Thus Spake Zarathustra – Part One [of Four]
by Friedrich Nietzsche
translated by Thomas Common, 1916
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 shinest!
For ten years hast thou climbed hither unto my cave: thou wouldst
have wearied of thy light and of the journey, had it not been for
me, mine eagle, and my serpent.
But we awaited thee every morning, took from thee thine overflow,
and blessed thee for it.
Lo! I am weary of my wisdom, like the bee that hath gathered too
much honey; I need hands outstretched to take it.
I would fain bestow and distribute, until the wise have once more
become joyous in their folly, and the poor happy in their riches.
Therefore must I descend into the deep: as thou doest in the
evening, when thou goest behind the sea, and givest light also to
the nether-world, thou exuberant star!
Like thee must I go down, as men say, to whom I shall descend.
Bless me, then, thou tranquil eye, that canst behold even the
greatest happiness without envy!
Bless the cup that is about to overflow, that the water may flow
golden out of it, and carry everywhere the reflection of thy bliss!
Lo! This cup is again going to empty itself, and Zarathustra is
again going to be a man.
Thus began Zarathustra’s down-going.
Zarathustra went down the mountain alone, no one meeting him. When
he entered the forest, however, there suddenly stood before him an old
man, who had left his holy cot to seek roots. And thus spake the old
man to 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
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
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
“Give them nothing,” said the saint. “Take rather part of their
load, and carry it along with them- that will be most agreeable unto
them: if only it be agreeable unto thee!
If, however, thou wilt give unto them, give them no more than an
alms, and let them also beg for it!”
“No,” replied Zarathustra, “I give no alms. I am not poor enough for
The saint laughed at Zarathustra, and spake thus: “Then see to it
that they accept thy treasures! They are distrustful of anchorites,
and do not believe that we come with gifts.
The fall of our footsteps ringeth too hollow through their
streets. And just as at night, when they are in bed and hear a man
abroad long before sunrise, so they ask themselves concerning us:
Where goeth the thief?
Go not to men, but stay in the forest! Go rather to the animals! Why
not be like me- a bear amongst bears, a bird amongst birds?”
“And what doeth the saint in the forest?” asked Zarathustra.
The saint answered: “I make hymns and sing them; and in making hymns
I laugh and weep and mumble: thus do I praise God.
With singing, weeping, laughing, and mumbling do I praise the God
who is my God. But what dost thou bring us as a gift?”
When Zarathustra had heard these words, he bowed to the saint and
said: “What should I have to give thee! Let me rather hurry hence lest
I take aught away from thee!”- And thus they parted from one
another, the old man and Zarathustra, laughing like schoolboys.
When Zarathustra was alone, however, he said to his heart: “Could it
be possible! This old saint in the forest hath not yet heard of it,
that God 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
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
Oh, that soul was itself meagre, ghastly, and famished; and
cruelty was the delight of that soul!
But ye, also, my brethren, tell me: What doth your body say about
your soul? Is your soul not poverty and pollution and wretched
Verily, a polluted stream is man. One must be a sea, to receive a
ream without becoming impure.
Lo, I teach you the Superman: he is that sea; in him can your
great contempt be submerged.
What is the greatest thing ye can experience? It is the hour of
great contempt. The hour in which even your happiness becometh
loathsome unto you, and so also your reason and virtue.
The hour when ye say: “What good is my happiness! It is poverty
and pollution and wretched self-complacency. But my happiness should
justify 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
The hour when ye say: “What good is my virtue! As yet it hath not
made me passionate. How weary I am of my good and my bad! It is all
poverty and pollution and wretched self-complacency!”
The hour when ye say: “What good is my justice! I do not see that
I am fervour and fuel. The just, however, are fervour and fuel!”
The hour when we say: “What good is my pity! Is not pity the cross
on which he is nailed who loveth man? But my pity is not a
Have ye ever spoken thus? Have ye ever cried thus? Ah! would that
I had heard you crying thus!
It is not your sin- it is your self-satisfaction that crieth unto
heaven; your very sparingness in sin crieth unto heaven!
Where is the lightning to lick you with its tongue? Where is the
frenzy with which ye should be inoculated?
Lo, I teach you the Superman: he is that lightning, he is that
When Zarathustra had thus spoken, one of the people called out:
“We have now heard enough of the rope-dancer; it is time now for us
to. see him!” And all the people laughed at Zarathustra. But the
rope-dancer, who thought the words applied to him, began his
Zarathustra, however, looked at the people and wondered. Then he
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 over-goers.
