Friedrich Nietzsche: Thus Spoke Zarathustra (excerpt, part 2)

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I. 12: The Flies in the Market-Place

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

Forest and rock know how to be silent with you. Be like the tree which you love, the broad-branched one -- silently and attentively it overhangs the sea.

Where solitude ends, there begins the market-place; and where the market-place begins, there begins 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 make a side-show of them: these showmen, the people call great men.

Little do the people understand what is great -- that is to say, the creator. But they have a taste for all showmen and actors of great things.

Around the creators of new values revolves the world: -- invisibly it revolves. But around the actors revolve the people and the glory: such is the course of things.

The actor has spirit, but little conscience of the spirit. He always believes in that with which he most strongly inspires belief -- in himself!

Tomorrow he has a new belief, and the day after, one still newer. Like the people, he has quick perceptions and fickle moods.

To defeat -- that means for him: to prove. To drive to frenzy -- that means for him: to convince. And blood is to him the best of all arguments.

A truth which glides only into refined ears, he calls falsehood and nothing. He believes only in gods that make a big noise in the world!

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

But the hour presses them; so they press you. And also from you they want Yes or No. Alas! would you set your chair between Pro and Con?

Do not be jealous of those unyielding and impatient men, you lover of truth! Never yet did truth cling to the arm of the unyielding.

On account of those abrupt ones, return into your security: only in the market-place is one assailed by Yes? or No?

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

Far away from the market-place and from fame happens all that is great: far away from the market-place and from fame have always dwelt the creators of new values.

Flee, my friend, into your solitude: I see you stung all over by the poisonous flies. Flee to where a rough, strong breeze blows!

Flee into your solitude! you have lived too closely to the small and the pitiful. Flee from their invisible vengeance! For you they have nothing but vengeance.

No longer raise your arm against them! They are innumerable, and it is not your job to be a flyswatter.

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

You are not stone; but already have you become hollow from many drops. You will yet break and burst from the many drops.

I see you exhausted by poisonous flies; I see you bleeding and torn at a hundred spots; and your pride refuses even to be angry.

They would have blood from you in all innocence; blood is what bloodless souls crave -- and therefore they sting in all innocence.

But you, profound one, you suffer too profoundly even from small wounds; and before you have healed, the same poison-worm crawls over your hand.

You are too proud to kill these gluttons. But take care lest it be your fate to suffer all their poisonous injustice!

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

They flatter you, as one flatters a God or devil; they whimper before you, as before a God or devil; What does it come to! They are flatterers and whimperers, and nothing more.

Often, also, do they show themselves to you as friendly 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 a 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 job to be a flyswatter.

Thus spoke Zarathustra.

I. 16: Love of the Neighbor

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 Thou is older than the I; the Thou 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 Overman.

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 Overman 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.

I. 17: The Way of the Creator

Would you go into solitude, my brother? would you seek the way to yourself? Then 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.

II. 4: The Priests

And one day Zarathustra made a sign to his disciples and spoke these words to them:

Here are priests: but although they are my enemies, pass them quietly and with sleeping swords!

Even among them there are heroes; many of them have suffered too much: -- so they want to make others suffer.

Bad enemies are they: nothing is more revengeful than their meekness. And readily does he soil himself who touches them.

But my blood is related to theirs; and I want withal to see my blood honored in theirs.

And when they had passed, a pain attacked Zarathustra; but not long had he struggled with the pain, when he began to speak thus:

It moves my heart for those priests. They also go against my taste; but that is small matter to me, since I am among men.

But I suffer and have suffered with them: prisoners are they to me, and stigmatised ones. He whom they call Saviour put them in fetters: --

In fetters of false values and fatuous words! Oh, that some one would save them from their Saviour!

On an isle they once thought they had landed, when the sea tossed them about; but behold, it was a slumbering monster!

False values and fatuous words: these are the worst monsters for mortals -- long slumbers and waits the fate that is in them.

But at last it comes and awakes and devours and engulfs whatever has built tabernacles upon it.

Oh, just look at those tabernacles which those priests have built themselves! Churches, they call their sweet-smelling caves!

Oh, that falsified light, that mustified air! Where the soul -- may not fly aloft to its height!

But so enjoins their belief: "On your knees, up the stair, you sinners!"

Rather would I see a shameless one than the distorted eyes of their shame and devotion!

Who created for themselves such caves and penitence-stairs? Was it not those who sought to conceal themselves, and were ashamed under the clear sky?

And only when the clear sky looks again through ruined roofs, and down upon grass and red poppies on ruined walls -- will I again turn my heart to the seats of this God.

