Thus Spake Zarathustra/Part One

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Thus Spake Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche
Part One

1. The Three Metamorphoses[edit]

Three metamorphoses of the spirit do I designate to you: now 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 the 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 things, 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 temper?

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?

Or is it this: To love those who despise us, and to 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 unto duty: for that, my brethren, there is no need of the lion.

To assume the ride into 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 it is 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, and 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.—

Thus spake Zarathustra. And at that time he abode in the town which is called The Pied Cow.

2. The Academic Chairs of Virtue[edit]

People commended unto Zarathustra a wise man, as one who could discourse well about sleep and virtue: greatly was he honoured and rewarded for it, and all the youths sat before his chair. To him went Zarathustra, and sat among the youths before his chair. And thus spake the wise man:

Respect and modesty in presence of sleep! That is the first thing! And to go out of the way of all who sleep badly and keep awake at night!

Modest is even the thief in the presence of sleep: He always stealeth softly through the night. Immodest, however, is the night-watchman; immodestly he carrieth his horn. No small art is it to sleep: it is necessary for that purpose to keep awake all day.

Ten times a day must thou overcome thyself: that causeth wholesome weariness, and is poppy to the soul.

Ten times must thou reconcile again with thyself; for overcoming is bitterness, and badly sleep the unreconciled.

Ten truths must thou find during the day; otherwise wilt thou seek truth during the night, and they soul will have been hungry.

Ten times must thou laugh during the day, and be cheerful; otherwise thy stomach, the father of affliction, will disturb thee in the night.

Few people know it, but one must have all the virtues in order to sleep well. Shall I bear false witness? Shall I commit adultery?

Shall I covet my neighbour's maidservant? All that would ill accord with good sleep.

And even if one have all the virtues, there is still one thing needful: to send the virtues themselves to sleep at the right time.

That they may not quarrel with one another, the good females! And about thee, thou unhappy one!

Peace with God and they neighbour: so desireth good sleep. And peace also with they neighbour's devil! Otherwise it will haunt thee in the night.

Honour to the government, and obedience, and also to the crooked government! So desireth good sleep. How can I help it, if power liketh to walk on crooked legs?

He who leadeth his sheep to the greenest pasture, shall always be for me the best shepherd: so doth it accord with good sleep. Many honours I want not, nor great treasures: they excite the spleen. But it is bad sleeping without a good name and a little treasure.

A small company is more welcome to me than a bad one: but they must come and go at the right time. So doth it accord with good sleep.

Well, also, do the poor in spirit please me: they promote sleep. Blessed are they, especially if one always give in to them.

Thus passeth the day unto the virtuous. When night cometh, then take I good care not to summon sleep. It disliketh to be summoned—sleep, the lord of the virtues!

But I think of what I have done and thought during the day. Thus ruminating, patient as a cow, I ask myself: What were they ten overcomings?

And what were the ten reconciliations, and the ten truths, and the ten laughters with which my heart enjoyed itself?

Thus pondering, and cradled by forty thoughts, it over taketh me all at once - sleep, the unsummoned, the lord of the virtues.

Sleep tappeth on mine eye, and it turneth heavy. Sleep toucheth my mouth, and it remaineth open.

Verily, on the soft soles doth it come to me, the dearest of thieves, and stealeth from me my thoughts: stupid to I then stand, like this academic chair.

But not much longer do I then stand: I already lie. -

When Zarathustra heard the wise man thus speak, he laughed in his heart: for thereby had a light dawned upon him and thus spake he to his heart:

A fool seemeth this wise man with his forty thoughts: but I believe he knoweth well how to sleep.

Happy even is he who liveth near this wise man! Such sleep is contagious—even through a thick wall it is contagious. A magic resideth even in his academic chair. And not in vain did the youths sit before the preacher of virtue.

His wisdom is to keep awake in order to sleep well. And verily, if life had no sense, and I had to choose nonsense, this would be the desirablest nonsense for me also.

Now know I well what people sought formerly above all else when they sought teachers of virtue. Good sleep they sought for themselves, and a poppy-head virtues to promote it!

To all those belauded sages of the academic chairs, wisdom was sleep without dreams: they knew no higher significance of life.

Even at present, to be sure, there are some like this preacher of virtue, and not always so honourable: but their time is past. And not much longer do they stand: there they already lie.

Blessed are those drowsy ones: for they shall soon nod to sleep.—

Thus spake Zarathustra.

3. Backworldsmen[edit]

Once on a time, Zarathustra also cast his fancy beyond man, like all backworldsmen. The work of a suffering and tortured God, did the world then seem to me.

The dream—and diction—of a God, did the world then seem to me; coloured vapours before the eyes of a divinely dissatisfied one.

Good and evil, and joy and woe, and I and thou—coloured vapours did they seem to me before creative eyes. The creator wished to look away from himself,—thereupon he created the world.

Intoxicating joy is it for the sufferer to look away from his suffering and forget himself. Intoxicating joy and self-forgetting, did the world once seem to me.

This world, the eternally imperfect, and internal contradiction's image and imperfect image—an intoxicating joy to its imperfect creator:—thus did the world once seem to me.

Thus, once on a time, did I also cast my fancy beyond man, like all backworldsmen. Beyond man, forsooth?

Ah, ye brethren, that God whom I created was human work and human madness, like all gods!

A man was he, and only a poor fragment of a man and ego. Out of mine own ashes and glow it came unto me, that phatom. And verily, it came not unto me from beyond!

What happened, my brethren? I surpassed myself, the suffering one; I carried mine own ashes to the mountain; a brighter flame I contrived for myself. And lo! Thereupon the phantom withdrew from me!

To me the convalescent would it now be suffering and torment to believe in such phantoms: suffering would it now be to me, and humiliation. Thus I speak to backworldsmen.

Suffering was it, and impotence - that created all backworlds; and the short madness of happiness, which only the greatest sufferer experienceth.

Weariness, which seeketh to get the ultimate one leap, with a death-leap; a poor ignorant weariness, unwilling even to will any longer: that created all gods and backworlds.

Believe me, my brethren! It was the body which despaired of the body - it groped with the fingers or the infatuated spirit at the ultimate walls. Believe me, my brethren! It was the body which despaired of the earth - it heard the bowels of existence speaking unto it.

And then it sought to get through the ultimate walls with its head - and not with its head only - into "the other world."

But that "other world" is well concealed from man, that dehumanised, inhuman world, which is a celestial naught; and the bowels of existence do not speak unto man, except as a man.

Verily, it is difficult to prove all being, and hard to make it speak. Tell me, ye brethren, is not the strangest of all things best proved?

Yea, this ego, with its contradiction and perplexity, speaketh most uprightly of its being - this creating, willing, evauluing ego, which is the measure and value of things.

And this most upright existence, the ego - it speaketh of the body, and still implieth the body, even when it museth raveth and fluttereth with broken wings.

Always more uprightly learneth it to speak, the ego; and the more it learneth, the more doth it find titles, and honours for the body and the earth.

A new pride taught me mine ego, and that teach I unto men: no longer to thrust one's 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 slink aside from it, like the sick and perishing!

The sick and perishing - it was they who dispised the body and the earth, and invented the heavenly world, and the redeeming blood-drops; but even those sweet and sad poisons they borrowed from the body and the earth!

From their misery they sought to escape, and the stars were too remote for them. Then they sight: "O that there were heavenly paths by which to steal into another existence and into happiness!" Then they contrived for themselves their bypaths and bloody draughts!

Beyond the sphere of their body and this earth they now fancied themselves transported, these ungrateful ones. But to what did they owe the convulsion and rapture of their transport? To their body and this earth.

Gentle is Zarathustra to the sickly. Verily, he is not indignant of their modes of consolation and ingratitude. May they become convalescents and overcomers, and create higher bodies for themselves!

Neither is Zarathustra indignant at a convalescent who looketh tenderly on his delusions, and at midnight stealeth round the grave of his God; but sickness and a sick frame remain even in his tears.

Many sickly ones have there always been among those who muse, and languish for God; violently they hate the discerning ones, and the latest of virtues, which is uprightness.

Backward they always gaze toward dark ages: then, indeed, were delusion and faith something different. Raving of the reason was likeness to God, and doubt was sin.

