The Higher Man, The Awakening, The Sign
The most careful ask to-day: "How is man to be maintained?" Zarathustra however asketh, as the first and only one: "How is man to be SURPASSED?"
The Superman, I have at heart; THAT is the first and only thing to me—and NOT man: not the neighbour, not the poorest, not the sorriest, not the best.—
O my brethren, what I can love in man is that he is an over-going and a down-going. And also in you there is much that maketh me love and hope.
In that ye have despised, ye higher men, that maketh me hope. For the great despisers are the great reverers.
In that ye have despaired, there is much to honour. For ye have not learned to submit yourselves, ye have not learned petty policy.
For to-day have the petty people become master: they all preach submission and humility and policy and diligence and consideration and the long et cetera of petty virtues.
Whatever is of the effeminate type, whatever originateth from the servile type, and especially the populace-mishmash:—THAT wisheth now to be master of all human destiny—O disgust! Disgust! Disgust!
THAT asketh and asketh and never tireth: "How is man to maintain himself best, longest, most pleasantly?" Thereby—are they the masters of to-day.
These masters of to-day—surpass them, O my brethren—these petty people: THEY are the Superman's greatest danger!
Surpass, ye higher men, the petty virtues, the petty policy, the sand-grain considerateness, the ant-hill trumpery, the pitiable comfortableness, the "happiness of the greatest number"—!
And rather despair than submit yourselves. And verily, I love you, because ye know not to-day how to live, ye higher men! For thus do YE live—best!
. . .
If ye would go up high, then use your own legs! Do not get yourselves CARRIED aloft; do not seat yourselves on other people's backs and heads!
Thou hast mounted, however, on horseback? Thou now ridest briskly up to thy goal? Well, my friend! But thy lame foot is also with thee on horseback!
When thou reachest thy goal, when thou alightest from thy horse: precisely on thy HEIGHT, thou higher man,—then wilt thou stumble!
Ye creating ones, ye higher men! One is only pregnant with one's own child.
Do not let yourselves be imposed upon or put upon! Who then is YOUR neighbour? Even if ye act "for your neighbour"—ye still do not create for him!
Unlearn, I pray you, this "for," ye creating ones: your very virtue wisheth you to have naught to do with "for" and "on account of" and "because." Against these false little words shall ye stop your ears.
"For one's neighbour," is the virtue only of the petty people: there it is said "like and like," and "hand washeth hand":—they have neither the right nor the power for YOUR self-seeking!
In your self-seeking, ye creating ones, there is the foresight and foreseeing of the pregnant! What no one's eye hath yet seen, namely, the fruit—this, sheltereth and saveth and nourisheth your entire love.
Where your entire love is, namely, with your child, there is also your entire virtue! Your work, your will is YOUR "neighbour": let no false values impose upon you!
Ye creating ones, ye higher men! Whoever hath to give birth is sick; whoever hath given birth, however, is unclean.
Ask women: one giveth birth, not because it giveth pleasure. The pain maketh hens and poets cackle.
Ye creating ones, in you there is much uncleanliness. That is because ye have had to be mothers.
A new child: oh, how much new filth hath also come into the world! Go apart! He who hath given birth shall wash his soul!
. . .
Shy, ashamed, awkward, like the tiger whose spring hath failed—thus, ye higher men, have I often seen you slink aside. A CAST which ye made had failed.
But what doth it matter, ye dice-players! Ye had not learned to play and mock, as one must play and mock! Do we not ever sit at a great table of mocking and playing?
And if great things have been a failure with you, have ye yourselves therefore—been a failure? And if ye yourselves have been a failure, hath man therefore—been a failure? If man, however, hath been a failure: well then! never mind!
The higher its type, always the seldomer doth a thing succeed. Ye higher men here, have ye not all—been failures?
Be of good cheer; what doth it matter? How much is still possible! Learn to laugh at yourselves, as ye ought to laugh!
What wonder even that ye have failed and only half-succeeded, ye half-shattered ones! Doth not—man's FUTURE strive and struggle in you?
Man's furthest, profoundest, star-highest issues, his prodigious powers—do not all these foam through one another in your vessel?
What wonder that many a vessel shattereth! Learn to laugh at yourselves, as ye ought to laugh! Ye higher men, O, how much is still possible!
And verily, how much hath already succeeded! How rich is this earth in small, good, perfect things, in well-constituted things!
Set around you small, good, perfect things, ye higher men. Their golden maturity healeth the heart. The perfect teacheth one to hope.
. . .
Lift up your hearts, my brethren, high, higher! And do not forget your legs! Lift up also your legs, ye good dancers, and better still if ye stand upon your heads!
