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eternal short, as a tone dieth away in a cold night! Scarcely, as
the twinkle of divine eyes, did it come to me as a fleeting

Thus spake once in a happy hour my purity: "Divine shall
everything be unto me."

Then did ye haunt me with foul phantoms; ah, whither
hath that happy hour now fkd!

"All days shall be holy unto me" so spake once the wis-
dom of my youth: verily, the language of a joyous wisdom!

But then did ye enemies steal my nights, and sold them to
sleepless torture: ah, whither hath that joyous wisdom now

Once did I long for happy auspices : then did ye lead an owl-
monster across my path, an adverse sign. Ah, whither did my
tender longing then flee?


All loathing did I once vow to renounce: then did ye change
my nigh ones and nearest ones into ulcerations. Ah, whither
did my noblest vow then flee?

As a blind one did I once walk in blessed ways : then did ye
cast filth on the blind one's course: and now is he disgusted
with the old footpath.

And when I performed my hardest task, and celebrated the
triumph of my victories, then did ye make those who loved me
call out that I then grieved them most.

Verily, it was always your doing: ye embittered to me my
best honey, and the diligence of my best bees.

To my charity have ye ever sent the most impudent beggars;
around my sympathy have ye ever crowded the incurably
shameless. Thus have ye wounded the faith of my virtue.

And when I offered my holiest as a sacrifice, immediately
did your "piety" put its fatter gifts beside it: so that my holiest
suffocated in the fumes of your fat.

And once did I want to dance as I had never yet danced: be-
yond all heavens did I want to dance. Then did ye seduce my
favourite minstrel.

And now hath he struck up an awful, melancholy air; alas,
he tooted as a mournful horn to mine ear!

Murderous minstrel, instrument of evil, most innocent in-
strument! Already did I stand prepared for the best dance: then
didst thou slay my rapture with thy tones!

Only in the dance do I know how to speak the parable of
the highest things: and now hath my grandest parable re-
mained unspoken in my limbs!

Unspoken and unrealised hath my highest hope remained!
And there have perished for me all the visions and consolations
of my youth!


How did I ever bear it? How did I survive and surmount
such wounds? How did my soul rise again out of those sepul-

Yea, something invulnerable, unburiable is with me, some-
thing that would rend rocks asunder: it is called my Will.
Silently doth it proceed, and unchanged throughout the years.

Its course will it go upon my feet, mine old Will; hard of
heart is its nature and invulnerable.

Invulnerable am I only in my heel. Ever livest thou there,
and art like thyself, thou most patient one! Ever hast thou
burst all shackles of the tomb!

In thee still liveth also the unrealisedness of my youth; and
as life and youth sittest thou here hopeful on the yellow ruins
of graves.

Yea, thou art still for me the demolisher of all graves : Hail
to thee, my Will! And only where there are graves are there

Thus sang Zarathustra.

. Self-Surpassing

"WiLL to Truth" do ye call it, ye wisest ones, that which im-
pelleth you and maketh you ardent?

Will for the thinkableness of all being: thus do / call your

All being would ye make thinkable: for ye doubt with good
reason whether it be already thinkable.

But it shall accommodate and bend itself to you! So willeth


your will. Smooth shall it become and subject to the spirit, as
its mirror and reflection.

That is your entire will, ye wisest ones, as a Will to Power;
and even when ye speak of good and evil, and of estimates of

Ye would still create a world before which ye can bow the
knee: such is your ultimate hope and ecstasy.

The ignorant, to be sure, the people they are like a river
on which a boat floateth along: and in the boat sit the estimates
of value, solemn and disguised.

Your will and your valuations have ye put on the river of
becoming; it betrayeth unto me an old Will to Power, what is
believed by the people as good and evil.

It was ye, ye wisest ones, who put such guests in this boat,
and gave them pomp and proud names ye and your ruling

Onward the river now carrieth your boat: it must carry it. A
small matter if the rough wave foameth and angrily resisteth
its keel!

It is not the river that is your danger and the end of your
good and evil, ye wisest ones : but that Will itself, the Will to
Power the unexhausted, procreating life-will.

But that ye may understand my gospel of good and evil, for
that purpose will I tell you my gospel of life, and of the nature
of all living things.

The living thing did I follow; I walked in the broadest and
narrowest paths to learn its nature.

