(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
ONE morning, not long after
his return to his cave, Zarathustra sprang up from his couch
like a madman, crying with a frightful voice, and acting as
if some one still lay on the couch who did not wish to rise.
Zarathustra's voice also resounded in such a manner that his
animals came to him frightened, and out of all the neighbouring
caves and lurking-places all the creatures slipped away- flying,
fluttering, creeping or leaping, according to their variety
of foot or wing. Zarathustra, however, spake these words:
Up, abysmal thought out of
my depth! I am thy cock and morning dawn, thou overslept reptile:
Up! Up! My voice shall soon crow thee awake!
Unbind the fetters of thine
ears: listen! For I wish to hear thee! Up! Up! There is thunder
enough to make the very graves listen!
And rub the sleep and all the
dimness and blindness out of thine eyes! Hear me also with
thine eyes: my voice is a medicine even for those born blind.
And once thou art awake, then
shalt thou ever remain awake. It is not my custom to awake
great-grandmothers out of their sleep that I may bid them-
Thou stirrest, stretchest thyself,
wheezest? Up! Up! Not wheeze, shalt thou,- but speak unto
me! Zarathustra calleth thee, Zarathustra the godless!
I, Zarathustra, the advocate
of living, the advocate of suffering, the advocate of the
circuit- thee do I call, my most abysmal thought!
Joy to me! Thou comest,- I
hear thee! Mine abyss speaketh, my lowest depth have I turned
over into the light!
Joy to me! Come hither! Give
me thy hand- - ha! let be! aha!- Disgust, disgust, disgust-
- - alas to me!
Hardly, however, had Zarathustra
spoken these words, when he fell down as one dead, and remained
long as one dead. When however he again came to himself, then
was he pale and trembling, and remained lying; and for long
he would neither eat nor drink. This condition continued for
seven days; his animals, however, did not leave him day nor
night, except that the eagle flew forth to fetch food. And
what it fetched and foraged, it laid on Zarathustra's couch:
so that Zarathustra at last lay among yellow and red berries,
grapes, rosy apples, sweet-smelling herbage, and pine-cones.
At his feet, however, two lambs were stretched, which the
eagle had with difficulty carried off from their shepherds.
At last, after seven days,
Zarathustra raised himself upon his couch, took a rosy apple
in his hand, smelt it and found its smell pleasant. Then did
his animals think the time had come to speak unto him.
said they, "now hast thou lain thus for seven days with
heavy eyes: wilt thou not set thyself again upon thy feet?
Step out of thy cave: the world
waiteth for thee as a garden. The wind playeth with heavy
fragrance which seeketh for thee; and all brooks would like
to run after thee.
All things long for thee, since
thou hast remained alone for seven days- step forth out of
thy cave! All things want to be thy physicians!
Did perhaps a new knowledge
come to thee, a bitter, grievous knowledge? Like leavened
dough layest thou, thy soul arose and swelled beyond all its
-O mine animals, answered Zarathustra,
talk on thus and let me listen! It refresheth me so to hear
your talk: where there is talk, there is the world as a garden
How charming it is that there
are words and tones; are not words and tones rainbows and
seeming bridges 'twixt the eternally separated?
To each soul belongeth another
world; to each soul is every other soul a back-world.
Among the most alike doth semblance
deceive most delightfully: for the smallest gap is most difficult
to bridge over.
For me- how could there be
an outside-of-me? There is no outside! But this we forget
on hearing tones; how delightful it is that we forget!
Have not names and tones been
given unto things that man may refresh himself with them?
It is a beautiful folly, speaking; therewith danceth man over
How lovely is all speech and
all falsehoods of tones! With tones danceth our love on variegated
rainbows.-"O Zarathustra," said then his animals,
"to those who think like us, things all dance themselves:
they come and hold out the hand and laugh and flee- and return.
Everything goeth, everything
returneth; eternally rolleth the wheel of existence. Everything
dieth, everything blossometh forth again; eternally runneth
on the year of existence.
Everything breaketh, everything
is integrated anew; eternally buildeth itself the same house
of existence. All things separate, all things again greet
one another; eternally true to itself remaineth the ring of
Every moment beginneth existence,
around every 'Here' rolleth the ball 'There.' The middle is
everywhere. Crooked is the path of eternity."-O ye wags
and barrel-organs! answered Zarathustra, and smiled once more,
how well do ye know what had to be fulfilled in seven days:-And
how that monster crept into my throat and choked me! But I
bit off its head and spat it away from me.
And ye- ye have made a lyre-lay
out of it? Now, however, do I lie here, still exhausted with
that biting and spitting-away, still sick with mine own salvation.
And ye looked on at it all?
O mine animals, are ye also cruel? Did ye like to look at
my great pain as men do? For man is the cruellest animal.
At tragedies, bull-fights,
and crucifixions hath he hitherto been happiest on earth;
and when he invented his hell, behold, that was his heaven
When the great man crieth-:
immediately runneth the little man thither, and his tongue
hangeth out of his mouth for very lusting. He, however, calleth
it his "pity."
