runs too slowly for me - I leap into your chariot, storm! And even you I will whip on with my venom!
I want to sail across broad seas like a cry and a shout of joy, until I find the Blissful Islands where my friends are waiting -
And my enemies with them! How I now love anyone to whom I can simply speak! My enemies too are part of my happiness.
And when I want to mount my wildest horse, it is my spear that best helps me on to it; it is an ever-ready servant of my foot -
The spear which I throw at my enemies! How I thank my enemies that at last I can throw it!
The tension of my cloud has been too great: between laughter-peals of lightning I want to cast hail showers into my depths.
Mightily then my breast will heave, mightily it will blow its storm away over the mountains: and so it will win relief.
Truly, my happiness and my freedom come like a storm! But my enemies shall think the Evil One is raging over their heads.
Yes, you too, my friends, will be terrified by my wild wisdom; and perhaps you will flee from it together with my enemies.
Ah, if only I knew how to lure you back with shepherds' flutes! Ah, if only my lioness Wisdom had learned to roar fondly! And we have already learned so much with one another!
My wild Wisdom became pregnant with lonely mountains; upon rough rocks she bore her young, her youngest.
Now she runs madly through the cruel desert and seeks and seeks for the soft grassland - my old, wild Wisdom!
Upon the soft grassland of your hearts, my friends! - upon your love she would like to bed her dearest one!
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
On the Blissful Islands
THE figs are falling from the trees, they are fine and sweet; and as they fall their red skins split. I am a north wind to ripe figs.
Thus, like figs, do these teachings fall to you, my friends: now drink their juice and eat their sweet flesh! It is autumn all around and clear sky and afternoon.
Behold, what abundance is around us! And it is fine to gaze out upon distant seas from the midst of superfluity.
Once you said "God" when you gazed upon distant seas; but now I have taught you to say "Superman".
God is a supposition; but I want your supposing to reach no further than your creating will.
Could you create a god? - So be silent about all gods! But you could surely create the Superman.
Perhaps not you yourselves, my brothers! But you could transform yourselves into forefathers and ancestors of the Superman: and let this be your finest creating!
God is a supposition: but I want your supposing to be bounded by conceivability.
Could you conceive a god? - But may the will to truth mean this to you: that everything shall be transformed into the humanly-conceivable, the humanly-evident, the humanly-palpable! You should follow your own senses to the end!
And you yourselves should create what you have hitherto called the World: the World should be formed in your image by your reason, your will, and your love! And truly, it will be to your happiness, you enlightened men!
And how should you endure life without this hope, you enlightened men? Neither in the incomprehensible nor in the irrational can you be at home.
But to reveal my heart entirely to you, friends: if there were gods how could I endure not to be a god! Therefore there are no gods.
I, indeed, drew that conclusion; but now it draws me.
God is a supposition: but who could imbibe all the anguish of this supposition without dying? Shall the creator be robbed of his faith and the eagle of soaring into the heights?
God is a thought that makes all that is straight crooked and all that stands giddy. What? Would time be gone and all that is transitory only a lie?
To think this is giddiness and vertigo to the human frame, and vomiting to the stomach: truly, I call it the giddy sickness to suppose such a thing.
I call it evil and misanthropic, all this teaching about the one and the perfect and the unmoved and the sufficient and the intransitory.
All that is intransitory - that is but an image! And the poets lie too much.
But the best images and parables should speak of time and becoming: they should be a eulogy and a justification of all transitoriness.
Creation - that is the great redemption from suffering, and life's easement. But that the creator may exist, that itself requires suffering and much transformation.
Yes, there must be much bitter dying in your life, you creators! Thus you are advocates and justifiers of all transitoriness.
For the creator himself to be the child new-born he must also be willing to be the mother and endure the mother's pain.
Truly, I have gone my way through a hundred souls and through a hundred cradles and birth-pangs. I have taken many departures, I know the heart-breaking last hours.
But my creative will, my destiny, wants it so. Or, to speak more honestly: my will wants precisely such a destiny.
All feeling suffers in me and is in prison: but my willing always comes to me as my liberator and bringer of joy.
Willing liberates: that is the true doctrine of will and freedom - thus Zarathustra teaches you.
No more to will and no more to evaluate and no more to create! ah, that this great lassitude may ever stay far from me!
In knowing and understanding, too, I feel only my will's delight in begetting and becoming; and if there be innocence in my knowledge it is because will to begetting is in it.
This will lured me away from God and gods; for what there be to create if gods - existed?
But again and again it drives me to mankind, my ardent, creative will; thus it drives the hammer to the stone.
Ah, you men, I see an image sleeping in the stone, the image of my visions! Ah, that it must sleep in the hardest, ugliest stone!
Now my hammer rages fiercely against its prison. Fragments fly from the stone: what is that to me?
I will complete it: for a shadow came to me - the most silent, the lightest of all things once came to me!
The beauty of the Superman came to me as a shadow. Ah, my brothers! What are the gods to me now!
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
Of the Compassionate
MY friends, your friend has heard a satirical saying: "Just look at Zarathustra! Does he not go among us as among animals?"
But it is better said like this: "The enlightened man goes among men as among animals."
The enlightened man calls man himself: the animal with red cheeks.
How did this happen to man? Is it not because he has had to be ashamed too often?
Oh my friends! Thus speaks the enlightened man: "Shame, shame, shame - that is the history of man!"
And for that reason the noble man resolves not to make others ashamed: he resolves to feel shame before all sufferers.
Truly, I do not like them, the compassionate who are happy in their compassion: they are too lacking in shame.
If I must be compassionate I still do not want to be called compassionate; and if I am compassionate then it is preferably from a distance.
And I should also prefer to cover my head and flee away before I am recognized: and thus I bid you do, my friends!
May my destiny ever lead across my path those who, like you, do not sorrow or suffer, and those with whom I can have hope and repast and honey in common!
Truly, I did this and that for the afflicted; but it always seemed to me I did better things when I learned to enjoy myself better.
As long as men have existed, man has enjoyed himself too little: that alone, my brothers, is our original sin!
And if we learn better to enjoy ourselves, we best unlearn how to do harm to others and to contrive harm.
Therefore I wash my hand when it has helped a sufferer, therefore I wipe my soul clean as well.
For I saw the sufferer suffer, and because I saw it I was ashamed on account of his shame; and when I helped him, then I sorely injured his pride.
Great obligations do not make a man grateful, they make him resentful; and if a small kindness is not forgotten it becomes a gnawing worm.
"Be reserved in accepting! Honour a man by accepting from him!" - thus I advise those who have nothing to give.
I, however, am a giver: I give gladly as a friend to friends. But strangers and the poor may pluck the fruit from my tree for themselves: it causes less shame that way.
Beggars, however, should be entirely abolished! Truly, it is annoying to give to them and annoying not to give to them.
And likewise sinners and bad consciences! Believe me, my friends: stings of conscience teach one to sting.
But worst of all are petty thoughts. Truly, better even to have done wickedly than to have thought pettily!
To be sure, you will say: "Delight in petty wickedness spares us many a great evil deed." But here one should not wish to be spared.
The evil deed is like a boil: it itches and irritates and breaks forth - it speaks honourably.
"Behold, I am disease" - thus speaks the evil deed; that is its honesty.
But the petty thought is like a canker: it creeps and hides and wants to appear nowhere - until the whole body is rotten and withered by little cankers.
But I whisper this advice in the ear of him possessed of a devil: "Better for you to rear your devil! There is a way to greatness even for you!"
Ah, my brothers! One knows a little too much about everybody! And many a one who has become transparent to us is still for a long time invulnerable.
It is hard to live with men, because keeping silent is hard.
And we are the most unfair, not towards him whom we do not like, but towards him for whom we feel nothing at all.
But if you have a suffering friend, be a resting-place for his suffering, but a resting-place like a hard bed, a camp-bed: thus you will serve him best.
And should your friend do you a wrong, then say: "I forgive you what you did to me; but that you did it to yourself - how could I forgive that?"
Thus speaks all great love: it overcomes even forgiveness and pity.
One should hold fast to one's heart; for if one lets go, how soon one loses one's head, too!
Alas, where in the world have there been greater follies than with the compassionate? And what in the world has caused more suffering than the follies of the compassionate?
Woe to all lovers who cannot surmount pity!
Thus spoke the Devil to me once: "Even God has his Hell: it is his love for man."
And I lately heard him say these words: "God is dead; God has died of his pity for man."
So be warned against pity: thence shall yet come a heavy cloud for man! Truly, I understand weather-signs!
But mark, too, this saying: All great love is above pity: for it wants - to create what is loved!
"I offer myself to my love - and my neighbour as myself" - that is the language of all creators.
All creators, however, are hard.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
Of the Priests
AND one day Zarathustra made a sign to his disciples and spoke these words to them:
Here are priests: and although they are my enemies, pass them by quietly and with sleeping swords!
There are heroes even among them; many of them have suffered too much: so they want to make others suffer.
They are bad enemies: nothing is more revengeful than their humility. And he who touches them is easily defiled.
But my blood is related to theirs; and I want to know my blood honoured even in theirs.
And when they had passed by, Zarathustra was assailed by a pain; and he had not struggled long with his pain when he began to speak thus:
I pity these priests. They go against my taste, too; but that means little to me since I am among men.
But I suffer and have suffered with them: they seem to me prisoners and marked men. He whom they call Redeemer has cast them into bondage -
Into the bondage of false values and false scriptures! Ah, that someone would redeem them from their Redeemer!
Once, as the sea tossed them about, they thought they had landed upon an island; but behold, it was a sleeping monster!
False values and false scriptures: they are the worst monsters for mortal men - fate sleeps and waits long within them.
But at last it comes and awakes and eats and devours all that have built their huts upon it.
Oh, just look at these huts that these priests have built themselves. Churches they call their sweet-smelling caves!
Oh this counterfeit light! oh this musty air! here, where the soul may not fly up to its height!
On the contrary, their faith commands: "Up the steps on your knees, you sinners!"
Truly, I would rather see men still shameless than with the distorted eyes of their shame and devotion!
Who created such caves and penitential steps? Was it not those who wanted to hide themselves and were ashamed before the clear sky?
And only when the clear sky again looks through broken roofs and down upon grass and red poppies on broken walls - only then will I turn my heart again towards the places of this God.
They called God that which contradicted and harmed them: and truly, there was much that was heroic in their worship!
And they knew no other way of loving their God than by nailing men to the Cross!
They thought to live as corpses, they dressed their corpses in black; even in their speech I still smell the evil aroma of burial vaults.
And he who lives in their neighbourhood lives in the neighbourhood of black pools, from out of which the toad, that prophet of evil, sings its song with sweet melancholy.
They would have to sing better songs to make me believe in their Redeemer: his disciples would have to look more redeemed!
I should like to see them naked: for beauty alone should preach penitence. But whom could this disguised affliction persuade!
Truly, their Redeemers themselves did not come from freedom and the seventh heaven of freedom! Truly, they themselves never trod upon the carpets of knowledge!
The spirit of their Redeemers consisted of holes; but into every hole they had put their illusion, their stop-gap, which they called God.
Their spirit was drowned in their pity, and when they swelled and overswelled with pity a great folly always swam to the top.
Zealously and with clamour their drove their herds over their bridge: as if there were only one bridge to the future! Truly, these shepherds, too, still belonged among the sheep!
