Thus Spoke Zarathustra F. Nietzsche (Editor: Bill Chapko)
Published: 2010 Categories(s): Tag(s): Nietzsche Existentialism Buddhism Zen Philosophy
THUS SPOKE ZARATHUSTRA
by Friedrich Nietzsche
Based on the Thomas Common Translation Extensively modified by Bill Chapko
Introduction to Nietzsche’s Life And Writings
Prologue First Part
Second Part Third Part Fourth Part
Appendices A – Timeline Biography
B – Nietzsche’s Comments on his Books C – Eternal Recurrence, by B. Chapko
List of Zarathustra’s Speeches
Prologue 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
First Part 1. The Three Metamorphoses 2. The Academic Chairs Of Vir- tue 3. On the Believers in an Afterworld 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 Bestow- ing Virtue
Second Part 1. The Child With The Mirror 2. In The Happy Isles 3. The Pitiful 4. The Priests 5. The Virtuous 6. The Rabble 7. The Tarantulas 8. The Famous Wise Ones 9. The Night-Song 10. The Dance-Song 11. The Grave-Song 12. Self-Surpassing 13. The Sublime Ones 14. The Land Of Culture 15. Immaculate Perception 16. Scholars 17. Poets 18. Great Events 19. The Soothsayer 20. Redemption 21. Manly Prudence 22. The Stillest Hour
Third Part 1. The Wanderer 2. The Vision And The Enigma 3. Involun- tary Bliss 4. Before Sunrise 5. On Virtue That Makes Small 6. On The Olive-Mount 7. On Passing-By 8. The Apostates 9. The Return Home 10. The Three Evil Things 11. The Spirit Of Gravity 12. Old And New Tables 13. The Convalescent 14. The Great Longing 15. The Second Dance-Song 16. The Seven Seals
Fourth Part 1. The Honey Sacrifice 2. The Cry Of Distress 3. Talk With The Kings 4. The Leech 5. The Magician 6. Out Of Service 7. The Ugliest Man 8. The Voluntary Beggar 9. The Shadow 10. Noontide 11. The Greet- ing 12. The Supper 13. The Higher Man 14. The Song Of Melancholy 15. Science 16. Among Daughters Of The Desert 17. The Awakening 18. The Ass-Festival 19. The Drunken Song 20. The Sign
EDITOR NOTES Nietzsche Love of Fate Series Version 4.67 – March 1, 2010. ©William A. Chapko, 2010 Thus Spoke Zarathustra – Version 2.85
Note on the Translations Cover Photos Note On The Selection Of Books Eternal Recurrence Editor Profile
The eight digital books in the “Nietzsche Love of Fate Series” can be downloaded singly or as a complete collection (2.1 MB download). All books are unabridged.
The contents of these ebooks, including the introductions, appendices and hyperlink format, may not be used for commercial purposes without permission from Bill Chapko.
Note on the Translations Based on translations published from 1899 to 1919, these eight books have been somewhat modified (especially Zarathustra). Words no longer commonly used, such as fain, hitherto, thee, wouldst, therefrom, nigh, ye and forsooth, have been replaced with their modern English equivalents.
The eight books are:
The Gay Science … . .Modified digital version based on the translation by Thomas Common published in 1910. Ecce Homo … … . .Modified digital version based on the translation by Anthony M. Ludovici published in 1911. Zarathustra … … .Extensively Modified digital version based on the translation by Thomas Common published in 1909. The Dawn … … . . Modified digital version based on the translation by J. M. Kennedy published in 1911. Twilight of the Idols . .Modified digital version based on the translation by Thomas Common published in 1899.
The Antichrist … . . Modified digital version based on the translation by H.L. Mencken published in 1919. Beyond Good and Evil . . Modified digital version based on the translation by Helen Zimmern published in 1909. Genealogy of Morals … Modified digital version based on the translation by Horace B. Samuel published in 1910.
Ebook Cover Photos The bottom photo on the ebook cover shows Nietzsche joking with his friends, Miss Lou Salomè (left) and Paul Ree (center). The taking and ar- rangement of the photo were at Nietzsche’s suggestion. The top photo was taken at age 31.
Note On The Selection Of Books The Nietzsche Love of Fate Series contains the full texts of Nietzsche’s eight best and most mature works. The books written before The Dawn (1880) are not as mature as those written later. The Case of Wagner (1888) and Nietzsche Contro Wagner (1888) are too narrow in scope.
