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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 2b. Discourses 28-32

» Suggested prior reading: Friedrich Nietzsche

28. The Rabble

LIFE is a well of delight; but where the rabble also drink, there all fountains are poisoned.

To everything cleanly am I well disposed; but I hate to see the grinning mouths and the thirst of the unclean.

They cast their eye down into the fountain: and now glances up to me their odious smile out of the fountain.

The holy water have they poisoned with their lustfulness; and when they called their filthy dreams delight, then poisoned they also the words.

Indignant becomes the flame when they put their damp hearts to the fire; the spirit itself bubbles and smokes when the rabble approach the fire.

Mawkish and over-mellow becomes the fruit in their hands: unsteady, and withered at the top, does their look make the fruit-tree.

Mawkish and over-mellow becomes the fruit in their hands: unsteady, and withered at the top, does their look make the fruit-tree.

And many a one who has turned away from life, has only turned away from the rabble: he hated to share with them fountain, flame, and fruit.

And many a one who has gone into the wilderness and suffered thirst with beasts of prey, disliked only to sit at the cistern with filthy camel-drivers.

And many a one who has come along as a destroyer, and as a hailstorm to all cornfields, wanted merely to put his foot into the jaws of the rabble, and thus stop their throat.

And it is not the mouthful which has most choked me, to know that life itself requires enmity and death and torture-crosses.

But I asked once, and suffocated almost with my question: What? Is the rabble also necessary for life?

Are poisoned fountains necessary, and stinking fires, and filthy dreams, and maggots in the bread of life?

Not my hatred, but my loathing, gnawed hungrily at my life! Ah, oft times became I weary of spirit, when I found even the rabble spiritual!

And on the rulers turned I my back, when I saw what they now call ruling: to traffic and bargain for power- with the rabble!

Amongst peoples of a strange language did I dwell, with stopped ears: so that the language of their trafficking might remain strange to me, and their bargaining for power.

And holding my nose, I went morosely through all yesterdays and todays: verily, badly smell all yesterdays and todays of the scribbling rabble!

Like a cripple become deaf, and blind, and dumb- thus have I lived long; that I might not live with the power-rabble, the scribe-rabble, and the pleasure-rabble.

Toilsomely did my spirit mount stairs, and cautiously; alms of delight were its refreshment; on the staff did life creep along with the blind one.

What has happened to me? How have I freed myself from loathing? Who has rejuvenated my eye? How have I flown to the height where no rabble any longer sit at the wells?

Did my loathing itself create for me wings and fountain-divining powers? To the loftiest height had I to fly, to find again the well of delight!

Oh, I have found it, my brothers! Here on the loftiest height bubbles up for me the well of delight! And there is a life at whose waters none of the rabble drink with me!

Almost too violently do you flow for me, you fountain of delight! And often emptiest you the goblet again, in wanting to fill it!

And yet must I learn to approach you more modestly: far too violently does my heart still flow towards you:-

My heart on which my summer burns, my short, hot, melancholy, over-happy summer: how my summer heart longs for your coolness!

Past, the lingering distress of my spring! Past, the wickedness of my snowflakes in June! Summer have I become entirely, and summer-noontide!

A summer on the loftiest height, with cold fountains and blissful stillness: oh, come, my friends, that the stillness may become more blissful!

For this is our height and our home: too high and steep do we here dwell for all uncleanly ones and their thirst.

Cast but your pure eyes into the well of my delight, my friends! How could it become turbid thereby! It shall laugh back to you with its purity.

On the tree of the future build we our nest; eagles shall bring us lone ones food in their beaks!

No food of which the impure could be fellow-partakers! Fire, would they think they devoured, and burn their mouths!

No abodes do we here keep ready for the impure! An ice-cave to their bodies would our happiness be, and to their spirits!

And as strong winds will we live above them, neighbours to the eagles, neighbours to the snow, neighbours to the sun: thus live the strong winds.