These shepherds had small intellects and spacious souls: but, my brothers, what small countries have even the most spacious souls been, up to now!
They wrote letters of blood on the path they followed, and their folly taught that truth is proved by blood.
But blood is the worst witness of truth; blood poisons and transforms the purest teaching to delusion and hatred of the heart.
And if someone goes through fire for his teaching - what does that prove? Truly, it is more when one's own teaching comes out of one's own burning!
Sultry heart and cold head: where these meet there arises the blusterer, the 'Redeemer'.
Truly, there have been greater men and higher-born ones than those whom the people call Redeemer, those ravishing and overpowering blustering winds!
And you, my brothers, must be redeemed by greater men than any Redeemer has been, if you would find the way to freedom!
There has never yet been a Superman. I have seen them both naked, the greatest and the smallest man.
They are still all-too-similar to one another. Truly, I found even the greatest man - all-too-human!
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
Of the Virtuous
ONE has to speak with thunder and heavenly fireworks to feeble and dormant senses.
But the voice of beauty speaks softly: it steals into only the most awakened souls.
Gently my mirror trembled and laughed to me today; it was beauty's holy laughter and trembling.
My beauty laughed at you, you virtuous, today. And thus came its voice to me: "They want to be - paid as well!"
You want to be paid as well, you virtuous! Do you want reward for virtue and heaven for earth and eternity for your today?
And are you now angry with me because I teach that there is no reward-giver nor paymaster? And truly, I do not even teach that virtue is its own reward.
Alas, this is my sorrow: reward and punishment have been lyingly introduced into the foundation of things - and now even into the foundation of your souls, you virtuous!
But my words, like the snout of the boar, shall tear up the foundations of your souls; you shall call me a ploughshare.
All the secrets of your heart shall be brought to light; and when you lie, grubbed up and broken, in the sunlight, then your falsehood will be separated from your truth.
For this is your truth: You are too pure for the dirt of the words: revenge, punishment, reward, retribution.
You love your virtue as the mother her child; but when was it heard of a mother wanting to be paid for her love?
Your virtue is your dearest self. The ring's desire is in you: to attain itself again - every ring struggles and turns itself to that end.
And every work of your virtue is like a star extinguished: its light is for ever travelling - and when will it cease from travelling?
Thus the light of your virtue is still travelling even when its task is done. Though it be forgotten and dead, its beam of light still lives and travels.
That your virtue is your Self and not something alien, a skin, a covering: that is the truth from the bottom of your souls, you virtuous!
But there are indeed those to whom virtue is a writhing under the whip: and you have listened too much to their cries!
And with others, their vices grow lazy and they call that virtue; and once their hatred and jealousy stretch themselves to rest, their 'justice' becomes lively and rubs its sleepy eyes.
And there are others who are drawn downward: their devils draw them. But the more they sink, the more brightly shines their eye and the longing for their God.
Alas, their cry, too, has come to your ears, you virtuous: "What I am not, that, that to me is God and virtue!"
And there are others who go along, heavy and creaking, like carts carrying stones downhill: they speak much of dignity and virtue - their brake they call virtue!
And there are others who are like household clocks wound-up; they repeat their tick-tock and want people to call tick-tock - virtue.
Truly, I have fun with these: wherever I find such clocks I shall wind them up with my mockery; let them chime as well as tick!
And others are proud of their handful of righteousness and for its sake commit wanton outrage upon all things: so that the world is drowned in their unrighteousness.
Alas, how ill the word 'virtue' sounds in their mouths! And when they say: "I am just," it always sounds like: "I am revenged!"
They want to scratch out the eyes of their enemies with their virtue; and they raise themselves only in order to lower others.
And again, there are those who sit in their swamp and speak thus from the rushes: "Virtue - that means to sit quietly in the swamp.
"We bite nobody and avoid him who wants to bite: and in everything we hold the opinion that is given us."
And again, there are those who like posing and think: Virtue is a sort of pose.
Their knees are always worshipping and their hands are glorifications of virtue, but their heart knows nothing of it.
And again, there are those who hold it a virtue to say: "Virtue is necessary"; but fundamentally they believe only that the police are necessary.
And many a one who cannot see the sublime in man calls it virtue that he can see his baseness all-too-closely: thus he calls his evil eye virtue.
And some want to be edified and raised up and call it virtue; and others want to be thrown down - and call it virtue, too.
And in that way almost everyone firmly believes he is participating in virtue; and at least asserts he is an expert on 'good' and 'evil'.
But Zarathustra has not come to say to all these liars and fools: "What do you know of virtue? What could you know of virtue?"
No, he has come that you, my friends, might grow weary of the old words you have learned from the fools and liars.
That you might grow weary of the words 'reward', 'retribution', 'punishment', 'righteous revenge'.
That you might grow weary of saying: "An action is good when it is unselfish."
Ah, my friends! That your Self be in the action, as the mother is in the child: let that be your maxim of virtue!
Truly, I have taken a hundred maxims and your virtues' dearest playthings away from you; and you scold me now, as children scold.
They were playing on the sea-shore - then came a wave and swept their playthings into the deep: now they cry.
But the same wave shall bring them new playthings and pour out new coloured sea-shells before them!
Thus they will be consoled; and you too, my friends, shall, like them, have your consolations - and new coloured sea-shells!
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
Of the Rabble
LIFE is a fountain of delight; but where the rabble also drinks all wells are poisoned.
I love all that is clean; but I do not like to see the grinning mouths and the thirst of the unclean.
They cast their eyes down into the well: now their repulsive smile glitters up to me out of the well.
They have poisoned the holy water with their lasciviousness; and when they called their dirty dreams 'delight' they poisoned even the words, too.
The flame is unwilling to burn when they put their damp hearts to the fire; the spirit itself bubbles and smokes when the rabble approaches the fire.
The fruit grows mawkish and over-ripe in their hands; the fruit tree becomes unstable and withered at the top under their glance.
And many a one who turned away from life, turned away only from the rabble: he did not wish to share the well and the flame and the fruit with the rabble.
And many a one who went into the desert and suffered thirst with beasts of prey merely did not wish to sit around the cistern with dirty camel-drivers.
And many a one who came along like a destroyer and a shower of hail to all orchards wanted merely to put his foot into the jaws of the rabble and so stop its throat.
And to know that life itself has need of enmity and dying and martyrdoms, that was not the mouthful that choked me most.
But I once asked, and my question almost stifled me: What, does life have need of the rabble, too?
Are poisoned wells necessary, and stinking fires and dirty dreams and maggots in the bread of life?
Not my hate but my disgust hungrily devoured my life! Alas, I often grew weary of the spirit when I found the rabble, too, had been gifted with spirit!
And I turned my back upon the rulers when I saw what they now call ruling: bartering and haggling for power - with the rabble!
I dwelt with stopped ears among peoples with a strange language: that the language of their bartering and their haggling for power might remain strange to me.
And I went ill-humouredly through all yesterdays and todays holding my nose: truly, all yesterdays and todays smell badly of the scribbling rabble!
Like a cripple who has gone blind, deaf, and dumb: thus have I lived for a long time, that I might not live with the power-rabble, the scribbling-rabble, and the pleasure-rabble.
My spirit mounted steps wearily and warily; alms of delight were its refreshment; the blind man's life crept along on a staff.
Yet what happened to me? How did I free myself from disgust? Who rejuvenated my eyes? How did I fly to the height where the rabble no longer sit at the well?
Did my disgust itself create wings and water-divining powers for me? Truly, I had to fly to the extremest height to find again the fountain of delight!
Oh, I have found it, my brothers! Here, in the extremest heights, the fountain of delight gushes up for me! And here there is a life at which no rabble drinks with me!
You gust up almost too impetuously, fountain of delight! And in wanting to fill the cup, you often empty it again!
And I still have to learn to approach you more discreetly: my heart still flows towards you all-too-impetuously.
My heart, upon which my summer burns, a short, hot, melancholy, over-joyful summer: how my summer-heart longs for your coolness!
Gone is the lingering affliction of my spring! Gone the malice of my snowflakes in June! Summer have I become entirely, and summer-noonday!
A summer at the extremest height with cold fountains and blissful stillness: oh come, my friends, that the stillness may become more blissful yet!
For this is our height and our home: we live too nobly and boldly here for all unclean men and their thirsts.
Only cast your pure eyes into the well of my delight, friends! You will not dim its sparkle! It shall laugh back at you with its purity.
We build our nest in the tree Future; eagles shall bring food to us solitaries in their beaks!
Truly, food in which no unclean men could join us! They would think they were eating fire and burn their mouths!
Truly, we do not prepare a home here for unclean men! Their bodies and their spirits would call our happiness a cave of ice!
So let us live above them like strong winds, neighbours of the eagles, neighbours of the snow, neighbours of the sun: that is how strong winds live.
And like a wind will I one day blow among them and with my spirit take away the breath from their spirit: thus my future will have it.
Truly, Zarathustra is a strong wind to all flatlands; and he offers this advice to his enemies and to all that spews and spits: "Take care not to spit against the wind!"
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
Of the Tarantulas
SEE, this is the tarantula's cave! Do you want to see the tarantula itself? Here hangs its web: touch it and make it tremble.
Here it comes docilely: Welcome, tarantula! Your triangle and symbol sit black upon your back; and I know too what sits within your soul.
Revenge sits within your soul: a black scab grows wherever you bite; with revenge your poison makes the soul giddy!
Thus do I speak to you in parables, you who make the soul giddy, you preachers of equality! You are tarantulas and dealers in hidden revengefulness!
But I will soon bring your hiding places to light: therefore I laugh my laughter of the heights in your faces.
I pull at your web that your rage may lure you from your cave of lies and your revenge may bound forward from behind your word 'justice'.
For that man may be freed from the bonds of revenge: that is the bridge to my highest hope and a rainbow after protracted storms.
But, naturally, the tarantulas would have it differently. "That the world may become full of the storms of our revenge, let precisely that be called justice by us" - thus they talk together.
"We shall practise revenge and outrage against all who are not as we are" - thus the tarantula-hearts promise themselves.
"And 'will to equality' - that itself shall henceforth be the name of virtue; and we shall raise outcry against everything that has power!"
You preachers of equality, thus from you the tyrant-madness of impotence cries for 'equality': thus your most secret tyrant-appetite disguises itself in words of virtue.
Soured self-conceit, repressed envy, perhaps your fathers' self-conceit and envy: they burst from you as a flame and madness of revenge.
What the father keeps silent the son speaks out; and I often found the son the father's revealed secret.
They resemble inspired men: but it is not the heart that inspires them - it is revenge. And when they become refined and cold, it is not their mind, it is their envy that makes them refined and cold.
Their jealousy leads them upon thinkers' paths too; and this is the mark of their jealousy - they always go too far: so that their weariness has at last to lie down and sleep even on the snow.
Revenge rings in all their complaints, a malevolence is in all their praise; and to be judge seems bliss to them.
Thus, however, I advise you, my friends: Mistrust all in whom the urge to punish is strong!
They are people of a bad breed and a bad descent; the executioner and the bloodhound peer from out their faces.
Mistrust all those who talk much about their justice! Truly, it is not only honey that their souls lack.
And when they call themselves 'the good and the just', do not forget that nothing is lacking to make them into Pharisees except - power!
My friends, I do not want to be confused with others or taken for what I am not.
There are those who preach my doctrine of life: yet are at the same time preachers of equality, and tarantulas.