I love the great despisers, because they are the great adorers,
and arrows of longing for the other shore.
I love those who do not first seek a reason beyond the stars for
going down and being sacrifices, but sacrifice themselves to the
earth, that the earth of the Superman may hereafter arrive.
I love him who liveth in order to know, and seeketh to know in order
that the Superman may hereafter live. Thus seeketh he his own
I love him who laboureth and inventeth, that he may build the
house for the Superman, and prepare for him earth, animal, and
plant: for thus seeketh he his own down-going.
I love him who loveth his virtue: for virtue is the will to
down-going, and an arrow of longing.
I love him who reserveth no share of spirit for himself, but wanteth
to be wholly the spirit of his virtue: thus walketh he as spirit
over the 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
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
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
I love him who scattereth golden words in advance of his deeds,
and always doeth more than he promiseth: for he seeketh his own
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
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
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
Must one first batter their ears, that they may learn to hear with
their eyes? Must one clatter like kettledrums and penitential
preachers? Or do they only believe the stammerer?
They have something whereof they are proud. What do they call it,
that which maketh them proud? Culture, they call it; it distinguisheth
them from the goatherds.
They dislike, therefore, to hear of ‘contempt’ of themselves. So I
will appeal to their pride.
I will speak unto them of the most contemptible thing: that,
however, is the last man!”
And thus spake Zarathustra unto the people:
It is time for man to fix his goal. It is time for man to plant
the germ of his highest hope.
Still is his soil rich enough for it. But that soil will one day
be poor and exhausted, and no lofty tree will any longer be able to
Alas! there cometh the time when man will no longer launch the arrow
of his longing beyond man- and the string of his bow will have
unlearned to whizz!
I tell you: one must still have chaos in one, to give birth to a
dancing star. I tell you: ye have still chaos in you.
Alas! There cometh the time when man will no longer give birth to
any star. Alas! There cometh the time of the most despicable man,
who can no longer despise himself.
Lo! I show you the last man.
“What is love? What is creation? What is longing? What is a
star?”- so asketh the last man and blinketh.
The earth hath then become small, and on it there hoppeth the last
man who maketh everything small. His species is ineradicable like that
of the ground-flea; the last man liveth longest.
“We have discovered happiness”- say the last men, and blink thereby.
They have left the regions where it is hard to live; for they need
warmth. One still loveth one’s neighbour and rubbeth against him;
for one needeth warmth.
Turning ill and being distrustful, they consider sinful: they walk
warily. He is a fool who still stumbleth over stones or men!
poison now and then: that maketh pleasant dreams. And
much poison at last for a pleasant death.
One still worketh, for work is a pastime. But one is careful lest
the pastime should hurt one.
One no longer becometh poor or rich; both are too burdensome. Who
still wanteth to rule? Who still wanteth to obey? Both are too
No shepherd, and one herd! Everyone wanteth the same; everyone is
equal: he who hath other sentiments goeth voluntarily into the
“Formerly all the world was insane,”- say the subtlest of them,
and blink thereby.
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
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
“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
“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
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
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
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.
tacketh 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 ye well!”-
Thereafter Zarathustra again went on for two hours, trusting to
the path and the light of the stars: for he was an experienced
night-walker, and liked to look into the face of all that slept.
When the morning dawned, however, Zarathustra found himself in a thick
forest, and no path was any longer visible. He then put the dead man
in a hollow tree at his head- for he wanted to protect him from the
wolves- and laid himself down on the ground and moss. And
immediately he fell asleep, tired in body, but with a 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 and hound!
To allure many from the herd- for that purpose have I come. The
people and the herd must be angry with me: a robber shall
Zarathustra be called by the herdsmen.
Herdsmen, I say, but they call themselves the good and just.
Herdsmen, I say, but they call themselves the believers in the
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 is vexed.
Companions, the creator seeketh, and such as know how to whet
their sickles. Destroyers, will they be called, and despisers of
good and evil. But they are the reapers and rejoicers.
Fellow-creators, Zarathustra seeketh; fellow-reapers and
fellow-rejoicers, Zarathustra seeketh: what hath he to do with herds
and herdsmen and 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
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
“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
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 serpent!
But I am asking the impossible. Therefore do I ask my pride to go
always with my wisdom!
And if my wisdom should some day forsake me:- alas! it loveth to fly
away!- may my pride then fly with my folly!”
Thus began Zarathustra’s down-going.
ZARATHUSTRA’S SPEECHES – FIRST PART
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
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
to the phantom when it is going to frighten us?
