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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 1d. Discourses 17-22

» Suggested prior reading: Friedrich Nietzsche

17. The Way of the Creating One

WOULD you go into solitude, my brother? Would you seek the way to yourself? The wait a moment and listen to me.

"He who seeks may easily get lost himself. All solitude is wrong": so say the herd. And long did you belong to the herd.

The voice of the herd will still echo in you. And when you say, "I no longer have a conscience in common with you," then it will be a grief and a pain.

Lo, that same conscience created that pain; and the last gleam of that conscience still glows on your affliction.

But you would go the way of your affliction, which is the way to yourself? Then show me your right and your strength to do so!

Are you a new strength and a new right? A first motion? A self-rolling wheel? Can you even compel the stars to revolve around you?

Alas! There is so much lusting for loftiness! There are so many convulsions of the ambitious! Show me that you are not a lusting and ambitious one!

Alas! There are so many great thoughts that do nothing more than the bellows: they inflate, and make emptier than ever.

Free, do you call yourself? Then I would hear your ruling thought, and not merely that you have escaped from a yoke.

Are you one of those who had the right to escape from a yoke? Many a one has cast away his last worth when he has cast away his servitude. Free from what? What does that matter to Zarathustra! But your fiery eyes should tell me: free for what?

Can you give yourself your own evil and good, and set up your own will as a law over you? Can you be judge for yourself, and avenger of your law?

Terrible is it to be alone with the judge and avenger of one's own law. Thus is a star thrown into the void, and into the icy breath of solitude.

Today you still suffer from the many, you individual; today your courage and hopes are undiminished.

But one day the solitude will weary you; one day your pride will yield, and your courage quail. You will one day cry: "I am alone!"

One day you will no longer see your heights, and see too closely your depths; even your sublimity will frighten you like a phantom. You will one day cry: "All is false!"

There are feelings which seek to kill the solitary one; if they do not succeed, then they themselves must die! But are you capable of this- to be a murderer?

Have you ever known, my brother, the word "contempt"? And the anguish of your justice in being just to those that despise you?

You force many to think differently about you; that, they charge bitterly to your account. You came near to them and yet went past: for that they never forgive you.

You go beyond them: but the higher you rise, the smaller do you appear to the eye of envy. But the flying one is hated most of all.

"How could you be just to me?" You must say- "I choose your injustice as my proper lot.

They cast injustice and filth at the solitary one: but, my brother, if you would be a star, you must shine for them none the less on that account!

And be on your guard against the good and the just! They would rather crucify those who create their own virtue- they hate the solitary ones.

Be on your guard, also, against holy simplicity! All that is not simple is unholy to it; it likes to play with fire and burn- at the stake.

And be on your guard, also, against the assaults of your love! Too readily does the recluse offer his hand to any one he meets.

To many you may not give a hand, but only a paw; and I want your paw to have claws.

But the worst enemy you can meet will always be yourself; you ambush yourself in caverns and forests.

You solitary one, you go the way to yourself! And your way leads you past yourself and your seven devils!

You will be a heretic to yourself, and a sorcerer and a soothsayer, and a fool, and a doubter, and a reprobate, and a villain.

You must be ready to burn yourself in your own flame; how could you rise anew if you have not first become ashes!

You solitary one, you go the way of the creator: you will create a god for yourself out of your seven devils!

You solitary one, you go the way of the lover: you love yourself, and on that account you despise yourself, as only the lover can despise.

The lover wants to create because he despises! What does he know of love who has not despised that which he loved!

With your love and with your creating go into your solitude, my brother; only much later will justice limp after you. With my tears, go into your solitude, my brother. I love him who seeks to create beyond himself, and thus perishes.

Thus spoke Zarathustra.

18. Old and Young Women

WHY do you steal along so furtively in the twilight, Zarathustra? And what do you hide so carefully under your cloak?

Is it a treasure that has been given to you? Or a child that has been born to you? Or do you go on a thief's errand, you friend of evil?-

My brother, said Zarathustra, it is a treasure that has been given me: I carry a little truth.

But it is naughty, like a young child; and if I do not hold its mouth, it screams too loudly.

As I went on my way alone today, at sunset I met an old woman, and she spoke thus to my soul:

"Much has Zarathustra spoken also to us women, but never spoke he to us concerning woman."

And I answered her: "About woman, one should speak only to people."