The little man, especially
the poet- how passionately doth he accuse life in words! Hearken
to him, but do not fail to hear the delight which is in all
Such accusers of life- them
life overcometh with a glance of the eye. "Thou lovest
me?" saith the insolent one; "wait a little, as
yet have I no time for thee."
Towards himself man is the
cruellest animal; and in all who call themselves "sinners"
and "bearers of the cross" and "penitents,"
do not overlook the voluptuousness in their plaints and accusations!
And I myself- do, I thereby
want to be man's accuser? Ah, mine animals, this only have
I learned hitherto, that for man his baddest is necessary
for his best,-That all that is baddest is the best power,
and the hardest stone for the highest creator; and that man
must become better and badder:Not to this torture-stake was
I tied, that I know man is bad,- but I cried, as no one hath
"Ah, that his baddest
is so very small! Ah, that his best is so very small!"
The great disgust at man- it
strangled me and had crept into my throat: and what the soothsayer
had presaged: "All is alike, nothing is worth while,
A long twilight limped on before
me, a fatally weary, fatally intoxicated sadness, which spake
with yawning mouth.
"Eternally he returneth,
the man of whom thou art weary, the small man"- so yawned
my sadness, and dragged its foot and could not go to sleep.
A cavern, became the human
earth to me; its breast caved in; everything living became
to me human dust and bones and mouldering past.
My sighing sat on all human
graves, and could no longer arise: my sighing and questioning
croaked and choked, and gnawed and nagged day and night:
-"Ah, man returneth eternally!
The small man returneth eternally!"
Naked had I once seen both
of them, the greatest man and the smallest man: all too like
one another- all too human, even the greatest man!
All too small, even the greatest
man!- that was my disgust at man! And the eternal return also
of the smallest man!- that was my disgust at all existence!
Ah, Disgust! Disgust! Disgust!-
- Thus spake Zarathustra, and sighed and shuddered; for he
remembered his sickness. Then did his animals prevent him
from speaking further.
"Do not speak further,
thou convalescent!"- so answered his animals, "but
go out where the world waiteth for thee like a garden.
Go out unto the roses, the
bees, and the flocks of doves! Especially, however, unto the
singing-birds, to learn singing from them!
For singing is for the convalescent;
the sound ones may talk. And when the sound also want songs,
then want they other songs than the convalescent."
-"O ye wags and barrel-organs,
do be silent!" answered Zarathustra, and smiled at his
animals. "How well ye know what consolation I devised
for myself in seven days!
That I have to sing once more-
that consolation did I devise for myself, and this convalescence:
would ye also make another lyre-lay thereof?"
-"Do not talk further,"
answered his animals once more; "rather, thou convalescent,
prepare for thyself first a lyre, a new lyre!
For behold, O Zarathustra!
For thy new lays there are needed new lyres.
Sing and bubble over, O Zarathustra,
heal thy soul with new lays: that thou mayest bear thy great
fate, which hath not yet been any one's fate!
For thine animals know it well,
O Zarathustra, who thou art and must become: behold, thou
art the teacher of the eternal return,- that is now thy fate!
That thou must be the first
to teach this teaching- how could this great fate not be thy
greatest danger and infirmity!
Behold, we know what thou teachest:
that all things eternally return, and ourselves with them,
and that we have already existed times without number, and
all things with us.
Thou teachest that there is
a great year of Becoming, a prodigy of a great year; it must,
like a sand-glass, ever turn up anew, that it may anew run
down and run out:-So that all those years are like one another
in the greatest and also in the smallest, so that we ourselves,
in every great year, are like ourselves in the greatest and
also in the smallest.
And if thou wouldst now die,
O Zarathustra, behold, we know also how thou wouldst then
speak to thyself:- but thine animals beseech thee not to die
Thou wouldst speak, and without
trembling, buoyant rather with bliss, for a great weight and
worry would be taken from thee, thou patientest one!'Now do
I die and disappear,' wouldst thou say, 'and in a moment I
am nothing. Souls are as mortal as bodies.
But the plexus of causes returneth
in which I am intertwined,- it will again create me! I myself
pertain to the causes of the eternal return.
I come again with this sun,
with this earth, with this eagle, with this serpent- not to
a new life, or a better life, or a similar life:
-I come again eternally to
this identical and selfsame life, in its greatest and its
smallest, to teach again the eternal return of all things,-To
speak again the word of the great noontide of earth and man,
to announce again to man the Superman.
I have spoken my word. I break
down by my word: so willeth mine eternal fate- as announcer
do I succumb!
The hour hath now come for
the down-goer to bless himself. Thusendeth Zarathustra's down-going.'"-
When the animals had spoken
these words they were silent and waited, so that Zarathustra
might say something to them; but Zarathustra did not hear
that they were silent. On the contrary, he lay quietly with
closed eyes like a person sleeping, although he did not sleep;
for he communed just then with his soul. The serpent, however,
and the eagle, when they found him silent in such wise, respected
the great stillness around him, and prudently retired.
qu'on fait n'est jamais compris mais seulement loué ou blâmé.
Nietzsche, Gay Science