Prologue Part 4
What is the greatest thing you can experience? It is the hour of the great contempt. The hour in which even your happiness grows loathsome to you, and your reason and your virtue also.
The hour when you say: “What good is my happiness? It is poverty and dirt and a miserable ease. But my happiness should justify existence itself!”
The hour when you say: “What good is my reason? Does it long for knowledge as the lion for its food? It is poverty and dirt and a miserable ease!”
The hour when you say: “What good is my virtue? It has not yet driven me mad! How tired I am of my good and my evil! It is all poverty and dirt and miserable ease!…
The hour when you say, “What good is my pity? Is not pity the cross upon which he who loves man is nailed? But my pity is no crucifixion!”
Have you ever spoken thus? Have you ever cried thus? Ah, that I had heard you crying thus!
It is not your sin, but your moderation that cries to heaven, your very meanness in sinning cries to heaven!
Where is the lightning to lick you with its tongue? Where is the madness, with which you should be cleansed?
Behold, I teach you the superman: he is this lightning, he is this madness!….
Man is a rope, fastened between animal and superman – a rope over an abyss.
A dangerous going-across, a dangerous wayfaring, a dangerous looking-back, a dangerous shuddering and staying-still.
What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal; what can be loved in man is that he is a going-across and a down-going.
I love those who do not know how to live except their lives be a down-going, for they are those who are going across.
I love the great despisers, for they are the great venerators and arrows of longing for the other bank.
I love those who do not first seek beyond the stars for reasons to go down and be sacrifices: but who sacrifice themselves to the earth, that the earth may one day belong to the superman.
I love him who lives for knowledge and who wants knowledge that one day the superman may live. And thus he wills his own downfall….
I love him who loves his virtue: for virtue is will to downfall and an arrow of longing….
I love him who does not want too many virtues. One virtue is more virtue than two, because it is more of a knot for fate to cling to….
I love him who is ashamed when the dice fall in his favor and who then asks: Am I then a cheat? – for he wants to perish.
I love him who throws golden words in advance of his deeds and always performs more than he promised: for he wills his own downfall.
I love him who justifies the men of the future and redeems the men of the past: for he wants to perish by the men of the present.
I love him who chastises his God because he loves his God: for he must perish by the anger of his God.
I love him whose soul is deep even in its ability to be wounded, and whom even a little thing can destroy: thus he is glad to go over the bridge….
I love all those who are like heavy drops falling singly from the dark cloud that hangs over mankind: they prophesy the coming of the lightning and as prophets they perish.
Behold, I am the prophet of the lightning and a heavy drop from the cloud: but this lightning is called superman.
Thus spake Zarathustra.
Zarathustra continues to talk to the audience, which consists only of the blind and the deaf and the heartless. But his love and his compassion is such that he does not ask them to be worthy to understand him.
I am reminded of Bodhidharma, a man of the same height of consciousness as Zarathustra. He remained sitting before a wall, facing the wall, keeping his back towards the audience for nine years. People would come, but he would talk to the wall; people would ask questions, but he would answer to the wall.
The emperor of China, Wu, was very much puzzled with this strange man. He asked him, “Why do you face the wall? this is absolutely unheard of. You are talking to the people; you should face them.” Bodhidharma had tears in his eyes, and still facing the wall he said, “I have talked for many years to many people, facing them, but I have always found I am talking to the wall. They hear, but they don’t listen. They appear to understand, but they only misunderstand.”
And particularly a man like Zarathustra or Bodhidharma is bound to be misunderstood, because they are absolutely non-compromising with your lies, with your beliefs. Their truth is going to shatter you completely. To protect yourself, either you don’t hear what they are saying or you interpret it in such a way that it does not disturb you. You will be extremely surprised that modern research has found that almost ninety-eight percent is being censored out – only two percent reaches to you.
Zarathustra is saying tremendously significant statements which can become the foundation of a new humanity, but he has to be understood with great sympathy. He has to be heard not only by your mind, but by your being too. Unless every cell of your body is thrilled by what he is saying, you will not understand him.
Do not depend only on the mind: mind – rather than understanding – always creates misunderstanding, because mind has already its own prejudices. It clings to its prejudices. It allows in only those things which support its prejudices; otherwise it does not allow them in. Or even if by chance they have entered in, it interprets them, dilutes them, destroys their fire, takes their living quality. They become just hypotheses, they lose their reality, they cannot transform you.
Only a truth that reaches to your heart alive, dancing, is capable of taking you beyond your present state of consciousness. In these statements there are thousands of gems spread all over, but one needs to be a jeweler to understand them.