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Zoroastrian Heritage

Author: K. E. Eduljee

Contents

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Thus Spake Zarathushtra

Introduction

Prologue

Discourses

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 2d. Discourses 39-44


» Suggested prior reading: Friedrich Nietzsche


39. Poets

"SINCE I have known the body better"- said Zarathustra to one of his disciples- "the spirit has only been to me symbolically spirit; and all the 'imperishable'- that is also but a parable."

"So have I heard you say 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 do not belong to those who may be asked after their Why.

Is my experience but of yesterday? It is long ago that I experienced the reasons for my opinions.

Should I not have to be a cask of memory, if I also wanted to have my reasons with me?

It is already too much for me even to retain my opinions; and many a bird flies away.

And sometimes, also, do I find a fugitive creature in my dovecote, which is alien to me, and trembles when I lay my hand upon it.

But what did Zarathustra once say to you? That the poets lie too much?- But Zarathustra also is a poet.

Believe you that he there 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 sanctify me, said he, least of all the belief in myself.

But granting that some one did say in all seriousness that the poets lie too much: he was right- we do lie too much.

We also know too little, and are bad learners: so we are obliged to lie.

And which of us poets has not adulterated his wine? Many a poisonous hotchpotch has evolved in our cellars: many an indescribable thing has there been done.

And because we know little, therefore are we pleased from the heart with the poor in spirit, especially when they are young women!

And even of those things are we desirous, which old women tell one another in the evening. This do we call the eternally feminine in us.

And as if there were a special secret access to knowledge, which chokes up for those who learn anything, so do we believe in the people and in their "wisdom."

This, however, do all poets believe: that whoever pricks up his ears when lying in the grass or on lonely slopes, learns something of the things that are between heaven and earth.

And if there come to them tender emotions, then do the poets always think that nature herself is in love with them:

And that she steals to their ear to whisper secrets into it, and amorous flatteries: of this do they plume and pride themselves, before all mortals!

Ah, there are so many things between heaven and earth of which only the poets have dreamed!

And especially above the heavens: for all gods are poet-symbolisations, poet-sophistications!

Ever are we drawn aloft- that is, to the realm of the clouds: on these do we set our gaudy puppets, and then call them gods and supermen:-

Are not they light enough for those chairs!- all these gods and supermen?-

Ah, how I am weary of all the inadequate that is insisted on as actual! Ah, how I am weary of the poets!

When Zarathustra so spoke, his disciple resented it, but was silent. And Zarathustra also was silent; and his eye directed itself inwardly, as if it gazed into the far distance. At last he sighed and drew breath.-

I am of today and heretofore, said he then; but something is in me that is of the morrow, and the day following, and the hereafter.

I became weary of the poets, of the old and of the new: superficial are they all to me, and shallow seas.

They did not think sufficiently into the depth; therefore their feeling did not reach to the bottom.

Some sensation of voluptuousness and some sensation of tedium: these have as yet been their best contemplation.

Ghost-breathing and ghost-whisking, seems to me all the jingle-jangling of their harps; what have they known hereto of the fervour of tones!

They are also not pure enough for me: they all muddle their water that it may seem deep.

And rather would they thereby prove themselves reconcilers: but mediaries and mixers are they to me, and half-and-half, and impure!

Ah, I cast indeed my net into their sea, and meant to catch good fish; but always did I draw up the head of some ancient God.

Thus did the sea give a stone to the hungry one. And they themselves may well originate from the sea.

Certainly, one finds pearls in them: thereby they are the more like hard molluscs. And instead of a soul, I have often found in them salt slime.

They have learned from the sea also its vanity: is not the sea the peacock of peacocks?

Even before the ugliest of all buffaloes does it spread out its tail; never does it tire of its lace-fan of silver and silk.

Disdainfully does the buffalo glance thereat, nigh to the sand with its soul, closer still to the thicket, nighest, however, to the swamp.

