THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
A BOOK FOR ALL AND NONE
TRANSLATED BY THOMAS COMMON
INTRODUCTION BY MRS FORSTER-NIETZSCHE.
THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA.
I. The Three Metamorphoses.
II. The Academic Chairs of Virtue.
IV. The Despisers of the Body.
V. Joys and Passions.
VI. The Pale Criminal.
VII. Reading and Writing.
VIII. The Tree on the Hill.
IX. The Preachers of Death.
X. War and Warriors.
XI. The New Idol.
XII. The Flies in the Market-place.
XIV. The Friend.
XV. The Thousand and One Goals.
XVII. The Way of the Creating One.
XVIII. Old and Young Women.
XIX. The Bite of the Adder.
XX. Child and Marriage.
XXI. Voluntary Death.
XXII. The Bestowing Virtue.
XXIII. The Child with the Mirror.
XXIV. In the Happy Isles.
XXV. The Pitiful.
XXVI. The Priests.
XXVII. The Virtuous.
XXVIII. The Rabble.
XXIX. The Tarantulas.
XXX. The Famous Wise Ones.
XXXI. The Night-Song.
XXXII. The Dance-Song.
XXXIII. The Grave-Song.
XXXV. The Sublime Ones.
XXXVI. The Land of Culture.
XXXVII. Immaculate Perception.
XL. Great Events.
XLI. The Soothsayer.
XLIII. Manly Prudence.
XLIV. The Stillest Hour
XLV. The Wanderer.
XLVI. The Vision and the Enigma.
XLVII. Involuntary Bliss.
XLVIII. Before Sunrise.
XLIX. The Bedwarfing Virtue.
L. On the Olive-Mount.
LI. On Passing-by.
LII. The Apostates.
LIII. The Return Home.
LIV. The Three Evil Things.
LV. The Spirit of Gravity.
LVI. Old and New Tables.
LVII. The Convalescent.
LVIII. The Great Longing.
LIX. The Second Dance-Song.
LX. The Seven Seals.
FOURTH AND LAST PART.
LXI. The Honey Sacrifice.
LXII. The Cry of Distress.
LXIII. Talk with the Kings.
LXIV. The Leech.
LXV. The Magician.
LXVI. Out of Service.
LXVII. The Ugliest Man.
LXVIII. The Voluntary Beggar.
LXIX. The Shadow.
LXXI. The Greeting.
LXXII. The Supper.
LXIII. The Higher Man.
LXXIV. The Song of Melancholy.
LXXVI. Among Daughters of the Desert.
LXXVII. The Awakening.
LXXVIII. The Ass-Festival.
LXXIX. The Drunken Song.
LXXX. The Sign.
Notes on "Thus Spake Zarathustra" by Anthony M. Ludovici.
INTRODUCTION BY MRS FORSTER-NIETZSCHE.
HOW ZARATHUSTRA CAME INTO BEING.
"Zarathustra" is my brother's most personal work; it is the history of his
most individual experiences, of his friendships, ideals, raptures,
bitterest disappointments and sorrows. Above it all, however, there soars,
transfiguring it, the image of his greatest hopes and remotest aims. My
brother had the figure of Zarathustra in his mind from his very earliest
youth: he once told me that even as a child he had dreamt of him. At
different periods in his life, he would call this haunter of his dreams by
different names; "but in the end," he declares in a note on the subject, "I
had to do a PERSIAN the honour of identifying him with this creature of my
fancy. Persians were the first to take a broad and comprehensive view of
history. Every series of evolutions, according to them, was presided over
by a prophet; and every prophet had his 'Hazar,'--his dynasty of a thousand
All Zarathustra's views, as also his personality, were early conceptions of
my brother's mind. Whoever reads his posthumously published writings for
the years 1869-82 with care, will constantly meet with passages suggestive
of Zarathustra's thoughts and doctrines. For instance, the ideal of the
Superman is put forth quite clearly in all his writings during the years
1873-75; and in "We Philologists", the following remarkable observations
"How can one praise and glorify a nation as a whole?--Even among the
Greeks, it was the INDIVIDUALS that counted."
"The Greeks are interesting and extremely important because they reared
such a vast number of great individuals. How was this possible? The
question is one which ought to be studied.
"I am interested only in the relations of a people to the rearing of the
individual man, and among the Greeks the conditions were unusually
favourable for the development of the individual; not by any means owing to
the goodness of the people, but because of the struggles of their evil
"WITH THE HELP OF FAVOURABLE MEASURES GREAT INDIVIDUALS MIGHT BE REARED WHO
WOULD BE BOTH DIFFERENT FROM AND HIGHER THAN THOSE WHO HERETOFORE HAVE OWED
THEIR EXISTENCE TO MERE CHANCE. Here we may still be hopeful: in the
rearing of exceptional men."
The notion of rearing the Superman is only a new form of an ideal Nietzsche
already had in his youth, that "THE OBJECT OF MANKIND SHOULD LIE IN ITS
HIGHEST INDIVIDUALS" (or, as he writes in "Schopenhauer as Educator":
"Mankind ought constantly to be striving to produce great men--this and
nothing else is its duty.") But the ideals he most revered in those days
are no longer held to be the highest types of men. No, around this future
ideal of a coming humanity--the Superman--the poet spread the veil of
becoming. Who can tell to what glorious heights man can still ascend?
That is why, after having tested the worth of our noblest ideal--that of
the Saviour, in the light of the new valuations, the poet cries with
passionate emphasis in "Zarathustra":
"Never yet hath there been a Superman. Naked have I seen both of them, the
greatest and the smallest man:--
All-too-similar are they still to each other. Verily even the greatest
The phrase "the rearing of the Superman," has very often been
misunderstood. By the word "rearing," in this case, is meant the act of
modifying by means of new and higher values--values which, as laws and
guides of conduct and opinion, are now to rule over mankind. In general
the doctrine of the Superman can only be understood correctly in
conjunction with other ideas of the author's, such as:--the Order of Rank,
the Will to Power, and the Transvaluation of all Values. He assumes that
Christianity, as a product of the resentment of the botched and the weak,
has put in ban all that is beautiful, strong, proud, and powerful, in fact
all the qualities resulting from strength, and that, in consequence, all
forces which tend to promote or elevate life have been seriously
undermined. Now, however, a new table of valuations must be placed over
mankind--namely, that of the strong, mighty, and magnificent man,
overflowing with life and elevated to his zenith--the Superman, who is now
put before us with overpowering passion as the aim of our life, hope, and
will. And just as the old system of valuing, which only extolled the
qualities favourable to the weak, the suffering, and the oppressed, has
succeeded in producing a weak, suffering, and "modern" race, so this new
and reversed system of valuing ought to rear a healthy, strong, lively, and
courageous type, which would be a glory to life itself. Stated briefly,
the leading principle of this new system of valuing would be: "All that
proceeds from power is good, all that springs from weakness is bad."
This type must not be regarded as a fanciful figure: it is not a nebulous
hope which is to be realised at some indefinitely remote period, thousands
of years hence; nor is it a new species (in the Darwinian sense) of which
we can know nothing, and which it would therefore be somewhat absurd to
strive after. But it is meant to be a possibility which men of the present
could realise with all their spiritual and physical energies, provided they
adopted the new values.
The author of "Zarathustra" never lost sight of that egregious example of a
transvaluation of all values through Christianity, whereby the whole of the
deified mode of life and thought of the Greeks, as well as strong Romedom,
was almost annihilated or transvalued in a comparatively short time. Could
not a rejuvenated Graeco-Roman system of valuing (once it had been refined
and made more profound by the schooling which two thousand years of
Christianity had provided) effect another such revolution within a
calculable period of time, until that glorious type of manhood shall
finally appear which is to be our new faith and hope, and in the creation
of which Zarathustra exhorts us to participate?
In his private notes on the subject the author uses the expression
"Superman" (always in the singular, by-the-bye), as signifying "the most
thoroughly well-constituted type," as opposed to "modern man"; above all,
however, he designates Zarathustra himself as an example of the Superman.
In "Ecco Homo" he is careful to enlighten us concerning the precursors and
prerequisites to the advent of this highest type, in referring to a certain
passage in the "Gay Science":--
"In order to understand this type, we must first be quite clear in regard
to the leading physiological condition on which it depends: this condition
is what I call GREAT HEALTHINESS. I know not how to express my meaning
more plainly or more personally than I have done already in one of the last
chapters (Aphorism 382) of the fifth book of the 'Gaya Scienza'."
"We, the new, the nameless, the hard-to-understand,"--it says there,--"we
firstlings of a yet untried future--we require for a new end also a new
means, namely, a new healthiness, stronger, sharper, tougher, bolder and
merrier than all healthiness hitherto. He whose soul longeth to experience
the whole range of hitherto recognised values and desirabilities, and to
circumnavigate all the coasts of this ideal 'Mediterranean Sea', who, from
the adventures of his most personal experience, wants to know how it feels
to be a conqueror, and discoverer of the ideal--as likewise how it is with
the artist, the saint, the legislator, the sage, the scholar, the devotee,
the prophet, and the godly non-conformist of the old style:--requires one
thing above all for that purpose, GREAT HEALTHINESS--such healthiness as
one not only possesses, but also constantly acquires and must acquire,
because one unceasingly sacrifices it again, and must sacrifice it!--And
now, after having been long on the way in this fashion, we Argonauts of the
ideal, more courageous perhaps than prudent, and often enough shipwrecked
and brought to grief, nevertheless dangerously healthy, always healthy
again,--it would seem as if, in recompense for it all, that we have a still
undiscovered country before us, the boundaries of which no one has yet
seen, a beyond to all countries and corners of the ideal known hitherto, a
world so over-rich in the beautiful, the strange, the questionable, the
frightful, and the divine, that our curiosity as well as our thirst for
possession thereof, have got out of hand--alas! that nothing will now any
longer satisfy us!--
"How could we still be content with THE MAN OF THE PRESENT DAY after such
outlooks, and with such a craving in our conscience and consciousness? Sad
enough; but it is unavoidable that we should look on the worthiest aims and
hopes of the man of the present day with ill-concealed amusement, and
perhaps should no longer look at them. Another ideal runs on before us, a
strange, tempting ideal full of danger, to which we should not like to
persuade any one, because we do not so readily acknowledge any one's RIGHT
THERETO: the ideal of a spirit who plays naively (that is to say
involuntarily and from overflowing abundance and power) with everything
that has hitherto been called holy, good, intangible, or divine; to whom
the loftiest conception which the people have reasonably made their measure
of value, would already practically imply danger, ruin, abasement, or at
least relaxation, blindness, or temporary self-forgetfulness; the ideal of
a humanly superhuman welfare and benevolence, which will often enough
appear INHUMAN, for example, when put alongside of all past seriousness on
earth, and alongside of all past solemnities in bearing, word, tone, look,
morality, and pursuit, as their truest involuntary parody--and WITH which,
nevertheless, perhaps THE GREAT SERIOUSNESS only commences, when the proper
interrogative mark is set up, the fate of the soul changes, the hour-hand
moves, and tragedy begins..."
Although the figure of Zarathustra and a large number of the leading
thoughts in this work had appeared much earlier in the dreams and writings
of the author, "Thus Spake Zarathustra" did not actually come into being
until the month of August 1881 in Sils Maria; and it was the idea of the
Eternal Recurrence of all things which finally induced my brother to set
forth his new views in poetic language. In regard to his first conception
of this idea, his autobiographical sketch, "Ecce Homo", written in the
autumn of 1888, contains the following passage:--
"The fundamental idea of my work--namely, the Eternal Recurrence of all
things--this highest of all possible formulae of a Yea-saying philosophy,
first occurred to me in August 1881. I made a note of the thought on a
sheet of paper, with the postscript: 6,000 feet beyond men and time! That
day I happened to be wandering through the woods alongside of the lake of
Silvaplana, and I halted beside a huge, pyramidal and towering rock not far
from Surlei. It was then that the thought struck me. Looking back now, I
find that exactly two months previous to this inspiration, I had had an
omen of its coming in the form of a sudden and decisive alteration in my
tastes--more particularly in music. It would even be possible to consider
all 'Zarathustra' as a musical composition. At all events, a very
necessary condition in its production was a renaissance in myself of the
art of hearing. In a small mountain resort (Recoaro) near Vicenza, where I
spent the spring of 1881, I and my friend and Maestro, Peter Gast--also one
who had been born again--discovered that the phoenix music that hovered
over us, wore lighter and brighter plumes than it had done theretofore."
During the month of August 1881 my brother resolved to reveal the teaching
of the Eternal Recurrence, in dithyrambic and psalmodic form, through the
mouth of Zarathustra. Among the notes of this period, we found a page on
which is written the first definite plan of "Thus Spake Zarathustra":--
"MIDDAY AND ETERNITY."
"GUIDE-POSTS TO A NEW WAY OF LIVING."
