Friedrich Nietzsche: Thus Spake Zarathustra


Many lands saw Zarathustra, and many peoples: thus he discovered the good and bad of many peoples. No greater power did Zarathustra find on earth than good and bad.

No people could live without first valuing; if a people will maintain itself, however, it must not value as its neighbour valueth.

Much that passed for good with one people was regarded with scorn and contempt by another: thus I found it. Much found I here called bad, which was there decked with purple honours.

Never did the one neighbour understand the other: ever did his soul marvel at his neighbour's delusion and wickedness.

A table of excellencies hangeth over every people. Lo! it is the table of their triumphs; lo! it is the voice of their Will to Power.

It is laudable, what they think hard; what is indispensable and hard they call good; and what relieveth in the direst distress, the unique and hardest of all,--they extol as holy.

Whatever maketh them rule and conquer and shine, to the dismay and envy of their neighbours, they regard as the high and foremost thing, the test and the meaning of all else.

Verily, my brother, if thou knewest but a people's need, its land, its sky, and its neighbour, then wouldst thou divine the law of its surmountings, and why it climbeth up that ladder to its hope.

"Always shalt thou be the foremost and prominent above others: no one shall thy jealous soul love, except a friend"--that made the soul of a Greek thrill: thereby went he his way to greatness.

"To speak truth, and be skilful with bow and arrow"--so seemed it alike pleasing and hard to the people from whom cometh my name--the name which is alike pleasing and hard to me.

"To honour father and mother, and from the root of the soul to do their will"--this table of surmounting hung another people over them, and became powerful and permanent thereby.

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