With a hundred- faced mirror did I catch its glance when its
mouth was shut, so that its eye might speak unto me. And its
eye spake unto me.

But wherever I found living things, there heard I also the
language of obedience. All living things are obeying things.


And this heard I secondly: Whatever cannot obey itself, is
commanded. Such is the nature of living things.

This, however, is the third thing which I heard namely,
that commanding is more difficult than obeying. And not only
because the commander beareth the burden of all obeyers, and
because this burden readily crusheth him:

An attempt and a risk seemed all commanding unto me; and
whenever it commandeth, the living thing risketh itself there-

Yea, even when it commandeth itself, then also must it
atone for its commanding. Of its own law must it become the
judge and avenger and victim.

How doth this happen! So did I ask myself. What persuadeth
the living thing to obey, and command, and even be obedient in

Hearken now unto my word, ye wisest ones! Test it seri-
ously, whether I have crept into the heart of life itself, and into
the roots of its heart!

Wherever I found a living thing, there found I Will to
Power; and even in the will of the servant found I the will to
be master.

That to the stronger the weaker shall serve thereto per-
suadeth he his will who would be master over a still weaker
one. That delight alone he is unwilling to forego.

And as the lesser surrendereth himself to the greater that
he may have delight and power over the least of all, so doth
even the greatest surrender himself, and staketh life, for the
sake of power.

It is the surrender of the greatest to run risk and danger,
and play dice for death.

And where there is sacrifice and service and love-glances,
there also is the will to be master. By by-ways doth the weaker


then slink into the fortress, and into the heart of the mightier
one and there stealeth power.

And this secret spake Life herself unto me. "Behold," said
she, "I am that which must ever surpass its el j.

To be sure, ye call it will to procreation, or impulse towards
a goal, towards the higher, remoter, more manifold: but all
that is one and the same secret.

Rather would I succumb than disown this one thing; and
verily, where there is succumbing and leaf -falling, lo, there
doth Life sacrifice itself for power!

That I have to be struggle, and becoming, and purpose, and
cross-purpose ah, he who divineth my will, divineth well also
on what crooked paths it hath to tread!

Whatever I create, and however much I love it, soon must
I be adverse to it, and to my love: so willeth my will.

And even thou, discerning one, art only a path and foot-
step of my will: verily, my Will to Power walketh even on the
feet of thy Will to Truth!

He certainly did not hit the truth who shot at it the
formula: "Will to existence": that will doth not exist!

For what is not, cannot will; that, however, which is in
existence how could it still strive for existence!

Only where there is life, is there also will: not, however,
Will to Life, but so teach I thee Will to Power!

Much is reckoned higher than life itself by the living one;
but out of the very reckoning speaketh the Will to

Thus did Life once teach me: and thereby, ye wisest ones,
do I solve you the riddle of your hearts.

Verily, I say unto you : good and evil which would be ever-
lasting it doth not exist! Of its own accord must it ever
surpass itself anew.


With your values and formulae of good and evil, ye exercise
power, ye valuing ones : and that is your secret love, and the
sparkling, trembling, and overflowing of your souls.

But a stronger power groweth out of your values, and a new
surpassing: by it breaketh egg and egg-shell.

And he who hath to be a creator in good and evil verily,
he hath first to be a destroyer, and break values in pieces.

Thus doth the greatest evil pertain to the greatest good:
that, however, is the creating good.

Let us speak thereof, ye wisest ones, even though it be bad.
To be silent is worse; all suppressed truths become poisonous.

And let everything break up which can break up by our
truths! Many a house is still to be built!

Thus spake Zarathustra.

. The Sublime Ones

CALM is the bottom of my sea: who would guess that it hideth
droll monsters!

Unmoved is my depth: but it sparkleth with swimming
enigmas and laughters.

A sublime one saw I today, a solemn one, a penitent of the
spirit: Oh, how my soul laughed at his ugliness!

With upraised breast, and like those who draw in their
breath: thus did he stand, the sublime one, and in silence:

O'erhung with ugly truths, the spoil of his hunting, and
rich in torn raiment; many thorns also hung on him but I
saw no rose.


Not yet had he learned laughing and beauty. Gloomy did
this hunter return from the forest of knowledge.

