Site Contents  •  Contact

Zoroastrian Heritage

Author: K. E. Eduljee

Contents

spacer

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 4c. Discourses 71-75


» Suggested prior reading: Friedrich Nietzsche


71. The Greeting

IT WAS late in the afternoon only when Zarathustra, after long useless searching and strolling about, again came home to his cave. When, however, he stood over against it, not more than twenty paces therefrom, the thing happened which he now least of all expected: he heard anew the great cry of distress. And extraordinary! this time the cry came out of his own cave. It was a long, manifold, peculiar cry, and Zarathustra plainly distinguished that it was composed of many voices: although heard at a distance it might sound like the cry out of a single mouth.

Then Zarathustra rushed forward to his cave, and behold! what a spectacle awaited him after that concert! For there did they all sit together whom he had passed during the day: the king on the right and the king on the left, the old magician, the pope, the voluntary beggar, the shadow, the intellectually conscientious one, the sorrowful soothsayer, and the ass; the ugliest person, however, had set a crown on his head, and had put round him two purple girdles,- for he liked, like all ugly ones, to disguise himself and play the handsome person. In the midst, however, of that sorrowful company stood Zarathustra's eagle, ruffled and disquieted, for it had been called upon to answer too much for which its pride had not any answer; the wise serpent however hung round its neck.

All this did Zarathustra behold with great astonishment; then however he scrutinized each individual guest with courteous curiosity, read their souls and wondered anew. In the meantime the assembled ones had risen from their seats, and waited with reverence for Zarathustra to speak. Zarathustra however spoke thus:

"You despairing ones! You strange ones! So it was your cry of distress that I heard? And now do I know also where he is to be sought, whom I have sought for in vain today: the higher person:

In my own cave sits he, the higher person! But why do I wonder! Have not I myself allured him to me by honey-offerings and artful lure-calls of my happiness?

But it seems to me that you are badly adapted for company: you make one another's hearts fretful, you that cry for help, when you sit here together? There is one that must first come,

-One who will make you laugh once more, a good jovial fool, a dancer, a wind, a wild romp, some old fool:- what think you?

Forgive me, however, you despairing ones, for speaking such trivial words before you, unworthy, verily, of such guests! But you do not divine what makes my heart wanton:-

-You yourselves do it, and your aspect, forgive it me! For every one becomes courageous who beholds a despairing one. To encourage a despairing one- every one thinks himself strong enough to do so.

To myself have you given this power,- a good gift, my honorable guests! An excellent guest's-present! Well, do not then upbraid when I also offer you something of mine.

This is my empire and my dominion: that which is mine, however, shall this evening and tonight be yours. My animals shall serve you: let my cave be your resting-place!

At house and home with me shall no one despair: in my purlieus do I protect every one from his wild beasts. And that is the first thing which I offer you: security!

The second thing, however, is my little finger. And when you have that, then take the whole hand also, yes and the heart with it! Welcome here, welcome to you, my guests!"

Thus spoke Zarathustra, and laughed with love and mischief. After this greeting his guests bowed once more and were reverentially silent; the king on the right, however, answered him in their name.

"O Zarathustra, by the way in which you have given us your hand and your greeting, we recognize you as Zarathustra. You have humbled yourself before us; almost have you hurt our reverence-:

-Who however could have humbled himself as you have done, with such pride? That uplifts us ourselves; a refreshment is it, to our eyes and hearts.

To behold this, merely, gladly would we ascend higher mountains than this. For as eager beholders have we come; we wanted to see what brightens dim eyes.

And lo! now is it all over with our cries of distress. Now are our minds and hearts open and enraptured. Little is lacking for our spirits to become wanton.

There is nothing, O Zarathustra, that grows more pleasingly on earth than a lofty, strong will: it is the finest growth. An entire landscape refreshes itself at one such tree.

To the pine do I compare him, O Zarathustra, which grows up like you- tall, silent, hardy, solitary, of the best, supplest wood, stately,-

-In the end, however, grasping out for its dominion with strong, green branches, asking weighty questions of the wind, the storm, and whatever is at home on high places;

-Answering more weightily, a commander, a victor! Oh! who should not ascend high mountains to behold such growths?

At your tree, O Zarathustra, the gloomy and ill-constituted also refresh themselves; at your look even the wavering become steady and heal their hearts.

And verily, towards your mountain and your tree do many eyes turn to-day; a great longing has arisen, and many have learned to ask: 'Who is Zarathustra?'

