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Authors: Friedrich Nietzsche,R. J. Hollingdale

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BOOK: Thus Spoke Zarathustra
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the stream everything is firmly fixed, all the values of things, the bridges, concepts, all “Good” and “Evil”: all are
firmly fixed

But when hard winter comes, the animal-tamer of streams, then even the cleverest learn mistrust; and truly, not only the simpletons say then: ‘Is not everything meant to – stand still?’

‘Fundamentally, everything stands still’ – that is a proper winter doctrine, a fine thing for unfruitful seasons, a fine consolation for hibernators and stay at-homes.

‘Fundamentally, everything stands still’ – the thawing wind, however, preaches to the

The thawing wind, an ox that is no ploughing ox – a raging ox, a destroyer that breaks ice with its angry horns! Ice, however –
breaks gangways

O my brothers, is everything not
now in flux?
Have not all railings and gangways fallen into the water and come to nothing? Who can still
cling to
‘good’ and ‘evil’?

‘Woe to us! Hail to us! The thawing wind is blowing!’ – Preach thus, O my brothers, through every street!


There is an old delusion that is called good and evil. Up to now, this delusion has orbited about prophets and astrologers.

Once people
in prophets and astrologers: and
people believed: ‘Everything is fate: you shall, for you must!’

Then again people mistrusted all prophets and astrologers: and
people believed: ‘Everything is freedom: you can, for you will!’

O my brothers, up to now there has been only supposition, not knowledge, concerning the stars and the future: and
there has hitherto been only supposition, not knowledge, concerning good and evil!


‘You shall not steal! You shall not kill!’ – such words were once called holy; in their presence people bowed their knees and their heads and removed their shoes.

But I ask you: Where have there ever been better thieves and killers in the world than such holy words have been?

Is there not in all life itself- stealing and killing? And when such words were called holy was not
itself – killed?

Or was it a sermon of death that called holy that which contradicted and opposed all life? – O my brothers, shatter, shatter the old law-tables!


My pity for all that is past is that I see: It has been handed over –

handed over to the favour, the spirit, the madness of every generation that comes and transforms everything that has been into its own bridge!

A great despot could come, a shrewd devil, who with his favour and disfavour could compel and constrain all that is past, until it became his bridge and prognostic and herald and cock-crow.

This, however, is the other danger and my other pity: he who is of the mob remembers back to his grandfather – with his grandfather, however, time stops.

Thus all that is past is handed over: for the mob could one day become master, and all time be drowned in shallow waters.

Therefore, O my brothers, is a
new nobility
needed: to oppose all mob-rule and all despotism and to write anew upon new law-tables the word: ‘Noble’.

For many noblemen are needed, and noblemen of many kinds,
for nobility to exist
! Or, as I once said in a parable: ‘Precisely this is godliness, that there are gods but no God!’


O my brothers, I direct and consecrate you to a new nobility: you shall become begetters and cultivators and sowers of the future –

truly, not to a nobility that you could buy like shopkeepers with shopkeepers’ gold: for all that has a price is of little value.

Let where you are going, not where you come from, henceforth be your honour I Your will and your foot that desires to step out beyond you – let them be your new honour!

Truly, not that you have served a prince – of what account are princes now! – or have become a bulwark to that which stands, that it may stand more firmly!

Not that your family have grown courtly at courts and you
have learned to stand for long hours in shallow pools, motley-coloured like a flamingo:

being able
to stand is a merit with courtiers; and all courtiers believe that part of the bliss after death is –
being allowed to

And not that a ghost, called holy, led your ancestors into promised lands that
do not praise: for in the land where the worst of all trees, the Cross, grew – there is nothing to praise! –

and truly, wherever this ‘Holy Ghost’ led its knights, goats and geese and Cross-eyed and wrong-headed fellows always – ran
at the bead
of the procession!

O my brothers, your nobility shall not gaze backward, but
! You shall be fugitives from all fatherlands and fore-fatherlands!

You shall love your
children’s land
: let this love be your new nobility – the undiscovered land in the furthest sea! I bid your sails seek it and seek it!

You shall
make amends
to your children for being the children of your fathers:
you shall redeem all that is past I This new law-table do I put over you!


‘Wherefore live? All is vanity! To live – that means to thrash straw; to live – that means to burn oneself and yet not become warm.’

Ancient rigmarole like this still counts as ‘wisdom’; and it is the more honoured
it is old and smells damp. Even mould ennobles.

Children might speak in this way: they
from the fire because it has burned them! There is much childishness in the old books of wisdom.

And how should he who is always ‘thrashing straw’ be allowed to slander thrashing! Such a fool would have to have his mouth stopped!

Such people sit down to dinner and bring nothing with them, not even a good appetite – and now they say slanderously: ‘All is vanity!’

But to eat and drink well, O my brothers, is truly no vain art! Shatter, shatter the law-tables of the never-joyful!


‘To the pure all things are pure’ – thus speaks the people. But I say to you: To the swine all things become swinish!

That is why the fanatics and hypocrites with bowed heads whose hearts too are bowed down preach: ‘The world itself is a filthy monster.’

For they all have an unclean spirit; but especially those who have no peace or rest except they see the world
from behind
– these afterworldsmen!

I tell
to their faces, although it does not sound pleasant: The world resembles man in that it has a behind –
so much
is true!

There is much filth in the world:
so much
is true! But the world itself is not yet a filthy monster on that account!

There is wisdom in the fact that much in the world smells ill: disgust itself creates wings and water-divining powers!