From the fight with wild beasts returned he home : but even
yet a wild beast gazeth out of his seriousness an unconquered
wild beast!

As a tiger doth he ever stand, on the point of springing; but
I do not like those strained souls; ungracious is my taste to-
wards all those self -engrossed ones.

And ye tell me, friends, that there is to be no dispute about
taste and tasting? But all life is a dispute about taste and

Taste: that is weight at the same time, and scales and
weigher; and alas for every living thing that would live with-
out dispute about weight and scales and weigher!

Should he become weary of his sublimeness, this sublime
one, then only will his beauty begin and then only will I taste
him and find him savoury.

And only when he turneth away from himself will he
o'erleap his own shadow and verily! into his sun.

Far too long did he sit in the shade; the cheeks of the peni-
tent of the spirit became pale; he almost starved on his expec-

Contempt is still in his eye, and loathing hideth in his
mouth. To be sure, he now resteth, but he hath not yet taken
rest in the sunshine.

As the ox ought he to do; and his happiness should smell of
the earth, and not of contempt for the earth.

As a white ox would I like to see him, which, snorting and
lowing, walketh before the plough-share: and his lowing
should also laud all that is earthly!

Dark is still his countenance; the shadow of his hand danceth
upon it. O'ershadowed is still the sense of his eye.


His deed itself is still the shadow upon him: his doing
obscureth the doer. Not yet hath he overcome his deed.

To be sure, I love in him the shoulders of the ox : but now
do I want to see also the eye of the angel.

Also his hero- will hath he still to unlearn: an exalted one
shall he be, and not only a sublime one: the ether itself
should raise him, the will-less one!

He hath subdued monsters, he hath solved enigmas. But
he should also redeem his monsters and enigmas; into heavenly
children should he transform them.

As yet hath his knowledge not learned to smile, and to be
without jealousy; as yet hath his gushing passion not become
calm in beauty.

Verily, not in satiety shall his longing cease and disappear,
but in beauty! Gracefulness belongeth to the munificence of
the magnanimous.

His arm across his head : thus should the hero repose; thus
should he also surmount his repose.

But precisely to the hero is beauty the hardest thing of all.
Unattainable is beauty by all ardent wills.

A little more, a little less : precisely this is much here, it is
the most here.

To stand with relaxed muscles and with unharnessed will:
that is the hardest for all of you, ye sublime ones!

When power becometh gracious and descendeth into the
visible I call such condescension, beauty.

And from no one do I want beauty so much as from thee,.
thou powerful one: let thy goodness be thy last self -conquest.

All evil do I accredit to thee: therefore do I desire of thee the

Verily, I have often laughed at the weaklings, who think
themselves good because they have crippled paws!


The virtue of the pillar shalt thou strive after: more beauti-
ful doth it ever become, and more graceful but internally
harder and more sustaining the higher it riseth.

Yea, thou sublime one, one day shalt thou also be beautiful,
and hold up the mirror to thine own beauty.

Then will thy soul thrill with divine desires; and there will
be adoration even in thy vanity!

For this is the secret of the soul : when the hero hath aban-
doned it, then only approacheth it in dreams the super-

Thus spake Zarathustra.

36. The Land of Culture

Too far did I fly into the future: a horror seized upon me.

And when I looked around me, lo! there time was my sole

Then did I fly backwards, homewards and always faster.
Thus did I come unto you: ye present-day men, and into the
land of culture.

For the first time brought I an eye to see you, and good de-
sire: verily, with longing in my heart did I come.

But how did it turn out with me? Although so alarmed I
had yet to laugh! Never did mine eye see anything so motley-

I laughed and laughed, while my foot still trembled, and
my heart as well. "Here forsooth, is the home of all the paint-
pots," said I.


With fifty patches painted on faces and limbs so sat ye
there to mine astonishment, ye present-day men!

And with fifty mirrors around you, which flattered your play
of colours, and repeated it!

Verily, ye could wear no better masks, ye present-day men,
than your own faces! Who could recognise you!

Written all over with the characters of the past, and these
characters also pencilled over with new characters thus have
ye concealed yourselves well from all decipherers!

And though one be a trier of the reins, who still believeth
that ye have reins! Out of colours ye seem to be baked, and out
of glued scraps.