The famous book, The Will to Power (1901) is a collection of tentative notes edited, arranged and published by Nietzsche’s sister after his death. It’s value is surrounded by a great deal of controversy among scholars. The eminent Nietzsche scholar Mazzino Montinari went so far as to call it a “forgery”. As Walter Kaufmann said in his introduction to the book, Nietzsche could have included these notes in his published works but he chose not to and therefore it is possible he was not fully satisfied with them. For these reasons the book is not included among his “best 8”.
Eternal Recurrence To the Reader,
In his autobiography Nietzsche said that Zarathustra was by far his most inspired and most important book, and that the “basic conception of this work” was the idea of “eternal recurrence”. This idea is intimately in- volved with what he calls “love of fate”, “that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity.”
The idea of eternal recurrence, so strange and yet so simple, needs to be
considered more than it has been. I have taken the liberty of including my essay on eternal recurrence in the appendices of this ebook. You may read it here: Appendix C: Eternal Recurrence: The World Loves You So Much It Repeats You Forever. (Or else as a web page at www.eternal-re- currence.com)
Bill Chapko Editor Profile Born in 1947, Bill Chapko grew up in suburban New Jersey. At New York University he studied Existential Philosophy under Professor Willi- am Barrett, author of the book “Irrational Man: A Study in Existential Philosophy”. He graduated with a BA in Philosophy in 1969. He has read, enjoyed and studied Nietzsche all his life.
Since 1981 he, together with his American wife Eva and their four chil- dren, have lived happily in southern Italy.
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Introduction to Nietzsche’s Life and Writings
INTRODUCTION TO NIETZSCHE’S LIFE AND WRITINGS
by Bill Chapko
University philosophers, especially from America and England, have al- ways been bewildered and irritated by Nietzsche. He doesn’t fit any- where. His influence has been outside university culture – among artists, dancers, poets, writers, novelists, psychologists, playwrights. Some of the most famous who publicly acknowledged being strongly influenced by Nietzsche were Picasso, Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham, William Butler Yeats, Rainer Rilke, Allen Ginsberg, Khalil Gibran, Martin Buber, H.L. Mencken, Emma Goldman, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Tho- mas Mann, Hermann Hesse, Jack London, Franz Kafka, Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Karl Jaspers, Alfred Adler, Fritz Perls, Eugene O’Neill and George Bernard Shaw.
There is a large amount of scholarly literature attempting to “explain” and systematize Nietzsche and his thought. Professors comb through the events of his rather ordinary life to find reasons or a pattern to his radical ideas. Books and articles about his writings strain to fit him neatly into some framework of western philosophy. I am assuming that Nietzsche gave birth to something radically new, outside of western philosophy – that he was defending a new type of philosopher yearning to explore outside “systems of thought”.
“I mistrust all systematizers and I avoid them. The will to a system is a lack of integrity.”
Twilight of the Idols, (part 2, sec 26)
Explore Nietzsche yourself. He mostly wrote directly and clearly, without scholarly jargon. See if he brings out the artist or psychologist or dancer in you.
Summary of Nietzsche’s Life Other than a lifelong painful debilitating illness and his temporary friendship with the famous composer Richard Wagner, Nietzsche’s life was rather ordinary. His family was not rich, so he had to work for a
living as a philology professor. He hated the drudgery of teaching and scholarship and his spirit led him to write books that were almost uni- versally unpopular among his peers. At first they viciously criticized his ideas and style and then completely ignored him. He nevertheless main- tained good relations with his university employers and after ten years was released from work for reasons of health with a pension of 2/3 his salary. He wandered and wrote for the rest of his lucid life. His friend- ship with Wagner soured for various reasons. He loved a fascinating girl, Lou Salome, who was younger than him and wanted to remain free. He was close to his sister until she poisoned his friendship with Lou and later married an anti-Semite rabble-rouser. His loyal helper Peter Gast during these years unfortunately was not the missing friend he needed to stimulate his thought and spirit. In his last lucid year, he finally sensed fame approaching through the enthusiastic recognition and praise of the influential Danish writer Georg Brandes. Nietzsche wrote an autobiography in anticipation and while finishing it he went insane for reasons that are not clear.
For more details of his life go to: Appendix A: Timeline Biography
Nietzsche’s Writings Aphoristic Writing Most of Nietzsche’s books after 1876 contain only aphorisms, varying in length from one short sentence to several paragraphs, each dealing with one subject, idea or observation. Aphorisms following each other are sometimes related, sometimes not. Each aphorism can stand by itself. This is especially true of Human All Too Human, The Dawn, The Gay Science and Zarathustra but even Beyond Good and Evil, Twilight of the Idols and The Antichrist follow this form to a great extent. These aphorisms re- turn unsystematically to the many subjects and themes seen throughout his books. Each book does not have a single theme and you could see them all as one big bag of uncategorized aphorisms. Even the two later books that concentrate on a single theme, the Genealogy of Morals and Ecce Homo are punctuated throughout with striking aphorisms. The pre- Socratic philosophers also used disjointed aphorisms to describe the uni- verse. Aristotle was the first to describe the world in a systematic way and this became the norm for philosophers ever since. It is Nietzsche’s return to the uncategorized aphorism that is so unique, disturbing and powerful.
