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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 3b. Discourses 50-54

» Suggested prior reading: Friedrich Nietzsche

50. On the Olive-Mount

WINTER, a bad guest, sits with me at home; blue are my hands with his friendly hand-shaking.

I honour him, that bad guest, but gladly leave him alone. Gladly do I run away from him; and when one runs well, then one escapes him!

With warm feet and warm thoughts do I run where the wind is calm- to the sunny corner of my olive-mount.

There do I laugh at my stern guest, and am still fond of him; because he clears my house of flies, and quiets many little noises.

For he suffers it not if a gnat wants to buzz, or even two of them; also the lanes makes he lonesome, so that the moonlight is afraid there at night.

A hard guest is he,- but I honour him, and do not worship, like the tenderlings, the pot-bellied fire-idol.

Better even a little teeth-chattering than idol-adoration!- so wills my nature. And especially have I a grudge against all ardent, steaming, steamy fire-idols.

Him whom I love, I love better in winter than in summer; better do I now mock at my enemies, and more heartily, when winter sits in my house.

Heartily, verily, even when I creep into bed-: there, still laughs and wantons my hidden happiness; even my deceptive dream laughs.

I, a- creeper? Never in my life did I creep before the powerful; and if ever I lied, then did I lie out of love. Therefore am I glad even in my winter-bed.

A poor bed warms me more than a rich one, for I am jealous of my poverty. And in winter she is most faithful to me.

With a wickedness do I begin every day: I mock at the winter with a cold bath: on that account grumbles my stern house-mate.

Also do I like to tickle him with a wax-taper, that he may finally let the heavens emerge from ashy-grey twilight.

For especially wicked am I in the morning: at the early hour when the pail rattles at the well, and horses neigh warmly in grey lanes:-

Impatiently do I then wait, that the clear sky may finally dawn for me, the snow-bearded winter-sky, the hoary one, the white-head,-

-The winter-sky, the silent winter-sky, which often stifles even its sun!

Did I perhaps learn from it the long clear silence? Or did it learn it from me? Or has each of us created it himself?

Of all good things the origin is a thousandfold,- all good roguish things spring into existence for joy: how could they always do so- for once only!

A good roguish thing is also the long silence, and to look, like the winter-sky, out of a clear, round-eyed countenance:-

-Like it to stifle one's sun, and one's inflexible solar will: verily, this art and this winter-roguishness have I learned well!

My best-loved wickedness and art is it, that my silence has learned not to betray itself by silence.

Clattering with diction and dice, I outwit the solemn assistants: all those stern watchers, shall my will and purpose elude.

That no one might see down into my depth and into my ultimate will- for that purpose did I create the long clear silence.

Many a shrewd one did I find: he veiled his countenance and made his water muddy, that no one might see therethrough and thereunder.

But precisely to him came the shrewder distrusters and nut-crackers: precisely from him did they fish his best-concealed fish!

But the clear, the honest, the transparent- these are for me the wisest silent ones: in them, so profound is the depth that even the clearest water does not- betray it.-

You snow-bearded, silent, winter-sky, you round-eyed whitehead above me! Oh, you heavenly parable of my soul and its wantonness!

And must I not conceal myself like one who has swallowed gold- lest my soul should be ripped up?

Must I not wear stilts, that they may overlook my long legs- all those enviers and injurers around me?

Those dingy, fire-warmed, used-up, green-tinted, ill-natured souls- how could their envy endure my happiness!

Thus do I show them only the ice and winter of my peaks- and not that my mountain winds all the solar girdles around it!

They hear only the whistling of my winter-storms: and know not that I also travel over warm seas, like longing, heavy, hot south-winds.

They commiserate also my accidents and chances:- but my word says: "Suffer the chance to come to me: innocent is it as a little child!"

How could they endure my happiness, if I did not put around it accidents, and winter-privations, and bear-skin caps, and enmantling snowflakes!

-If I did not myself commiserate their pity, the pity of those enviers and injurers!

-If I did not myself sigh before them, and chatter with cold, and patiently let myself be swathed in their pity!

This is the wise waggish-will and good-will of my soul, that it conceals not its winters and glacial storms; it conceals not its chilblains either.