"Talk also to me of woman," said she; "I am old enough to forget it presently."

And I obliged the old woman and spoke thus to her:

Everything in woman is a riddle, and everything in woman has one answer- it is called pregnancy. Man is for woman a means: the purpose is always the child. But what is woman for man?

The real man wants two different things: danger and play. Therefore he wants woman, as the most dangerous plaything.

Man shall be trained for war, and woman for the recreation of the warrior: all else is folly.

The warrior does not like fruits which are too sweet. Therefore he likes woman;- bitter is even the sweetest woman.

Woman understands children better than man does, but humanity is more childish than woman.

In a real man there is a child hidden: it wants to play. Up then, you women, and discover the child in man!

Let woman be a plaything, pure and fine like the precious stone, illumined with the virtues of a world not yet come.

Let the beam of a star shine in your love! Let your hope say: "May I give birth to the overman!"

In your love let there be courage! With your love you shall attack him who causes you fear!

In your love let there be honour! Little does woman understand about honour otherwise. But let this be your honour: always to love more than you are loved, and never to be second.

Let man fear woman when she loves: then she makes every sacrifice, and everything else she regards as worthless.

Let man fear woman when she hates: for man in his innermost soul is merely evil; woman, however, is bad.

Whom does woman hate most?- Thus spoke the iron to the magnet: "I hate you most, because you attract me, but are too weak to draw me to you."

The happiness of man is, "I will." The happiness of woman is, "He wills." "Lo! Lo! Now has the world become perfect!" Thus thinks every woman when she obeys with all her love.

The woman must obey, and find a depth for her surface. Woman's soul is all surface, a mobile, stormy film on shallow water.

Man's soul, however, is deep, its torrent thunders in subterranean caverns: woman feels his strength, but does not understand it.

Then the old woman answered me: "Many fine things have Zarathustra said, especially for those who are young enough for them.

Strange! Zarathustra knows little about woman, and yet he is right about her! Is this because with woman nothing is impossible?

And now accept a little truth by way of thanks! I am old enough for it!

Swaddle it up and hold its mouth: otherwise it will scream too loudly, the little truth."

"Woman, give me your little truth!" I said. And thus spoke the old woman:

"You go to women? Do not forget the whip!"-

Thus spoke Zarathustra.

19. The Bite of the Adder

ONE day Zarathustra had fallen asleep under a fig-tree, owing to the heat, with his arm over his face. And there came an adder and bit him in the neck, so that Zarathustra cried with pain. When he had taken his arm from his face he looked at the serpent; and then it recognized the eyes of Zarathustra, wriggled awkwardly, and tried to get away. "Do not go," said Zarathustra, "as yet have you not received my thanks! you have awakened me in time; my journey is yet long." "Your journey is short," said the adder sadly; "my poison is fatal." Zarathustra smiled. "When ever did a dragon die of a serpent's poison?" he said. "But take your poison back! You are not rich enough to give it to me." Then the adder fell again on his neck, and licked his wound.

When Zarathustra had told this to his disciples they asked him: "And what, O Zarathustra, is the moral of your story?" And Zarathustra answered them thus:

The destroyer of morality, the good and just call me: my story is immoral.

When, however, you have an enemy, then do not requite him good for evil: for that would shame him. Instead, prove that he did some good for you.

And rather be angry than put to shame! And when you are cursed, I do not like it that you want to bless. Rather curse a little also!

And if you are done a great injustice, then quickly add five small ones. Hideous to behold is he who is obsessed with an injustice.

Did you know this? A shared injustice is half just. And he who can bear it, should take the injustice upon himself!

A small revenge is more human than no revenge at all. And if the punishment is not also a right and an honour to the transgressor, I do not like your punishment.

It is nobler to declare oneself wrong than to prove oneself right, especially when one is right. Only, one must be rich enough to do so.

I do not like your cold justice; out of the eye of your judges there always glances the executioner and his cold steel.

Tell me: where do we find the justice which is love with open eyes?

Invent for me then the love which not only bears all punishment, but also all guilt!

Invent for me then the justice which acquits every one, except he who judges!

And would you hear this? To him who would be just from the heart, even lies become a kindness to others.

But how could I be just from the heart! How can I give each his own! Let this be enough for me: I give each my own.

Finally, my brothers, guard against doing wrong to any hermit. How could a hermit forget! How could he requite!

