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Authors: Friedrich Nietzsche,R. J. Hollingdale

Thus Spoke Zarathustra (28 page)

BOOK: Thus Spoke Zarathustra
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Not with the love of the sick and diseased, to be sure: for with them even self-love stinks!

One must learn to love oneself with a sound and healthy love, so that one may endure it with oneself and not go roaming about – thus do I teach.

Such roaming about calls itself ‘love of one’s neighbour’: these words have been up to now the best for lying and dissembling, and especially for those who were oppressive to everybody.

And truly, to
to love oneself is no commandment for today or for tomorrow. Rather is this art the finest, subtlest, ultimate, and most patient of all.

For all his possessions are well concealed from the possessor; and of all treasure pits, one’s own is the last to be digged – the Spirit of Gravity is the cause of that.

Almost in the cradle are we presented with heavy words and values: this dowry calls itself’ Good’ and ‘Evil’. For its sake we are forgiven for being alive.

And we suffer little children to come to us, to prevent them in good time from loving themselves: the Spirit of Gravity is the cause of that.

And we – we bear loyally what we have been given upon hard shoulders over rugged mountains! And when we sweat we are told: ‘Yes, life is hard to bear!’

But only man is hard to bear! That is because he bears too many foreign things upon his shoulders. Like the camel, he kneels down and lets himself be well laden.

Especially the strong, weight-bearing man in whom dwell respect and awe: he has laden too many
heavy words and values upon himself – now life seems to him a desert!

And truly I Many things that are
one’s own
are hard to bear, too! And much that is intrinsic in man is like the oyster, that is loathsome and slippery and hard to grasp –

so that a noble shell with noble embellishments must
intercede for it. But one has to learn this art as well: to
a shell and a fair appearance and a prudent blindness!

Again, it is deceptive about many things in man that many a shell is inferior and wretched and too much of a shell. Much hidden goodness and power is never guessed at; the most exquisite dainties find no tasters!

Women, or the most exquisite of them, know this: a little fatter, a little thinner – oh, how much fate lies in so little!

Man is difficult to discover, most of all to himself; the spirit often tells lies about the soul. The Spirit of Gravity is the cause of that.

But he has discovered himself who says: This is
good and evil: he has silenced thereby the mole and dwarf who says: ‘Good for all, evil for all.’

Truly, I dislike also those who call everything good and this world the best of all. I call such people the all-contented.

All-contentedness that knows how to taste everything: that is not the best taste! I honour the obstinate, fastidious tongues and stomachs that have learned to say ‘I’ and ‘Yes’ and ‘No’.

But to chew and digest everything – that is to have a really swinish nature! Always to say Ye-a
– only the ass and those like him have learned that.

Deep yellow and burning red: that is to
taste – it mixes blood with all colours. But he who whitewashes his house betrays to me a whitewashed soul.

One loves mummies, the other phantoms; and both alike enemy to all flesh and blood – oh, how both offend my taste! For I love blood.

And I do not want to stay and dwell where everyone spews and spits: that is now
taste – I would rather live among thieves and perjurers. No one bears gold in his mouth.

More offensive to me, however, are all lickspittles; and the most offensive beast of a man I ever found I baptized Parasite: it would not love, yet wanted to live by love.

I call wretched all who have only one choice: to become an evil beast or an evil tamer of beasts: I would build no tabernacles among these men.

I also call wretched those who always have to
– they offend my taste: all tax-collectors and shopkeepers and kings and other keepers of lands and shops.

Truly, I too have learned to wait, I have learned it from the very heart, but only to wait for
. And above all I have learned to stand and to walk and to run and to jump and to climb and to dance.

This, however, is my teaching: He who wants to learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and to walk and to run and to climb and to dance – you cannot learn to fly by flying!

With rope-ladders I learned to climb to many a window, with agile legs I climbed up high masts: to sit upon high masts of knowledge seemed to me no small happiness –

to flicker like little flames upon high masts: a little light, to be sure, but yet a great comfort to castaway sailors and the shipwrecked!

I came to my truth by diverse paths and in diverse ways: it was not upon a single ladder that I climbed to the height where my eyes survey my distances.

And I have asked the way only unwillingly – that has always offended my taste! I have rather questioned and attempted the ways themselves.

All my progress has been an attempting and a questioning – and truly, one has to
how to answer such questioning! That however – is to my taste:

not good taste, not bad taste, but
taste, which I no longer conceal and of which I am no longer ashamed.

‘This – is now
way: where is yours?’ Thus I answered those who asked me ‘the way’. For
way – does not exist!

Thus spoke Zarathustra.

Of Old and New Law – Tables


I sit and wait, old shattered law-tables around me and also new, half-written law-tables. When will my hour come?

– the hour of my down-going, my descent: for I want to go to men once more.

For that I now wait: for first the sign that it is
hour must come to me – namely, the laughing lion with the flock of doves.

Meanwhile I talk to myself, as one who has plenty of time. No one tells me anything new; so I tell myself to myself.


When I visited men, I found them sitting upon an old self-conceit. Each one thought he had long since known what was good and evil for man.

All talk of virtue seemed to them an ancient wearied affair; and he who wished to sleep well spoke of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ before retiring.

I disturbed this somnolence when I taught that
nobody yet knows
what is good and evil – unless it be the creator!

But he it is who creates a goal for mankind and gives the earth its meaning and its future: he it is who
the quality of good and evil in things.