To one person, solitude is the flight of the sick one; to another, it is the flight from the sick ones.

Let them hear me chattering and sighing with winter-cold, all those poor squinting knaves around me! With such sighing and chattering do I flee from their heated rooms.

Let them sympathise with me and sigh with me on account of my chilblains: "At the ice of knowledge will he yet freeze to death!"- so they mourn.

Meanwhile do I run with warm feet here and there on my olive-mount: in the sunny corner of my olive-mount do I sing, and mock at all pity.

Thus sang Zarathustra.

51. On Passing-by

THUS slowly wandering through many peoples and divers cities, did Zarathustra return by round-about roads to his mountains and his cave. And behold, thereby came he unawares also to the gate of the great city. Here, however, a foaming fool, with extended hands, sprang forward to him and stood in his way. It was the same fool whom the people called "the ape of Zarathustra:" for he had learned from him something of the expression and modulation of language, and perhaps liked also to borrow from the store of his wisdom. And the fool talked thus to Zarathustra:

O Zarathustra, here is the great city: here have you nothing to seek and everything to lose.

Why would you wade through this mire? Have pity upon your foot! Spit rather on the gate of the city, and- turn back!

Here is the hell for hermits' thoughts: here are great thoughts seesed alive and boiled small.

Here do all great sentiments decay: here may only rattle-boned sensations rattle!

Smell you not already the shambles and cookshops of the spirit? Steams not this city with the fumes of slaughtered spirit?

See you not the souls hanging like limp dirty rags?- And they make newspapers also out of these rags!

Hear you not how spirit has here become a verbal game? Loathsome verbal swill does it vomit forth!- And they make newspapers also out of this verbal swill.

They hound one another, and know not where! They inflame one another, and know not why! They tinkle with their pinchbeck, they jingle with their gold.

They are cold, and seek warmth from distilled waters: they are inflamed, and seek coolness from frozen spirits; they are all sick and sore through public opinion.

All lusts and vices are here at home; but here there are also the virtuous; there is much appointable appointed virtue:-

Much appointable virtue with scribe-fingers, and hardy sitting-flesh and waiting-flesh, blessed with small breast-stars, and padded, haunchless daughters.

There is here also much piety, and much faithful spittle-licking and spittle-backing, before the God of Hosts.

"From on high," drips the star, and the gracious spittle; for the high, longs every starless bosom.

The moon has its court, and the court has its moon-calves: to all, however, that comes from the court do the mendicant people pray, and all appointable mendicant virtues.

"I serve, you serve, we serve"- so prays all appointable virtue to the prince: that the merited star may at last stick on the slender breast!

But the moon still revolves around all that is earthly: so revolves also the prince around what is earthliest of all- that, however, is the gold of the shopman.

The God of the Hosts of war is not the God of the golden bar; the prince proposes, but the shopman- disposes!

By all that is luminous and strong and good in you, O Zarathustra! Spit on this city of shopmen and return back!

Here flows all blood putridly and tepidly and frothily through all veins: spit on the great city, which is the great slum where all the scum froths together!

Spit on the city of compressed souls and slender breasts, of pointed eyes and sticky fingers-

-On the city of the obtrusive, the brazen-faced, the pen-demagogues and tongue-demagogues, the overheated ambitious:-

Where everything maimed, ill-famed, lustful, untrustful, over-mellow, sickly-yellow and seditious, festers perniciously.

-Spit on the great city and turn back!

Here, however, did Zarathustra interrupt the foaming fool, and shut his mouth.-

Stop this at once! called out Zarathustra, long have your speech and your species disgusted me!

Why did you live so long by the swamp, that you yourself had to become a frog and a toad?

Flows there not a tainted, frothy, swamp-blood in your own veins, when you have thus learned to croak and revile?

Why went you not into the forest? Or why did you not till the ground? Is the sea not full of green islands?

I despise your contempt; and when you warned me- why did you not warn yourself?

Out of love alone shall my contempt and my warning bird take wing; but not out of the swamp!

They call you my ape, you foaming fool: but I call you my grunting-pig,- by your grunting, you spoil even my praise of folly.