Too well do I know those godlike ones: they insist on being believed in, and that doubt is sin. Too well, also, do I know what they themselves most believe in.

Verily, not in backworlds and redeeming blood-drops: but in the body do they also believe most; and their own body is for them the thing-in-itself.

But it is a sickly thing to them, and gladly would they get out of their skin. Therefore hearken they to the preachers of death, and themselves preach backworlds. Hearken rather, my brethren, to the voice of the healthy body; it is a more upright and pure voice.

More uprightly and purely speaketh the healthy body, perfect and square-built; and it speaketh of the meaning of the earth.—


Thus spake Zarathustra.

4. The Dispisers of the Body[edit]

To the despisers of the body will I speak my word. I wish them neither to learn afresh, nor teach anew, but only to bid farewell to their own bodies,—and thus be dumb.

"Body am I, and soul"—so saith the child. And why should one not speak like children?

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

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

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

"Ego," sayest thou, and art proud of that word. But the greater thing—in which thou are unwilling to believe—is they body with its big sagacity; it saith not "ego," but doeth it.

What the sense feeleth, what the spirit discerneth, hat never its end in itself. But sense and spirit would fain persuade thee that they are the end of all things: so vain are they. Instruments and plaything 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.

Ever hearkeneth the Self, and seeketh; it compareth, mastereth, conquereth, and destroyeth. It ruleth, and is also the ego's ruler.

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

There is more sagacity in thy body than in thy best wisdom. And who then knoweth why thy body requrieth just thy best wisdom?

Thy Self laugheth at thine ego, and its proud prancings. "What are these prancings and flights of thought unto me?" it saith to itself. "A by-way to my purpose. I am the leading string of the ego, and the prompter of its notions."

The Self saith unto the ego: "Feel pain!" And thereupon it suffereth, and thinketh how it may put and end thereto - and for that very purpose it is meant to think.

To the dispisers of the body will I speak a word. That they dispise is caused by their esteem. What is it that created esteeming and dispising and worth and will?

The creating Self created for itself esteeming and despising, it created for itself joy and woe. The creating body created for itself spirit, as a hand to its will.

Even in your folly and despising ye each serve your Self, ye despisers of the body. I tell you, your very self wanteth to die, and turneth away from life.

No longer can your Self do that which it desireth most: - create beyond itself. That is what it desireth most; that is all its fervour.

But it is now too late to do so: - so your Self wisheth to succumb, ye despisers of the body.

To succumb - so wisheth your Self; and therefore have ye become despisers of the body. For ye can no longer create beyond yourselves.

And therefore are ye now angry with life and with the earth. And unconscious envy is in the sidelong look of your contempt.

I go not your way, ye despisers of the body! Ye are no bridges for me to the Superman! -

Thus spake Zarathustra.

5. Joys and Passions

My brother, when thou hast a virtue, and it is thine own virtue, thou hast it in common with no one.

To be sure, thou wouldst call it by name and caress it; thou wouldst pull its ears and amuse thyself with it.

And lo! Then hast thou its name in common with the people, and hast become one of the people and herd with thy virtue!

Better for thee to say: "Ineffable is it, and nameless, that which is pain and sweetness to my soul, and also the hunger of my bowels."

Let thy virtue be too high for the familiarity of names, and if thou must speak of it, be not ashamed to stammer about it. Thus speak and stammer: "That is my good, that do I love, thus doth it please me entirely, thus only do I desire the good.

Not as the law of a God do I desire it, not as a human law or a human need do I desire it; it is not to be a guide-post for me to superearths and paradises.

An earthly virtue is it which I love: little prudence is therein, and the least everyday wisdom.

But that bird built its nest beside me: therefore, I love and cherish it - now sitteth it beside me on its golden eggs."

Thus shouldst thou stammer, and praise thy virtue.

Once hadst thou passions and calledst them evil. But now hast thou only thy virtues: they grew out of thy passions.

Thou implantedst thy highest aim into the heart of those passions: then became they thy virtues and joys.

And though thou wert of the race of the hot-tempered, or of the voluptuous, or of the fanatical, or the vindictive;

All thy passions in the end became virtues, and all thy devils angels.

Once hadst thou wild dogs in thy cellar: but they changed at last into birds and charming songstresses.

Out of thy poisons brewedst thou balsam for thyself; thy cow, affliction, milkedst thou - now drinketh thou the sweet milk of her udder.

And nothing evil groweth in thee any longer, unless it be the evil that groweth out of the conflict of thy virtues.

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

Illustrious is it to have many virtues, but a hard lot; and many a one hath gone into the wilderness and killed himself, because he is weary of being the battle and battlefield of virtues. My brother, are war and battle evil? Necessary, however is the evil; necessary are the envy and the distrust and the back-biting among the virtues.

Lo! how each of thy virtues is covetous of the highest place; it wanteth thy whole spirit to be its herald, it wanteth thy whole power, in wrath, hatred, and love.

Jealous is every virtue of the others, and a dreadful thing is jealousy. Even virtues may succumb by jealousy.

He whom the flame of jealousy encompasseth, turneth at last, like the scorpion, the poisoned sting against himself.

Ah! my brother, hast thou never seen a virtue backbite and stab itself?

Man is something that hath to be surpassed: and therefore shalt thou love thy virtues, - for thou wilt succumb by them -

Thus spake Zarathustra.

6. The Pale Criminal[edit]

Ye do not mean to slay, ye judges and sacrificers, until the animal hath bowed its head? Lo! the pale criminal hath bowed his head: out of his eye speaketh the great contempt.

"Mine ego is something which is to be surpassed: mine ego is to me the great contempt of man": so speaketh it out of that eye.

When he judged himself - that was his supreame moment; let not the exalted one relapse again into his low estate!

There is no salvation for him who thus suffereth from himself, unless it be speedy death. Your slaying, ye judges, shall be pity, and not revenge; and in that ye slay, see to it that ye yourselves justify life!

It is not enough that ye should reconcile with him whom ye slay. Let your sorrow be love to the Superman: thus will ye justify your own survival!

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

And thou, red judge, if thou would say audibly all thou hast done in thought, then would every one cry: "Away with the nastiness and the virtulent reptile!"

But one thing is the thought, another thing is the deed, and another thing is the idea of the deed. The wheel of causality doth not roll between them.

An idea made this pale man pale. Adequate was he for his deed when he did it, but the idea of it, he could not endure when it was done.

Evermore did he now see himself as the doer of one deed. Madness, I call this: the exception reversed itself to the rule in him.

The streak of chalk bewitcheth the hen; the stroke he struck bewitched his weak reason. Madness after the deed, I call this.

Hearken, ye judges! There is another madness besides, and it is before the deed. Ah! ye have not gone deep enough into this soul!

Thus speaketh the red judge: "Why did this criminal commit murder? He meant to rob." I tell you, however, that his soul wanted blood, not booty: he thirsted for the happiness of the knife!

But his weak reason understood not this madness, and it persuaded him. "What matter about blood!" it said; "wishest thou not, at least, to make booty thereby? Or take revenge?" And he hearkened unto his weak reason: like lead lay its words upon him - thereupon he robbed when he murdered. He did not mean to be ashamed of his madness.

And now once more lieth the lead of his guilt upon him, and once more is his weak reason so benumbled, so paralysed, and so dull.

Could he only shake his head, then would his burden roll off; but who shaketh that head?

What is this man? A mass of diseases that reach out into the world through the spirit; there they want to get their prey.

What is this man? A coil of wild serpents that are seldom at peace among themselves - so they go forth apart and seek prey in the world.

Look at that poor body! What it suffered and craved, the poor soul interpreted to itself - it interpreted it as murderous desire, and eagerness for the happiness of the knife.

Him who now turneth sick, the evil over taketh which is now the evil: he seeketh to cause pain with that which causeth him pain. But there have been other ages, and another evil and good.

Once was doubt evil, and the will to Self. Then the invalid became a heretic or sorcerer; as heretic or sorcerer he suffered, and sought to cause suffering.

But this will not enter your ears; it hurteth your good people, ye tell me. But what doth it matter to me about your good people!

Many things in your good people cause me disgust, and verily, not their evil. I would that they had a madness by which they succumbed, like this pale criminal!

Verily, I would that their madnesss were called truth, or fidelity, or justice: but they have their virtue in order to live long, and in wretched self-complacency.