Beneath this is written:--
"Zarathustra born on lake Urmi; left his home in his thirtieth year,
went into the province of Aria, and, during ten years of solitude in
the mountains, composed the Zend-Avesta."
"The sun of knowledge stands once more at midday; and the serpent of
eternity lies coiled in its light--: It is YOUR time, ye midday brethren."
In that summer of 1881, my brother, after many years of steadily declining
health, began at last to rally, and it is to this first gush of the
recovery of his once splendid bodily condition that we owe not only "The
Gay Science", which in its mood may be regarded as a prelude to
"Zarathustra", but also "Zarathustra" itself. Just as he was beginning to
recuperate his health, however, an unkind destiny brought him a number of
most painful personal experiences. His friends caused him many
disappointments, which were the more bitter to him, inasmuch as he regarded
friendship as such a sacred institution; and for the first time in his life
he realised the whole horror of that loneliness to which, perhaps, all
greatness is condemned. But to be forsaken is something very different
from deliberately choosing blessed loneliness. How he longed, in those
days, for the ideal friend who would thoroughly understand him, to whom he
would be able to say all, and whom he imagined he had found at various
periods in his life from his earliest youth onwards. Now, however, that
the way he had chosen grew ever more perilous and steep, he found nobody
who could follow him: he therefore created a perfect friend for himself in
the ideal form of a majestic philosopher, and made this creation the
preacher of his gospel to the world.
Whether my brother would ever have written "Thus Spake Zarathustra"
according to the first plan sketched in the summer of 1881, if he had not
had the disappointments already referred to, is now an idle question; but
perhaps where "Zarathustra" is concerned, we may also say with Master
Eckhardt: "The fleetest beast to bear you to perfection is suffering."
My brother writes as follows about the origin of the first part of
"Zarathustra":--"In the winter of 1882-83, I was living on the charming
little Gulf of Rapallo, not far from Genoa, and between Chiavari and Cape
Porto Fino. My health was not very good; the winter was cold and
exceptionally rainy; and the small inn in which I lived was so close to the
water that at night my sleep would be disturbed if the sea were high.
These circumstances were surely the very reverse of favourable; and yet in
spite of it all, and as if in demonstration of my belief that everything
decisive comes to life in spite of every obstacle, it was precisely during
this winter and in the midst of these unfavourable circumstances that my
'Zarathustra' originated. In the morning I used to start out in a
southerly direction up the glorious road to Zoagli, which rises aloft
through a forest of pines and gives one a view far out into the sea. In
the afternoon, as often as my health permitted, I walked round the whole
bay from Santa Margherita to beyond Porto Fino. This spot was all the more
interesting to me, inasmuch as it was so dearly loved by the Emperor
Frederick III. In the autumn of 1886 I chanced to be there again when he
was revisiting this small, forgotten world of happiness for the last time.
It was on these two roads that all 'Zarathustra' came to me, above all
Zarathustra himself as a type;--I ought rather to say that it was on these
walks that these ideas waylaid me."
The first part of "Zarathustra" was written in about ten days--that is to
say, from the beginning to about the middle of February 1883. "The last
lines were written precisely in the hallowed hour when Richard Wagner gave
up the ghost in Venice."
With the exception of the ten days occupied in composing the first part of
this book, my brother often referred to this winter as the hardest and
sickliest he had ever experienced. He did not, however, mean thereby that
his former disorders were troubling him, but that he was suffering from a
severe attack of influenza which he had caught in Santa Margherita, and
which tormented him for several weeks after his arrival in Genoa. As a
matter of fact, however, what he complained of most was his spiritual
condition--that indescribable forsakenness--to which he gives such
heartrending expression in "Zarathustra". Even the reception which the
first part met with at the hands of friends and acquaintances was extremely
disheartening: for almost all those to whom he presented copies of the
work misunderstood it. "I found no one ripe for many of my thoughts; the
case of 'Zarathustra' proves that one can speak with the utmost clearness,
and yet not be heard by any one." My brother was very much discouraged by
the feebleness of the response he was given, and as he was striving just
then to give up the practice of taking hydrate of chloral--a drug he had
begun to take while ill with influenza,--the following spring, spent in
Rome, was a somewhat gloomy one for him. He writes about it as follows:--
"I spent a melancholy spring in Rome, where I only just managed to live,--
and this was no easy matter. This city, which is absolutely unsuited to
the poet-author of 'Zarathustra', and for the choice of which I was not
responsible, made me inordinately miserable. I tried to leave it. I
wanted to go to Aquila--the opposite of Rome in every respect, and actually
founded in a spirit of enmity towards that city (just as I also shall found
a city some day), as a memento of an atheist and genuine enemy of the
Church--a person very closely related to me,--the great Hohenstaufen, the
Emperor Frederick II. But Fate lay behind it all: I had to return again
to Rome. In the end I was obliged to be satisfied with the Piazza
Barberini, after I had exerted myself in vain to find an anti-Christian
quarter. I fear that on one occasion, to avoid bad smells as much as
possible, I actually inquired at the Palazzo del Quirinale whether they
could not provide a quiet room for a philosopher. In a chamber high above
the Piazza just mentioned, from which one obtained a general view of Rome
and could hear the fountains plashing far below, the loneliest of all songs
was composed--'The Night-Song'. About this time I was obsessed by an
unspeakably sad melody, the refrain of which I recognised in the words,
'dead through immortality.'"
We remained somewhat too long in Rome that spring, and what with the effect
of the increasing heat and the discouraging circumstances already
described, my brother resolved not to write any more, or in any case, not
to proceed with "Zarathustra", although I offered to relieve him of all
trouble in connection with the proofs and the publisher. When, however, we
returned to Switzerland towards the end of June, and he found himself once
more in the familiar and exhilarating air of the mountains, all his joyous
creative powers revived, and in a note to me announcing the dispatch of
some manuscript, he wrote as follows: "I have engaged a place here for
three months: forsooth, I am the greatest fool to allow my courage to be
sapped from me by the climate of Italy. Now and again I am troubled by the
thought: WHAT NEXT? My 'future' is the darkest thing in the world to me,
but as there still remains a great deal for me to do, I suppose I ought
rather to think of doing this than of my future, and leave the rest to THEE
and the gods."
The second part of "Zarathustra" was written between the 26th of June and
the 6th July. "This summer, finding myself once more in the sacred place
where the first thought of 'Zarathustra' flashed across my mind, I
conceived the second part. Ten days sufficed. Neither for the second, the
first, nor the third part, have I required a day longer."
He often used to speak of the ecstatic mood in which he wrote
"Zarathustra"; how in his walks over hill and dale the ideas would crowd
into his mind, and how he would note them down hastily in a note-book from
which he would transcribe them on his return, sometimes working till
midnight. He says in a letter to me: "You can have no idea of the
vehemence of such composition," and in "Ecce Homo" (autumn 1888) he
describes as follows with passionate enthusiasm the incomparable mood in
which he created Zarathustra:--
"--Has any one at the end of the nineteenth century any distinct notion of
what poets of a stronger age understood by the word inspiration? If not, I
will describe it. If one had the smallest vestige of superstition in one,
it would hardly be possible to set aside completely the idea that one is
the mere incarnation, mouthpiece or medium of an almighty power. The idea
of revelation in the sense that something becomes suddenly visible and
audible with indescribable certainty and accuracy, which profoundly
convulses and upsets one--describes simply the matter of fact. One hears--
one does not seek; one takes--one does not ask who gives: a thought
suddenly flashes up like lightning, it comes with necessity,
unhesitatingly--I have never had any choice in the matter. There is an
ecstasy such that the immense strain of it is sometimes relaxed by a flood
of tears, along with which one's steps either rush or involuntarily lag,
alternately. There is the feeling that one is completely out of hand, with
the very distinct consciousness of an endless number of fine thrills and
quiverings to the very toes;--there is a depth of happiness in which the
painfullest and gloomiest do not operate as antitheses, but as conditioned,
as demanded in the sense of necessary shades of colour in such an overflow
of light. There is an instinct for rhythmic relations which embraces wide
areas of forms (length, the need of a wide-embracing rhythm, is almost the
measure of the force of an inspiration, a sort of counterpart to its
pressure and tension). Everything happens quite involuntarily, as if in a
tempestuous outburst of freedom, of absoluteness, of power and divinity.
The involuntariness of the figures and similes is the most remarkable
thing; one loses all perception of what constitutes the figure and what
constitutes the simile; everything seems to present itself as the readiest,
the correctest and the simplest means of expression. It actually seems, to
use one of Zarathustra's own phrases, as if all things came unto one, and
would fain be similes: 'Here do all things come caressingly to thy talk
and flatter thee, for they want to ride upon thy back. On every simile
dost thou here ride to every truth. Here fly open unto thee all being's
words and word-cabinets; here all being wanteth to become words, here all
becoming wanteth to learn of thee how to talk.' This is MY experience of
inspiration. I do not doubt but that one would have to go back thousands
of years in order to find some one who could say to me: It is mine
In the autumn of 1883 my brother left the Engadine for Germany and stayed
there a few weeks. In the following winter, after wandering somewhat
erratically through Stresa, Genoa, and Spezia, he landed in Nice, where the
climate so happily promoted his creative powers that he wrote the third
part of "Zarathustra". "In the winter, beneath the halcyon sky of Nice,
which then looked down upon me for the first time in my life, I found the
third 'Zarathustra'--and came to the end of my task; the whole having
occupied me scarcely a year. Many hidden corners and heights in the
landscapes round about Nice are hallowed to me by unforgettable moments.
That decisive chapter entitled 'Old and New Tables' was composed in the
very difficult ascent from the station to Eza--that wonderful Moorish
village in the rocks. My most creative moments were always accompanied by
unusual muscular activity. The body is inspired: let us waive the
question of the 'soul.' I might often have been seen dancing in those
days. Without a suggestion of fatigue I could then walk for seven or eight
hours on end among the hills. I slept well and laughed well--I was
perfectly robust and patient."
As we have seen, each of the three parts of "Zarathustra" was written,
after a more or less short period of preparation, in about ten days. The
composition of the fourth part alone was broken by occasional
interruptions. The first notes relating to this part were written while he
and I were staying together in Zurich in September 1884. In the following
November, while staying at Mentone, he began to elaborate these notes, and
after a long pause, finished the manuscript at Nice between the end of
January and the middle of February 1885. My brother then called this part
the fourth and last; but even before, and shortly after it had been
privately printed, he wrote to me saying that he still intended writing a
fifth and sixth part, and notes relating to these parts are now in my
possession. This fourth part (the original MS. of which contains this
note: "Only for my friends, not for the public") is written in a
particularly personal spirit, and those few to whom he presented a copy of
it, he pledged to the strictest secrecy concerning its contents. He often
thought of making this fourth part public also, but doubted whether he
would ever be able to do so without considerably altering certain portions
of it. At all events he resolved to distribute this manuscript production,
of which only forty copies were printed, only among those who had proved
themselves worthy of it, and it speaks eloquently of his utter loneliness
and need of sympathy in those days, that he had occasion to present only
seven copies of his book according to this resolution.
Already at the beginning of this history I hinted at the reasons which led
my brother to select a Persian as the incarnation of his ideal of the
majestic philosopher. His reasons, however, for choosing Zarathustra of
all others to be his mouthpiece, he gives us in the following words:--
"People have never asked me, as they should have done, what the name
Zarathustra precisely means in my mouth, in the mouth of the first
Immoralist; for what distinguishes that philosopher from all others in the
past is the very fact that he was exactly the reverse of an immoralist.
Zarathustra was the first to see in the struggle between good and evil the
essential wheel in the working of things. The translation of morality into
the metaphysical, as force, cause, end in itself, was HIS work. But the
very question suggests its own answer. Zarathustra CREATED the most
portentous error, MORALITY, consequently he should also be the first to
PERCEIVE that error, not only because he has had longer and greater
experience of the subject than any other thinker--all history is the
experimental refutation of the theory of the so-called moral order of
things:--the more important point is that Zarathustra was more truthful
than any other thinker. In his teaching alone do we meet with truthfulness
upheld as the highest virtue--i.e.: the reverse of the COWARDICE of the
'idealist' who flees from reality. Zarathustra had more courage in his
body than any other thinker before or after him. To tell the truth and TO
AIM STRAIGHT: that is the first Persian virtue. Am I understood?...The
overcoming of morality through itself--through truthfulness, the overcoming
of the moralist through his opposite--THROUGH ME--: that is what the name
Zarathustra means in my mouth."
Weimar, December 1905.
THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA.
When Zarathustra was thirty years old, he left his home and the lake of
his home, and went into the mountains. There he enjoyed his spirit and
solitude, and for ten years did not weary of it. But at last his heart
changed,--and rising one morning with the rosy dawn, he went before the
sun, and spake thus unto it:
Thou great star! What would be thy happiness if thou hadst not those for
whom thou shinest!
For ten years hast thou climbed hither unto my cave: thou wouldst have
wearied of thy light and of the journey, had it not been for me, mine
eagle, and my serpent.