And like a wind will I one day blow amongst them, and with my spirit, take the breath from their spirit: thus wills my future.

A strong wind is Zarathustra to all low places; and this counsel counsels he to his enemies, and to whatever spits and spews: "Take care not to spit against the wind!"

Thus spoke Zarathustra.

29. The Tarantulas

LO, THIS is the tarantula's den! Would you see the tarantula itself? Here hangs its web: touch this, so that it may tremble.

There comes the tarantula willingly: Welcome, tarantula! Black on your back is your triangle and symbol; and I know also what is in your soul. Revenge is in your soul: wherever you bite, there arises black scab; with revenge, your poison makes the soul giddy!

Thus do I speak to you in parable, you who make the soul giddy, you preachers of equality! Tarantulas are you to me, and secretly revengeful ones!

But I will soon bring your hiding-places to the light: therefore do I laugh in your face my laughter of the height.

Therefore do I tear at your web, that your rage may lure you out of your den of lies, and that your revenge may leap forth from behind your word "justice."

Because, for humanity to be redeemed from revenge- that is for me the bridge to the highest hope, and a rainbow after long storms.

Otherwise, however, would the tarantulas have it. "Let it be very justice for the world to become full of the storms of our vengeance"- thus do they talk to one another.

"Vengeance will we use, and insult, against all who are not like us"- thus do the tarantula-hearts pledge themselves.

"And 'Will to Equality'- that itself shall henceforth be the name of virtue; and against all that has power will we raise an outcry!"

You preachers of equality, the tyrant-frenzy of impotence cries thus in you for "equality": your most secret tyrant-longings disguise themselves thus in virtue-words!

Fretted conceit and suppressed envy- perhaps your fathers' conceit and envy: in you break they forth as flame and frenzy of vengeance.

What the father has hid comes out in the son; and oft have I found in the son the father's revealed secret.

Inspired ones they resemble: but it is not the heart that inspires them - but vengeance. And when they become subtle and cold, it is not spirit, but envy, that makes them so.

Their jealousy leads them also into thinkers’ paths; and this is the sign of their jealousy-they always go too far: so that their fatigue has at last to go to sleep on the snow. In all their lamentations sounds vengeance, in all their eulogies is maleficence and being judge seems to them bliss. But thus do I counsel you, my friends: distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful! They are people of bad race and lineage; out of their countenances peer the hangman and the sleuth-hound. Distrust all those who talk much of their justice! Verily, in their souls not only honey is lacking. And when they call themselves "the good and just," forget not, that for them to be Pharisees, nothing is lacking but – power! My friends, I will not be mixed up and confounded with others. There are those who preach my doctrine of life, and are at the same time preachers of equality, and tarantulas. That they speak in favour of life, though they sit in their den, these poison-spiders, and withdrawn from life – is be- cause they would thereby do injury. To those would they thereby do injury who have power at present: for with those the preaching of death is still most at home. Were it otherwise, then would the tarantulas teach other- wise: and they themselves were formerly the best world-maligners and heretic-burners. With these preachers of equality will I not be mixed up and confounded. For thus speaks justice to me: "People are not equal." V And neither shall they become so! What would be my love to the overman, if I spoke otherwise?

On a thousand bridges and piers shall they throng to the future, and always shall there be more war and inequality among them: thus do my great love make me speak!

Inventors of figures and phantoms shall they be in their hostilities; and with those figures and phantoms shall they yet fight with each other the supreme fight!

Good and evil, and rich and poor, and high and low, and all names of values: weapons shall they be, and sounding signs, that life must again and again overcome itself!

Aloft will it build itself with columns and stairs- life itself into remote distances would it gaze, and out towards blissful beauties - therefore does it require elevation!

And because it requires elevation, therefore does it require steps, and variance of steps and climbers! To rise strives life, and in rising to overcome itself.

And just behold, my friends! Here where the tarantula's den is, rises aloft an ancient temple's ruins- just behold it with enlightened eyes!

