(1844 - 1900)
Thus Spake Zarathustra
sublime one saw I today, a solemn one, a penitent of the
spirit: Oh, how my soul laughed at his ugliness! (thus
WHEN Zarathustra went one day
over the great bridge, then did the cripples and beggars surround
him, and a hunchback spake thus unto him:
Even the people learn from thee, and acquire faith in thy
teaching: but for them to believe fully in thee, one thing
is still needful- thou must first of all convince us cripples!
Here hast thou now a fine selection, and verily, an opportunity
with more than one forelock! The blind canst thou heal, and
make the lame run; and from him who hath too much behind,
couldst thou well, also, take away a little;- that, I think,
would be the right method to make the cripples believe in
Zarathustra, however, answered
thus unto him who so spake: When one taketh his hump from
the hunchback, then doth one take from him his spirit- so
do the people teach. And when one giveth the blind man eyes,
then doth he see too many bad things on the earth: so that
he curseth him who healed him. He, however, who maketh the
lame man run, inflicteth upon him the greatest injury; for
hardly can he run, when his vices run away with him- so do
the people teach concerning cripples. And why should not Zarathustra
also learn from the people, when the people learn from Zarathustra?
It is, however, the smallest
thing unto me since I have been amongst men, to see one person
lacking an eye, another an ear, and a third a leg, and that
others have lost the tongue, or the nose, or the head.
I see and have seen worse things,
and divers things so hideous, that I should neither like to
speak of all matters, nor even keep silent about some of them:
namely, men who lack everything, except that they have too
much of one thing- men who are nothing more than a big eye,
or a big mouth, or a big belly, or something else big,- reversed
cripples, I call such men.
And when I came out of my solitude,
and for the first time passed over this bridge, then I could
not trust mine eyes, but looked again and again, and said
at last: "That is an ear! An ear as big as a man!"
I looked still more attentively- and actually there did move
under the ear something that was pitiably small and poor and
slim. And in truth this immense ear was perched on a small
thin stalk- the stalk, however, was a man! A person putting
a glass to his eyes, could even recognise further a small
envious countenance, and also that a bloated soullet dangled
at the stalk. The people told me, however, that the big ear
was not only a man, but a great man, a genius. But I never
believed in the people when they spake of great men- and I
hold to my belief that it was a reversed cripple, who had
too little of everything, and too much of one thing.
When Zarathustra had spoken
thus unto the hunchback, and unto those of whom the hunchback
was the mouthpiece and advocate, then did he turn to his disciples
in profound dejection, and said:
Verily, my friends, I walk
amongst men as amongst the fragments and limbs of human beings!
This is the terrible thing
to mine eye, that I find man broken up, and scattered about,
as on a battle- and butcher-ground.
And when mine eye fleeth from
the present to the bygone, it findeth ever the same: fragments
and limbs and fearful chances- but no men!
The present and the bygone
upon earth- ah! my friends- that is my most unbearable trouble;
and I should not know how to live, if I were not a seer of
what is to come.
A seer, a purposer, a creator,
a future itself, and a bridge to the future- and alas! also
as it were a cripple on this bridge: all that is Zarathustra.
And ye also asked yourselves
often: "Who is Zarathustra to us? What shall he be called
by us?" And like me, did ye give yourselves questions
Is he a promiser? Or a fulfiller?
A conqueror? Or an inheritor? A harvest? Or a ploughshare?
A physician? Or a healed one?
Is he a poet? Or a genuine
one? An emancipator? Or a subjugator? A good one? Or an evil
I walk amongst men as the fragments
of the future: that future which I contemplate.
And it is all my poetisation
and aspiration to compose and collect into unity what is fragment
and riddle and fearful chance.
And how could I endure to be
a man, if man were not also the composer, and riddle-reader,
and redeemer of chance!
To redeem what is past, and
to transform every "It was" into "Thus would
I have it!"- that only do I call redemption!
Will- so is the emancipator
and joy-bringer called: thus have I taught you, my friends!