What is beauty and sea and peacock-splendour to it! This parable I speak to the poets.

Their spirit itself is the peacock of peacocks, and a sea of vanity!

Spectators seeks the spirit of the poet- should they even be buffaloes!-

But of this spirit became I weary; and I see the time coming when it will become weary of itself.

Yes, changed have I seen the poets, and their glance turned towards themselves.

Penitents of the spirit have I seen appearing; they grew out of the poets.-

Thus spoke Zarathustra.


40. Great Events

THERE is an isle in the sea- not far from the Blessed isles of Zarathustra- on which a volcano ever smokes; of which isle the people, and especially the old women amongst them, say that it is placed as a rock before the gate of the under-world; but that through the volcano itself the narrow way leads downwards which conducts to this gate.

Now about the time that Zarathustra sojourned on the Blessed isles, it happened that a ship anchored at the isle on which stands the smoking mountain, and the crew went ashore to shoot rabbits. About the noontide hour, however, when the captain and his people were together again, they saw suddenly a person coming towards them through the air, and a voice said distinctly: "It is time! It is the highest time!" But when the figure was nearest to them (it flew past quickly, however, like a shadow, in the direction of the volcano), then did they recognize with the greatest surprise that it was Zarathustra; for they had all seen him before except the captain himself, and they loved him as the people love: in such wise that love and awe were combined in equal degree.

"Behold!" said the old helmsman, "there goes Zarathustra to hell!"

About the same time that these sailors landed on the fire-isle, there was a rumour that Zarathustra had disappeared; and when his friends were asked about it, they said that he had gone on board a ship by night, without saying where he was going.

Thus there arose some uneasiness. After three days, however, there came the story of the ship's crew in addition to this uneasiness- and then did all the people say that the devil had taken Zarathustra. His disciples laughed, sure enough, at this talk; and one of them said even: "Sooner would I believe that Zarathustra has taken the devil." But at the bottom of their hearts they were all full of anxiety and longing: so their joy was great when on the fifth day Zarathustra appeared amongst them.

And this is the account of Zarathustra's interview with the fire-dog:

The earth, said he, has a skin; and this skin has diseases. One of these diseases, for example, is called "humanity."

And another of these diseases is called "the fire-dog": concerning him people have greatly deceived themselves, and let themselves be deceived.

To fathom this mystery did I go o'er the sea; and I have seen the truth naked, verily! Barefooted up to the neck.

Now do I know how it is concerning the fire-dog; and likewise concerning all the spouting and subversive devils, of which not only old women are afraid.

"Up with you, fire-dog, out of your depth!" cried I, "and confess how deep that depth is! Whence comes that which you snort up?

You drink copiously at the sea: that does your embittered eloquence betray! In sooth, for a dog of the depth, you take your nourishment too much from the surface!

At the most, I regard you as the ventriloquist of the earth: and ever, when I have heard subversive and spouting devils speak, I have found them like you: embittered, mendacious, and shallow.

You understand how to roar and obscure with ashes! You are the best braggarts, and have sufficiently learned the art of making dregs boil.

Where you are, there must always be dregs at hand, and much that is spongy, hollow, and compressed: it wants to have freedom.

'Freedom' you all roar most eagerly: but I have unlearned the belief in 'great events,' when there is much roaring and smoke about them.

And believe me, friend Hullabaloo! The greatest events- are not our noisiest, but our still hours.

Not around the inventors of new noise, but around the inventors of new values, does the world revolve; inaudibly it revolves.

And just own to it! Little had ever taken place when your noise and smoke passed away. What, if a city did become a mummy, and a statue lay in the mud!

And this do I say also to the overthrowers of statues: It is certainly the greatest folly to throw salt into the sea, and statues into the mud.

In the mud of your contempt lay the statue: but it is just its law, that out of contempt, its life and living beauty grow again!

With diviner features does it now arise, seducing by its suffering; and verily! it will yet thank you for overthrowing it, you subverters!