He who here towered aloft his thoughts in stone, knew as well as the wisest ones about the secret of life!

That there is struggle and inequality even in beauty, and war for power and supremacy: that does he here teach us in the plainest parable.

How divinely do vault and arch here contrast in the struggle: how with light and shade they strive against each other, the divinely striving ones.

Thus, steadfast and beautiful, let us also be enemies, my friends! Divinely will we strive against one another!-

Alas! There has the tarantula bit me myself, my old enemy! Divinely steadfast and beautiful, it has bit me on the finger!

"Punishment must there be, and justice"- so thinks it: "not gratuitously shall he here sing songs in honour of enmity!"

Yes, it has revenged itself! And alas! now will it make my soul also dizzy with revenge!

That I may not turn dizzy, however, bind me fast, my friends, to this pillar! Rather will I be a pillar-saint than a whirl of vengeance!

No cyclone or whirlwind is Zarathustra: and if he be a dancer, he is not at all a tarantula-dancer!

Thus spoke Zarathustra.

30. The Famous Wise People

THE people have you served and the people's superstition- not the truth!- all you famous wise ones! And just on that account did they pay you reverence.

And on that account also did they tolerate your unbelief, because it was a pleasantry and a by-path for the people. Thus does the master give free scope to his slaves, and even enjoys their presumptuousness.

But he who is hated by the people, as the wolf by the dogs- is the free spirit, the enemy of fetters, the non-adorer, the dweller in the woods.

To hunt him out of his lair- that was always called "sense of right" by the people: on him do they still hound their sharpest-toothed dogs.

"For there the truth is, where the people are! Woe, woe to the seeking ones!" Thus has it echoed through all time.

Your people would you justify in their reverence: that called you "Will to Truth," you famous wise ones!

And your heart has always said to itself: "From the people have I come: from thence came to me also the voice of God."

Stiff-necked and artful, like the ass, have you always been, as the advocates of the people.

And many a powerful one, who wanted to run well with the people, has harnessed in front of his horses- a donkey, a famous wise person.

And now, you famous wise ones, I would have you finally throw off entirely the skin of the lion!

The skin of the beast of prey, the speckled skin, and the dishevelled locks of the investigator, the searcher, and the conqueror!

Ah! For me to learn to believe in your "conscientiousness," you would first have to break your venerating will.

Conscientious – so call I him who goes into God-forsaken wildernesses, and has broken his venerating heart.

In the yellow sands and burnt by the sun, he doubtless peers thirstily at the isles rich in fountains, where life reposes under shady trees.

But his thirst does not persuade him to become like those comfortable ones: for where there are oases, there are also idols.

Hungry, fierce, lonesome, God-forsaken: so does the lion-will wish itself.

Free from the happiness of slaves, redeemed from deities and adorations, fearless and fear-inspiring, grand and lonesome: so is the will of the conscientious.

In the wilderness have ever dwelt the conscientious, the free spirits, as lords of the wilderness; but in the cities dwell the well-foddered, famous wise ones - the draught-beasts.

For, always do they draw, as asses - the people's carts!

Not that I on that account upbraid them: but serving ones do they remain, and harnessed ones, even though they glitter in golden harness.

And often have they been good servants and worthy of their hire. For thus says virtue: "If you must be a servant, seek him to whom your service is most useful!

The spirit and virtue of your master shall advance by you being his servant: thus will you yourself advance with his spirit and virtue!"

And verily, you famous wise ones, you servants of the people! You yourselves have advanced with the people's spirit and virtue- and the people by you! To your honour do I say it!

But the people you remain for me, even with your virtues, the people with purblind eyes- the people who know not what spirit is!

Spirit is life which itself cuts into life: by its own torture does it increase its own knowledge, did you know that before?

And the spirit's happiness is this: to be anointed and consecrated with tears as a sacrificial victim,- did you know that before?

And the blindness of the blind one, and his seeking and groping, shall yet testify to the power of the sun into which he has gazed - did you know that before?

And with mountains shall the discerning one learn to build! It is a small thing for the spirit to remove mountains - did you know that before?

You know only the sparks of the spirit: but you do not see the anvil which it is, and the cruelty of its hammer!

You know not the spirit's pride! But still less could you endure the spirit's humility, should it ever want to speak!

And never yet could you cast your spirit into a pit of snow: you are not hot enough for that! Thus are you unaware, also, of the delight of its coldness.

In all respects, however, you make too familiar with the spirit; and out of wisdom have you often made an alms-house and a hospital for bad poets.

You are not eagles: thus have you never experienced the happiness of the alarm of the spirit. And he who is not a bird should not camp above abysses.

You seem to me lukewarm ones: but coldly flows all deep knowledge. Ice-cold are the innermost wells of the spirit: a refreshment to hot hands and handlers.

Respectable do you there stand, and stiff, and with straight backs, you famous wise ones!- no strong wind or will impels you.

Have you ne'er seen a sail crossing the sea, rounded and inflated, and trembling with the violence of the wind?

Like the sail trembling with the violence of the spirit, does my wisdom cross the sea - my wild wisdom!

But you servants of the people, you famous wise ones- how could you go with me!

Thus spoke Zarathustra.

31. The Night Song

'TIS night: now do all gushing fountains speak louder. And my soul also is a gushing fountain.

'Tis night: now only do all songs of the loving ones awake. And my soul also is the song of a loving one.

Something unappeased, unappeasable, is within me; it longs to find expression. A craving for love is within me, which speaks itself the language of love.

Light am I: ah, that I were night! But it is my lonesomeness to be begirt with light!

Ah, that I were dark and nightly! How would I suck at the breasts of light!

And you yourselves would I bless, you twinkling starlets and glow-worms aloft!- and would rejoice in the gifts of your light.

But I live in my own light, I drink again into myself the flames that break forth from me.

I know not the happiness of the receiver; and oft have I dreamt that stealing must be more blessed than receiving.

It is my poverty that my hand never ceases giving; it is my envy that I see waiting eyes and the brightened nights of longing.

Oh, the misery of all givers! Oh, the darkening of my sun! Oh, the craving to crave! Oh, the violent hunger in satiety!

They take from me: but do I yet touch their soul? There is a gap 'twixt giving and receiving; and the small gap has finally to be bridged over.

A hunger arises out of my beauty: I should like to injure those I illumine; I should like to rob those I have gifted:- thus do I hunger for wickedness.

Withdrawing my hand when another hand already stretches out to it; hesitating like the cascade, which hesitates even in its leap:- thus do I hunger for wickedness!

Such revenge does my abundance think of such mischief wells out of my lonesomeness.

My happiness in giving died in giving; my virtue became weary of itself by its abundance!

He who ever gives is in danger of losing his shame; to him who ever dispenses, the hand and heart become callous by very dispensing.

My eye no longer overflows for the shame of suppliants; my hand has become too hard for the trembling of filled hands.

Whence have gone the tears of my eye, and the down of my heart? Oh, the lonesomeness of all givers! Oh, the silence of all shining ones!

Many suns circle in desert space: to all that is dark do they speak with their light- but to me they are silent.

Oh, this is the hostility of light to the shining one: unpityingly does it pursue its course.

Unfair to the shining one in its innermost heart, cold to the suns:- thus travels every sun.

Like a storm do the suns pursue their courses: that is their travelling. Their inexorable will do they follow: that is their coldness.

Oh, you only is it, you dark, nightly ones, that extract warmth from the shining ones! Oh, you only drink milk and refreshment from the light's udders!

Ah, there is ice around me; my hand burns with the iciness! Ah, there is thirst in me; it pants after your thirst!

'Tis night: alas, that I have to be light! And thirst for the nightly! And lonesomeness!

'Tis night: now do my longing break forth in me as a fountain,- for speech do I long.

'Tis night: now do all gushing fountains speak louder. And my soul also is a gushing fountain.

'Tis night: now do all songs of loving ones awake. And my soul also is the song of a loving one.

Thus sang Zarathustra.

32. The Dance Song

ONE evening went Zarathustra and his disciples through the forest; and when he sought for a well, lo, he lighted upon a green meadow peacefully surrounded by trees and bushes, where maidens were dancing together. As soon as the maidens recognised Zarathustra, they ceased dancing; Zarathustra, however, approached them with friendly mien and spoke these words:

Cease not your dancing, you lovely maidens! No game-spoiler has come to you with evil eye, no enemy of maidens.

God's advocate am I with the devil: yet he is the spirit of gravity. How could I, you light-footed ones, be hostile to divine dances? Or to maidens' feet with fine 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 banks full of roses under my cypresses.

And even the little God may he find, who is dearest to maidens: beside the well lies he quietly, with closed eyes.

In broad daylight did he fall asleep, the sluggard! Had he perhaps chased butterflies too much?

Upbraid me not, you beautiful dancers, when I chasten the little God somewhat! He will cry, certainly, and weep – but he is laughable even when weeping!

And with tears in his eyes shall he ask you for a dance; and I myself will sing a song to his dance.

A dance-song and satire on the spirit of gravity my supremest, powerfulest devil, who is said to be "lord of the world."

And this is the song that Zarathustra sang when Cupid and the maidens danced together.

Of late did I gaze into your eye, O Life! And into the unfathomable did I there seem to sink.

But you pulled me out with a golden angle; derisively did you laugh when I called you unfathomable.

"Such is the language of all fish," said you; "what they do not fathom is unfathomable.

But changeable am I only, and wild, and altogether a woman, and no virtuous one:

Though I be called by you people the 'profound one,' or the 'faithful one,' 'the eternal one,' 'the mysterious one.'

But you people endow us always with your own virtues- alas, you virtuous ones!"

Thus did she laugh, the unbelievable one; but never do I believe her and her laughter, when she speaks evil of herself.

And when I talked face to face with my wild Wisdom, she said to me angrily: "You will, you crave, you love; on that account alone do you praise Life!"

Then had I almost answered indignantly and told the truth to the angry one; and one cannot answer more indignantly than when one "tells the truth" to one's Wisdom.

For thus do things stand with us three. In my heart do I love only Life- and verily, most when I hate her!

But that I am fond of Wisdom, and often too fond, is because she reminds me very strongly of Life!

She has her eye, her laugh, and even her golden angle-rod: am I responsible for it that both are so alike?

And when once Life asked me: "Who is she then, this Wisdom?" Then said I eagerly: "Ah, yes! Wisdom!

One thirsts for her and is not satisfied, one looks through veils, one grasps through nets.

Is she beautiful? What do I know! But the oldest carps are still lured by her.

Changeable is she, and wayward; often have I seen her bite her lip, and pass the comb against the grain of her hair.

Perhaps she is wicked and false, and altogether a woman; but when she speaks ill of herself, just then does she seduce most."

When I had said this to Life, then laughed she maliciously, and shut her eyes. "Of whom do you speak?" said she. "Perhaps of me?

And if you were right- is it proper to say that in such wise to my face! But now, pray, speak also of your Wisdom!"

Ah, and now have you again opened your eyes, O beloved Life! And into the unfathomable have I again seemed to sink.

Thus sang Zarathustra. But when the dance was over and the maidens had departed, he became sad.

"The sun has been long set," said he at last, "the meadow is damp, and from the forest comes coolness.

An unknown presence is about me, and gazes thoughtfully. What! you live still, Zarathustra?

Why? Wherefore? Whereby? Where? Where? How? Is it not folly still to live?-

Ah, my friends; the evening is it which thus interrogates in me. Forgive me my sadness!

Evening has come on: forgive me that evening has come on!"

Thus sang Zarathustra.

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» Suggested prior reading: Friedrich Nietzsche

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