FIRST PART. ZARATHUSTRA'S PROLOGUE. ZARATHUSTRA'S DISCOURSES.
1. I. THE THREE METAMORPHOSES.
Three metamorphoses of the spirit do I designate to you: how the spirit
becometh a camel, the camel a lion, and the lion at last a child.
Many heavy things are there for the spirit, the strong load-bearing spirit
in which reverence dwelleth: for the heavy and the heaviest longeth its
What is heavy? so asketh the load-bearing spirit; then kneeleth it down
like the camel, and wanteth to be well laden.
What is the heaviest thing, ye heroes? asketh the load-bearing spirit, that
I may take it upon me and rejoice in my strength.
Is it not this: To humiliate oneself in order to mortify one's pride? To
exhibit one's folly in order to mock at one's wisdom?
Or is it this: To desert our cause when it celebrateth its triumph? To
ascend high mountains to tempt the tempter?
Or is it this: To feed on the acorns and grass of knowledge, and for the
sake of truth to suffer hunger of soul?
Or is it this: To be sick and dismiss comforters, and make friends of the
deaf, who never hear thy requests?
Or is it this: To go into foul water when it is the water of truth, and
not disclaim cold frogs and hot toads?
Or is it this: To love those who despise us, and give one's hand to the
phantom when it is going to frighten us?
All these heaviest things the load-bearing spirit taketh upon itself: and
like the camel, which, when laden, hasteneth into the wilderness, so
hasteneth the spirit into its wilderness.
But in the loneliest wilderness happeneth the second metamorphosis: here
the spirit becometh a lion; freedom will it capture, and lordship in its
Its last Lord it here seeketh: hostile will it be to him, and to its last
God; for victory will it struggle with the great dragon.