I am railing alongside the torrent; whoever is able to grasp me may grasp me! Your crutch, however, I am not. -

Thus spake Zarathustra.

7. Reading and Writing[edit]

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.

It is no easy task to understand unfamiliar blood; I hate the reading idlers.

He who knoweth the reader, doeth nothing more for the reader. Another century of readers - and the spirit itself will stink.

Every one being allowed to learn to read, ruineth in the long run not only writing but also thinking.

Once spirit was God, then it became man, and now it even becometh populace.

He that writeth in blood and proverbs doth not want to be read, but learned by heart.

In the mountains the shortest way is from peak to peak, but for that route thou must have long legs. Proverbs should be peaks, and those spoken to should be big and tall.

The atmosphere rare and pure, danger near and the spirit full of a joyful wickedness: thus are things well matched.

I want to have goblins about me, for I am courageous. The courage which scareth away ghosts, createth for itself goblins - it wanteth to laugh.

I no longer feel in common with you; the very cloud which I see beneath me, the blackness and heaviness at which I laugh - that is your thunder-cloud.

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.

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

Ye tell me, "Life is hard to bear." But for what purpose should ye have your pride in the morning and your resignation in the evening?

Life is hard to bear: but do not affect to be so delicate! We are all of us fine sumpter asses and she-asses.

What have we in common with the rose-bud, which trembleth because a drop of dew hath formed upon it?

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

There is always some madness in love. But there is always, also, some method in madness.

And to me also, who appreciate life, the butterflies, soap-bubbles, and whatever is like them amongst us, seem most to enjoy hapiness.

To see these light, foolish, pretty, lively little sprites flit about - that moveth Zarathustra to tears and songs.

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

And when I saw my devil, I found him serious, thorough, profound, solemn: he was the spirit of gravity - through him all things fall.

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

I learned to walk; since then have I let myself run. I learned to fly; since then I do not need pushing in order to move from a spot.

Now am I light, now do I fly; now do I see myself under myself. Now there danceth a God in me. -

Thus spake Zarathustra.

8. The Tree on the Hill[edit]

Zarathustra's eye had perceived that a certain youth avoided him. And as he walked alone one evening over the hills surrounding the town called "The Pied Cow," behold, there found he the youth sitting leaning against a tree, and gazing with wearied look into the valley. Zarathustra thereupon laid hold of the tree beside which the youth sat, and spake thus:

"If I wished to shake this tree with my hands, I should not be able to do so.

But the wind, which we see not, troubleth and bendeth it and it listeth. We are sorest bent and troubled by invisible hands."

Thereupon the youth arose disconcerted, and said: "I hear Zarathustra, and just now was thinking of him!" Zarathustra answered:

"Why art thou frightened on that account? - But it is the same with man as with the tree. The more he seeketh to rise into the height and light, the more vigorously do his roots struggle earthward, downward, into the dark and deep—into the evil."

"Yea, into the evil!" cried the youth. "How is it possible that thou hast discovered my soul?"

Zarathustra smiled, and said: "Many a soul on will never discover, unless one first invent it."

"Yea, into the evil!" cried the youth once more.

"Thou saidst the truth, Zarathustra. I trust myself no longer since I sought to rise into the height, and nobody trusteth me any longer; how doth that happen?

I change too quickly: my to-day refuteth my yesterday. I often overlap the steps when I clamber; for so doing, none of the steps pardons me.

When aloft, I find myself always alone. No one speaketh unto me; the frost of solitude maketh me tremble. What do I seek on the height?

My contempt and my longing increase together; the higher I clamber, the more do I despise him who clambereth. What doth he seek on the height?

How ashamed I am of my clambering and stumbling! How I mock at my violent panting! How I hate him who flieth! How tired I am on the height!"

Here the youth was silent. And Zarathustra contemplated the tree beside which they stood, and spake thus:

"This tree standeth here on the hills; it hath grown up high above man and beast.

And if it wanted to speak, it would have none who could understand it: so high hath it grown.

Now it waiteth and waiteth,—for what doth it wait? It dwelleth too close to the seat of the clouds; it waiteth perhaps for the first lightning?" When Zarathustra had said this, the youth called out with violent gestures: "Yea, Zarathustra, thou speakest the truth. My destruction I longed for, when I desired to be on the height, and thou art the lightning for which I waited! Lo! what have I been since thou hast appeared amongst us? It is mine envy of thee that hath destroyed me!"—Thus spake the youth, and wept bitterly. Zarathustra, however, put his arm around him, and led the youth away with him.

And when they had walked a while together, Zarathustra began to speak thus:

It rendeth my heart. Better than thy words express it, thine eyes tell me all thy danger.

As thou art not free; thou still seekest freedom. Too unslept hath thy seeking made thee, and too wakeful.

On the open height wouldst thou be; for the stars thirsteth thy soul. But thy bad impulses also thirst for freedom.

Thy wild dogs want liberty; they bark for joy in their cellar when thy spirit endeavoureth to open all prison doors.

Still art thou a prisoner—it seemeth to me—who deviseth liberty for himself: ah! sharp becometh the soul of such prisoners, but also deceitful and wicked.

To purify himself, is still necessary for the freedman of the spirit. Much of the prison and mould still remaineth in him: pure hath his eye still to become.

Yea, I know thy danger. But by my love and hope I conjure thee: cast not thy love and hope away!

Noble thou feelst thyself still, and noble others also feel thee still, though they bear thee a grudge and cast evil looks. Know this, that to everybody a noble one standeth in the way.

Also to the good, a noble one standeth in the way: and even when they call him a good man, they want thereby to put him aside. The new, would the noble man create, and a new virtue. The old, wanteth the good man, and that the old should be conserved.

But it is not the danger of the noble man to turn a good man, but lest he should become a blusterer, a scoffer, or a destroyer.

Ah! I have known noble ones who lost their highest hope. And then they disparaged all high hopes.

Then lived they shamelessly in temporary pleasures, and beyond the day had hardly an aim.

"Spirit is also voluptousness,"—said they. Then broke the wings of their spirit; and now it creepeth about, and defileth where it gnaweth.

Once they thought of becoming heroes; but sensualists are they now. A trouble and a terror is the hero to them.

But by my love and hope I conjure thee: cast not away the hero in thy soul! Maintain holy thy highest hope!—


Thus spake Zarathustra.

9. The Preachers of Death[edit]

There are preachers of death: and the earth is full of those to whom desistance from life must be preached.

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"!

"The yellow ones": so are called the preachers of death, or "the black ones." But I will show them unto you in other colours besides.

There are the terrible ones who carry about in themselves the beast of prey, and have no choice except lusts or self-laceration. And even their lusts are self-laceration.

They have not yet become men, those terrible ones: may they preach desistance from life, and pass away themselves!

There are the spiritually consumptive ones: hardly are they born when they begin to die, and long for doctrines of lassitude and renunciation.

They would fain be dead, and we should approve of their wish! Let us beware of awakening those dead ones, and of damaging those living coffins!

They meet an invalid, or an old man, or a corpse—and immediately they say: "Life is refuted!"

But they are only refuted, and their eye, which seeth only one aspect of existence.

Shrouded in thick melancholy, and eager for the little casualties that bring death: thus do they wait, and clench their teeth.

Or else, they grasp at sweetmeats, and mock at their childishness thereby: they cling to their straw of life, and mock at their still clinging to it.

Their wisdom speaketh thus: "A fool, he who remaineth alive; but so far are we fools! And that is the foolishest thing in life!"

"Life is only suffering": so say others, and lie not. Then see to it that ye cease! See to it that the life ceaseth which is only suffering!

And let this be the teaching of your virtue: "Thou shalt slay thyself! Thou shalt steal away from thyself!"— "Lust is sin,"—so say some who preach death—"let us go apart and beget no children!"

"Giving birth is troublesome,"—say others—"why still give birth? One beareth only the unfortunate!" And they also are preachers of death.

"Pity is necessary,"—so saith a third party. "Take what I have! Take what I am! So much less doth life bind me!"

Were they consistently pitiful, then would they make their neighbours sick of life. To be wicked—that would be their true goodness.

But they want to be rid of life; what care they if they bind others still faster with their chains and gifts!—

And ye also, to whom life is rough and labour is disquiet, are ye not very tired of life? Are ye not very ripe for the sermon of death?