And those into whose ears you have at any time dripped your song and your honey: all the hidden ones, the lone-dwellers and the twain-dwellers, have simultaneously said to their hearts:

'Do Zarathustra still live? It is no longer worth while to live, everything is indifferent, everything is useless: or else- we must live with Zarathustra!'

'Why does he not come who has so long announced himself?' thus do many people ask; 'has solitude swallowed him up? Or should we perhaps go to him?'

Now does it come to pass that solitude itself becomes fragile and breaks open, like a grave that breaks open and can no longer hold its dead. Everywhere one sees resurrected ones.

Now do the waves rise and rise around your mountain, O Zarathustra. And however high be your height, many of them must rise up to you: your boat shall not rest much longer on dry ground.

And that we despairing ones have now come into your cave, and already no longer despair:- it is but a prognostic and a presage that better ones are on the way to you,-

-For they themselves are on the way to you, the last remnant of God among people- that is to say, all the people of great longing, of great loathing, of great satiety,

-All who do not want to live unless they learn again to hope- unless they learn from you, O Zarathustra, the great hope!"

Thus spoke the king on the right, and seized the hand of Zarathustra in order to kiss it; but Zarathustra checked his veneration, and stepped back frightened, fleeing as it were, silently and suddenly into the far distance. After a little while, however, he was again at home with his guests, looked at them with clear scrutinizing eyes, and said:

"My guests, you higher people, I will speak plain language and plainly with you. It is not for you that I have waited here in these mountains."

("'Plain language and plainly?' Good God!" said here the king on the left to himself; "one sees he does not know the good Occidentals, this sage out of the Orient!

But he means 'blunt language and bluntly'- well! That is not the worst taste in these days!")

"You may, verily, all of you be higher people," continued Zarathustra; "but for me- you are neither high enough, nor strong enough.

For me, that is to say, for the inexorable which is now silent in me, but will not always be silent. And if you appertain to me, still it is not as my right arm.

For he who himself stands, like you, on sickly and tender legs, wishes above all to be treated indulgently, whether he be conscious of it or hide it from himself.

My arms and my legs, however, I do not treat indulgently, I do not treat my warriors indulgently: how then could you be fit for my warfare?

With you I should spoil all my victories. And many of you would tumble over if you but heard the loud beating of my drums.

Moreover, you are not sufficiently beautiful and well-born for me. I require pure, smooth mirrors for my doctrines; on your surface even my own likeness is distorted.

On your shoulders presses many a burden, many a recollection; many a mischievous dwarf squats in your corners. There is concealed rabble also in you.

And though you be high and of a higher type, much in you is crooked and misshapen. There is no smith in the world that could hammer you right and straight for me.

You are only bridges: may higher ones pass over upon you! You signify steps: so do not upbraid him who ascends beyond you into his height!

Out of your seed there may one day arise for me a genuine son and perfect heir: but that time is distant. You yourselves are not those to whom my heritage and name belong.

Not for you do I wait here in these mountains; not with you may I descend for the last time. You have come to me only as a presage that higher ones are on the way to me,-

-Not the people of great longing, of great loathing, of great satiety, and that which you call the remnant of God;

-No! No! Three times No! For others do I wait here in these mountains, and will not lift my foot from thence without them;

-For higher ones, stronger ones, triumphanter ones, merrier ones, for such as are built squarely in body and soul: laughing lions must come!

O my guests, you strange ones- have you yet heard nothing of my children? And that they are on the way to me?

Do speak to me of my gardens, of my Blessed isles, of my new beautiful race- why do you not speak to me thereof?

This guests'- present do I solicit of your love, that you speak to me of my children. For them am I rich, for them I became poor: what have I not surrendered.

What would I not surrender that I might have one thing these children, this living plantation, these life-trees of my will and of my highest hope!"

Thus spoke Zarathustra, and stopped suddenly: for his longing came over him, and he closed his eyes and his mouth, because of the agitation of his heart. And all his guests also were silent, and stood still and confounded: except only that the old soothsayer made signs with his hands and his gestures.


72. The Supper

FOR at this point the soothsayer interrupted the greeting of Zarathustra and his guests: he pressed forward as one who had no time to lose, seized Zarathustra's hand and exclaimed: "But Zarathustra!

One thing is more necessary than the other, so say you yourself: well, one thing is now more necessary to me than all others.