That they speak well of life, these poison spiders, although they sit in their caves and with their backs turned on life, is because they want to do harm by speaking well of life.
They want to do harm to those who now possess power: for with those the preaching of death is still most at home.
If it were otherwise, the tarantulas would teach otherwise: and it is precisely they who were formerly the best world-slanderers and heretic-burners.
I do not want to be confused with their preachers of equality, nor taken for one of them. For justice speaks thus to me: "Men are not equal."
And they should not become so, either! For what were my love of the Superman if I spoke otherwise?
They should press on to the future across a thousand bridges and gangways, and there should be more and more war and inequality among them: thus my great love makes me speak!
They should become devisers of emblems and phantoms in their enmity, and with their emblems and phantoms they should fight together the supreme fight!
Good and evil, and rich and poor, and noble and mean, and all the names of the virtues: they should be weapons and ringing symbols that life must overcome itself again and again!
Life wants to raise itself on high with pillars and steps; it wants to gaze into the far distance and out upon joyful splendour - that is why it needs height!
And because it needs height, it needs steps and conflict between steps and those who climb them! Life wants to climb and in climbing overcome itself.
And just look, my friends! Here, where the tarantula's cave is, there rises up the ruins of an old temple - just look at it with enlightened eyes!
Truly, he who once towered up his thoughts in stone here knew as well as the wisest about the secret of all life!
That there is battle and inequality and war for power and predominance even in beauty: he teaches us that here in the clearest parable.
How divinely vault and arch here oppose one another in the struggle: how they strive against one another with light and shadow, these divinely-striving things.
Beautiful and assured as these, let us also be enemies, my friends! Let us divinely strive against one another!
Ha! Now the tarantula, my old enemy, has bitten me! Divinely beautiful and assured, it bit me on the finger!
"There must be punishment and justice" - thus it thinks: "here he shall not sing in vain songs in honour of enmity!"
Yes, the tarantula has revenged itself! And alas, now it will make my soul, too, giddy with revenge!
But so that I may not veer round, tie me tight to this pillar, my friends! I would rather be even a pillar-saint than a whirlpool of revengefulness!
Truly, Zarathustra is no veering wind nor whirlwind; and although he is a dancer, he is by no means a tarantella dancer!
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
Of the Famous Philosophers
YOU have served the people and the people's superstitions, all you famous philosophers! - you have not served truth! And it is precisely for that reason that they paid you reverence.
And for that reason, too, they endured your disbelief, because it was a joke and a bypath for the people. Thus the lord indulges his slaves and even enjoys their insolence.
But he who is hated by the people as a wolf is by the dogs: he is the free spirit, the enemy of fetters, the non-worshipper, the dweller in forests.
To hunt him from his hiding-place - the people always called that "having a sense of right"; they have always set their sharpest-toothed dogs upon him.
"For where the people are, truth is! Woe to him who seeks!" That is how it has been from the beginning.
You sought to make the people justified in their reverence: that you called "will to truth", you famous philosophers!
And your heart always said to itself: "I came from the people: God's voice, too, came to me from them."
You have always been obstinate and cunning, like the ass, as the people's advocate.
And many a man of power who wanted to fare well with the people harnessed in front of his horses - a little ass, a famous philosopher.
And now I should like you to throw the lion-skin right off yourselves, you famous philosophers!
The spotted skin of the beast of prey and the matted hair of the inquirer, the seeker, the overcomer!
Ah, for me to learn to believe in your 'genuineness' you would first have to break with your will to venerate.
Genuine - that is what I call him who goes into god-forsaken deserts and has broken his venerating heart.
In the yellow sand and burned by the sun, perhaps he blinks thirstily at the islands filled with springs where living creatures rest beneath shady trees.
But his thirst does not persuade him to become like these comfortable creatures: for where there are oases there are also idols.
Hungered, violent, solitary, godless: that is how the lion-will wants to be.
Free from the happiness of serfs, redeemed from gods and worship, fearless and fearful, great and solitary: that is how the will of the genuine man is.
The genuine men, the free spirits, have always dwelt in the desert, as the lords of the desert; but in the towns dwell the well-fed famous philosophers - the draught animals.
For they always, as asses, pull - the people's cart!
Not that I am wroth with them for that: however, they are still servants and beasts in harness, even when they glitter with golden gear.
And they have often been good and praiseworthy servants. For thus speaks virtue: "If you must be a servant, then seek him whom you can serve best!
"The spirit and the virtue of your lord should thrive because you are his servant: thus you yourself will thrive with your lord's spirit and virtue!"
And in truth, you famous philosophers, you servants of the people, you yourselves have thrived with the spirit and virtue of the people - and the people have thrived through you! It is to your honour I say this!
But you are still of the people even in your virtue, of the people with their purblind eyes - of the people who do not know what spirit is!
Spirit is the life that itself strikes into life: through its own torment it increases its own knowledge - did you know that before?
And this is the spirit's happiness: to be anointed and by tears consecrated as a sacrificial beast - did you know that before?
And the blindness of the blind man and his seeking and groping shall yet bear witness to the power of the sun into which he gazed - did you know that before?
And the enlightened man shall learn to build with mountains! It is a small thing for the spirit to move mountains - did you know that before?
You know only the sparks of the spirit: but do you not see the anvil which the spirit is, nor the ferocity of its hammer!
In truth, you do not know the spirit's pride! But even less could you endure the spirit's modesty, if it should ever deign to speak!
And you have never yet dared to cast your spirit into a pit of snow: you are not hot enough for that! Thus you do not know the rapture of its coldness, either.
But you behave in all things in too familiar a way with the spirit; and you have often made of wisdom a poorhouse and hospital for bad poets.
You are not eagles: so neither do you know the spirit's joy in terror. And he who is not a bird shall not make his home above abysses.
You are tepid: but all deep knowledge flows cold. The innermost wells of the spirit are ice-cold: a refreshment to hot hands and handlers.
You stand there respectable and stiff with a straight back, you famous philosophers! - no strong wind or will propels you.
Have you never seen a sail faring over the sea, rounded and swelling and shuddering before the impetuosity of the wind?
Like a sail, shuddering before the impetuosity of the spirit, my wisdom fares over the sea - my untamed wisdom!
But you servants of the people, you famous philosophers - how could you fare with me?
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
The Night Song
IT is night: now do all leaping fountains speak louder. And my soul too is a leaping fountain.
It is night: only now do all songs of lovers awaken. And my soul too is the song of a lover.
Something unquenched, unquenchable, is in me, that wants to speak out. A craving for love is in me, that itself speaks the language of love.
Light am I: ah, that I were night! But this is my solitude, that I am girded round with light.
Ah, that I were dark and obscure! How I would suck at the breasts of light!
And I should bless you, little sparkling stars and glow-worms above! - and be happy in your gifts of light.
But I live in my own light, I drink back into myself the flames that break from me.
I do not know the joy of the receiver; and I have often dreamed that stealing must be more blessed than receiving.
It is my poverty that my hand never rests from giving; it is my envy that I see expectant eyes and illumined nights of desire.
Oh wretchedness of all givers! Oh eclipse of my sun! Oh craving for desire! Oh ravenous hunger in satiety!
They take from me: but do I yet touch their souls? A gulf stands between giving and receiving; and the smallest gulf must be bridged at last.
A hunger grows from out of my beauty: I should like to rob those to whom I give - thus do I hunger after wickedness.
Withdrawing my hand when another hand already reaches out to it; hesitating, like the waterfall that hesitates even in its plunge - thus do I hunger after wickedness.
Such vengeance does my abundance concoct: such spite wells from my solitude.
My joy in giving died in giving, my virtue grew weary of itself through its abundance!
The danger for him who always gives, is that he may lose his shame; the hand and heart of him who distributes grow callous through sheer distributing.
My hand no longer overflows with the shame of suppliants; my hand has become too hard for the trembling of hands that have been filled.
Where have the tears of my eye and the bloom of my heart gone? Oh solitude of all givers! Oh silence of all light-givers!
Many suns circle in empty space: to all that is dark they speak with their light - to me they are silent.
Oh, this is the enmity of light towards what gives light: unpitying it travels its way.
Unjust towards the light-giver in its inmost heart, cold towards suns - thus travels every sun.
Like a storm the suns fly along their courses; that is their travelling. They follow their inexorable will; that is their coldness.
Oh, it is only you, obscure, dark ones, who extract warmth from light-givers! Oh, only drink milk and comfort from the udders of light!
Ah, ice is around me, my hand is burned with ice! Ah, thirst is in me, which years after your thirst!
It is night: ah, that I must be light! And thirst for the things of night! And solitude!
It is night: now my longing breaks from me like a wellspring - I long for speech.
It is night: now do all leaping fountains speak louder. And my soul too is a leaping fountain.
It is night: only now do all songs of lovers awaken. And my soul too is the song of a lover.
Thus sang Zarathustra.
The Dance Song
ONE evening Zarathustra was walking through the forest with his disciples; and as he was looking for a well, behold, he came upon a green meadow quietly surrounded by trees and bushes: and in the meadow girls were dancing together. As soon as the girls recognized Zarathustra they ceased their dance; Zarathustra, however, approached them with a friendly air and spoke these words:
Do not cease your dance, sweet girls! No spoil-sport has come to you with an evil eye, no enemy of girls.
I am God's advocate with the Devil; he, however, is the Spirit of Gravity. How could I be enemy to divine dancing, you nimble creatures? or to girls' feet with fair ankles?
To be sure, I am a forest and a night of dark trees: but he who is not afraid of my darkness will find rose bowers too under my cypresses.
And he will surely find too the little god whom girls love best: he lies beside the fountain, still, with his eyes closed.
Truly, he has fallen asleep in broad daylight, the idler! Has he been chasing butterflies too much?
Do not be angry with me, fair dancers, if I chastise the little god a little! Perhaps he will cry out and weep, but he is laughable even in weeping!
And with tears in his eyes, he shall ask you for a dance; and I myself will sing a song for his dance.
A dance-song and a mocking-song on the Spirit of Gravity, my supreme, most powerful devil, who they say is "the lord of the earth".
And this is the song Zarathustra sang as cupid and the girls danced together:
Lately I looked into your eye, O Life! And I seemed to sink into the unfathomable.
But you pulled me out with a golden rod; you laughed mockingly when I called you unfathomable.
"All fish talk like that," you said; "what they cannot fathom is unfathomable.
"But I am merely changeable and untamed and in everything a woman, and no virtuous one.
"Although you men call me 'profound' or 'faithful', 'eternal', 'mysterious'.
"But you men always endow us with your own virtues - ah, you virtuous men!"
Thus she laughed, the incredible woman; but I never believe her and her laughter when she speaks evil of herself.
And when I spoke secretly with my wild Wisdom, she said to me angrily: "You will, you desire, you love, that is the only reason you praise Life!"
Then I almost answered crossly and told the truth to my angry Wisdom; and one cannot answer more crossly than when one 'tells the truth' to one's Wisdom.
This then is the state of affairs between us three. From the heart of me I love only Life - and in truth, I love her most of all when I hate her!
But that I am fond of Wisdom, and often too fond, is because she very much reminds me of Life!
She has her eyes, her laughter, and even her little golden fishing-rod: how can I help it that they both look so alike?
And when Life once asked me: "Who is she then, this Wisdom?" - then I said eagerly: "Ah yes! Wisdom!
