Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 23

through the air in wide circles,
and on it hung a serpent, not like a prey, but like a friend: for it
kept itself coiled round the eagle's neck.

"They are mine animals," said Zarathustra, and rejoiced in his heart.

"The proudest animal under the sun, and the wisest animal under the
sun,--they have come out to reconnoitre.

They want to know whether Zarathustra still liveth. Verily, do I still

More dangerous have I found it among men than among animals; in
dangerous paths goeth Zarathustra. Let mine animals lead me!

When Zarathustra had said this, he remembered the words of the saint in
the forest. Then he sighed and spake thus to his heart:

"Would that I were wiser! Would that I were wise from the very heart,
like my serpent!

But I am asking the impossible. Therefore do I ask my pride to go always
with my wisdom!

And if my wisdom should some day forsake me:--alas! it loveth to fly
away!--may my pride then fly with my folly!"

Thus began Zarathustra's down-going.



Three metamorphoses of the spirit do I designate to you: how the spirit
becometh a camel, the camel a lion, and the lion at last a child.

Many heavy things are there for the spirit, the strong load-bearing
spirit in which reverence dwelleth: for the heavy and the heaviest
longeth its strength.

What is heavy? so asketh the load-bearing spirit; then kneeleth it down
like the camel, and wanteth to be well laden.

What is the heaviest thing, ye heroes? asketh the load-bearing spirit,
that I may take it upon me and rejoice in my strength.

Is it not this: To humiliate oneself in order to mortify one's pride? To
exhibit one's folly in order to mock at one's wisdom?

Or is it this: To desert our cause when it celebrateth its triumph? To
ascend high mountains to tempt the tempter?

Or is it this: To feed on the acorns and grass of knowledge, and for the
sake of truth to suffer hunger of soul?

Or is it this: To be sick and dismiss comforters, and make friends of
the deaf, who never hear thy requests?

Or is it this: To go into foul water when it is the water of truth, and
not disclaim cold frogs and hot toads?

Or is it this: To love those who despise us, and give one's hand to the
phantom when it is going to frighten us?

All these heaviest things the load-bearing spirit taketh upon itself:
and like the camel, which, when laden, hasteneth into the wilderness, so
hasteneth the spirit into its wilderness.


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