Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

By Friedrich Nietzsche

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in the
introduction to "The Genealogy of Morals" (written in 1887) he finds it
necessary to refer to the matter again and with greater precision. The
point is this, that a creator of new values meets with his surest and
strongest obstacles in the very spirit of the language which is at his
disposal. Words, like all other manifestations of an evolving race, are
stamped with the values that have long been paramount in that race.
Now, the original thinker who finds himself compelled to use the current
speech of his country in order to impart new and hitherto untried views
to his fellows, imposes a task upon the natural means of communication
which it is totally unfitted to perform,--hence the obscurities and
prolixities which are so frequently met with in the writings of original
thinkers. In the "Dawn of Day", Nietzsche actually cautions young

Chapter XXIV. In the Happy Isles.

While writing this, Nietzsche is supposed to have been thinking of the
island of Ischia which was ultimately destroyed by an earthquake. His
teaching here is quite clear. He was among the first thinkers of Europe
to overcome the pessimism which godlessness generally brings in its
wake. He points to creating as the surest salvation from the suffering
which is a concomitant of all higher life. "What would there be to
create," he asks, "if there were--Gods?" His ideal, the Superman, lends
him the cheerfulness necessary to the overcoming of that despair usually
attendant upon godlessness and upon the apparent aimlessness of a world
without a god.

Chapter XXIX. The Tarantulas.

The tarantulas are the Socialists and Democrats. This discourse offers
us an analysis of their mental attitude. Nietzsche refuses to be
confounded with those resentful and revengeful ones who condemn society
FROM BELOW, and whose criticism is only suppressed envy. "There are
those who preach my doctrine of life," he says of the Nietzschean
Socialists, "and are at the same time preachers of equality and
tarantulas" (see Notes on Chapter XL. and Chapter LI.).

Chapter XXX. The Famous Wise Ones.

This refers to all those philosophers hitherto, who have run in the
harness of established values and have not risked their reputation with
the people in pursuit of truth. The philosopher, however, as Nietzsche
understood him, is a man who creates new values, and thus leads mankind
in a new direction.

Chapter XXXIII. The Grave-Song.

Here Zarathustra sings about the ideals and friendships of his youth.
Verses 27 to 31 undoubtedly refer to Richard Wagner (see Note on Chapter

Chapter XXXIV. Self-Surpassing.

In this discourse

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Text Comparison with The Dawn of Day

Page 20
_ of an important, _perhaps paramount_, and nevertheless wasted and useless division of mankind's activity!--But since the feeling of impotence and fear was so strong, and for such a length of time in a state of constant stimulation, the feeling of _power_ in man has been developed in so subtle a manner that, in this respect, he can compare favourably with the most delicately-adjusted balance.
Page 34
--Furthermore, these enthusiasts bring their entire strength to bear on the task of imbuing mankind with belief in inebriation as in life itself: a dreadful belief! As savages are now quickly corrupted and ruined by "fire-water," so likewise has mankind in general been slowly though thoroughly corrupted by these spiritual "fire-waters" of intoxicating feelings and by those who keep alive the craving for them.
Page 36
With this aim in view, it denies any moral value to virtue such as philosophers understood it--as a victory of the reason over the passions--generally condemns every kind of goodness, and calls upon the passions to manifest themselves in their full power and glory: as _love_ of God, _fear_ of God, fanatic _belief_ in God, blind _hope_ in God.
Page 47
Hell has certainly not remained merely an empty sound; and a new kind of pity has been devised to correspond to the newly-created fears of hell--a horrible and ponderous compassion, hitherto unknown; with people "irrevocably condemned to hell," as, for example, the Stony Guest gave Don Juan to understand, and which, during the Christian era, should often have made the very stones weep.
Page 52
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We measure the world by these horizons within which our senses confine each of us within prison walls.
Page 82
Since then they have shown themselves in their coarsest as well has their most subtle form, and all Socialistic principles have almost involuntarily taken their stand on the common ground of this doctrine.
Page 85
Supposing that it prevailed, even if only for one day, it would bring humanity to utter ruin.
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This vulgar taste which ascribes greater importance to intoxication than nutrition did not by any means originate in the lower ranks of the population: it was, on the contrary, transplanted there, and on this backward soil it grows in great abundance, whilst its real origin must be sought amongst the highest intellects, where it flourished for thousands of years.
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Such a restriction will always have the appearance of an impoverishment, and must be judged with prudence and moderation.
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_ Always the new and the old over again! the helplessness of a thing urges me on to plunge into it so deeply that I end by penetrating to its deepest depths, and perceive that in reality it is not worth so very much.
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The thinker who thus believes himself to be inspired by genius henceforth deems it permissible for him to take things more easily, and takes advantage of his position as a genius to decree rather than to prove.
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Coloured images where arguments are needed! Ardour and power of expression! Silver mists! Ambrosian nights! well do you know how to enlighten and to darken--to darken by means of light! and indeed when your passion can no longer be kept within bounds the moment comes when you say to yourselves, "Now I have won for myself a good conscience, now I am exalted, courageous, self-denying, magnanimous; now I am honest!" How you long for these moments when your passion will confer upon you full and absolute rights, and also, as it were, innocence.
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by Descartes and Spinoza.
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11 That is, do not speak either of God or the devil.