"One thirsts for her and is not satisfied, one looks at her through veils, one snatches at her through nets.
"Is she fair? I know not! But the cleverest old fish are still lured by her.
"She is changeable and defiant; I have often seen her bite her lip and comb her hair against the grain.
"Perhaps she is wicked and false, and in everything a wench; but when she speaks ill of herself, then precisely is she most seductive."
When I said this to Life, she laughed maliciously and closed her eyes. "But whom are you speaking of?" she asked, "of me, surely?
"And you are right - should you tell me that to my face? But not speak of your Wisdom, too!"
Ah, and then you opened your eyes again, O believed Life! And again I seemed to sink into the unfathomable.
Thus sang Zarathustra. But when the dance had ended and the girls had gone away, he grew sad.
The sun has long since set (he said at last); the meadow is damp, coolness is coming from the forests.
Something strange and unknown is about me, looking thoughtfully at me. What! are you still living, Zarathustra?
Why? Wherefore? Whereby? Whither? Where? How? Is it not folly to go on living?
Ah, my friends, it is the evening that questions thus within me. Forgive me my sadness!
Evening has come: forgive me that it has become evening!
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
The Funeral Song
"YONDER is the grave-island, the silent island; yonder too are the graves of my youth. I will bear thither and evergreen wreath of life."
Resolving thus in my heart I fared over the sea.
O, you sights and visions of my youth! O, all you glances of love, you divine momentary glances! How soon you perished! Today I think of you as my dead ones.
A sweet odour comes to me from you, my dearest dead ones, a heart-easing odour that banishes tears. Truly, it moves and eases the solitary seafarer's heart.
Still am I the richest and most-to-be-envied man - I, the most solitary! For I had you and you have me still: tell me, to whom have such rosy applies fallen from the tree as have fallen to me?
Still am I heir and heritage of your love, blooming to your memory with many-coloured wild-growing virtues, O my most beloved ones!
Ah, we were made for one another, you gentle, strange marvels; and you came to me and my longing not as timid birds - no, you came trusting to me, who also trusted.
Yes, made for faithfulness, like me, and for tender eternities: must I now name you by your unfaithfulness, you divine glances and moments: I have as yet learned no other name.
Truly, you perished too soon, you fugitives. Yet you did not fly from me, nor did I fly from you: we are innocent towards one another in our unfaithfulness.
They put you to death, you song-birds of my hopes, in order to kill me! Yes, the arrows of malice were always directed at you, my beloved ones - in order to strike at my heart!
And they struck! You were always my heart's dearest, my possession and my being-possessed: therefore you had to die young and all-too-early!
They shot the arrow at the most vulnerable thing I possessed: and that was you, whose skin is like down and even more like the smile that dies at a glance!
But I will say this to my enemies: What is any manslaughter compared with what you did to me!
You did a worse thing to me than any manslaughter; you took from me the irretrievable - thus I speak to you, my enemies!
You murdered my youth's visions and dearest marvels! You took from me my playfellows, those blessed spirits! To their memory do I lay this wreath and this curse.
This curse upon you, my enemies! You have cut short my eternity, as a note is cut short in the cold night! It came to me hardly as the twinkling of divine eyes - as a moment!
Thus in a happy hour my purity once spoke: "All creatures shall be divine to me."
Then you surprised me with foul phantoms; alas, whiter has that happy hour fled now?
"All days shall be holy to me" - thus the wisdom of my youth once spoke: truly, the speech of a joyful wisdom!
But then you, my enemies, stole my nights from me and sold them to sleepless torment: alas, whither has that joyful wisdom fled now?
Once I longed for happy bird-auspices: then you led an owl-monster across my path, an adverse sigh. Alas, wither did my tender longings flee then?
I once vowed to renounce all disgust; then you transformed my kindred and neighbours into abscesses. Alas, whither did my noblest vow flee then?
Once, as a blind man, I walked on happy paths; then you threw filth in the blind man's path: and now the old footpath disgusts him.
And when I achieved my most difficult task and celebrated the victory of my overcomings: then you made those whom I loved cry out that I hurt them most.
Truly, all that was your doing: you embittered my finest honey and the industry of my finest bees.
You have always sent the most insolent beggars to my liberality; you have always crowded the incurably shameless around my pity. Thus you have wounded my virtues' faith.
And when I brought my holiest thing as a sacrifice, straightway your 'piety' placed its fatter gifts beside it: so that my holiest thing choked in the smoke of your fat.
And once I wanted to dance as I had never yet danced: I wanted to dance beyond all heavens. Then you lured away my favourite singer.
And then he struck up a gruesome, gloomy melody: alas, he trumpeted into my ears like a mournful horn!
Murderous singer, instrument of malice, most innocent man! I stood prepared for the finest dance: then you murdered my ecstasy with your tones!
I know how to speak the parable of the highest things only in the dance - and now my greatest parable has remained in my limbs unspoken!
My highest hope has remained unspoken and unachieved! And all the visions and consolations of my youth are dead!
How did I endure it? How did I recover from such wounds, how did I overcome them? How did my soul arise again from these graves?
Yes, something invulnerable, unburiable is within me, something that rends rocks: it is called my Will. Silently it steps and unchanging through the years.
It shall go its course upon my feet, my old Will; hard of heart and invulnerable is its temper.
I am invulnerable only in my heels. You live there and are always the same, most patient one! You will always break out of all graves!
In you too still live on all the unachieved things of my youth; and you sit as life and youth, hopefully, here upon yellow grave-ruins.
Yes, you are still my destroyer of all graves: Hail, my Will! And only where there are graves are there resurrections.
Thus sang Zarathustra.
WHAT urges you on and arouses your ardour, you wisest of men, do you call it 'will to truth'?
Will to the conceivability of all being: that is what I call your will!
You first want to make all being conceivable: for, with a healthy mistrust, you doubt whether it is in fact conceivable.
But it must bend and accommodate itself to you! Thus will your will have it. It must become smooth and subject to the mind as the mind's mirror and reflection.
That is your entire will, you wisest men; it is a will to power; and that is so even when you talk of good and evil and of the assessment of values.
You want to create the world before which you can kneel: this is your ultimate hope and intoxication.
The ignorant, to be sure, the people - they are like a river down which a boat swims: and in the boat, solemn and disguised, sit the assessments of value.
You put your will and your values upon the river of becoming; what the people believe to be good and evil betrays to me an ancient will to power.
It was you, wisest men, who put such passengers in this boat and gave them splendour and proud names - you and your ruling will!
Now the river bears your boat along: it has to bear it. It is of small account if the breaking wave foams and angrily opposes its keel!
It is not the river that is your danger and the end of your good and evil, you wisest men, it is that will itself, the will to power, the unexhausted, procreating life-will.
But that you may understand my teaching about good and evil, I shall relate to you my teaching about life and about the nature of all living creatures.
I have followed the living creature, I have followed the greatest and the smallest paths, that I might understand its nature.
I caught its glance in a hundredfold mirror when its mouth was closed, that its eye might speak to me. And its eye did speak to me.
But wherever I found living creatures, there too I heard the language of obedience. All living creatures are obeying creatures.
And this is the second thing: he who cannot obey himself will be commanded. That is the nature of living creatures.
But this is the third thing I heard: that commanding is more difficult than obeying. And not only because the commander bears the burden of all who obey, and that this burden can easily crush him.
In all commanding there appeared to me to be an experiment and a risk: and the living creature always risks himself when he commands.
Yes, even when he commands himself: then also must he make amends for his commanding. He must become judge and avenger and victim of his own law.
How has this come about? thus I asked myself. What persuades the living creature to obey and to command and to practise obedience even in commanding?
Listen now to my teaching, you wisest men! Test in earnest whether I have crept into the heart of life itself and down to the roots of its heart!
Where I found a living creature, there I found will to power; and even in the will of the servant I found the will to be master.
The will of the weaker persuades it to serve the stronger; its will wants to be master over those weaker still: this delight alone it is unwilling to forgo.
And as the lesser surrenders to the greater, that it may have delight and power over the least of all, so the greatest, too, surrenders and for the sake of power stakes - life.
The devotion of the greatest is to encounter risk and danger and play dice for death.
And where sacrifice and service and loving glances are, there too is will to be master. There the weaker steals by secret paths to the castle and even into the heart of the more powerful - and steals the power.
And life itself told me this secret: "Behold," it said, "I am that which must overcome itself again and again.
"To be sure, you call it will to procreate or impulse towards a goal, towards the higher, more distant, more manifold: but all this is one and one secret.
"I would rather perish than renounce this one thing; and truly, where there is perishing and the falling of leaves, behold, there life sacrifices itself - for the sake of power!
"That I have to be struggle and becoming and goal and conflict of goals: ah, he who divines my will surely divines, too, along what crooked paths it has to go!
"Whatever I create and however much I love it - soon I have to oppose it and my love: thus will my will have it.
"And you too, enlightened man, are only a path and footstep of my will: truly, my will to power walks with the feet of your will to truth!
"He who shot the doctrine of 'will to existence' at truth certainly did not hit the truth: this will - does not exist!
"For what does not exist cannot will; but that which is in existence, how could it still want to come into existence?
"Only where life is, there is also will: not will to live, but - so I teach you - will to power!
"The living creature values many things higher than life itself; yet out of this evaluation itself speaks - the will to power!"
Thus life once taught me: and with this teaching do I solve the riddle of your hearts, you wisest men.
Truly, I say to you: Unchanging good and evil does not exist! From out of themselves they must overcome themselves again and again.
You exert power with your values and doctrines of good and evil, you assessors of values; and this is your hidden love and the glittering, trembling, and overflowing of your souls.
But a mightier power and a new overcoming grow from out your values: egg and egg-shell break against them.
And he who has to be a creator in good and evil, truly, has first to be a destroyer and break values.
Thus the greatest evil belongs with the greatest good: this, however, is the creative good.
Let us speak of this, you wisest men, even if it is a bad thing. To be silent is worse; all suppressed truths become poisonous.
And let everything that can break upon our truths - break! There is many a house still to build!
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
Of the Sublime Men
STILL is the bottom of my sea: who could guess that it hides sportive monsters!
Imperturbable is my depth: but it glitters with swimming riddles and laughter.
Today I saw a sublime man, a solemn man, a penitent of the spirit: of, how my soul laughed at his ugliness!
With upraised breast and in the attitude of a man drawing in breath: thus he stood there, the sublime man, and silent.
Hung with ugly truths, the booty of his hunt, and rich in torn clothes: many thorns, too, hung on him - but I saw no rose.
As yet he has not learned of laughter and beauty. This huntsman returned gloomily from the forest of knowledge.
He returned home from the fight with wild beasts: but a wild beast still gazes out of his seriousness - a beast that has not been overcome!
He stands there like a tiger about to spring; but I do not like these tense souls, my taste is hostile towards all these withdrawn men.
And do you tell me, friends, that there is no dispute over taste and tasting? But all life is dispute over taste and tasting!
Taste: that is at the same time weight and scales and weigher; and woe to all living creatures that want to live without dispute over weight and scales and weigher!
If he grew weary of his sublimity, this sublime man, only then would his beauty rise up - and only then will I taste him and find him tasty.
and only if he turns away from himself will he jump over his own shadow - and jump, in truth, into his own sunlight.
He has sat all too long in the shadows, the cheeks of the penitent of the spirit have grown pale; he has almost starved on his expectations.
