Thus Spake Zarathustra: On the Olive Mount

Previous Post: The Dwarfing Virtue

olive-mountWinter, an unwanted guest, sits with me at home. My hands are blue from his friendly hand shake. I honour him, my unwanted guest, but gladly leave him alone. I gladly run away from him. When one runs well, then one escapes him!

With warm feet and warm thoughts, I run to where the wind is calm, to the sunny corner of my olive mount. There, I laugh at my stern guest, but I remain fond of him, because he clears my house of flies, and quiets many little noises. He can’t stand a gnat who wants to buzz, far less two of them. He also make the lanes lonely, so that the moonlight is afraid to be there at night.

Winter is a hard guest. I honour him, and do not worship, as the weak do, the potbellied fire idol. Better a little chattering of teeth than idolatry! Such is my nature. I especially hold a grudge against all ardent, steaming fire idols.

He who I love, I love better in winter than in summer. I mock my enemies better and more heartily when winter sits in my house. Heartily, even when I creep into bed. There, my hidden happiness still laughs wantonly. Even my deceptive dreams laugh.

Me, a creeper? Never in my life have I crept before the powerful. If ever I lied, then I lied out of love. Therefore I am glad, even in my winter bed. A poor bed warms me more than a rich one. I am jealous of my poverty, and in winter she is most faithful to me.

I begin every day with wickedness. I mock at the winter with a cold bath. On that account my stern house mate grumbles. I also like to tickle him with a wax taper, so that he finally lets the heavens emerge from the ashy grey twilight.

I am especially wicked in the morning. In the early hours when the pail rattles at the well, and horses neigh warmly in grey lanes, I wait impatiently for the clear sky to finally dawn for me, the snow bearded winter sky, the hoary one, the white headed, the silent winter sky, which often stifles even the sun!

Did I learn long clear silence from it? Or did it learn it from me? Or did each of us devise it himself? All good things originate in a thousand ways. All good roguish things spring into existence for joy, How could they always do so only once!

The long silence is also a good roguish thing and gazes, like the winter-sky, out of a clear, round eyed face. It likes to stifle one’s sun, and one’s inflexible solar will. I have learned this art and this winter roguishness well! It is my best loved wickedness and art that my silence has learned not to betray itself by silence.

Clattering with diction and dice, I outwit the solemn assistants. My will and purpose elude the stern watchers. So that no one may see down into my depths to my ultimate will, I devised the long clear silence. I’ve known many a shrewd man who veiled his expression and muddied his water so that no one could see through it or under it. But shrewd distrusters and nut crackers came to him, and caught his best concealed fish!

For me, the clear, the honest, and the transparent are the wisest silent ones. So profound are their depths that even the clearest water does not betray them. You snow bearded, silent winter sky, you round-eyed white haired one above me! Oh, you heavenly counterpart of my soul and its wantonness!

Shouldn’t I conceal myself like one who has swallowed gold, in case my soul should be ripped up? Shouldn’t I refrain from wearing stilts, that they may overlook my long legs, all those envious and injurious ones around me? Those dingy, fire warmed, used up, green tinted, ill-natured souls; how could their envy endure my happiness?

This is why I show them only the ice and winter of my peaks, and not that my mountain winds all the solar girdles around it! They hear only the whistling of my winter storms, and don’t know that I also travel over warm seas, like longing, heavy0, hot south winds.

They commiserate with my accidents and chances, but my word says “Take the chance to come to me. It is as innocent as a little child!”

How could they endure my happiness, if I didn’t surround it with accidents, winter privations, bear skin caps, and blankets of snowflakes! If I didn’t commiserate with their pity, the pity of the envious and injurious! If I didn’t sigh before them, my teeth chattering with cold, and patiently let myself be swathed in their pity!

It is the wise, humorous will, the good will of my soul, that it does not conceal its winters and glacial storms. It doesn’t conceal its chilblains either. To one man, loneliness is the flight of the sick one. To another, it is flight from the sick ones.

Let them hear me chattering and sighing with winter cold, all those poor squinting peasants around me! Sighing and chattering, I flee from their heated rooms. Let them sympathize with me and sigh with me on account of my chilblains.

“He will yet freeze to death in the ice of knowledge!” they mourn.

Meanwhile I run with warm feet here and there on my olive mount. In the sunny corner of my olive mount. I sing, and mock all pity.

So said Zarathustra.

Next Post: On Passing By

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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2 Responses to Thus Spake Zarathustra: On the Olive Mount

  1. Pingback: Thus Spake Zarathustra: The Dwarfing Virtue | Jim's Jumbler

  2. Pingback: Thus Spake Zarathustra: On Passing By | Jim's Jumbler

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