Thoughts about “Understanding” Nietzsche If “understanding” is used in its popular sense then I don’t “understand” Nietzsche. I don’t strain to put him into simpler, more logical, more everyday ideas. I don’t relate him to more “understandable” philo- sophies. If a sentence or aphorism doesn’t make “sense” to me, I just let it pass by, hoping without high expectations that my subconscious with sort it out. But, except for parts of Zarathustra, Nietzsche almost always writes very clearly, using simple words. Nietzsche created something ba- sically new, not just “new ideas”, but a new way of “dancing” in life. He was what I would call a “life experimenter”.
I hardly ever read books about Nietzsche’s philosophy. Not only are they usually boring, but you learn about the authors of those books, not Niet- zsche.
Part of Nietzsche’s genius was a very simple method: He took the most widely believed, most important “truths” of his day, turned them upside- down, shook them a little, and watched with delight all the fascinating insights that flowed out.
His Best 8 Books 1. I consider Nietzsche’s best book to be The Gay Science (1881). At the time of writing it, he was finally free of university culture and his spirits were high. Besides being enjoyable, reading this book is a type of “spiritual dance training”.
2. His autobiography, Ecce Homo (1888), is next. We find out here what a “lazy” overman-type he was: “I am the opposite of a heroic nature. To ‘will’ something, to ‘strive’ after something, to have an ‘aim’ or a ‘desire’ in my mind – I know none of these things from experience.” At the height of his maturity, the book is full of wit, brilliant insight and practical wis- dom. Walter Kaufmann wrote in the introduction to the book, “Who would not rather have Shakespeare on Shakespeare, including the poet’s own reflections on his plays and poems, than the exegeses and conjec- tures of thousands of critics and professors?”
3. Zarathustra (1882-85) completes what I consider Nietzsche’s best three books by far. Nietzsche thought this book stood high above all his oth- ers. Of its 4 parts the first 2 parts are the most readable and best. Part 3 starts to fly a little too high for me and in the symbolism of Part 4 I get
lost and even bored. Thomas Common’s mistaken use of biblical lan- guage in translating this book typifies what many readers miss: they can’t fully see that Zarathustra is somewhat of a comic figure, a parody on prophets. He is one of the “wise among men who find joy once again in his folly” [Prologue (1)]. He doesn’t want “followers” and “believers”. Parting from those who have been following him around, he says, “all believers; therefore all faith is worth so little… . Now I bid you lose me and find yourselves; and only when you have all denied me will I come back to you.”
4. The Dawn (1880) which came before The Gay Science is similar to that book but not quite as mature and high spirited.
5-6. The Twilight of the Idols (1888) and The Antichrist (1888) were written in the high-spirited whirlwind of his last year when he sensed approach- ing fame.
7-8. In Beyond Good and Evil (1886) and Genealogy of Morals (1887) Nietz- sche changed his style to one more similar to the books of university cul- ture. That’s why modern professors like these two books more than his others. From his autobiography: “… Thenceforth [after Zarathustra] all my writings are fish hooks … If nothing was caught, I am not to blame. There were no fish … ” Today, 123 years later, there still are no fish out there in university culture. Yet professors claim to be the best ones to “explain” Nietzsche to the rest of us.
To read what Nietzsche himself said about each of his books go to: Ap- pendix B: Nietzsche’s Comments on his Books
Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Prologue 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ZARATHUSTRA’S PROLOGUE Prologue (1) 1
WHEN Zarathustra was thirty years old, he left his home and the lake of his home, and went into the mountains. There he enjoyed his spirit and his solitude, and for ten years did not weary of it. But at last his heart changed, and rising one morning with the rosy dawn, he went be- fore the sun, and spoke to it thus:
You great star! What would your happiness be, had you not those for whom you shine?
For ten years have you climbed here to my cave: you would have wear- ied of your light and of the journey, had it not been for me, my eagle, and my serpent.
But we waited for you every morning, took from you your overflow, and blessed you for it.
Behold. I am weary of my wisdom, like the bee that has gathered too much honey; I need hands outstretched to take it.
I would rather give away and distribute, until the wise among men once more find joy in their folly, and the poor in their riches.
Therefore must I descend into the deep: as you do in the evening, when you go behind the sea, and give light also to the underworld, you ex- uberant star!