There is still contempt in his eye, and disgust lurks around his mouth. He rests now, to be sure, but he has never yet lain down in the sunlight.
He should behave like the ox; and his happiness should smell of the earth and not of contempt for the earth.
I should like to see him as a white ox, snorting and bellowing as he goes before the plough: and his bellowing, too, should laud all earthly things!
His countenance is still dark; his hand's shadow plays upon it. The sense of his eyes, too, is overshadowed.
His deed itself is still the shadow upon him: the hand darkens the doer. He has still not overcome his deed.
To be sure, I love in him the neck of the ox: but now I want to see the eye of the angel, too.
He must unlearn his heroic will, too: he should be an exalted man and not only a sublime one - the ether itself should raise him up, the will-less one!
He has tamed monsters, he has solved riddles: but he should also redeem his monsters and riddles, he should transform them into heavenly children.
His knowledge has not yet learned to smile and to be without jealousy; his gushing passion has not yet grown calm in beauty.
Truly, his longing should be silenced and immersed not in satiety but in beauty! The generosity of the magnanimous man should include gracefulness.
With his arm laid across his head: that is how the hero should rest, that is also how he should overcome his rest.
But it is precisely to the hero that beauty is the most difficult of all things. Beauty is unattainable to all violent wills.
A little more, a little less: precisely that is much here, here that is the most of all.
To stand with relaxed muscles and unharnessed wills: that is the most difficult thing for all of you, you sublime men!
When power grows gracious and descends into the visible: I call such descending beauty.
And I desire beauty from no-one as much as I desire it from you, you man of power: may your goodness be your ultimate self-overpowering.
I believe you capable of any evil: therefore I desire of you the good.
In truth, I have often laughed at the weaklings who think themselves good because their claws are blunt!
You should aspire to the virtue of the pillar: the higher it rises, the fairer and more graceful it grows, but inwardly harder and able to bear more weight.
Yes, you sublime man, you too shall one say be fair and hold the mirror before your own beauty.
Then your soul will shudder with divine desires; and there will be worship even in your vanity!
This indeed is the secret of the soul: only when the hero has deserted the soul does there approach it in dreams - the superhero.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
Of the Land of Culture
I FLEW too far into the future: a horror assailed me.
And when I looked around, behold! time was my only contemporary.
Then I flew back, homeward - and faster and faster I flew: and so I came to you, you men of the present, and to the land of culture.
The first time I brought with me an eye to see you and healthy desires: truly, I came to you with longing in my heart.
But how did I fare? Although I was so afraid - I had to laugh! My eye had never seen anything so motley-spotted!
I laughed and laughed, while my foot still trembled and my heart as well: "Here must be the home of all the paint-pots!" I said.
Painted with fifty blotches on face and limbs: thus you sat there to my astonishment, you men of the present!
And with fifty mirrors around you, flattering and repeating your opalescence!
Truly, you could wear no better masks than your own faces, you men of the present! Who could - recognize you!
Written over with the signs of the past and these signs overdaubed with new signs: thus you have hidden yourselves well from all interpreters of signs!
And if one tests your virility, one finds only sterility! You seem to be baked from colours and scraps of paper glued together.
All ages and all peoples gaze motley out of your veils; all customs and all beliefs speak motley out of your gestures.
He who tore away from you your veils and wraps and paint and gestures would have just enough left over to frighten the birds.
Truly, I myself am the frightened bird who once saw you naked and without paint; and I flew away when the skeleton made advances to me.
I would rather be a day-labourer in the underworld and among the shades of the bygone! - Even the inhabitants of the underworld are fatter and fuller than you!
This, yes this is bitterness to my stomach, that I can endure you neither naked nor clothed, you men of the present!
And the unfamiliar things of the future, and whatever frightened stray birds, are truly more familiar and more genial than your 'reality'.
For thus you speak: "We are complete realists, and without belief or superstition": thus you thump your chests - alas, even without having chests!
But how should you be able to believe, you motley-spotted men! - you who are paintings of all that has ever been believed!
You are walking refutations of belief itself and the fracture of all thought. Unworthy of belief: that is what I call you, you realists!
All ages babble in confusion in your spirits; and the dreaming and babbling of all ages was more real than is your waking!
You are unfruitful: therefore you lack belief. But he who had to create always had his prophetic dreams and star-auguries - and he believed in belief!
You are half-open doors at which grave-diggers wait. And this is your reality: "Everything is worthy of perishing."
Ah, how you stand there, you unfruitful men, how lean-ribbed! And, indeed, many of you have noticed that.
And they have said: "Perhaps a god has secretly taken something from me there as I slept? Truly, sufficient to form a little woman for himself!
"Amazing is the poverty of my ribs!" That is how many a present-day man has spoken.
Yes, you are laughable to me, you men of the present! And especially when you are amazed at yourselves!
And woe to me if I could not laugh at your amazement and had to drink down all that is repulsive in your bowels.
However, I will make light of you, since I have heavy things to carry; and what do I care if beetles and dragonflies sit themselves on my bundle!
Truly, it shall not become heavier on that account! And the great weariness shall not come to me from you, you men of the present.
Alas, whither shall I climb now with my longing? I look out from every mountain for fatherlands and motherlands.
But nowhere have I found a home; I am unsettled in every city and I depart from every gate.
The men of the present, to whom my heart once drove me, are strange to me and a mockery; and I have been driven from fatherlands and motherlands.
So now I love only my children's land, the undiscovered land in the furthest sea: I bid my sails seek it and seek it.
I will make amends to my children for being the child of my fathers: and to all the future - for this present!
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
Of Immaculate Perception
WHEN the moon rose yesterday I thought it was about to give birth to a sun, it lay on the horizon so broad and pregnant.
But it was a liar with its pregnancy; and I will sooner believe in the man in the moon than in the woman.
To be sure, he is not much of a man, either, this timid night-reveller. Truly, he travels over the roofs with a bad conscience.
For he is lustful and jealous, the monk in the moon, lustful for the earth and for all the joys of lovers.
No, I do not like him, this tomcat on the roofs! All who slink around half-closed windows are repugnant to me!
Piously and silently he walks along on star-carpets: but I do not like soft-stepping feet on which not even a spur jingles.
Every honest man' step speaks out: but the cat steals along over the ground. Behold, the moon comes along catlike and without honesty.
This parable I speak to you sentimental hypocrites, to you of 'pure knowledge'! I call you - lustful!
You too love the earth and the earthly: I have divined you well! - but shame and bad conscience is in your love - you are like the moon!
Your spirit has been persuaded to contempt of the earthly, but your entrails have not: these, however, are the strongest part of you!
And now your spirit is ashamed that it must do the will of your entrails and follows by-ways and lying-ways to avoid its own shame.
"For me, the highest thing would be to gaze at life without desire and not, as a dog does, with tongue hanging out" - thus speaks your mendacious spirit to itself:
"To be happy in gazing, with benumbed will, without the grasping and greed of egotism - cold and ashen in body but with intoxicated moon-eyes!
"For me, the dearest thing would be to love the earth as the moon loves it, and to touch its beauty with the eyes alone" - thus the seduced one seduces himself.
And let this be called by me immaculate perception of all things: that I desire nothing of things, except that I may lie down before them like a mirror with a hundred eyes.!
Oh, you sentimental hypocrites, you lustful men! You lack innocence in desire: and therefore you now slander desiring!
Truly, you do not love the earth as creators, begetters, men joyful at entering upon a new existence!
Where is innocence? Where there is will to begetting. And for me, he who wants to create beyond himself has the purest will.
Where is beauty? What I have to will with all my will; where I want to love and perish, that an image may not remain merely an image.
Loving and perishing: these have gone together from eternity. Will to love: that means to be willing to die, too. Thus I speak to you cowards!
But now your emasculated leering wants to be called 'contemplation'! And that which lets cowardly eyes touch it shall be christened 'beautiful'! Oh, you befoulers of noble names!
But it shall be your curse, you immaculate men, you of pure knowledge, that you will never bring forth, even if you lie broad and pregnant on the horizon!
Truly, you fill your mouths with noble words: and are we supposed to believe that your hearts are overflowing, you habitual liars?
But my words are poor, despised, halting words: I am glad to take what falls from the table at your feast.
Yet with them I can still - tell the truth to hypocrites! Yes, my fish-bones, shells, and prickly leaves shall - tickle hypocrites' noses!
There is always bad air around you and around your feasts: for your lustful thoughts, your lies and secrets are in the air!
Only dare to believe in yourselves - in yourselves and in your entrails! He who does not believe in himself always lies.
You have put on the mask of a god, you 'pure': your dreadful coiling snake has crawled into the mask of a god.
Truly, you are deceivers, you 'contemplative'! Even Zarathustra was once the fool of your divine veneer; he did not guess at the serpent-coil with which it was filled.
Once I thought I saw a god's soul at play in your play, you of pure knowledge! Once I thought there was no better art than your arts!
Distance concealed from me the serpent-filth, and the evil odour, and that a lizard's cunning was prowling lustfully around.
But I approached you: then day dawned for me - and now it dawns for you - the moon's love affair has come to an end!
Just look! There it stands, pale and detected - before the dawn!
For already it is coming, the glowing sun - its love of the earth is coming! All sun-love is innocence and creative desire!
Just look how it comes impatiently over the sea! Do you not feel the thirst and the hot breath of its love?
It wants to suck at the sea and drink the sea's depths up to its height: now the sea's desire rises with a thousand breasts.
It wants to be kissed and sucked by the sun's thirst; it wants to become air and height and light's footpath and light itself!
Truly, like the sun do I love life and all deep seas.
And this I call knowledge: all that is deep shall rise up - to my height!
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
AS I lay asleep, a sheep ate at the ivy-wreath upon my head - ate and said: "Zarathustra is no longer a scholar."
It spoke and went away stiffly and proud. A child told me of it.
I like to lie here where children play, beside the broken wall, among thistles and red poppies.
To children I am still a scholar, and to thistles and red poppies, too. They are innocent, even in their wickedness.
But to sheep I am no longer a scholar: thus my fate will have it - blessed be my fate!
For this is the truth: I have left the house of scholars and slammed the door behind me.
Too long did my soul sit hungry at their table; I have not been schooled, as they have, to crack knowledge as one cracks nuts.
I love freedom and the air over fresh soil; I would sleep on ox-skins rather than on their dignities and respectabilities.
I am too hot and scorched by my own thought: it is often about to take my breath away. Then I have to get into the open air and away from all dusty rooms.
But they sit cool in the cool shade: they want to be mere spectators in everything and they take care not to sit where the sun burns upon the steps.
Like those who stand in the street and stare at the people passing by, so they too wait and stare at thoughts that others have thought.
If one takes hold of them, their involuntarily raise a dust like sacks of flour; but who could guess that their dust derived from corn and from the golden joy of summer fields?
When they give themselves out as wise, their little sayings and truths make me shiver: their wisdom often smells as if it came from the swamp: and indeed, I have heard the frog croak in it!
They are clever, they have cunning fingers: what is my simplicity compared with their diversity? Their fingers understand all threading and knitting and weaving: thus they weave the stockings of the spirit!
They are excellent clocks: only be careful to wind them up properly! Then they tell the hour without error and make a modest noise in doing so.
They work like mills and rammers: just throw seed-corn into them! - they know how to grind corn small and make white dust of it.
