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V "Thus Spake Zarathustra"
He student of Nietzsche can well afford to leave the reading of "Thus Spake Zarathustra" ("Also Sprach Zarathustra") until he has prepared himself for the task by studying Nietzsche's other and less obscure books. In both its conception and execution it differs markedly from all the works which preceded and followed it. It is written in an archaic and poetical style, and in many places is purposely obscure. Nietzsche did not intend it for the general public, and the fourth part was not published until seven years after its completion. It would have been better had "Zarathustra" been withheld from the presses until Nietzsche's other works had gained a wider recognition, for it unfortunately lays itself open to all manner of misunderstanding and misinterpretation. In fact, it is impossible to read "Thus Spake Zarathustra" comprehendingly until several of the other books of this philosopher, such as "The Dawn of Day," "The Genealogy of Morals" and "Beyond Good and Evil," have been consumed and assimilated.

Unfortunately this book, because of the attractive medium of its style, was one of the first to fall into the hands of English speaking people. For many years it was the principal source of the many false accusations against Nietzsche which gained wide circulation. The figures of speech contained in it and the numerous parables which are used to set forth its ideas lend themselves[Pg 134] all too easily to falsities of judgment and erroneous evaluations. Reading the book unpreparedly one may find what appear to be unexplainable contradictions and ethical sophistries. Above all, one may wrongly sense the absence of that higher ethical virtue which is denied Nietzsche in quarters where he is least understood, but which every close student of his works knows to form the basis of his thought.

Nietzsche began the writing of "Thus Spake Zarathustra" early in the year 1883, and he did not finish it until the middle of February, 1885. The actual conception of the book came much before this time even, as far back as the summer of 1881. This is when the idea of eternal recurrence first took possession of him. At once he began making notes, using this idea as the basis of Zarathustra's teachings. At this time Nietzsche was just recovering from a siege of ill health which had extended over many years, and no doubt the buoyant and rhapsodic form in which he conceived this work was due to his sudden acquisition of bodily health. The first part was written in ten days, the second part a few months later, and the third part in the autumn of the same year. But it was not until after a lapse of eighteen months that the fourth and last section was completed. Because of this long interval we see a radical difference between the first three parts of the book and the last part. The language remains very much the same throughout—spectacular, poetic and symbolic—but the form is changed. The epigrammatic and non-sequacious mandates give way to a long connected parable. The psalmodie brevity of the utterances of the first three sections is supplanted by description and narrative. A story runs through the entire fourth part; and it is in[Pg 135] the obscurities of this fable, rather than in any specific statements, that we must seek the gist of Nietzsche's doctrines. This would be an impossible task were we not more or less familiar with his other books. Yet, once we understand the general trend of his thought, we can penetrate at once to the meanings hidden in the fantastic divagations of his story and can understand the dithyrambic utterances of both Zarathustra and the "higher men" in the cave.

"Thus Spake Zarathustra" is unique for the reason that there are few points in Nietzsche's system of ethic -and for the most part they are the unimportant ones—which we cannot find somewhere in its pages. But do not think that one can grasp an idea of the sweep of his entire thought merely by reading this book. Even in the most simply worded and most lucidly phrased passages one would find difficulty in following the steps in his philosophy, unless there had been considerable preparatory study. To be sure, there are numerous isolated epigrams and bits of observation which are easily understood, but their mere isolation very often robs them of the true meaning they hold when related to the other precepts. The very literalness with which these passages have been taken by those who have read "Zarathustra" before studying any of the other works of Nietzsche, accounts in a large measure for the ignorance in which he is held even by those who profess to have read him and understood him. A philosophy such as his, the outposts of which are so far removed from the routine of our present social life, is naturally hampered by the restricted connotation of current words—even those technical words used to express abstract and infinite things. For this reason it is inevitable that false meanings should[Pg 136] attach to many of his statements, and that misunderstandings should arise in quarters where there does not exist a previous general knowledge of the co-ordinated structure of his teachings. This general knowledge cannot be gained from "Thus Spake Zarathustra." Many of its pages are entirely without significance to the reader not already acquainted with Nietzsche's thought. And much of its nomenclature is meaningless without the explanations to be found in the main body of his work.

For the reader, however, who picks up this book after having equipped himself for an understanding of it, there is much of fascination and stimulation. Nietzsche regarded it as his most intimate and personal, and therefore his most important, work. He even had plans for two more parts which were to be included in it. But these were never finished. The indifference with which the book was received, even by those on whose sympathy and understanding he had most counted, reacted unfavourably upon him. It is nevertheless, just as it stands, one of the most remarkable pieces of philosophic literature of modern times. Its form alone makes it unique. Instead of stating his beliefs directly and without circumlocution, as was always his method both before and after the writing of this book, Nietzsche chose for his mouthpiece a poet and philosopher borrowed from the Persians, namely: Zoroaster. This sage of the ancients was used as a symbol of the higher man. Into his mouth were put Nietzsche's own ideas in the form of parables, admonitions, exhortations and discourses. The wanderings and experiences of this Zoroaster are chronicled, and each event in his life embodies a meaning in direct accord with the Nietzschean system of conduct.