Like you I have to go down, as men say, to whom I shall descend. Bless me, then, you tranquil eye, that can look on even the greatest
happiness without envy! Bless the cup that is about to overflow, that the water may flow golden
from it, and carry everywhere the reflection of your happiness! Behold. This cup is again going to empty itself, and Zarathustra is go-
ing to be a man again. Thus began Zarathustra’s down-going.
Prologue (2) 2 Zarathustra went down the mountain alone, no one meeting him.
When he entered the forest, however, there suddenly stood before him an old man, who had left his holy hut to seek roots in the forest. And thus spoke the old man to Zarathustra:
“No stranger to me is this wanderer: many years ago he passed by. Zarathustra he was called, but he has changed.
Then you carried your ashes up to the mountains: will you now carry your fire into the valleys? Do you not fear the arsonist’s punishment?
Yes, I recognize Zarathustra. Pure are his eyes, and no loathing lurks around his mouth. Does he not move like a dancer?
Transformed is Zarathustra; Zarathustra has become a child; an awakened one is Zarathustra: what will you do in the land of the sleep- ers?
As in the sea have you lived in solitude, and it has supported you. Alas, will you now go ashore? Alas, will you again haul your body by yourself?”
Zarathustra answered: “I love mankind.” “Why,” said the saint, “did I go into the forest and the desert? Was it
not because I loved men far too well? Now I love God; men I do not love. Man is a thing too imperfect for
me. Love of man would be fatal to me.” Zarathustra answered: “Did I talk of love? I am bringing a gift to men.” “Give them nothing,” said the saint. “Instead, take part of their load,
and carry it with them – that will be most agreeable to them: if only it is agreeable to you!
If, however, you want to give something to them, give them no more than alms, and let them also beg for it!”
“No,” replied Zarathustra, “I give no alms. I am not poor enough for that.”
The saint laughed at Zarathustra, and spoke thus: “Then see to it that they accept your treasures! They are distrustful of hermits, and do not believe that we come with gifts.
Our footsteps sound too lonely through the streets. And at night, when they are in bed and hear a man walking nearby long before sunrise, they may ask themselves: Where is this thief going?
Do not go to men, but stay in the forest! Go rather to the animals! Why not be like me – a bear among bears, a bird among birds?”
“And what does the saint do in the forest?” asked Zarathustra. The saint answered: “I make songs and sing them; and in making songs
I laugh and weep and growl and hum: thus do I praise God. With singing, weeping, laughing, growling and humming do I praise
the God who is my God. But what do you bring us as a gift?” When Zarathustra had heard these words, he bowed to the saint and
said: “What should I have to give you?! Let me rather hurry away lest I take something away from you!” – And thus they parted from one anoth- er, the old man and Zarathustra, just like two laughing boys.
When Zarathustra was alone, however, he said to his heart: “Could it be possible?! This old saint in the forest has not yet heard of it, that God is dead!”
Prologue (3) 3 When Zarathustra arrived at the nearest town which is close to the
forest, he found many people assembled in the market-place, for it had been announced that a tightrope walker would give a performance. And Zarathustra spoke thus to the people:
I teach you the overman. Man is something to be surpassed. What have you done to surpass him?
All beings thus far have created something beyond themselves: and you want to be the ebb of this great tide, and even return to the beast rather than surpass man?
What is the ape to man? A laughing-stock or a painful embarrassment. And just the same shall man be to the overman: a laughing-stock or a painful embarrassment.
You have made your way from worm to man, and much inside you is still worm. Once you were apes, and still man is more of an ape than any of the apes.
Even the wisest among you is only a conflict and mix of plant and ghost. But do I bid you become ghosts or plants?
Behold, I teach you the overman! The overman is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: The over-
man shall be the meaning of the earth! I appeal to you, my brothers, remain true to the earth, and do not be-
lieve those who speak to you of otherworldly hopes! Poisoners are they, whether they know it or not.
Despisers of life are they, decaying and poisoned themselves, of whom the earth is weary: so let them pass away!
Once sin against God was the greatest sin; but God died, and with him these sinners. To sin against the earth is now the most terrible sin, and to revere the entrails of the unknowable higher than the meaning of the earth!
Once the soul looked contemptuously on the body, and that contempt was supreme: the soul wished the body thin, hideous, and starved. Thus it thought to escape from the body and the earth.
Oh, that soul was itself thin, hideous, and starved; and cruelty was the desire of that soul!
But you, also, my brothers, tell me: What does your body say about your soul? Is your soul not poverty and dirt and wretched contentment?