They called God that which opposed and afflicted them: and verily, there was much hero-spirit in their worship!

And they knew not how to love their God otherwise than by nailing men to the cross!

As corpses they thought to live; in black draped they their corpses; even in their talk do I still feel the evil flavor of charnel-houses.

And he who lives near to them lives near to black pools, wherein the toad sings his song with sweet gravity.

Better songs would they have to sing, for me to believe in their Saviour: more like saved ones would his disciples have to appear to me!

Naked, would I like to see them: for beauty alone should preach penitence. But whom would that disguised affliction convince!

Their saviours themselves came not from freedom and freedom's seventh heaven! they themselves never trod the carpets of knowledge!

Of defects did the spirit of those saviours consist; but into every defect had they put their illusion, their stop-gap, which they called God.

In their pity was their spirit drowned; and when they swelled and o'erswelled with pity, there always floated to the surface a great folly.

Eagerly and with shouts drove they their flock over their foot-bridge; as if there were but one foot-bridge to the future! those shepherds also were still of the flock!

Small spirits and spacious souls had those shepherds: but, my brothers, what small domains have even the most spacious souls hitherto been!

Characters of blood did they write on the way they went, and their folly taught that truth is proved by blood.

But blood is the very worst witness to truth; blood taints the purest teaching, and turns it into delusion and hatred of heart.

And when a person goes through fire for his teaching -- what does that prove! It is more, verily, when out of one's own burning comes one's own teaching!

Sultry heart and cold head; where these meet, there arises the blusterer, the "Saviour."

Greater ones, verily, have there been, and higher-born ones, than those whom the people call saviours, those rapturous blusterers!

And by still greater ones than any of the saviours must you be saved, my brothers, if you would find the way to freedom!

Never yet has there been an Overman. Naked have I seen both of them, the greatest man and the small man: --

All-too-similar are they still to each other. Even the greatest I found I -- all-too-human!

Thus spoke Zarathustra.

III. 10: The Three Evils


In my dream, in my last morning-dream, I stood today on a promontory -- beyond the world; I held a pair of scales, and weighed the world.

Alas, that the rosy dawn came too early to me: she glowed me awake, the jealous one! Jealous is she always of the glows of my morning-dream.

Measurable by him who has time, weighable by a good weigher, attainable by strong pinions, divinable by divine nutcrackers: thus did my dream find the world: --

My dream, a bold sailor, half-ship, half-hurricane, silent as the butterfly, impatient as the falcon: how had it the patience and leisure to-day for world-weighing!

Did my wisdom perhaps speak secretly to it, my laughing, wide-awake day-wisdom, which mocks at all "infinite worlds"? For it says: "Where force is, there becomes number the master: it has more force."

How confidently did my dream contemplate this finite world, not new-fangledly, not old-fangledly, not timidly, not entreatingly: --

As if a big round apple presented itself to my hand, a ripe golden apple, with a coolly-soft, velvety skin:- thus did the world present itself to me: --

As if a tree nodded to me, a broad-branched, strong-willed tree, curved as a recline and a foot-stool for weary travellers: thus did the world stand on my promontory: --

As if delicate hands carried a casket towards me -- a casket open for the delectation of modest adoring eyes: thus did the world present itself before me today: --

Not riddle enough to scare human love from it, not solution enough to put to sleep human wisdom: -- a humanly good thing was the world to me to-day, of which such bad things are said!

How I thank my morning-dream that I thus at today's dawn, weighed the world! As a humanly good thing did it come to me, this dream and heart-comforter!

And that I may do the like by day, and imitate and copy its best, now will I put the three worst things on the scales, and weigh them humanly well. --

He who taught to bless taught also to curse: what are the three best cursed things in the world? These will I put on the scales.

Sex, powerlust, and selfishness: these three things have hitherto been best cursed, and have been in worst and falsest repute -- these three things will I weigh humanly well.

Well! Here is my promontory, and there is the sea -- it rolls here to me, shaggily and fawningly, the old, faithful, hundred-headed dog-monster that I love! --

Well! Here will I hold the scales over the weltering sea: and also a witness do I choose to look on -- you, the hermit-tree, you, the strong-odoured, broad-arched tree that I love! --

On what bridge goes the now to the hereafter? By what constraint do the high stoop to the low? And what enjoins even the highest still -- to grow upwards? --

Now stand the scales poised and at rest: three heavy questions have I thrown in; three heavy answers carries the other scale.


Sex: to all hair-shirted despisers of the body, a sting and stake; and, cursed as "the world," by all the afterworldly: for it mocks and befools all erring, misinferring teachers.