This counsel, however, do I counsel to kings and churches, and to all that is weak with age or virtue- let yourselves be overthrown! That you may again come to life, and that virtue- may come to you!-"

Thus spoke I before the fire-dog: then did he interrupt me sullenly, and asked: "Church? What is that?"

"Church?" answered I, "that is a kind of state, and indeed the most mendacious. But remain quiet, you dissembling dog! You surely know your own species best!

Like yourself the state is a dissembling dog; like you does it like to speak with smoke and roaring- to make believe, like you, that it speaks out of the heart of things.

For it seeks by all means to be the most important creature on earth, the state; and people think it so."

When I had said this, the fire-dog acted as if mad with envy. "What!" cried he, "the most important creature on earth? And people think it so?" And so much vapour and terrible voices came out of his throat that I thought he would choke with vexation and envy.

At last he became calmer and his panting subsided; as soon, however, as he was quiet, I said laughingly:

"You are angry, fire-dog: so I am in the right about you!

And that I may also maintain the right, hear the story of another fire-dog; he speaks actually out of the heart of the earth.

Gold does his breath exhale, and golden rain: so does his heart desire. What are ashes and smoke and hot dregs to him!

Laughter flits from him like a variegated cloud; adverse is he to your gargling and spewing and grips in the bowels!

The gold, however, and the laughter- these does he take out of the heart of the earth: for, that you mayst know it,- the heart of the earth is of gold."

When the fire-dog heard this, he could no longer endure to listen to me. Abashed did he draw in his tail, said "bow-wow!" in a cowed voice, and crept down into his cave.-

Thus told Zarathustra. His disciples, however, hardly listened to him: so great was their eagerness to tell him about the sailors, the rabbits, and the flying human.

"What am I to think of it!" said Zarathustra. "Am I indeed a ghost?

But it may have been my shadow. You have surely heard something of the Wanderer and his Shadow?

One thing, however, is certain: I must keep a tighter hold of it; otherwise it will spoil my reputation."

And once more Zarathustra shook his head and wondered. "What am I to think of it!" said he once more.

"Why did the ghost cry: 'It is time! It is the highest time!'

For what is it then- the highest time?"

Thus spoke Zarathustra.


41. The Soothsayer

"-AND I saw a great sadness come over mankind. The best turned weary of their works.

A doctrine appeared, a faith ran beside it: 'All is empty, all is alike, all has been!'

And from all hills there re-echoed: 'All is empty, all is alike, all has been!'

To be sure we have harvested: but why have all our fruits become rotten and brown? What was it fell last night from the evil moon?

In vain was all our labour, poison has our wine become, the evil eye has singed yellow our fields and hearts.

Arid have we all become; and fire falling upon us, then do we turn dust like ashes:- yes, the fire itself have we made aweary.

All our fountains have dried up, even the sea has receded. All the ground tries to gape, but the depth will not swallow!

'Alas! where is there still a sea in which one could be drowned?' so sounds our plaint- across shallow swamps. Even for dying have we become too weary; now do we keep awake and live on- in sepulchres."

Thus did Zarathustra hear a soothsayer speak; and the foreboding touched his heart and transformed him. Sorrowfully did he go about and wearily; and he became like to those of whom the soothsayer had spoken.-

Said he to his disciples, a little while, and there comes the long twilight. Alas, how shall I preserve my light through it!

That it may not smother in this sorrowfulness! To remoter worlds shall it be a light, and also to remotest nights!

Thus did Zarathustra go about grieved in his heart, and for three days he did not take any meat or drink: he had no rest, and lost his speech. At last it came to pass that he fell into a deep sleep. His disciples, however, sat around him in long night-watches, and waited anxiously to see if he would awake, and speak again, and recover from his affliction.

And this is what Zarathustra said when he awoke; his voice, however, came to his disciples as from afar:

Hear, I pray you, the dream that I dreamed, my friends, and help me to divine its meaning!