A word at the right time: did you not invite me to table? And here are many who have made long journeys. You do not mean to feed us merely with speeches?

Besides, all of you have thought too much about freezing, drowning, suffocating, and other bodily dangers: none of you, however, have thought of my danger, namely, perishing of hunger-"

(Thus spoke the soothsayer. When Zarathustra's animals, however, heard these words, they ran away in terror. For they saw that all they had brought home during the day would not be enough to fill the one soothsayer.)

"Likewise perishing of thirst," continued the soothsayer. "And although I hear water splashing here like words of wisdom- that is to say, plenteously and unweariedly, I- want wine!

Not every one is a born water-drinker like Zarathustra. Neither does water suit weary and withered ones: we deserve wine- it alone gives immediate vigour and improvised health!"

On this occasion, when the soothsayer was longing for wine, it happened that the king on the left, the silent one, also found expression for once. "We took care," said he, "about wine, I, along with my brother the king on the right: we have enough of wine,- a whole ass-load of it. So there is nothing lacking but bread."

"Bread," replied Zarathustra, laughing when he spoke, "it is precisely bread that hermits have not. But humanity does not live by bread alone, but also by the flesh of good lambs, of which I have two:

-These shall we slaughter quickly, and cook spicily with sage: it is so that I like them. And there is also no lack of roots and fruits, good enough even for the fastidious and dainty,- nor of nuts and other riddles for cracking.

Thus will we have a good repast in a little while. But whoever wishes to eat with us must also give a hand to the work, even the kings. For with Zarathustra even a king may be a cook."

This proposal appealed to the hearts of all of them, save that the voluntary beggar objected to the flesh and wine and spices.

"Just hear this glutton Zarathustra!" said he jokingly: "do one go into caves and high mountains to make such repasts?

Now indeed do I understand what he once taught us: Blessed be moderate poverty!' And why he wishes to do away with beggars."

"Be of good cheer," replied Zarathustra, "as I am. Abide by your customs, you excellent one: grind your corn, drink your water, praise your cooking,- if only it make you glad!

I am a law only for my own; I am not a law for all. Yet he who belongs to me must be strong of bone and light of foot,-

-Joyous in fight and feast, no sulker, no John o' Dreams, ready for the hardest task as for the feast, healthy and hale.

The best belongs to mine and me; and if it be not given us, then do we take it:- the best food, the purest sky, the strongest thoughts, the fairest women!"-

Thus spoke Zarathustra; the king on the right however answered and said: "Strange! Did one ever hear such sensible things out of the mouth of a wise person?

And verily, it is the strangest thing in a wise person, if over and above, he be still sensible, and not an ass."

Thus spoke the king on the right and wondered; the ass however, with ill-will, said ye-A to his remark. This however was the beginning of that long repast which is called "The Supper" in the history-books. At this there was nothing else spoken of but the higher person.


73. The Higher Man

1.

WHEN I came to people for the first time, then did I commit the hermit folly, the great folly: I appeared on the market-place.

And when I spoke to all, I spoke to none. In the evening, however, rope-dancers were my companions, and corpses; and I myself almost a corpse.

With the new morning, however, there came to me a new truth: then did I learn to say: "Of what account to me are market-place and rabble and rabble-noise and long rabble-cars!"

You higher people, learn this from me: On the market-place no one believes in higher people. But if you will speak there, very well! The rabble, however, blinks: "We are all equal."

"You higher people,"- so blinks the rabble- "there are no higher people, we are all equal; humanity is humanity, before God- we are all equal!"

Before God!- Now, however, this God has died. Before the rabble, however, we will not be equal. You higher people, away from the market-place!

2.

Before God!- Now however this God has died! You higher people, this God was your greatest danger.

Only since he lay in the grave have you again arisen. Now only comes the great noontide, now only does the higher personity become- master!

Have you understood this word, O my brothers? You are frightened: do your hearts turn giddy? does the abyss here yawn for you? does the hell-hound here yelp at you?

Well! Take heart! you higher people! Now only travails the mountain of the human future. God has died: now do we desire- the overman to live.

3.

The most careful ask to-day: "How is humanity to be maintained?" Zarathustra however asks, as the first and only one: "How is humanity to be overcome?"

The overman, I have at heart; that is the first and only thing to me- and not humanity: not the neighbour, not the poorest, not the sorriest, not the best.-

O my brothers, what I can love in humanity is that it is an over-going and a down-going. And also in you there is much that makes me love and hope.

