Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 252

for oneself.

Par. 13.

"I am a railing alongside the torrent; whoever is able to grasp me, may
grasp me! Your crutch, however, I am not." These two paragraphs are an
exhortation to higher men to become independent.

Par. 15.

Here Nietzsche perhaps exaggerates the importance of heredity. As,
however, the question is by no means one on which we are all agreed,
what he says is not without value.

A very important principle in Nietzsche's philosophy is enunciated in
the first verse of this paragraph. "The higher its type, always the
seldomer doth a thing succeed" (see page 82 of "Beyond Good and Evil").
Those who, like some political economists, talk in a business-like way
about the terrific waste of human life and energy, deliberately overlook
the fact that the waste most to be deplored usually occurs among
higher individuals. Economy was never precisely one of nature's leading
principles. All this sentimental wailing over the larger proportion
of failures than successes in human life, does not seem to take into
account the fact that it is the rarest thing on earth for a highly
organised being to attain to the fullest development and activity of all
its functions, simply because it is so highly organised. The blind Will
to Power in nature therefore stands in urgent need of direction by man.

Pars. 16, 17, 18, 19, 20.

These paragraphs deal with Nietzsche's protest against the democratic
seriousness (Pobelernst) of modern times. "All good things laugh," he
says, and his final command to the higher men is, "LEARN, I pray you--to
laugh." All that is GOOD, in Nietzsche's sense, is cheerful. To be able
to crack a joke about one's deepest feelings is the greatest test of
their value. The man who does not laugh, like the man who does not make
faces, is already a buffoon at heart.

"What hath hitherto been the greatest sin here on earth? Was it not the
word of him who said: 'Woe unto them that laugh now!' Did he himself
find no cause for laughter on the earth? Then he sought badly. A child
even findeth cause for it."

Chapter LXXIV. The Song of Melancholy.

After his address to the higher men, Zarathustra goes out into the
open to recover himself. Meanwhile the magician (Wagner), seizing the
opportunity in order to draw them all into his net once more, sings the
Song of Melancholy.

Chapter LXXV. Science.

The only one to resist the "melancholy voluptuousness" of his art, is
the spiritually conscientious one--the scientific specialist of whom we
read in the discourse entitled "The Leech". He takes the harp from the
magician and cries for air,

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And then, in the still night, under the peaceful light of hundreds of stars, we all broke out into a tirade which ran somewhat as follows:-- "You have told us so much about the genius," we began, "about his lonely and wearisome journey through the world, as if nature never exhibited anything but the most diametrical contraries: in one place the stupid, dull masses, acting by instinct, and then, on a far higher and more remote plane, the great contemplating few, destined for the production of immortal works.
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'Only by the ear,' we again reply.
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In vain! for these supports give way, and he finds he has clutched at broken reeds.
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