All these heaviest things the load-bearing spirit taketh upon
itself: and like the camel, which, when laden, hasteneth into the
wilderness, so hasteneth the spirit into its wilderness.
But in the loneliest wilderness happeneth the second
metamorphosis: here the spirit becometh a lion; freedom will it
capture, and lordship in its 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, “I will.”
“Thou-shalt,” lieth in its path, sparkling with gold- a
scale-covered beast; and on every scale glittereth golden, “Thou
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
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
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
Thus spake Zarathustra. And at that time he abode in the town
which is called The Pied Cow.
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
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 unhappy one!
Peace with God and thy neighbour: so desireth good sleep. And
peace also with thy neighbour’s devil! Otherwise it will haunt thee in
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
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
And what were the ten reconciliations, and the ten truths, and the
ten laughters with which my heart enjoyed itself?
Thus pondering, and cradled by forty thoughts, it overtaketh me
all at once- sleep, the unsummoned, the lord of the virtues.
Sleep tappeth on mine eye, and it turneth heavy. Sleep toucheth my
mouth, and it remaineth open.
Verily, on soft soles doth it come to me, the dearest of thieves,
and stealeth from me my thoughts: stupid do I then stand, like this
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
A fool seemeth this wise man with his forty thoughts: but I
believe he knoweth well how to sleep.
Happy even is he who liveth near this wise man! Such sleep is
contagious- even through a thick wall it is contagious.
A magic resideth even in his academic chair. And not in vain did the
youths sit before the preacher of virtue.
His wisdom is to keep awake in order to sleep well. And verily, if
life had no sense, and had I to choose nonsense, this would be the
desirablest nonsense for me also.
Now know I well what people sought formerly above all else when they
sought teachers of virtue. Good sleep they sought for themselves,
and poppy-head virtues to promote it!
To all those belauded sages of the academic chairs, wisdom was sleep
without dreams: they knew no higher significance of life.
Even at present, to be sure, there are some like this preacher of
virtue, and not always so honourable: but their time is past. And
not much longer do they stand: there they already lie.
Blessed are those drowsy ones: for they shall soon nod to sleep.-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
sp; 3. Backworldsmen
ONCE on a time, Zarathustra also cast his fancy beyond man, like all
backworldsmen. The work of a suffering and tortured God, did the world
then seem to me.
The dream- and diction- of a God, did the world then seem to me;
coloured vapours before the eyes of a divinely dissatisfied one.
Good and evil, and joy and woe, and I and thou- coloured vapours did
they seem to me before creative eyes. The creator wished to look
away from himself,- thereupon he created the world.
Intoxicating joy is it for the sufferer to look away from his
suffering and forget himself. Intoxicating joy and self-forgetting,
did the world once seem to me.
This world, the eternally imperfect, an eternal contradiction’s
image and imperfect image- an intoxicating joy to its imperfect
creator:- thus did the world once seem to me.
Thus, once on a time, did I also cast my fancy beyond man, like
all backworldsmen. Beyond man, forsooth?
Ah, ye brethren, that God whom I created was human work and human
madness, like all the gods!
A man was he, and only a poor fragment of a man and ego. Out of mine
own ashes and glow it came unto me, that phantom. And verily, it
came not unto me from the beyond!
What happened, my brethren? I surpassed myself, the suffering one; I
carried mine own ashes to the mountain; a brighter flame I contrived
for myself. And lo! Thereupon the phantom withdrew from me!
To me the convalescent would it now be suffering and torment to
believe in such phantoms: suffering would it now be to me, and
humiliation. Thus speak I to backworldsmen.
Suffering was it, and impotence- that created all backworlds; and
the short madness of happiness, which only the greatest sufferer
Weariness, which seeketh to get to the ultimate with one leap,
with a death-leap; a poor ignorant weariness, unwilling even to will
any longer: that created all gods and backworlds.
Believe me, my brethren! It was the body which despaired of the
body- it groped with the fingers of the infatuated spirit at the
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
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
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
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 draughts!
Beyond the sphere of their body and this earth they now fancied
themselves transported, these ungrateful ones. But to what did they
owe the convulsion and rapture of their transport? To their body and
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
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 pure voice.
More uprightly and purely speaketh the healthy body, perfect and
square-built; and it speaketh of the meaning of the earth.-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
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 children?
But the awakened one, the knowing one, saith: “Body am I entirely,
and nothing more; and soul is only the name of something in the body.”