All times and peoples gaze divers-coloured out of your veils;
all customs and beliefs speak divers-coloured out of your ges-

He who would strip you* of veils and wrappers, and paints
and gestures, would just have enough left to scare the crows.

Verily, I myself am the scared crow that once saw you naked,
and without paint; and I flew away when the skeleton ogled at

Rather would I be a day-labourer in the nether-world, and
among the shades of the by-gone! Fatter and fuller than ye,
are forsooth the nether- worldlings!

This, yea this, is bitterness to my bowels, that I can neither
endure you naked nor clothed, ye present-day men!

All that is unhomelike in the future, and whatever maketh
strayed birds shiver, is verily more homelike and familiar than
your "reality."

For thus speak ye: "Real are we wholly, and without faith
and superstition": thus do ye plume yourselves alas! even
without plumes!

Indeed, how would ye be able to believe, ye divers-coloured


ones! ye who are pictures of all that hath ever been believed!

Perambulating refutations are ye, of belief itself, and a dis-
location of all thought. Untrustworthy ones: thus do / call you,
ye real ones!

All periods prate against one another in your spirits; and
the dreams and pratings of all periods were even realer than
your awakeness!

Unfruitful are ye: therefore do ye lack belief. But he who
had to create, had always his presaging dreams and astral
premonitions and believed in believing!

Half -open doors are ye, at which grave-diggers wait. And
this is your reality: "Everything deserveth to perish."

Alas, how ye stand there before me, ye unfruitful ones; how
lean your ribs! And many of you surely have had knowledge

Many a one hath said: 'There hath surely a God filched
something from me secretly whilst I slept? Verily, enough to
make a girl for himself therefrom!

"Amazing is the poverty of my ribs!" thus 'hath spoken many
a present-day man.

Yea, ye are laughable unto me, ye present-day men! And
especially when ye marvel at yourselves!

And woe unto me if I could not laugh at your marvelling,
and had to swallow all that is repugnant in your platters!

As it is, however, I will make lighter of you, since I have to
carry what Is heavy; and what matter if beetles and May-bugs
also alight on my load!

Verily, it shall not on that account become heavier to me!
And not from you, ye present-day men, shall my great weari-
ness arise.

Ah, whither shall I now ascend with my longing! From all
mountains do I look out for fatherlands and motherlands.


But a home have I found nowhere: unsettled am I in all
cities, and decamping at all gates.

Alien to me, and a mockery, are the present-day men, to
whom of late my heart impelled me; and exiled am I from
fatherlands and motherlands.

Thus do I love only my children's land, the undiscovered in
the remotest sea: for it do I bid my sails search and search.

Unto my children will I make amends for being the child of
my fathers: and unto all the future for this present-day!

Thus spake Zarathustra.

. Immaculate Perception

WHEN yester-eve the moon arose, then did I fancy it about to
bear a sun: so broad and teeming did it lie on the horizon.

But it was a liar with its pregnancy; and sooner will I believe
in the man in the moon than in the woman.

To be sure, little of a man is he also, that timid night-
reveller. Verily, with a bad conscience doth he stalk over the

For he is covetous and jealous, the monk in the moon;
covetous of the earth, and all the joys of lovers.

Nay, I like him not, that tom-cat on the roofs! Hateful unto
me are all that slink around half -closed windows!

Piously and silently doth he stalk along on the star-carpets :
but I like no light-treading human feet, on which not even
a spur jingleth.

Every honest one's step speaketh; the cat however, stealeth


along over the ground. Lo! cat-like doth the moon come along,
and dishonestly.

This parable speak I unto you sentimental dissemblers, unto
you, the "pure discerners!" You do / call covetous ones!

Also ye love the earth, and the earthly: I have divined you
well! but shame is in your love, and a bad conscience ye are
like the moon!

To despise the earthly hath your spirit been persuaded, but
not your bowels: these, however, are the strongest in you!

And now is your spirit ashamed to be at the service of your
bowels, and goeth in by-ways and lying ways to escape its own

"That would be the highest thing for me" so saith your
lying spirit unto itself "to gaze upon life without desire, and
not like the dog, with hanging-out tongue:

To be happy in gazing: with dead will, free from the grip
and greed of selfishness cold and ashy-grey all over, but with
intoxicated moon-eyes!

