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After his discourse on those whose despise the body, he speaks about the passions, and how your passions become your virtues.
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My brother, when you have a virtue, and it is your own virtue, you have it in common with no one. Sure, you may call it by name and caress it. You can pull its ears and amuse yourself with it. Surprise! You then have its name in common with other people, and have become one of the people and the herd with your virtue!
Better for you to say: “It is ineffable and nameless, that which is pain and sweetness to my soul, and also the hunger in my gut.”
Let your virtue be too high for the familiarity of names, and if you must speak of it, do not be ashamed to stammer about it. Speak and stammer like this:
“It is MY good, that I love; it pleases me entirely, and I only desire this good. I don’t desire is as the law of a God, or a human law, or a human need. It is not a guide post for me to other-worlds and paradises. It is an earthly virtue that I love: there is little prudence is in it, and the least everyday wisdom. But this bird built its nest beside me. Therefore, I love and cherish it as it sits beside me on its golden eggs.”
So you should you stammer, and praise your virtue.
Once had you passions and called them evil. But now have you only your virtues: they grew out of your passions. You implanted your highest aim into the heart of those passions: then they became your virtues and joys.
Though you were hot-tempered, voluptuous, fanatical, or vindictive, all your passions in the end became virtues, and all your devils angels. Once had you wild dogs in your cellar, but they changed last into birds and charming songstresses. Out of your poisons you brewed balsam for yourself. You milked the cow of affliction, and now drink the sweet milk of her udder.
Nothing evil grows in you any longer, unless it is the evil that grows out of the conflict of your virtues. If you’re lucky, you’ll have one virtue and no more, and go more easily over the bridge. It is illustrious to have many virtues, but a hard lot. Many a man has 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? Evil is necessary. Envy, distrust and back-biting among the virtues are necessary. How each of your virtues covets of the highest place. It wants your whole spirit to be ITS herald, it wants your whole power, in wrath, hatred, and love. Every virtue is jealous of the others, and jealousy is a dreadful thing. Even virtues may succumb to jealousy.
Like the scorpion, he who is encompassed by the flame of jealousy turns the poisoned sting at last against himself. Ah, my brother, have you never seen a virtue backbite and stab itself?
Man is something that has to be surpassed. Therefore you must love your virtues, for you will succumb by them.
So said Zarathustra.
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