The body is a big sagacity, a plurality with one sense, a war and
a peace, a flock and a shepherd.
An instrument of thy body is also thy little sagacity, my brother,
which thou callest “spirit”- a little instrument and plaything of
thy big 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 they.
Instruments and playthings are sense and spirit: behind them there
is still the Self. The Self seeketh with the eyes of the senses, it
hearkeneth also with the ears of the spirit.
Ever hearkeneth the Self, and seeketh; it compareth, mastereth,
conquereth, and destroyeth. It ruleth, and is also the ego’s ruler.
Behind thy thoughts and feelings, my brother, there is a mighty
lord, an unknown sage- it is called Self; it dwelleth in thy body,
it is thy body.
; There is more sagacity in thy body than in thy best wisdom. And
who then knoweth why thy body requireth just thy best wisdom?
Thy Self laugheth at thine ego, and its proud prancings. “What are
these prancings and flights of thought unto me?” it saith to itself.
“A by-way to my purpose. I am the leading-string of the ego, and the
prompter of its 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 body.
To succumb- so wisheth your Self; and therefore have ye become
despisers of the body. For ye can no longer create beyond yourselves.
And therefore are ye now angry with life and with the earth. And
unconscious envy is in the sidelong look of your contempt.
I go not your way, ye despisers of the body! Ye are no bridges for
me to 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 everyday wisdom.
But that bird built its nest beside me: therefore, I love and
cherish it- now sitteth it beside me on its golden eggs.”
Thus shouldst thou stammer, and praise thy virtue.
Once hadst thou passions and calledst them evil. But now hast thou
only thy virtues: they grew out of thy passions.
Thou implantedst thy highest aim into the heart of those passions:
then became they thy virtues and joys.
And though thou wert of the race of the hot-tempered, or of the
voluptuous, or of the fanatical, or the vindictive;
All thy passions in the end became virtues, and all thy devils
Once hadst thou wild dogs in thy cellar: but they changed at last
into birds and charming songstresses.
Out of thy poisons brewedst thou balsam for thyself; thy cow,
affliction, milkedst thou- now drinketh thou the sweet milk of her
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
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 contempt.
“Mine ego is something which is to be surpassed: mine ego is to me
the great contempt of man”: so speaketh it out of that eye.
When he judged himself- that was his supreme moment; let not the
exalted one relapse again into his low estate!
There is no salvation for him who thus suffereth from himself,
unless it be speedy death.
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
“Enemy” shall ye say but not “villain,” “invalid” shall ye say but
not “wretch,” “fool” shall ye say but not “sinner.”
And thou, red judge, if thou would say audibly all thou hast done in
thought, then would every one cry: “Away with the nastiness and the
But one thing is the thought, another thing is the deed, and another
thing is the idea of the deed. The wheel of causality doth not roll
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 murdere
d. 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 head?
What is this man? A mass of diseases that reach out into the world
through the spirit; there they want to get their prey.
What is this man? A coil of wild serpents that are seldom at peace
among themselves- so they go forth apart and seek prey in the world.
Look at that poor body! What it suffered and craved, the poor soul
interpreted to itself- it interpreted it as murderous desire, and
eagerness for the happiness of the knife.
Him who now turneth sick, the evil overtaketh which is now the evil:
he seeketh to cause pain with that which causeth him pain. But there
have been other ages, and another evil and good.
Once was doubt evil, and the will to Self. Then the invalid became a
heretic or sorcerer; as heretic or sorcerer he suffered, and sought to
But this will not enter your ears; it hurteth your good people, ye
tell me. But what doth it matter to me about your good people!
Many things in your good people cause me disgust, and verily, not
their evil. I would that they had a madness by which they succumbed,
like this 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
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
He who knoweth the reader, doeth nothing more for the reader.
Another century of readers- and spirit itself will stink.
Every one being allowed to learn to read, ruineth in the long run
not only writing but also thinking.
Once spirit was God, then it became man, and now it even becometh
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
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
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 realities.
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 love.
There is always some madness in love. But there is always, also,
some method in madness.
And to me also, who appreciate life, the butterflies, and
soap-bubbles, and whatever is like them amongst us, seem most to enjoy
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 in me.-
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
“Why art thou frightened on that account?- But it is the same with
man as with the tree.
The more he seeketh to rise into the height and light, the more
vigorously do his roots struggle earthward, downward, into the dark
and deep- into the 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
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
Here the youth was silent. And Zarathustra contemplated the tree
beside which they stood, and spake thus:
“This tree standeth lonely here on the hills; it hath grown up
high above man and beast.