And I bade them overturn their old professorial chairs, and wherever that old self-conceit had sat. I bade them laugh at their great masters of virtue and saints and poets and world-redeemers.

I bade them laugh at their gloomy sages, and whoever had sat as a black scarecrow, cautioning, on the tree of life.

I sat myself on their great grave-street, and even beside carrion and vultures – and I laughed over all their ‘past’ and its decayed expiring glory.

Truly, like Lenten preachers and fools did I cry anger and
shame over all their great and small things – their best is so very small! Their worst is so very small! – thus I laughed.

Thus from out of me cried and laughed my wise desire, which was born on the mountains, a wild wisdom, in truth! – my great desire with rushing wings.

And often it tore me forth and up and away and in the midst of laughter: and then indeed I flew, an arrow, quivering with sun-intoxicated rapture:

out into the distant future, which no dream has yet seen, into warmer Souths than artists have ever dreamed of, there where gods, dancing, are ashamed of all clothes –

so that I might speak in parables, and hobble and stutter like poets: and truly, I am ashamed that I still have to be a poet!

Where all becoming seemed to me the dancing of gods and the wantonness of gods, and the world unrestrained and abandoned and fleeing back to itself –

as many gods eternally fleeing and re-seeking one another, as many gods blissfully self-contradicting, communing again and belonging again to one another –

Where all time seemed to me a blissful mockery of moments, where necessity was freedom itself, which blissfully played with the goad of freedom –

Where I found again my old devil and arch-enemy, the Spirit of Gravity, and all that he created: compulsion, dogma, need and consequence and purpose and will and good and evil:

For must there not exist that which is danced
, danced across? Must there not be moles and heavy dwarfs – for the sake of the nimble, the nimblest?


There it was too that I picked up the word ‘Superman’ and that man is something that must be overcome,

that man is a bridge and not a goal; counting himself happy for his noontides and evenings, as a way to new dawns:

Zarathustra’s saying of the great noontide, and what ever
else I have hung up over men, like a purple evening afterglow.

Truly, I showed them new stars, together with new nights – and over cloud and day and night I spread out laughter like a coloured canopy.

I taught them all
art and aims: to compose into one and bring together what is fragment and riddle and dreadful chance in man –

as poet, reader of riddles, and redeemer of chance, I taught them to create the future, and to redeem by creating – all that
was past

To redeem that past of mankind and to transform every ‘It was’, until the will says: ‘But I willed it thus! So shall I will it-’

this did I call redemption, this alone did I teach them to call redemption.

Now I await
redemption – that I may go to them for the last time.

For I want to go to man once more: I want to go under
them, I want to give them, dying, my richest gift!

From the sun when it goes down, that superabundant star, I learned this: then, from inexhaustible riches it pours out gold into the sea –

so that the poorest fisherman rows with
oars! For once I saw this, and did not tire of weeping to see it.

Like the sun, Zarathustra also wants to go down: now he sits here and waits, old shattered law-tables around him and also new law-tables – half-written.


Behold, here is a new law-table: but where are my brothers, to bear it with me to the valley and to fleshly hearts?

Thus commands my great love for the most distant men:
Do not spare your neighbour!
Man is something that must be overcome.

There are diverse paths and ways to overcoming: just look to it! But only a buffoon thinks: ‘Man can also
jumped over
Overcome yourself even in your neighbour: and a right that you can seize for yourself you should not accept as a gift!

What you do, no one can do to you. Behold, there is no requital.

He who cannot command himself should obey. And many a one
command himself but be very remiss in obeying what he commands!


This is the will of those of noble soul: they desire nothing
, least of all life.

He who is of the mob wants to live gratis; we others, however, to whom life has given itself- we are always considering what we can best give
in return

And truly, it is a noble speech that says: ‘What life has promised
us, we
shall keep that promise – to life!’

One should not wish to enjoy where one has not given enjoyment. And – one should not
to enjoy!

For enjoyment and innocence are the most modest things: neither want to be looked for. One should
them – but one should
rather for guilt and pain!


O my brothers, he who is a first-born is always sacrificed. Now we are first-born.

We all bleed at secret sacrificial tables, we all burn and roast to the honour of ancient idols.

Our best is still young: this excites old palates. Our flesh is tender, our skin is only a lamb-skin: – how should we not excite old idol-priests!

He still lives on
in us ourselves
, the old idol-priest, who roasts our best for his feast. Alas, my brothers, how should the firstborn not be sacrifices!

But our kind will have it thus; and I love those who do not wish to preserve themselves. I love with my whole love those who go down and perish: for they are going beyond.


To be truthful – few
do it! And those who can, will not! Least of all, however, can the good be truthful.

Oh these good men!
Good men never tell the truth;
to be good in that way is a sickness of the spirit.

They yield, these good men, they acquiesce, their hearts imitate, they obey from the heart: but he who obeys
does not listen to himself

All that the good call evil must come together that one truth may be born: O my brothers, are you, too, evil enough for

The bold attempt, prolonged mistrust, the cruel No, satiety, the cutting into die living – how seldom do
come together! But from such seed is – truth raised.

Hitherto all
has grown up
the bad conscience! Shatter, you enlightened men, shatter the old law-tables!


When water is planked over so that it can be walked upon, when gangway and railings span the stream: truly, he is not believed who says: ‘Everything is in flux.’

On the contrary, even simpletons contradict him. ‘What?’ say the simpletons, ‘everything in flux? But there are planks and railings
the stream!

BOOK: Thus Spoke Zarathustra
12.72Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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