But we awaited thee every morning, took from thee thine overflow
and blessed thee for it.
Lo! I am weary of my wisdom, like the bee that hath gathered too much
honey; I need hands outstretched to take it.
I would fain bestow and distribute, until the wise have once more become
joyous in their folly, and the poor happy in their riches.
Therefore must I descend into the deep: as thou doest in the evening,
when thou goest behind the sea, and givest light also to the nether-world,
thou exuberant star!
Like thee must I GO DOWN, as men say, to whom I shall descend.
Bless me, then, thou tranquil eye, that canst behold even the greatest
happiness without envy!
Bless the cup that is about to overflow, that the water may flow golden out
of it, and carry everywhere the reflection of thy bliss!
Lo! This cup is again going to empty itself, and Zarathustra is again
going to be a man.
Thus began Zarathustra's down-going.
Zarathustra went down the mountain alone, no one meeting him. When he
entered the forest, however, there suddenly stood before him an old man,
who had left his holy cot to seek roots. And thus spake the old man to
"No stranger to me is this wanderer: many years ago passed he by.
Zarathustra he was called; but he hath altered.
Then thou carriedst thine ashes into the mountains: wilt thou now carry
thy fire into the valleys? Fearest thou not the incendiary's doom?
Yea, I recognise Zarathustra. Pure is his eye, and no loathing lurketh
about his mouth. Goeth he not along like a dancer?
Altered is Zarathustra; a child hath Zarathustra become; an awakened one is
Zarathustra: what wilt thou do in the land of the sleepers?
As in the sea hast thou lived in solitude, and it hath borne thee up.
Alas, wilt thou now go ashore? Alas, wilt thou again drag thy body
Zarathustra answered: "I love mankind."
"Why," said the saint, "did I go into the forest and the desert? Was it
not because I loved men far too well?
Now I love God: men, I do not love. Man is a thing too imperfect for me.
Love to man would be fatal to me."
Zarathustra answered: "What spake I of love! I am bringing gifts unto
"Give them nothing," said the saint. "Take rather part of their load, and
carry it along with them--that will be most agreeable unto them: if only
it be agreeable unto thee!
If, however, thou wilt give unto them, give them no more than an alms, and
let them also beg for it!"
"No," replied Zarathustra, "I give no alms. I am not poor enough for
The saint laughed at Zarathustra, and spake thus: "Then see to it that
they accept thy treasures! They are distrustful of anchorites, and do not
believe that we come with gifts.
The fall of our footsteps ringeth too hollow through their streets. And
just as at night, when they are in bed and hear a man abroad long before
sunrise, so they ask themselves concerning us: Where goeth the thief?
Go not to men, but stay in the forest! Go rather to the animals! Why not
be like me--a bear amongst bears, a bird amongst birds?"
"And what doeth the saint in the forest?" asked Zarathustra.
The saint answered: "I make hymns and sing them; and in making hymns
I laugh and weep and mumble: thus do I praise God.
With singing, weeping, laughing, and mumbling do I praise the God who is my
God. But what dost thou bring us as a gift?"
When Zarathustra had heard these words, he bowed to the saint and said:
"What should I have to give thee! Let me rather hurry hence lest I take
aught away from thee!"--And thus they parted from one another, the old man
and Zarathustra, laughing like schoolboys.
When Zarathustra was alone, however, he said to his heart: "Could it be
possible! This old saint in the forest hath not yet heard of it, that GOD
When Zarathustra arrived at the nearest town which adjoineth the forest, he
found many people assembled in the market-place; for it had been announced
that a rope-dancer would give a performance. And Zarathustra spake thus
unto the people:
I TEACH YOU THE SUPERMAN. Man is something that is to be surpassed. What
have ye done to surpass man?
All beings hitherto have created something beyond themselves: and ye want
to be the ebb of that great tide, and would rather go back to the beast
than surpass man?
What is the ape to man? A laughing-stock, a thing of shame. And just the
same shall man be to the Superman: a laughing-stock, a thing of shame.
Ye have made your way from the worm to man, and much within you is still
worm. Once were ye apes, and even yet man is more of an ape than any of
Even the wisest among you is only a disharmony and hybrid of plant and
phantom. But do I bid you become phantoms or plants?
Lo, I teach you the Superman!
The Superman is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: The Superman
SHALL BE the meaning of the earth!
I conjure you, my brethren, REMAIN TRUE TO THE EARTH, and believe not those
who speak unto you of superearthly hopes! Poisoners are they, whether they
know it or not.
Despisers of life are they, decaying ones and poisoned ones themselves, of
whom the earth is weary: so away with them!
Once blasphemy against God was the greatest blasphemy; but God died, and
therewith also those blasphemers. To blaspheme the earth is now the
dreadfulest sin, and to rate the heart of the unknowable higher than the
meaning of the earth!
Once the soul looked contemptuously on the body, and then that contempt was
the supreme thing:--the soul wished the body meagre, ghastly, and famished.
Thus it thought to escape from the body and the earth.
Oh, that soul was itself meagre, ghastly, and famished; and cruelty was the
delight of that soul!
But ye, also, my brethren, tell me: What doth your body say about your
soul? Is your soul not poverty and pollution and wretched self-
Verily, a polluted stream is man. One must be a sea, to receive a polluted
stream without becoming impure.
Lo, I teach you the Superman: he is that sea; in him can your great
contempt be submerged.
What is the greatest thing ye can experience? It is the hour of great
contempt. The hour in which even your happiness becometh loathsome unto
you, and so also your reason and virtue.
The hour when ye say: "What good is my happiness! It is poverty and
pollution and wretched self-complacency. But my happiness should justify
The hour when ye say: "What good is my reason! Doth it long for knowledge
as the lion for his food? It is poverty and pollution and wretched self-
The hour when ye say: "What good is my virtue! As yet it hath not made me
passionate. How weary I am of my good and my bad! It is all poverty and
pollution and wretched self-complacency!"
The hour when ye say: "What good is my justice! I do not see that I am
fervour and fuel. The just, however, are fervour and fuel!"
The hour when we say: "What good is my pity! Is not pity the cross on
which he is nailed who loveth man? But my pity is not a crucifixion."
Have ye ever spoken thus? Have ye ever cried thus? Ah! would that I had
heard you crying thus!
It is not your sin--it is your self-satisfaction that crieth unto heaven;
your very sparingness in sin crieth unto heaven!
Where is the lightning to lick you with its tongue? Where is the frenzy
with which ye should be inoculated?
Lo, I teach you the Superman: he is that lightning, he is that frenzy!--
When Zarathustra had thus spoken, one of the people called out: "We have
now heard enough of the rope-dancer; it is time now for us to see him!"
And all the people laughed at Zarathustra. But the rope-dancer, who
thought the words applied to him, began his performance.
Zarathustra, however, looked at the people and wondered. Then he spake
Man is a rope stretched between the animal and the Superman--a rope over an
A dangerous crossing, a dangerous wayfaring, a dangerous looking-back, a
dangerous trembling and halting.
What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal: what is
lovable in man is that he is an OVER-GOING and a DOWN-GOING.
I love those that know not how to live except as down-goers, for they are
I love the great despisers, because they are the great adorers, and arrows
of longing for the other shore.
I love those who do not first seek a reason beyond the stars for going down
and being sacrifices, but sacrifice themselves to the earth, that the earth
of the Superman may hereafter arrive.
I love him who liveth in order to know, and seeketh to know in order that
the Superman may hereafter live. Thus seeketh he his own down-going.
I love him who laboureth and inventeth, that he may build the house for the
Superman, and prepare for him earth, animal, and plant: for thus seeketh
he his own down-going.
I love him who loveth his virtue: for virtue is the will to down-going,
and an arrow of longing.
I love him who reserveth no share of spirit for himself, but wanteth to be
wholly the spirit of his virtue: thus walketh he as spirit over the
I love him who maketh his virtue his inclination and destiny: thus, for
the sake of his virtue, he is willing to live on, or live no more.
I love him who desireth not too many virtues. One virtue is more of a
virtue than two, because it is more of a knot for one's destiny to cling
I love him whose soul is lavish, who wanteth no thanks and doth not give
back: for he always bestoweth, and desireth not to keep for himself.
I love him who is ashamed when the dice fall in his favour, and who then
asketh: "Am I a dishonest player?"--for he is willing to succumb.
I love him who scattereth golden words in advance of his deeds, and always
doeth more than he promiseth: for he seeketh his own down-going.
I love him who justifieth the future ones, and redeemeth the past ones:
for he is willing to succumb through the present ones.
I love him who chasteneth his God, because he loveth his God: for he must
succumb through the wrath of his God.
I love him whose soul is deep even in the wounding, and may succumb through
a small matter: thus goeth he willingly over the bridge.
I love him whose soul is so overfull that he forgetteth himself, and all
things are in him: thus all things become his down-going.
I love him who is of a free spirit and a free heart: thus is his head only
the bowels of his heart; his heart, however, causeth his down-going.
I love all who are like heavy drops falling one by one out of the dark
cloud that lowereth over man: they herald the coming of the lightning, and
succumb as heralds.
Lo, I am a herald of the lightning, and a heavy drop out of the cloud: the
lightning, however, is the SUPERMAN.--
When Zarathustra had spoken these words, he again looked at the people, and
was silent. "There they stand," said he to his heart; "there they laugh:
they understand me not; I am not the mouth for these ears.
Must one first batter their ears, that they may learn to hear with their
eyes? Must one clatter like kettledrums and penitential preachers? Or do
they only believe the stammerer?
They have something whereof they are proud. What do they call it, that
which maketh them proud? Culture, they call it; it distinguisheth them
from the goatherds.
They dislike, therefore, to hear of 'contempt' of themselves. So I will
appeal to their pride.
I will speak unto them of the most contemptible thing: that, however, is
THE LAST MAN!"
And thus spake Zarathustra unto the people:
It is time for man to fix his goal. It is time for man to plant the germ
of his highest hope.
Still is his soil rich enough for it. But that soil will one day be poor
and exhausted, and no lofty tree will any longer be able to grow thereon.
Alas! there cometh the time when man will no longer launch the arrow of his
longing beyond man--and the string of his bow will have unlearned to whizz!
I tell you: one must still have chaos in one, to give birth to a dancing
star. I tell you: ye have still chaos in you.
Alas! There cometh the time when man will no longer give birth to any
star. Alas! There cometh the time of the most despicable man, who can no
longer despise himself.
Lo! I show you THE LAST MAN.
"What is love? What is creation? What is longing? What is a star?"--so
asketh the last man and blinketh.
The earth hath then become small, and on it there hoppeth the last man who
maketh everything small. His species is ineradicable like that of the
ground-flea; the last man liveth longest.
"We have discovered happiness"--say the last men, and blink thereby.
They have left the regions where it is hard to live; for they need warmth.
One still loveth one's neighbour and rubbeth against him; for one needeth
Turning ill and being distrustful, they consider sinful: they walk warily.
He is a fool who still stumbleth over stones or men!
A little poison now and then: that maketh pleasant dreams. And much
poison at last for a pleasant death.
One still worketh, for work is a pastime. But one is careful lest the
pastime should hurt one.
One no longer becometh poor or rich; both are too burdensome. Who still
wanteth to rule? Who still wanteth to obey? Both are too burdensome.
No shepherd, and one herd! Every one wanteth the same; every one is equal:
he who hath other sentiments goeth voluntarily into the madhouse.
"Formerly all the world was insane,"--say the subtlest of them, and blink
They are clever and know all that hath happened: so there is no end to
their raillery. People still fall out, but are soon reconciled--otherwise
it spoileth their stomachs.
They have their little pleasures for the day, and their little pleasures
for the night, but they have a regard for health.
"We have discovered happiness,"--say the last men, and blink thereby.--
And here ended the first discourse of Zarathustra, which is also called
"The Prologue": for at this point the shouting and mirth of the multitude
interrupted him. "Give us this last man, O Zarathustra,"--they called out-
-"make us into these last men! Then will we make thee a present of the
Superman!" And all the people exulted and smacked their lips.
Zarathustra, however, turned sad, and said to his heart:
"They understand me not: I am not the mouth for these ears.
Too long, perhaps, have I lived in the mountains; too much have I hearkened
unto the brooks and trees: now do I speak unto them as unto the goatherds.
Calm is my soul, and clear, like the mountains in the morning. But they
think me cold, and a mocker with terrible jests.
And now do they look at me and laugh: and while they laugh they hate me
too. There is ice in their laughter."