There are also heavy animals in a state of happiness, there are club-footed ones from the beginning. Curiously do they exert themselves, like an elephant which endeavoureth to stand upon its head.
Better, however, to be foolish with happiness than foolish with misfortune, better to dance awkwardly than walk lamely. So learn, I pray you, my wisdom, ye higher men: even the worst thing hath two good reverse sides,—
—Even the worst thing hath good dancing-legs: so learn, I pray you, ye higher men, to put yourselves on your proper legs!
So unlearn, I pray you, the sorrow-sighing, and all the populace-sadness! Oh, how sad the buffoons of the populace seem to me to-day! This to-day, however, is that of the populace.
Do like unto the wind when it rusheth forth from its mountain-caves: unto its own piping will it dance; the seas tremble and leap under its footsteps.
That which giveth wings to asses, that which milketh the lionesses:— praised be that good, unruly spirit, which cometh like a hurricane unto all the present and unto all the populace,—
—Which is hostile to thistle-heads and puzzle-heads, and to all withered leaves and weeds:—praised be this wild, good, free spirit of the storm, which danceth upon fens and afflictions, as upon meadows!
Which hateth the consumptive populace-dogs, and all the ill-constituted, sullen brood:—praised be this spirit of all free spirits, the laughing storm, which bloweth dust into the eyes of all the melanopic and melancholic!
Ye higher men, the worst thing in you is that ye have none of you learned to dance as ye ought to dance—to dance beyond yourselves! What doth it matter that ye have failed!
How many things are still possible! So LEARN to laugh beyond yourselves! Lift up your hearts, ye good dancers, high! higher! And do not forget the good laughter!
This crown of the laughter, this rose-garland crown: to you my brethren do I cast this crown! Laughing have I consecrated; ye higher men, LEARN, I pray you—to laugh!
"Whither hath their distress now gone?" said he, and already did he himself feel relieved of his petty disgust—"with me, it seemeth that they have unlearned their cries of distress!
—Though, alas! not yet their crying." And Zarathustra stopped his ears, for just then did the YE-A of the ass mix strangely with the noisy jubilation of those higher men.
"They are merry," he began again, "and who knoweth? perhaps at their host's expense; and if they have learned of me to laugh, still it is not MY laughter they have learned.
But what matter about that! They are old people: they recover in their own way, they laugh in their own way; mine ears have already endured worse and have not become peevish.
This day is a victory: he already yieldeth, he fleeth, THE SPIRIT OF GRAVITY, mine old arch-enemy! How well this day is about to end, which began so badly and gloomily!
And it is ABOUT TO end. Already cometh the evening: over the sea rideth it hither, the good rider! How it bobbeth, the blessed one, the home-returning one, in its purple saddles!
The sky gazeth brightly thereon, the world lieth deep. Oh, all ye strange ones who have come to me, it is already worth while to have lived with me!"
Thus spake Zarathustra. And again came the cries and laughter of the higher men out of the cave: then began he anew:
"They bite at it, my bait taketh, there departeth also from them their enemy, the spirit of gravity. Now do they learn to laugh at themselves: do I hear rightly?
My virile food taketh effect, my strong and savoury sayings: and verily, I did not nourish them with flatulent vegetables! But with warrior-food, with conqueror-food: new desires did I awaken.
New hopes are in their arms and legs, their hearts expand. They find new words, soon will their spirits breathe wantonness.
Such food may sure enough not be proper for children, nor even for longing girls old and young. One persuadeth their bowels otherwise; I am not their physician and teacher.
The DISGUST departeth from these higher men; well! that is my victory. In my domain they become assured; all stupid shame fleeth away; they empty themselves.
They empty their hearts, good times return unto them, they keep holiday and ruminate,—they become THANKFUL.
THAT do I take as the best sign: they become thankful. Not long will it be ere they devise festivals, and put up memorials to their old joys.
They are CONVALESCENTS!" Thus spake Zarathustra joyfully to his heart and gazed outward; his animals, however, pressed up to him, and honoured his happiness and his silence.
In the morning, however, after this night, Zarathustra jumped up from his couch, and, having girded his loins, he came out of his cave glowing and strong, like a morning sun coming out of gloomy mountains.
"Thou great star," spake he, as he had spoken once before, "thou deep eye of happiness, what would be all thy happiness if thou hadst not THOSE for whom thou shinest!
And if they remained in their chambers whilst thou art already awake, and comest and bestowest and distributest, how would thy proud modesty upbraid for it!