And if it wanted to speak, it would have none who could understand
it: so high hath it grown.
Now it waiteth and waiteth,- for what doth it wait? It dwelleth
too close to the seat of the clouds; it waiteth perhaps for the
When Zarathustra had said this, the youth called out with v
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
It rendeth my heart. Better than thy words express it, thine eyes
tell me all thy danger.
As yet thou art not free; thou still seekest freedom. Too unslept
hath thy seeking made thee, and too wakeful.
On the open height wouldst thou be; for the stars thirsteth thy
soul. But thy bad impulses also thirst for freedom.
Thy wild dogs want liberty; they bark for joy in their cellar when
thy spirit endeavoureth to open all prison doors.
Still art thou a prisoner- it seemeth to me- who deviseth liberty
for himself: ah! sharp becometh the soul of such prisoners, but also
deceitful 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 hope away!
Noble thou feelest thyself still, and noble others also feel thee
still, though they bear thee a grudge and cast evil looks. Know
this, that to everybody a noble one standeth in the way.
Also to the good, a noble one standeth in the way: and even when
they call him a good man, they want thereby to put him aside.
The new, would the noble man create, and a new virtue. The old,
wanteth the good man, and that the old should be conserved.
But it is not the danger of the noble man to turn a good man, but
lest he should become a blusterer, a scoffer, or a destroyer.
Ah! I have known noble ones who lost their highest hope. And then
they disparaged all high hopes.
Then lived they shamelessly in temporary pleasures, and beyond the
day had hardly an aim.
“Spirit is also voluptuousness,”- said they. Then broke the wings of
their spirit; and now it creepeth about, and defileth where it
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
“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
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
They meet an invalid, or an old man, or a corpse- and immediately
they say: “Life is refuted!”
But they only are refuted, and their eye, which seeth only one
aspect of 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
And let this be the teaching of your virtue: “Thou shalt slay
thyself! Thou shalt steal away from thyself!”-
“Lust is sin,”- so say some who preach death- “let us go apart and
beget no children!”
“Giving birth is troublesome,”- say others- “why still give birth?
One beareth only the unfortunate!” And they also are preachers of
“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
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
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
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
I see many soldiers; could I but see many warriors! “Uniform” one
calleth what they wear; may it not be uniform what they therewith
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
Ye say it is the good cause w
hich halloweth even war? I say unto
you: it is the good war which halloweth every cause.
War and courage have done more great things than charity. Not your
sympathy, but your bravery hath hitherto saved the victims.
“What is good?” ye ask. To be brave is good. Let the little girls
say: “To be good is what is pretty, and at the same time touching.”
They call you heartless: but your heart is true, and I love the
bashfulness of your goodwill. Ye are ashamed of your flow, and
others are ashamed of their ebb.
Ye are ugly? Well then, my brethren, take the sublime about you, the
mantle of the ugly!
And when your soul becometh great, then doth it become haughty,
and in your sublimity there is wickedness. I know you.
In wickedness the haughty man and the weakling meet. But they
misunderstand one another. I know you.
Ye shall only have enemies to be hated, but not enemies to be
despised. Ye must be proud of your enemies; then, the successes of
your enemies are also 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
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 are states.
A state? What is that? Well! open now your ears unto me, for now
will I say unto you my word concerning the death of peoples.
A state, is called the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly lieth it
also; and this lie creepeth from its mouth: “I, the state, am the
It is a lie! Creators were they who created peoples, and hung a
faith and a love over them: thus they served life.
Destroyers, are they who lay snares for many, and call it the state:
they hang a sword and a hundred cravings over them.
Where there is still a people, there the state is not understood,
but hated as the evil eye, and as sin against laws and customs.
This sign I give unto you: every people speaketh its language of
good and evil: this its neighbour understandeth not. Its language hath
it devised for itself in laws and customs.
But the state lieth in all languages of good and evil; and
whatever it saith it lieth; and whatever it hath it hath stolen.
False is everything in it; with stolen teeth it biteth, the biting
one. False are even its bowels.
Confusion of language of good and evil; this sign I give unto you as
the sign of the state. Verily, the will to death, indicateth this
sign! Verily, it beckoneth unto the preachers of death!
Many too many are born: for the superfluous ones was the state
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
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
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
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
Do go out of the way of the bad odour! Withdraw from the steam of
these human sacrifices!