Then, however, something happened which made every mouth mute and every eye
fixed. In the meantime, of course, the rope-dancer had commenced his
performance: he had come out at a little door, and was going along the
rope which was stretched between two towers, so that it hung above the
market-place and the people. When he was just midway across, the little
door opened once more, and a gaudily-dressed fellow like a buffoon sprang
out, and went rapidly after the first one. "Go on, halt-foot," cried his
frightful voice, "go on, lazy-bones, interloper, sallow-face!--lest I
tickle thee with my heel! What dost thou here between the towers? In the
tower is the place for thee, thou shouldst be locked up; to one better than
thyself thou blockest the way!"--And with every word he came nearer and
nearer the first one. When, however, he was but a step behind, there
happened the frightful thing which made every mouth mute and every eye
fixed--he uttered a yell like a devil, and jumped over the other who was in
his way. The latter, however, when he thus saw his rival triumph, lost at
the same time his head and his footing on the rope; he threw his pole away,
and shot downwards faster than it, like an eddy of arms and legs, into the
depth. The market-place and the people were like the sea when the storm
cometh on: they all flew apart and in disorder, especially where the body
was about to fall.
Zarathustra, however, remained standing, and just beside him fell the body,
badly injured and disfigured, but not yet dead. After a while
consciousness returned to the shattered man, and he saw Zarathustra
kneeling beside him. "What art thou doing there?" said he at last, "I knew
long ago that the devil would trip me up. Now he draggeth me to hell:
wilt thou prevent him?"
"On mine honour, my friend," answered Zarathustra, "there is nothing of all
that whereof thou speakest: there is no devil and no hell. Thy soul will
be dead even sooner than thy body: fear, therefore, nothing any more!"
The man looked up distrustfully. "If thou speakest the truth," said he, "I
lose nothing when I lose my life. I am not much more than an animal which
hath been taught to dance by blows and scanty fare."
"Not at all," said Zarathustra, "thou hast made danger thy calling; therein
there is nothing contemptible. Now thou perishest by thy calling:
therefore will I bury thee with mine own hands."
When Zarathustra had said this the dying one did not reply further; but he
moved his hand as if he sought the hand of Zarathustra in gratitude.
Meanwhile the evening came on, and the market-place veiled itself in gloom.
Then the people dispersed, for even curiosity and terror become fatigued.
Zarathustra, however, still sat beside the dead man on the ground, absorbed
in thought: so he forgot the time. But at last it became night, and a
cold wind blew upon the lonely one. Then arose Zarathustra and said to his
Verily, a fine catch of fish hath Zarathustra made to-day! It is not a man
he hath caught, but a corpse.
Sombre is human life, and as yet without meaning: a buffoon may be fateful
I want to teach men the sense of their existence, which is the Superman,
the lightning out of the dark cloud--man.
But still am I far from them, and my sense speaketh not unto their sense.
To men I am still something between a fool and a corpse.
Gloomy is the night, gloomy are the ways of Zarathustra. Come, thou cold
and stiff companion! I carry thee to the place where I shall bury thee
with mine own hands.
When Zarathustra had said this to his heart, he put the corpse upon his
shoulders and set out on his way. Yet had he not gone a hundred steps,
when there stole a man up to him and whispered in his ear--and lo! he that
spake was the buffoon from the tower. "Leave this town, O Zarathustra,"
said he, "there are too many here who hate thee. The good and just hate
thee, and call thee their enemy and despiser; the believers in the orthodox
belief hate thee, and call thee a danger to the multitude. It was thy good
fortune to be laughed at: and verily thou spakest like a buffoon. It was
thy good fortune to associate with the dead dog; by so humiliating thyself
thou hast saved thy life to-day. Depart, however, from this town,--or
tomorrow I shall jump over thee, a living man over a dead one." And when
he had said this, the buffoon vanished; Zarathustra, however, went on
through the dark streets.
At the gate of the town the grave-diggers met him: they shone their torch
on his face, and, recognising Zarathustra, they sorely derided him.
"Zarathustra is carrying away the dead dog: a fine thing that Zarathustra
hath turned a grave-digger! For our hands are too cleanly for that roast.
Will Zarathustra steal the bite from the devil? Well then, good luck to
the repast! If only the devil is not a better thief than Zarathustra!--he
will steal them both, he will eat them both!" And they laughed among
themselves, and put their heads together.
Zarathustra made no answer thereto, but went on his way. When he had gone
on for two hours, past forests and swamps, he had heard too much of the
hungry howling of the wolves, and he himself became a-hungry. So he halted
at a lonely house in which a light was burning.
"Hunger attacketh me," said Zarathustra, "like a robber. Among forests and
swamps my hunger attacketh me, and late in the night.
"Strange humours hath my hunger. Often it cometh to me only after a
repast, and all day it hath failed to come: where hath it been?"
And thereupon Zarathustra knocked at the door of the house. An old man
appeared, who carried a light, and asked: "Who cometh unto me and my bad
"A living man and a dead one," said Zarathustra. "Give me something to eat
and drink, I forgot it during the day. He that feedeth the hungry
refresheth his own soul, saith wisdom."
The old man withdrew, but came back immediately and offered Zarathustra
bread and wine. "A bad country for the hungry," said he; "that is why I
live here. Animal and man come unto me, the anchorite. But bid thy
companion eat and drink also, he is wearier than thou." Zarathustra
answered: "My companion is dead; I shall hardly be able to persuade him to
eat." "That doth not concern me," said the old man sullenly; "he that
knocketh at my door must take what I offer him. Eat, and fare ye well!"--
Thereafter Zarathustra again went on for two hours, trusting to the path
and the light of the stars: for he was an experienced night-walker, and
liked to look into the face of all that slept. When the morning dawned,
however, Zarathustra found himself in a thick forest, and no path was any
longer visible. He then put the dead man in a hollow tree at his head--for
he wanted to protect him from the wolves--and laid himself down on the
ground and moss. And immediately he fell asleep, tired in body, but with a
Long slept Zarathustra; and not only the rosy dawn passed over his
head, but also the morning. At last, however, his eyes opened, and
amazedly he gazed into the forest and the stillness, amazedly he gazed
into himself. Then he arose quickly, like a seafarer who all at once
seeth the land; and he shouted for joy: for he saw a new truth. And he
spake thus to his heart:
A light hath dawned upon me: I need companions--living ones; not
dead companions and corpses, which I carry with me where I will.
But I need living companions, who will follow me because they want
to follow themselves--and to the place where I will.
A light hath dawned upon me. Not to the people is Zarathustra to speak,
but to companions! Zarathustra shall not be the herd's herdsman and hound!
To allure many from the herd--for that purpose have I come. The people and
the herd must be angry with me: a robber shall Zarathustra be called by
Herdsmen, I say, but they call themselves the good and just. Herdsmen, I
say, but they call themselves the believers in the orthodox belief.
Behold the good and just! Whom do they hate most? Him who breaketh up
their tables of values, the breaker, the lawbreaker:--he, however, is the
Behold the believers of all beliefs! Whom do they hate most? Him who
breaketh up their tables of values, the breaker, the law-breaker--he,
however, is the creator.
Companions, the creator seeketh, not corpses--and not herds or believers
either. Fellow-creators the creator seeketh--those who grave new values on
Companions, the creator seeketh, and fellow-reapers: for everything is
ripe for the harvest with him. But he lacketh the hundred sickles: so he
plucketh the ears of corn and is vexed.
Companions, the creator seeketh, and such as know how to whet their
sickles. Destroyers, will they be called, and despisers of good and evil.
But they are the reapers and rejoicers.
Fellow-creators, Zarathustra seeketh; fellow-reapers and fellow-rejoicers,
Zarathustra seeketh: what hath he to do with herds and herdsmen and
And thou, my first companion, rest in peace! Well have I buried thee in
thy hollow tree; well have I hid thee from the wolves.
But I part from thee; the time hath arrived. 'Twixt rosy dawn and rosy
dawn there came unto me a new truth.
I am not to be a herdsman, I am not to be a grave-digger. Not any more
will I discourse unto the people; for the last time have I spoken unto the
With the creators, the reapers, and the rejoicers will I associate: the
rainbow will I show them, and all the stairs to the Superman.
To the lone-dwellers will I sing my song, and to the twain-dwellers; and
unto him who hath still ears for the unheard, will I make the heart heavy
with my happiness.
I make for my goal, I follow my course; over the loitering and tardy will I
leap. Thus let my on-going be their down-going!
This had Zarathustra said to his heart when the sun stood at noon-tide.
Then he looked inquiringly aloft,--for he heard above him the sharp call of
a bird. And behold! An eagle swept through the air in wide circles, and
on it hung a serpent, not like a prey, but like a friend: for it kept
itself coiled round the eagle's neck.
"They are mine animals," said Zarathustra, and rejoiced in his heart.
"The proudest animal under the sun, and the wisest animal under the sun,--
they have come out to reconnoitre.
They want to know whether Zarathustra still liveth. Verily, do I still
More dangerous have I found it among men than among animals; in dangerous
paths goeth Zarathustra. Let mine animals lead me!
When Zarathustra had said this, he remembered the words of the saint in the
forest. Then he sighed and spake thus to his heart:
"Would that I were wiser! Would that I were wise from the very heart, like
But I am asking the impossible. Therefore do I ask my pride to go always
with my wisdom!
And if my wisdom should some day forsake me:--alas! it loveth to fly away!-
-may my pride then fly with my folly!"
Thus began Zarathustra's down-going.
I. THE THREE METAMORPHOSES.
Three metamorphoses of the spirit do I designate to you: how 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 reverence dwelleth: for the heavy and the heaviest longeth its
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 thing, 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 tempter?
Or is it this: To feed on the acorns and grass of knowledge, and for the
sake of truth to suffer hunger of soul?
Or is it this: To be sick and 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 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
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
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 need of the lion.
To assume the right to 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 is it 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, 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
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.
II. THE ACADEMIC CHAIRS OF VIRTUE.
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 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 thy 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
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 thy neighbour: so desireth good sleep. And peace also
with thy 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 like 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 thy 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 overtaketh 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 soft soles doth it come to me, the dearest of thieves, and
stealeth from me my thoughts: stupid do I then stand, like this academic
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 had I 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 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.
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, an eternal 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 the 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 the 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
speak I 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 to the ultimate with 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 of 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 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, evaluing 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 and raveth and fluttereth with
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
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 to slink aside from it, like
the sick and perishing!
The sick and perishing--it was they who despised 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 escape, and the stars were too remote for
them. Then they sighed: "O that there were heavenly paths by which to
steal into another existence and into happiness!" Then they contrived for
themselves their by-paths 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 at 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
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
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.
IV. THE DESPISERS OF THE BODY.
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
But the awakened one, the knowing one, 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 thy body is also thy little sagacity, my brother, which
thou callest "spirit"--a little instrument and plaything of thy big
"Ego," sayest thou, and art proud of that word. But the greater thing--in
which thou art unwilling to believe--is thy body with its big sagacity; it
saith not "ego," but doeth it.
What the sense feeleth, what the spirit discerneth, hath 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 playthings 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, an
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 requireth 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
The Self saith unto the ego: "Feel pain!" And thereupon it suffereth, and
thinketh how it may put an end thereto--and for that very purpose it IS
MEANT to think.
The Self saith unto the ego: "Feel pleasure!" Thereupon it rejoiceth, and
thinketh how it may ofttimes rejoice--and for that very purpose it IS MEANT
To the despisers of the body will I speak a word. That they despise is
caused by their esteem. What is it that created esteeming and despising
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
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
Thus spake Zarathustra.
V. 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 the 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
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 was 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
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.
VI. THE PALE CRIMINAL.
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 supreme 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
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
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
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
And now once more lieth the lead of his guilt upon him, and once more is
his weak reason so benumbed, 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 overtaketh 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
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
Verily, I would that their madness were called truth, or fidelity, or
justice: but they have their virtue in order to live long, and in wretched
I am a railing alongside the torrent; whoever is able to grasp me may grasp
me! Your crutch, however, I am not.--
Thus spake Zarathustra.
VII. READING AND WRITING.
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
He who knoweth the reader, doeth nothing more for the reader. Another
century of readers--and 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 learnt
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
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
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 assesses.
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, and soap-bubbles, and
whatever is like them amongst us, seem most to enjoy happiness.
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
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.
VIII. THE TREE ON THE HILL.
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
But the wind, which we see not, troubleth and bendeth it as 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 I 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
"Yea, into the evil!" cried the youth. "How is it possible that thou hast
discovered my soul?"
Zarathustra smiled, and said: "Many a soul one 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
I change too quickly: my to-day refuteth my yesterday. I often overleap
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 lonely 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 about 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 yet 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
To purify himself, is still necessary for the freedman of the spirit. Much
of the prison and the 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 feelest 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 voluptuousness,"--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.
IX. THE PREACHERS OF DEATH.
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 only are refuted, and their eye, which seeth only one aspect of
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
"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 labour and disquiet, are ye not very
tired of life? Are ye not very ripe for the sermon of death?
All ye to 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
If ye believed more in life, then would ye devote yourselves less to the
momentary. But for waiting, ye have not enough of capacity in you--nor
even for idling!
Everywhere resoundeth the voices of those who preach death; and the earth
is full of those to whom death hath to be preached.
Or "life eternal"; it is all the same to me--if only they pass away
Thus spake Zarathustra.