Because of the Persian origin of Zoroaster one might[Pg 137] imagine that influences of Persian philosophy would be discoverable in the teachings of this nomadic poet. But with the name all similarity between the spokesman and his doctrines ends. Nietzsche's choice of Zoroaster as his mouthpiece grew out of his early admiration for the Persians who, he declared, "were the first to take a broad and comprehensive view of history." As we see Zoroaster in this book we recognise him at once as none other than Nietzsche himself; and the experiences through which he goes in his wanderings are but picturesquely stated accounts of Nietzsche's own sufferings, raptures, aspirations and disappointments. To those familiar with Nietzsche's life, many of the characters introduced in the book will be recognised as portraitures of men whose lives crossed that of the philosopher. Likewise, many of the parables and fables are thinly disguised accounts of the incidents in his own life. In the last part of the book we find Nietzsche creating a fantastic poet to represent Wagner, and holding him up to severe and uncompromising criticism.

Zoroaster, as he appears in this book, is an itinerant law-giver and prophet who seeks the waste places of the earth, the mountains, plains and sea shores, avoiding mankind and carrying with him two symbolic animals, an eagle and a snake. At the end of his wanderings he discovers a lion which is for him the sign that his journey is drawing to a close, for this lion represents all that is best and most powerful in nature. The book is comprised of the discourses and sermons which Zoroaster delivers from day to day to the occasional disciples and unbelievers who cross the path of his wanderings. There are conversations between him and his accompanying animals; and in the last part of the book he gathers together[Pg 138] in his cave a number of men representing types of the higher man and talks with them. In all his discourses he makes use of a rhapsodic and poetic style, not unlike that found in the Psalms of David. The text telling of Zoroaster's wanderings and experiences is cast in the manner of the early religious books of the Orientals.

"Thus Spake Zarathustra" was the first book to follow "Human, All-Too-Human," "The Dawn of Day" and "The Joyful Wisdom," and many of Nietzsche's constructive ideas are presented here for the first time. Part I is more lucid and can be more easily understood than the parts which follow. In it Nietzsche designates the classes of humanity and differentiates between them. His three famous metamorphoses of the spirit—symbolised by the camel, the lion and the child—are stated and explained. Here we find the philosopher's most widely quoted passages pertaining to marriage and child-bearing; his doctrine of war and peace; and those passages wherein he reverses the beatitudes. The passions and preferences of the individual are criticised in their relation to the higher man, and the more obvious instincts are analysed. Nietzsche outlines methods of conduct, and dissects the actions and attitudes of his disciples, praising them or blaming them in accordance with his own values. He presents an illuminating analysis of charity, and outlines in his chapter, "The Bestowing Virtue," the conditions under which it may become a means to existence. He poses the problem of relative morality, and suggests the lines along which his thesis will be developed at a later date. The superman is defined briefly but with a completeness sufficient for us to sense his relation to the philosophical scheme of which he is a part. The conception of the superman was founded on[Pg 139] Darwin's doctrine of organic evolution, and Nietzsche seeks to bring this superman about by the application of the law of natural selection and by giving the law of the survival of the fittest an open field for operation. Here, too, we have the statement of Nietzsche's racial ideal: the highest exemplars of the race, and not a standardized goal, is the aim of his philosophy.

In Part II the doctrine of the will to power is clearly set forth in its framework. The chapter wherein this appears—"Self-Surpassing"—is merely a brief exposition founded on observation. The development of this idea is not to be found until toward the end of Nietzsche's life; but that the theory was clearly conceived in his mind is evidenced by the fact that it is constantly being applied throughout the remainder of his works. In its present form it is no more than a statement, but so clearly is it presented that one is able to grasp its significance and to determine in just what manner it differed from the Darwinian and Spencerian doctrines. In this same section are contained many personal chapters, including an excoriation of his early critics, a comparison between himself and Schopenhauer, an account of his early anti-scholastic warfare, a criticism of modern scientific methods, a reference to his friendship with Wagner, and an expression of regret at the misunderstanding which greeted his earlier works. One of the final chapters offers a definition of "profundity" which goes deep into the very undercurrents of his philosophy.