What was it that first made you grunt? Because no one sufficiently flattered you:- therefore did you seat yourself beside this filth, that you might have cause for much grunting,-

-That you might have cause for much vengeance! For vengeance, you vain fool, is all your foaming; I have divined you well!

But your fools'-word injures me, even when you are right! And even if Zarathustra's word were a hundred times justified, you would ever- do wrong with my word!

Thus spoke Zarathustra. Then did he look on the great city and sighed, and was long silent. At last he spoke thus:

I loathe also this great city, and not only this fool. Here and there- there is nothing to better, nothing to worsen.

Woe to this great city!- And I would that I already saw the pillar of fire in which it will be consumed!

For such pillars of fire must precede the great noontide. But this has its time and its own fate.

This precept, however, give I to you, in parting, you fool: Where one can no longer love, there should one- pass by!

Thus spoke Zarathustra, and passed by the fool and the great city.

52. The Apostates


AH, LIES everything already withered and grey which but lately stood green and many-hued on this meadow! And how much honey of hope did I carry hence into my beehives!

Those young hearts have already all become old- and not old even! only weary, ordinary, comfortable:- they declare it: "We have again become pious."

Of late did I see them run forth at early morn with valorous steps: but the feet of their knowledge became weary, and now do they malign even their morning valor!

Many of them once lifted their legs like the dancer; to them winked the laughter of my wisdom:- then did they bethink themselves. Just now have I seen them bent down- to crawl before the cross.

Around light and liberty did they once flutter like gnats and young poets. A little older, a little colder: and already are they mystifiers, and mumblers and mollycoddles.

Did perhaps their hearts despond, because solitude had swallowed me like a whale? Did their ear perhaps hearken yearningly-long for me in vain, and for my trumpet-notes and herald-calls?

-Ah! Ever are there but few of those whose hearts have persistent courage and exuberance; and in such remains also the spirit patient. The rest, however, are cowardly.

The rest: these are always the great majority, the common-place, the superfluous, the all-too-many- those all are cowardly!-

Him who is of my type, will also the experiences of my type meet on the way: so that his first companions must be corpses and fools.

His second companions, however- they will call themselves his believers,- will be a living host, with much love, much folly, much unbearded veneration.

To those believers shall he who is of my type among people not bind his heart; in those spring-times and many-hued meadows shall he not believe, who knows the fickly faint-hearted human species!

Could they do otherwise, then would they also will otherwise. The half-and-half spoil every whole. That leaves become withered,- what is there to lament about that!

Let them go and fall away, O Zarathustra, and do not lament! Better even to blow amongst them with rustling winds,-

-Blow amongst those leaves, O Zarathustra, that everything withered may run away from you the faster!


"We have again become pious"- so do those apostates confess; and some of them are still too pusillanimous thus to confess. To them I look into the eye,- before them I say it to their face and to the blush on their cheeks: You are those who again pray!

It is shameful to pray! Not for all, but for you, and me, and whoever has his conscience in his head. For you it is shameful to pray!

You know it well: the faint-hearted devil in you, which would rather fold its arms, and place its hands in its bosom, and take it easier - this faint-hearted devil persuades you that "there is a God!"

Thereby, however, do you belong to the light-dreading type, to whom light never permits repose: now must you daily thrust your head deeper into obscurity and vapour!

And verily, you choose the hour well: for just now do the nocturnal birds again fly abroad. The hour has come for all light-dreading people, the vesper hour and leisure hour, when they do not- "take leisure."

I hear it and smell it: it has come- their hour for hunt and procession, not indeed for a wild hunt, but for a tame, lame, snuffling, soft-treaders', soft-prayers' hunt,-

-For a hunt after susceptible simpletons: all mouse-traps for the heart have again been set! And whenever I lift a curtain, a night-moth rushes out of it.

Did it perhaps squat there along with another night-moth? For everywhere do I smell small concealed communities; and wherever there are closets there are new devotees therein, and the atmosphere of devotees.

They sit for long evenings beside one another, and say: "Let us again become like little children and say, 'good God!'"- ruined in mouths and stomachs by the pious confectioners.

Or they look for long evenings at a crafty, lurking cross-spider, that preaches prudence to the spiders themselves, and teaches that "under crosses it is good for web-spinning!"

