FIRST PART. ZARATHUSTRA'S PROLOGUE. ZARATHUSTRA'S DISCOURSES.
16. XVI. NEIGHBOUR-LOVE.
Ye crowd around your neighbour, and have fine words for it. But I say unto
you: your neighbour-love is your bad love of yourselves.
Ye flee unto your neighbour from yourselves, and would fain make a virtue
thereof: but I fathom your "unselfishness."
The THOU is older than the I; the THOU hath been consecrated, but not yet
the I: so man presseth nigh unto his neighbour.
Do I advise you to neighbour-love? Rather do I advise you to neighbour-flight and to furthest love!
Higher than love to your neighbour is love to the furthest and future ones;
higher still than love to men, is love to things and phantoms.
The phantom that runneth on before thee, my brother, is fairer than thou;
why dost thou not give unto it thy flesh and thy bones? But thou fearest,
and runnest unto thy neighbour.
Ye cannot endure it with yourselves, and do not love yourselves
sufficiently: so ye seek to mislead your neighbour into love, and would
fain gild yourselves with his error.
Would that ye could not endure it with any kind of near ones, or their
neighbours; then would ye have to create your friend and his overflowing
heart out of yourselves.
Ye call in a witness when ye want to speak well of yourselves; and when ye
have misled him to think well of you, ye also think well of yourselves.
Not only doth he lie, who speaketh contrary to his knowledge, but more so,
he who speaketh contrary to his ignorance. And thus speak ye of yourselves
in your intercourse, and belie your neighbour with yourselves.
Thus saith the fool: "Association with men spoileth the character,
especially when one hath none."
The one goeth to his neighbour because he seeketh himself, and the other
because he would fain lose himself. Your bad love to yourselves maketh
solitude a prison to you.