clear that these words may be taken almost literally from one whose
ideal was the rearing of a higher aristocracy. Again, "the good and
just," throughout the book, is the expression used in referring to the
self-righteous of modern times,--those who are quite sure that they
know all that is to be known concerning good and evil, and are satisfied
that the values their little world of tradition has handed down to them,
are destined to rule mankind as long as it lasts.
In the last paragraph of the Prologue, verse 7, Zarathustra gives us a
foretaste of his teaching concerning the big and the little sagacities,
expounded subsequently. He says he would he were as wise as his serpent;
this desire will be found explained in the discourse entitled "The
Despisers of the Body", which I shall have occasion to refer to later.
Chapter I. The Three Metamorphoses.
This opening discourse is a parable in which Zarathustra discloses the
mental development of all creators of new values. It is the story of
a life which reaches its consummation in attaining to a second
ingenuousness or in returning to childhood. Nietzsche, the supposed
anarchist, here plainly disclaims all relationship whatever to anarchy,
for he shows us that only by bearing the burdens of the existing law and
submitting to it patiently, as the camel submits to being laden, does
the free spirit acquire that ascendancy over tradition which enables him
to meet and master the dragon "Thou shalt,"--the dragon with the values
of a thousand years glittering on its scales. There are two lessons in
this discourse: first, that in order to create one must be as a little
child; secondly, that it is only through existing law and order that
one attains to that height from which new law and new order may be
Chapter II. The Academic Chairs of Virtue.
Almost the whole of this is quite comprehensible. It is a discourse
against all those who confound virtue with tameness and smug ease, and
who regard as virtuous only that which promotes security and tends to
Chapter IV. The Despisers of the Body.
Here Zarathustra gives names to the intellect and the instincts; he
calls the one "the little sagacity" and the latter "the big sagacity."
Schopenhauer's teaching concerning the intellect is fully endorsed here.
"An instrument of thy body is also thy little sagacity, my brother,
which thou callest 'spirit,'" says Zarathustra. From beginning to end it
is a warning to those who would think too lightly of the instincts
and unduly exalt the intellect and its derivatives: Reason and
Chapter IX. The
In the background during all his plunging and roaming--for he is as restless and aimless in his course as if lost in a wilderness--is the interrogation mark of a curiosity growing ever more dangerous.Page 7
According to its explanation, there is, strictly speaking, neither unselfish conduct, nor a wholly disinterested point of view.Page 8
The reverers of forms, indeed, with their standards of beauty and taste, may have good reason to laugh when the appreciation of little truths and the scientific spirit begin to prevail, but that will be only because their eyes are not yet opened to the charm of the utmost simplicity of form or because men though reared in the rightly appreciative spirit, will still not be fully permeated by it, so that they continue unwittingly imitating ancient forms (and that ill enough, as anybody does who no longer feels any interest in a thing).Page 11
There always remains, however, the possibility already conceded: but nothing at all can be made out of that, to say not a word about letting happiness, salvation and life hang upon the threads spun from such a possibility.Page 13
Almost all the organs act independently and vigorously.Page 14
As the brain inquires: whence these impressions of light and color? it posits as the inducing causes of such lights and colors, those shapes and figures.Page 17
" Even this law, which is here called "primordial," is an evolution: it has yet to be shown how gradually this evolution takes place in lower organizations: how the dim, mole eyes of such organizations see, at first, nothing but a blank sameness: how later, when the various excitations of desire and aversion manifest themselves, various substances are gradually distinguished, but each with an attribute, that is, a special relationship to such an organization.Page 18
Inasmuch as all metaphysic has concerned itself particularly with substance and with freedom of the will, it should be designated as the science that deals with the fundamental errors of mankind as if they were fundamental truths.Page 21
Let us not, however shrink from this pain.Page 27
Now, the great majority of mankind endure life without any great protest, and believe, to this extent, in the value of existence, but that is because each individual decides and determines alone, and never comes out of his own personality like these exceptions: everything outside of the personal has no existence for them or at the utmost is observed as but a faint shadow.Page 29
He must be content with such a free, fearless soaring above men, manners, laws and traditional estimates of things, as the most desirable of all situations.Page 30
Without such practical acquaintance, one is apt to look upon this making and forming as a much easier thing than it really is; one is not keenly enough alive to the felicity and the charm of success.Page 38
To be sure, sympathy should be manifested but men should take care not to feel it; for the unfortunate are rendered so dull that the manifestation of sympathy affords them the greatest happiness in the world.Page 39
For men believe in the truth of all that is manifestly believed with due implicitness by others.Page 45
"Good" finally comes to mean him who acts in the traditional manner, as a result of heredity or natural disposition, that is to say does what is customary with scarcely an effort, whatever that may be (for example revenges injuries when revenge, as with the ancient Greeks, was part of good morals).Page 55
101 =Judge Not.Page 58
The purposes of men demand their continuance [of punishment and reward] and inasmuch as punishment and reward, blame and praise operate most potently upon vanity, these same purposes of men imperatively require the continuance of vanity.Page 71
127 =Reverence for Madness.Page 81
To move, to inspire, to inspirit at any cost--is not this the freedom cry of an exhausted, over-ripe, over cultivated age? The circle of all the natural sensations had been gone through a hundred times: the soul had grown weary.