A riddle is it still to me, this dream; the meaning is hidden in it and encaged, and do not yet fly above it on free pinions.

All life had I renounced, so I dreamed. Night-watchman and grave-guardian had I become, aloft, in the lone mountain-fortress of Death.

There did I guard his coffins: full stood the musty vaults of those trophies of victory. Out of glass coffins did vanquished life gaze upon me.

The odour of dust-covered eternities did I breathe: sultry and dust-covered lay my soul. And who could have aired his soul there!

Brightness of midnight was ever around me; lonesomeness cowered beside her; and as a third, death-rattle stillness, the worst of my female friends.

Keys did I carry, the rustiest of all keys; and I knew how to open with them the most creaking of all gates.

Like a bitterly angry croaking ran the sound through the long corridors when the leaves of the gate opened: ungraciously did this bird cry, unwillingly was it awakened.

But more frightful even, and more heart-strangling was it, when it again became silent and still all around, and I alone sat in that malignant silence.

Thus did time pass with me, and slip by, if time there still was: what do I know thereof! But at last there happened that which awoke me.

Thrice did there peal peals at the gate like thunders, thrice did the vaults resound and howl again: then did I go to the sate.

Alpa! cried I, who carries his ashes to the mountain? Alpa! Alpa! who carries his ashes to the mountain?

And I pressed the key, and pulled at the gate, and exerted myself. But not a finger's-breadth was it yet open:

Then did a roaring wind tear the folds apart: whistling, whizzing, and piercing, it threw to me a black coffin.

And in the roaring and whistling and whizzing, the coffin burst open, and spouted out a thousand peals of laughter.

And a thousand caricatures of children, angels, owls, fools, and child-sized butterflies laughed and mocked, and roared at me.

Fearfully was I terrified thereby: it prostrated me. And I cried with horror as I ne'er cried before.

But my own crying awoke me:- and I came to myself.-

Thus did Zarathustra relate his dream, and then was silent: for as yet he knew not the interpretation thereof. But the disciple whom he loved most arose quickly, seized Zarathustra's hand, and said:

"Your life itself interprets to us this dream, O Zarathustra!

Are you not yourself the wind with shrill whistling, which bursts open the gates of the fortress of Death?

Are you not yourself the coffin full of many-hued malices and angel-caricatures of life?

Like a thousand peals of children's laughter comes Zarathustra into all sepulchres, laughing at those night-watchmen and grave-guardians, and whoever else rattles with sinister keys.

With your laughter will you frighten and prostrate them: fainting and recovering will you demonstrate your power over them.

And when the long twilight comes and the mortal weariness, even then will you not disappear from our firmament, you advocate of life!

New stars have you made us see, and new nocturnal glories: verily, laughter itself have you spread out over us like a many-hued canopy.

Now will children's laughter ever from coffins flow; now will a strong wind ever come victoriously to all mortal weariness: of this you are yourself the pledge and the prophet!

They themselves did you dream, your enemies: that was your sorest dream.

But as you awoke from them and came to yourself, so shall they awaken from themselves- and come to you!

Thus spoke the disciple; and all the others then thronged around Zarathustra, grasped him by the hands, and tried to persuade him to leave his bed and his sadness, and return to them. Zarathustra, however, sat upright on his couch, with an absent look. Like one returning from long foreign sojourn did he look on his disciples, and examined their features; but still he knew them not. When, however, they raised him, and set him upon his feet, behold, all on a sudden his eye changed; he understood everything that had happened, stroked his beard, and said with a strong voice:

"Well! this has just its time; but see to it, my disciples, that we have a good repast; and without delay! Thus do I mean to make amends for bad dreams!

The soothsayer, however, shall eat and drink at my side: and verily, I will yet show him a sea in which he can drown himself!"

Thus spoke Zarathustra. Then did he gaze long into the face of the disciple who had been the dream-interpreter, and shook his head.