In that you have despised, you higher people, that makes me hope. For the great despisers are the great reverers.

In that you have despaired, there is much to honour. For you have not learned to submit yourselves, you have not learned petty policy.

For to-day have the petty people become master: they all preach submission and humility and policy and diligence and consideration and the long et cetera of petty virtues.

Whatever is of the effeminate type, whatever originates from the servile type, and especially the rabble-mishmash:- that wishes now to be master of all human destiny- O disgust! Disgust! Disgust!

That asks and asks and never tires: "How is humanity to maintain itself best, longest, most pleasantly?" Thereby are they the masters of today.

These masters of today- overcome them, O my brothers- these petty people: they are the overman's greatest danger!

Overcome, you higher people, the petty virtues, the petty policy, the sand-grain considerateness, the ant-hill trumpery, the pitiable comfortableness, the "happiness of the greatest number"-!

And rather despair than submit yourselves. And verily, I love you, because you know not today how to live, you higher people! For thus do you live- best!

4.

Have you courage, O my brothers? Are you stout-hearted? Not the courage before witnesses, but hermit and eagle courage, which not even a God any longer beholds?

Cold souls, mules, the blind and the drunken, I do not call stout-hearted. He has heart who knows fear, but vanquishes it; who sees the abyss, but with pride.

He who sees the abyss, but with eagle's eyes,- he who with eagle's talons grasps the abyss: he has courage.

5.

"Humanity is evil"- so said to me for consolation, all the wisest ones. Ah, if only it be still true today! For the evil is humanity's best force.

"Humanity must become better and eviler"- so do I teach. The evilest is necessary for the overman's best.

It may have been well for the preacher of the petty people to suffer and be burdened by people's sin. I, however, rejoice in great sin as my great consolation.-

Such things, however, are not said for long ears. Every word, also, is not suited for every mouth. These are fine far-away things: at them sheep's claws shall not grasp!

6.

You higher people, think you that I am here to put right what you have put wrong?

Or that I wished henceforth to make snugger couches for you sufferers? Or show you restless, miswandering, misclimbing ones, new and easier footpaths?

No! No! Three times No! Always more, always better ones of your type shall perish,- for you shall always have it worse and harder. Thus only-

-Thus only grows humanity aloft to the height where the lightning strikes and shatters it: high enough for the lightning!

Towards the few, the long, the remote go forth my soul and my seeking: of what account to me are your many little, short miseries!

You do not yet suffer enough for me! For you suffer from yourselves, you have not yet suffered from humanity. You would lie if you spoke otherwise! None of you suffers from what I have suffered.

7.

It is not enough for me that the lightning no longer does harm. I do not wish to conduct it away: it shall learn- to work for me.-

My wisdom has accumulated long like a cloud, it becomes stiller and darker. So does all wisdom which shall one day bear lightnings.-

To these people of today will I not be light, nor be called light. Them- will I blind: lightning of my wisdom! put out their eyes!

8.

Do not will anything beyond your power: there is a bad falseness in those who will beyond their power.

Especially when they will great things! For they awaken distrust in great things, these subtle false-coiners and stage-players:-

-Until at last they are false towards themselves, squint-eyed, whited cankers, glossed over with strong words, parade virtues and brilliant false deeds.

Take good care there, you higher people! For nothing is more precious to me, and rarer, than honesty.

Is this today not that of the rabble? The rabble however knows not what is great and what is small, what is straight and what is honest: it is innocently crooked, it ever lies.

9.

Have a good distrust today you, higher people, you enheartened ones! You open-hearted ones! And keep your reasons secret! For this today is that of the rabble.

What the rabble once learned to believe without reasons, who could- refute it to them by means of reasons?

And on the market-place one convinces with gestures. But reasons make the rabble distrustful.

And when truth has once triumphed there, then ask yourselves with good distrust: "What strong error has fought for it?"

Be on your guard also against the learned! They hate you, because they are unproductive! They have cold, withered eyes before which every bird is unplumed.

Such persons vaunt about not lying: but inability to lie is still far from being love to truth. Be on your guard!

Freedom from fever is still far from being knowledge! Refrigerated spirits I do not believe in. He who cannot lie, does not know what truth is.

10.

If you would go up high, then use your own legs! Do not get yourselves carried aloft; do not seat yourselves on other people's backs and heads!