They keep a sharp eye upon one another and do not trust one another as well as they might. Inventive in small slynesses, they lie in wait for those whose wills go upon lame feet - they lie in wait like spiders.
I have seen how carefully they prepare their poisons; they always put on protective gloves.
They also know how to play with loaded dice; and I found them playing so zealously that they were sweating.
We are strangers to one another, and their virtues are even more opposed to my taste than are their falsehoods and loaded dice.
And when I lived among them I lived above them. They grew angry with me for that.
They did not want to know that someone was walking over their heads; and so they put wood and dirt and rubbish between their heads and me.
Thus they muffled the sound of my steps: and from then on the most scholarly heard me the worst..
They put all the faults and weaknesses of mankind between themselves and me - they call this a 'false flooring' in their houses.
But I walk above their heads with my thoughts in spite of that; and even if I should walk upon my own faults, I should still be above them and their heads.
For men are not equal: thus speaks justice. And what I desire they may not desire!
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
"SINCE I have known the body better," said Zarathustra to one of his disciples, "the spirit has been only figuratively spirit to me; and all that is 'intransitory' - that too has been only an 'image'."
"I heard you say that once before," answered the disciple; "and then you added: 'But the poets lie too much.' Why did you say that the poets lie too much?"
"Why?" said Zarathustra. "You ask why? I am not one of those who may be questioned about their Why.
"Do my experiences date from yesterday? It is a long time since I experienced the reasons for my opinions.
"Should I not have to be a barrel of memory, if I wanted to carry my reasons, too, about with me?
"It is already too much for me to retain even my opinions; and many a bird has flown away.
"And now and then I find in my dove-cote an immigrant creature which is strange to me and which trembles when I lay my hand upon it.
"Yet what did Zarathustra once say to you? That the poets lie too much? - But Zarathustra too is a poet.
"Do you now believe that he spoke the truth? Why do you believe it?"
The disciple answered: "I believe in Zarathustra." But Zarathustra shook his head and smiled.
Belief does not make be blessed (he said), least of all belief in myself.
But granted that someone has said in all seriousness that the poets lie too much: he is right - we do lie too much.
We know too little and are bad learners: so we have to lie.
And which of us poets has not adulterated his wine? Many a poisonous hotch-potch has been produced in our cellars, many an indescribable thing has been done there.
And because we know little, the poor in spirit delight our hearts, especially when they are young women.
And we desire even those things the old women tell one another in the evening. We call that the eternal-womanly in us.
And we believe in the people and its 'wisdom' as if there were a special secret entrance to knowledge which is blocked to him who has learned anything.
But all poets believe this: that he who, lying in the grass or in lonely bowers, pricks up his ears, catches a little of the things that are between heaven and earth.
And if they experience tender emotions, the poets always think that nature herself is in love with them:
And that she creeps up to their ears, to speak secrets and amorous flattering words into them: of this they boast and pride themselves before all mortals!
Alas, there are so many things between heaven and earth of which only the poets have let themselves dream!
And especially above heaven: for all gods are poets' images, poets' surreptitiousness!
Truly, it draws us ever upward - that is, to cloudland: we set our motley puppets on the clouds and then call them gods and supermen.
And are they not light enough for these insubstantial seats? - all these gods and supermen.
Alas, how weary I am of all the unattainable that is supposed to be reality. Alas, how weary I am of the poets!
When Zarathustra had spoken thus, his disciple was angry with him, but kept silent. And Zarathustra, too, kept silent; and his eye had turned within him as if it were gazing into the far distance. At length he sighed and drew a breath.
I am of today and of the has-been (he said then); but there is something in me that is of tomorrow and of the day-after-tomorrow and of the shall-be.
I have grown weary of the poets, the old and the new: they all seem to me superficial and shallow seas.
They have not thought deeply enough: therefore their feeling - has not plumbed the depths.
A little voluptuousness and a little tedium: that is all their best ideas have ever amounted to.
All their harp-jangling is to me so much coughing and puffing of phantoms; what have their ever known of the ardour of tones!
They are not clean enough for me, either: they all disturb their waters so that they may seem deep.
And in that way they would like to show themselves reconcilers: but to me they remain mediators and meddlers, and mediocre and unclean men!
Ah, indeed I cast my net into their sea and hoped to catch fine fish; but I always drew out an old god's head.
Thus the sea gave a stone to the hungry man. And they themselves may well originate from the sea.
To be sure, one finds pearls in them: then they themselves are all the more like hard shell-fish. And instead of the soul I often found in them salty slime.
They learned vanity, too, from the sea: is the sea not the peacocks of peacocks?
It unfurls its tail even before the ugliest of buffaloes, it never wearies of its lace-fan of silver and satin.
They buffalo looks on insolently, his soul like the sand, yet more like the thicket, but most like the swamp.
What are beauty and sea and peacock-ornaments to him? I speak this parable to the poets.
Truly, their spirit itself is the peacock of peacocks and a sea of vanity!
The poet's spirit wants spectators, even if they are only buffaloes!
But I have grown weary of this spirit: and I see the day coming when it will grow weary of itself.
Already I have seen the poets transformed; I have seen them direct their glance upon themselves.
I have seen penitents of the spirit appearing: they grew out of the poets.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
Of Great Events
THERE is an island in the sea - not far from the Blissful Islands of Zarathustra - upon which a volcano continually smokes; the people, and especially the old women among the people, say that it is placed like a block of stone before the gate of the underworld, but that the narrow downward path which leads to this gate of the underworld passes through the volcano itself.
Now at the time Zarathustra was living on the Blissful Islands it happened that a ship dropped anchor at the island upon which the smoking mountain stood; and its crew landed in order to shoot rabbits. Towards the hour of noon, however, when the captain and his men were reassembled, they suddenly saw a man coming towards them through the air, and a voice said clearly: "It is time! It is high time!" But as the figure was closest to them - it flew quickly past, however, like a shadow, in the direction of the volcano - they recognized, with the greatest consternation, that it was Zarathustra; for all of them had seen him before, except the captain himself, and they loved him as the people love: that is, with love and awe in equal parts.
"Just look!" said the old steersman, "there is Zarathustra going to Hell!"
At the same time as these sailors landed on the volcano island, the rumour went around that Zarathustra had disappeared; and when his friends were questioned, they said that he had gone aboard a ship by night without saying where he intended to sail.
Thus there arose a disquiet; after three day, however, there was added to this disquiet the story of the sailors - and then all the people said that the Devil had carried Zarathustra off. Of course, his disciples laughed at this talk; and one of them even said: "I would rather believe that Zarathustra had carried off the Devil." But at the bottom of their souls they were all full of apprehension and longing: so great was their joy when, on the fifth day, Zarathustra appeared among them.
And this is the tale of Zarathustra's conversation with the fire-dog:
The earth (he said) has a skin; and this skin has diseases. One of these diseases, for example, is called 'Man'.
And another of these diseases is called 'the fire-dog': men have told many lies and been told many lies about him.
To fathom this secret I fared across the sea: and I have seen truth naked, truly! barefoot to the neck.
Now I know all about the fire-dog; and also about all the revolutionary and subversive devils which not only old women fear.
"Up with you, fire-dog, up from your depth!" I cried, "and confess how deep that depth is! Where does it come from, that which you snort up?
"You drink deeply from the sea: your bitter eloquence betrays that! Truly, for a dog of the depths you take your food too much from the surface!
"At the best, I hold you to be the earth's ventriloquist: and when I have heard subversive and revolutionary devils speak, I have always found them like you: bitter, lying, and superficial.
"You understand how to bellow and how to darken the air with ashes! You are the greatest braggart and have sufficiently learned the art of making mud boil.
"Where you are there must always be mud around and much that is spongy, hollow, and compressed: it wants to be freed.
"'Freedom', you all most like to bellow: but I have unlearned belief in 'great events' whenever there is much bellowing and smoke about them.
"And believe me, friend Infernal-racket! The greatest events - they are not our noisiest but our stillest hours.
"They world revolves, not around the inventors of new noises, but around the inventors of new values; it revolves inaudibly.
"And just confess! Little was ever found to have happened when your noise and smoke dispersed. What did it matter that a town had been mummified and a statue lay in the mud!
"And I say this to the overthrowers of statues: To throw salt into the sea and statues into the mud are perhaps the greatest of follies.
"The statue lay in the mud of your contempt: but this precisely is its law, that its life and living beauty grow again out of contempt!"
"And now it arises again, with diviner features and sorrowfully-seductive; and in truth! it will even thank you for overthrowing it, you overthrowers!
"I tender, however, this advice to kings and churches and to all that is weak with age and virtue - only let yourselves be overthrown! That you may return to life, and that virtue - may return to you!"
Thus I spoke before the fire-dog: then he interrupted me sullenly and asked: "The church? What is that then?"
"The church?" I answered. "The church is kind of state, and indeed the most mendacious kind. But keep quiet, you hypocrite dog! You surely know your own kind best!
"Like you, the state is a hypocrite dog; like you, it likes to speak with smoke and bellowing - to make believe, like you, that it speaks out of the belly of things.
"For the state wants to be absolutely the most important beast on earth; and it is believed to be so, too!"
When I said that, the fire-dog acted as if he were mad with envy. "What?" he cried, "the most important beast on earth? And it is believed to be so, too?" And so much steam and hideous shrieking came from his throat I thought he would choke with vexation and envy.
At length he grew quieter and his panting ceased; as soon as he was quiet, however, I said laughing:
"You are vexed, fire-dog: therefore I am right about you!
"And that I may press my point, let me speak of another fire-dog, which really speaks from the heart of the earth.
"His breath exhales gold and golden rain: so his heart will have it. What are ashes and smoke and hot mud to him now!
"Laughter flutters from him like a motley cloud; he is ill-disposed towards your gurgling and spitting and griping of the bowels.
"Gold and laughter, however, he takes from the heart of the earth: for, that you may know it - the heart of the earth is of gold."
When the fire-dog heard this he could no longer bear to listen to me. Abashed, he drew in his tail, said "Bow-wow" in a small voice, and crawled down into his cave.
Thus narrated Zarathustra. But his disciples hardly listened to him, so great was their desire to tell him about the sailors, the rabbits, and the flying man.
"What am I to think of it?" said Zarathustra. "Am I then a ghost?
"But it will have been my shadow. Surely you have heard something of the Wanderer and his Shadow?
"This, however, is certain: I must keep it under stricter control - otherwise it will ruin my reputation."
And once again Zarathustra shook his head and wondered. "What am I to think of it?" he said again.
"Why, then, did the phantom cry: 'It is time! It is high time!'?
"For what, then, is it - high time?"
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
- AND I saw a great sadness come over mankind. The best grew weary of their works.
A teaching went forth, a belief ran beside it: Everything is empty, everything is one, everything is past!
And from every hill it resounded: Everything is empty, everything is one, everything is past!
We have harvested, it is true: but why did all our fruits turn rotten and brown? What fell from the wicked moon last night?
All our work has been in vain, our wine has become poison, an evil eye has scorched our fields and our hearts.
We have all become dry; and if fire fell upon us we should scatter like ashes - yes, we have made weary fire itself.
All our wells have dried up, even the sea has receded. The earth wants to break open, but the depths will not devour us!
Alas, where is there still a sea in which one could drown: thus our lament resounds - across shallow swamps.
Truly, we have grown too weary even to die; now we are still awake and we on - in sepulchres!
