Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 39

I
say unto you my word concerning the death of peoples.

A state, is called the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly lieth
it also; and this lie creepeth from its mouth: "I, the state, am the
people."

It is a lie! Creators were they who created peoples, and hung a faith
and a love over them: thus they served life.

Destroyers, are they who lay snares for many, and call it the state:
they hang a sword and a hundred cravings over them.

Where there is still a people, there the state is not understood, but
hated as the evil eye, and as sin against laws and customs.

This sign I give unto you: every people speaketh its language of good
and evil: this its neighbour understandeth not. Its language hath it
devised for itself in laws and customs.

But the state lieth in all languages of good and evil; and whatever it
saith it lieth; and whatever it hath it hath stolen.

False is everything in it; with stolen teeth it biteth, the biting one.
False are even its bowels.

Confusion of language of good and evil; this sign I give unto you as
the sign of the state. Verily, the will to death, indicateth this sign!
Verily, it beckoneth unto the preachers of death!

Many too many are born: for the superfluous ones was the state devised!

See just how it enticeth them to it, the many-too-many! How it
swalloweth and cheweth and recheweth them!

"On earth there is nothing greater than I: it is I who am the regulating
finger of God"--thus roareth the monster. And not only the long-eared
and short-sighted fall upon their knees!

Ah! even in your ears, ye great souls, it whispereth its gloomy lies!
Ah! it findeth out the rich hearts which willingly lavish themselves!

Yea, it findeth you out too, ye conquerors of the old God! Weary ye
became of the conflict, and now your weariness serveth the new idol!

Heroes and honourable ones, it would fain set up around it, the new
idol! Gladly it basketh in the sunshine of good consciences,--the cold
monster!

Everything will it give YOU, if YE worship it, the new idol: thus it
purchaseth the lustre of your virtue, and the glance of your proud eyes.

It seeketh to allure by means of you, the many-too-many! Yea, a hellish
artifice hath here been devised, a death-horse jingling with the
trappings of divine honours!

Yea, a dying for many hath here been devised, which glorifieth itself as
life: verily, a hearty service unto all preachers of death!

The state, I call it, where all are poison-drinkers,

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Text Comparison with The Birth of Tragedy; or, Hellenism and Pessimism