You have mounted, however, on horseback? you now ride briskly up to your goal? Well, my friend! But your lame foot is also with you on horseback!

When you reach your goal, when you alight from your horse: precisely on your height, you higher personity,- then will you stumble!

11.

You creators, you higher people! One is only pregnant with one's own child.

Do not let yourselves be imposed upon or put upon! Who then is your neighbour? Even if you act "for your neighbour"- you still do not create for him!

Unlearn, I pray you, this "for," you creators: your very virtue wishes you to have naught to do with "for" and "on account of" and "because." Against these false little words shall you stop your ears.

"For one's neighbour," is the virtue only of the petty people: there it is said "like and like," and "hand washes hand":- they have neither the right nor the power for your self-seeking!

In your self-seeking, you creators, there is the foresight and foreseeing of the pregnant! What no one's eye has yet seen, namely, the fruit- this, shelters and saves and nourishes your entire love.

Where your entire love is, namely, with your child, there is also your entire virtue! Your work, your will is your "neighbour": let no false values impose upon you!

12.

You creators, you higher people! Whoever has to give birth is sick; whoever has given birth, however, is unclean.

Ask women: one gives birth, not because it gives pleasure. The pain makes hens and poets cackle.

You creators, in you there is much uncleanliness. That is because you have had to be mothers.

A new child: oh, how much new filth has also come into the world! Go apart! He who has given birth shall wash his soul!

13.

Be not virtuous beyond your powers! And seek nothing from yourselves opposed to probability!

Walk in the footsteps in which your fathers' virtue has already walked! How would you rise high, if your fathers' will should not rise with you?

Yet he who would be a firstling, let him take care lest he also become a lastling! And where the vices of your fathers are, there should you not set up as saints!

He whose fathers were inclined for women, and for strong wine and flesh of wildboar swine; what would it be if he demanded chastity of himself?

A folly would it be! Much, verily, does it seem to me for such a one, if he should be the husband of one or of two or of three women.

And if he founded monasteries, and inscribed over their portals: "The way to holiness,"- I should still say: What good is it! it is a new folly!

He has founded for himself a penance-house and refuge-house: much good may it do! But I do not believe in it.

In solitude there grows what any one brings into it- also the brute in one's nature. Thus is solitude inadvisable to many.

Has there ever been anything filthier on earth than the saints of the wilderness? Around them was not only the devil loose- but also the swine.

14.

Shy, ashamed, awkward, like the tiger whose spring has failed- thus, you higher people, have I often seen you slink aside. A cast which you made had failed.

But what does it matter, you dice-players! You had not learned to play and mock, as one must play and mock! Do we not ever sit at a great table of mocking and playing?

And if great things have been a failure with you, have you yourselves therefore- been a failure? And if you yourselves have been a failure, has humanity therefore- been a failure? If humanity, however, has been a failure: well then! never mind!

15.

The higher its type, always the seldomer does a thing succeed. You higher people here, have you not all- been failures?

Be of good cheer; what does it matter? How much is still possible! Learn to laugh at yourselves, as you ought to laugh!

What wonder even that you have failed and only half-succeeded, you half-shattered ones! Do not- humanity's future strive and struggle in you?

Humanity's furthest, profoundest, star-highest issues, its prodigious powers- do not all these foam through one another in your vessel?

What wonder that many a vessel shatters! Learn to laugh at yourselves, as you ought to laugh! You higher people, Oh, how much is still possible!

And verily, how much has already succeeded! How rich is this earth in small, good, perfect things, in well-constituted things!

Set around you small, good, perfect things, you higher people. Their golden maturity heals the heart. The perfect teaches one to hope.

16.

What has hereto been the greatest sin here on earth? Was it not the word of him who said: "Woe to them that laugh now!"

Did he himself find no cause for laughter on the earth? Then he sought badly. A child even finds cause for it.

He- did not love sufficiently: otherwise would he also have loved us, the laughing ones! But he hated and hooted us; wailing and teeth-gnashing did he promise us.

Must one then curse immediately, when one does not love? That- seems to me bad taste. Thus did he, however, this absolute one. He sprang from the rabble.

And he himself just did not love sufficiently; otherwise would he have raged less because people did not love him. All great love does not seek love:- it seeks more.

Go out of the way of all such absolute ones! They are a poor sickly type, a rabble-type: they look at this life with ill-will, they have an evil eye for this earth.

Go out of the way of all such absolute ones! They have heavy feet and sultry hearts:- they do not know how to dance. How could the earth be light to such ones!