Like a deep well is a hermit. It is easy to throw in a stone: if it sinks to the bottom then tell me, who will bring it out again?

Guard against injuring the hermit! But if you have done so, well then kill him also!-

Thus spoke Zarathustra.

20. Child and Marriage

I HAVE a question for you alone, my brother: like a sounding-lead, I cast this question into your soul, that I may know its depth.

You are young, and desire child and marriage. But I ask you: are you a person entitled to desire a child? Are you the victorious one, the self-conqueror, the ruler of your passions, the master of your virtues? Thus do I ask you.

Or does the animal speak in your wish, and need? Or loneliness? Or discord in you?

Let your victory and freedom long for a child. You shall build living monuments to your victory and freedom.

You shall build beyond yourself. But first of all you must be built yourself, solid in body and soul.

You shall propagate yourself not only onward, but upward! For that purpose may the garden of marriage help you!

You shall create a higher body, a first movement, a spontaneously rolling wheel- you shall create a creator.

Marriage: so call I the will of the two to create the one that is more than those who created it. The reverence for one another, as those exercising such a will, I call marriage.

Let this be the significance and the truth of your marriage. But that which the all-too-many call marriage, those superfluous ones- ah, what shall I call it?

Ah, the poverty of soul in the two! Ah, the filth of soul in the two! Ah, the pitiable self-complacency in the two!

They call it marriage; and they say their marriages are made in heaven.

Well I do not like that heaven of the superfluous! No, I do not like them, those animals tangled in the heavenly net!

Keep far from me that God who limps near to bless what he has not matched!

Do not laugh at such marriages! What child has not had reason to weep over its parents?

This man seemed worthy, and ripe for the meaning of the earth: but when I saw his wife, the earth seemed to me an asylum of madmen. Yes, I wish that the earth shook with convulsions when a saint and a goose mate with one another.

This one went forth in quest of truth as a hero, and at last got for himself a small dressed-up lie: his marriage he calls it.

That one was reserved and chose warily. But then he spoilt his company for all time: his marriage he calls it.

Another sought a handmaid with the virtues of an angel. But then he became the handmaid of a woman, and now he must become an angel.

Careful, have I found all buyers, and all of them have astute eyes. But even the most astute of them buys his wife in a poke.

Many brief follies- that you call love. And your marriage puts an end to your many brief follies, with one long stupidity.

Your love of woman, and woman's love of man- ah, if only it were sympathy for suffering and veiled gods! But usually, two animals find each another.

But even your best love is only an enraptured parable and a painful ardour. It is a torch to light loftier paths for you.

You shall love beyond yourselves some day! So first, learn to love. And for that you have to drink the bitter cup of your love.

Bitterness is in the cup even of the best love; thus does it cause longing for the overman; thus does it cause thirst in you, the creator!

Thirst in the creator, arrow and longing for the overman: tell me, my brother, is this your will to marriage?

Sacred I call such a will, and such a marriage.

Thus spoke Zarathustra.

21. Voluntary Death

MANY die too late, and some die too early. Yet strange sounds the precept: "Die at the right time!

Die at the right time: thus teaches Zarathustra.

To be sure, how could he who never lives at the right time ever die at the right time? If only he had never been born!- Thus do I advise the superfluous.

But even the superfluous make a show of their death, and even the hollowest nut wants to be cracked.

All regard dying as a great matter: but as yet death is not a festival. People have not yet learned to inaugurate the finest festivals.

I teach you the death which consummates, and becomes a spur and promise to the living.

He who consummates his life, then dies triumphant, surrounded by those who hope and promise.

Thus should one learn to die; and there should be no festival at which one who dies in this way does not consecrate the oaths of the living!

Thus to die is best; the next best, however, is to die in battle, and squander a great soul.

But equally hateful to vanquished and victor, is the grinning death which steals nigh like a thief,- and yet comes as master.

My death I praise to you, the voluntary death, which comes to me because I want it.

And when shall I want it? He that has a goal and an heir, wants death at the right time for the goal and the heir. And from reverence for the goal and heir, he will hang no more withered wreaths in the sanctuary of life.

I will not imitate the rope-makers: they lengthen out their cord and always walk backward.

And many grow too old for their truths and triumphs; a toothless mouth no longer has the right to every truth.

And whoever wants fame must take leave of honour and practice the difficult art of- leaving at the right time.

One must stop being eaten when one tastes best: those who want to be long loved know this.