Or they sit all day at swamps with angle-rods, and on that account think themselves profound; but whoever fishes where there are no fish, I do not even call him superficial!

Or they learn in godly-gay style to play the harp with a hymn-poet, who would rather harp himself into the heart of young girls:- for he has tired of old girls and their praises.

Or they learn to shudder with a learned semi-madcap, who waits in darkened rooms for spirits to come to him- and the spirit runs away entirely!

Or they listen to an old roving howl- and growl-piper, who has learned from the sad winds the sadness of sounds; now pips he as the wind, and preaches sadness in sad strains.

And some of them have even become night-watchmen: they know now how to blow horns, and go about at night and awaken old things which have long fallen asleep.

Five words about old things did I hear last night at the garden-wall: they came from such old, sorrowful, arid night-watchmen.

"For a father he cares not sufficiently for his children: human fathers do this better!"-

"He is too old! He now cares no more for his children," answered the other night-watchman.

"Has he then children? No one can prove it unless he himself prove it! I have long wished that he would for once prove it thoroughly."

"Prove? As if he had ever proved anything! Proving is difficult to him; he lays great stress on one's believing him."

"Ay! Ay! Belief saves him; belief in him. That is the way with old people! So it is with us also!"

Thus spoke to each other the two old night-watchmen and light-scarers, and tooted then sorrowfully on their horns: so did it happen last night at the garden-wall.

To me, however, did the heart writhe with laughter, and was like to break; it knew not where to go, and sunk into the midriff.

It will be my death yet- to choke with laughter when I see asses drunken, and hear night-watchmen thus doubt about God.

Has the time not long since passed for all such doubts? Who may nowadays awaken such old slumbering, light-shunning things!

With the old Deities has it long since come to an end:- and verily, a good joyful Deity-end had they!

They did not "twilight" themselves to death- that do people fabricate! On the contrary, they- laughed themselves to death once on a time!

That took place when the ungodliest utterance came from a God himself- the utterance: "There is but one God! you shall have no other gods before me!"-

-An old grim-beard of a God, a jealous one, forgot himself in such wise:-

And all the gods then laughed, and shook upon their thrones, and exclaimed: "Is it not just divinity that there are gods, but no God?"

He that has an ear let him hear.

Thus talked Zarathustra in the city he loved, which is surnamed "The Pied Cow." For from here he had but two days to travel to reach once more his cave and his animals; his soul, however, rejoiced unceasingly on account of the nighness of his return home.

53. The Return Home

O SOLITUDE! My home, solitude! Too long have I lived wildly in wild remoteness, to return to you without tears!

Now threaten me with the finger as mothers threaten; now smile upon me as mothers smile; now say just: "Who was it that like a whirlwind once rushed away from me?-

-Who when departing called out: 'Too long have I sat with solitude; there have I unlearned silence!' That have you learned now- surely?

O Zarathustra, everything do I know; and that you were more forsaken amongst the many, you unique one, than you ever were with me!

One thing is forsakenness, another matter is solitude: that have you now learned! And that amongst people you will ever be wild and strange:

-Wild and strange even when they love you: for above all they want to be treated indulgently!

Here, however, are you at home and house with yourself; here can you utter everything, and unbosom all motives; nothing is here ashamed of concealed, congealed feelings.

Here do all things come caressingly to your talk and flatter you: for they want to ride upon your back. On every simile do you here ride to every truth.

Honestly and openly may you here talk to all things: and verily, it sounds as praise in their ears, for one to talk to all things- directly!

Another matter, however, is forsakenness. For, do you remember, O Zarathustra? When your bird screamed overhead, when you stood in the forest, irresolute, ignorant where to go, beside a corpse:-

-When you spoke: 'Let my animals lead me! More dangerous have I found it among people than among animals:'- That was forsakenness!

And do you remember, O Zarathustra? When you sat in your isle, a well of wine giving and granting amongst empty buckets, giving and distributing amongst the thirsty:

-Until at last you alone sat thirsty amongst the drunken ones, and wailed nightly: 'Is taking not more blessed than giving? And stealing yet more blessed than taking?'- That was forsakenness!