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
Open still remaineth a free life for great souls. Verily, he who
possesseth little is so much the less possessed: blessed be moderate
There, where the state ceaseth- there only commenceth the man who is
not superfluous: there commenceth the song of the necessary ones,
the single and irreplaceable melody.
There, where the state ceaseth- pray look thither, my brethren! Do
ye not see it, the rainbow and the bridges of the Superman?-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
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
Admirably do forest and rock know how to be silent with thee.
Resemble again the tree which thou lovest, the broad-branched one-
silently and attentively it o’erhangeth the sea.
Where solitude endeth, there beginneth the market-place; and where
the market-place beginneth, there beginneth also the noise of the
great actors, and the buzzing of the poison-flies.
In the world even the best things are worthless without those who
represent them: those representers, the people ca
ll 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
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
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
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
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 a fly-flap.
Innumerable are the small and pitiable ones; and of many a proud
structure, rain-drops and weeds have been the ruin.
Thou art not stone; but already hast thou become hollow by the
numerous drops. Thou wilt yet break and burst by the numerous drops.
Exhausted I see thee, by poisonous flies; bleeding I see thee, and
torn at a hundred spots; and thy pride will not even upbraid.
Blood they would have from thee in all innocence; blood their
bloodless souls crave for- and they sting, therefore, in all
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 nothing more.
Often, also, do they show themselves to thee as amiable ones. But
that hath ever been the prudence of the cowardly. Yea! the cowardly
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 thine errors.
Because thou art gentle and of upright character, thou sayest:
“Blameless are they for their small existence.” But their
circumscribed souls think: “Blamable is all great existence.”
Even when thou art gentle towards them, they still feel themselves
despised by thee; and they repay thy beneficence with secret
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
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
Flee, my friend, into thy solitude- and thither, where a rough
strong breeze bloweth. It is not thy lot to be a fly-flap.-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
I LOVE the forest. It is bad to live in cities: there, there are too
many of the lustful.
Is it not better to fall into the hands of a murderer than into
the dreams of a lustful woman?
And just look at these men: their eye saith it- they know nothing
better on earth than to lie with a woman.
Filth is at the bottom of their souls; and alas! if their filth hath
still spirit in it!
Would that ye were perfect- at least as animals! But to animals
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 vice.
These are continent, to be sure: but doggish lust looketh
enviously out of all that they do.
Even into the heights of their virtue and into their cold spirit
doth this creature follow them, with its discord.
And how nicely can doggish lust beg for a piece of spirit, when a
piece of flesh is denied it!
Ye love tragedies and all that breaketh the heart? But I am
distrustful of your doggish lust.
Ye have too cruel eyes, and ye look wantonly towards the
sufferers. Hath not your lust just disguised itself and taken the name
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
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
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
“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
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
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
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
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
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 the light.
As yet woman is not capable of friendship: women are still cats
and birds. Or at the best, cows.
As yet woman is not capable of friendship. But tell me, ye men,
who of you is capable of friendship?
Oh! your poverty, ye men, and your sordidness of soul! As much as ye
give to your friend, will I give even to my foe, and will not have
become poorer 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 honours.
Never did the one neighbour understand the other: ever did his
soul marvel at his neighbour’s delusion and wickedness.
A table of excellencies hangeth over every people. Lo! it is the
table of their triumphs; lo! it is the voice of their Will to Power.
It is laudable, what they think hard; what is indispensable and hard
they call good; and what relieveth in the direst distress, the
unique and hardest of all,- they extol as holy.
Whatever maketh them rule and conquer and shine, to the dismay and
envy of their neighbours, they regard as the high and foremost
thing, the test and the meaning of all else.
Verily, my brother, if thou knewest but a people’s need, its land,
its sky, and its neighbour, then wouldst thou divine the law of its
surmountings, and why it climbeth up that ladder to its hope.
“Always shalt thou be the foremost and prominent above others: no
one shall thy jealous soul love, except a friend”- that made the
soul of a Greek thrill: thereby went he his way to greatness.
“To speak truth, and be skilful with bow and arrow”- so seemed it
alike pleasing and hard to the people from whom cometh my name- the
name which is alike pleasing and hard to me.
“To honour father and mother, and from the root of the soul to do
their will”- this table of surmounting hung another people over
them, and became powerful and permanent thereby.
“To have fidelity, and for the sake of fidelity to risk honour and
blood, even in evil and dangerous courses”- teaching itself so,
another people mastered itself, and thus mastering itself, became
pregnant and heavy with 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
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
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
Many lands saw Zarathustra, and many peoples: no greater power did
Zarathustra find on earth than the creations of the loving ones-
“good” and “bad” are they called.
