Truly, my friends, I walk among men as among the fragments and limbs of men!
The terrible thing to my eye is to find men shattered in pieces and scattered as if over a battle-field of slaughter.
And when my eye flees from the present to the past, it always discovers the same thing: fragments and limbs and dreadful chances – but no men!
The present and the past upon the earth – alas! My friends – that is my most intolerable burden; and I should not know how to live, if I were not a seer of that which must come.
A seer, a willer, a creator, a future itself and a bridge to the future – and alas, also like a cripple upon this bridge: Zarathustra is all this.
And even you have often asked yourselves: who is Zarathustra to us? What shall we call him? And, like me, you answer your own questions with questions.
Is he a promiser? Or a fulfiller? A conqueror? Or an inheritor? A harvest? Or a plowshare? A physician? Or a convalescent?
Is he a poet? Or a genuine man? A liberator? Or a subduer? A good man? Or an evil man?…
…It is all my art and aim, to compose into one and bring together what is fragment and riddle and dreadful chance….
Will – that is what the liberator and bringer of joy is called: thus I have taught you, my friends! But now learn this as well: the will itself is still a prisoner.
Willing liberates: but what is it that fastens in fetters even the liberator?
“It was”: that is what the will’s teeth-gnashing and most lonely affliction is called. Powerless against that which has been done, the will is an angry spectator of all things past.
The will cannot will backwards; that it cannot break time and time’s desire – that is the will’s most lonely affliction.
Willing liberates: what does willing itself devise to free itself from its affliction and to mock at its dungeon?…
The spirit of revenge: my friends, that, up to now, has been mankind’s chief concern; and where there was suffering, there was always supposed to be punishment.
“Punishment” is what revenge calls itself: it feigns a good conscience for itself with a lie….
“Except the will at last redeem itself and willing become not-willing…” but you, my brothers, know this fable-song of madness!
I led you away from these fable-songs when I taught you: “The will is a creator….”
Has the will become its own redeemer and bringer of joy? Has it unlearned the spirit of revenge…?
…Thus spake Zarathustra.
Zarathustra is absolutely clear that religions have destroyed man’s integrity. They have broken him – not only in parts, but into opposing parts. The greatest crime against humanity has been committed by the religions. They have made humanity schizophrenic; they have given everybody a split personality. It has been done in a very clever and cunning way.
First, man has been told, “You are not the body,” and second, “The body is your enemy.” And this was the logical conclusion – that you are not part of the world, and the world is nothing but your punishment; you are here to be punished. Your life is not, and cannot be, a rejoicing; it can only be a mourning, it can only be a tragedy. Suffering is going to be your lot on the earth.
They had to do it in order to praise God, who is a poetic fiction; and to praise heaven, which is an extension of human greed; and to make people afraid of hell, which is to create a great fear in the very center of the human soul. This way they have taken away man and dissected him.
No religion accepts the simple, natural and factual phenomenon that man is a unity and this world is not a punishment. And this world is not separate from man. Man is rooted in this world just as trees are rooted. This planet, the earth, is his mother.
Zarathustra has repeated again and again, “Never betray the earth.” All the religions have betrayed the earth. They have betrayed their own mother, they have betrayed their own life source. They have condemned the earth, and they have argued for renouncing it – renunciation is their continual emphasis.
But how can you renounce your nature? You can pretend, you can be a hypocrite. You can even start believing that you are no longer part of nature; but even your greatest saints depend on nature, just as your greatest sinners do. They need food, they need water, they need air; their needs don’t change. What is their renunciation?
It creates a split mind within them. They fall apart into fragments, and these fragments are continuously fighting with each other. This is the root cause of human misery, and it has become almost an established thing because people have been suffering for thousands of years. Now they have started taking it for granted: “This is our lot, this is our fate, this is our destiny. Nothing can be done about it.” The reality is, it is neither our fate nor our destiny. It is our stupidity, it is our unintelligence that we have been listening to the priests, believing in their fictions.