Truly, a dirty stream is man. One must be a sea, to receive a dirty stream without becoming unclean.
Behold, I teach you the overman: he is this sea; in him your great con- tempt can pass under and away.
What is your greatest experience? It is the hour of the great contempt. The hour in which even your happiness becomes repulsive to you, and even your reason and virtue.
The hour when you say: “What good is my happiness! It is poverty and dirt and wretched contentment. But my happiness should justify exist- ence itself!”
The hour when you say: “What good is my reason! does it long for knowledge as the lion for his food? It is poverty and dirt and wretched contentment!”
The hour when you say: “What good are my virtues?! As yet they have not made me rage with passion. How weary I am of my good and evil! It is all poverty and dirt and wretched contentment!”
The hour when you say: “What good is my being just and right! I don’t see myself as fire and coals. The just and the right, however, are fire and coals.”
The hour when we say: “What good is my pity! Is not pity the cross on which he is nailed who loves man? But my pity is not a crucifixion.”
Have you ever spoken this way? Have you ever cried this way? Oh! that I could hear you cry like this!
It is not your sin – it is your thrift that cries to heaven; it is the meanness of your sin that cries to heaven.
Where is the lightning to lick you with its tongue? Where is the frenzy with which you should be inoculated?
Behold, I teach you the overman: he is that lightning, he is that frenzy. When Zarathustra had thus spoken, one of the people called out:
“We’ve heard enough of the tightrope walker; now let’s see him also!” And all the people laughed at Zarathustra. But the tightrope walker, who thought the words were for him, began his performance.
Prologue (4) 4 Zarathustra, however, looked at the people and wondered. Then he
spoke thus: Man is a rope stretched between animal and overman – a rope over an
abyss. A dangerous crossing, a dangerous on-the-way, a dangerous looking-
back, a dangerous trembling and stopping. What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal: what can be
loved in man is that he is an over-going and a down-going. I love those who know not how to live except as down-goers, for they
are the over-goers. I love the great despisers, because they are the great reverers, and ar-
rows of longing for the other shore. I love those who do not first seek a reason beyond the stars for going
down and being sacrifices, but sacrifice themselves to the earth, that the earth of the overman may some day arrive.
I love him who lives in order to know, and seeks to know in order that the overman may someday live. Thus he seeks his own down-going.
I love him who works and invents, that he may build a house for the overman, and prepare for him earth, animal, and plant: for thus he seeks his own down-going.
I love him who loves his virtue: for virtue is the will to down-going, and an arrow of longing.
I love him who reserves no drop of spirit for himself, but wants to be entirely the spirit of his virtue: thus he walks as spirit over the bridge.
I love him who makes his virtue his addiction and destiny: thus, for the sake of his virtue, he is willing to live on, or live no more.
I love him who does not desire too many virtues. One virtue is more of a virtue than two, because it is more of a knot for one’s destiny to cling to.
I love him whose soul squanders itself, who wants no thanks and gives none back: for he always gives, and desires not to preserve himself.
I love him who is ashamed when the dice fall in his favor, and who then asks: “Am I a dishonest player?” – for he is willing to perish.
I love him who scatters golden words in front of his deeds, and always does more than he promises: for he seeks his own down-going.
I love him who justifies those people of the future, and redeems those of the past: for he is willing to perish by those of the present.
I love him who chastens his God, because he loves his God: for he must perish by the wrath of his God.
I love him whose soul is deep even in being wounded, and may perish from a small experience: thus goes he gladly over the bridge.
I love him whose soul is so overfull that he forgets himself, and all things are in him: thus all things become his down-going.
I love him who is of a free spirit and a free heart: thus is his head only the entrails of his heart; his heart, however, drives him to go down.
I love all who are like heavy drops falling one by one out of the dark cloud that hangs over man: they herald the coming of the lightning, and perish as heralds.
Behold, I am a herald of the lightning, and a heavy drop out of the cloud: the lightning, however, is called overman.
Prologue (5) 5 When Zarathustra had spoken these words, he again looked at the
people, and was silent. “There they stand,” he said to his heart; “there they laugh: they do not understand me; I am not the mouth for these ears.
Must one first smash their ears, that they may learn to hear with their eyes? Must one clatter like kettledrums and preachers of repentance? Or do they only believe the stammerer?
They have something of which they are proud. What do they call it, that which makes them proud? Education they call it; it distinguishes them from the goatherds.
, Therefore, they dislike to hear the word ‘contempt’ applied to them- selves. So I will appeal to their pride.
I will speak to them of the most contemptible thing: that, however, is the last man!”
And thus spoke Zarathustra to the people:
It is time for man to set a goal for himself. It is time for man to plant the seed of his highest hope.
