Translated by Thomas Common PROLOGUE
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 his 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
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
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
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
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 Zarathustra:
"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 recognize 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 thyself?"
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 men."
"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
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
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 is dead!"
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 the apes.
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 he 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
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-complacency?
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
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
The hour when ye say: "What good is my happiness! It is poverty and pollution and
wretched self-complacency. But my happiness should justify existence itself!"
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-complacency!"
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
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
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
Zarathustra, however, looked at the people and wondered. Then he spake thus:
Man is a rope stretched between the animal and the Superman- a rope over an abyss.
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 the
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
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
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 bridge.
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 to.
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
I will speak unto them of the most contemptible thing: that, however, is the last
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
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
"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 warmth.
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
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! Everyone wanteth the same; everyone 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 downward 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 heart:
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 to it.
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 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 sleep?"
"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
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 tranquil soul.
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
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 the herdsmen.
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 creator.
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 new tables.
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
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
Fellow-creators, Zarathustra seeketh; fellow-reapers and fellow-rejoicers, Zarathustra
seeketh: what hath he to do with herds and herdsmen and corpses!
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 dead.
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 live?
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 my
But I am asking the impossible. Therefore do I ask my pride to go always with my
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.
1. 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 strength.
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
But in the loneliest wilderness happeneth the second metamorphosis: here the spirit
becometh a lion; freedom will it capture, and lordship in its own wilderness.
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,
"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 dragon.
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 ride 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 world's outcast.
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
2. 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 good sleep.
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
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 liketh 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
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 chair.
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
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
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
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
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 broken wings.
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 earth.
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 bypaths and bloody
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 believe in.
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 preach backworlds.
Hearken rather, my brethren, to the voice of the healthy body; it is a more upright and
More uprightly and purely speaketh the healthy body, perfect and square-built; and it
speaketh of the meaning of the earth.-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
4. 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 like
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
An instrument of thy body is also thy little sagacity, my brother, which thou callest
"spirit"- a little instrument and plaything of thy big sagacity.
"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
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
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 notions."
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 think.
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 life.
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
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 the Superman!-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
5. 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 paradises.
An earthly virtue is it which I love: little prudence is therein, and the least
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
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 virtues.
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.
6. 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
"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 speedy
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
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 virulent reptile!"
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 them.
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 madness.
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
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
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 cause suffering.
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 pale criminal!
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 self-complacency.
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.
7. 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 idlers.
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
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 by heart.
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 exalted.
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 tragic
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 she-asses.
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
There is always some madness in love. But there is always, also, some method in
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 gravity!
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
Thus spake Zarathustra.
8. 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 so.
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
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 evil."
"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 that happen?
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
And if it wanted to speak, it would have none who could understand it: so high hath it
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
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 and wicked.
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
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
Then lived they shamelessly in temporary pleasures, and beyond the day had hardly an
"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.
9. 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
But they only are refuted, and their eye, which seeth only one aspect of existence.
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
"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 self-forgetfulness.
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 quickly!-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
10. 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 truth!
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 triumph thereby!
Ye shall love peace as a means to new wars- and the short peace more than the long.
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
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 your successes.
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.
11. The New Idol
SOMEWHERE there are still peoples and herds, but not with us, my brethren: here there
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
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
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 digest themselves.
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, these idolaters.
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 superfluous!
Do go out of the way of the bad odour! Withdraw from the steam of these human
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 seas.
Open still remaineth a free life for great souls. Verily, he who possesseth little is
so much the less possessed: blessed be moderate poverty!
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.
12. 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
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
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 things.
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 world!
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 new values.
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
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 hand.
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
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 suspicious.
They punish thee for all thy virtues. They pardon thee in their inmost hearts only- for
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
Is it not better to fall into the hands of a murderer than into the dreams of a lustful
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
Would that ye were perfect- at least as animals! But to animals belongeth innocence.
Do I counsel you to slay your instincts? I counsel you to innocence in your instincts.
Do I counsel you to chastity? Chastity is a virtue with some, but with many almost a
These are continent, to be sure: but doggish lust looketh enviously out of all that
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
Ye love tragedies and all that breaketh the heart? But I am distrustful of your doggish
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.
