One of the so-called higher men, the king, addresses Zarathustra:
Just to see this would we climb higher mountains than this mountain. For we have come as sightseers, we wanted to see what makes sad eyes bright….
Nothing more gladdening grows on earth, O Zarathustra, than an exalted, robust will: it is the earth’s fairest growth. A whole landscape is refreshed by one such tree.
To the pine-tree, O Zarathustra, do I compare him who grows up like you: tall, silent, hard, alone, of the finest, supplest wood, magnificent – at last, however, reaching out with strong, green branches for its domain, asking bold questions of the winds and storms and whatever is at home in the heights,
replying more boldly, a commander, a victor: Oh who would not climb high mountains to behold such trees?…
O Zarathustra; at your glance even the restless man grows secure and heals his heart….
A great longing has arisen, and many have learned to ask: Who is Zarathustra?
And he into whose ear you have ever poured your song and your honey: all the hidden men, the hermits and hermit-couples, say all at once to their hearts:
“Does Zarathustra still live? There is no longer any point in living, it is all one, everything is in vain: except we live with Zarathustra!”…
Now the waves rise and rise around your mountain, O Zarathustra. And however high your height may be, many must reach up to you: your boat shall not sit in the dry for much longer.
And that we despairing men have now come into your cave and are already no longer despairing: that is only a sign and an omen that better men are on their way to you;
For this itself is on its way to you, the last remnant of God among men, that is: all men possessed by great longing, great disgust, great satiety,
all who do not want to live except they learn to hope again – except they learn from you, O Zarathustra, the great hope!…
Truly, you may all be Higher Men (Zarathustra responded): but for me – you are not high and strong enough.
For me, that is to say: for the inexorable that is silent within me but will not always be silent. And if you belong to me, it is not as my right arm.
For he who himself stands on sick and tender legs, as you do, wants above all, whether he knows it or conceals it from himself: to be spared.
My arms and legs, however, I do not spare, I do not spare my warriors: how, then, could you be fit for my warfare?…
I need pure, smooth mirrors for my teaching; upon your surface even my own reflection is distorted….
You are only bridges: may higher men than you step across upon you! You are steps: so do not be angry with him who climbs over you into his height!
From your seed there may one day grow for me a genuine son and perfect heir: but that is far ahead. You yourselves are not those to whom my heritage and name belong….
No! No! Thrice no! It is for others that I wait here in these mountains and I will not lift my foot from here without them,
for higher, stronger, more victorious, more joyful men, such as are square-built in body and soul: laughing lions must come!
O my guests, you strange men, have you yet heard nothing of my children? And that they are on their way to me?
Speak to me of my gardens, of my blissful islands, of my beautiful new race, why do you not speak of them?
This guest-gift do I beg of your love, that you speak to me of my children. In them I am rich, for them I became poor: what have I not given,
what would I not give, to possess one thing: these children, this living garden, these trees of life of my will and of my highest hope!
…Thus spake Zarathustra.
Mankind has created false things for everything that is true. There is a great market for the false things; for the truth there is almost no competition. Only rarely a person goes in search, risking his whole life, to know the meaning of existence and himself.
It is cheaper to borrow it from scriptures, from libraries, from the past inheritance. The universities are doing the great job of keeping man away from truth. The learned men, the scholars, the rabbis, the pundits, their whole function seems to be how to prevent seekers, because even if one man comes to know the truth he creates a great challenge in many other souls. And he also creates an awareness in millions of people that what they have been thinking as true is not true; they have been deceived.
And their so-called great men are all phony. Their greatness is not more than acting. They are acting the way a great man is, spontaneously; hence you will find in your so-called great men many, many faces. They use those masks as a situation needs, or in a certain circumstance, and they immediately change their mask if the situation changes. And when they are at ease, alone, they are as small people as you can find anywhere in the whole mob. Their heights are only of words; their experiences are all stolen; their grace is not more than skin-deep. But the ordinary humankind they are able to deceive, because you have never known the real great man. You don’t have anything to compare with. You cannot call the false the false unless you know the real.
This fragment from Zarathustra this evening begins as one of the so-called higher men, the king, addresses Zarathustra. Why is he being called the so-called? In fact all your kings, all your presidents, all your prime ministers are only so-called higher men. They are chosen by the masses, and the masses cannot understand what is real and what is false. The masses are blind. The masses simply believe in any deceiver. Anyone who is articulate enough in promising the masses becomes a great man.
And you see, every day, your great men disappearing – as their power disappears, their greatness also disappears. It was not something, a quality of their soul, a manifestation of their consciousness; it was just the chair. The chair was bestowing on them all their greatness. The kings were not chosen; they forced themselves violently on the masses. Out of fear they were accepted, out of fear they were respected. But greatness is never out of fear. Greatness is a magnetic force; it attracts you not by violence but by love. It proves itself not by the sword but just by its tremendously fragrant presence.