And do you remember, O Zarathustra? When your still hour came and drove you forth from yourself, when with wicked whispering it said: 'Speak and perish!'-

-When it disgusted you with all your waiting and silence, and discouraged your humble courage: That was forsakenness!"

O solitude! My home, solitude! How blessedly and tenderly speaks your voice to me!

We do not question each other, we do not complain to each other; we go together openly through open doors.

For all is open with you and clear; and even the hours run here on lighter feet. For in the dark, time weighs heavier upon one than in the light.

Here fly open to me all beings' words and word-cabinets: here all being wants to become words, here all becoming wants to learn of me how to talk.

Down there, however- all talking is in vain! There, forgetting and passing-by are the best wisdom: that have I learned now!

He who would understand everything in humanity must handle everything. But for that I have too clean hands.

I do not like even to inhale their breath; alas! that I have lived so long among their noise and bad breaths!

O blessed stillness around me! O pure odours around me! How from a deep breast this stillness fetches pure breath! How it hearkens, this blessed stillness!

But down there- there speaks everything, there is everything misheard. If one announce one's wisdom with bells, the shopmen in the market-place will out-jingle it with pennies!

Everything among them talks; no one knows any longer how to understand. Everything falls into the water; nothing falls any longer into deep wells.

Everything among them talks, nothing succeeds any longer and accomplishes itself. Everything cackles, but who will still sit quietly on the nest and hatch eggs?

Everything among them talks, everything is out-talked. And that which yesterday was still too hard for time itself and its tooth, hangs today, outchamped and outchewed, from the mouths of the people of today.

Everything among them talks, everything is betrayed. And what was once called the secret and secrecy of profound souls, belongs to-day to the street-trumpeters and other butterflies.

O human hubbub, you wonderful thing! you noise in dark streets! Now are you again behind me:- my greatest danger lies behind me!

In indulging and pitying lay ever my greatest danger; and all human hubbub wishes to be indulged and tolerated.

With suppressed truths, with fool's hand and befooled heart, and rich in petty lies of pity:- thus have I ever lived among people.

Disguised did I sit amongst them, ready to misjudge myself that I might endure them, and willingly saying to myself: "You fool, you do not know people!"

One unlearns people when one lives amongst them: there is too much foreground in all people- what can far-seeing, far-longing eyes do there!

And, fool that I was, when they misjudged me, I indulged them on that account more than myself, being habitually hard on myself, and often even taking revenge on myself for the indulgence.

Stung all over by poisonous flies, and hollowed like the stone by many drops of wickedness: thus did I sit among them, and still said to myself: "Innocent is everything petty of its pettiness!"

Especially did I find those who call themselves "the good," the most poisonous flies; they sting in all innocence, they lie in all innocence; how could they- be just towards me!

He who lives amongst the good- pity teaches him to lie. Pity makes stifling air for all free souls. For the stupidity of the good is unfathomable.

To conceal myself and my riches- that did I learn down there: for every one did I still find poor in spirit. It was the lie of my pity, that I knew in every one.

-That I saw and scented in every one, what was enough of spirit for him, and what was too much!

Their stiff wise people: I call them wise, not stiff- thus did I learn to slur over words.

The grave-diggers dig for themselves diseases. Under old rubbish rest bad vapours. One should not stir up the marsh. One should live on mountains.

With blessed nostrils do I again breathe mountain-freedom. Freed at last is my nose from the smell of all human hubbub!

With sharp breezes tickled, as with sparkling wine, sneezes my soul- sneezes, and shouts self-congratulatingly: "Health to you!"

Thus spoke Zarathustra.

54. The Three Evil Things


IN MY dream, in my last morning-dream, I stood today on a promontory- beyond the world; I held a pair of scales, and weighed the world.

Alas, that the rosy dawn came too early to me: she glowed me awake, the jealous one! Jealous is she always of the glows of my morning-dream.

Measurable by him who has time, weighable by a good weigher, attainable by strong pinions, divinable by divine nutcrackers: thus did my dream find the world:-

My dream, a bold sailor, half-ship, half-hurricane, silent as the butterfly, impatient as the falcon: how had it the patience and leisure to-day for world-weighing!

Did my wisdom perhaps speak secretly to it, my laughing, wide-awake day-wisdom, which mocks at all "infinite worlds"? For it says: "Where force is, there becomes number the master: it has more force."