Thus did Zarathustra hear a prophet speak; and his prophesy went to Zarathustra's heart and transformed him. He went about sad and weary; and he became like those of whom the prophet had spoken.
"Truly," he said to his disciples, "this long twilight is very nearly upon us. Alas, how shall I preserve my light through it?
"May it not be smothered in this sadness! It is meant to be a light to more distant worlds and to the most distant nights!"
Zarathustra want about grieving in his heart; and for three days he took no food or drink, had no rest and forgot speech. At length it happened that he fell into a deep sleep. And his disciples sat around him in the long watches of the night and waited anxiously to see if he would awaken and speak again and be cured of his affliction.
And this is the discourse that Zarathustra spoke when he awoke; his voice, however, came to his disciples as if from a great distance:
Listen to the dream which I dreamed, friends, and help me to read its meaning!
It is still a riddle to me, this dream; its meaning is hidden within it and imprisoned and does not yet fly above it with unconfined wings.
I dreamed I had renounced all life. I had become a night-watchman and grave-watchman yonder upon the lonely hill-fortress of death.
Up there I guarded death's coffins: the musty vaults stood full of these symbols of death's victory. Life overcome regarded me from glass coffins.
I breathed the odour of dust-covered eternities: my soul lay sultry and dust-covered. And who could have ventilated his soul there?
Brightness of midnight was all around me, solitude crouched beside it; and, as a third, the rasping silence of death, the worst of my companions.
I carried keys, the rustiest of all keys; and I could open with them the most creaking of all doors.
When the wings of this door were opened, the sound ran through the long corridors like an evil croaking; this bird cried out ill-temperedly, it did not want to be awakened.
But it was even more fearful and heart-tightening when it again became silent and still all around and I sat alone in that malignant silence.
So did time pass with me and creep past, if time still existed: what did I know of it! But at last occurred that which awakened me.
Three blows were struck on the door like thunderbolts, the vault resounded and roared three times again: then I went to the door.
Alpa! I cried, who is bearing his ashes to the mountain? Alpa! Alpa! Who is bearing his ashes to the mountain?
And I turned the key and tugged at the door and exerted myself. But it did not open by so much as a finger's breadth:
Then a raging wind tore the door asunder: whistling, shrilling and piercing it threw to me a black coffin:
And in the roaring and whistling and shrilling, the coffin burst asunder and vomited forth a thousand peals of laughter.
And from a thousand masks of children, angels, owls, fools, and child-sized butterflies it laughed and mocked and roared at me.
This terrified me dreadfully: it prostrated me. And I shrieked with horror as I had never shrieked before.
But my own shrieking awoke me - and I came to myself.
Thus Zarathustra narrated his dream and then fell silent: for he did not yet know the interpretation of his dream. But the disciple whom he loved most arose quickly, grasped Zarathustra's hand, and said:
Your life itself interprets to us this dream, O Zarathustra!
Are you yourself not the wind with a shrill whistling that tears open the doors of the fortress of death?
Are you yourself not the coffin full of motley wickednesses and angel-masks of life?
Truly, Zarathustra comes into all sepulchres like a thousand peals of children's laughter, laughing at these night-watchmen and grave-watchmen, and whoever else rattles gloomy keys.
You will terrify and overthrow them with your laughter; fainting and reawakening will demonstrate your power over them.
And the when the long twilight and the weariness unto death appears, you will not set in our heaven, you advocate of life!
You have shown us new stars and new glories of the night; truly, you have spread our laughter itself above us like a motley canopy.
Henceforth laughter of children will always issue from coffins; henceforth a strong wind will always come, victorious, to all weariness unto death: of that you yourself are our guarantee and prophet!
Truly, you have dreamed your enemies themselves: that was your most oppressive dream!
But as you awoke from them and came to yourself, so shall they awake from themselves - and come to you!
Thus spoke the disciple; and all the others then pressed around Zarathustra and grasped his hands and sought to persuade him to leave his bed and his sadness and return to them. But Zarathustra sat upon his bed erect and with an absent expression. Like one who has returned home after being long in a strange land did he look upon his disciples and examine their faces; and as yet he did not recognize them. But when they raised him and set him upon his feet, behold, his eye was suddenly transformed; he understood everything that had happened, stroked his beard, and said in a firm voice:
Well now! This has had its time; but see to it, my disciples, that we have a good meal, and quickly! Thus I mean to do penance for bad dreams!
The prophet, however, shall eat and drink beside me: and truly, I will yet show him a sea in which he can drown!
Thus spoke Zarathustra. Then, however, he gazed long into the face of the disciple who had interpreted the dream, and shook his head.
AS Zarathustra was going across 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 acquire belief in your teaching: but for the people to believe you completely, one thing is still needed - you must first convince even us cripples! Here now you have a fine selection and truly, an opportunity with more than one forelock! You can cure the blind and make the lame walk; and from him who has too much behind him you could well take a little away, too - that, I think, would be the right way to make cripples believe in Zarathustra!
But Zarathustra replied thus to him who had spoken:
If one takes the hump away from the hunchback, one takes away his spirit - that is what the people teach. And if one gives eyes to the blind man, he sees too many bad things on earth: so that he curses him who cured him. But he who makes the lame man walk does him the greatest harm: for no sooner can he walk than his vices run away with him - that is what the people teach about cripples. And why should Zarathustra not learn from the people, if the people learn from Zarathustra?
But it is the least serious thing to me, since I have been among men, to see that this one lacks an eye and that one an ear and a third lacks a leg, and there are others who have lost their tongue or their nose or their head.
I see and have seen worse things and many of them so monstrous that I should not wish to speak of all of them; but of some of them I should not wish to be silent: and they are, men who lack everything except one thing, of which they have too much - men who are no more than a great eye or a great mouth or a great belly or something else great - I call such men inverse cripples.
And when I emerged from my solitude and crossed over this bridge for the first time, I did not believe my eyes and looked and looked again and said at last: "That is an ear! An ear as big ass a man!" I looked yet more closely: and in fact under the ear there moved something that was pitifully small and meagre and slender. And in truth, the monstrous ear sat upon a little, thin stalk - the stalk, however, was a man! By the use of a magnifying glass one could even discern a little, envious face as well; and one could discern, too, than a turgid little soul was dangling from the stalk. The people told me, however, that the great ear was not merely a man, but a great man, a genius. But I have never believed the people when they talk about great men - and I held to 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 he was, he turned to his disciples with profound ill-humour and said:
Truly, my friends, I walk among men as among the fragments and limbs of men!
The terrible thing to my eye is to find men shattered in pieces and scattered as if over a battle-field of slaughter.
And when my eye flees from the present to the past, it always discovers the same thing: fragments and limbs and dreadful chances - but no men!
The present and the past upon the earth - alas! my friends - that is my most intolerable burden; and I should not know how to live, if I were not a seer of that which must come.
A seer, a willer, a creator, a future itself and a bridge to the future - and alas, also like a cripple upon this bridge: Zarathustra is all this.
And even you have often asked yourselves: Who is Zarathustra to us? What shall we call him? and, like me, you answer your own questions with questions.
Is he a promiser? Or a fulfiller? A conqueror? Or an inheritor? A harvest? Or a ploughshare? A physician? Or a convalescent?
Is he a poet? Or a genuine man? A liberator? Or a subduer? A good man? Or an evil man?
I walk among men as among fragments of the future: of that future which I scan.
And it is all my art and aim, to compose into one and bring together what is fragment and riddle and dreadful chance.
And how could I endure to be a man, if man were not also poet and reader of riddles and the redeemer of chance!
To redeem the past and to transform every 'It was' into an 'I wanted it thus!' - that alone do I call redemption!
Will - that is what the liberator and bringer of joy is called: thus I have taught you, my friends! But now learn this as well: The will itself is still a prisoner.
Willing liberates: but what is it that fastens in fetters even the liberator?
'It was': that is what the will's teeth-gnashing and most lonely affliction is called. Powerless against that which has been done, the will is an angry spectator of all things past.
The will cannot will backwards; that it cannot break time and time's desire - that is the will's most lonely affliction.
Willing liberates: what does willing itself devise to free itself from its affliction and to mock at its dungeon?
Alas, every prisoner becomes a fool! The imprisoned will, too, releases itself in a foolish way.
It is sullenly wrathful that time does not run back; 'That which was' - that is what the stone which it cannot roll away is called.
And so, out of wrath and ill-temper, the will rolls stones about and takes revenge upon him who does not, like it, feel wrath and ill-temper.
Thus the will, the liberator, becomes a malefactor: and upon all that can suffer it takes revenge for its inability to go backwards.
This, yes, this alone is revenge itself: the will's antipathy towards time and time's 'It was'.
Truly, a great foolishness dwells in our will; and that this foolishness acquired spirit has become a curse to all human kind.
The spirit of revenge: my friends, that, up to now, has been mankind's chief concern; and where there was suffering there was always supposed to be punishment.
'Punishment' is what revenge calls itself: it feigns a good conscience for itself with a lie.
And because there is suffering in the willer himself, since he cannot will backwards - therefore willing itself and all life was supposed to be - punishment!
And then cloud upon cloud rolled over the spirit: until at last madness preached: "Everything passes away, therefore everything deserves to pass away!
"And that law of time, that time must devour her children, is justice itself": thus madness preached.
"Things are ordered morally according to justice and punishment. Oh, where is redemption from the stream of things and from the punishment 'existence'?" Thus madness preached.
"Can there be redemption when there is eternal justice? Alas the stone 'It was' cannot be rolled away: all punishments, too, must be eternal!" Thus madness preached.
"No deed can be annihilated: how could a deed be undone through punishment? That existence too must be an eternally-recurring deed and guilt, this, this is what is eternal in the punishment 'existence'!
"Except the will at last redeem itself and willing become not-willing -": but you, my brothers, know the fable-song of madness!
I led you away from these fable-songs when I taught you: 'The will is a creator.'
All 'It was' is a fragment, a riddle, a dreadful chance - until the creative will says to it: "But I willed it thus!"
Until the creative will says to it: "But I will it thus! Thus shall I will it!"
But has it ever spoken thus? And when will this take place? Had the will yet been unharnessed from its own folly?
Has the will become its own redeemer and bringer of joy? Has it unlearned the spirit of revenge and all teeth-gnashing?
And who has taught it to be reconciled with time, and higher things than reconciliation?
The will that is the will to power must will something higher than any reconciliation - but how shall that happen? Who has taught it to will backwards, too?
But at this point in his discourse Zarathustra suddenly broke off and looked exactly like a man seized by extremest terror. With terrified eyes he gazed upon his disciples; his eyes transpierced their thoughts and their reservations as if with arrows. But after a short time he laughed again and said in a soothed voice:
"It is difficult to live among men because keeping silent is so difficult. Especially for a babbler."
Thus spoke Zarathustra. The hunchback, however, had listened to the conversation and had covered his face the while; but when he heard Zarathustra laugh, he looked up in curiosity, and said slowly:
"But why does Zarathustra speak to us differently than to his disciples?"
Zarathustra answered: "What is surprising in that? One may well speak in a hunchbacked manner to a hunchback!"
"Very good," said the hunchback; "and with pupils one may well tell tales out of school.
"But why does Zarathustra speak to his pupils differently - than to himself?"
Of Manly Prudence
IT is not height, it is the abyss that is terrible!
The abyss where the glance plunges downward and the hand grasps upward. There the heart grows giddy through its twofold will.