All ye whom rough labour is dear, and the rapid, new, and strange—ye put up with yourselves badly; your diligence is flight, and the will to self-forgetfulness.

If ye believed more in life, then would ye devote yourselves less to the momentary. But for waiting, ye have not enough capacity in you—nor even for idling!

Everywhere resoundeth the voices of those who preach death; and the earth is full of those whom death hath to be preached.

Or "life eternal"; it is all the same to me—if only they pass away quickly!—


Thus spake Zarathustra.

10. War and Warriors[edit]

By our best enemies we do not want to be spared, nor by those either whom we love from the very heart. So let me tell you the truth!

My brethren in war! I love you from the very heart. I am, and was ever, your counterpart. And I am also your best enemy. So let me tell you the truth!

I know the hatred and envy of your hearts. Ye are not so great enough to not know of hatred and envy. Then be great enough not to be ashamed of them!

And if ye cannot be saints of knowledge, then, I pray to you, be at least its warriors. They are the companions and forerunners of such saintship.

I see many soldiers; could I but see many warriors! "Uniform" one calleth what they wear; may it not be uniform what they therewith hide!

Ye shall be those whose eyes ever seek for an enemy—for your enemy. And with some of you there is hatred at first sight.

Your enemy shall ye seek; your war shall ye wage, and for the sake of your thoughts! And if your thoughts succumb your uprightness shall still shout triumph thereby!

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!

One can only be silent and sit peacefully when one hath arrow and bow; otherwise one prateth and quarrelleth. Let your peace be a victory! Ye say it is the good cause which halloweth even war? I say unto you: it is the good war which halloweth every cause.

War and courage have done more great things than charity. Not your sympathy, but your bravery hath hitherto saved the victims.

"What is good?" ye ask. To be brave is good. Let the little girls say: "To be good is what is pretty, and at the same time touching."

They call you heartless: but your heart is true, and I love the bashfulness of your goodwill. Ye are ashamed of your flow, and others are ashamed of their ebb.

Ye are ugly? Well then, my brethren, take the sublime about you, the mantle of the ugly!

And when your soul becometh great, then doth it become haughty, and in your sublimity there is wickedness. I know you.

In wickedness the haughty man and the weakling meet. But they misunderstand one another. I know you.

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.

Resistance—that is the distinction of the slave. Let your distinction be obedience. Let your commanding itself be obeying!

To the good warrior soundeth "thou shalt" pleasanter than "I will." And all that is dear unto you, ye shall first have it commanded unto you.

Let your love to life be love to your highest hope; and let your highest hope be the highest thought of life!

Your highest thought, however, ye shall have it commanded unto you by me—and it is this: man is something that is to be surpassed. So live your life of obedience and of war! What matter about long life! What warrior wisheth to be spared!

I spare you not, I love you from my very heart, my brethren in war!—


Thus spake Zarathustra.

11. The New Idol[edit]

Somewhere there are still peoples and herds, but not with us, my brethren: here there are states.

A state? What is that? Well! open now your ears unto me, for now I will say unto you my word concerning the death of peoples.

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."

It is a lie! Creators were they who created peoples, and hung a faith and a love over them: thus they served life.

Destroyers, are they who lay snares for many, and call it the state: they hang a sword and a hundred cravings over them.

Where there is still a people, there the state is not understood, but hated as the evil eye, and as sin against laws and customs.

This sign I give unto you: every people speaketh its language of good and evil: this its neighbour understandeth not. Its language hath it devised for itself in laws and customs.

But the state lieth in all languages of good and evil; and whatever it saith it lieth; and whatever it hath it hath stolen. False is everything in it; with stolen teeth it biteth, the biting one. False are even its bowels.

Confusion of language of good and evil; this sign I give unto you as the sign of the state. Verily, the will to death, indicateth this sign! Verily, it beckoneth unto the preachers of death!

Many too many are born: for the superfluous ones was the state devised!

See just how it enticeth them to it, the many-too-many! How it swalloweth and cheweth and recheweth them!

"On earth there is nothing greater than I: it is I who am the regulating finger of God"— thus roareth the monster. And not only the long-eared and short-sighted fall upon their knees!

Ah! even in your ears, ye great souls, it whispereth its gloomy lies! Ah! it findeth out the rich hearts which willingly lavish themselves!

Yea, it findeth you out too, ye conquerors of the old God! Weary ye became of the conflict, and now your weariness serveth the new idol!

Heroes and honourable ones, it would fain set up around it, the new idol! Gladly it basketh in the sunshine of good consciences,—the cold monster!

Everything will it give you, if ye worship it, the new idol: thus it purchaseth the lustre of your virtue, and the glance of your proud eyes.

It seeketh to allure by means of you, the many-too-many. Yea, a hellish artifice hath here been devised, a death-horse jingling with the trappings of divine honours!

Yea, a dying for many hath here been devised, which glorifieth itself as life: verily, a hearty service unto all preachers of death!

The state, I call it, where all are poison-drinkers, the good and the bad: the state, where all lose themselves, the good and the bad: the state, where the slow suicide of all—is called "life."

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

Just see these superfluous ones! Sick are they always; they vomit their bile and call it a newspaper. They devour one another, and cannot even digest themselves.

Just see these superfluous ones! Wealth they acquire and become poorer thereby. Power they seek for, and above all, the lever of power, much money—these impotent ones!

See them clamber, these nimble apes! They clamber over one another, and thus scuffle into the mud of the abyss.

Towards the throne they all strive: it is their madness—as if happiness sat on the throne! Ofttimes sitteth filth on the throne—and ofttimes also the throne on filth.

Madmen they all seem to me, and clambering apes, and too eager. Badly smelleth their idol to me, the cold monster: badly they all smell to me, these idolaters.

My brethren, will ye suffocate in the fumes of their maws and appetites! Better break the windows and jump into the open air!

Do go out of the way of the bad odour! Withdraw from the idolatry of the superfluous!

Do go out of the way of the bad odour! Withdraw from the steam of these human sacrifices!

Open still remaineth the earth for great souls. Empty are still many sites for lone ones and twain ones, around which floateth the odour of the tranquil seas.

Open still remaineth a free life for great souls. Verily, he who possesseth little is so much the less possessed: blessed be the moderate poverty!

There, where the state ceaseth—there only commenceth the man who is not superfluous: there commenceth the song of the necessary ones, the single and irreplaceable melody.

There, where the state ceaseth—pray look thither, my brethren! Do you not see it, the rainbow and the bridges of the Superman?—


Thus spake Zarathustra.

12. The Flies in the Market-Place[edit]

Flee, my friend, into thy solitude! I see thee deafened with the noise of the great men, and stung all over with the stings of the little ones.

Admirably do forest and rock know how to be silent with thee. Resemble again the tree which thou lovest, the broad-branched one—silently and attentively it o'erhangeth the sea.

Where solitude endeth, there beginneth the market-place; and where the market-place beginneth, there beginneth also the noise of the great actors, and the buzzing of the poison-flies.

In the world even the best things are worthless without those who represent them: those representers, the people call great men.

Little do the people understand what is great—that is to say, the creating agency. But they have a taste for all representers and actors of great things. 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.

Spirit, hath the actor, but little conscience of the spirit. He believeth always in that wherewith he maketh believe most strongly—in himself!

Tomorrow he hath a new belief, and the day after, one still newer. Sharp perceptions hath he, like the people, and changeable humours.

To upset—that meaneth with him to prove. To drive mad—that meaneth with him to convince. And blood is counted by him as the best of all arguments.

A truth which only glideth into fine ears, he calleth falsehood and trumpery. Verily, he believeth only in gods that make a great noise in the world!

Full of clattering buffoons is the market-place,—and the people glory in their great men! These are for them the masters of the hour.

But the hour presseth them; so they press thee. And also from thee they want Yea or Nay. Alas! thou wouldst set thy chair betwixt For and Against?

On account of those absolute and impatient ones, be not jealous, thou lover of truth! Never yet did truth cling to the arm of an absolute one.

On account of those abrupt ones, return into thy security: only in the market-place is one assailed by Yea? or Nay?

Slow is the experience of all deep fountains: long have they to wait until they know what hath fallen into their depths.

