Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

By Friedrich Nietzsche

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and that teach I unto men: no longer
to thrust one's head into the sand of celestial things, but to carry it
freely, a terrestrial head, which giveth meaning to the earth!

A new will teach I unto men: to choose that path which man hath followed
blindly, and to approve of it--and no longer to slink aside from it,
like the sick and perishing!

The sick and perishing--it was they who despised the body and the earth,
and invented the heavenly world, and the redeeming blood-drops; but even
those sweet and sad poisons they borrowed from the body and the earth!

From their misery they sought escape, and the stars were too remote for
them. Then they sighed: "O that there were heavenly paths by which to
steal into another existence and into happiness!" Then they contrived
for themselves their by-paths and bloody draughts!

Beyond the sphere of their body and this earth they now fancied
themselves transported, these ungrateful ones. But to what did they owe
the convulsion and rapture of their transport? To their body and this

Gentle is Zarathustra to the sickly. Verily, he is not indignant
at their modes of consolation and ingratitude. May they become
convalescents and overcomers, and create higher bodies for themselves!

Neither is Zarathustra indignant at a convalescent who looketh tenderly
on his delusions, and at midnight stealeth round the grave of his God;
but sickness and a sick frame remain even in his tears.

Many sickly ones have there always been among those who muse, and
languish for God; violently they hate the discerning ones, and the
latest of virtues, which is uprightness.

Backward they always gaze toward dark ages: then, indeed, were delusion
and faith something different. Raving of the reason was likeness to God,
and doubt was sin.

Too well do I know those godlike ones: they insist on being believed in,
and that doubt is sin. Too well, also, do I know what they themselves
most believe in.

Verily, not in backworlds and redeeming blood-drops: but in the body
do they also believe most; and their own body is for them the

But it is a sickly thing to them, and gladly would they get out of their
skin. Therefore hearken they to the preachers of death, and themselves
preach backworlds.

Hearken rather, my brethren, to the voice of the healthy body; it is a
more upright and pure voice.

More uprightly and purely speaketh the healthy body, perfect and
square-built; and it speaketh of the meaning of the earth.--

Thus spake Zarathustra.


To the despisers of the body will I speak my

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Text Comparison with Thoughts out of Season, Part I

Page 0
This eBook was produced by Holden McGroin.
Page 3
Thirdly, the Editor wishes to remind students of Nietzsche's own advice to them, namely: to read him slowly, to think over what they have read, and not to accept too readily a teaching which they have only half understood.
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have been embraced with much more fervour by other nations than by that in which they originated.
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All was good to Nietzsche that tended to elevate man; all was bad that kept man stationary or sent him backwards.
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But whether it be possible to turn German bravery into a new direction seems to me to become ever more and more doubtful; for I realise how fully convinced every one is that such a struggle and such bravery are no longer requisite; on the contrary, that most things are regulated as satisactorily as they possibly can be--or, at all events, that everything of moment has long ago been discovered and accomplished: in a word, that the seed of culture is already sown everywhere, and is now either shooting up its fresh green blades, or, here and there, even bursting forth into luxuriant blossom.
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that their own scholarship is the ripest and most perfect fruit of the age--in fact, of all ages--to see any necessity for a care of German culture in general; since, in so far as they and the legion of their brethren are concerned, preoccupations of this order have everywhere been, so to speak, surpassed.
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It cannot matter so very much, therefore, even if one do give oneself away; for what could not the purple mantle of triumph conceal? The strength of the Culture-Philistine steps into the broad light of day when he acknowledges his weakness; and the more he acknowledges it-- the more cynically he acknowledges it--the more completely he betrays his consciousness of his own importance and superiority.
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Life had not been so profuse of its snubs to him that he could treat it so gaily, or deal so lightly with the foibles of men" (p.
Page 58
Genuine culture therefore leaves such places as these religiously alone, for its best instincts warn it that in their midst it has nothing to hope for, and very much to fear.
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As soon as his literary side comes under notice, all theological objections immediately subside, and the dictum comes plain and clear, as if from the lips of one congregation: In spite of it all, he is still a classical writer! Everybody--even the most bigoted, orthodox Churchman--pays the writer the most gratifying compliments, while there is always a word or two thrown in as a tribute to his almost Lessingesque language, his delicacy of touch, or the beauty and accuracy of his aesthetic views.
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He, however, who is now publicly famous as David Strauss, is another person.
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Here you will find prepared and initiated spectators, and the emotion of men conscious of being at the very zenith of their happiness, who concentrate their whole being on that happiness in order to strengthen themselves for a higher and more far-reaching purpose.
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If now the strains of our German masters' music burst upon a mass of mankind sick to this extent, what is really the meaning of these strains? Only correct feeling, the enemy of all convention, of all artificial estrangement and misunderstandings between man and man: this music signifies a return to nature, and at the same time a purification and remodelling of it; for the need of such a return took shape in the souls of the most loving of men, and, through their art, nature transformed into love makes its voice heard.
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"Ye must go through my mysteries," he cries to them; "ye need to be purified and shaken by them.
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In Wagner, too, the world of sounds seeks to manifest itself as a phenomenon for the sight; it seeks, as it were, to incarnate itself.
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From this point of vantage we can see ourselves and our fellows emerge as something sublime from an immense mirage, and we see the deep meaning in our struggles, in our victories and defeats; we begin to find pleasure in the rhythm of passion and in its victim in the hero's every footfall we distinguish the hollow echo of death, and in its proximity we realise the greatest charm of life: thus transformed into tragic men, we return again to life with comfort in our souls.
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Every subsequent stage in Wagner's development may be distinguished thus, that the two fundamental powers of his nature drew ever more closely together: the aversion of the one to the other lessened, the higher self no longer condescended to serve its more violent and baser brother; it loved him and felt compelled to serve him.
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From that time forward he loved them and longed for them, as he longed for his art; for, alas! in them alone, in this fast disappearing, scarcely recognisable body, artificially held aloof, he now saw the only spectators and listeners worthy and fit for the power of his masterpieces, as he pictured them.