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Zoroastrian Heritage

Author: K. E. Eduljee



Thus Spake Zarathushtra




Part 1

1. The Three Metamorphoses

2. The Academic Chairs of Virtue

3. Backworldsmen

4. The Despisers of the Body

5. Joys and Passions

6. The Pale Criminal

7. Reading and Writing

8. The Tree on the Hill

9. The Preachers of Death

10. War and Warriors

11. The New Idol

12. The Flies in the Market-Place

13. Chastity

14. The Friend

15. The Thousand and One Goals

16. Neighbour Love

17. The Way of the Creating One

18. Old and Young Women

19. The Bite of the Adder

20. Child and Marriage

21. Voluntary Death

22. The Bestowing Virtue

Part 2

23. The Child with the Mirror

24. In the Happy Isles

25. The Pitiful

26. The Priests

27. The Virtuous

28. The Rabble

29. The Tarantulas

30. The Famous Wise People

31. The Night Song

32. The Dance Song

33. The Grave Song

34. Self-Overcoming

35. The Sublime Ones

36. The Land of Culture

37. Immaculate Perception

38. Scholars

39. Poets

40. Great Events

41. The Soothsayer

42. Redemption

43. Manly Prudence

44. The Stillest Hour

Part 3

45. The Wanderer

46. The Vision and the Enigma

47. Involuntary Bliss

48. Before Sunrise

49. The Bedwarfing Virtue

50. On the Olive-Mount

51. On Passing-by

52. The Apostates

53. The Return Home

54. The Three Evil Things

55. The Spirit of Gravity

56. Old and New Tables

57. The Convalescent

58. The Great Longing

59. The Second Dance-Song

60. The Seven Seals

Part 4

61. The Honey Sacrifice

62. The Cry of Distress

63. Talk with the Kings

64. The Leech

65. The Magician

66. Out of Service

67. The Ugliest Man

68. The Voluntary Beggar

69. The Shadow

70. Noon-Tide

71. The Greeting

72. The Supper

73. The Higher Man

74. The Song of Melancholy

75. Science

76. Among Daughters of the Desert

77. The Awakening

78. The Ass-Festival

79. The Drunken Song

80. The Sign

Part 1b. Discourses 6-10

» Suggested prior reading: Friedrich Nietzsche

6. The Pale Criminal

You do not mean to slay, you judges and sacrificers, until the animal has bowed its head? Lo! the pale criminal has bowed his head: out of his eye speaks the great contempt.

"Mine ego is something which is to be surpassed. Mine ego is to me the great contempt of humanity" so speaks it out of that eye.

When he judged himself – that was his supreme moment; let not the exalted one relapse again into his low estate!

There is no salvation for him who thus suffers from himself, unless it is speedy death. Your slaying, you judges, shall be pity, and not revenge; and in that you slay, see to it that you yourselves justify life!

It is not enough that you should reconcile with him whom you slay. Let your sorrow be love to the overman: thus will you justify your own survival!

"Enemy" shall you say but not "villain," "invalid" shall you say but not "wretch," "fool" shall you say but not "sinner."

And you, red judge, if you would say audibly all you have done in thought, then would every one cry: "Away with the nastiness and the virulent reptile!"

But one thing is the thought, another thing is the deed, and another thing is the idea of the deed. The wheel of causality does not roll between them.

An idea made this pale human more pale. Adequate was he for his deed when he did it, but the idea of it, he could not endure when it was done.

Evermore did he now see himself as the doer of one deed. Madness, I call this: the exception reversed itself to the rule in him.

The streak of chalk bewitches the hen; the stroke he struck bewitched his weak reason. Madness after the deed, I call this.

Hearken, you judges! There is another madness and it is before the deed. Ah! You have not gone deep enough into this soul!

Thus speaks the red judge: "Why did this criminal commit murder? He meant to rob." I tell you, however, that his soul wanted blood, not booty: he thirsted for the happiness of the knife!

But his weak reason understood not this madness, and it persuaded him. "What matter about blood!" it said; "wish you not, at least, to make booty thereby? Or take revenge?" And he hearkened to his weak reason: like lead lay its words upon him – thereupon he robbed when he murdered. He did not mean to be ashamed of his madness.

And now once more lies the lead of his guilt upon him, and once more is his weak reason so benumbed, so paralysed, and so dull.

