Prologue Part six
Following his speech about the ultimate man, Zarathustra realizes that the people have misunderstood him, for they now cry out to him for the ultimate man, telling him he can have the superman.
While he ponders on this, the tight-rope walker begins his act – walking across a rope suspended high above the people in the market square, between two towers.
When he reaches the mid-point, suddenly a figure dressed as a buffoon appears from one of the towers, and proceeds to follow the tight-rope walker, shouting out and abusing him. He makes to jump over the tight-rope walker, who loses his balance and falls, landing quite close to where Zarathustra is standing.
Zarathustra stays with the dying man long after evening has come and the crowd dispersed.
Later in the night the man dies, and Zarathustra determines to leave the town, and bury the body with his own hands. He meets with the buffoon, who tells him he is hated in the town; that it is good that he is leaving; and with some gravediggers, who make fun of his carrying a corpse.
After having sought food from an old man along the way, Zarathustra finds himself in the forest, and having laid down his dead companion, finally sleeps. Hours later, he awakens….
And then he spoke to his heart thus:
A light has dawned for me: I need companions, living ones, not dead companions and corpses which I carry with me wherever I wish.
But I need living companions who follow me because they want to follow themselves – and who want to go where I want to go.
A light has dawned for me: Zarathustra shall not speak to the people, but to companions! Zarathustra shall not be herdsman and dog to the herd!
To lure many away from the herd – that is why I have come. The people and the herd shall be angry with me: the herdsmen shall call Zarathustra a robber.
I say herdsmen, but they call themselves the good and the just. I say herdsmen: but they call themselves the faithful of the true faith.
Behold the good and the just! Whom do they hate most? Him who smashes their tables of values, the breaker, the lawbreaker – but he is the creator….
The creator seeks companions, not corpses or herds or believers. The creator seeks fellow creators, those who inscribe new values on new tables.
The creator seeks companions and fellow-harvesters: for with him everything is ripe for harvesting. But he lacks his hundred sickles: so he tears off the ears of the corn and is vexed.
The creator seeks companions and such as know how to whet their sickles. They will be called destroyers and despisers of good and evil, but they are harvesters and rejoicers….
I will not be herdsman or gravedigger. I will not speak again to the people: I have spoken to a dead man for the last time.
I will make company with creators, with harvesters, with rejoicers: I will show them the rainbow and the stairway to the superman….
Thus began Zarathustra’s down-going.
It is not only Zarathustra who is disappointed in man as he is. Almost everyone who has gone within his own self, has known the reality, has experienced the beauty of consciousness, has been disappointed in people.
It is a long, long tradition that people are deaf – and almost dead. They go on living because they don’t have the courage to commit suicide. They go on breathing because it is beyond their control, they cannot stop it; otherwise the masses of the world are just a dead weight on the planet.
The masses have not contributed anything to the growth of consciousness, to the growth of the human soul. They have not contributed anything towards making a temple of God on the earth – although they have made thousands of temples and synagogues and churches and mosques. But they are not making them as the abode of a rejoicing religion; they are making them as the citadels of anti-life preachers – citadels of cowards and escapists. They have organized religions just to prevent…so that religion disappears from the world, because religion can exist only in the individual, never in the collective.
Do you have any organizations of love? – Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Mohammedanism? Love is simply individual; so is prayer, because prayer is nothing but the most purified form of love. Love is towards another individual; prayer is towards the whole existence.
To destroy religion, the most clever and cunning way has been to organize it, to give religion a priesthood, to give religion a fixed holy scripture. Life never remains fixed, it goes on moving; and you go on carrying a dead scripture which has lost all relevance to reality. You go on listening to the priests – who do not speak out of their experience, who are simply parrots repeating what the tradition has given to them. Religion is always fresh and new. To make it old and ancient is to kill it. This has to be understood very clearly – only then Zarathustra may be able to reach to your heart.
Following his speech about the ultimate man, Zarathustra realizes that the people have misunderstood him…