His soil is still rich enough for it. But that soil will one day be poor and exhausted, and no lofty tree will any longer be able to grow on it.
Alas. There will come a time when man will no longer launch the ar- row of his longing beyond man – and the string of his bow will have un- learned to whir!
I say to you: one must still have chaos in oneself to give birth to a dan- cing star. I say to you: you still have chaos in yourself.
Alas. There will come a time when man can no longer give birth to any star. Alas. There will come the time of the most despicable man, who can no longer despise himself.
Behold. I show you the last man. “What is love? What is creation? What is longing? What is a star?” – so
asks the last man and blinks. The earth has then become small, and on it there hops the last man
who makes everything small. His race is as ineradicable as the flea; the last man lives longest.
“We have invented happiness”, say the last men, and they blink. They have left the regions where it was hard to live; for one needs
warmth. One still loves one’s neighbor and rubs against him; for one needs warmth.
Becoming ill and being distrustful, they consider sinful: one proceeds carefully. He is a fool who still stumbles over stones or men!
A little poison now and then: that makes pleasant dreams. And much poison in the end, for a pleasant death.
One still works, for work is entertaining. But one is careful lest the en- tertainment should assault you.
One no longer becomes poor or rich; both are too burdensome. Who still wants to rule? Who still wants to obey? Both are too burdensome.
No shepherd and one herd! Everyone wants the same; everyone is the same: he who feels differently goes voluntarily into the madhouse.
“Formerly all the world was insane”, say the most refined, and they blink.
They are clever and know all that has happened: so there is no end to their mockery. People still quarrel, but they are soon reconciled – other- wise it might spoil their digestion.
They have their little pleasures for the day, and their little pleasures for the night, but they have a regard for health.
“We have invented happiness,” say the last men, and they blink.
And here ended the first discourse of Zarathustra, which is also called “The Prologue”, for at this point the shouting and delight of the crowd interrupted him. “Give us this last man, O Zarathustra” – they called out – “Make us into these last men! Then will we make you a present of the overman!” And all the people laughed and clucked with their tongues. Zarathustra, however, grew sad, and said to his heart:
“They don’t understand me: I am not the mouth for these ears. Perhaps I have lived too long in the mountains; too long have I listened
to the brooks and trees: now I speak to them as to the goatherds. Calm is my soul, and clear, like the mountains in the morning. But they
think I am cold, and a mocker with fearful jokes. And now do they look at me and laugh: and while they laugh they hate
me too. There is ice in their laughter.”
Prologue (6) 6 Then, however, something happened which made every mouth mute
and every eye fixed. For meanwhile the tight-rope walker had begun his performance: he had come out from a little door, and was walking along the rope which was stretched between two towers, so that it hung above the market-place and the people. When he was exactly in the middle, the little door opened once more, and a fellow, dressed like a clown or a buf- foon, jumped out and walked rapidly after the first one. “Go on, lame- foot,” he cried in a frightful voice, “go on, lazybones, intruder, paleface, or I shall tickle you with my heel! What are you doing here between the towers? In the tower is where you belong. You should be locked up there; you block the way for one better than yourself!” – And with every word he came nearer and nearer. However when he was but a step be- hind, a terrible thing happened which made every mouth silent and every eye fixed – he uttered a yell like a devil, and jumped over the man who was in his way. This man, when he thus saw his rival win, lost both his head and his footing on the rope, threw away his pole, and he plunged even faster downward into the depth, a whirlpool of arms and legs. The market-place and the people were like the sea in a storm: they rushed apart and over one another, especially where the body was to hit the ground.
Zarathustra, however, remained standing, and just beside him fell the
body, badly injured and disfigured, but not yet dead. After a while con- sciousness returned to the shattered man, and he saw Zarathustra kneel- ing beside him. “What are you doing here?” said he at last, “I knew long ago that the devil would trip me up. Now he drags me to hell. will you prevent him?”
“On my honor, friend,” answered Zarathustra, “there is nothing of this that you speak: there is no devil and no hell. Your soul will be dead even sooner than your body; therefore, fear nothing more!”
The man looked up distrustfully. “If you speak the truth,” he said, “I lose nothing when I lose my life. I am not much more than an animal which has been taught to dance by blows and a few meager morsels.”
“Not at all,” said Zarathustra, “you have made danger your calling; there is nothing contemptible in that. Now you perish by your calling: therefore I will bury you with my own hands.”
When Zarathustra had said this the dying one did not reply further; but he moved his hand as if he sought the hand of Zarathustra in gratitude.