Page 2
Blessed with a thoroughly sound constitution, as all averred who knew him at the convent-school in Rossleben, at the University, or later at the ducal court of Altenburg, he was tall and slender, possessed an undoubted gift for poetry and real musical talent, and was moreover a man of delicate sensibilities, full of consideration for his whole family, and distinguished in his manners.
Page 6
My brother was the first who ever manifested such enthusiastic affection for Schopenhauer and Wagner, and he was also the first of that numerous band of young followers who ultimately.
Page 16
And what then, physiologically speaking, is the meaning of that madness, out of which comic as well as tragic art has grown, the Dionysian madness? What? perhaps madness is not necessarily the symptom of degeneration, of decline, of belated culture? Perhaps there are--a question for alienists--neuroses of _health_? of folk-youth and youthfulness? What does that synthesis of god and goat in the Satyr point to? What self-experience what "stress," made the Greek think of the Dionysian reveller and primitive man as a satyr? And as regards the origin of the tragic chorus: perhaps there were endemic ecstasies in the eras when the Greek body bloomed and the Greek soul brimmed over with life? Visions and hallucinations, which took hold of entire communities, entire cult-assemblies? What if the Greeks in the very wealth of their youth had the will _to be_ tragic and were pessimists? What if it was madness itself, to use a word of Plato's, which brought the _greatest_ blessings upon Hellas? And what if, on the other hand and conversely, at the very time of their dissolution and weakness, the Greeks became always more optimistic, more superficial, more histrionic, also more ardent for logic and the logicising of the world,--consequently at the same time more "cheerful" and more "scientific"? Ay, despite all "modern ideas" and prejudices of the democratic taste, may not the triumph of _optimism,_ the _common sense_ that has gained the upper hand, the practical and theoretical _utilitarianism,_ like democracy itself, with which it is synchronous--be symptomatic of declining vigour, of approaching age, of physiological weariness? And _not_ at all--pessimism? Was Epicurus an optimist--because a _sufferer_?.
Page 24
But also that delicate line, which the dream-picture must not overstep--lest it act pathologically (in which case appearance, being reality pure and simple, would impose upon us)--must not be wanting in the picture of Apollo: that measured limitation, that freedom from the wilder emotions, that philosophical calmness of the sculptor-god.
Page 27
" For some time, however, it would seem that the Greeks were perfectly secure and guarded against the feverish agitations of these festivals (--the knowledge of which entered Greece by all the channels of land and sea) by the figure of Apollo himself rising here in full pride, who could not have held out the Gorgon's head to a more dangerous power than this grotesquely uncouth Dionysian.
Page 29
all the greater the more it was mingled with the shuddering suspicion that all this was in reality not so very foreign to him, yea, that, like unto a veil, his Apollonian consciousness only hid this Dionysian world from his view.
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6.
Page 42
_ I shall not be charged with absurdity in saying that the problem of this origin has as yet not even been seriously stated, not to say solved, however often the fluttering tatters of ancient tradition have been sewed together in sundry combinations and torn asunder again.
Page 43
For hitherto we always believed that the true spectator, be he who he may, had always to remain conscious of having before him a work of art, and not an empiric reality: whereas the tragic chorus of the Greeks is compelled to recognise real beings in the figures of the stage.
Page 45
The metaphysical comfort,--with which, as I have here intimated, every true tragedy dismisses us--that, in spite of the perpetual change of phenomena, life at bottom is indestructibly powerful and pleasurable, this comfort appears with corporeal lucidity as the satyric chorus, as the chorus of natural beings, who live ineradicable as it were behind all civilisation, and who, in spite of the ceaseless change of generations and the history of nations, remain for ever the same.
Page 51
[9] An.
Page 55
And thus the first philosophical problem at once causes a painful, irreconcilable antagonism between man and God, and puts as it were a mass of rock at the gate of every culture.
Page 58
And it is only this hope that sheds a ray of joy upon the features of a world torn asunder and shattered into individuals: as is symbolised in the myth by Demeter sunk in eternal sadness, who _rejoices_ again only when told that she may _once more_ give birth to Dionysus In the views of things here given we already have all the elements of a profound and pessimistic contemplation of the world, and along with these we have the _mystery doctrine of tragedy_: the fundamental knowledge of the oneness of all existing things, the consideration of individuation as the primal cause of evil, and art as the joyous hope that the spell of individuation may be broken, as the augury of a restored oneness.
Page 69
So also the divine Plato speaks for the most part only ironically of the creative faculty of the poet, in so far as it is not conscious insight, and places it on a par with the gift of the soothsayer and dream-interpreter; insinuating that the poet is incapable of composing until he has become unconscious and reason has deserted him.
Page 70
It is evidently just the degree of clearness of this _knowledge,_ which distinguishes these three men in common as the three "knowing ones" of their age.
Page 73
But Plato, the thinker, thereby arrived by a roundabout road just at the point where he had always been at home as poet, and from which Sophocles and all the old artists had solemnly protested against that objection.
Page 74
Let us but realise the consequences of the Socratic maxims: "Virtue is knowledge; man only sins from ignorance; he who is virtuous is happy": these three fundamental forms of optimism involve the death of tragedy.
Page 76
Before this could be perceived, before the intrinsic dependence of every art on the Greeks, the Greeks from Homer to Socrates, was conclusively demonstrated, it had to happen to us with regard to these Greeks as it happened to the Athenians with regard to Socrates.
Page 96
The postulate of the opera is a false belief concerning the artistic process, in fact, the idyllic belief that every sentient man is an artist.
Page 119
This is the true function of Apollo as deity of art: in whose name we comprise all the countless manifestations of the fair realm of illusion, which each moment render life in general worth living and make one impatient for the experience of the next moment.