The most important material to be found in the book is encountered in Part III. Under the caption, "The Old and the New Tables," we have an important summing up of the principal teachings in the Nietzschean philosophical scheme. Here also we meet the doctrine[Pg 140] of eternal recurrence which, as I have said, generated the conception of this book. Its present statement is limited to a few tentative speculations; later on it was developed and set forth with greater force and certainty. But despite the fact that in his autobiography Nietzsche calls this speculative philosophic doctrine "the highest of all possible formul? of a Yea-saying philosophy," too much importance must not be attached to it in its relation to his writings. In the first place it was by no means new with him: he himself reconnoitred a bit in one of his early essays looking for its possible origin. And in the second place it had little influence on his main doctrine of the superman. Although he spent considerable time and space in its elucidation, it never became an integral part of any of his teachings. Rather was it something superimposed on his other formul?—a condition introduced into the actualities of his conception of the universe. I am inclined to think that he flirted with this idea of recurrence largely because it was the most disheartening obstacle he could conceive in the path of the superman; and as no obstacle was too great to be faced triumphantly by this man of the future, he imposed this condition of eternal recurrence upon him as an ultimate test of fortitude. This idea would have added the final touch of futility to ambition, and Nietzsche could not conceive of true greatness in man unless futility was at the bottom of all ambitions. However, it is possible to eliminate the entire idea of eternal recurrence from Nietzsche's work without altering fundamentally any of his main teachings, for it is, in his very conception of it, a deputy condition of existence.

Part IV, the narrative section, answers the query often raised: For whom is Nietzsche's philosophy intended?[Pg 141] It does away once and for all with the assumption of certain critics that his writings were for all classes. In fact, this assumption, constantly posited by scholars—even those who claim to possess an intimate knowledge of Nietzsche's work—is nowhere borne out in his text. As far back as "Thoughts out of Season" the reverse of this supposition was inferentially stated; and in "The Antichrist" and "The Will to Power" we have definite denials that his doctrines were intended for every one. Yet one is constantly encountering critical refutations of his philosophy based on the theory that he addressed his teachings to all men. Nothing could be further from the truth. He held no vision of a race of supermen: a millennium founded on the exertion of power was neither his aim nor his hope. His philosophy was entirely aristocratic. It was a system of ethics designed for the masters of the race; and his books were gifts for the intelligent man alone. Locke, Rousseau and Hume are often brought forward by critics as answers to his attempts at transvaluation; but a close inspection of Nietzsche's definition of slave-morality, which was an important factor in his ethical scheme, will show that it is possible to accept the philosophy of the superman without abrogating the softer ethics of these three other thinkers. Nietzsche's stand in regard to his audience is made obvious in the fable of Zarathustra. The poet-philosopher experiences the instinct for pity, but on going out into the world, he recognises this instinct as pertaining only to the "higher men." When he finds numerous of these men in danger from the ignorance of the populace and from the restrictions of environment, he leads them to his cave, and there, isolated from the inferior man, discourses with them on the problems of life and points out to them the[Pg 142] course they must take in order to bring about the superman.

Because of the nature of the book it is extremely difficult to select detached passages from it which will give an entirely adequate idea of its contents. Often a single philosophical point will be contained in a long parable, and the only way to present that point in Nietzsche's own words would have been to embody the whole parable in this chapter. That, of course, would have been impossible. Therefore, many of the ideas set forth in the book have not been included in the following excerpts. Part IV does not lend itself at all to mutilation, and I have been unable to take anything save a few general passages from this section. However, "Thus Spake Zarathustra" is not a book to which one should go to become familiar with Nietzsche's teachings. When one sits down to read it, my advice is that the notes of Mr. Anthony M. Ludovici which are to be found in the appendix of the standard English edition, be followed closely.


I teach you the Superman... Man is something that is to be surpassed. 6

What is the ape to man? A laughing-stock, a thing of shame. And just the same shall man be to the Superman: a laughing-stock, a thing of shame. 6

Ye have made your way from the worm to man, and much within you is still worm. Once were ye apes, and even yet man is more of an ape than any of the apes. 7

I conjure you, my brethren, remain true to the earth. and believe not those who speak unto you of super-earthly hopes! Poisoners are they, whether they know it or not. 7

[Pg 143]

To blaspheme the earth is now the dreadfulest sin.... 7

Man is a rope stretched between the animal and the Superman—a rope over an abyss. 9

What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal.... 9

I tell you: one must still have chaos in one, to give birth to a dancing star.... 12

Three metamorphoses of the spirit do I designate to you: how the spirit becometh a camel, the camel a lion, and the lion at last a child.

Many heavy things are there for the spirit, the strong load-bearing spirit in which reverence dwelleth: for the heavy and the heaviest longeth its strength.

What is heavy? so asketh the load-bearing spirit; then kneeleth it down like the camel, and wanteth to be well laden.

What is the heaviest thing, ye heroes? asketh the load-bearing spirit, that I may take it upon me and rejoice in my strength.

Is it not this: To humiliate oneself in order to mortify one's pride? To exhibit one's folly in order to mock at one's wisdom?

Or is it this: To desert our cause when it celebrateth its triumph? To ascend high mountains to tempt the tempter?

Or is it this: To feed on the acorns and grass of knowledge, and for the sake of truth to suffer hunger of soul?

Or is it this: To be sick and dismiss comforters, and make friends of the deaf, who never hear thy requests?

Or is it this: To go into foul water when it is the water of truth, and not disclaim cold frogs and hot toads?

[Pg 144]

Or is it this: To love those who despise us, and give one's hand to the phantom when it is going to frighten us?

All these heaviest things the load-bearing spirit taketh upon itself: and like the camel, which, when laden, hasteneth into the wilderness, so hasteneth the spirit into its wilderness.

