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|Subject: A beautiful passage. Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:54 pm|| |
This is just a beautiful passage in my eye in Nietzsche's "Thus spoke Zarathustra"
- Nietzsche wrote:
- 1. 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
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 strength.
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 own wilderness.
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.
What is the great dragon which the spirit is no longer inclined to
call Lord and God? "Thou-shalt," is the great dragon called. But the
spirit of the lion saith, "I will."
"Thou-shalt," lieth in its path, sparkling with gold- a
scale-covered beast; and on every scale glittereth golden, "Thou
The values of a thousand years glitter on those scales, and thus
speaketh the mightiest of all dragons: "All the values of things-
glitter on me.
All values have already been created, and all created values- do I
represent. Verily, there shall be no 'I will' any more. Thus
speaketh the dragon.
My brethren, wherefore is there need of the lion in the spirit?
Why sufficeth not the beast of burden, which renounceth and is
To create new values- that, even the lion cannot yet accomplish: but
to create itself freedom for new creating- that can the might of the
To create itself freedom, and give a holy Nay even unto duty: for
that, my brethren, there is need of the lion.
To assume the ride to new values- that is the most formidable
assumption for a load-bearing and reverent spirit. Verily, unto such a
spirit it is preying, and the work of a beast of prey.
As its holiest, it once loved "Thou-shalt": now is it forced to find
illusion and arbitrariness even in the holiest things, that it may
capture freedom from its love: the lion is needed for this capture.
But tell me, my brethren, what the child can do, which even the lion
could not do? Why hath the preying lion still to become a child?
Innocence is the child, and forgetfulness, a new beginning, a
game, a self-rolling wheel, a first movement, a holy Yea.
Aye, for the game of creating, my brethren, there is needed a holy
Yea unto life: its own will, willeth now the spirit; his own world
winneth the world's outcast.
Three metamorphoses of the spirit have I designated to you: how
the spirit became a camel, the camel a lion, and the lion at last a
Thus spake Zarathustra. And at that time he abode in the town
which is called The Pied Cow.