42. Redemption

WHEN Zarathustra went one day over the great bridge, then did the cripples and beggars surround him, and a hunchback spoke thus to him:

"Behold, Zarathustra! Even the people learn from you, and acquire faith in your teaching: but for them to believe fully in you, one thing is still needful- you must first of all convince us cripples! Here have you now a fine selection, and verily, an opportunity with more than one forelock! The blind can you heal, and make the lame run; and from him who has too much behind, could you well, also, take away a little;- that, I think, would be the right method to make the cripples believe in Zarathustra!"

Zarathustra, however, answered thus to him who so spoke: When one takes his hump from the hunchback, then does one take from him his spirit- so do the people teach. And when one gives the blind man eyes, then does he see too many bad things on the earth: so that he curses him who healed him. He, however, who makes the lame man run, inflicts upon him the greatest injury; for hardly can he run, when his vices run away with him- so do the people teach concerning cripples. And why should not Zarathustra also learn from the people, when the people learn from Zarathustra?

It is, however, the small thing to me since I have been amongst people, to see one person lacking an eye, another an ear, and a third a leg, and that others have lost the tongue, or the nose, or the head.

I see and have seen worse things, and divers things so hideous, that I should neither like to speak of all matters, nor even keep silent about some of them: namely, people who lack everything, except that they have too much of one thing- people who are nothing more than a big eye, or a big mouth, or a big belly, or something else big,- reversed cripples, I call such people.

And when I came out of my solitude, and for the first time passed over this bridge, then I could not trust my eyes, but looked again and again, and said at last: "That is an ear! An ear as big as a person!" I looked still more attentively- and actually there did move under the ear something that was pitiably small and poor and slim. And in truth this immense ear was perched on a small thin stalk- the stalk, however, was a person! A person putting a glass to his eyes, could even recognize further a small envious countenance, and also that a bloated little soul dangled at the stalk. The people told me, however, that the big ear was not only a person, but a great person, a genius. But I never believed in the people when they spoke of great people- and I hold to my belief that it was a reversed cripple, who had too little of everything, and too much of one thing.

When Zarathustra had spoken thus to the hunchback, and to those of whom the hunchback was the mouthpiece and advocate, then did he turn to his disciples in profound dejection, and said:

My friends, I walk amongst people as amongst the fragments and limbs of human beings!

This is the terrible thing to my eye, that I find humanity broken up, and scattered about, as on a battle- and butcher-ground.

And when my eye flees from the present to the bygone, it finds ever the same: fragments and limbs and fearful chances- but no people!

The present and the bygone upon earth- ah! my friends- that is my most unbearable trouble; and I should not know how to live, if I were not a seer of what is to come.

A seer, a purposer, a creator, a future itself, and a bridge to the future- and alas! also as it were a cripple on this bridge: all that is Zarathustra.

And you also asked yourselves often: "Who is Zarathustra to us? What shall he be called by us?" And like me, did you give yourselves questions for answers.

Is he a promiser? Or a fulfiller? A conqueror? Or an inheritor? A harvest? Or a ploughshare? A physician? Or a healed one?

Is he a poet? Or a genuine one? An emancipator? Or a subjugator? A good one? Or an evil one?

I walk amongst people as the fragments of the future: that future which I contemplate.

And it is all my poetisation and aspiration to compose and collect into unity what is fragment and riddle and fearful chance.

And how could I endure to be a person, if humanity were not also the composer, and riddle-reader, and redeemer of chance!

To redeem what is past, and to transform every "It was" into "Thus would I have it!"- that only do I call redemption!

Will- so is the emancipator and joy-bringer called: thus have I taught you, my friends! But now learn this likewise: the Will itself is still a prisoner.

Willing emancipates: but what is that called which still puts the emancipator in chains?

"It was": thus is the Will's teeth-gnashing and most lonesome tribulation called. Impotent towards what has been done- it is a malicious spectator of all that is past.

Not backward can the Will will; that it cannot break time and time's desire- that is the Will's most lonesome tribulation.