But in the loneliest wilderness happeneth the second metamorphosis: here the spirit becometh a lion; freedom will it capture, and lordship in its own wilderness.

Its last Lord it here seeketh: hostile will it be to him, and to its last God; for victory will it struggle with the great dragon.

What is the great dragon which the spirit is no longer inclined to call Lord and God? "Thou shalt," is the great dragon called. But the spirit of the lion saith, "I will."

"Thou shalt," lieth in its path, sparkling with gold—a scale-covered beast; and on every scale glittereth golden, "Thou shalt!"

The values of a thousand years glitter on those scales, and thus speaketh the mightiest of all dragons: "All the values of things—glitter on me."

"All values have already been created, and all created values—do I represent. Verily, there shall be no 'I will' any more." Thus speaketh the dragon.

My brethren, wherefore is there need of the lion in the spirit? Why sufficeth not the beast of burden, which renounceth and is reverent?

To create new values—that, even the lion cannot yet accomplish: but to create itself freedom for new creating—that can the might of the lion do.

To create itself freedom, and give a holy Nay even[Pg 145] unto duty: for that, my brethren, there is need of the lion.

To assume the right to new values—that is the most formidable assumption for a load-bearing and reverent spirit. Verily, unto such a spirit it is preying, and the work of a beast of prey.

As its holiest, it once loved "Thou shalt": now is it forced to find illusion and arbitrariness even in the holiest things, that it may capture freedom from its love: the lion is needed for this capture.

But tell me, my brethren, what the child can do, which even the lion could not do? Why hath the preying lion still to become a child?

Innocence is the child, and forgetfulness, a new beginning, a game, a self-rolling wheel, a first movement, a holy Yea.

Aye, for the game of creating, my brethren, there is needed a holy Yea unto life: its own will, willeth now the spirit; his own world winneth the world's outcast.

Three metamorphoses of the spirit have I designated to you: how the spirit became a camel, the camel a lion, and the lion at last a child. 25-27

A new pride ... teach I unto men: no longer to thrust the head into the sand of celestial things, but to carry it freely, a terrestrial head, which giveth meaning to the earth!

A new will teach I unto men: to choose that path which man hath followed blindly, and to approve of it—and no longer to slink aside from it, like the sick and perishing!

The sick and perishing—it was they who despised the body and the earth, and invented the heavenly world, and the redeeming blood-drops; but even those sweet and[Pg 146] sad poisons they borrowed from the body and the earth! 33-34

The awakened one, the knowing one, saith: "Body am I entirely, and nothing more; and soul is only the name of something in the body." 35

The body is a big sagacity, a plurality with one sense, a war and a peace, a flock and a shepherd.

An instrument of thy body is also thy little sagacity, my brother, which thou callest "spirit"—a little instrument and plaything of thy big sagacity.

Instruments and playthings are sense and spirit: behind them there is still the Self. The Self seeketh with the eyes of the senses, it hearkeneth also with the ears of the spirit. 36

Behind thy thoughts and feelings, my brother, there is a mighty lord, an unknown sage—it is called Self; it dwelleth in thy body, it is thy body. 36

When thou hast a virtue, and it is thine own virtue, thou hast it in common with no one. 38

If thou be fortunate, then wilt thou have one virtue and no more: thus goest thou easier over the bridge. 39

"Enemy" shall ye say but not "villain," "invalid" shall ye say but not "wretch," "fool" shall ye say but not "sinner." 41

Of all that is written, I love only what a person hath written with his blood. Write with blood, and thou wilt find that blood is spirit. 43

Ye look aloft when ye long for exaltation; and I look downward because I am exalted.

Who among you can at the same time laugh and be exalted?

He who climbeth on the highest mountains, laugheth at all tragic plays and tragic realities.

[Pg 147]

Courageous, unconcerned, scornful, coercive—so wisdom wisheth us; she is a woman, and ever loveth a warrior. 44

It is true we love life; not because we are wont to live, but because we are wont to love. 44

I should only believe in a God that would know how to dance.

Not by wrath, but by laughter, do we slay. Come, let us slay the spirit of gravity! 45

Full is the earth of the superfluous; marred is life by the many-too-many. May they be decoyed out of this life by the "life eternal"! 49

Ye are not great enough not to know of hatred and envy. Then be great enough not to be ashamed of them! 51

Ye shall love peace as a means to new wars—and the short peace more than the long.

You I advise not to work, but to fight. You, I advise not to peace, but to victory. Let your work be a fight, let your peace be a victory! 52

Ye say it is the good cause which halloweth even war? I say unto you: it is the good war which halloweth every cause. 52.