That would be the dearest thing to me' ' thus doth the se-
duced one seduce himself, "to love the earth as the moon
loveth it, and with the eye only to feel its beauty.

And this do I call immaculate perception of all things: to
want nothing else from them, but to be allowed to lie before
them as a mirror with a hundred facets."

Oh, ye sentimental dissemblers, ye covetous ones! Ye lack
innocence in your desire: and now do ye defame desiring on
that account!

Verily, not as creators, as procreators, or as jubilators do ye
love the earth!

Where is innocence? Where there is will to procreation.
And he who seeketh to create beyond himself, hath for me the
purest will.


Where is beauty? Where I must will with my whole Will;
where I will love and perish, that an image may not remain
merely an image.

Loving and perishing: these have rhymed from eternity.
Will to love: that is to be ready also for death. Thus do I speak
unto you cowards!

But now doth your emasculated ogling profess to be "con-
templation!" And that which can be examined with cowardly
eyes is to be christened "beautiful!" Oh, ye violators of noble


But it shall be your curse, ye immaculate ones, ye pure dis-
cerners, that ye shall never bring forth, even though ye lie
broad and teeming on the horizon!

Verily, ye fill your mouth with noble words: and we are to
believe that your heart overfloweth, ye cozeners?

But my words are poor, contemptible, stammering words:
gladly do I pick up what falleth from the table at your repasts.

Yet still can I say therewith the truth to dissemblers! Yea,
my fish-bones, shells, and prickly leaves shall tickle the noses
of dissemblers!

Bad air is always about you and your repasts : your lascivious
thoughts, your lies, and secrets are indeed in the air!

Dare only to believe in yourselves in yourselves and in
your inward parts! He who doth not believe in himself always

A God's mask have ye hung in front of you, ye "pure ones" :
into a God's mask hath your execrable coiling snake crawled.

Verily ye deceive, ye "contemplative ones!" Even Zarathus-
tra was once the dupe of your godlike exterior; he did not
divine the serpent's coil with which it was stuffed.

A God's soul, I once thought I saw playing in your games,


ye pure discerners! No better arts did I once dream of than your

Serpents' filth and evil odour, the distance concealed from
me: and that a lizard's craft prowled thereabouts lasciviously.

But I came nigh unto you: then came to me the day, and
now cometh it to you, at an end is the moon's love affair!

See there! Surprised and pale doth it stand before the
rosy dawn!

For already she cometh, the glowing one, her love to the
earth cometh! Innocence, and creative desire, is all solar love!

See there, how she cometh impatiently over the sea! Do ye
not feel the thirst and the hot breath of her love?

At the sea would she suck, and drink its depths to her height:
now riseth the desire of the sea with its thousand breasts.

Kissed and sucked ivould it be by the thirst of the sun;
vapour would it become, and height, and path of light, and
light itself!

Verily, like the sun do I love life, and all deep seas.

And this meaneth to me knowledge: all that is deep shall
ascend to my height!

Thus spake Zarathustra.

38. Scholars

WHEN I lay asleep, then did a sheep eat at the ivy-wreath on
my head, it ate, and said thereby: "Zarathustra is no longer a

It said this, and went away clumsily and proudly. A child
told it to me.


I like to lie here where the children play, beside the ruined
wall, among thistles and red poppies.

A scholar am I still to the children, and also to the thistles
and red poppies. Innocent are they, even in their wickedness.

But to the sheep I am no longer a scholar: so willeth my lot
blessings upon it!

For this is the truth: I have departed from the house of
the scholars, and the door have I also slammed behind me.

Too long did my soul sit hungry at their table: not like them
have I got the knack of investigating, as the knack of nut-

Freedom do I love, and the air over fresh soil; rather would
I sleep on ox-skins than on their honours and dignities.

I am too hot and scorched with mine own thought : often is
it ready to take away my breath. Then have I to go into the
open air, and away from all dusty rooms.

But they sit cool in the cool shade: they want in everything
to be merely spectators, and they avoid sitting where the sun
burneth on the steps.

Like those who stand in the street and gape at the passers-by:
thus do they also wait, and gape at the thoughts which others
have thought.

Should one lay hold of them, then do they raise a dust like
flour-sacks, and involuntarily: but who would divine that their

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Online LibraryFriedrich Wilhelm NietzscheThus spake Zarathustra → online text (page 8 of 22)