How confidently did my dream contemplate this finite world, not new-fangledly, not old-fangledly, not timidly, not entreatingly…

…as if a big round apple presented itself to my hand, a ripe golden apple, with a coolly-soft, velvety skin:- thus did the world present itself to me:-

-As if a tree nodded to me, a broad-branched, strong-willed tree, curved as a recline and a foot-stool for weary travellers: thus did the world stand on my promontory:-

-As if delicate hands carried a casket towards me- a casket open for the delectation of modest adoring eyes: thus did the world present itself before me today:-

-Not riddle enough to scare human love from it, not solution enough to put to sleep human wisdom:- a humanly good thing was the world to me to-day, of which such bad things are said!

How I thank my morning-dream that I thus at today's dawn, weighed the world! As a humanly good thing did it come to me, this dream and heart-comforter!

And that I may do the like by day, and imitate and copy its best, now will I put the three worst things on the scales, and weigh them humanly well.-

He who taught to bless taught also to curse: what are the three best cursed things in the world? These will I put on the scales.

Voluptuousness, passion for power, and selfishness: these three things have hereto been best cursed, and have been in worst and falsest repute- these three things will I weigh humanly well.

Well! Here is my promontory, and there is the sea- it rolls here to me, shaggily and fawningly, the old, faithful, hundred-headed dog-monster that I love!-

Well! Here will I hold the scales over the weltering sea: and also a witness do I choose to look on- you, the hermit-tree, you, the strong-odoured, broad-arched tree that I love!-

On what bridge goes the now to the hereafter? By what constraint do the high stoop to the low? And what enjoins even the highest still- to grow upwards?-

Now stand the scales poised and at rest: three heavy questions have I thrown in; three heavy answers carries the other scale.


Voluptuousness: to all hair-shirted despisers of the body, a sting and stake; and, cursed as "the world," by all the afterworldly: for it mocks and befools all erring, misinferring teachers.

Voluptuousness: to the rabble, the slow fire at which it is burnt; to all wormy wood, to all stinking rags, the prepared heat and stew furnace.

Voluptuousness: to free hearts, a thing innocent and free, the garden-happiness of the earth, all the future's thanks-overflow to the present.

Voluptuousness: only to the withered a sweet poison; to the lion-willed, however, the great cordial, and the reverently saved wine of wines.

Voluptuousness: the great symbolic happiness of a higher happiness and highest hope. For to many is marriage promised, and more than marriage,-

-To many that are more unknown to each other than man and woman:- and who has fully understood how unknown to each other are man and woman!

Voluptuousness:- but I will have hedges around my thoughts, and even around my words, lest swine and libertine should break into my gardens!-

Passion for power: the glowing scourge of the hardest of the heart-hard; the cruel torture reserved for the cruel themselves; the gloomy flame of living pyres.

Passion for power: the wicked gadfly which is mounted on the vainest peoples; the scorner of all uncertain virtue; which rides on every horse and on every pride.

Passion for power: the earthquake which breaks and upbreaks all that is rotten and hollow; the rolling, rumbling, punitive demolisher of whited sepulchres; the flashing interrogative-sign beside premature answers.

Passion for power: before whose glance humanity creeps and crouches and drudges, and becomes lower than the serpent and the swine:- until at last great contempt cries out of him-,

Passion for power: the terrible teacher of great contempt, which preaches to their face to cities and empires: "Away with you!"- until a voice cries out of themselves: "Away with me!"

Passion for power: which, however, mounts alluringly even to the pure and lonesome, and up to self-satisfied elevations, glowing like a love that paints purple felicities alluringly on earthly heavens.

Passion for power: but who would call it passion, when the height longs to stoop for power! nothing sick or diseased is there in such longing and descending!

That the lonesome height may not forever remain lonesome and self-sufficing; that the mountains may come to the valleys and the winds of the heights to the plains:-

Oh, who could find the right prenomen and honouring name for such longing! "Giving virtue"- thus did Zarathustra. Once name the unnamable.