"What is good?" ye ask. To be brave is good. 52 Ye shall only have enemies to be hated, but not enemies to be despised. Ye must be proud of your enemies; then, the successes of your enemies are also your successes. 53

A state is called the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly lieth it also; and this lie creepeth from its mouth: "I, the state, am the people." 54

Just see these superfluous ones! They steal the works of the inventors and the treasures of the wise. Culture,[Pg 148] they call their theft—and everything becometh sickness and trouble unto them! 56

Around the devisers of new values revolveth the world:—invisibly it revolveth. But around the actors revolve the people and the glory: such is the course of things. 58

Would that ye were perfect—at least as animals! But to animals belongeth innocence. 61

Chastity is a virtue with some, but with many almost a vice. 61

To whom chastity is difficult, it is to be dissuaded: lest it become the road to hell—to filth and lust of soul. 62

If one would have a friend, then must one also be willing to wage war for him: and in order to wage war, one must be capable of being an enemy. 63

In one's friend one shall have one's best enemy. Thou shalt be closest unto him with thy heart when thou withstandest him. 63

Art thou a slave? Then thou canst not be a friend. Art thou a tyrant? Then thou canst not have friends.

Far too long hath there been a slave and a tyrant concealed in woman. On that account woman is not yet capable of friendship: she knoweth only love.

In woman's love there is injustice and blindness to all she doth not love. And even in woman's conscious love, there is still always surprise and lightning and night, along with the light. 65

Values did man only assign to things in order to maintain himself—he created only the significance of things, a human significance! Therefore, calleth he himself "man," that is, the valuator. 67

A thousand goals have there been hitherto, for a thousand peoples have there been. Only the fetter for the[Pg 149] thousand necks is still lacking; there is lacking the one goal. As yet humanity hath not a goal. 69

Do I advise you to neighbour-love? Rather do I advise you to neighbour-flight and to furthest love!

Higher than love to your neighbour is love to the furthest and future ones; higher still than love to men, is love to things and phantoms.

The phantom that runneth on before thee, my brother, is fairer than thou; why dost thou not give unto it thy flesh and thy bones?... 69

Art thou one entitled to escape from a yoke? Many a one hath cast away his final worth when he hath cast away his servitude.

Free from what? What doth that matter to Zarathustra! Clearly, however, shall thine eye show unto me: free for what? 71

Everything in woman is a riddle, and everything in woman hath one solution—it is called pregnancy.

Man is for woman, a means: the purpose is always the child. But what is woman for man?

Two different things wanteth the true man: danger and diversion. Therefore wanteth he woman, as the most dangerous plaything.

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

Two sweet fruits—these the warrior liketh not. Therefore liketh he woman;—bitter is ever the sweetest woman.

Better than man doth woman understand children, but man is more childish than woman.

In the true man there is a child hidden: it wanteth to play. Up then, ye women, and discover the child in man!

[Pg 150]

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

Let the beam of a star shine in your love! Let your hope say: "May I bear the Superman!"

In your love let there be valour! With your love shall ye assail him who inspireth you with fear!

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

Let man fear woman when she loveth: then maketh she every sacrifice, and everything else she regardeth as worthless.

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

Whom hateth woman most?—Thus spake the iron to the loadstone: "I hate thee most, because thou attractest, but art too weak to draw unto thee."

The happiness of man is, "I will." The happiness of woman is, "He will." 76

Thou goest to women? Do not forget thy whip! 77

When ... ye have an enemy, then return him not good for evil: for that would abash him. But prove that he hath done something good to you.

And rather be angry than abash any one! And when ye are cursed, it pleaseth me not that ye should then desire to bless. Rather curse a little also! 73

Tell me: where find we justice, which is love with seeing eyes? 78

Thou art young, and desirest child and marriage. But I ask thee: Art thou a man entitled to desire a child? Art thou the victorious one, the self-conqueror, the[Pg 151] ruler of thy passions, the master of thy virtues? Thus do I ask thee.

Or doth the animal speak in thy wish, and necessity? Or isolation? Or discord in thee?

I would have thy victory and freedom long for a child. Living monuments shalt thou build to thy victory and emancipation.

Beyond thyself shalt thou build. But first of all must thou be built thyself, rectangular in body and soul. 79

Marriage: so call I the will of the twain to create the one that is more than those who created it. 80

That which the many-too-many call marriage, those superfluous ones—ah, what shall I call it?

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

Marriage they call it all; and they say their marriages are made in heaven.

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

Far from me also be the God who limpeth thither to bless what he hath not matched!

Laugh not at such marriages! What child hath not had reason to weep over its parents? 80

Every one regardeth dying as a great matter: but as yet death is not a festival. Not yet have people learned to inaugurate the finest festivals. 82

My death, praise I unto you, the voluntary death, which cometh unto me because I want it.

And when shall I want it?—He that hath a goal and an heir, wanteth death at the right time for the goal and the heir. 83

[Pg 152]

It is your thirst to become sacrifices and gifts yourselves: and therefore have ye the thirst to accumulate all riches in your soul.

Insatiably striveth your soul for treasures and jewels, because your virtue is insatiable in desiring to bestow.

