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HERE do I sit and wait, old broken tables around me and also new half-written tables. When cometh mine hour?
-The hour of my descent, of my down-going: for once more will I go unto men.
For that hour do I now wait: for first must the signs come unto me that it is mine hour- namely, the laughing lion with the flock of doves.
Meanwhile do I talk to myself as one who hath time. No one telleth me anything new, so I tell myself mine own story.
When I came unto men, then found I them resting on an old infatuation: all of them thought they had long known what was good and bad for men.
An old wearisome business seemed to them all discourse about virtue; and he who wished to sleep well spake of "good" and "bad" ere retiring to rest.
This somnolence did I disturb when I taught that no one yet knoweth what is good and bad:- unless it be the creating one!
-It is he, however, who createth man's goal, and giveth to the earth its meaning and its future: he only effecteth it that aught is good or bad.
And I bade them upset their old academic chairs, and wherever that old infatuation had sat; I bade them laugh at their great moralists, their saints, their poets, and their saviours.
At their gloomy sages did I bid them laugh, and whoever had sat admonishing as a black scarecrow on the tree of life.
On their great grave-highway did I seat myself, and even beside the carrion and vultures- and I laughed at all their bygone and its mellow decaying glory.
Verily, like penitential preachers and fools did I cry wrath and shame on all their greatness and smallness. Oh, that their best is so very small! Oh, that their worst is so very small! Thus did I laugh.
Thus did my wise longing, born in the mountains, cry and laugh in me; a wild wisdom, verily!- my great pinion-rustling longing.
And oft did it carry me off and up and away and in the midst of laughter; then flew I quivering like an arrow with sun-intoxicated rapture:
-Out into distant futures, which no dream hath yet seen, into warmer souths than ever sculptor conceived,- where gods in their dancing are ashamed of all clothes:
(That I may speak in parables and halt and stammer like the poets: and verily I am ashamed that I have still to be a poet!)
Where all becoming seemed to me dancing of gods, and wantoning of gods, and the world unloosed and unbridled and fleeing back to itself:-As an eternal self-fleeing and re-seeking of one another of many gods, as the blessed self-contradicting, recommuning, and refraternising with one another of many gods:Where all time seemed to me a blessed mockery of moments, where necessity was freedom itself, which played happily with the goad of freedom:Where I also found again mine old devil and arch-enemy, the spirit of gravity, and all that it created: constraint, law, necessity and consequence and purpose and will and good and evil:For must there not be that which is danced over, danced beyond? Must there not, for the sake of the nimble, the nimblest,- be moles and clumsy dwarfs?
There was it also where I picked up from the path the word "Superman," and that man is something that must be surpassed.
-That man is a bridge and not a goal- rejoicing over his noontides and evenings, as advances to new rosy dawns:
-The Zarathustra word of the great noontide, and whatever else I have hung up over men like purple evening-afterglows.
Verily, also new stars did I make them see, along with new nights; and over cloud and day and night, did I spread out laughter like a gay-coloured canopy.
I taught them all my poetisation and aspiration: to compose and collect into unity what is fragment in man, and riddle and fearful chance;-As composer, riddle-reader, and redeemer of chance, did I teach them to create the future, and all that hath been- to redeem by creating.
The past of man to redeem, and every "It was" to transform, until the Will saith: "But so did I will it! So shall I will it-"
-This did I call redemption; this alone taught I them to call redemption.- Now do I await my redemption- that I may go unto them for the last time.
For once more will I go unto men: amongst them will my sun set; in dying will I give them my choicest gift!
From the sun did I learn this, when it goeth down, the exuberant one: gold doth it then pour into the sea, out of inexhaustible riches,-So that the poorest fisherman roweth even with golden oars! For this did I once see, and did not tire of weeping in beholding it.- Like the sun will also Zarathustra go down: now sitteth he here and waiteth, old broken tables around him, and also new tableshalf-written.
Behold, here is a new table; but where are my brethren who will carry it with me to the valley and into hearts of flesh?Thus demandeth my great love to the remotest ones: be not considerate of thy neighbour! Man is something that must be surpassed.
There are many divers ways and modes of surpassing: see thou thereto! But only a buffoon thinketh: "man can also be overleapt."
Surpass thyself even in thy neighbour: and a right which thou canst seize upon, shalt thou not allow to be given thee!
What thou doest can no one do to thee again. Lo, there is no requital.
He who cannot command himself shall obey. And many a one can command himself, but still sorely lacketh self-obedience!
Thus wisheth the type of noble souls: they desire to have nothing gratuitously, least of all, life.
He who is of the populace wisheth to live gratuitously; we others, however, to whom life hath given itself- we are ever considering what we can best give in return!