17.

Tortuously do all good things come nigh to their goal. Like cats they curve their backs, they purr inwardly with their approaching happiness,- all good things laugh.

His step betrays whether a person already walks on his own path: just see me walk! Yet he who comes nigh to his goal, dances.

And verily, a statue have I not become, not yet do I stand there stiff, stupid and stony, like a pillar; I love fast racing.

And though there be on earth fens and dense afflictions, he who has light feet runs even across the mud, and dances, as upon well-swept ice.

Lift up your hearts, my brothers, high, higher! And do not forget your legs! Lift up also your legs, you good dancers, and better still, if you stand upon your heads!

18.

This crown of the laughter, this rose-garland crown: I myself have put on this crown, I myself have consecrated my laughter. No one else have I found to-day potent enough for this.

Zarathustra the dancer, Zarathustra the light one, who beckons with his pinions, one ready for flight, beckoning to all birds, ready and prepared, a blissfully light-spirited one:-

Zarathustra the soothsayer, Zarathustra the sooth-laugher, no impatient one, no absolute one, one who loves leaps and side-leaps; I myself have put on this crown!

19.

Lift up your hearts, my brothers, high, higher! And do not forget your legs! Lift up also your legs, you good dancers, and better still if you stand upon your heads!


There are also heavy animals in a state of happiness, there are club-footed ones from the beginning. Curiously do they exert themselves, like an elephant which endeavors to stand upon its head.

Better, however, to be foolish with happiness than foolish with misfortune, better to dance awkwardly than walk lamely. So learn, I pray you, my wisdom, you higher people: even the worst thing has two good reverse sides,-

-Even the worst thing has good dancing-legs: so learn, I pray you, you higher people, to put yourselves on your proper legs!

So unlearn, I pray you, the sorrow-sighing, and all the rabble-sadness! Oh, how sad the fools of the rabble seem to me today! This today, however, is that of the rabble.

20.

Do like to the wind when it rushes forth from its mountain-caves: to its own piping will it dance; the seas tremble and leap under its footsteps.

That which gives wings to asses, that which milks the lionesses:- praised be that good, unruly spirit, which comes like a hurricane to all the present and to all the rabble,-

-Which is hostile to thistle-heads and puzzle-heads, and to all withered leaves and weeds:- praised be this wild, good, free spirit of the storm, which dances upon fens and afflictions, as upon meadows!

Which hates the consumptive rabble-dogs, and all the ill-constituted, sullen brood:- praised be this spirit of all free spirits, the laughing storm, which blows dust into the eyes of all the melanopic and melancholic!

You higher people, the worst thing in you is that you have none of you learned to dance as you ought to dance- to dance beyond yourselves! What does it matter that you have failed!

How many things are still possible! So learn to laugh beyond yourselves! Lift up your hearts, you good dancers, high! higher! And do not forget the good laughter!

This crown of the laughter, this rose-garland crown: to you, my brothers, do I cast this crown! Laughing have I consecrated; you higher people, learn, I pray you- to laugh!


74. The Song of Melancholy

1.

WHEN Zarathustra spoke these sayings, he stood nigh to the entrance of his cave; with the last words, however, he slipped away from his guests, and fled for a little while into the open air.

"O pure odours around me," cried he, "O blessed stillness around me! But where are my animals? Here, here, my eagle and my serpent!

Tell me, my animals: these higher people, all of them- do they perhaps not smell well? O pure odours around me! Now only do I know and feel how I love you, my animals."

-And Zarathustra said once more: "I love you, my animals!" The eagle, however, and the serpent pressed close to him when he spoke these words, and looked up to him. In this attitude were they all three silent together, and sniffed and sipped the good air with one another. For the air here outside was better than with the higher people.

2.

Hardly, however, had Zarathustra left the cave when the old magician got up, looked cunningly about him, and said: "He is gone!

And already, you higher people- let me tickle you with this complimentary and flattering name, as he himself does- already does my evil spirit of deceit and magic attack me, my melancholy devil,

-Which is an adversary to this Zarathustra from the very heart: forgive it for this! Now does it wish to beseech before you, it has just its hour; in vain do I struggle with this evil spirit.