And then it happened also,- and verily, it happened for the first time!- that his word blessed selfishness, the wholesome, healthy selfishness, that springs from the powerful soul:-

-From the powerful soul, to which the high body appertains, the handsome, triumphing, refreshing body, around which everything becomes a mirror:

-The pliant, persuasive body, the dancer, whose symbol and epitome is the self-enjoying soul. Of such bodies and souls the self-enjoyment calls itself "virtue."

With its words of good and bad does such self-enjoyment shelter itself as with sacred groves; with the names of its happiness does it banish from itself everything contemptible.

Away from itself does it banish everything cowardly; it says: "Bad- that is cowardly!" Contemptible seem to it the ever-solicitous, the sighing, the complaining, and whoever pick up the most trifling advantage.

It despises also all bitter-sweet wisdom: for verily, there is also wisdom that blooms in the dark, a night-shade wisdom, which ever sighs: "All is vain!"

Shy distrust is regarded by it as base, and every one who wants oaths instead of looks and hands: also all over-distrustful wisdom,- for such is the mode of cowardly souls.

Baser still it regards the obsequious, doggish one, who immediately lies on his back, the submissive one; and there is also wisdom that is submissive, and doggish, and pious, and obsequious.

Hateful to it altogether, and a loathing, is he who will never defend himself, he who swallows down poisonous spittle and bad looks, the all-too-patient one, the all-endurer, the all-satisfied one: for that is the mode of slaves. Whether they be servile before gods and divine spurnings, or before people and stupid human opinions: at all kinds of slaves does it spit, this blessed selfishness!

Bad: thus does it call all that is spirit-broken, and sordidly-servile- constrained, blinking eyes, depressed hearts, and the false submissive style, which kisses with broad cowardly lips.

And spurious wisdom: so does it call all the wit that slaves, and hoary-headed and weary ones affect; and especially all the cunning, spurious-witted, curious-witted foolishness of priests!

The spurious wise, however, all the priests, the world-weary, and those whose souls are of feminine and servile nature- oh, how has their game all along abused selfishness!

And precisely that was to be virtue and was to be called virtue- to abuse selfishness! And "selfless"- so did they wish themselves with good reason, all those world-weary cowards and cross-spiders!

But to all those comes now the day, the change, the sword of judgment, the great noontide: then shall many things be revealed!

And he who proclaims the ego wholesome and sacred, and selfishness blessed, verily, he, the prognosticator, speaks also what he knows: "Behold, it comes, it is night, the great noontide!"

Thus spoke Zarathustra.

55. The Spirit of Gravity


MY MOUTHPIECE- is of the people: too coarsely and cordially do I talk for Angora rabbits. And still stranger sounds my word to all ink-fish and pen-foxes.

My hand- is a fool's hand: woe to all tables and walls, and whatever has room for fool's sketching, fool's scrawling!

My foot - is a horse-foot; therewith do I trample and trot over stick and stone, in the fields up and down, and am bedevilled with delight in all fast racing.

My stomach - is surely an eagle's stomach? For it prefers lamb's flesh. Certainly it is a bird's stomach.

Nourished with innocent things, and with few, ready and impatient to fly, to fly away- that is now my nature: why should there not be something of bird-nature therein!

And especially that I am hostile to the spirit of gravity, that is bird-nature:- verily, deadly hostile, supremely hostile, originally hostile! Oh, where has my hostility not flown and misflown!

Thereof could I sing a song- - and will sing it: though I be alone in an empty house, and must sing it to my own ears.

Other singers are there, to be sure, to whom only the full house makes the voice soft, the hand eloquent, the eye expressive, the heart wakeful:- those do I not resemble.


He who one day teaches people to fly will have shifted all landmarks; to him will all landmarks themselves fly into the air; the earth will he christen anew- as "the light body."

The ostrich runs faster than the fastest horse, but it also thrusts its head heavily into the heavy earth: thus is it with the human who cannot yet fly.

Heavy to him are earth and life, and so wills the spirit of gravity! But he who would become light, and be a bird, must love himself:- thus do I teach.

Not, to be sure, with the love of the side and infected, for with them stinks even self-love!

One must learn to love oneself- thus do I teach- with a wholesome and healthy love: that one may endure to be with oneself, and not go roving about.

Such roving about christens itself "brotherly love"; with these words has there hereto been the best lying and dissembling, and especially by those who have been burdensome to every one.

And verily, it is no commandment for today and tomorrow to learn to love oneself. Rather is it of all arts the finest, subtlest, last and most patient.

For to its possessor is all possession well concealed, and of all treasure-pits one's own is last excavated- so causes the spirit of gravity.

Almost in the cradle are we apportioned with heavy words and worths: "good" and "evil"- so calls itself this dowry. For the sake of it we are forgiven for living.

And therefore suffers one little children to come to one, to forbid them betimes to love themselves- so causes the spirit of gravity.

And we- we bear loyally what is apportioned to us, on hard shoulders, over rugged mountains! And when we sweat, then do people say to us: "Yes, life is hard to bear!"

But humanity itself only is hard to bear! The reason thereof is that it carries too many extraneous things on its shoulders. Like the camel kneels it down, and lets itself be well laden.

Especially the strong load-bearing humanity in whom reverence resides. Too many extraneous heavy words and worths loads it upon itself- then seems life to it a desert!

And verily! Many a thing also that is our own is hard to bear! And many internal things in humanity are like the oyster- repulsive and slippery and hard to grasp;-

So that an elegant shell, with elegant adornment, must plead for them. But this art also must one learn: to have a shell, and a fine appearance, and sagacious blindness!

Again, it deceives about many things in humanity, that many a shell is poor and pitiable, and too much of a shell. Much concealed goodness and power is never dreamt of; the choicest dainties find no tasters!

Women know that, the choicest of them: a little fatter a little leaner- oh, how much fate is in so little!

Humanity is difficult to discover, and to himself most difficult of all; often lies the spirit concerning the soul. So causes the spirit of gravity.

He, however, has discovered himself who says: This is my good and evil: therewith has he silenced the mole and the dwarf, who say: "Good for all, evil for all."

Neither do I like those who call everything good, and this world the best of all. Those do I call the all-satisfied.

All-satisfiedness, which knows how to taste everything,- that is not the best taste! I honour the refractory, fastidious tongues and stomachs, which have learned to say "I" and "Yes" and "No."

To chew and digest everything, however- that is the genuine swine-nature! Ever to say ye-A- that has only the ass learned, and those like it!-

Deep yellow and hot red- so wants my taste- it mixes blood with all colors. Yet he who whitewashes his house, betrays to me a whitewashed soul.

With mummies, some fall in love; others with phantoms: both alike hostile to all flesh and blood- oh, how repugnant are both to my taste! For I love blood.

And there will I not reside and abide where every one spits and spews: that is now my taste,- rather would I live amongst thieves and perjurers. Nobody carries gold in his mouth.

Still more repugnant to me, however, are all lick-spittles; and the most repugnant animal of humanity that I found, did I christen "parasite": it would not love, and would yet live by love.

Unhappy do I call all those who have only one choice: either to become evil beasts, or evil beast-tamers. Amongst such would I not build my tabernacle.

Unhappy do I also call those who have ever to wait,- they are repugnant to my taste- all the toll-gatherers and traders, and kings, and other landkeepers and shopkeepers.

I learned waiting also, and thoroughly so,- but only waiting for myself. And above all did I learn standing and walking and running and leaping and climbing and dancing.

This however is my teaching: he who wishes one day to fly, must first learn standing and walking and running and climbing and dancing:- one does not fly into flying!

With rope-ladders learned I to reach many a window, with nimble legs did I climb high masts: to sit on high masts of perception seemed to me no small bliss;-

-To flicker like small flames on high masts: a small light, certainly, but a great comfort to cast-away sailors and ship-wrecked ones!

By divers ways and wendings did I arrive at my truth; not by one ladder did I mount to the height where my eye roves into my remoteness.

And unwillingly only did I ask my way- that was always counter to my taste! Rather did I question and test the ways themselves.

A testing and a questioning has been all my travelling:- and verily, one must also learn to answer such questioning! That, however,- is my taste:

-Neither a good nor a bad taste, but my taste, of which I have no longer either shame or secrecy.

"This- is now my way - where is yours?" Thus did I answer those who asked me "the way." For the way- it does not exist!

Thus spoke Zarathustra.

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