Verily, a prod
igy 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
But pray tell me, my brethren, if the goal of humanity be still
lacking, is there not also still lacking- humanity itself?-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
YE CROWD around your neighbour, and have fine words for it. But I
say unto you: your neighbour-love is your bad love of yourselves.
Ye flee unto your neighbour from yourselves, and would fain make a
virtue thereof: but I fathom your “unselfishness.”
The Thou is older than the I; the Thou hath been consecrated, but
not yet the I: so man presseth nigh unto his neighbour.
Do I advise you to neighbour-love? Rather do I advise you to
neighbour-flight and to furthest love!
Higher than love to your neighbour is love to the furthest and
future ones; higher still than love to men, is love to things and
The phantom that runneth on before thee, my brother, is fairer
than thou; why dost thou not give unto it thy flesh and thy bones? But
thou fearest, and runnest unto thy neighbour.
Ye cannot endure it with yourselves, and do not love yourselves
sufficiently: so ye seek to mislead your neighbour into love, and
would fain gild yourselves with his error.
Would that ye could not endure it with any kind of near ones, or
their neighbours; then would ye have to create your friend and his
overflowing heart out of yourselves.
Ye call in a witness when ye want to speak well of yourselves; and
when ye have misled him to think well of you, ye also think well of
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
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
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
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
To-day sufferest thou still from the multitude, thou individual;
to-day hast thou still thy courage unabated, and thy hopes.
But one day will the solitude weary thee; one day will thy pride
yield, and thy courage quail. Thou wilt one day cry: “I am alone!”
One day wilt thou see no longer thy loftiness, and see too closely
thy lowliness; thy sublimity itself will frighten thee as a phantom.
Thou wilt one day cry: “All is false!”
There are feelings which seek to slay the lonesome one; if they do
not succeed, then must they themselves die! But art thou capable of
it- to be 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 thee.
Thou goest beyond them: but the higher thou risest, the smaller doth
the eye of envy see thee. Most of all, however, is the flying one
“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
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
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
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 loudly.
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 concerning woman.”
And I answered her: “Concerning woman, one should only talk unto
“Talk also unto me of woman,” said she; “I am old enough to forget
And I obliged the old woman and spake thus unto her:
Everything in woman is a riddle, and everything in woman hath one
solution- it is called pregnancy.
Man is for woman a means: the purpose is always the child. But
what is woman for man?
Two different things wanteth the true man: danger and diversion.
Therefore wanteth he woman, as the most dangerous plaything.
Man shall be trained for war, and woman for the recreation of the
warrior: all else is folly.
Too sweet fruits- these the warrior liketh not. Therefore liketh
he woman;- bitter is even the sweetest woman.
Better than man doth woman understand children, but man is more
childish 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 Superman!”
In your love let there be valour! With your love shall ye assail him
who inspireth you with fear!
In your love be your honour! Little doth woman understand
otherwise about honour. But let this be your honour: always to love
more than ye are loved, and never be the second.
Let man fear woman when she loveth: then maketh she every sacrifice,
and everything else she regardeth as worthless.
Let man fear woman when she hateth: for man in his innermost soul is
merely evil; woman, however, is mean.
Whom hateth woman most?- Thus spake the iron to the loadstone: “I
hate thee most, because thou attractest, but art too weak to draw unto
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
And now accept a little truth by way of thanks! I am old enough
Swaddle it up and hold its mouth: otherwise it will scream too
loudly, the little truth.”
“Give me, woman, thy little truth!” said I. And thus spake the old
“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
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
And should a great injustice befall you, then do quickly five
small ones besides. Hideous to behold is he on whom injustice presseth
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
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! Ho
w 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
Guard against injuring the anchorite! If ye have done so, however,
well then, kill him also!-
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
Thou art young, and desirest child and marriage. But I ask thee: Art
thou a man entitled to desire a child?
Art thou the victorious one, the self-conqueror, the ruler of thy
passions, the master of thy virtues? Thus do I ask thee.
Or doth the animal speak in thy wish, and necessity? Or isolation?
Or discord in thee?
I would have thy victory and freedom long for a child. Living
monuments shalt thou build to thy victory and emancipation.
Beyond thyself shalt thou build. But first of all must thou be built
thyself, rectangular in body and soul.
Not only onward shalt thou propagate thyself, but upward! For that
purpose may the garden of marriage help thee!
A higher body shalt thou create, a first movement, a spontaneously
rolling wheel- a creating one shalt thou create.