Well! they still sleep, these higher men, whilst I am awake: THEY are not my proper companions! Not for them do I wait here in my mountains.
At my work I want to be, at my day: but they understand not what are the signs of my morning, my step—is not for them the awakening-call.
They still sleep in my cave; their dream still drinketh at my drunken songs. The audient ear for ME—the OBEDIENT ear, is yet lacking in their limbs."
—This had Zarathustra spoken to his heart when the sun arose: then looked he inquiringly aloft, for he heard above him the sharp call of his eagle. "Well!" called he upwards, "thus is it pleasing and proper to me. Mine animals are awake, for I am awake.
Mine eagle is awake, and like me honoureth the sun. With eagle-talons doth it grasp at the new light. Ye are my proper animals; I love you.
But still do I lack my proper men!"—
Thus spake Zarathustra; then, however, it happened that all on a sudden he became aware that he was flocked around and fluttered around, as if by innumerable birds,—the whizzing of so many wings, however, and the crowding around his head was so great that he shut his eyes. And verily, there came down upon him as it were a cloud, like a cloud of arrows which poureth upon a new enemy. But behold, here it was a cloud of love, and showered upon a new friend.
"What happeneth unto me?" thought Zarathustra in his astonished heart, and slowly seated himself on the big stone which lay close to the exit from his cave. But while he grasped about with his hands, around him, above him and below him, and repelled the tender birds, behold, there then happened to him something still stranger: for he grasped thereby unawares into a mass of thick, warm, shaggy hair; at the same time, however, there sounded before him a roar,—a long, soft lion-roar.
"THE SIGN COMETH," said Zarathustra, and a change came over his heart. And in truth, when it turned clear before him, there lay a yellow, powerful animal at his feet, resting its head on his knee,—unwilling to leave him out of love, and doing like a dog which again findeth its old master. The doves, however, were no less eager with their love than the lion; and whenever a dove whisked over its nose, the lion shook its head and wondered and laughed.
When all this went on Zarathustra spake only a word: "MY CHILDREN ARE NIGH, MY CHILDREN"—, then he became quite mute. His heart, however, was loosed, and from his eyes there dropped down tears and fell upon his hands. And he took no further notice of anything, but sat there motionless, without repelling the animals further. Then flew the doves to and fro, and perched on his shoulder, and caressed his white hair, and did not tire of their tenderness and joyousness. The strong lion, however, licked always the tears that fell on Zarathustra's hands, and roared and growled shyly. Thus did these animals do.—
All this went on for a long time, or a short time: for properly speaking, there is NO time on earth for such things—. Meanwhile, however, the higher men had awakened in Zarathustra's cave, and marshalled themselves for a procession to go to meet Zarathustra, and give him their morning greeting: for they had found when they awakened that he no longer tarried with them. When, however, they reached the door of the cave and the noise of their steps had preceded them, the lion started violently; it turned away all at once from Zarathustra, and roaring wildly, sprang towards the cave. The higher men, however, when they heard the lion roaring, cried all aloud as with one voice, fled back and vanished in an instant.
Zarathustra himself, however, stunned and strange, rose from his seat, looked around him, stood there astonished, inquired of his heart, bethought himself, and remained alone. "What did I hear?" said he at last, slowly, "what happened unto me just now?"
But soon there came to him his recollection, and he took in at a glance all that had taken place between yesterday and to-day. "Here is indeed the stone," said he, and stroked his beard, "on IT sat I yester-morn; and here came the soothsayer unto me, and here heard I first the cry which I heard just now, the great cry of distress.
O ye higher men, YOUR distress was it that the old soothsayer foretold to me yester-morn,—
—Unto your distress did he want to seduce and tempt me: 'O Zarathustra,' said he to me, 'I come to seduce thee to thy last sin.'
To my last sin?" cried Zarathustra, and laughed angrily at his own words: "WHAT hath been reserved for me as my last sin?"
—And once more Zarathustra became absorbed in himself, and sat down again on the big stone and meditated. Suddenly he sprang up,—
"FELLOW-SUFFERING! FELLOW-SUFFERING WITH THE HIGHER MEN!" he cried out, and his countenance changed into brass. "Well! THAT—hath had its time!
My suffering and my fellow-suffering—what matter about them! Do I then strive after HAPPINESS? I strive after my WORK!
Well! The lion hath come, my children are nigh, Zarathustra hath grown ripe, mine hour hath come:—
This is MY morning, MY day beginneth: ARISE NOW, ARISE, THOU GREAT NOONTIDE!"—
Thus spake Zarathustra and left his cave, glowing and strong, like a morning sun coming out of gloomy mountains.