X. WAR AND WARRIORS.
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
I know the hatred and envy of your hearts. Ye are not great enough not to
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 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
Ye shall love peace as a means to new wars--and the short peace more than
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
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.
XI. THE NEW IDOL.
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 will I
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
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 and 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,
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
Do go out of the way of the bad odour! Withdraw from the steam of these
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 tranquil
Open still remaineth a free life for great souls. Verily, he who
possesseth little is so much the less possessed: blessed be moderate
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 ye not
see it, the rainbow and the bridges of the Superman?--
Thus spake Zarathustra.
XII. THE FLIES IN THE MARKET-PLACE.
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
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
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
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.
Thou art 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 they would 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
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
hath ever been the prudence of the cowardly. Yea! the cowardly are wise!
They think much about thee with their circumscribed souls--thou art always
suspected by them! Whatever is much thought about is at last thought
They punish thee for all thy virtues. They pardon thee in their inmost
hearts only--for thine errors.
Because thou art gentle and of upright character, thou sayest: "Blameless
are they for their small existence." But their circumscribed souls think:
"Blamable is all great existence."
Even when thou art gentle towards them, they still feel themselves despised
by thee; and they repay thy beneficence with secret maleficence.
Thy silent pride is always counter to their taste; they rejoice if once
thou be humble enough to be frivolous.
What we recognise in a man, we also irritate in him. Therefore be on your
guard against the small ones!
In thy presence they feel themselves small, and their baseness gleameth and
gloweth against thee in invisible vengeance.
Sawest thou not how often they became dumb when thou approachedst them, and
how their energy left them like the smoke of an extinguishing fire?
Yea, my friend, the bad conscience art thou of thy neighbours; for they are
unworthy of thee. Therefore they hate thee, and would fain suck thy blood.
Thy neighbours will always be poisonous flies; what is great in thee--that
itself must make them more poisonous, and always more fly-like.
Flee, my friend, into thy solitude--and thither, where a rough strong
breeze bloweth. It is not thy lot to be a fly-flap.--
Thus spake Zarathustra.
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 saith it--they know nothing better
on earth than to lie with a woman.
Filth is at the bottom of their souls; and alas! if their filth hath still
spirit in it!
Would that ye were perfect--at least as animals! But to animals belongeth
Do I counsel you to slay your instincts? I counsel you to innocence in
Do I counsel you to chastity? Chastity is a virtue with some, but with
many almost a vice.
These are continent, to be sure: but doggish lust looketh enviously out of
all that they do.
Even into the heights of their virtue and into their cold spirit doth this
creature follow them, with its discord.
And how nicely can doggish lust beg for a piece of spirit, when a piece of
flesh is denied it!
Ye love tragedies and all that breaketh the heart? But I am distrustful of
your doggish lust.
Ye have too cruel eyes, and ye look wantonly towards the sufferers. Hath
not your lust just disguised itself and taken the name of fellow-suffering?
And also this parable give I unto you: Not a few who meant to cast out
their devil, went thereby into the swine themselves.
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, doth the discerning
one go unwillingly into its waters.
Verily, there are chaste ones from their very nature; they are gentler of
heart, and laugh better and oftener than you.
They laugh also at chastity, and ask: "What is chastity?
Is chastity not folly? But the folly came unto us, and not we unto it.
We offered that guest harbour and heart: now it dwelleth with us--let it
stay as long as it will!"--
Thus spake Zarathustra.
XIV. THE FRIEND.
"One, is always too many about me"--thinketh the anchorite. "Always once
one--that maketh two in the long run!"
I and me are always too earnestly in conversation: how could it be
endured, if there were not a friend?
The friend of the anchorite is always the third one: the third one is the
cork which preventeth the conversation of the two sinking into the depth.
Ah! there are too many depths for all anchorites. Therefore, do they long
so much for a friend, and for his elevation.
Our faith in others betrayeth wherein we would fain have faith in
ourselves. Our longing for a friend is our betrayer.
And often with our love we want merely to overleap envy. And often we
attack and make ourselves enemies, to conceal that we are vulnerable.
"Be at least mine enemy!"--thus speaketh the true reverence, which doth not
venture to solicit 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 honour the enemy in one's friend. Canst thou go nigh
unto thy friend, and not go over to him?
In one's friend one shall have one's best enemy. Thou shalt be closest
unto him with thy heart when thou withstandest him.
Thou wouldst wear no raiment before thy friend? It is in honour of thy
friend that thou showest thyself to him as thou art? But he wisheth thee
to the devil on that account!
He who maketh no secret of himself shocketh: so much reason have ye to
fear nakedness! Aye, if ye were Gods, ye could then be ashamed of
Thou canst not adorn thyself fine enough for thy friend; for thou shalt be
unto him an arrow and a longing for the Superman.
Sawest thou ever thy friend asleep--to know how he looketh? What is
usually the countenance of thy friend? It is thine own countenance, in a
coarse and imperfect mirror.
Sawest thou ever thy friend asleep? Wert thou not dismayed at thy friend
looking so? O my friend, man is something that hath to be surpassed.
In divining and keeping silence shall the friend be a master: not
everything must thou wish to see. Thy dream shall disclose unto thee what
thy friend doeth when awake.
Let thy pity be a divining: to know first if thy friend wanteth pity.
Perhaps he loveth in thee the unmoved eye, and the look of eternity.
Let thy pity for thy friend be hid under a hard shell; thou shalt bite out
a tooth upon it. Thus will it have delicacy and sweetness.
Art thou pure air and solitude and bread and medicine to thy friend? Many
a one cannot loosen his own fetters, but is nevertheless his friend's
Art thou a slave? Then thou canst not be a friend. Art thou a tyrant?
Then thou canst not have friends.
Far too long hath there been a slave and a tyrant concealed in woman. On
that account woman is not yet capable of friendship: she knoweth only
In woman's love there is injustice and blindness to all she doth not love.
And even in woman's conscious love, there is still always surprise and
lightning and night, along with the light.
As yet woman is not capable of friendship: women are still cats, and
birds. Or at the best, cows.
As yet woman is not capable of friendship. But tell me, ye men, who of you
are capable of friendship?
Oh! your poverty, ye men, and your sordidness of soul! As much as ye give
to your friend, will I give even to my foe, and will not have become poorer
There is comradeship: may there be friendship!
Thus spake Zarathustra.
XV. THE THOUSAND AND ONE GOALS.
Many lands saw Zarathustra, and many peoples: thus he discovered the good
and bad of many peoples. No greater power did Zarathustra find on earth
than good and bad.
No people could live without first valuing; if a people will maintain
itself, however, it must not value as its neighbour valueth.
Much that passed for good with one people was regarded with scorn and
contempt by another: thus I found it. Much found I here called bad, which
was there decked with purple honours.
Never did the one neighbour understand the other: ever did his soul marvel
at his neighbour's delusion and wickedness.
A table of excellencies hangeth over every people. Lo! it is the table of
their triumphs; lo! it is the voice of their Will to Power.
It is laudable, what they think hard; what is indispensable and hard they
call good; and what relieveth in the direst distress, the unique and
hardest of all,--they extol as holy.
Whatever maketh them rule and conquer and shine, to the dismay and envy of
their neighbours, they regard as the high and foremost thing, the test and
the meaning of all else.
Verily, my brother, if thou knewest but a people's need, its land, its sky,
and its neighbour, then wouldst thou divine the law of its surmountings,
and why it climbeth up that ladder to its hope.
"Always shalt thou be the foremost and prominent above others: no one
shall thy jealous soul love, except a 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 seemed it alike
pleasing and hard to the people from whom cometh my name--the name which is
alike pleasing and hard to me.
"To honour father and mother, and from the root of the soul to do their
will"--this table of surmounting hung another people over them, and became
powerful and permanent thereby.
"To have fidelity, and for the sake of fidelity to risk honour and blood,
even in evil and dangerous courses"--teaching itself so, another people
mastered itself, and thus mastering itself, became pregnant and heavy with
Verily, men have given unto themselves all their good and bad. Verily,
they took it not, they found it not, it came not unto them as a voice from
Values did man only assign to things in order to maintain himself--he
created only the significance of things, a human significance! Therefore,
calleth he himself "man," that is, the valuator.
Valuing is creating: hear it, ye creating ones! Valuation itself is the
treasure and jewel of the valued things.
Through valuation only is there value; and without valuation the nut of
existence would be hollow. Hear it, ye creating ones!
Change of values--that is, change of the creating ones. Always doth he
destroy who hath to be a creator.
Creating ones were first of all peoples, and only in late times
individuals; verily, the individual himself is still the latest creation.
Peoples once hung over them tables of the good. Love which would rule and
love which would obey, created for themselves such tables.
Older is the pleasure in the herd than the pleasure in the ego: and as
long as the good conscience is for the herd, the bad conscience only saith:
Verily, the crafty ego, the loveless one, that seeketh its advantage in the
advantage of many--it is not the origin of the herd, but its ruin.
Loving ones, was it always, and creating ones, that created good and bad.
Fire of love gloweth in the names of all the virtues, and fire of wrath.
Many lands saw Zarathustra, and many peoples: no greater power did
Zarathustra find on earth than the creations of the loving ones--"good" and
"bad" are they called.
Verily, a prodigy is this power of praising and blaming. Tell me, ye
brethren, who will master it for me? Who will put a fetter upon the
thousand necks of this animal?
A thousand goals have there been hitherto, for a thousand peoples have
there been. Only the fetter for the thousand necks is still lacking; there
is lacking the one goal. As yet humanity hath not a goal.
But pray tell me, my brethren, if the goal of humanity be still lacking, is
there not also still lacking--humanity itself?--
Thus spake Zarathustra.
Ye crowd around your neighbour, and have fine words for it. But I say unto
you: your neighbour-love is your bad love of yourselves.
Ye flee unto your neighbour from yourselves, and would fain make a virtue
thereof: but I fathom your "unselfishness."
The THOU is older than the _I_; the THOU hath been consecrated, but not yet
the _I_: so man presseth nigh unto his neighbour.
Do I advise you to neighbour-love? Rather do I advise you to neighbour-
flight and to furthest love!
Higher than love to your neighbour is love to the furthest and future ones;
higher still than love to men, is love to things and phantoms.
The phantom that runneth on before thee, my brother, is fairer than thou;
why dost thou not give unto it thy flesh and thy bones? But thou fearest,
and runnest unto thy neighbour.
Ye cannot endure it with yourselves, and do not love yourselves
sufficiently: so ye seek to mislead your neighbour into love, and would
fain gild yourselves with his error.
Would that ye could not endure it with any kind of near ones, or their
neighbours; then would ye have to create your friend and his overflowing
heart out of yourselves.
Ye call in a witness when ye want to speak well of yourselves; and when ye
have misled him to think well of you, ye also think well of yourselves.
Not only doth he lie, who speaketh contrary to his knowledge, but more so,
he who speaketh contrary to his ignorance. And thus speak ye of yourselves
in your intercourse, and belie your neighbour with yourselves.
Thus saith the fool: "Association with men spoileth the character,
especially when one hath none."
The one goeth to his neighbour because he seeketh himself, and the other
because he would fain lose himself. Your bad love to yourselves maketh
solitude a prison to you.
The furthest ones are they who pay for your love to the near ones; and when
there are but five of you together, a sixth must always die.
I love not your festivals either: too many actors found I there, and even
the spectators often behaved like actors.
Not the neighbour 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 overflowing hearts.
I teach you the friend in whom the world standeth complete, a capsule of
the good,--the creating friend, who hath always a complete world to bestow.
And as the world unrolled itself for him, so rolleth it together again for
him in rings, as the growth of good through evil, as the growth of purpose
out of chance.
Let the future and the furthest be the motive of thy to-day; in thy friend
shalt thou love the Superman as thy motive.
My brethren, I advise you not to neighbour-love--I advise you to furthest
Thus spake Zarathustra.
XVII. THE WAY OF THE CREATING ONE.
Wouldst thou go into isolation, my brother? Wouldst thou seek the way unto
thyself? Tarry yet a little and hearken unto me.
"He who seeketh may easily get lost himself. All isolation is wrong": so
say the herd. And long didst thou belong to the herd.
The voice of the herd will still echo in thee. And when thou sayest, "I
have no longer a conscience in common with you," then will it be a plaint
and a pain.
Lo, that pain itself did the same conscience produce; and the last gleam of
that conscience still gloweth on thine affliction.
But thou wouldst go the way of thine affliction, which is the way unto
thyself? Then show me thine authority and thy strength to do so!
Art thou a new strength and a new authority? A first motion? A self-
rolling wheel? Canst thou also compel stars to revolve around thee?
Alas! there is so much lusting for loftiness! There are so many
convulsions of the ambitions! Show me that thou art not a lusting and
Alas! there are so many great thoughts that do nothing more than the
bellows: they inflate, and make emptier than ever.
Free, dost thou call thyself? Thy ruling thought would I hear of, and not
that thou hast escaped from a yoke.