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

Verily, an appropriator of all values must such bestowing love become; but healthy and holy, call I this selfishness. 86

When ye are exalted above praise and blame, and your will would command all things, as a loving one's will: there is the origin of your virtue. 87

Remain true to the earth, my brethren, with the power of your virtue! Let your bestowing love and your knowledge be devoted to be the meaning of the earth! Thus do I pray and conjure you.

Let it not fly away from the earthly and beat against eternal walls with its wings! 88

The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies, but also to hate his friends. 90

Once did people say God, when they looked out upon distant seas; now, however, have I taught you to say, Superman. 98

Could ye conceive a God?—But let this mean Will to Truth unto you, that everything be transformed into the humanly conceivable, the humanly visible, the humanly sensible! Your own discernment shall ye follow out to the end! 99

Creating—that is the great salvation from suffering, and life's alleviation. But for the creator to appear, suffering itself is needed, and much transformation. 100

[Pg 153]

What would there be to create if there were—? Gods! 101

Man himself is to the discerning one: the animal with red cheeks. 102

Verily, I like them not, the merciful ones, whose bliss is in their pity: too destitute are they of bashfulness.

If I must be pitiful, I dislike to be called so; and if I be so, it is preferably at a distance. 102

Since humanity came into being, man hath enjoyed himself too little: that alone, my brethren, is our original sin! 103

Great obligations do not make grateful, but revengeful; and when a small kindness is not forgotten, it becometh a gnawing worm. 103

The sting of conscience teacheth one to sting. 103

Ah, where in the world have there been greater follies than with the pitiful? And what in the world hath caused more suffering than the follies of the pitiful?

Woe unto all loving ones who have not an elevation which is above their pity!

Thus spake the devil unto me, once a time: "Even God hath his hell: it is his love for man." 105

All great love is above all its pity: for it seeketh—to create what is loved!

"Myself do I offer unto my love, and my neighbour as myself"—such is the language of all creators. 105

"Here are priests: but although they are mine enemies, pass them quietly and with sleeping swords!"

Even among them there are heroes; many of them have suffered too much:—so they want to make others suffer.

Bad enemies are they: nothing is more revengeful than their meekness. 106

When a person goeth through fire for his teaching—[Pg 154]what doth that prove! It is more, verily, when out of one's own burning cometh one's own teaching! 108

That your very Self be in your action, as the mother is in the child: let that be your formula of virtue! 112

Life is a well of delight; but where the rabble also drink, there all fountains are poisoned. 113

Ye who make the soul giddy, ye preachers of equality! Tarantulas are ye unto me, and secretly revengeful ones! 116

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

Fretted conceit and suppressed envy—perhaps your fathers' conceit and envy: in you break they forth as flame and frenzy of vengeance. 117

Distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful!

They are people of bad race and lineage; out of their countenances peer the hangman and the sleuth-hound.

Distrust all those who talk much of their justice! Verily, in their souls not only honey is lacking.

And when they call themselves "the good and just," forget not, that for them to be Pharisees, nothing is lacking but—power! 118

With these preachers of equality will I not be mixed up and confounded. For thus speaketh justice unto me: "Men are not equal."

And neither shall they become so! 118

Good and evil, and rich and poor, and high and low, and all names of values: weapons shall they be, and sounding signs, that life must again and again surpass itself! 119

[Pg 155]

Steadfast and beautiful, let us also be enemies, my friends I Divinely will we strive against one another! 120

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

Free from the happiness of slaves, redeemed from Deities and adorations, fearless and fear-inspiring, grand and lonesome: so is the will of the conscientious. 122

Wherever I found a living thing, there found I Will to Power; and even in the will of the servant found I the will to be master.

That to the stronger the weaker shall serve—thereto persuadeth he his will who would be master over a still weaker one. That delight alone he is unwilling to forego.

And as the lesser surrendereth himself to the greater that he may have delight and power over the least of all, so doth even the greatest surrender himself, and staketh—life, for the sake of power.

It is the surrender of the greatest to run risk and danger, and play dice for death. 136

Good and evil which would be everlasting—it doth not exist! Of its own accord must it ever surpass itself anew. 137

He who hath to be a creator in good and evil—verily, he hath first to be a destroyer, and break values in pieces. 138

Ye tell me, friends, that there is to be no dispute about taste and tasting? But all life is a dispute about taste and tasting.

Taste: that is weight at the same time, and scales and weigher; and alas for every living thing that would live without dispute about weight and scales and weigher! 139

[Pg 156]

Alien to me, and a mockery, are the present-day men, to whom of late my heart impelled me; and exiled am I from fatherlands and motherlands.

Thus do I love only my children's land, the undiscovered in the remotest sea: for it do I bid my sails search and search.

Unto my children will I make amends for being the child of my fathers: and unto all the future—for this present-day! 145

Where is innocence? Where there is will to procreation. And he who seeketh to create beyond himself, hath for me the purest will.

Where is beauty? Where I must will with my whole Will; where I will love and perish, that an image may not remain merely an image.