Prologue (7) 7 Meanwhile the evening came on, and the market-place was veiled in
darkness. Then the people dispersed, for even curiosity and terror be- come fatigued. However Zarathustra still sat beside the dead man on the ground, absorbed in thought so that he forgot the time. At last it became night, and a cold wind blew upon the lonely one. Then Zarathustra arose and said to his heart:
Truly, a fine catch of fish has Zarathustra made to-day! It is not a man he has caught, but a corpse.
Uncanny is human existence and as yet without meaning: a buffoon can become a man’s fate and fatality.
I want to teach men the meaning of their existence, which is the over- man, the lightning out of the dark cloud of man.
But I am still far from them, and my sense speaks not to their senses. To men I am still something between a fool and a corpse.
Dark is the night, Dark are the ways of Zarathustra. Come, you cold and stiff companion! I will carry you to the place where I may bury you with my own hands.
Prologue (8) 8 When Zarathustra had said this to his heart, he put the corpse on his
shoulders and set out on his way. He had not gone a hundred steps, when a man crept up to him and whispered in his ear – and behold it was the buffoon from the tower. “Leave this town, O Zarathustra,” he said, “there are too many here who hate you. The good and just hate you, and call you their enemy and despiser; the believers in the true faith hate you, and call you a danger to the multitude. It was lucky for you that you were laughed at; and truly you spoke like a buffoon. It was your good fortune to associate with the dead dog; by so humiliating yourself you have saved your life for today. But leave this town, – or tomorrow I shall jump over you, a living man over a dead one.” And when he had said this, the buffoon vanished; But Zarathustra went on through the dark streets.
At the gate of the town the gravediggers met him: they shone their torch on his face, and, recognising Zarathustra, they greatly mocked him. “Zarathustra is carrying away the dead dog: a fine thing that Zarathustra has become a grave-digger! For our hands are too clean for this roast. Will Zarathustra rob the devil of his mouthful? Well then, good luck with your meal! If only the devil were not a better thief than Zarathustra! – he will steal them both, he will eat them both!” And they laughed and put their heads together.
Zarathustra said nothing but went on his way. When he had gone on for two hours, past forests and swamps, he heard too much of the hungry howling of the wolves, and he himself became hungry. So he stopped at a lonely house in which a light was burning.
“Hunger attacks me,” said Zarathustra, “like a robber. Among forests and swamps my hunger attacks me, and late in the night.
“My hunger has strange moods. Often it comes to me only after a meal, and today it did not come at all; where has it been?”
And with that, Zarathustra knocked at the door of the house. An old man appeared, who carried a light, and asked: “Who comes to me and my bad sleep?”
“A living man and a dead one,” said Zarathustra. “Give me something to eat and drink, I forgot about it during the day. He that feeds the
hungry refreshes his own soul, thus speaks wisdom.” The old man went back in, but returned shortly and offered Zarathus-
tra bread and wine. “A bad country for the hungry,” he said; “that is why I live here. Animals and men come to me, the hermit. But bid your com- panion eat and drink also, he is wearier than you are.” Zarathustra replied: “My companion is dead; I should hardly be able to persuade him.” “I don’t care,” said the old man peevishly; “Whoever knocks at my door must take what I offer him. Eat and be off!”-
Thereafter Zarathustra again went on for two hours, trusting the path and the light of the stars: for he was used to walking at night, and loved to look into the face of all that sleeps. When morning dawned, however, Zarathustra found himself in a thick forest, and he did not see a path anywhere. So he put the dead man in a hollow tree – for he wanted to protect him from the wolves – and he himself lay down on the ground and moss, his head beneath the tree. And soon he fell asleep, tired in body but with a tranquil soul.
Prologue (9) 9 Zarathustra slept a long time and not only the rosy dawn passed over
his face, but also the morning. At last, however, his eyes opened: amazed, he gazed into the forest and the stillness; amazed, he gazed into himself. Then he arose quickly, like a seafarer who all at once sees the land, and he rejoiced, for he saw a new truth. And he spoke thus to his heart:
A light has dawned upon me: I need companions – living ones, not dead companions and corpses, which I carry with me wherever I wish.
But I need living companions, who will follow me because they want to follow themselves – wherever I want. A light has dawned upon me. Not to the people is Zarathustra to speak, but to companions! Zarathus- tra shall not become a shephard and a sheepdog to the herd!
To lure many from the herd – for that I have come. The people and the herd shall be angry with me: Zarathustra wants to be called a robber by the herdsmen.
I say herdsmen, but they call themselves the good and just. I say herds- men, but they call themselves the believers in the true faith.
Behold the good and just! Whom do they hate most? The one who
breaks their tables of values, the breaker, the lawbreaker; he, however, is the creator.