Could he only shake his head, then would his burden roll off; but who shakes that head?

What is this humanity? A mass of diseases that reach out into the world through the spirit; there they want to get their prey.

What is this humanity? A coil of wild serpents that are seldom at peace among themselves - so they go forth apart and seek prey in the world.

Look at that poor body! What it suffered and craved, the poor soul interpreted to itself - it interpreted it as murderous desire, and eagerness for the happiness of the knife.

Him who now turns sick, the evil over takes which is now the evil: he seeks to cause pain with that which causes him pain. But there have been other ages, and another evil and good.

Once was doubt evil, and the will to Self. Then the invalid became a heretic or sorcerer; as heretic or sorcerer he suffered, and sought to cause suffering.

But this will not enter your ears; it hurts your good people, you tell me. But what does it matter to me about your good people!

Many things in your good people cause me disgust, and verily, not their evil. I would that they had a madness by which they succumbed, like this pale criminal!

Verily, I would that their madness were called truth, or fidelity, or justice: but they have their virtue in order to live long, and in wretched self-complacency.

I am railing alongside the torrent; whoever is able to grasp me may grasp me! Your crutch, however, I am not.

Thus spoke Zarathustra

7. Reading and Writing

Of all that is written, I love only what a person has written with his blood. Write with blood, and you will find that blood is spirit.

It is no easy task to understand unfamiliar blood; I hate the reading idlers.

He who knows the reader, does nothing more for the reader. Another century of readers – and the spirit itself will stink.

Every one being allowed to learn to read ruins in the long run not only writing but also thinking.

Once spirit was God, then it became human, and now it even becomes populace.

He that writes in blood and proverbs does not want to be read, but learned by heart.

In the mountains the shortest way is from peak to peak, but for that route you must have long legs. Proverbs should be peaks, and those spoken to should be big and tall.

The atmosphere rare and pure, danger near and the spirit full of a joyful wickedness: thus are things well matched.

I want to have goblins about me, for I am courageous. The courage which scares away ghosts, createth for itself goblins - it wants to laugh.

I no longer feel in common with you; the very cloud which I see beneath me, the blackness and heaviness at which I laugh - that is your thunder-cloud.

You look aloft when you long for exaltation; and I look downward because I am exalted.

Who among you can at the same time laugh and be exalted?

He who climbs on the highest mountains, laughs at all tragic plays and tragic realities.

Courageous, unconcerned, scornful, coercive – so wisdom wishes us; she is a woman, and ever loves only a warrior.

You tell me, "Life is hard to bear." But for what purpose should you have your pride in the morning and your resignation in the evening?

Life is hard to bear: but do not affect to be so delicate! We are all of us fine sumpter asses and she-asses.

What have we in common with the rose-bud, which trembles because a drop of dew has formed upon it?

It is true we love life; not because we are wont to live, but because we are wont to love.

There is always some madness in love. But there is always, also, some method in madness.

And to me also, who appreciate life, the butterflies, soap-bubbles, and whatever is like them amongst us, seem most to enjoy happiness.

To see these light, foolish, pretty, lively little sprites flit about – that moves Zarathustra to tears and songs.

I should only believe in a God that would know how to dance.

And when I saw my devil, I found him serious, thorough, profound, and solemn. He was the spirit of gravity – through him all things fall.

Not by wrath, but by laughter do we slay. Come, let us slay the spirit of gravity!

I learned to walk; since then have I let myself run. I learned to fly; since then I do not need pushing in order to move from a spot.

Now am I light, now do I fly; now do I see myself under myself. Now, there dances a God in me.

Thus spoke Zarathustra.

8. The Tree on the Hill

Zarathustra's eye had perceived that a certain youth avoided him. And as he walked alone one evening over the hills surrounding the town called "The Pied Cow," behold, there found he the youth sitting leaning against a tree, and gazing with wearied look into the valley. Zarathustra thereupon laid hold of the tree beside which the youth sat, and spoke thus:

"If I wished to shake this tree with my hands, I should not be able to do so.

But the wind, which we see not, troubles and bends it as it lists. We are sorest bent and troubled by invisible hands."