Away from the market-place and from fame taketh place all that is great: away from the market-place and from fame have ever dwelt the devisers of new values. Flee, my friend, into thy solitude: I see thee stung all over by the poisonous flies. Flee thither, where a rough, strong breeze bloweth!

Flee into thy solitude! Thou hast lived too closely to the small and the pitiable. Flee from their invisible vengeance! Towards thee they have nothing but vengeance.

Raise no longer an arm against them! Innumerable are they, and it is not thy lot to be a fly-flap.

Innumerable are the small and pitiable ones; and of many a proud structure, rain-drops and weeds have been the ruin.

You are not stone; but already hast thou become hollow by the numerous drops. Thou wilt yet break and burst by the numerous drops.

Exhausted I see thee, by poisonous flies; bleeding I see thee, and torn at a hundred spots; and thy pride will not even upbraid.

Blood would they have from thee in all innocence; blood their bloodless souls crave for- and they sting, therefore, in all innocence.

But thou, profound one, thou sufferest too profoundly even from small wounds; and ere thou hadst recovered, the same poison-worm crawled over thy hand.

Too proud art thou to kill these sweet-tooths. But take care lest it be thy fate to suffer all their poisonous injustice!

They buzz around thee also with their praise: obtrusiveness is their praise. They want to be close to thy skin and thy blood.

They flatter thee, as one flattereth a God or devil; they whimper before thee, as before a God or devil; What doth it come to! Flatterers are they and whimperers, and nothing more.

Often, also, do they show themselves to thee as amiable ones.

But that has always been the prudence of cowards. Yes! cowards are wise!

They think much about you with their petty souls- you are always suspect to them! Whatever is much thought about is at last thought suspicious.

They punish you for all your virtues. They pardon you entirely- for your errors.

Because you are gentle and of honest character, you say: "Guiltless are they for their small existence." But their petty souls think: "Guilty is every great existence."

Even when you are gentle towards them, they still feel themselves despised by you; and they repay your beneficence with secret maleficence.

Your silent pride is always counter to their taste; they rejoice if once you are humble enough to be vain.

What we recognize in a man, we also irritate in him. Therefore be on your guard against the small ones!

In your presence they feel themselves small, and their baseness gleams and glows against you in invisible vengeance.

You did not see how often they became silent when you approached them, and how their energy left them like the smoke of an waning fire?

Yes, my friend, you are the bad conscience of your neighbors, for they are unworthy of you. Therefore they hate you, and would rather suck your blood.

Your neighbors will always be poisonous flies; what is great in you- that itself must make them more poisonous, and always more fly-like.

Flee, my friend, into your solitude- and there, where a rough strong breeze blows. It is not your lot to shoo flies.-


Thus spoke Zarathustra.

13. Chastity[edit]

I LOVE the forest. It is bad to live in cities: there, there are too many of the lustful.

Is it not better to fall into the hands of a murderer than into the dreams of a lustful woman?

And just look at these men: their eye says it- they cannot conceive of anything better on earth than to lie with a woman.

Filth is at the bottom of their souls; and alas! if their filth still has spirit in it!

If only you were perfect- at least as animals! But to animals belongs innocence.

Do I counsel you to kill your instincts? I counsel you to innocence in your instincts.

Do I counsel you to chastity? Chastity is a virtue with some, but almost a vice with many.

They are chaste, to be sure: but the bitch, lust, looks enviously out of all that they do.

Even into the heights of their virtue and into their cold spirit does this creature follow them, with its discord.

And how nicely can the bitch, lust, beg for a piece of spirit, when a piece of flesh is denied it!

You love tragedies and all that breaks the heart? But I am distrustful of your bitch.

Your eyes are too cruel, and you seek lustfully for sufferers. Has not your lust just disguised itself and taken the name of pity?

And I give this parable to you: Many who tried to cast out their devil, went themselves into swine. To whom chastity is difficult, it is to be dissuaded: lest it become the road to hell- to filth and lust of soul.

Do I speak of filthy things? That is not the worst thing for me to do.

Not when the truth is filthy, but when it is shallow, does the discerning one go unwillingly into its waters.

There are some who are chaste from their very nature; they are gentler of heart, and laugh better and more often than you.

They laugh also at chastity, and ask: "What is chastity?

Is chastity not folly? But this folly came to us, and not we to it.

We offered that guest harbor and heart: now it dwells with us- let it stay as long as it will!"-


Thus spoke Zarathustra.

14. The Friend[edit]

"THERE is always one too many about me"- thinks the hermit. "Always one and one- eventually that makes two!"

I and me are always too deeply in conversation: how could I endure it, if there were not a friend?

The friend of the hermit is always the third one: the third one is the float which prevents the conversation of the two from sinking into the depth.

Ah! there are too many depths for all hermits. Therefore, do they long so much for a friend and his height.

Our faith in others betrays that we would rather have faith in ourselves. Our longing for a friend is our betrayer. And often with our love we want merely to overcome envy. And often we attack and make ourselves enemies, to conceal that we are vulnerable.

"Be at least my enemy!"- thus speaks true reverence, which dares not ask for friendship.

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.

One ought still to honor the enemy in one's friend. Can you go near to your friend, and not go over to him?

In a friend one shall have one's best enemy. You shall be closest to him with your heart when you withstand him.

You would wear no raiment before your friend? It is in honor of your friend that you show yourself to him as you are? But he sends you to the devil for that!

He who makes no secret of himself shocks: so much reason have you to fear nakedness! Aye, if you were gods, you might then be ashamed of clothing!

You can not adorn yourself fine enough for your friend; for you shall be to him an arrow and a longing for the Superman.

Did you ever see your friend asleep- and saw how he looks? What is the face of your friend? It is your own face, in a coarse and imperfect mirror.

Did you ever see your friend asleep? were you not shocked that your friend looked like that? O my friend, man is something that must be overcome.

In guessing and keeping silent, the friend shall be a master: you must not want to see everything. Your dreams will tell you what your friend does when awake.

Let your pity be a guess: to know first if your friend wants pity. Perhaps he loves in you the unmoved eye, and the look of eternity.

Let your pity for your friend be hidden under a hard shell; you shall break a tooth on it. Thus it will have delicacy and sweetness.

Are you pure air and solitude and bread and medicine to your friend? Many a one cannot loosen his own chains, but can nevertheless free his friend.

Are you a slave? Then you cannot be a friend. Are you a tyrant? Then you cannot have friends.

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

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

As yet woman is not capable of friendship: women are still cats and birds. Or at best, cows.

As yet woman is not capable of friendship. But tell me, you men, who of you is capable of friendship?

Oh! your poverty, you men, and your sparingness of soul! As much as you give to your friend, I will give even to my enemy, and will not become poorer for it.

There is comradeship: may there be friendship!


Thus spoke Zarathustra.

15. The Thousand and One Goals[edit]

Zarathustra saw many lands and many peoples: thus he discovered the good and evil of many peoples. No greater power did Zarathustra find on earth than good and evil.

No people could live without first valuing; if a people would preserve itself, however, it must not value as its neighbor values.

Much that passed for good with one people was regarded with scorn and contempt by another: thus I found it. Much I found here called evil, which was there decked with purple honors.

Never did the one neighbor understand the other: always did his soul marvel at his neighbor's delusion and wickedness.

A tablet of the good hangs over every people. Behold, it is the tablet of their triumphs; behold, it is the voice of their Will to Power.

Laudable is all they think difficult; what is indispensable and difficult they call good; and what relieves in the direst distress, the unique and most difficult of all,- they extol as sacred.

Whatever makes them rule and conquer and shine, to the dismay and envy of their neighbors, they regard as the highest and most important thing, the test and the meaning of all else.

My brother, if you only knew a people's need, its land, its sky, and its neighbor, then you would guess the law of its overcomings, and why it climbs up that ladder to its hope.

"Always shall you be the first and excel all others: your jealous soul shall love no one, except the friend"— that made the soul of a Greek thrill: thereby went he his way to greatness.

"To speak truth, and be skilful with bow and arrow"- so it seemed both pleasing and difficult to the people who gave me my name- the name which is both pleasing and difficult for me.

"To honor father and mother, and from the root of the soul to do their will"- this tablet of overcoming another people hung over them, and became powerful and permanent thereby.

"To be loyal, and for the sake of loyalty to risk honor and blood, even for evil and dangerous purposes"- teaching itself so, another people mastered itself, and thus mastering itself, became pregnant and heavy with great hopes.

Men have given to themselves all their good and evil. They did not take it, they did not find it, it did not come to them as a voice from heaven.

Man assigned values to things in order to preserve himself- he alone created the meaning of things, a human meaning! Therefore, calls he himself "man," that is, the valuator.

Valuing is creating: hear it, you creators! Valuing itself is the treasure and jewel of all valued things.

Through valuation only is there value; and without valuation the nut of existence would be hollow. Hear it, you creators!

Change of values- that means, change of creators. Always he destroys, he who would be a creator.

Peoples were the first creators, and only in later times individuals; verily, the individual himself is the latest creation.

Peoples once hung over themselves law-tablets of the good. Love which would rule and love which would obey have created for themselves such law-tablets.

Pleasure in the herd is older than pleasure in the ego: and as long as the good conscience is for the herd, only the evil conscience says: "I".

The crafty ego, the loveless one, that seeks its advantage in the advantage of many- it is not the origin of the herd, but its downfall.

It was always loving ones and creators that created good and evil. Fire of love glows in the names of all the virtues, and fire of wrath.

Zarathustra saw many lands, and many peoples: no greater power did Zarathustra find on earth than the creations of the loving ones- "good" and "evil" are their names.

A monster is this power of praising and blaming. Tell me, you brothers, who will master it for me? Who will yoke the thousand necks of this beast?

A thousand goals have there been so far, for a there have been a thousand peoples. Only the yoke for the thousand necks is still lacking; there is lacking the one goal. Humanity still has no goal.

But pray tell me, my brothers, if the goal of humanity is still lacking, is humanity itself- not also lacking?


Thus spoke Zarathustra.

16. Neighbour Love[edit]

YOU CROWD around your neighbor, and have fine words for it. But I say to you: your love of the neighbor is your bad love of yourselves.

You flee to your neighbor from yourselves, and would rather make a virtue of it: but I fathom your "unselfishness."

The you is older than the I; the you has been consecrated, but not yet the I: so man presses near to his neighbor.

Do I advise you to love of the neighbor? Rather do I advise you to flight from the neighbor and to love of the farthest!

Higher than love of your neighbor is love of the farthest and future ones; higher still than love to men, is love to things and phantoms.

The phantom that runs on before you, my brother, is fairer than you; why do you not give to it your flesh and your bones? But you are afraid, and run to your neighbor.

You cannot endure yourselves and do not love yourselves sufficiently: so you seek to mislead your neighbor into love, to gild yourselves with his error.

If only you could not endure any kinds of neighbors; then you would have to create your friend and his overflowing heart out of yourselves.

You call in a witness when you want to speak well of yourselves; and when you have misled him to think well of you, you also think well of yourselves.

Not only does he lie, who speaks when he knows better, but more so, he who speaks when he knows nothing. And thus you speak of yourselves, and lie to your neighbor with yourselves.

Thus says the fool: "Association with men spoils the character, especially when one has none."

The one goes to his neighbor because he seeks himself, and the other because he would rather lose himself. Your bad love of yourselves makes solitude a prison to you.

It is the farthest ones who pay for your love to the near ones; and even when there are five of you together, there is always a sixth who must die.

I do not love your festivals either: I found too many actors there, and even the spectators often behaved like actors.

Not the neighbor do I teach you, but the friend. Let the friend be the festival of the earth to you, and a foretaste of the Superman.

I teach you the friend and his overflowing heart. But one must know how to be a sponge, if one would be loved by over-flowing hearts.

I teach you the friend in whom the world stands complete, a capsule of the good,- the creating friend, who always has a complete world to give away.

And as the world unrolled itself for him, so rolls it together again for him in rings, as the becoming of good through evil, as the becoming of purpose out of chance.

Let the future and the farthest be the motive of your today; in your friend you shall love the Superman as your motive.

My brothers, I advise you not to love of the neighbor- I advise you to love of the farthest!-


Thus spoke Zarathustra.

17. The Way of the Creating One[edit]

WOULD you go into solitude, my brother? would you seek the way to yourself? The wait a moment and listen to me.

"He who seeks may easily get lost himself. All solitude is wrong": so say the herd. And long did you belong to the herd.

The voice of the herd will still echo in you. And when you say, "I no longer have a conscience in common with you," then it will be a grief and a pain.

Lo, that same conscience created that pain; and the last gleam of that conscience still glows on your affliction.

But you would go the way of your affliction, which is the way to yourself? Then show me your right and your strength to do so!

Are you a new strength and a new right? A first motion? A self-rolling wheel? Can you even compel the stars to revolve around you?

Alas! there is so much lusting for loftiness! There are so many convulsions of the ambitious! Show me that you are not a lusting and ambitious one!

Alas! there are so many great thoughts that do nothing more than the bellows: they inflate, and make emptier than ever.

Free, do you call yourself? Then I would hear your ruling thought, and not merely that you have escaped from a yoke.

Are you one of those who had the right to escape from a yoke? Many a one has cast away his last worth when he has cast away his servitude. Free from what? What does that matter to Zarathustra! But your fiery eyes should tell me: free for what?

Can you give yourself your own evil and good, and set up your own will as a law over you? Can you be judge for yourself, and avenger of your law?

Terrible is it to be alone with the judge and avenger of one's own law. Thus is a star thrown into the void, and into the icy breath of solitude.

Today you still suffer from the many, you individual; today your courage and hopes are undiminished.

But one day the solitude will weary you; one day your pride will yield, and your courage quail. You will one day cry: "I am alone!"

One day you will no longer see your heights, and see too closely your depths; even your sublimity will frighten you like a phantom. You will one day cry: "All is false!"

There are feelings which seek to kill the solitary one; if they do not succeed, then they themselves must die! But are you capable of this- to be a murderer?

Have you ever known, my brother, the word "contempt"? And the anguish of your justice in being just to those that despise you?

You force many to think differently about you; that, they charge bitterly to your account. You came near to them and yet went past: for that they never forgive you.

You go beyond them: but the higher you rise, the smaller do you appear to the eye of envy. But the flying one is hated most of all.

"How could you be just to me!"- you must say- "I choose your injustice as my proper lot.

They cast injustice and filth at the solitary one: but, my brother, if you would be a star, you must shine for them none the less on that account!

And be on your guard against the good and the just! They would rather crucify those who create their own virtue- they hate the solitary ones.

Be on your guard, also, against holy simplicity! All that is not simple is unholy to it; it likes to play with fire and burn- at the stake.

And be on your guard, also, against the assaults of your love! Too readily does the recluse offer his hand to any one he meets.

To many you may not give a hand, but only a paw; and I want your paw to have claws.

But the worst enemy you can meet will always be yourself; you ambush yourself in caverns and forests.

You solitary one, you go the way to yourself! And your way leads you past yourself and your seven devils!

You will be a heretic to yourself, and a sorcerer and a soothsayer, and a fool, and a doubter, and a reprobate, and a villain.

You must be ready to burn yourself in your own flame; how could you rise anew if you have not first become ashes!

You solitary one, you go the way of the creator: you will create a god for yourself out of your seven devils!

You solitary one, you go the way of the lover: you love yourself, and on that account you despise yourself, as only the lover can despise.

The lover wants to create because he despises! What does he know of love who has not despised that which he loved!

With your love and with your creating go into your solitude, my brother; only much later will justice limp after you. With my tears, go into your solitude, my brother. I love him who seeks to create beyond himself, and thus perishes.-


Thus spoke Zarathustra.

18. Old and Young Women[edit]

WHY do you steal along so furtively in the twilight, Zarathustra? And what do you hide so carefully under your cloak?

Is it a treasure that has been given to you? Or a child that has been born to you? Or do you go on a thief's errand, you friend of evil?-

My brother, said Zarathustra, it is a treasure that has been given me: I carry a little truth.

But it is naughty, like a young child; and if I do not hold its mouth, it screams too loudly.

As I went on my way alone today, at sunset I met an old woman, and she spoke thus to my soul:

"Much has Zarathustra spoken also to us women, but never spoke he to us concerning woman."

And I answered her: "About woman, one should speak only to men."

"Talk also to me of woman," said she; "I am old enough to forget it presently."

And I obliged the old woman and spoke thus to her:

Everything in woman is a riddle, and everything in woman has one answer- it is called pregnancy. Man is for woman a means: the purpose is always the child. But what is woman for man?

The real man wants two different things: danger and play. Therefore he wants woman, as the most dangerous plaything.

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

The warrior does not like fruits which are too sweet. Therefore he likes woman;- bitter is even the sweetest woman.

Woman understands children better than man does, but man is more childish than woman.

In a real man there is a child hidden: it wants to play. Up then, you women, and discover the child in man!

Let woman be a plaything, 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 give birth to the Superman!"

In your love let there be courage! With your love you shall attack him who causes you fear!

In your love let there be honor! Little does woman understand about honor otherwise. But let this be your honor: always to love more than you are loved, and never to be second.

Let man fear woman when she loves: then she makes every sacrifice, and everything else she regards as worthless.

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

Whom does woman hate most?- Thus spoke the iron to the magnet: "I hate you most, because you attract me, but are too weak to draw me to you."

The happiness of man is, "I will." The happiness of woman is, "He wills." "Lo! "Lo! now has the world become perfect!"- thus thinks every woman when she obeys with all her love.

The woman must obey, and find a depth for her surface. Woman's soul is all surface, a mobile, stormy film on shallow water.

Man's soul, however, is deep, its torrent thunders in subterranean caverns: woman feels his strength, but does not understand it.

Then the old woman answered me: "Many fine things has Zarathustra said, especially for those who are young enough for them.

Strange! Zarathustra knows little about woman, and yet he is right about her! Is this because with woman nothing is impossible?

And now accept a little truth by way of thanks! I am old enough for it!

Swaddle it up and hold its mouth: otherwise it will scream too loudly, the little truth."

" Woman, give me your little truth!" I said. And thus spoke the old woman:

"You go to women? Do not forget the whip!"-


Thus spoke Zarathustra.

19. The Bite of the Adder[edit]

ONE day Zarathustra had fallen asleep under a fig-tree, owing to the heat, with his arm over his face. And there came an adder and bit him in the neck, so that Zarathustra cried with pain. When he had taken his arm from his face he looked at the serpent; and then it recognized the eyes of Zarathustra, wriggled awkwardly, and tried to get away. "Do not go," said Zarathustra, "as yet have you not received my thanks! you have awakened me in time; my journey is yet long." "Your journey is short," said the adder sadly; "my poison is fatal." Zarathustra smiled. "When ever did a dragon die of a serpent's poison?"- he said. "But take your poison back! you are not rich enough to give it to me." Then the adder fell again on his neck, and licked his wound.

When Zarathustra had told this to his disciples they asked him: "And what, O Zarathustra, is the moral of your story?" And Zarathustra answered them thus:

The destroyer of morality, the good and just call me: my story is immoral.

When, however, you have an enemy, then do not requite him good for evil: for that would shame him. Instead, prove that he did some good for you.

And rather be angry than put to shame! And when you are cursed, I do not like it that you want to bless. Rather curse a little also!

And if you are done a great injustice, then quickly add five small ones. Hideous to behold is he who is obsessed with an injustice.

Did you know this? A shared injustice is half just. And he who can bear it, should take the injustice upon himself!

A small revenge is more human than no revenge at all. And if the punishment is not also a right and an honor to the transgressor, I do not like your punishment.

It is nobler to declare oneself wrong than to prove oneself right, especially when one is right. Only, one must be rich enough to do so.

I do not like your cold justice; out of the eye of your judges there always glances the executioner and his cold steel.

Tell me: where do we find the justice which is love with open eyes?

Invent for me then the love which not only bears all punishment, but also all guilt!

Invent for me then the justice which acquits every one, except he who judges!

And would you hear this? To him who would be just from the heart, even lies become a kindness to others.

But how could I be just from the heart! How can I give each his own! Let this be enough for me: I give each my own.

Finally, my brothers, guard against doing wrong to any hermit. How could a hermit forget! How could he requite!

Like a deep well is a hermit. It is easy to throw in a stone: if it sinks to the bottom then tell me, who will bring it out again?

Guard against injuring the hermit! But if you have done so, well then kill him also!-


Thus spoke Zarathustra.

20. Child and Marriage[edit]

I HAVE a question for you alone, my brother: like a sounding-lead, I cast this question into your soul, that I may know its depth.

You are young, and desire child and marriage. But I ask you: are you a man entitled to desire a child? Are you the victorious one, the self-conqueror, the ruler of your passions, the master of your virtues? Thus do I ask you.

Or does the animal speak in your wish, and need? Or loneliness? Or discord in you?

Let your victory and freedom long for a child. You shall build living monuments to your victory and freedom.

You shall build beyond yourself. But first of all you must be built yourself, solid in body and soul.

You shall propagate yourself not only onward, but upward! For that purpose may the garden of marriage help you!

You shall create a higher body, a first movement, a spontaneously rolling wheel- you shall create a creator.

Marriage: so call I the will of the two to create the one that is more than those who created it. The reverence for one another, as those exercising such a will, I call marriage.

Let this be the significance and the truth of your marriage. But that which the all-too-many call marriage, those superfluous ones- ah, what shall I call it?

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

They call it marriage; and they say their marriages are made in heaven.

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

Keep far from me that God who limps near to bless what he has not matched!

Do not laugh at such marriages! What child has not had reason to weep over its parents?

This man seemed worthy, and ripe for the meaning of the earth: but when I saw his wife, the earth seemed to me an asylum of madmen. Yes, I wish that the earth shook with convulsions when a saint and a goose mate with one another.

This one went forth in quest of truth as a hero, and at last got for himself a small dressed-up lie: his marriage he calls it.

That one was reserved and chose warily. But then he spoilt his company for all time: his marriage he calls it.

Another sought a handmaid with the virtues of an angel. But then he became the handmaid of a woman, and now he must become an angel.

Careful, have I found all buyers, and all of them have astute eyes. But even the most astute of them buys his wife in a poke.

Many brief follies- that you call love. And your marriage puts an end to your many brief follies, with one long stupidity.

Your love of woman, and woman's love of man- ah, if only it were sympathy for suffering and veiled gods! But usually, two animals find each another.

But even your best love is only an enraptured parable and a painful ardor. It is a torch to light loftier paths for you.

You shall love beyond yourselves some day! So first, learn to love. And for that you have to drink the bitter cup of your love.

Bitterness is in the cup even of the best love; thus does it cause longing for the Superman; thus does it cause thirst in you, the creator!

Thirst in the creator, arrow and longing for the Superman: tell me, my brother, is this your will to marriage?

Sacred I call such a will, and such a marriage.-


Thus spoke Zarathustra.

21. Voluntary Death[edit]

MANY die too late, and some die too early. Yet strange sounds the precept: "Die at the right time!

Die at the right time: thus teaches Zarathustra.

To be sure, how could he who never lives at the right time ever die at the right time? If only he had never been born!- Thus do I advise the superfluous.

But even the superfluous make a show of their death, and even the hollowest nut wants to be cracked.

All regard dying as a great matter: but as yet death is not a festival. People have not yet learned to inaugurate the finest festivals.

I teach you the death which consummates, and becomes a spur and promise to the living.

He who consummates his life, then dies triumphant, surrounded by those who hope and promise.

Thus should one learn to die; and there should be no festival at which one who dies in this way does not consecrate the oaths of the living!

Thus to die is best; the next best, however, is to die in battle, and squander a great soul.

But equally hateful to vanquished and victor, is the grinning death which steals nigh like a thief,- and yet comes as master.

My death I praise to you, the voluntary death, which comes to me because I want it.

And when shall I want it?- He that has a goal and an heir, wants death at the right time for the goal and the heir. And from reverence for the goal and heir, he will hang no more withered wreaths in the sanctuary of life.

I will not imitate the rope-makers: they lengthen out their cord and always walk backward.

And many grow too old for their truths and triumphs; a toothless mouth no longer has the right to every truth.

And whoever wants fame must take leave of honor and practice the difficult art of- leaving at the right time.

One must stop being eaten when one tastes best: those who want to be long loved know this.

There are sour apples, no doubt, whose lot is to wait until the last day of autumn: and at once they become ripe, yellow, and shrivelled.

In some the heart ages first, and in others the spirit. And some are hoary in youth, but those who are young latest keep young longer.

To many men life is a failure; a poison-worm gnaws at their heart. Then at least let their dying be a success.

Many never become sweet; they rot even in the summer. Cowardice holds them fast to their branches.

Far too many live, and far too long do they hang on their branches. If only a storm would come and shake all that is rotten and worm-eaten from the tree!

If only there were preachers of quick death! They would be the right storms and shakers of the trees of life! But I hear only the slow death preached, and patience with all that is "earthly."

Ah! you preach patience with what is earthly? It is the earthly that has too much patience with you, you blasphemers! Too early died that Hebrew whom the preachers of slow death honor: and it is a calamity to many that he died too early.

As yet he knew only tears, and the melancholy of the Hebrews, and hatred of the good and just- the Hebrew Jesus: then he was seized with longing for death.

If only he had remained in the wilderness, far from the good the just! Perhaps then he would have learned to live and love the earth- and laughter also!

Believe me, my brothers! He died too early; he himself would have recanted his doctrine had he reached my age! He was noble enough to recant!

But he was still immature. The youth loves immaturely, and he also hates immaturely both man and earth. His soul and the wings of his spirit are still confined and awkward.

But in man there is more of the child than in the youth, and less melancholy: he better understands life and death.

Free for death, and free in death; a sacred Nosayer, when there is no longer time for Yes: thus he understands death and life.

That your dying be no reproach to man and the earth, my friends: that I ask of the honey of your soul.

In your dying, your spirit and your virtue shall still shine like an sunset around the earth: otherwise your dying has gone badly.

Thus I will die myself, that you, my friends, may love the earth more for my sake; and earth will I again become, to have rest in her that bore me. Zarathustra had a goal; he threw his ball. Now you, my friends, are the heirs of my goal; to you I throw the golden ball.

I like best of all to see you, my friends, throw the golden ball! And so I tarry a little while on the earth- pardon me for it!


Thus spoke Zarathustra.

22. The Bestowing Virtue[edit]

1[edit]

WHEN Zarathustra had taken leave of the town to which his heart was attached, the name of which is "The Pied Cow," many people who called themselves his disciples followed him, and kept him company. Thus they came to a crossroads. Then Zarathustra told them that he now wanted to walk alone; for he was fond of walking alone. His disciples, however, presented him a staff with a golden handle, on which a serpent twined round the sun. Zarathustra rejoiced on account of the staff, and leaned on it; then thus he spoke to his disciples:

Tell me, pray: how did gold attain the highest value? Because it is uncommon, and useless, and gleaming, and soft in lustre; it always gives itself.

Only as an image of the highest virtue did gold attain the highest value. Golden, gleams the glance of the giver. Golden lustre makes peace between moon and sun.

Uncommon is the highest virtue, and useless, it is gleaming, and soft of lustre: a giving virtue is the highest virtue. I know you well, my disciples: you strive like me for the giving virtue. What would you have in common with cats and wolves?

You thirst to become sacrifices and gifts yourselves: and so you thirst to amass all riches in your soul.

Your soul strives insatiably for treasures and jewels, because your virtue is insatiable in desiring to give.

You force 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.

Such giving love must become a thief of all values; but I call this selfishness healthy and sacred,.-

There is another selfishness, an all-too-poor and hungry kind, which would always steal- the selfishness of the sick, the sickly selfishness.

With the eye of the thief it looks upon all that is lustrous; with the craving of hunger it measures him who has abundance; and ever does it prowl round the tables of givers.

Sickness speaks in such craving and invisible degeneration; the larcenous craving of this selfishness speaks of a sickly body.

Tell me, my brother, what do we think bad, and worst of all? Is it not degeneration?- And we always suspect degeneration when the giving soul is lacking.

Upward goes our course from genera on to over-genera. But a horror to us is the degenerate sense, which says: "All for myself."

Upward soars our sense: thus is it a parable of our body, a parable of an elevation. Such parables of elevations are the names of the virtues.

Thus the body goes through history, a becoming and fighting. And the spirit- what is that to the body? The herald of its fights and victories, its companion and echo.

All names of good and evil are parables; they do not speak out, they only hint. A fool is he who seeks knowledge from them!

Take heed, my brothers, of every hour when your spirit would speak in parables: there is the origin of your virtue.

Your body is then elevated and raised up; with its rapture it delights the spirit, so that it becomes creator, and valuer, and lover, and benefactor of all.

When your heart overflows broad and full like the river, a blessing and a danger to those on the banks: there is the origin of your virtue.

When you are exalted above praise and blame, and your will wants to command all things, as a lover's will: there is the origin of your virtue.

When you despise pleasant things, and the soft couch, and cannot couch far enough from the soft: there is the origin of your virtue.

When you will with one will, and when the end of all need is necessary to you: there is the origin of your virtue.

It is a new good and evil! a new deep murmuring, and the voice of a new fountain!

This new virtue is power; it is a ruling thought, and around it a discerning soul: a golden sun, with the serpent of knowledge around it.

2[edit]

Here Zarathustra paused awhile, and looked lovingly on his disciples. Then he continued to speak thus- and his voice had changed: Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue! Let your giving love and your knowledge be devoted to the 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! Ah, there hath always been so much flown-away virtue!

Lead, like me, the flown-away virtue back to the earth—yeah, back to body and life: that it may give to the earth its meaning, a human meaning!

A hudred times hitherto hath spirit as well as virtue flown away and blundered. Alas! in our body dwelleth still all this delusion and bludering: body and will hath it there become.

A hudred times hitherto hath spirit as well as virtue attempted and erred. Yea, an attempt hath man been. Alas, much ignorance and error hath embodied in us!

Not only the rationality of millennia—also their madness, breakteth out in us. Dangerous is it to be an heir.

Still fight we step by step with the giant Chance, and over all mankind hath hitherto rules nonsense, the lack-of-sense.

Let your spirit and your virtue be devoted to the sense of the earth, my bretheren: let the value of everything be determined anew by you! Therefore shall ye be fighters! Therefore shall ye be creators!

Intelligently doth the body purify itself; attempting with intelligence it exalteth itself; to the discerners all impulses sanctify themselves; to the exalted the soul becometh joyful.

Physcian, heal thyself: then wilt though also heal thy patient. Let it be his best cure to see with his eyes him who maketh himself whole.

A thousand paths are there which have never yet been trodden; a thousand salubrities and hidden islands of life. Man and man's world is still unexhausted and undiscovered.

Awake and listen, you that are lonely! From the future come winds with stealthy wings, and to subtle ears good tidings are proclaimed.

You that are lonely today, you that withdraw, you shall one day be a people: out of you, who have chosen yourselves, shall arise a chosen people:- and out of them, the Superman.

The earth shall become a place of healing! And there already is a new fragrance surrounding it, a salvation-bringing fragrance- and a new hope!

3[edit]

When Zarathustra had spoken these words, he paused, like one who had not yet said his last word; and long did he balance the staff doubtfully in his hand. At last he spoke thus- and his voice had changed:

I now go alone, my disciples! You too go now, alone! Thus I want it.

I advise you: depart from me, and guard yourselves against Zarathustra! And better still: be ashamed of him! Perhaps he has deceived you.

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

One requites a teacher badly if one remains merely a student. And why will you not pluck at my wreath?

You venerate me; but what if your veneration should some day collapse? Beware lest a statue crush you!

You say you believe in Zarathustra? But what matters Zarathustra! You are my believers: but what matters all believers! You had not yet sought yourselves: then you found me. So do all believers; thus all belief matters so little.

Now I bid you lose me and find yourselves; and only when you have all denied me will I return to you.

With other eyes, my brothers, shall I then seek my lost ones; with another love shall I then love you.

And once again you shall become friends to me, and children of one hope: then I will be with you for the third time, to celebrate the great noontide with you.

And it is the great noontide, when man is in the middle of his course between animal and Superman, and celebrates his advance to the evening as his highest hope: for it is the advance to a new morning.

Then will the down-goer bless himself, for being an over-goer; and the sun of his knowledge will be at noontide.

"Dead are all Gods: now we want the Superman to live."- Let this be our final will at the great noontide!-


Thus spoke Zarathustra.