Willing emancipates: what does Willing itself create in order to get free from its tribulation and mock at its prison?

Ah, a fool becomes every prisoner! Foolishly delivers itself also the imprisoned Will.

That time does not run backward- that is its animosity: "That which was": so is the stone which it cannot roll called.

And thus does it roll stones out of animosity and ill-humour, and takes revenge on whatever does not, like it, feel rage and ill-humour.


Thus did the Will, the emancipator, become a torturer; and on all that is capable of suffering it takes revenge, because it cannot go backward.

This, yes, this alone is revenge itself: the Will's antipathy to time, and its "It was."

A great folly dwells in our Will; and it became a curse to all humanity, that this folly acquired spirit!

The spirit of revenge: my friends, that has hereto been humanity's best contemplation; and where there was suffering, it was claimed there was always penalty.

"Penalty," so calls itself revenge. With a lying word it feigns a good conscience.

And because in the willer himself there is suffering, because he cannot will backwards- thus was Willing itself, and all life, claimed- to be penalty!

And then did cloud after cloud roll over the spirit, until at last madness preached: "Everything perishes, therefore everything deserves to perish!"

"And this itself is justice, the law of time- that he must devour his children:" thus did madness preach.

"Morally are things ordered according to justice and penalty. Oh, where is there deliverance from the flux of things and from the 'existence' of penalty?" Thus did madness preach.

"Can there be deliverance when there is eternal justice? Alas, unrollable is the stone, 'It was': eternal must also be all penalties!" Thus did madness preach.

"No deed can be annihilated: how could it be undone by the penalty! This, this is what is eternal in the 'existence' of penalty, that existence also must be eternally recurring deed and guilt!

Unless the Will should at last deliver itself, and Willing become non-Willing-:" but you know, my brothers, this fabulous song of madness!

Away from those fabulous songs did I lead you when I taught you: "The Will is a creator."

All "It was" is a fragment, a riddle, a fearful chance- until the creating Will says thereto: "But thus would I have it."-

Until the creating Will says thereto: "But thus do I will it! Thus shall I will it!"

But did it ever speak thus? And when does this take place? has the Will been unharnessed from its own folly?

Has the Will become its own deliverer and joy-bringer? has it unlearned the spirit of revenge and all teeth-gnashing?

And who has taught it reconciliation with time, and something higher than all reconciliation?

Something higher than all reconciliation must the Will will which is the Will to Power-: but how does that take place? Who has taught it also to will backwards?

-But at this point it chanced that Zarathustra suddenly paused, and looked like a person in the greatest alarm. With terror in his eyes did he gaze on his disciples; his glances pierced as with arrows their thoughts and arrear-thoughts. But after a brief space he again laughed, and said soothedly:

"It is difficult to live amongst people, because silence is so difficult- especially for a babbler."

Thus spoke Zarathustra. The hunchback, however, had listened to the conversation and had covered his face during the time; but when he heard Zarathustra laugh, he looked up with curiosity, and said slowly:

"But why does Zarathustra speak otherwise to us than to his disciples?"

Zarathustra answered: "What is there to be wondered at! With hunchbacks one May well speak in a hunchbacked way!"

"Very good," said the hunchback; "and with pupils one may well tell tales out of school.

But why does Zarathustra speak otherwise to his pupils- than to himself?"


43. Manly Prudence

NOT the height, it is the declivity that is terrible!

The declivity, where the gaze shoots downwards, and the hand grasps upwards. There does the heart become giddy through its double will.

Ah, friends, do you divine also my heart's double will?

This, this is my declivity and my danger, that my gaze shoots towards the summit, and my hand would rather clutch and lean- on the depth!

To humanity clings my will; with chains do I bind myself to humanity, because I am pulled upwards to the overman: for there does my other will tend.

And therefore do I live blindly among people, as if I knew them not: that my hand may not entirely lose belief in firmness.