Thereupon the youth arose disconcerted, and said: "I hear Zarathustra, and just now was thinking of him!" Zarathustra answered:

"Why art you frightened on that account? But it is the same with humanity as with the tree. The more he seeks to rise into the height and light, the more vigorously do his roots struggle earthward, downward, into the dark and deep – into the evil."

"Yes, into the evil!" cried the youth. "How is it possible that you have discovered my soul?"

Zarathustra smiled, and said: "Many a soul on will never discover, unless one first invent it."

"Yes, into the evil!" cried the youth once more.

"You said the truth, Zarathustra. I trust myself no longer since I sought to rise into the height, and nobody trusts me any longer; how does that happen?

I change too quickly: my to-day refutes my yesterday. I often overlap the steps when I clamber; for so doing, none of the steps pardons me.

When aloft, I find myself always alone. No one speaks to me; the frost of solitude makes me tremble. What do I seek on the height?

My contempt and my longing increase together; the higher I clamber, the more do I despise him who clambers. What does he seek on the height?

How ashamed I am of my clambering and stumbling! How I mock at my violent panting! How I hate him who flies! How tired I am on the height!"

Here the youth was silent. And Zarathustra contemplated the tree beside which they stood, and spoke thus:

"This tree stands here on the hills; it has grown up high above humanity and beast.

And if it wanted to speak, it would have none who could understand it: so high has it grown.

Now it waits and waits – for what does it wait? It dwells too close to the seat of the clouds; it waits perhaps for the first lightning?" When Zarathustra had said this, the youth called out with violent gestures: "Yes, Zarathustra, you speak the truth. My destruction I longed for, when I desired to be on the height and you art the lightning for which I waited! Lo! What have I been since you have appeared amongst us? It is mine envy of you that has destroyed me!" Thus spoke the youth, and wept bitterly. Zarathustra, however, put his arm around him, and led the youth away with him.

And when they had walked a while together, Zarathustra began to speak thus:

It rends my heart. Better than your words express it, your eyes tell me all your danger.

As you art not free; you still seek freedom. Too unslept has your seeking made you, and too wakeful.

On the open height would you be; for the stars thirsts your soul. But your bad impulses also thirst for freedom.

Your wild dogs want liberty; they bark for joy in their cellar when your spirit endeavours to open all prison doors.

Still art you a prisoner – it seems to me – who devises liberty for himself. Ah! Sharp becomes the soul of such prisoners, but also deceitful and wicked.

To purify himself, is still necessary for the freedman of the spirit. Much of the prison and mould still remains in him: pure has his eye still to become.

Yes, I know your danger. But by my love and hope I conjure you: cast not your love and hope away!

Noble you feel yourself still, and noble others also feel you still, though they bear you a grudge and cast evil looks. Know this, that to everybody a noble one stands in the way.

Also to the good, a noble one stands in the way: and even when they call him a good human, they want thereby to put him aside. The new, would the noble human create, and a new virtue. The old wants the good human and that the old should be conserved.

But it is not the danger of the noble human to turn a good human, but lest he should become a blusterer, a scoffer, or a destroyer.

Ah! I have known noble ones who lost their highest hope. And then they disparaged all high hopes.

Then lived they shamelessly in temporary pleasures, and beyond the day had hardly an aim.

"Spirit is also voluptuousness," said they. Then broke the wings of their spirit; and now it creeps about, and defiles where it gnaws.

Once they thought of becoming heroes; but sensualists are they now. A trouble and a terror is the hero to them.

But by my love and hope I conjure you: cast not away the hero in your soul! Maintain holy your highest hope!

9. The Preachers of Death

There are preachers of death: and the earth is full of those to whom desistance from life must be preached.

Full is the earth of the superfluous; marred is life by the many-too-many. May they be decoyed out of this life by the "life eternal"!

"The yellow ones": so are called the preachers of death, or "the black ones." But I will show them to you in other colours besides.

There are the terrible ones who carry about in themselves the beast of prey, and have no choice except lusts or self-laceration. And even their lusts are self-laceration.

They have not yet become people, those terrible ones: may they preach desistance from life, and pass away themselves!

There are the spiritually consumptive ones: hardly are they born when they begin to die, and long for doctrines of lassitude and renunciation.

They would gladly be dead, and we should approve of their wish! Let us beware of awakening those dead ones, and of damaging those living coffins!

