Thus Spake Zarathustra: The Sublime Ones

sublimePrevious Post: Self-Surpassing

After addressing the secret of life, Zarathustra talks about the sublime and the beautiful, and the superhero.

* * *

The bottom of my sea is calm. Who would guess that it hides amusing monsters! My depths are unmoved, but they sparkle with swimming enigmas and laughter.

I saw a sublime one today, a solemn one, a penitent of the spirit. How my soul laughed at his ugliness! He stood in silence, with his chest puffed out like one who drawn in his breath. He was overhung with ugly truths, the spoils of his hunting, wore rich but torn clothing. Many thorns clung to him, but I saw no roses.

He had yet to learn of laughter and beauty. This hunter returned gloomy from the forest of knowledge. He returned home from the fight with wild beasts, but even still, a wild beast gazed out of his seriousness—an unconquered wild beast! He stood like a tiger on the point of springing. I do not like such strained souls. I am ungracious in my taste for those self engrossed ones.

You tell me, friends, that there is to be no dispute about taste and tasting? All life is a dispute about taste and tasting! Taste is weight, and at the same time scales and weigher. Too bad for every living thing that would live without dispute about weight, scales, and weigher!

Only if he becomes weary of his sublimeness, this sublime one, will he begin to be beautiful—and then only will I taste him and find him savoury. Only when he turns away from himself will he overleap his own shadow—and truly, into his sun!

Far too long he sat in the shade. The cheeks of the penitent of the spirit became pale. He almost starved on his expectations. Contempt is still in his eyes, and loathing hides in his mouth. Sure, he now rests, but he has not rested in the sunshine.

He ought to do as the ox does. His happiness should smell of the earth, and not of contempt for the earth. I would like to see him as a white ox, which, snorting and lowing, walks before the plow. His lowing should praise all that is earthly!

His face is still dark. The shadow of his hand dances upon it. His sense of sight remains overshadowed. His deeds themselves are the shadow upon him. His doing obscures the doer. He is yet to overcome his deed.

To be sure, I love how he has the shoulders of an ox, but I also want to see the eye of the angel. He has to unlearn his hero will. He will be an exalted one, and not merely a sublime one. The ether itself will raise him, the willless one!

He has subdued monsters, and he has solved enigmas. But he should also redeem his monsters and enigmas, and transform them into heavenly children. As yet, his knowledge has not learned to smile, and to be without jealousy. As yet, his gushing passion has not become calm in beauty. Truly, his longing won’t cease and disappear when satiated, but in beauty! Gracefulness belongs to the generosity of the magnanimous.

The hero should rest with his arm across his head. He should rise in the same way. But to the hero beauty is the hardest thing of all. Beauty is unattainable by all ardent wills.

A little more, a little less: precisely this is much here, it is the most here.

To stand with muscles relaxed and with the will unharnessed: that is the hardest thing for all of you, you sublime ones! When power becomes gracious and descends into the visible, I call such a descent beauty.

I want beauty from no one as much as from you, you powerful ones. Let your goodness be your last self-conquest. I ascribe all evil to to you. Therefore I desire good from you.

I have often laughed at the weaklings who think themselves good because they have crippled paws! One should strive for the virtue of the pillar: it always becomes more beautiful, and more graceful—but internally harder and more sustaining—the higher it rises.

Yea, you sublime ones, one day you will also be beautiful, and hold up the mirror to your own beauty. Then your soul will thrill with divine desires, and there will be adoration even in your vanity! For this is the secret of the soul: when the hero has abandoned it, then only does the superhero approach in dreams.

So said Zarathustra.

Next Post: The Land of Culture

If you understand the meaning of the line “A little more, a little less: precisely this is much here, it is the most here,” please comment.

About jimbelton

I'm a software developer, and a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, and I blog about movies, books, and philosophy. My interest in religious philosophy and the search for the truth inspires much of my writing.
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1 Response to Thus Spake Zarathustra: The Sublime Ones

  1. Pingback: Thus Spake Zarathustra: The Land of Culture | Jim's Jumbler

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