But now learn this likewise: the Will itself is still a prisoner.
Willing emancipateth: but what
is that called which still putteth the emancipator in chains?
"It was": thus is
the Will's teeth-gnashing and lonesomest tribulation called.
Impotent towards what hath been done- it is a malicious spectator
of all that is past.
Not backward can the Will will;
that it cannot break time and time's desire- that is the Will's
Willing emancipateth: what
doth Willing itself devise in order to get free from its tribulation
and mock at its prison?
Ah, a fool becometh every prisoner!
Foolishly delivereth itself also the imprisoned Will.
That time doth not run backward-
that is its animosity: "That which was": so is the
stone which it cannot roll called.
And thus doth it roll stones
out of animosity and ill-humour, and taketh revenge on whatever
doth not, like it, feel rage and ill-humour.
Thus did the Will, the emancipator,
become a torturer; and on all that is capable of suffering
it taketh revenge, because it cannot go backward.
This, yea, this alone is revenge
itself: the Will's antipathy to time, and its "It was."
Verily, a great folly dwelleth
in our Will; and it became a curse unto all humanity, that
this folly acquired spirit!
The spirit of revenge: my friends,
that hath hitherto been man's best contemplation; and where
there was suffering, it was claimed there was always penalty.
"Penalty," so calleth
itself revenge. With a lying word it feigneth a good conscience.
And because in the willer himself
there is suffering, because he cannot will backwards- thus
was Willing itself, and all life, claimed- to be penalty!
And then did cloud after cloud
roll over the spirit, until at last madness preached: "Everything
perisheth, therefore everything deserveth to perish!"
"And this itself is justice,
the law of time- that he must devour his children:" thus
did madness preach.
"Morally are things ordered
according to justice and penalty. Oh, where is there deliverance
from the flux of things and from the 'existence' of penalty?"
Thus did madness preach.
"Can there be deliverance
when there is eternal justice? Alas, unrollable is the stone,
'It was': eternal must also be all penalties!" Thus did
"No deed can be annihilated:
how could it be undone by the penalty! This, this is what
is eternal in the 'existence' of penalty, that existence also
must be eternally recurring deed and guilt!
Unless the Will should at last
deliver itself, and Willing become non-Willing-:" but
ye know, my brethren, this fabulous song of madness!
Away from those fabulous songs
did I lead you when I taught you: "The Will is a creator."
All "It was" is a
fragment, a riddle, a fearful chance- until the creating Will
saith thereto: "But thus would I have it."Until
the creating Will saith thereto: "But thus do I will
it! Thus shall I will it!"
But did it ever speak thus?
And when doth this take place? Hath the Will been unharnessed
from its own folly?
Hath the Will become its own
deliverer and joy-bringer? Hath it unlearned the spirit of
revenge and all teeth-gnashing?
And who hath taught it reconciliation
with time, and something higher than all reconciliation?
Something higher than all reconciliation
must the Will will which is the Will to Power-: but how doth
that take place? Who hath taught it also to will backwards?
-But at this point in his discourse
it chanced that Zarathustra suddenly paused, and looked like
a person in the greatest alarm. With terror in his eyes did
he gaze on his disciples; his glances pierced as with arrows
their thoughts and arrear-thoughts. But after a brief space
he again laughed, and said soothedly:
"It is difficult to live
amongst men, because silence is so difficult- especially for
a babbler."Thus spake Zarathustra. The hunchback, however,
had listened to the conversation and had covered his face
during the time; but when he heard Zarathustra laugh, he looked
up with curiosity, and said slowly:
"But why doth Zarathustra
speak otherwise unto us than unto his disciples?"
Zarathustra answered: "What
is there to be wondered at! With hunchbacks one May well speak
in a hunchbacked way!"
"Very good," said
the hunchback; "and with pupils one may well tell tales
out of school.
But why doth Zarathustra speak
otherwise unto his pupils- than unto himself?"
qu'on fait n'est jamais compris mais seulement loué ou blâmé.
Nietzsche, Gay Science