Here I sit and wait, old shattered law-tables around me and also new, half-written law-tables. When will my hour come? – the hour of my down-going, my descent: for I want to go to men once more.
For that I now wait: for first the sign that it is my hour must come to me – namely, the laughing lion with the flock of doves.
Meanwhile I talk to myself, as one who has plenty of time. No one tells me anything new; so I tell myself to myself.
When I visited men, I found them sitting upon an old self-conceit. Each one thought he had long since known what was good and evil for man.
All talk of virtue seemed to them an ancient wearied affair; and he who wished to sleep well spoke of “good” and “evil” before retiring.
I disturbed this somnolence when I taught that nobody yet knows what is good and evil – unless it be the creator!
But he it is who creates a goal for mankind and gives the earth its meaning and its future: he it is who creates the quality of good and evil in things.
And I bade them overturn their old professorial chairs, and wherever that old self-conceit had sat. I bade them laugh at their great masters of virtue and saints and poets and world-redeemers.
I bade them laugh at their gloomy sages, and whoever had sat as a black scarecrow, cautioning, on the tree of life….
…And I laughed over all their “past” and its decayed expiring glory.
Truly, like Lenten preachers and fools did I cry anger and shame over all their great and small things – their best is so very small! Their worst is so very small! – thus I laughed.
Thus from out of me cried and laughed my wise desire, which was born on the mountains, a wild wisdom, in truth! – my great desire with rushing wings.
And often it tore me forth and up and away and in the midst of laughter: and then indeed I flew, an arrow, quivering with sun-intoxicated rapture:
out into the distant future, which no dream has yet seen, into warmer Souths than artists have ever dreamed of, there where gods, dancing, are ashamed of all clothes –
so that I might speak in parables, and hobble and stutter like poets: and truly, I am ashamed that I still have to be a poet!
Where all becoming seemed to me the dancing of gods and the wantonness of gods, and the world unrestrained and abandoned and fleeing back to itself….
Where all time seemed to me a blissful mockery of moments, where necessity was freedom itself, which blissfully played with the goad of freedom –
Where I found again my old devil and arch-enemy, the spirit of gravity, and all that he created: compulsion, dogma, need and consequence and purpose and will and good and evil….
I want to go to man once more: I want to go under among them, I want to give them, dying, my richest gift!…
…Thus spake Zarathustra.
Zarathustra believes in only one religion: the religion of evolution. Naturally, if evolution is the religion of life then change has to be its principle – a constant change. All the religions have depended on permanent values; they have fixed their values once and for all.
Life goes on changing; their values remain static and lose contact with existence. That creates immense tension in man’s mind. If he follows those values he is no longer contemporary; he is no longer in touch with the living sources of life. If he does not follow them he feels guilty, he feels immoral, he feels irreligious. And then fear grips him.
So man goes on wavering between life and the so-called permanent values. Wherever he is, he is halfhearted. Wherever he is, he is miserable – because joy arises only when you are wholehearted.
Joy is nothing but the fragrance of a whole heart, and misery the outcome of a heart which has been dissected into parts, into fragments.
As far as Zarathustra is concerned there is only one thing unchanging and that is change itself. Except change, everything goes on changing. And the man of consciousness will respond to every change – not according to any fixed values but according to his alertness, consciousness, according to his spontaneity.
In the vision of Zarathustra, spontaneity has a very fundamental role to play. If values are not fixed then the only source you can get your values from is going to be your spontaneous response to the reality in which you are. It will be fresh and new; and there is no need for feeling any guilt. You have to live now. The people who lived five thousand years ago had no idea what life is going to be in the future. They decided their values according to their time.
For example, fourteen hundred years ago Islam was born, and it was born in the great desert of Arabia. In Arabia it was a problem that there were four times more women than men, because men were continually warring with each other, fighting with each other, killing each other. The ultimate result was that there were four times more women and it was creating a great problem for the society. It was their situation, and Mohammed responded very spontaneously. He decided that every Mohammedan could have four wives. But the Mohammedans are still insisting in the world that they should have four wives. Now the situation has changed: men and women are of equal numbers. Now, to insist that, “Because in our religious scriptures four wives are allowed….” To make it a law forever is sheer stupidity.