Even in the best there is something to excite disgust; and even the best is something that must be overcome!

O my brothers, there is much wisdom in the fact that there is much filth in the world!


These sayings I heard pious afterworldsmen say to their consciences, and truly without deceit or falsehood, although there is nothing more false or deceitful in the world.

‘Let the world be! Do not raise even a finger against it!’

‘Let him who wants to slaughter and kill and harass and swindle the people: do not raise even a finger against it! Thus they will yet learn to renounce the world.’

‘And your own reason – you shall yourself choke and throttle; for it is a reason of this world – thus you shall yourself learn to renounce the world.’

Shatter, O my brothers, shatter these ancient law-tables of
the pious! Shatter by your teachings the sayings of the world-calumniators!


‘He who learns much, unlearns all violent desiring’ – people whisper that to one another today in all dark streets.

‘Wisdom makes weary, nothing is worth while; you shall not desire!’ – I found this new law-table hanging even in public market-places.

Shatter, O my brothers, shatter this new law-table too! The world-weary and the preachers of death hung it up, and so did the jailers: for behold, it is also a sermon urging slavery:

They have learned badly and the best things not at all, they have learned everything too early and too fast: they have
badly – that is how they got that stomach-ache –

for their spirit is stomach-ache:
counsels death! For truly, my brothers, the spirit
a stomach!

Life is a fountain of delight: but all wells are poisoned for him from whom an aching stomach, the father of affliction, speaks.

To know: that is
to the lion-willed! But he who has grown weary is only ‘willed’, he is the sport of every wave.

And that is always the nature of weak men: they lose themselves on their way. And at last their weariness asks: ‘Why have we ever taken any way? It is a matter of indifference!’

It sounds pleasant to
ears when it is preached: ‘Nothing is worth while! You shall not will!’ This, however, is a sermon urging slavery.

O my brothers, Zarathustra comes as a fresh, blustering wind to all the way-weary; he will yet make many noses sneeze!

My liberal breath blows even through walls and into prisons and imprisoned spirits!

Willing liberates: for willing is creating: thus I teach. And you should learn
for creating!

And you should first
from me even how to learn, how to learn well! – He who has ears to hear, let him hear!


There stands the boat – over there is perhaps the way to the great Nothingness. But who wants to step into this ‘perhaps’?

None of you wants to step into the death-boat! How then could you be

World-weary! And you have not yet even parted from the earth!! have always found you still greedy for the earth, still in love with your own weariness of the earth!

Your lip does not hang down in vain – a little earthly wish still sits upon it I And in your eye – does not a little cloud of unforgotten earthly joy swim there?

There are many excellent inventions on earth, some useful, some pleasant: the earth is to be loved for their sake.

And there are many things so well devised that they are like women’s breasts: at the same time useful and pleasant.

But you world-weary people! You should be given a stroke of the cane! Your legs should be made sprightly again with cane-strokes!

For: if you are not invalids and worn-out wretches of whom the earth is weary, you are sly sluggards or dainty, sneaking lust-cats. And if you will not again
run about
merrily, you shall – pass away!

One should not want to be physician to the incurable: thus Zarathustra teaches: so you shall pass away!

But to make an end requires more
than to make a new verse: all physicians and poets know that.


O my brothers, there are law-tables framed by weariness and law-tables framed by laziness, indolent laziness: although they speak similarly they want to be heard differently.

Look here at this languishing man! He is only an inch from his goal, but from weariness he has laid himself defiantly here in the dust: this valiant man!

He yawns from weariness at the path and the earth and the
goal and at himself: he refuses to take another step – this valiant man!

Now the sun burns down upon him and the dogs lick his sweat: but he lies there in his defiance and prefers to languish –

to languish an inch from his goal! Truly, he will have to be pulled into his heaven by the hair – this hero!

Better to leave him lying where he has laid himself, so that sleep, the comforter, may come to him with cooling, murmuring rain:

Let him lie until he awakes of his own accord, until of his own accord he disavows all weariness and what weariness has taught through him!

Only, my brothers, scare away the dogs from him, the indolent skulkers, and all the swarming vermin –

all the swarming ‘cultured’ vermin who feast upon the sweat of every hero!


I form circles and holy boundaries around myself; fewer and fewer climb with me upon higher and higher mountains: I build a mountain-range out of holier and holier mountains.

But wherever you would climb with me, O my brothers, see to it that
we parasite
climbs with you!

Parasite: that is a worm, a creeping, supple worm, that wants to grow fat on your sick, sore places.

And it is its art to divine the weary spots in climbing souls: it builds its loathsome nest in your grief and dejection, in your tender modesty.

Where the strong man is weak, where the noble man is too gentle, there it builds its loathsome nest: the parasite dwells where the great man possesses little sore places.

Which is the highest type of being and which the lowest? The parasite is the lowest type; but he who is of the highest type nourishes the most parasites.

For the soul which possesses the longest ladder and can descend the deepest: how should the most parasites not sit upon it?

the most spacious soul, which can run and stray and roam
the farthest into itself; the most necessary soul, which out of joy hurls itself into chance –

the existing soul which plunges into becoming; the possessing soul which
to partake in desire and longing –

the soul fleeing from itself which retrieves itself in the widest sphere; the wisest soul, to which foolishness speaks sweetest –

the soul that loves itself the most, in which all things have their current and counter-current and ebb and flow: – oh how should
the highest soul
not possess the worst parasites?

BOOK: Thus Spoke Zarathustra
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