Art thou one ENTITLED to escape from a yoke? Many a one hath cast away his
final worth when he hath cast away his servitude.
Free from what? What doth that matter to Zarathustra! Clearly, however,
shall thine eye show unto me: free FOR WHAT?
Canst thou give unto thyself thy bad and thy good, and set up thy will as a
law over thee? Canst thou be judge for thyself, and avenger of thy law?
Terrible is aloneness with the judge and avenger of one's own law. Thus is
a star projected into desert space, and into the icy breath of aloneness.
To-day sufferest thou still from the multitude, thou individual; to-day
hast thou still thy courage unabated, and thy hopes.
But one day will the solitude weary thee; one day will thy pride yield, and
thy courage quail. Thou wilt one day cry: "I am alone!"
One day wilt thou see no longer thy loftiness, and see too closely thy
lowliness; thy sublimity itself will frighten thee as a phantom. Thou wilt
one day cry: "All is false!"
There are feelings which seek to slay the lonesome one; if they do not
succeed, then must they themselves die! But art thou capable of it--to be
Hast thou ever known, my brother, the word "disdain"? And the anguish of
thy justice in being just to those that disdain thee?
Thou forcest many to think differently about thee; that, charge they
heavily to thine account. Thou camest nigh unto them, and yet wentest
past: for that they never forgive thee.
Thou goest beyond them: but the higher thou risest, the smaller doth the
eye of envy see thee. Most of all, however, is the flying one hated.
"How could ye be just unto me!"--must thou say--"I choose your injustice as
my allotted portion."
Injustice and filth cast they at the lonesome one: but, my brother, if
thou wouldst be a star, thou must shine for them none the less on that
And be on thy guard against the good and just! They would fain crucify
those who devise their own virtue--they hate the lonesome ones.
Be on thy guard, also, against holy simplicity! All is unholy to it that
is not simple; fain, likewise, would it play with the fire--of the fagot
And be on thy guard, also, against the assaults of thy love! Too readily
doth the recluse reach his hand to any one who meeteth him.
To many a one mayest thou not give thy hand, but only thy paw; and I wish
thy paw also to have claws.
But the worst enemy thou canst meet, wilt thou thyself always be; thou
waylayest thyself in caverns and forests.
Thou lonesome one, thou goest the way to thyself! And past thyself and thy
seven devils leadeth thy way!
A heretic wilt thou be to thyself, and a wizard and a sooth-sayer, and a
fool, and a doubter, and a reprobate, and a villain.
Ready must thou be to burn thyself in thine own flame; how couldst thou
become new if thou have not first become ashes!
Thou lonesome one, thou goest the way of the creating one: a God wilt thou
create for thyself out of thy seven devils!
Thou lonesome one, thou goest the way of the loving one: thou lovest
thyself, and on that account despisest thou thyself, as only the loving
To create, desireth the loving one, because he despiseth! What knoweth he
of love who hath not been obliged to despise just what he loved!
With thy love, go into thine isolation, my brother, and with thy creating;
and late only will justice limp after thee.
With my tears, go into thine isolation, my brother. I love him who seeketh
to create beyond himself, and thus succumbeth.--
Thus spake Zarathustra.
XVIII. OLD AND YOUNG WOMEN.
"Why stealest thou along so furtively in the twilight, Zarathustra? And
what hidest thou so carefully under thy mantle?
Is it a treasure that hath been given thee? Or a child that hath been born
thee? Or goest thou thyself on a thief's errand, thou friend of the
Verily, my brother, said Zarathustra, it is a treasure that hath been given
me: it is a little truth which I carry.
But it is naughty, like a young child; and if I hold not its mouth, it
screameth too loudly.
As I went on my way alone to-day, at the hour when the sun declineth, there
met me an old woman, and she spake thus unto my soul:
"Much hath Zarathustra spoken also to us women, but never spake he unto us
And I answered her: "Concerning woman, one should only talk unto men."
"Talk also unto me of woman," said she; "I am old enough to forget it
And I obliged the old woman and spake thus unto her:
Everything in woman is a riddle, and everything in woman hath one solution
--it is called pregnancy.
Man is for woman a means: the purpose is always the child. But what is
woman for man?
Two different things wanteth the true man: danger and diversion.
Therefore wanteth he woman, as the most dangerous plaything.
Man shall be trained for war, and woman for the recreation of the warrior:
all else is folly.
Too sweet fruits--these the warrior liketh not. Therefore liketh he
woman;--bitter is even the sweetest woman.
Better than man doth woman understand children, but man is more childish
In the true man there is a child hidden: it wanteth to play. Up then, ye
women, and discover the child in man!
A plaything let woman be, 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 bear
In your love let there be valour! With your love shall ye assail him who
inspireth you with fear!
In your love be your honour! Little doth woman understand otherwise about
honour. But let this be your honour: always to love more than ye are
loved, and never be the second.
Let man fear woman when she loveth: then maketh she every sacrifice, and
everything else she regardeth as worthless.
Let man fear woman when she hateth: for man in his innermost soul is
merely evil; woman, however, is mean.
Whom hateth woman most?--Thus spake the iron to the loadstone: "I hate
thee most, because thou attractest, but art too weak to draw unto thee."
The happiness of man is, "I will." The happiness of woman is, "He will."
"Lo! now hath the world become perfect!"--thus thinketh every woman when
she obeyeth with all her love.
Obey, must the woman, and find a depth for her surface. Surface, is
woman's soul, a mobile, stormy film on shallow water.
Man's soul, however, is deep, its current gusheth in subterranean caverns:
woman surmiseth its force, but comprehendeth it not.--
Then answered me the old woman: "Many fine things hath Zarathustra said,
especially for those who are young enough for them.
Strange! Zarathustra knoweth little about woman, and yet he is right about
them! Doth this happen, because with women 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
"Give me, woman, thy little truth!" said I. And thus spake the old woman:
"Thou goest to women? Do not forget thy whip!"--
Thus spake Zarathustra.
XIX. THE BITE OF THE ADDER.
One day had Zarathustra fallen asleep under a fig-tree, owing to the heat,
with his arms over his face. And there came an adder and bit him in the
neck, so that Zarathustra screamed with pain. When he had taken his arm
from his face he looked at the serpent; and then did it recognise the eyes
of Zarathustra, wriggled awkwardly, and tried to get away. "Not at all,"
said Zarathustra, "as yet hast thou not received my thanks! Thou hast
awakened me in time; my journey is yet long." "Thy journey is short," said
the adder sadly; "my poison is fatal." Zarathustra smiled. "When did ever
a dragon die of a serpent's poison?"--said he. "But take thy poison back!
Thou art not rich enough to present it to me." Then fell the adder again
on his neck, and licked his wound.
When Zarathustra once told this to his disciples they asked him: "And
what, O Zarathustra, is the moral of thy story?" And Zarathustra answered
The destroyer of morality, the good and just call me: my story is immoral.
When, however, ye have an enemy, then return him not good for evil: for
that would abash him. But prove that he hath done something good to you.
And rather be angry than abash any one! And when ye are cursed, it
pleaseth me not that ye should then desire to bless. Rather curse a little
And should a great injustice befall you, then do quickly five small ones
besides. Hideous to behold is he on whom injustice presseth alone.
Did ye ever know this? Shared injustice is half justice. And he who can
bear it, shall take the injustice upon himself!
A small revenge is humaner than no revenge at all. And if the punishment
be not also a right and an honour to the transgressor, I do not like your
Nobler is it to own oneself in the wrong than to establish one's right,
especially if one be in the 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
glanceth the executioner and his cold steel.
Tell me: where find we justice, which is love with seeing eyes?
Devise me, then, the love which not only beareth all punishment, but also
Devise me, then, the justice which acquitteth every one except the judge!
And would ye hear this likewise? To him who seeketh to be just from the
heart, even the lie becometh philanthropy.
But how could I be just from the heart! How can I give every one his own!
Let this be enough for me: I give unto every one mine own.
Finally, my brethren, guard against doing wrong to any anchorite. How
could an anchorite forget! How could he requite!
Like a deep well is an anchorite. Easy is it to throw in a stone: if it
should sink to the bottom, however, tell me, who will bring it out again?
Guard against injuring the anchorite! If ye have done so, however, well
then, kill him also!--
Thus spake Zarathustra.
XX. CHILD AND MARRIAGE.
I have a question for thee alone, my brother: like a sounding-lead, cast I
this question into thy soul, that I may know its depth.
Thou art young, and desirest child and marriage. But I ask thee: Art thou
a man ENTITLED to desire a child?
Art thou the victorious one, the self-conqueror, the ruler of thy passions,
the master of thy virtues? Thus do I ask thee.
Or doth the animal speak in thy wish, and necessity? Or isolation? Or
discord in thee?
I would have thy victory and freedom long for a child. Living monuments
shalt thou build to thy victory and emancipation.
Beyond thyself shalt thou build. But first of all must thou be built
thyself, rectangular in body and soul.
Not only onward shalt thou propagate thyself, but upward! For that purpose
may the garden of marriage help thee!
A higher body shalt thou create, a first movement, a spontaneously rolling
wheel--a creating one shalt thou create.
Marriage: so call I the will of the twain to create the one that is more
than those who created it. The reverence for one another, as those
exercising such a will, call I marriage.
Let this be the significance and the truth of thy marriage. But that which
the many-too-many call marriage, those superfluous ones--ah, what shall I
Ah, the poverty of soul in the twain! Ah, the filth of soul in the twain!
Ah, the pitiable self-complacency in the twain!
Marriage they call it all; and they say their marriages are made in heaven.
Well, I do not like it, that heaven of the superfluous! No, I do not like
them, those animals tangled in the heavenly toils!
Far from me also be the God who limpeth thither to bless what he hath not
Laugh not at such marriages! What child hath not had reason to weep over
Worthy did this man seem, and ripe for the meaning of the earth: but when
I saw his wife, the earth seemed to me a home for madcaps.
Yea, I would 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 decked-up lie: his marriage he calleth it.
That one was reserved in intercourse and chose choicely. But one time he
spoilt his company for all time: his marriage he calleth it.
Another sought a handmaid with the virtues of an angel. But all at once he
became the handmaid of a woman, and now would he need also to become an
Careful, have I found all buyers, and all of them have astute eyes. But
even the astutest of them buyeth his wife in a sack.
Many short follies--that is called love by you. And your marriage putteth
an end to many short follies, with one long stupidity.
Your love to woman, and woman's love to man--ah, would that it were
sympathy for suffering and veiled deities! But generally two animals
alight on one another.
But even your best love is only an enraptured simile and a painful ardour.
It is a torch to light you to loftier paths.
Beyond yourselves shall ye love some day! Then LEARN first of all to love.
And on that account ye had to drink the bitter cup of your love.
Bitterness is in the cup even of the best love: thus doth it cause longing
for the Superman; thus doth it cause thirst in thee, the creating one!
Thirst in the creating one, arrow and longing for the Superman: tell me,
my brother, is this thy will to marriage?
Holy call I such a will, and such a marriage.--
Thus spake Zarathustra.
XXI. 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 might never be born!--Thus do I advise the
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 becometh 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 doth not consecrate the oaths of the living!
Thus to die is best; the next best, however, is to die in battle, and
sacrifice 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 hath a goal and an heir, wanteth death
at the right time for the goal and the heir.
And out of reverence for the goal and the heir, he will hang up no more
withered wreaths in the sanctuary of life.
Verily, not the rope-makers will I resemble: they lengthen out their cord,
and thereby go ever backward.
Many a one, also, waxeth too old for his truths and triumphs; a toothless
mouth hath no longer the right to every truth.
And whoever wanteth to have fame, must take leave of honour betimes, and
practise the difficult art of--going at the right time.
One must discontinue being feasted upon when one tasteth best: that is
known by those who want to be long loved.
Sour apples are there, no doubt, whose lot is to wait until the last day of
autumn: and at the same time they become ripe, yellow, and shrivelled.
In some ageth the heart first, and in others the spirit. And some are
hoary in youth, but the late young keep long young.
To many men life is a failure; a poison-worm gnaweth at their heart. Then
let them see to it that their dying is all the more a success.
Many never become sweet; they rot even in the summer. It is cowardice that
holdeth them fast to their branches.
Far too many live, and far too long hang they on their branches. Would
that a storm came and shook all this rottenness and worm-eatenness from the
Would that there came preachers of SPEEDY death! Those would be the
appropriate storms and agitators of the trees of life! But I hear only
slow death preached, and patience with all that is "earthly."
Ah! ye preach patience with what is earthly? This earthly is it that hath
too much patience with you, ye blasphemers!
Verily, too early died that Hebrew whom the preachers of slow death honour:
and to many hath it proved a calamity that he died too early.
As yet had he known only tears, and the melancholy of the Hebrews, together
with the hatred of the good and just--the Hebrew Jesus: then was he seized
with the longing for death.
Had he but remained in the wilderness, and far from the good and just!