Marriage: so call I the will of the twain to create the one that
is more than those who created it. The reverence for one another, as
those exercising such a will, call I marriage.
Let this be the significance and the truth of thy marriage. But that
which the many-too-many call marriage, those superfluous ones- ah,
what shall I 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
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 one another.
This one went forth in quest of truth as a hero, and at last got for
himself a small decked-up lie: his marriage he calleth it.
That one was reserved in intercourse and chose choicely. But one
time he spoilt his company for all time: his marriage he calleth it.
Another sought a handmaid with the virtues of an angel. But all at
once he became the handmaid of a woman, and now would he need also
to become an 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
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
The consummating death I show unto you, which becometh a stimulus
and promise to the living.
His death, dieth the consummating one triumphantly, surrounded by
hoping and promising ones.
Thus should one learn to die; and there should be no festival at
which such a dying one doth not consecrate the oaths of the living!
Thus to die is best; the next best, however, is to die in battle,
and sacrifice a great soul.
But to the fighter equally hateful as to the victor, is your
grinning death which stealeth nigh like a thief,- and yet cometh as
My death, praise I unto you, the voluntary death, which cometh
unto me because I want it.
And when shall I want it?- He that hath a goal and an heir,
wanteth death at the right time for the goal and the heir.
And out of reverence for the goal and the heir, he will hang up no
more withered wreaths in the sanctuary of life.
Verily, not the rope-makers will I resemble: they lengthen out their
cord, and thereby go ever backward.
Many a one, also, waxeth too old for his truths and triumphs; a
toothless mouth hath no longer the right to every truth.
And whoever wanteth to have fame, must take leave of honour betimes,
and practise the difficult art of- going at the right time.
One must discontinue being feasted upon when one tasteth best:
that is known by those who want to be long loved.
Sour apples are there, no doubt, whose lot is to wait until the last
day of autumn: and at the same time they become ripe, yellow, and
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
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 cal
amity that he died too
As yet had he known only tears, and the melancholy of the Hebrews,
together with the hatred of the good and just- the Hebrew Jesus:
then was he seized with the longing for death.
Had he but remained in the wilderness, and far from the good and
just! Then, perhaps, would he have learned to live, and love the
earth- and 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
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
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
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
With the eye of the thief it looketh upon all that is lustrous; with
the craving of hunger it measureth him who hath abundance; and ever
doth it prowl round the tables of bestowers.
Sickness speaketh in such craving, and invisible degeneration; of
a sickly body, speaketh the larcenous craving of this selfishness.
Tell me, my brother, what do we think bad, and worst of all? Is it
not degeneration?- And we always suspect degeneration when the
bestowing soul 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
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
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
When ye despise pleasant things, and the effeminate couch, and
cannot couch far enough from the effeminate: there is the origin of
When ye are willers of one will, and when that change of every
need is needful to you: there is the origin of your virtue.
Verily, a new good and evil is it! Verily, a new deep murmuring, and
the voice of a new fountain!
Power is it, this new virtue; a ruling thought is it, and around
it a subtle soul: a golden sun, with the serpent of knowledge around
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
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
A hundred times hitherto hath spirit as well as virtue flown away
and blundered. Alas! in our body dwelleth still all this delusion
and blundering: body and will hath it there become.
A hundred times hitherto hath spirit as well as virtue attempted and
erred. Yea, an attempt hath man been. Alas, much ignorance and error
hath become embodied in us!
Not only the rationality of 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 d
by you! Therefore shall ye be fighters! Therefore shall ye be
Intelligently doth the body purify itself; attempting with
intelligence it exalteth itself; to the discerners all impulses
sanctify themselves; to the exalted the soul becometh joyful.
Physician, heal thyself: then wilt thou also heal thy patient. Let
it be his best cure to see with his eyes him who maketh himself whole.
A thousand paths are there which have never yet been trodden; a
thousand salubrities and hidden islands of life. Unexhausted and
undiscovered is still man and man’s world.
Awake and hearken, ye lonesome ones! From the future come winds with
stealthy pinions, and to fine ears good tidings are proclaimed.
Ye lonesome ones of 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
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
The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies,
but also to hate his friends.
One requiteth a teacher badly if one remain merely a scholar. And
why will ye not pluck at my wreath?
Ye venerate me; but what if your veneration should some day
collapse? Take heed lest a statue crush you!
Ye say, ye believe in Zarathustra? But of what account is
Zarathustra! Ye are my believers: but of what account are all
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.
* * * * *