FIRST PART. ZARATHUSTRA'S PROLOGUE. ZARATHUSTRA'S DISCOURSES.
3. III. BACKWORLDSMEN.
Once on a time, Zarathustra also cast his fancy beyond man, like all
backworldsmen. The work of a suffering and tortured God, did the world
then seem to me.
The dream--and diction--of a God, did the world then seem to me; coloured
vapours before the eyes of a divinely dissatisfied one.
Good and evil, and joy and woe, and I and thou--coloured vapours did they
seem to me before creative eyes. The creator wished to look away from
himself,--thereupon he created the world.
Intoxicating joy is it for the sufferer to look away from his suffering and
forget himself. Intoxicating joy and self-forgetting, did the world once
seem to me.
This world, the eternally imperfect, an eternal contradiction's image and
imperfect image--an intoxicating joy to its imperfect creator:--thus did
the world once seem to me.
Thus, once on a time, did I also cast my fancy beyond man, like all
backworldsmen. Beyond man, forsooth?
Ah, ye brethren, that God whom I created was human work and human madness,
like all the Gods!
A man was he, and only a poor fragment of a man and ego. Out of mine own
ashes and glow it came unto me, that phantom. And verily, it came not unto
me from the beyond!
What happened, my brethren? I surpassed myself, the suffering one; I
carried mine own ashes to the mountain; a brighter flame I contrived for
myself. And lo! Thereupon the phantom WITHDREW from me!
To me the convalescent would it now be suffering and torment to believe in
such phantoms: suffering would it now be to me, and humiliation. Thus
speak I to backworldsmen.
Suffering was it, and impotence--that created all backworlds; and the short
madness of happiness, which only the greatest sufferer experienceth.
Weariness, which seeketh to get to the ultimate with one leap, with a
death-leap; a poor ignorant weariness, unwilling even to will any longer:
that created all Gods and backworlds.