Loving and perishing: these have rhymed from eternity. Will to love: that is to be ready also for death. 147

Dare only to believe in yourselves—in yourselves and in your inward parts! He who doth not believe in himself always lieth. 147

All Gods are poets-symbolisations, poet-sophistications! 153

"Freedom" ye 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 Hollaballoo! The greatest events—are not our noisiest, but our stillest hours.

Not around the inventors of new noise, but around the inventors of new values, doth the world revolve: inaudibly it revolveth. 158

To redeem what is past, and to transform every "It was" into "Thus would have it!"—that only do I call redemption! 168

[Pg 157]

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

"Penalty," so calleth itself revenge. With a lying word it feigneth a good conscience. 169

This is my first manly prudence, that I allow myself to be deceived, so as not to be on my guard against deceivers. 172

He who would not languish amongst men, must learn to drink out of all glasses; and he who would keep clean amongst men, must know how to wash himself even with dirty water. 17

Verily, there is still a future even for evil! And the warmest south is still undiscovered by man.

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 Superman may not lack his dragon, the superdragon 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, ye good and just! In you there is much to be laughed at, and especially your fear of what hath hitherto been called "the devil"!

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

And ye wise and knowing ones, ye would flee from the solar-glow of the wisdom in which the Superman joyfully batheth his nakedness!

Ye highest men who have come within my ken! this[Pg 158] is my doubt of you, and my secret laughter: I suspect ye would call my Superman—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 Superman!

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: thither, where Gods are ashamed of all clothes!

But disguised do I want to see you, ye 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. 174-175

He who would become a child must surmount even his youth. 178

Thou goest the way to thy greatness: here shall no one steal after thee! Thy foot itself hath effaced the path behind thee, and over it standeth written: Impossibility. 184

From the gateway, This Moment, there runneth a long eternal lane backwards: behind us lieth an eternity.

Must not whatever can run its course of all things, have already run along that lane? Must not whatever can happen of all things have already happened, resulted, and gone by?

And if everything have already existed, what thinkest thou, dwarf, of This Moment? Must not this gateway also—have already existed?

[Pg 159]

And are not all things closely bound together in such wise that This Moment draweth all coming things after it? Consequently—itself also?

For whatever can run its course of all things, also in this long lane outward—must it once more run!—

And this slow spider which creepeth in the moonlight, and this moonlight itself, and thou and I in this gateway whispering together, whispering of eternal things—must we not all have already existed? 186

And must we not return and run in that other lane out before us, that long weird lane—must we not eternally return? 190-191

All things are baptised at the font of eternity, and beyond good and evil; good and evil themselves, however, are but fugitive shadows and damp afflictions and passing clouds.

Verily, it is a blessing and not a blasphemy when I teach that "above all things there standeth, the heaven of chance, the heaven of innocence, the heaven of hazard, the heaven of wantonness."

"Of Hazard"—that is the oldest nobility in the world; that gave I back to all things; I emancipated them from bondage under purpose.

This freedom and celestial serenity did I put like an azure bell above all things, when I taught that over them and through them, no "eternal will"—willeth.

This wantonness and folly did I put in place of that will, when I taught that "In everything there is one thing impossible—rationality!" 201

I pass through this people and keep mine eyes open: they do not forgive me for not envying their virtues.

They bite at me, because I say unto them that for[Pg 160] small people, small virtues are necessary—and because it is hard for me to understand that small people are necessary!203

Only he who is man enough, will—save the woman in woman. 205

So much kindness, so much weakness do I see. So much justice and pity, so much weakness.

Round, fair, and considerate are they to one another, as grains of sand are round, fair, and considerate to grains of sand.

Modestly to embrace a small happiness—that do they call "submission"! and at the same time they peer modestly after a new small happiness.

In their hearts they want simply one thing most of all: that no one hurt them. Thus do they anticipate every one's wishes and do well unto every one.

That, however, is cowardice, though it be called "virtue."

And when they chance to speak harshly, those small people, then do I hear therein only their hoarseness—every draught of air maketh them hoarse.

Shrewd indeed are they, their virtues have shrewd fingers. But they lack fists: their fingers do not know how to creep behind fists.

Virtue for them is what maketh modest and tame: therewith have they made the wolf a dog, and man himself man's best domestic animal.

"We set our chair in the midst"—so saith their smirking unto me—"and as far from dying gladiators as from satisfied swine."

That, however, is—mediocrity, though it be called moderation. 206

Those teachers of submission! Wherever there is[Pg 161] aught puny, or sickly, or scabby, there do they creep like lice; and only my disgust preventeth me from cracking them. 207

Too tender, too yielding: so is your soil! But for a tree to become great, it seeketh to twine hard roots around hard rocks! 208

Do ever what ye will—but first be such as can will. 208

Love ever your neighbour as yourselves—but first be such as love themselves. 208

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

In indulging and pitying lay ever my greatest danger; and all human hubbub wisheth to be indulged and tolerated. 226

He who liveth amongst the good—pity teacheth him to lie. Pity maketh stifling air for all free souls. For the stupidity of the good is unfathomable. 227

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 hath fully understood have 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! 230

Passion for power: the earthquake which breaketh and[Pg 162] upbreaketh 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 man creepeth and croucheth and drudgeth, and becometh lower than the serpent and the swine:—until at last great contempt crieth out of him,—

Passion for power: the terrible teacher of great contempt, which preacheth to their face to cities and empires: "Away with thee!"—until a voice crieth out of themselves: "Away with me!"