I know not you people: this gloom and consolation is often spread around me.

I sit at the gateway for every rogue, and ask: Who wishes to deceive me?

This is my first manly prudence, that I allow myself to be deceived, so as not to be on my guard against deceivers.

Ah, if I were on my guard against humanity, how could humanity be an anchor to my ball! Too easily would I be pulled upwards and away!

This providence is over my fate, that I have to be without foresight.

And he who would not languish amongst people, must learn to drink out of all glasses; and he who would keep clean amongst people, must know how to wash himself even with dirty water.

And thus spoke I often to myself for consolation: "Courage! Cheer up! old heart! An unhappiness has failed to befall you: enjoy that as your- happiness!"

This, however, is my other manly prudence: I am more forbearing to the vain than to the proud.

Is not wounded vanity the mother of all tragedies? Where, however, pride is wounded, there grows up something better than pride.

That life may be fair to behold, its game must be well played; for that purpose, however, it needs good actors.

Good actors have I found all the vain ones: they play, and wish people to be fond of beholding them- all their spirit is in this wish.

They represent themselves, they invent themselves; in their neighbourhood I like to look upon life- it cures of melancholy.

Therefore am I forbearing to the vain, because they are the physicians of my melancholy, and keep me attached to humanity as to a drama.

And further, who conceives the full depth of the modesty of the vain person! I am favourable to him, and sympathetic on account of his modesty.

From you would he learn his belief in himself; he feeds upon your glances, he eats praise out of your hands.

Your lies does he even believe when you lie favourably about him: for in its depths sighs his heart: "What am I?"

And if that be the true virtue which is unconscious of itself- well, the vain person is unconscious of her or his modesty!

This is, however, my third manly prudence: I am not put out of conceit with the wicked by your timorousness.

I am happy to see the marvels the warm sun hatches: tigers and palms and rattlesnakes.

Also amongst people there is a beautiful brood of the warm sun, and much that is marvellous in the wicked.

In truth, as your wisest did not seem to me so very wise, so found I also human wickedness below the fame of it.

And oft did I ask with a shake of the head: Why still rattle, you rattlesnakes?

There is still a future even for evil! And the warmest south is still undiscovered by humanity.

How many things are now called the worst wickedness, which are only twelve feet broad and three months long! Some day, however, will greater dragons come into the world.

For that the overman may not lack his dragon, the super-dragon that is worthy of him, there must still much warm sun glow on moist virgin forests!

Out of your wild cats must tigers have evolved, and out of your poison-toads, crocodiles: for the good hunter shall have a good hunt!

And verily, you good and just! In you there is much to be laughed at, and especially your fear of what has hereto been called "the devil!"

So alien are you in your souls to what is great, that to you the overman would be frightful in his goodness!

And you wise and knowing ones, you would flee from the solar-glow of the wisdom in which the overman joyfully baths his nakedness!

You highest people who have come within my ken! this is my doubt of you, and my secret laughter: I suspect you would call my overman- a devil!

Ah, I became tired of those highest and best ones: from their "height" did I long to be up, out, and away to the overman!

A horror came over me when I saw those best ones naked: then there grew for me the pinions to soar away into distant futures.

Into more distant futures, into more southern souths than ever artist dreamed of: there, where gods are ashamed of all clothes!

But disguised do I want to see you, you neighbours and fellowmen, and well-attired and vain and estimable, as "the good and just;"

And disguised will I myself sit amongst you - that I may mistake you and myself: for that is my last manly prudence.

Thus spoke Zarathustra.


44. The Stillest Hour

WHAT has happened to me, my friends? You see me troubled, driven forth, unwillingly obedient, ready to go- alas, to go away from you!

Yes, once more must Zarathustra retire to his solitude: but unjoyously this time does the bear go back to his cave!

What has happened to me? Who orders this?- Ah, my angry mistress wishes it so; she spoke to me. Have I ever named her name to you?

Yesterday towards evening there spoke to me my still hour: that is the name of my terrible mistress.

And thus did it happen- for everything must I tell you, that your heart may not harden against the suddenly departing one!

Do you know the terror of him who falls asleep?-

To the very toes he is terrified, because the ground gives way under him, and the dream begins.

This do I speak to you in parable. Yesterday at the still hour did the ground give way under me: the dream began.

The hour-hand moved on, the timepiece of my life drew breath- never did I hear such stillness around me, so that my heart was terrified.

Then was there spoken to me without voice: "You know it, Zarathustra?"-

And I cried in terror at this whispering, and the blood left my face: but I was silent.

Then was there once more spoken to me without voice: "You know it, Zarathustra, but you do not speak it!"-

And at last I answered, like one defiant: "Yes, I know it, but I will not speak it!"

Then was there again spoken to me without voice: "You will not, Zarathustra? Is this true? Conceal yourself not behind your defiance!"

And I wept and trembled like a child, and said: "Ah, I would indeed, but how can I do it! Exempt me only from this! It is beyond my power!"

Then was there again spoken to me without voice: "What matter about yourself, Zarathustra! Speak your word, and perish!"

And I answered: "Ah, is it my word? Who am I? I await the worthier one; I am not worthy even to perish by it."

Then was there again spoken to me without voice: "What matter about yourself? you are not yet humble enough for me. Humility has the hardest skin."-

And I answered: "What has not the skin of my humility endured! At the foot of my height do I dwell: how high are my summits, no one has yet told me. But well do I know my valleys."

Then was there again spoken to me without voice: "O Zarathustra, he who has to remove mountains removes also valleys and plains."-

And I answered: "As yet has my word not removed mountains, and what I have spoken has not reached humanity. I went, indeed, to people, but not yet have I attained to them."

Then was there again spoken to me without voice: "What know you thereof! The dew falls on the grass when the night is most silent."-

And I answered: "They mocked me when I found and walked in my own path; and certainly did my feet then tremble.

And thus did they speak to me: you forgot the path before, now do you also forget how to walk!"

Then was there again spoken to me without voice: "What matter about their mockery! you are one who have unlearned to obey: now shall you command!

Know you not who is most needed by all? He who commands great things.

To execute great things is difficult: but the more difficult task is to command great things.


This is your most unpardonable obstinacy: you have the power, and you will not rule."-

And I answered: "I lack the lion's voice for all commanding."

Then was there again spoken to me as a whispering: "It is the still words which bring the storm. Thoughts that come with doves' footsteps guide the world.

O Zarathustra, you shall go as a shadow of that which is to come: thus will you command, and in commanding go foremost."-

And I answered: "I am ashamed."

Then was there again spoken to me without voice: "You must yet become a child, and be without shame.

The pride of youth is still upon you; late have you become young: but he who would become a child must overcome even his youth."-

And I considered a long while, and trembled. At last, however, did I say what I had said at first. "I will not."

Then did a laughing take place all around me. Alas, how that laughing lacerated my bowels and cut into my heart!

And there was spoken to me for the last time: "O Zarathustra, your fruits are ripe, but you are not ripe for your fruits!

So must you go again into solitude: for you shall yet become mellow."-

And again was there a laughing, and it fled: then did it become still around me, as with a double stillness. I lay, however, on the ground, and the sweat flowed from my limbs.

-Now have you heard all, and why I have to return into my solitude. Nothing have I kept hidden from you, my friends.

But even this have you heard from me, who is still the most reserved of people- and will be so!

Ah, my friends! I should have something more to say to you! I should have something more to give to you! Why do I not give it? Am I then a niggard?-

When, however, Zarathustra had spoken these words, the violence of his pain, and a sense of the nearness of his departure from his friends came over him, so that he wept aloud; and no one knew how to console him. In the night, however, he went away alone and left his friends.


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» Next section: Part 3a. Discourses 45-49

» Suggested prior reading: Friedrich Nietzsche

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