And verily, it is a noble dictum which saith: "What life promiseth us, that promise will we keep- to life!"
One should not wish to enjoy where one doth not contribute to the enjoyment. And one should not wish to enjoy!
For enjoyment and innocence are the most bashful things. Neither like to be sought for. One should have them,- but one should rather seek for guilt and pain!
O my brethren, he who is a firstling is ever sacrificed. Now, however, are we firstlings!
We all bleed on secret sacrificial altars, we all burn and broil in honour of ancient idols.
Our best is still young: this exciteth old palates. Our flesh is tender, our skin is only lambs' skin:- how could we not excite old idol-priests!
In ourselves dwelleth he still, the old idol-priest, who broileth our best for his banquet. Ah, my brethren, how could firstlings fail to be sacrifices!
But so wisheth our type; and I love those who do not wish to preserve themselves, the down-going ones do I love with mine entire love: for they go beyond.
To be true- that can few be! And he who can, will not! Least of all, however, can the good be true.
Oh, those good ones! Good men never speak the truth. For the spirit, thus to be good, is a malady.
They yield, those good ones, they submit themselves; their heart repeateth, their soul obeyeth: he, however, who obeyeth, doth not listen to himself!
All that is called evil by the good, must come together in order that one truth may be born. O my brethren, are ye also evil enough for this truth?
The daring venture, the prolonged distrust, the cruel Nay, the tedium, the cutting-into-the-quick- how seldom do these come together! Out of such seed, however- is truth produced!
Beside the bad conscience hath hitherto grown all knowledge! Break up, break up, ye discerning ones, the old tables!
When the water hath planks, when gangways and railings o'erspan the stream, verily, he is not believed who then saith: "All is in flux."
But even the simpletons contradict him. "What?" say the simpletons, "all in flux? Planks and railings are still over the stream!
"Over the stream all is stable, all the values of things, the bridges and bearings, all 'good' and 'evil': these are all stable!"Cometh, however, the hard winter, the stream-tamer, then learn even the wittiest distrust, and verily, not only the simpletons then say: "Should not everything- stand still?"
"Fundamentally standeth everything still"- that is an appropriate winter doctrine, good cheer for an unproductive period, a great comfort for winter-sleepers and fireside-loungers.
"Fundamentally standeth everything still"-: but contrary thereto, preacheth the thawing wind!
The thawing wind, a bullock, which is no ploughing bullock- a furious bullock, a destroyer, which with angry horns breaketh the ice! The ice however- - breaketh gangways!
O my brethren, is not everything at present in flux? Have not all railings and gangways fallen into the water? Who would still hold on to "good" and "evil"?
"Woe to us! Hail to us! The thawing wind bloweth!"- Thus preach, my brethren, through all the streets!
There is an old illusion- it is called good and evil. Around soothsayers and astrologers hath hitherto revolved the orbit of this illusion.
Once did one believe in soothsayers and astrologers; and therefore did one believe, "Everything is fate: thou shalt, for thou must!"
Then again did one distrust all soothsayers and astrologers; and therefore did one believe, "Everything is freedom: thou canst, for thou willest!"
O my brethren, concerning the stars and the future there hath hitherto been only illusion, and not knowledge; and therefore concerning good and evil there hath hitherto been only illusion and not knowledge!
"Thou shalt not rob! Thou shalt not slay!"- such precepts were once called holy; before them did one bow the knee and the head, and take off one's shoes.
But I ask you: Where have there ever been better robbers and slayers in the world than such holy precepts?
Is there not even in all life- robbing and slaying? And for such precepts to be called holy, was not truth itself thereby- slain?
-Or was it a sermon of death that called holy what contradicted and dissuaded from life?- O my brethren, break up, break up for me the old tables!
It is my sympathy with all the past that I see it is abandoned,-Abandoned to the favour, the spirit and the madness of every generation that cometh, and reinterpreteth all that hath been as its bridge!
A great potentate might arise, an artful prodigy, who with approval and disapproval could strain and constrain all the past, until it became for him a bridge, a harbinger, a herald, and a cock-crowing.
This however is the other danger, and mine other sympathy:- he who is of the populace, his thoughts go back to his grandfather,- with his grandfather, however, doth time cease.
Thus is all the past abandoned: for it might some day happen for the populace to become master, and drown all time in shallow waters.
Therefore, O my brethren, a new nobility is needed, which shall be the adversary of all populace and potentate rule, and shall inscribe anew the word "noble" on new tables.
For many noble ones are needed, and many kinds of noble ones, for a new nobility! Or, as I once said in parable: "That is just divinity, that there are gods, but no God!"
O my brethren, I consecrate you and point you to a new nobility: ye shall become procreators and cultivators and sowers of the future;-Verily, no>
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