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

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

That the lonesome height may not for ever 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! "Bestowing 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 springeth from the powerful soul:—

From the powerful soul, to which the high body appertaineth, the handsome, triumphing, refreshing body, around which everything becometh a mirror:

[Pg 163]

The pliant, persuasive body, the dancer, whose symbol and epitome is the self-enjoying soul. Of such bodies and souls the self-enjoyment calleth itself "virtue." 232

He who wisheth to become light, and be a bird, must love himself:—thus do I teach.

Not, to be sure, with the love of the sick and infected, for with them stinketh 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 christeneth itself "brotherly love"; with these words hath there hitherto been the best lying and dissembling, and especially by those who have been burdensome to every one.

And verily, it is no commandment for to-day and to-morrow to learn to love oneself. Rather is it of all arts the finest, subtlest, last and patientest. 235

No one yet knoweth what is good and bad:—unless it be the creating one!

It is he however createth man's goal, and giveth to the earth its meaning and its future: he only effecteth it that aught is good and bad. 240

Man is a bridge and not a goal. 241

Be not considerate of thy neighbour! Man is something that must be surpassed. 243

He who cannot command himself shall obey. And many a one can command himself, but still sorely lacketh self-obedience! 243

He who is of the populace wisheth to live gratuitously; we others, however, to whom life hath given itself—we are ever considering what we can best give in return! 243

One should not wish to enjoy where one doth not[Pg 164] contribute to the enjoyment. And one should not wish to enjoy! 243

"Thou shalt not rob! Thou shalt not slay!"—such precepts were once called holy; before them did one bow the knee and the head, and took off one's shoes.

But I ask you: Where have there ever been better robbers and slayers in the world than such holy precepts?

Is there not even in all life—robbing and slaying? And for such precepts to be called holy, was not truth itself thereby—slain? 246

Let it not be your honour henceforth whence ye come, but whither ye go! Your Will and your feet which seek to surpass you—let these be your new honour! 248

The best shall rule, the best also willeth to rule! And where the teaching is different, there—the best is lacking. 257

Thus would I have man and woman: fit for war, the one, fit for maternity, the other; both, however, fit for dancing with head and legs.

And lost be the day to us in which a measure hath not been danced. And false be every truth which hath not had laughter along with it! 257

The stupidity of the good is unfathomably wise.

The good must crucify him who deviseth his own virtue! That is the truth!

The second one, however, who discovered their country—the country, heart and soil of the good and just,—it was he who asked: "Whom do they hate most?"

The creator, hate they most, him who breaketh the tables and old values, the breaker,—him they call the law-breaker.

For the good—they cannot create; they are always the beginning of the end:—

[Pg 165]

They crucify him who writeth new values on new tables, they sacrifice unto themselves the future—they crucify the whole human future! 260

This new table, O my brethren, put I up over you: Become hard! 262

Everything goeth, everything returneth; eternally rolleth the wheel of existence. Everything dieth, everything blossometh forth again; eternally runneth on the year of existence.

Everything breaketh, everything is integrated anew; eternally buildeth itself the same house of existence. All things separate, all things again greet one another; eternally true to itself remaineth the ring of existence.

Every moment beginneth existence, around every "Here" rolleth the ball "There." The middle is everywhere. 266

For man his baddest is necessary for his best.

That all that is baddest is the best power, and the hardest stone for the highest creator; and that man must become better and badder:—267

The plexus of causes returneth in which I am intertwined,—it will again create me! I myself pertain to the causes of the eternal return.

I come again with this sun, with this earth, with this eagle, with this serpent—not to a new life, or a better life, or a similar life:

I come again eternally to this identical and selfsame life, in its greatest and its smallest, to teach again the eternal return of all things,—

To speak again the word of the great noontide of earth and man, to announce again to man the Superman. 270-271

"Ye higher men,"—so blinketh the populace—"there[Pg 166] are no higher men, we are all equal; man is man, before God—we are all equal!"

Before God!—Now, however, this God hath died. Before the populace, however, we will not be equal. Ye higher men, away from the market-place! 351

Have a good distrust to-day, ye higher men, ye enheartened ones! Ye open-hearted ones! And keep your reasons secret! For this to-day is that of the populace.

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

And on the market-place one convinceth with gestures. But reasons make the populace distrustful.

And when truth hath once triumphed there, then ask yourselves with good distrust: "What strong error hath fought for it?" 355

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

"For one's neighbour," is the virtue only of the petty people: there it is said "like and like" and "hand washeth hand":—they have neither the right nor the power for your self-seeking! 356-357

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

Did he himself find no cause for laughter on the earth? Then he sought badly. A child even findeth cause for it. 359-360

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