Ah, friends, have you, too, divined my heart's twofold will?
That my glance plunges into the heights and that my hand wants to hold on to the depths and lean there - that, that is my abyss and danger.
My will clings to mankind, I bind myself to mankind with fetters, because I am drawn up to the Superman: for my other will wants to draw me up to the Superman.
That my hand may not quite lose its belief in firmness: that is why I live blindly among men, as if I did not recognize them.
I do not recognize you men: this darkness and consolation has often spread around me.
I sit at the gateway and wait for every rogue and ask: Who wants to deceive me?
This is my first and manly prudence: I let myself be deceived so as not to be on guard against deceivers.
Ah, if I were on guard against men, how could men be an anchor for my ball? It would be torn upward and away too easily!
This providence lies over my fate: I have to be without foresight.
And he who does not want to die of thirst among men must learn to drink out of all glasses; and he who wants to stay clean among men must know how to wash himself even with dirty water.
And to console myself I often spoke thus: "Well then! Come on, old heart! A misfortune failed to harm you: enjoy that as your - good fortune!"
This, however, is my second manly prudence: I am more considerate to the vain than to the proud.
Is wounded vanity not the mother of all tragedies? But where pride is wounded there surely grows up something better than pride.
If life is to be pleasant to watch, its play must be well acted: for that, however, good actors are needed.
I found all vain people to be good actors: they act and desire that others shall want to watch them - all their spirit is in this desire.
They act themselves, they invent themselves; I like to watch life in their vicinity - it cures melancholy.
I am considerate to the vain because they are physicians to my melancholy and hold me fast to mankind as to a play.
And further: who can estimate the full depth of the vain man's modesty! I love and pity him on account of his modesty.
He wants to learn belief in himself from you; he feeds upon your glances, he eats praise out of your hands.
He believes even your lies when you lie favourably to him: for his heart sighs in its depths: "What am I?"
And if the virtue that he unconscious of itself be the true virtue: well, the vain man is unconscious of his modesty!
This, however, is my third manly prudence: I do not let your timorousness spoil my pleasure at the sight of the wicked.
I am happy to see the marvels the hot sun hatches: tigers and palm trees and rattle-snakes.
Among men, too, there is a fine brood of the hot sun and much that is marvellous in the wicked.
Indeed, as your wisest man did not seem so very wise to me, so I found that human wickedness, too, did not live up to its reputation.
And I often shook my head and asked: Why go on rattling, you rattle-snakes?
Truly, there is still a future, even for evil! And the hottest South has not yet been discovered for mankind.
How many a thing is now called grossest wickedness which is only twelve feet broad and three months long! One say, however, greater dragons will come into the world.
For, that the Superman may not lack his dragon, the superdragon worthy of him, much hut sunshine must yet burn upon damp primeval forests!
Your wild cats must have become tigers and your poison-toads crocodiles: for the good huntsman shall have a good hunt!
And truly, you good and just! There is much in you that is laughable and especially your fear of him who was formerly called the 'Devil'!
Your souls are so unfamiliar with what is great that the Superman would be fearful to you in his goodness!
And you wise and enlightened men, you would flee from the burning sun off wisdom in which the Superman joyfully bathes his nakedness!
You highest men my eyes have encountered! This is my doubt of you and my secret laughter: I think you would call my Superman - a devil!
Alas, I grew weary of these highest and best men: from their 'heights' I longed to go up, out, away to the Superman!
A horror overcame me when I saw these best men naked: then there grew for me the wings to soar away into distant futures.
Into most distant futures, into more southerly Souths than artists ever dreamed of: thither where gods are ashamed of all clothes!
But I want to see you disguised, you neighbours and fellow-men, and well-dressed and vain and worthy as 'the good and the just'.
And I myself will sit among you disguised, so that I may misunderstand you and myself: that, in fact, is my last manly prudence.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
The Stillest Hour
WHAT has happened to me, my friends? You behold me troubled, driven forth, unwillingly obedient, ready to go - alas, to go away from you!
Yes, Zarathustra must go into his solitude once again: but this time the bear goes unhappily back into his cave!
What has happened to me? Who has ordered this? - alas, my mistress will have it so, so she told me; have I ever told you her name?
Yesterday towards evening my stillest hour spoke to me: that is the name of my terrible mistress.
And thus it happened, for I must tell you everything, that your hearts may not harden against me for departing so suddenly!
Do you know the terror which assails him who is falling asleep?
He is terrified down to his toes, because the ground seems to give way, and the dream begins.
I tell you this in a parable. Yesterday, at the stillest hour, the ground seemed to give way: my dream began.
The hand moved, the clock of my life held its breath - I had never heard such stillness about me: so that my heart was terrified.
Then, voicelessly, something said to me: "You know, Zarathustra?"
And I cried out for terror at this whisper, and the blood drained from my face: but I kept silent.
Then again, something said to me voicelessly: "You know, Zarathustra, but you do not speak!"
And I answered at last defiantly: "Yes, I know, but I will not speak!"
Then again something said to me voicelessly: "You will not, Zarathustra? Is this true? Do not hide yourself in your defiance!"
And I wept and trembled like a child and said: "Alas, I want to, but how can I? Release me from this alone! It is beyond my strength!"
Then again something said to me voicelessly: "Of what consequence are you, Zarathustra? Speak your teaching and break!"
And I answered: "Ah, is it my teaching? Who am I? I await one who is more worthy; I am not worthy even to break by it."
Then again something said to me voicelessly: "Of what consequence are you? You are not yet humble enough. Humility has the toughest hide."
And I answered: "What has the hide of my humility not already endured? I live at the foot of my heights: how high are my peaks? No-one has yet told me. But I know my valleys well."
Then again something said to me voicelessly: "O Zarathustra, he who has to move mountains moves valleys and lowlands, too."
And I answered: "My words have as yet moved no mountains and what I have spoken has not reached men. Indeed, I went to men, but I have not yet attained them."
Then again something said to me voicelessly: "How do you know that? The dew falls upon the grass when the night is at its most silent."
And I answered: "They mocked me when I found and walked my own way; and in truth my feet trembled then.
"And they spoke thus to me: You have forgotten the way, now you will also forget how to walk!"
Then again something said to me voicelessly: "Of what consequence is their mockery? You are one who has unlearned how to obey: now you shall command!
"Do you know what it is all men most need? Him who commands great things.
"To perform great things is difficult: but more difficult is to command great things.
"This is the most unpardonable thing about you: You have the power and you will not rule."
And I answered: "I lack the lion's voice for command."
Then again something said to me as in a whisper: "It is the stillest words which bring the storm. Thoughts that come on doves' feet guide the world.
"O Zarathustra, you shall go as a shadow of that which must come: thus you will command and commanding lead the way."
And I answered: "I am ashamed."
Then again something said to me voicelessly: "You must yet become a child and without shame.
"The pride of youth is still in you, you have become young late: but he who wants to become a child must overcome even his youth."
And I considered long and trembled. At last, however, I said what I had said at first: "I will not."
Then a laughing broke out around me. Alas, how this laughing tore my body and ripped open my heart!
And for the last time something said to me: "O Zarathustra, your fruits are ripe but you are not ripe for your fruits!
"So you must go back into solitude: for you shall yet grow mellow."
And again something laughed, and fled: then it grew still round me as if with a twofold stillness. I, however, lay on the ground and the sweat poured from my limbs.
Now you have heard everything, and why I must return to my solitude. I have kept nothing back from you, my friends.
And you have heard, too, who is the most silent of men - and intends to remain so!
Ah, my friends! I should have something more to tell you, I should have something more to give you! Why do I not give it? Am I then mean?
When Zarathustra had said these words, however, the violence of his grief and the nearness of his departure from his friends overwhelmed him, so that he wept aloud; and no-one knew how to comfort him. But that night he went away alone and forsook his friends.
"You look up when you desire to be
exalted. And I look down, because I am
"Who among you can at the same time
laugh and be exalted?
"He who climbs upon the highest
mountains laughs at all tragedies, real
'Of Reading and Writing'
IT was midnight when Zarathustra made his way over the ridge of the island, so that he might arrive at the other shore with the early dawn: for there he meant to board ship. For there was a good harbour at which foreign ships, too, like to drop anchor: they took on board many who wanted to leave the Blissful Islands and cross the sea. Now, as Zarathustra was climbing the mountain he recalled as he went the many lonely wanderings he had made from the time of his youth, and how many mountains and ridges and summits 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 sees I cannot sit still for long.
And whatever may yet come to me as fate and experience - a wandering and a mountain-climbing will be in it: in the final analysis one experiences only oneself.
The time has passed when accidents could befall me; and what could still come to me that was not already my own?
It is returning, at last it is coming home to me - my own Self and those parts of it that have long been abroad and scattered among all things and accidents.
And I know one thing more: I stand now before my last summit and before the deed that has been deferred the longest.
Alas, I have to climb my most difficult path! Alas, I have started upon my loneliest wandering!
But a man of my sort does not avoid such an hour: the hour that says to him: "Only now do you tread your path of greatness! Summit and abyss - they are now united in one!
"You are treading your path of greatness: now what was formerly your ultimate danger has become your ultimate refuge!
"You are treading your path of greatness: now it must call up all your courage that there is no longer a path behind you!
"You are treading your path of greatness: no-one shall steal after you here! Your foot itself has extinguished the path behind you, and above that path stands written: Impossibility.
"And when all footholds disappear, you must know how to climb upon your own head: how could you climb upward otherwise?
"Upon your own head and beyond your own heart! Now the gentlest part of you must become the hardest.
"He who has always been very indulgent with himself sickens at last through his own indulgence. All praise to what makes hard! I do not praise the land where butter and honey - flow!
"In order to see much one must learn to look away from oneself - every mountain-climber needs this hardness.
"But he who, seeking enlightenment, is over-eager with his eyes, how could he see more of a thing than its foreground!
"You, however, O Zarathustra, have wanted to behold the ground of things and their background: so you must climb above yourself - up and beyond, until you have even your stars under you!"
Yes! To look down upon myself and even upon my stars: that alone would I call my summit, that has remained for me as my ultimate summit!
Thus spoke Zarathustra to himself as he climbed, consoling his heart with hard sayings: for his heart was wounded as never before. And when he arrived at the top of the mountain ridge, behold, there lay the other sea spread out before him: and he stood and was long silent. But the night at this height was cold and clear and bright with stars.
I know my fate (he said at last with sadness. Well then! I am ready. My last solitude has just begun.
Ah, this sorrowful, black sea beneath me! Ah, this brooding reluctance! Ah, destiny and sea! Now I have to go down to you!
I stand before my highest mountain and my longest wandering: therefore I must first descend deeper than I have ever descended,
- deeper into pain than I have ever descended, down to its blackest stream! So my destiny will have it. Well then! I am ready.
Whence arise the highest mountains? I once asked. Then I learned that they arise from the sea.
This testimony is written into their stones and into the sides of their summits. The highest must arise to its height from the deepest.
Thus spoke Zarathustra on the mountain summit, where it was cold; when he drew near to the sea, however, and at length stood alone beneath the cliffs, he had grown weary on the way and more yearning than he was before.
Everything is still asleep (he said); even the sea is asleep. Its eye looks at me drowsily and strangely.
But it breathes warmly; I feel it. And I feel, too, that it is dreaming. Dreaming, it writhes upon a hard pillow.
Listen! Listen! How it groans with wicked memories! <