Previous Post: The Three Evil Things
My voice is the voice of the people. I speak too coarsely and sincerely for Angora rabbits. My words sound even stranger to ink-fish and pen-foxes. My hand is a fool’s hand. Woe to all tables and walls, and whatever has space for a fool’s sketching and scrawling!
My foot is a horse’s hoof. I trample and trot over sticks and stones with it, up and down the fields. I am bedevilled with delight in all racing. My stomach is surely an eagle’s stomach. It prefers lamb’s flesh. Nourished by a few innocent things, ready and impatient to fly away—that is now my nature. Why shouldn’t there be something of a bird’s nature in it?
I am especially hostile to the spirit of gravity; that is bird nature: truly, deadly hostile, supremely hostile, originally hostile! Where has my hostility not flown and misflown! I could sing a song about it, and will sing it, though I am alone in an empty house, and must sing it only for my own ears.
There are other singers for whom only a full house makes their voice soft, their hands eloquent, their eyes expressive, their heart wakeful. I do not resemble them.
He who one day teaches men to fly will have shifted all landmarks. To him, all landmarks themselves will fly into the air. The earth will he christened anew as “the body of light.”
The ostrich can run faster than the fastest horse, but it also sticks its head in the sand. It is the same for the man who cannot yet fly. The earth and life are heavy to him, and this is the will of the spirit of gravity! He who would become light, and be a bird, must love himself. And not with the love of the sick and infected, for with them even self love stinks! This is what I teach.
One must learn to love oneself with a wholesome and healthy love, so that one may endure being with oneself, and not go roving about. Such roving about christens itself “brotherly love”. These two words are the biggest lie and deception, especially by those who have been burdensome to everyone.
It is not my commandment today and tomorrow to learn to love oneself. Rather it is the finest, subtlest, and most patient, the last of all the arts. For to its possessor, all possession is well concealed. Of all treasure pits, one’s own is the last excavated. This is caused by the spirit of gravity.
Almost in the cradle, are we apportioned with heavy words and values: this inheritance calls itself “good and evil”. For its sake we are forgiven for living. Therefore, one suffers little children to come to one, to forbid them early from loving themselves. This is caused by the spirit of gravity.
We loyally bear what is apportioned to us on hard shoulders over rugged mountains! When we sweat, people say to us: “Life is hard to bear!” But only man himself is hard to bear! The reason is that he carries too many extraneous things on his shoulders. Like the camel, he kneels down, and lets himself be heavily laden. Especially the strong load bearing man in whom reverence resides loads too many extraneous heavy words and values upon himself. Then life seems to him like a desert!
Many a thing that is our own is hard to bear! Many things inside men are like the oyster: repulsive and slippery and hard to grasp, so that an elegant shell, with beautiful adornments, must plead for them. But this art one must also learn: to have a shell, and a fine appearance, and penetrating blindness!
What is deceiving about many things in man is that many a shell is poor and pitiable, and too much of a shell. Much concealed goodness and power is never dreamt of. The choicest dainties find no tasters! Women know this, the best of them: a little fatter a little leaner—oh, how much fate is in so little!
Man is difficult to discover, and to himself most difficult of all. Often the spirit lies concerning the soul. This is caused by the spirit of gravity. He, however, who says “This is my good and evil” has discovered himself. With this, he has silenced the mole and the dwarf, who say “Good for all, evil for all.”
I neither do like those who call everything good, and this world the best of all. Those I call the always satisfied. Always being satisfied with every taste is not the best taste! I honour refractory, fastidious tongues and stomachs, which have learned to say “I” and “Yes” and “No.” To chew and digest everything is the genuine swine nature! To always say “you” and “yes” only the ass learned, and those like it!
Deep yellow and hot red are what my taste wants. It mixes blood with all colours. He who whitewashes his house, betrays to me a whitewashed soul. Some fall in love with mummies, some with phantoms. Both alike are hostile to all flesh and blood. How repugnant both are to my taste! I love blood.
I not live and abide where every one spits and spews. That is now my taste. I would rather live among thieves and perjurers. Nobody carries gold in his mouth. Still more repugnant to me, however, are all suck-ups. The most repugnant animal of man that I have found, I have christened a “parasite”. They do not love, and yet would live by love.
I call all those who have only one choice, either to become evil beasts, or evil beast tamers, unhappy. Among such would I not pitch my tent. I also call those who always have to wait unhappy. They are repulsive to my taste, all toll collectors, traders, kings, landlords and shopkeepers.
I have also learned to wait, and thoroughly so, but I only wait for myself. Above alI I learned to stand, walk, run, leap, climb, and dance. This is my teaching: he who wishes one day to fly, must first learn to stand, walk, run, climb, and dance. One does not fly into flying!
I learned to reach many windows with rope ladders, and I climbed high masts with nimble legs. To sit on high masts of perception seems no small bliss to me. To flicker like a small flame on a high mast. A small light, certainly, but a great comfort to cast away sailors and the shipwrecked!
I arrive at my truth by many twisting, turning ways. not I did not climb to the height where my eyes rove over my remoteness by a single ladder.
I only ask my way unwillingly—that was always counter to my taste! Instead, I question and test the ways themselves. All my travelling has been testing and questioning. True, one must learn to answer such questions! That, however, is my taste. Neither a good nor a bad taste, but my taste, of which I no longer have either shame or secrecy.
“This is my way. What is yours?” So I answer those who ask me for ‘the way’. For ‘the’ way does not exist!
So said Zarathustra.