Then, perhaps, would he have learned to live, and love the earth--and
Believe it, my brethren! He died too early; he himself would have
disavowed his doctrine had he attained to my age! Noble enough was he to
But he was still immature. Immaturely loveth the youth, and immaturely
also hateth he man and earth. Confined and awkward are still his soul and
the wings of his spirit.
But in man there is more of the child than in the youth, and less of
melancholy: better understandeth he about life and death.
Free for death, and free in death; a holy Naysayer, when there is no longer
time for Yea: thus understandeth he about death and life.
That your dying may not be a reproach to man and the earth, my friends:
that do I solicit from the honey of your soul.
In your dying shall your spirit and your virtue still shine like an evening
after-glow around the earth: otherwise your dying hath been
Thus will I die myself, that ye friends may love the earth more for my
sake; and earth will I again become, to have rest in her that bore me.
Verily, a goal had Zarathustra; he threw his ball. Now be ye friends the
heirs of my goal; to you throw I the golden ball.
Best of all, do I see you, my friends, throw the golden ball! And so tarry
I still a little while on the earth--pardon me for it!
Thus spake Zarathustra.
XXII. THE BESTOWING VIRTUE.
When Zarathustra had taken leave of the town to which his heart was
attached, the name of which is "The Pied Cow," there followed him many
people who called themselves his disciples, and kept him company. Thus
came they to a crossroad. Then Zarathustra told them that he now wanted to
go alone; for he was fond of going alone. His disciples, however,
presented him at his departure with a staff, on the golden handle of which
a serpent twined round the sun. Zarathustra rejoiced on account of the
staff, and supported himself thereon; then spake he thus to his disciples:
Tell me, pray: how came gold to the highest value? Because it is
uncommon, and unprofiting, and beaming, and soft in lustre; it always
Only as image of the highest virtue came gold to the highest value.
Goldlike, beameth the glance of the bestower. Gold-lustre maketh peace
between moon and sun.
Uncommon is the highest virtue, and unprofiting, beaming is it, and soft of
lustre: a bestowing virtue is the highest virtue.
Verily, I divine you well, my disciples: ye strive like me for the
bestowing virtue. What should ye have in common with cats and wolves?
It is your thirst to become sacrifices and gifts yourselves: and therefore
have ye the thirst to accumulate all riches in your soul.
Insatiably striveth your soul for treasures and jewels, because your virtue
is insatiable in desiring to bestow.
Ye constrain 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.
Verily, an appropriator of all values must such bestowing love become; but
healthy and holy, call I this selfishness.--
Another selfishness is there, 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 looketh upon all that is lustrous; with the
craving of hunger it measureth him who hath abundance; and ever doth it
prowl round the tables of bestowers.
Sickness speaketh in such craving, and invisible degeneration; of a sickly
body, speaketh the larcenous craving of this selfishness.
Tell me, my brother, what do we think bad, and worst of all? Is it not
DEGENERATION?--And we always suspect degeneration when the bestowing soul
Upward goeth our course from genera on to super-genera. But a horror to us
is the degenerating sense, which saith: "All for myself."
Upward soareth our sense: thus is it a simile of our body, a simile of an
elevation. Such similes of elevations are the names of the virtues.
Thus goeth the body through history, a becomer and fighter. And the
spirit--what is it to the body? Its fights' and victories' herald, its
companion and echo.
Similes, are all names of good and evil; they do not speak out, they only
hint. A fool who seeketh knowledge from them!
Give heed, my brethren, to every hour when your spirit would speak in
similes: there is the origin of your virtue.
Elevated is then your body, and raised up; with its delight, enraptureth it
the spirit; so that it becometh creator, and valuer, and lover, and
When your heart overfloweth broad and full like the river, a blessing and a
danger to the lowlanders: there is the origin of your virtue.
When ye are exalted above praise and blame, and your will would command all
things, as a loving one's will: there is the origin of your virtue.
When ye despise pleasant things, and the effeminate couch, and cannot couch
far enough from the effeminate: there is the origin of your virtue.
When ye are willers of one will, and when that change of every need is
needful to you: there is the origin of your virtue.
Verily, a new good and evil is it! Verily, a new deep murmuring, and the
voice of a new fountain!
Power is it, this new virtue; a ruling thought is it, and around it a
subtle soul: a golden sun, with the serpent of knowledge around it.
Here paused Zarathustra awhile, and looked lovingly on his disciples. Then
he continued to speak thus--and his voice had changed:
Remain true to the earth, my brethren, with the power of your virtue! Let
your bestowing love and your knowledge be devoted to be 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--yea, back to body
and life: that it may give to the earth its meaning, a human meaning!
A hundred times hitherto hath spirit as well as virtue flown away and
blundered. Alas! in our body dwelleth still all this delusion and
blundering: body and will hath it there become.
A hundred times hitherto hath spirit as well as virtue attempted and erred.
Yea, an attempt hath man been. Alas, much ignorance and error hath become
embodied in us!
Not only the rationality of millenniums--also their madness, breaketh 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 ruled nonsense, the lack-of-sense.
Let your spirit and your virtue be devoted to the sense of the earth, my
brethren: 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.
Physician, heal thyself: then wilt thou 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. Unexhausted and undiscovered is
still man and man's world.
Awake and hearken, ye lonesome ones! From the future come winds with
stealthy pinions, and to fine ears good tidings are proclaimed.
Ye lonesome ones of to-day, ye seceding ones, ye shall one day be a people:
out of you who have chosen yourselves, shall a chosen people arise:--and
out of it the Superman.
Verily, a place of healing shall the earth become! And already is a new
odour diffused around it, a salvation-bringing odour--and a new hope!
When Zarathustra had spoken these words, he paused, like one who had not
said his last word; and long did he balance the staff doubtfully in his
hand. At last he spake thus--and his voice had changed:
I now go alone, my disciples! Ye also now go away, and alone! So will I
Verily, I advise you: depart from me, and guard yourselves against
Zarathustra! And better still: be ashamed of him! Perhaps he hath
The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies, but also to
hate his friends.
One requiteth a teacher badly if one remain merely a scholar. And why will
ye not pluck at my wreath?
Ye venerate me; but what if your veneration should some day collapse? Take
heed lest a statue crush you!
Ye say, ye believe in Zarathustra? But of what account is Zarathustra! Ye
are my believers: but of what account are all believers!
Ye had not yet sought yourselves: then did ye find me. So do all
believers; therefore all belief is of so little account.
Now do I bid you lose me and find yourselves; and only when ye have all
denied me, will I return unto you.
Verily, with other eyes, my brethren, shall I then seek my lost ones; with
another love shall I then love you.
And once again shall ye have become friends unto me, and children of one
hope: then will I 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 celebrateth his advance to the evening as
his highest hope: for it is the advance to a new morning.
At such time will the down-goer bless himself, that he should be an over-
goer; and the sun of his knowledge will be at noontide.
"DEAD ARE ALL THE GODS: NOW DO WE DESIRE THE SUPERMAN TO LIVE."--Let this
be our final will at the great noontide!--
Thus spake Zarathustra.
THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA.
"-and only when ye have all denied me, will I return unto you.
Verily, with other eyes, my brethren, shall I then seek my lost ones; with
another love shall I then love you."--ZARATHUSTRA, I., "The Bestowing
XXIII. THE CHILD WITH THE MIRROR.
After this Zarathustra returned again into the mountains to the solitude of
his cave, and withdrew himself from men, waiting like a sower who hath
scattered his seed. His soul, however, became impatient and full of
longing for those whom he loved: because he had still much to give them.
For this is hardest of all: to close the open hand out of love, and keep
modest as a giver.
Thus passed with the lonesome one months and years; his wisdom meanwhile
increased, and caused him pain by its abundance.
One morning, however, he awoke ere the rosy dawn, and having meditated long
on his couch, at last spake thus to his heart:
Why did I startle in my dream, so that I awoke? Did not a child come to
me, carrying a mirror?
"O Zarathustra"--said the child unto me--"look at thyself in the mirror!"
But when I looked into the mirror, I shrieked, and my heart throbbed: for
not myself did I see therein, but a devil's grimace and derision.
Verily, all too well do I understand the dream's portent and monition: my
DOCTRINE is in danger; tares want to be called wheat!
Mine enemies have grown powerful and have disfigured the likeness of my
doctrine, so that my dearest ones have to blush for the gifts that I gave
Lost are my friends; the hour hath come for me to seek my lost ones!--
With these words Zarathustra started up, not however like a person in
anguish seeking relief, but rather like a seer and a singer whom the spirit
inspireth. With amazement did his eagle and serpent gaze upon him: for a
coming bliss overspread his countenance like the rosy dawn.
What hath happened unto me, mine animals?--said Zarathustra. Am I not
transformed? Hath not bliss come unto me like a whirlwind?
Foolish is my happiness, and foolish things will it speak: it is still too
young--so have patience with it!
Wounded am I by my happiness: all sufferers shall be physicians unto me!
To my friends can I again go down, and also to mine enemies! Zarathustra
can again speak and bestow, and show his best love to his loved ones!
My impatient love overfloweth in streams,--down towards sunrise and sunset.
Out of silent mountains and storms of affliction, rusheth my soul into the
Too long have I longed and looked into the distance. Too long hath
solitude possessed me: thus have I unlearned to keep silence.
Utterance have I become altogether, and the brawling of a brook from high
rocks: downward into the valleys will I hurl my speech.
And let the stream of my love sweep into unfrequented channels! How should
a stream not finally find its way to the sea!
Forsooth, there is a lake in me, sequestered and self-sufficing; but the
stream of my love beareth this along with it, down--to the sea!
New paths do I tread, a new speech cometh unto me; tired have I become--
like all creators--of the old tongues. No longer will my spirit walk on
Too slowly runneth all speaking for me:--into thy chariot, O storm, do I
leap! And even thee will I whip with my spite!
Like a cry and an huzza will I traverse wide seas, till I find the Happy
Isles where my friends sojourn;-
And mine enemies amongst them! How I now love every one unto whom I may
but speak! Even mine enemies pertain to my bliss.
And when I want to mount my wildest horse, then doth my spear always help
me up best: it is my foot's ever ready servant:--
The spear which I hurl at mine enemies! How grateful am I to mine enemies
that I may at last hurl it!
Too great hath been the tension of my cloud: 'twixt laughters of
lightnings will I cast hail-showers into the depths.
Violently will my breast then heave; violently will it blow its storm over
the mountains: thus cometh its assuagement.
Verily, like a storm cometh my happiness, and my freedom! But mine enemies
shall think that THE EVIL ONE roareth over their heads.
Yea, ye also, my friends, will be alarmed by my wild wisdom; and perhaps ye
will flee therefrom, along with mine enemies.
Ah, that I knew how to lure you back with shepherds' flutes! Ah, that my
lioness wisdom would learn to roar softly! And much have we already
learned with one another!
My wild wisdom became pregnant on the lonesome mountains; on the rough
stones did she bear the youngest of her young.
Now runneth she foolishly in the arid wilderness, and seeketh and seeketh
the soft sward--mine old, wild wisdom!
On the soft sward of your hearts, my friends!--on your love, would she fain
couch her dearest one!--
Thus spake Zarathustra.
XXIV. IN THE HAPPY ISLES.
The figs fall from the trees, they are good and sweet; and in falling the
red skins of them break. A north wind am I to ripe figs.
Thus, like figs, do these doctrines fall for you, my friends: imbibe now
their juice and their sweet substance! It is autumn all around, and clear
sky, and afternoon.
Lo, what fullness is around us! And out of the midst of superabundance, it
is delightful to look out upon distant seas.
Once did people say God, when they looked out upon distant seas; now,
however, have I taught you to say, Superman.
God is a conjecture: but I do not wish your conjecturing to reach beyond
your creating will.
Could ye CREATE a God?--Then, I pray you, be silent about all Gods! But ye
could well create the Superman.
Not perhaps ye yourselves, my brethren! But into fathers and forefathers
of the Superman could ye transform yourselves: and let that be your best
God is a conjecture: but I should like your conjecturing restricted to the
Could ye CONCEIVE a God?--But let this mean Will to Truth unto you, that
everything be transformed into the humanly conceivable, the humanly
visible, the humanly sensible! Your own discernment shall ye follow out to
And what ye have called the world shall but be created by you: your
reason, your likeness, your will, your love, shall it itself become! And
verily, for your bliss, ye discerning ones!
And how would ye endure life without that hope, ye discerning ones?
Neither in the inconceivable could ye have been born, nor in the
But that I may reveal my heart entirely unto you, my friends: IF there
were gods, how could I endure it to be no God! THEREFORE there are no
Yea, I have drawn the conclusion; now, however, doth it draw me.--
God is a conjecture: but who could drink all the bitterness of this
conjecture without dying? Shall his faith be taken from the creating one,
and from the eagle his flights into eagle-heights?
God is a thought--it maketh all the straight crooked, and all that standeth
reel. What? Time would be gone, and all the perishable would be but a
To think this is giddiness and vertigo to human limbs, and even vomiting to
the stomach: verily, the reeling sickness do I call it, to conjecture such
Evil do I call it and misanthropic: all that teaching about the one, and
the plenum, and the unmoved, and the sufficient, and the imperishable!
All the imperishable--that's but a simile, and the poets lie too much.--
But of time and of becoming shall the best similes speak: a praise shall
they be, and a justification of all perishableness!
Creating--that is the great salvation from suffering, and life's
alleviation. But for the creator to appear, suffering itself is needed,
and much transformation.
Yea, much bitter dying must there be in your life, ye creators! Thus are
ye advocates and justifiers of all perishableness.
For the creator himself to be the new-born child, he must also be willing
to be the child-bearer, and endure the pangs of the child-bearer.
Verily, through a hundred souls went I my way, and through a hundred
cradles and birth-throes. Many a farewell have I taken; I know the heart-
breaking last hours.
But so willeth it my creating Will, my fate. Or, to tell you it more
candidly: just such a fate--willeth my Will.
All FEELING suffereth in me, and is in prison: but my WILLING ever cometh
to me as mine emancipator and comforter.
Willing emancipateth: that is the true doctrine of will and emancipation--
so teacheth you Zarathustra.
No longer willing, and no longer valuing, and no longer creating! Ah, that
that great debility may ever be far from me!
And also in discerning do I feel only my will's procreating and evolving
delight; and if there be innocence in my knowledge, it is because there is
will to procreation in it.
Away from God and Gods did this will allure me; what would there be to
create if there were--Gods!
But to man doth it ever impel me anew, my fervent creative will; thus
impelleth it the hammer to the stone.
Ah, ye men, within the stone slumbereth an image for me, the image of my
visions! Ah, that it should slumber in the hardest, ugliest stone!
Now rageth my hammer ruthlessly against its prison. From the stone fly the
fragments: what's that to me?
I will complete it: for a shadow came unto me--the stillest and lightest
of all things once came unto me!
The beauty of the Superman came unto me as a shadow. Ah, my brethren! Of
what account now are--the Gods to me!--
Thus spake Zarathustra.
XXV. THE PITIFUL.
My friends, there hath arisen a satire on your friend: "Behold
Zarathustra! Walketh he not amongst us as if amongst animals?"
But it is better said in this wise: "The discerning one walketh amongst
men AS amongst animals."
Man himself is to the discerning one: the animal with red cheeks.
How hath that happened unto him? Is it not because he hath had to be
ashamed too oft?
O my friends! Thus speaketh the discerning one: shame, shame, shame--that
is the history of man!
And on that account doth the noble one enjoin upon himself not to abash:
bashfulness doth he enjoin on himself in presence of all sufferers.
Verily, I like them not, the merciful ones, whose bliss is in their pity:
too destitute are they of bashfulness.
If I must be pitiful, I dislike to be called so; and if I be so, it is
preferably at a distance.
Preferably also do I shroud my head, and flee, before being recognised:
and thus do I bid you do, my friends!
May my destiny ever lead unafflicted ones like you across my path, and
those with whom I MAY have hope and repast and honey in common!
Verily, I have done this and that for the afflicted: but something better
did I always seem to do when I had learned to enjoy myself better.
Since humanity came into being, man hath enjoyed himself too little: that
alone, my brethren, is our original sin!
And when we learn better to enjoy ourselves, then do we unlearn best to
give pain unto others, and to contrive pain.
Therefore do I wash the hand that hath helped the sufferer; therefore do I
wipe also my soul.
For in seeing the sufferer suffering--thereof was I ashamed on account of
his shame; and in helping him, sorely did I wound his pride.
Great obligations do not make grateful, but revengeful; and when a small
kindness is not forgotten, it becometh a gnawing worm.
"Be shy in accepting! Distinguish by accepting!"--thus do I advise those
who have naught to bestow.
I, however, am a bestower: willingly do I bestow as friend to friends.
Strangers, however, and the poor, may pluck for themselves the fruit from
my tree: thus doth it cause less shame.
Beggars, however, one should entirely do away with! Verily, it annoyeth
one to give unto them, and it annoyeth one not to give unto them.
And likewise sinners and bad consciences! Believe me, my friends: the
sting of conscience teacheth one to sting.
The worst things, however, are the petty thoughts. Verily, better to have
done evilly than to have thought pettily!
To be sure, ye say: "The delight in petty evils spareth one many a great
evil deed." But here one should not wish to be sparing.
Like a boil is the evil deed: it itcheth and irritateth and breaketh
forth--it speaketh honourably.
"Behold, I am disease," saith the evil deed: that is its honourableness.
But like infection is the petty thought: it creepeth and hideth, and
wanteth to be nowhere--until the whole body is decayed and withered by the
To him however, who is possessed of a devil, I would whisper this word in
the ear: "Better for thee to rear up thy devil! Even for thee there is
still a path to greatness!"--
Ah, my brethren! One knoweth a little too much about every one! And many
a one becometh transparent to us, but still we can by no means penetrate
It is difficult to live among men because silence is so difficult.
And not to him who is offensive to us are we most unfair, but to him who
doth not concern us at all.
If, however, thou hast a suffering friend, then be a resting-place for his
suffering; like a hard bed, however, a camp-bed: thus wilt thou serve him
And if a friend doeth thee wrong, then say: "I forgive thee what thou hast
done unto me; that thou hast done it unto THYSELF, however--how could I
Thus speaketh all great love: it surpasseth even forgiveness and pity.
One should hold fast one's heart; for when one letteth it go, how quickly
doth one's head run away!
Ah, where in the world have there been greater follies than with the
pitiful? And what in the world hath caused more suffering than the follies
of the pitiful?
Woe unto all loving ones who have not an elevation which is above their
Thus spake the devil unto me, once on a time: "Even God hath his hell: it
is his love for man."
And lately, did I hear him say these words: "God is dead: of his pity for
man hath God died."--
So be ye warned against pity: FROM THENCE there yet cometh unto men a
heavy cloud! Verily, I understand weather-signs!
But attend also to this word: All great love is above all its pity: for
it seeketh--to create what is loved!
"Myself do I offer unto my love, AND MY NEIGHBOUR AS MYSELF"--such is the
language of all creators.
All creators, however, are hard.--
Thus spake Zarathustra.
XXVI. THE PRIESTS.
And one day Zarathustra made a sign to his disciples, and spake these words
"Here are priests: but although they are mine 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 doth he soil himself who toucheth them.
But my blood is related to theirs; and I want withal to see my blood
honoured 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 moveth my heart for those priests. They also go against my taste; but
that is the smallest matter unto me, since I am among men.
But I suffer and have suffered with them: prisoners are they unto 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 slumbereth and waiteth the fate that is in them.
But at last it cometh and awaketh and devoureth and engulfeth whatever hath
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 enjoineth their belief: "On your knees, up the stair, ye sinners!"
Verily, 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
And only when the clear sky looketh 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
As corpses they thought to live; in black draped they their corpses; even
in their talk do I still feel the evil flavour of charnel-houses.
And he who liveth nigh unto them liveth nigh unto black pools, wherein the
toad singeth 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 unto me!
Naked, would I like to see them: for beauty alone should preach penitence.
But whom would that disguised affliction convince!
Verily, their Saviours themselves came not from freedom and freedom's
seventh heaven! Verily, they themselves never trod the carpets of
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! Verily, those shepherds
also were still of the flock!
Small spirits and spacious souls had those shepherds: but, my brethren,
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 tainteth the purest
teaching, and turneth it into delusion and hatred of heart.
And when a person goeth through fire for his teaching--what doth that
prove! It is more, verily, when out of one's own burning cometh one's own
Sultry heart and cold head; where these meet, there ariseth the blusterer,
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 ye be saved, my
brethren, if ye would find the way to freedom!
Never yet hath there been a Superman. Naked have I seen both of them, the
greatest man and the smallest man:--
All-too-similar are they still to each other. Verily, even the greatest
Thus spake Zarathustra.
XXVII. THE VIRTUOUS.
With thunder and heavenly fireworks must one speak to indolent and
But beauty's voice speaketh gently: it appealeth only to the most awakened
Gently vibrated and laughed unto me to-day my buckler; it was beauty's holy
laughing and thrilling.
At you, ye virtuous ones, laughed my beauty to-day. And thus came its
voice unto me: "They want--to be paid besides!"
Ye want to be paid besides, ye virtuous ones! Ye want reward for virtue,
and heaven for earth, and eternity for your to-day?
And now ye upbraid me for teaching that there is no reward-giver, nor
paymaster? And verily, I do not even teach that virtue is its own reward.
Ah! this is my sorrow: into the basis of things have reward and punishment
been insinuated--and now even into the basis of your souls, ye virtuous
But like the snout of the boar shall my word grub up the basis of your
souls; a ploughshare will I be called by you.
All the secrets of your heart shall be brought to light; and when ye lie in
the sun, grubbed up and broken, then will also your falsehood be separated
from your truth.
For this is your truth: ye are TOO PURE for the filth of the words:
vengeance, punishment, recompense, retribution.
Ye love your virtue as a mother loveth her child; but when did one hear of
a mother wanting to be paid for her love?
It is your dearest Self, your virtue. The ring's thirst is in you: to
reach itself again struggleth every ring, and turneth itself.
And like the star that goeth out, so is every work of your virtue: ever is
its light on its way and travelling--and when will it cease to be on its
Thus is the light of your virtue still on its way, even when its work is
done. Be it forgotten and dead, still its ray of light liveth and
That your virtue is your Self, and not an outward thing, a skin, or a
cloak: that is the truth from the basis of your souls, ye virtuous ones!--
But sure enough there are those to whom virtue meaneth writhing under the
lash: and ye have hearkened too much unto their crying!
And others are there who call virtue the slothfulness of their vices; and
when once their hatred and jealousy relax the limbs, their "justice"
becometh lively and rubbeth its sleepy eyes.
And others are there who are drawn downwards: their devils draw them. But
the more they sink, the more ardently gloweth their eye, and the longing
for their God.
Ah! their crying also hath reached your ears, ye virtuous ones: "What I am
NOT, that, that is God to me, and virtue!"
And others are there who go along heavily and creakingly, like carts taking
stones downhill: they talk much of dignity and virtue--their drag they
And others are there who are like eight-day clocks when wound up; they
tick, and want people to call ticking--virtue.
Verily, in those have I mine amusement: wherever I find such clocks I
shall wind them up with my mockery, and they shall even whirr thereby!
And others are proud of their modicum of righteousness, and for the sake of
it do violence to all things: so that the world is drowned in their
Ah! how ineptly cometh the word "virtue" out of their mouth! And when they
say: "I am just," it always soundeth like: "I am just--revenged!"
With their virtues they want to scratch out the eyes of their enemies; and
they elevate themselves only that they may lower others.
And again there are those who sit in their swamp, and speak thus from among
the bulrushes: "Virtue--that is to sit quietly in the swamp.
We bite no one, and go out of the way of him who would bite; and in all
matters we have the opinion that is given us."
And again there are those who love attitudes, and think that virtue is a
sort of attitude.
Their knees continually adore, and their hands are eulogies of virtue, but
their heart knoweth naught thereof.
And again there are those who regard it as virtue to say: "Virtue is
necessary"; but after all they believe only that policemen are necessary.
And many a one who cannot see men's loftiness, calleth it virtue to see
their baseness far too well: thus calleth he his evil eye virtue.--
And some want to be edified and raised up, and call it virtue: and others
want to be cast down,--and likewise call it virtue.
And thus do almost all think that they participate in virtue; and at least
every one claimeth to be an authority on "good" and "evil."
But Zarathustra came not to say unto all those liars and fools: "What do
YE know of virtue! What COULD ye know of virtue!"--
But that ye, my friends, might become weary of the old words which ye have
learned from the fools and liars:
That ye might become weary of the words "reward," "retribution,"
"punishment," "righteous vengeance."--
That ye might become weary of saying: "That an action is good is because
it is unselfish."
Ah! my friends! That YOUR very Self be in your action, as the mother is in
the child: let that be YOUR formula of virtue!
Verily, I have taken from you a hundred formulae and your virtue's
favourite playthings; and now ye upbraid me, as children upbraid.
They played by the sea--then came there a wave and swept their playthings
into the deep: and now do they cry.
But the same wave shall bring them new playthings, and spread before them
new speckled shells!
Thus will they be comforted; and like them shall ye also, my friends, have
your comforting--and new speckled shells!--
Thus spake Zarathustra.
XXVIII. THE RABBLE.
Life is a well of delight; but where the rabble also drink, there all
fountains are poisoned.
To everything cleanly am I well disposed; but I hate to see the grinning
mouths and the thirst of the unclean.
They cast their eye down into the fountain: and now glanceth up to me
their odious smile out of the fountain.
The holy water have they poisoned with their lustfulness; and when they
called their filthy dreams delight, then poisoned they also the words.