There are sour apples, no doubt, whose lot is to wait until the last day of autumn: and at once they become ripe, yellow, and shrivelled.

In some the heart ages first, and in others the spirit. And some are hoary in youth, but those who are young latest keep young longer.

To many people life is a failure; a poison-worm gnaws at their heart. Then at least let their dying be a success.

Many never become sweet; they rot even in the summer. Cowardice holds them fast to their branches.

Far too many live, and far too long do they hang on their branches. If only a storm would come and shake all that is rotten and worm-eaten from the tree!

If only there were preachers of quick death! They would be the right storms and shakers of the trees of life! But I hear only the slow death preached, and patience with all that is "earthly."

Ah! You preach patience with what is earthly? It is the earthly that has too much patience with you, you blasphemers! Too early died that Hebrew whom the preachers of slow death honour: and it is a calamity to many that he died too early.

As yet he knew only tears, and the melancholy of the Hebrews, and hatred of the good and just- the Hebrew Jesus: then he was seized with longing for death.

If only he had remained in the wilderness, far from the good the just! Perhaps then he would have learned to live and love the earth- and laughter also!

Believe me, my brothers! He died too early; he himself would have recanted his doctrine had he reached my age! He was noble enough to recant!

But he was still immature. The youth loves immaturely, and he also hates immaturely both humanity and earth. His soul and the wings of his spirit are still confined and awkward.

But in man there is more of the child than in the youth, and less melancholy: he better understands life and death.

Free for death, and free in death; a sacred No-sayer, when there is no longer time for Yes: thus he understands death and life.

That your dying be no reproach to humanity and the earth, my friends: that I ask of the honey of your soul.

In your dying, your spirit and your virtue shall still shine like an sunset around the earth: otherwise your dying has gone badly.

Thus I will die myself that you, my friends, may love the earth more for my sake; and earth will I again become, to have rest in her that bore me. Zarathustra had a goal; he threw his ball. Now you, my friends, are the heirs of my goal; to you I throw the golden ball.

I like best of all to see you, my friends, throw the golden ball! And so I tarry a little while on the earth- pardon me for it!

Thus spoke Zarathustra.

22. The Bestowing Virtue


WHEN Zarathustra had taken leave of the town to which his heart was attached, the name of which is "The Pied Cow," many people who called themselves his disciples followed him, and kept him company. Thus they came to a crossroads. Then Zarathustra told them that he now wanted to walk alone; for he was fond of walking alone. His disciples, however, presented him a staff with a golden handle, on which a serpent twined round the sun. Zarathustra rejoiced on account of the staff, and leaned on it; then thus he spoke to his disciples:

Tell me, pray: how did gold attain the highest value? Because it is uncommon, and useless, and gleaming, and soft in lustre; it always gives itself.

Only as an image of the highest virtue did gold attain the highest value. Golden, gleams the glance of the giver. Golden lustre makes peace between moon and sun.

Uncommon is the highest virtue, and useless, it is gleaming, and soft of lustre: a giving virtue is the highest virtue. I know you well, my disciples: you strive like me for the giving virtue. What would you have in common with cats and wolves?

You thirst to become sacrifices and gifts yourselves: and so you thirst to amass all riches in your soul.

Your soul strives insatiably for treasures and jewels, because your virtue is insatiable in desiring to give.

You force all things to flow towards you and into you, so that they shall flow back again out of your fountain as the gifts of your love.

Such giving love must become a thief of all values; but I call this selfishness healthy and sacred.

There is another selfishness, an all-too-poor and hungry kind, which would always steal- the selfishness of the sick, the sickly selfishness.

With the eye of the thief it looks upon all that is lustrous; with the craving of hunger it measures him who has abundance; and ever does it prowl round the tables of givers.

Sickness speaks in such craving and invisible degeneration; the larcenous craving of this selfishness speaks of a sickly body.

Tell me, my brother, what do we think bad, and worst of all? Is it not degeneration?- And we always suspect degeneration when the giving soul is lacking.

Upward goes our course from genera on to over-genera. But a horror to us is the degenerate sense, which says: "All for myself."

Upward soars our sense: thus is it a parable of our body, a parable of an elevation. Such parables of elevations are the names of the virtues.

Thus the body goes through history, a becoming and fighting. And the spirit- what is that to the body? The herald of its fights and victories, its companion and echo.