14. 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 clothing!
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 emancipator.
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 love.
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
As yet woman is not capable of friendship: women are still cats and birds. Or at the
As yet woman is not capable of friendship. But tell me, ye men, who of you is capable
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 thereby.
There is comradeship: may there be friendship!
Thus spake Zarathustra.
15. 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
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
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
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 great hopes.
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 heaven.
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: ego.
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
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
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
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 over-flowing 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 today; 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 love!-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
17. 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 ambitious one!
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
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 a murderer?
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
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 account!
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 stake.
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 soothsayer, 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 ones despise.
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.
18. 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 evil?-
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
As I went on my way alone today, 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
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
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 than woman.
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 the
In your love let there be valour! With your love shall ye assail him who inspireth you
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
"Lo! "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 little
"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.
19. The Bite of the Adder
ONE day had Zarathustra fallen asleep under a fig-tree, owing to the heat, with his arm
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 them thus:
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 also!
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 punishing.
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 all guilt!
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
Thus spake Zarathustra.
20. 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
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 call it?
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 matched!
Laugh not at such marriages! What child hath not had reason to weep over its parents?
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
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 angel.
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.
21. Voluntary Death
MANY die too late, and some die too early. Yet strange soundeth the precept: "Die
at the right time!
Die at the right time: so teacheth Zarathustra.
To be sure, he who never liveth at the right time, how could he ever die at the right
time? Would that he might never be born!- Thus do I advise the superfluous ones.
But even the superfluous ones make much ado about their death, and even the hollowest
nut wanteth to be cracked.
Every one regardeth dying as a great matter: but as yet death is not a festival. Not
yet have people learned to inaugurate the finest festivals.
The consummating death I show unto you, which becometh a stimulus and promise to the
His death, dieth the consummating one triumphantly, surrounded by hoping and promising
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
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
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 tree!
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
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 laughter also!
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 disavow!
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 unsatisfactory.
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.
22. 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 crossroads. 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 bestoweth itself.
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
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 is lacking.
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 everything's benefactor.
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
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
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 millennia- 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
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 today, 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 have it.
Verily, I advise you: depart from me, and guard yourselves against Zarathustra! And
better still: be ashamed of him! Perhaps he hath deceived you.
The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies, but also to hate his
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.
"-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 Virtue."
23. 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
"O Zarathustra"- said the child unto me- "look at thyself in the
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 them.
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 valleys.
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 worn-out soles.
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
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
Thus spake Zarathustra.
24. 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
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 creating!-
God is a conjecture: but I should like your conjecturing restricted to the conceivable.
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 the end!
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
And how would ye endure life without that hope, ye discerning ones? Neither in the
inconceivable could ye have been born, nor in the irrational.
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 gods.
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
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 lie?
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 a thing.
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
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
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.
25. 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
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 on himself not to abash: bashfulness doth
he enjoin 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
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
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
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
"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 petty infection.
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
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 him.
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 best.
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 forgive that!"
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 pity!
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
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.
26. The Priests
AND one day Zarathustra made a sign to his disciples and spake these words unto them:
"Here are priests: but although they are mine enemies, pass them quietly and with
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
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
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
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
Who created for themselves such caves and penitence-stairs? Was it not those who sought
to conceal themselves, and were ashamed under the clear sky?
And only when the clear sky 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 the cross!
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 knowledge!
Of defects did the spirit of those saviours consist; but into every defect had they put
their illusion, their stop-gap, which they called God.
In their pity was their spirit drowned; and when they swelled and o'erswelled with
pity, there always floated to the surface a great folly.
Eagerly and with shouts drove they their flock over their foot-bridge; as if there were
but one foot-bridge to the future! 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 teaching!
Sultry heart and cold head; where these meet, there ariseth the blusterer, the
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 found I-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
27. The Virtuous
WITH thunder and heavenly fireworks must one speak to indolent and somnolent senses.
But beauty's voice speaketh gently: it appealeth only to the most awakened souls.
Gently vibrated and laughed unto me to-day my buckler; it was beauty's holy laughing
At you, ye virtuous ones, laughed