To all of you, whatever honours you like to assume in your names, whether you call yourselves 'the free spirits' or 'the conscientious,' or 'the penitents of the spirit,' or 'the unfettered,' or 'the great longers,'-

-To all of you, who like me suffer from the great loathing, to whom the old God has died, and as yet no new God lies in cradles and swaddling clothes- to all of you is my evil spirit and magic-devil favourable.

I know you, you higher people, I know him,- I know also this fiend whom I love in spite of me, this Zarathustra: he himself often seems to me like the beautiful mask of a saint,

-Like a new strange mummery in which my evil spirit, the melancholy devil, delights:- I love Zarathustra, so does it often seem to me, for the sake of my evil spirit.-

But already does it attack me and constrain me, this spirit of melancholy, this evening-twilight devil: and verily, you higher people, it has a longing-

-Open your eyes!- it has a longing to come naked, whether male or female, I do not yet know: but it comes, it constrains me, alas! open your wits!

The day dies out, to all things comes now the evening, also to the best things; hear now, and see, you higher people, what devil- man or woman- this spirit of evening-melancholy is!"

Thus spoke the old magician, looked cunningly about him, and then seized his harp.

3.

In evening's limpid air,
What time the dew's soothings
To the earth downpour,
Invisibly and unheard-
For tender shoe-gear wear
The soothing dews, like all that's kind-gentle-:
Thinks you then, thinks you, burning heart,
How once you thirsted
For heaven's kindly teardrops and dew's down-droppings,
All singed and weary thirsted,
What time on yellow grass-pathways
Wicked, occidental sunny glances
Through sombre trees about you sported,
Blindingly sunny glow-glances, gladly-hurting?

"Of truth the wooer? You?"- so taunted they-
"No! Merely poet!
A brute insidious, plundering, grovelling,
That yes must lie,
That wittingly, wilfully, yes must lie:
For booty lusting,
Motley masked,
Self-hidden, shrouded,
Himself his booty-
He- of truth the wooer?
No! Mere fool! Mere poet!
Just motley speaking,
From mask of fool confusedly shouting,
Circumambling on fabricated word-bridges,
On motley rainbow-arches,
'Twixt the spurious heavenly,
And spurious earthly,
Round us roving, round us soaring,-
Mere fool! Mere poet!

He- of truth the wooer?
Not still, stiff, smooth and cold,
Become an image,
A godlike statue,
Set up in front of temples,
As a God's own door-guard:
No! hostile to all such truthfulness-statues,
In every desert homelier than at temples,
With cattish wantonness,
Through every window leaping
Quickly into chances,

Every wild forest a-sniffing,
Greedily-longingly, sniffing,
That you, in wild forests,
'Mong the motley-speckled fierce creatures,
Shouldest rove, sinful-sound and fine-coloured,
With longing lips smacking,
Blessedly mocking, blessedly hellish, blessedly blood-thirsty,
Robbing, skulking, lying- roving:-

Or to eagles like which fixedly,
Long adown the precipice look,
Adown their precipice:- -
Oh, how they whirl down now,
Thereunder, therein,
To ever deeper profoundness whirling!-
Then,
Sudden,
With aim aright,
With quivering flight,
On lambkins pouncing,
Headlong down, sore-hungry,
For lambkins longing,
Fierce 'gainst all lamb-spirits,
Furious-fierce all that look
Sheeplike, or lambeyed, or crisp-woolly,
-Grey, with lambsheep kindliness!

Even thus,
Eagle-like, panther-like,
Are the poet's desires,
Are your own desires 'neath a thousand guises.
You fool! you poet!
You who all mankind viewed-
So God, as sheep-:
The God to rend within mankind,
As the sheep in mankind,
And in rending laughing-

That, that is your own blessedness!
Of a panther and eagle- blessedness!
Of a poet and fool- the blessedness!

In evening's limpid air,
What time the moon's sickle,
Green, 'twixt the purple-glowings,
And jealous, steal'th forth:
-Of day the foe,
With every step in secret,
The rosy garland-hammocks
Downsickling, till they've sunken
Down nightwards, faded, downsunken:-

Thus had I sunken one day
From mine own truth-insanity,
From mine own fervid day-longings,
Of day aweary, sick of sunshine,
-Sunk downwards, evenwards, shadowwards:
By one sole trueness
All scorched and thirsty:
-Thinks you still, thinks you, burning heart,
How then you thirsted?-
That I should banned be
From all the trueness!
Mere fool! Mere poet!