Behold the believers of all beliefs! Whom do they hate most? The one who breaks up their tables of values, the breaker, the lawbreaker; he, however, is the creator.
Companions, the creator seeks, not corpses, not herds and believers. Fellow creators the creator seeks – those who write new values on new tables.
Companions, the creator seeks, and fellow harvesters; for with everything is ripe for the harvest. But he lacks the hundred sickles: so he plucks the ears of corn and is annoyed.
Companions, the creator seeks, and such as know how to whet their sickles. They will they be called destroyers, and despisers of good and evil. But they are the harvesters and rejoicers.
Fellow-creators, Zarathustra seeks; fellow harvesters and fellow re- joicers, Zarathustra seeks: what has he to do with herds and shepherds and corpses!
And you, my first companion, farewell! I have buried you well in your hollow tree; I have hidden you from the wolves.
But I part from you; the time has arrived. Between rosy dawn and rosy dawn there came to me a new truth.
I am not to be a shepherd, I am not to be a gravedigger. No more will I speak to the people; for the last time have I spoken to the dead.
I will join the creators, the harvesters, and the rejoicers: I will show them the rainbow and all the steps to the overman.
I will sing my song to the hermits; to the lonesome and the twosome I will sing my song; and to whoever still has ears for the unheard, I will make his heart heavy with my happiness.
I go towards my goal, I follow my course; over those who hesitate and lag behind I will leap. Thus may my going be their down going-down!
Prologue (10) 10 Zarathustra said this to his heart when the sun stood high at noon.
Then he looked inquiringly up high, for he heard above him the sharp call of a bird. And Behold! An eagle swept through the air in wide circles, and on it hung a serpent, not like a prey, but like a friend: for it
kept itself coiled round the eagle’s neck. “They are my animals,” said Zarathustra, and rejoiced in his heart. “The proudest animal under the sun and the wisest animal under the
sun, – they have come to search for me. They want to know whether Zarathustra still lives. Truly, do I still live? I have found it more dangerous among men than among animals; on
dangerous paths walks Zarathustra. May my animals lead me! When Zarathustra had said this, he remembered the words of the saint
in the forest, sighed and spoke thus to his heart: “I wish I were wiser! I wish I were wise from the very heart, like my
serpent! But I am asking the impossible. So I ask my pride that it always go
along with my wisdom! And if my wisdom should some day leave me – Ah, how it loves to fly
away! – then may my pride fly with my folly!” Thus began Zarathustra’s down-going.
THUS SPOKE ZARATHUSTRA
1. The Three Metamorphoses 2. The Academic Chairs Of Virtue 3. On the Believers in an Afterworld 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 1, (1) THE THREE METAMORPHOSES
Three metamorphoses of the spirit do I name to you: how the spirit be- comes a camel, the camel a lion, and the lion at last a child.
Many heavy things are there for the spirit, the strong weight-bearing spirit in which reverence dwells: for the heavy and the heaviest are what its strength longs for.
What is heavy? so asks the weight-bearing spirit; then it kneels down like the camel, and wants to be well loaded.
What is the heaviest thing, you heroes? asks the weight-bearing spirit, that I may take it upon me and rejoice in my strength.
Is it not this: To humble oneself in order to hurt one’s pride? To let one’s folly shine in order to mock one’s wisdom?
Or is it this: To desert our cause when it celebrates its triumph? To climb 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 send away comforters, and make friends with the deaf, who never hear what you wish?
Or is it this: To wade into dirty water when it is the water of truth, and not repelling cold frogs and hot toads?
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 weight-bearing spirit takes upon itself: and like the camel, which, when burdened, speeds into the wilderness, so the spirit speeds into its wilderness.
But in the loneliest wilderness the second metamorphosis happens: here the spirit becomes a lion; it will seize freedom, and become master in its own wilderness.
Here it seeks its last master: it will fight him, and its last God; for vic- tory it will struggle with the great dragon.
What is the great dragon which the spirit is no longer inclined to call Lord and God? “You shall,” is what great dragon is called. But the spirit of the lion says, “I will.”
“You shall,” lies in its path, sparkling with gold – a beast covered with scales; and on every scale glitters a golden, “You shall!”
The values of a thousand years glitter on those scales, and thus speaks the mightiest of all dragons: “All the values of all things – glitter on me.
All values have already been created, and all created values – do I rep- resent. Truly, there shall be no ‘I will’ any more. Thus speaks the dragon.
My brothers, why is there need of the lion in the spirit? Why is it not enough the beast of burden, which renounces 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 No even to duty: for that, my brothers, there is need of the lion.
To assume the right to new values – that is the most formidable