They meet an invalid, or an old person, or a corpse – and immediately they say: "Life is refuted!"

But they are only refuted, and their eye, which sees only one aspect of existence.

Shrouded in thick melancholy and eager for the little casualties that bring death, thus do they wait, and clench their teeth.

Or else, they grasp at sweetmeats, and mock at their childishness thereby: they cling to their straw of life, and mock at their still clinging to it.

Their wisdom speaks thus: "A fool, he who remains alive; but so far are we fools! And that is the most foolish thing in life!"

"Life is only suffering": so say others, and lie not. Then see to it that you cease! See to it that the life ceases which is only suffering!

And let this be the teaching of your virtue: "You shall slay yourself! You shall steal away from yourself!" "Lust is sin," so say some who preach death, "let us go apart and beget no children!"

"Giving birth is troublesome," say others, "why still give birth? One bears only the unfortunate!" And they also are preachers of death.

"Pity is necessary," – so said a third party. "Take what I have! Take what I am! So much less does life bind me!"

Were they consistently pitiful, then would they make their neighbours sick of life. To be wicked – that would be their true goodness.

But they want to be rid of life; what care they if they bind others still faster with their chains and gifts! –

And you also, to whom life is rough and labour is disquiet, are you not very tired of life? Are you not very ripe for the sermon of death?

All you whom rough labour is dear, and the rapid, new, and strange – you put up with yourselves badly; your diligence is flight, and the will to self-forgetfulness.

If you believed more in life, then would you devote yourselves less to the momentary? But for waiting, you have not enough capacity in you – not even for idling!

Everywhere resounds the voices of those who preach death; and the earth is full of those whom death has to be preached.

Or "life eternal"; it is all the same to me – if only they pass away quickly!

Thus spoke Zarathustra.

10. War and Warriors

By our best enemies we do not want to be spared, nor by those either whom we love from the very heart. So let me tell you the truth!

My brethren in war! I love you from the very heart. I am, and was ever, your counterpart. 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 so great enough to not know of hatred and envy. Then be great enough not to be ashamed of them!

And if you cannot be saints of knowledge, then, I pray to you, be at least its warriors. They are the companions and forerunners of such saint-ship.

I see many soldiers; could I but see many warriors! "Uniform" one calls what they wear; may it not be uniform what they therewith hide!

You shall be those whose eyes ever seek for an enemy – for your enemy. And with some of you there is hatred at first sight.

Your enemy shall you seek; your war shall you wage, and for the sake of your thoughts! And if your thoughts succumb your uprightness shall still shout triumph thereby!

You shall love peace as a means to new wars – and the short peace more than the long.

You I advise not to work, but to fight. You I advise not to peace, but to victory. Let your work be a fight, let your peace be a victory!

One can only be silent and sit peacefully when one has arrow and bow; otherwise one prays and quarrels. Let your peace be a victory! You say it is the good cause which hallows even war? I say to you: it is the good war which hallows every cause.

War and courage have done more great things than charity. Not your sympathy, but your bravery has hereto saved the victims.

"What is good?" you ask. To be brave is good. Let the little girls say: "To be good is what is pretty, and at the same time touching."

They call you heartless: but your heart is true, and I love the bashfulness of your goodwill. You are ashamed of your flow, and others are ashamed of their ebb.

You are ugly? Well then, my brethren, take the sublime about you, the mantle of the ugly!

And when your soul becomes great, then does it become haughty, and in your sublimity there is wickedness. I know you.

In wickedness the haughty person and the weakling meet. But they misunderstand one another. I know you.

You shall only have enemies to be hated, but not enemies to be despised. You must be proud of your enemies; then, the successes of your enemies are also your successes.

Resistance – that is the distinction of the slave. Let your distinction be obedience. Let your commanding itself be obeying!

To the good warrior sounds "you shall" pleasanter than "I will." And all that is dear to you, you shall first have it commanded to you.

Let your love to life be love to your highest hope; and let your highest hope be the highest thought of life!

Your highest thought, however, you shall have it commanded to you by me – and it is this: humanity is something that is to be surpassed. So live your life of obedience and of war! What matter about long life! What warrior wishes to be spared!

I spare you not. I love you from my very heart, my brethren in war!

Thus spoke Zarathustra.

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» Suggested prior reading: Friedrich Nietzsche

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