75. Science

THUS sang the magician; and all who were present went like birds unawares into the net of his artful and melancholy voluptuousness. Only the spiritually conscientious one had not been caught: he at once snatched the harp from the magician and called out: "Air! Let in good air! Let in Zarathustra! you make this cave sultry and poisonous, you bad old magician!

You seduce, you false one, you subtle one, to unknown desires and deserts. And alas, that such as you should talk and make ado about the truth!

Alas, to all free spirits who are not on their guard against such magicians! It is all over with their freedom: you teach and tempt back into prisons,-

-You old melancholy devil, out of your lament sounds a lurement: you resemble those who with their praise of chastity secretly invite to voluptuousness!

Thus spoke the conscientious one; the old magician, however, looked about him, enjoying his triumph, and on that account put up with the annoyance which the conscientious one caused him. "Be still!" said he with modest voice, "good songs want to re-echo well; after good songs one should be long silent.

Thus do all those present, the higher people. You, however, have perhaps understood but little of my song? In you there is little of the magic spirit.

"You praise me," replied the conscientious one, "in that you separate me from yourself; very well! But, you others, what do I see? You still sit there, all of you, with lusting eyes-:

You free spirits, where has your freedom gone! You almost seem to me to resemble those who have long looked at bad girls dancing naked: your souls themselves dance!

In you, you higher people, there must be more of that which the magician calls his evil spirit of magic and deceit:- we must indeed be different.

And verily, we spoke and thought long enough together before. Zarathustra came home to his cave, for me not to be unaware that we are different.

We seek different things even here aloft, you and I. For I seek more security; on that account have I come to Zarathustra. For he is still the most steadfast tower and will-

-Today, when everything totters, when all the earth quakes. You, however, when I see what eyes you make, it almost seems to me that you seek more insecurity,

-More horror, more danger, more earthquake. You long (it almost seems so to me- forgive my presumption, you higher people)-

-You long for the worst and most dangerous life, which frightens me most, for the life of wild beasts, for forests, caves, steep mountains and labyrinthine gorges.

And it is not those who lead out of danger that please you best, but those who lead you away from all paths, the misleaders. But if such longing in you be actual, it seems to me nevertheless to be impossible.

For fear- that is humanity's original and fundamental feeling; through fear everything is explained, original sin and original virtue. Through fear there grew also my virtue, that is to say: Science.

For fear of wild animals- that has been longest fostered in humanity, inclusive of the animal which it conceals and fears in itself:- Zarathustra calls it 'the beast inside.'

Such prolonged ancient fear, at last become subtle, spiritual and intellectual- at present, me thinks, it is called Science."

Thus spoke the conscientious one; but Zarathustra, who had just come back into his cave and had heard and divined the last conversation, threw a handful of roses to the conscientious one, and laughed on account of his "truths." "Why!" he exclaimed, "what did I hear just now? it seems to me, you are a fool, or else I myself am one: and quietly and quickly will I Put your 'truth' upside down.

For fear- is an exception with us. Courage, however, and adventure, and delight in the uncertain, in the unattempted- courage seems to me the entire primitive history of humanity.

The wildest and most courageous animals has it envied and robbed of all their virtues: thus only did it become humanity.

This courage, at last become subtle, spiritual and intellectual, this human courage, with eagle's pinions and serpent's wisdom: this, it seems to me, is called at present-"

"Zarathustra!" cried all of them there assembled, as if with one voice, and burst out at the same time into a great laughter; there arose, however, from them as it were a heavy cloud. Even the magician laughed, and said wisely: "Well! It is gone, my evil spirit!

And did I not myself warn you against it when I said that it was a deceiver, a lying and deceiving spirit?

Especially when it shows itself naked. But what can I do with regard to its tricks! Have I created it and the world?

Well! Let us be good again, and of good cheer! And although Zarathustra looks with evil eye- just see him! he dislikes me-:

-Ere night comes will he again learn to love and laud me; he cannot live long without committing such follies.

He- loves his enemies: this art knows he better than any one I have seen. But he takes revenge for it- on his friends!"

Thus spoke the old magician, and the higher people applauded him; so that Zarathustra went round, and mischievously and lovingly shook hands with his friends,- like one who has to make amends and apologise to every one for something. When however he had thereby come to the door of his cave, lo, then had he again a longing for the good air outside, and for his animals,- and wished to steal out.


» Top


» Next section: Part 4d. Discourses 76-80

» Suggested prior reading: Friedrich Nietzsche

» Site Contents


Search Our Site: