21. Voluntary Death
Many die too late, and some die too early. Yet strange soundeth the precept: "Die at the right time!"
Die at the right time: so teacheth Zarathustra.
To be sure, he who never liveth at the right time, how could he ever die at the right time? Would that he had never been born!—Thus do I advise the superfluous ones.
But even the superfluous ones make much ado about their death, and even the hollowest nut wanteth to be cracked.
Every one regardeth dying as a great matter: but as yet death is not a festival. Not yet have people learned to inaugurate the finest festivals.
The consummating death I show unto you, which becomett a stimulus and promise to the living.
His death, dieth the consummating one triumphantly, surrounded by hoping and promising ones.
Thus should one learn to die; and there should be no festival at which such a dying one doeth 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 to the fighter equally hateful as to the victor, is your grinning death which stealeth nigh like a thief,—and yet cometh as master.
My death, praise I unto you, the voluntary death, which cometh unto me because I want it.
And when shall I want it?—He that has a goal and an heir, wants death at the right time for the goal and the heir.