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 phantom. 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.