Sex: to the rabble, the slow fire at which it is burnt; to all wormy wood, to all stinking rags, the prepared heat and stew furnace.

Sex: to free hearts, a thing innocent and free, the garden-happiness of the earth, all the future's thanks-overflow to the present.

Sex: only to the withered a sweet poison; to the lion-willed, however, the great cordial, and the reverently saved wine of wines.

Sex: the great symbolic happiness of a higher happiness and highest hope. For to many is marriage promised, and more than marriage, --

To many that are more unknown to each other than man and woman: -- and who has fully understood how unknown to each other are man and woman!

Sex: -- but I will have hedges around my thoughts, and even around my words, lest swine and libertine should break into my gardens!

Powerlust: the glowing scourge of the hardest of the heart-hard; the cruel torture reserved for the cruel themselves; the gloomy flame of living pyres.

Powerlust: the wicked gadfly which is mounted on the vainest peoples; the scorner of all uncertain virtue; which rides on every horse and on every pride.

Powerlust: the earthquake which breaks and upbreaks all that is rotten and hollow; the rolling, rumbling, punitive demolisher of whited sepulchres; the flashing question-mark beside premature answers.

Powerlust: before whose glance man creeps and crouches and drudges, and becomes lower than the serpent and the swine: -- until at last great contempt cries out of him --,

Powerlust: the terrible teacher of great contempt, which preaches to their face to cities and empires: "Away with you!" -- until a voice cries out of themselves: "Away with me!"

Powerlust: which, however, mounts alluringly even to the pure and lonesome, and up to self-satisfied elevations, glowing like a love that paints purple felicities alluringly on earthly heavens.

Powerlust: but who would call it lust, when the height longs to stoop for power! nothing sick or diseased is there in such longing and descending!

That the lonesome height may not forever remain lonesome and self-sufficing; that the mountains may come to the valleys and the winds of the heights to the plains: --

Oh, who could find the right prenomen and honoring name for such longing! "Gift-giving virtue" -- thus did Zarathustra once name the unnamable.

And then it happened also, -- and verily, it happened for the first time! -- that his word blessed selfishness, the wholesome, healthy selfishness, that springs from the powerful soul: --

From the powerful soul, to which the high body appertains, the handsome, triumphing, refreshing body, around which everything becomes a mirror:

The pliant, persuasive body, the dancer, whose symbol and epitome is the self-enjoying soul. Of such bodies and souls the self-enjoyment calls itself "virtue."

With its words of good and bad does such self-enjoyment shelter itself as with sacred groves; with the names of its happiness does it banish from itself everything contemptible.

Away from itself does it banish everything cowardly; it says: "Bad -- that is cowardly!" Contemptible seem to it the ever-solicitous, the sighing, the complaining, and whoever pick up the most trifling advantage.

It despises also all bitter-sweet wisdom: for verily, there is also wisdom that blooms in the dark, a night-shade wisdom, which ever sighs: "All is vain!"

Shy distrust is regarded by it as base, and every one who wants oaths instead of looks and hands: also all over-distrustful wisdom, -- for such is the mode of cowardly souls.

Baser still it regards the obsequious, doggish one, who immediately lies on his back, the submissive one; and there is also wisdom that is submissive, and doggish, and pious, and obsequious.

Hateful to it altogether, and a loathing, is he who will never defend himself, he who swallows down poisonous spittle and bad looks, the all-too-patient one, the all-endurer, the all-satisfied one: for that is the mode of slaves.

Whether they be servile before gods and divine spurnings, or before men and stupid human opinions: at all kinds of slaves does it spit, this blessed selfishness!

Bad: thus does it call all that is spirit-broken, and sordidly-servile -- constrained, blinking eyes, depressed hearts, and the false submissive style, which kisses with broad cowardly lips.

And spurious wisdom: so does it call all the wit that slaves, and hoary-headed and weary ones affect; and especially all the cunning, spurious-witted, curious-witted foolishness of priests!

The spurious wise, however, all the priests, the world-weary, and those whose souls are of feminine and servile nature- oh, how has their game all along abused selfishness!

And precisely that was to be virtue and was to be called virtue -- to abuse selfishness! And "selfless" -- so did they wish themselves with good reason, all those world-weary cowards and cross-spiders!

But to all those comes now the day, the change, the sword of judgment, the great noontide: then shall many things be revealed!

And he who proclaims the ego wholesome and sacred, and selfishness blessed, verily, he, the prognosticator, speaks also what he knows: "Behold, it comes, it is nigh, the great noontide!"

Thus spoke Zarathustra.

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