All names of good and evil are parables; they do not speak out, they only hint. A fool is he who seeks knowledge from them!

Take heed, my brothers, of every hour when your spirit would speak in parables: there is the origin of your virtue.

Your body is then elevated and raised up; with its rapture it delights the spirit, so that it becomes creator, and valuer, and lover, and benefactor of all.

When your heart overflows broad and full like the river, a blessing and a danger to those on the banks: there is the origin of your virtue.

When you are exalted above praise and blame, and your will wants to command all things, as a lover's will: there is the origin of your virtue.

When you despise pleasant things, and the soft couch, and cannot couch far enough from the soft: there is the origin of your virtue.

When you will with one will, and when the end of all need is necessary to you: there is the origin of your virtue.

It is a new good and evil! a new deep murmuring, and the voice of a new fountain!

This new virtue is power; it is a ruling thought, and around it a discerning soul: a golden sun, with the serpent of knowledge around it.


Here Zarathustra paused awhile, and looked lovingly on his disciples. Then he continued to speak thus- and his voice had changed: Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue! Let your giving love and your knowledge be devoted to the the meaning of the earth! Thus do I pray and conjure you.

Let it not fly away from the earthly and beat against eternal walls with its wings! Ah, there has always been so much flown-away virtue!

Lead, like me, the flown-away virtue back to the earth – yeah, back to body and life: that it may give to the earth its meaning, a human meaning!

A hundred times hereto has spirit as well as virtue flown away and blundered. Alas! in our body dwells still all this delusion and blundering: body and will has it there become.

A hundred times hereto has spirit as well as virtue attempted and erred. Yes, an attempt has humanity been. Alas, much ignorance and error has embodied in us!

Not only the rationality of millennia – also their madness breaks out in us. Dangerous is it to be an heir.

Still fight we step by step with the giant Chance, and over all mankind has hereto rules nonsense, the lack-of-sense.

Let your spirit and your virtue be devoted to the sense of the earth, my brethren: let the value of everything be determined anew by you! Therefore shall you be fighters! Therefore shall you be creators!

Intelligently does the body purify itself; attempting with intelligence it exalts itself; to the discerners all impulses sanctify themselves; to the exalted the soul becomes joyful.

Physician, heal yourself: then will though also heal your patient. Let it be his best cure to see with his eyes him who makes himself whole.

A thousand paths are there which have never yet been trodden; a thousand salubrities and hidden islands of life. Humanity and humanity's world is still unexhausted and undiscovered.

Awake and listen, you that are lonely! From the future come winds with stealthy wings, and to subtle ears good tidings are proclaimed.

You that are lonely today, you that withdraw, you shall one day be a people: out of you, who have chosen yourselves, shall arise a chosen people – and out of them, the overman.

The earth shall become a place of healing! And there already is a new fragrance surrounding it, a salvation-bringing fragrance- and a new hope!


When Zarathustra had spoken these words, he paused, like one who had not yet said his last word; and long did he balance the staff doubtfully in his hand. At last he spoke thus- and his voice had changed:

I now go alone, my disciples! You too go now, alone! Thus I want it.

I advise you: depart from me, and guard yourselves against Zarathustra! And better still: be ashamed of him! Perhaps he has deceived you.

The person of knowledge must be able not only to love her or his enemies, but also to hate her or his friends.

One requites a teacher badly if one remains merely a student. And why will you not pluck at my wreath?

You venerate me; but what if your veneration should some day collapse? Beware lest a statue crush you!

You say you believe in Zarathustra? But what matters Zarathustra! You are my believers: but what matters all believers! You had not yet sought yourselves: then you found me. So do all believers; thus all belief matters so little.

Now I bid you lose me and find yourselves; and only when you have all denied me will I return to you.

With other eyes, my brothers, shall I then seek my lost ones; with another love shall I then love you.

And once again you shall become friends to me, and children of one hope: then I will be with you for the third time, to celebrate the great noontide with you.

And it is the great noontide, when humanity is in the middle of its course between animal and overman, and celebrates its advance to the evening as its highest hope: for it is the advance to a new morning.

Then will the down-goer bless himself, for being an over-goer; and the sun of his knowledge will be at noontide.

"Dead are all Gods: now we want the overman to live." Let this be our final will at the great noontide!

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» Next section: Part 2a. Discourses 23-27

» Suggested prior reading: Friedrich Nietzsche

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