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【P3C12】Old and New Tablets

1.

Here do I sit and wait, old broken law-tablets around me and also new half-written law-tablets. When comes my hour?

-The hour of my descent, of my down-going: for once more will I go to men.

For that hour do I now wait: for first must the signs come to me that it is my hour- namely, the laughing lion with the flock of doves.

Meanwhile do I talk to myself as one who has time. No one tells me anything new, so I tell myself my own story.

2.

When I came to men, then found I them resting on an old infatuation: all of them thought they had long known what was good and bad for men.

An old wearisome business seemed to them all talk of virtue; and he who wished to sleep well spoke of “good” and “bad” before retiring to rest.

This somnolence did I disturb when I taught that no one yet knows what is good and bad:- unless it be the creator!

-It is he, however, who creates man’s goal, and gives to the earth its meaning and its future: he only effects it that anything is good or bad.

And I bade them upset their old academic chairs, and wherever that old infatuation had sat; I bade them laugh at their great moralists, their saints, their poets, and their saviours.

At their gloomy sages did I bid them laugh, and whoever had sat admonishing as a black scarecrow on the tree of life.

On their great grave-highway did I seat myself, and even beside the carrion and vultures- and I laughed at all their bygone and its mellow decaying glory.

Like penitential preachers and fools did I cry wrath and shame on all their greatness and smallness. Oh, that their best is so very small! Oh, that their worst is so very small! Thus did I laugh.

Thus did my wise longing, born in the mountains, cry and laugh in me; a wild wisdom, verily!- my great pinion-rustling longing.

And oft did it carry me off and up and away and in the midst of laughter; then flew I quivering like an arrow with sun-intoxicated rapture:

-Out into distant futures, which no dream has yet seen, into warmer souths than ever sculptor conceived,- where gods in their dancing are ashamed of all clothes:

(That I may speak in parables and halt and stammer like the poets: and verily I am ashamed that I have still to be a poet!)

Where all becoming seemed to me dancing of gods, and wantoning of gods, and the world unloosed and unbridled and fleeing back to itself:-

-As an eternal self-fleeing and re-seeking of one another of many gods, as the blessed self-contradicting, recommuning, and refraternising with one another of many gods:-

Where all time seemed to me a blessed mockery of moments, where necessity was freedom itself, which played happily with the goad of freedom:-

Where I also found again my old devil and arch-enemy, the spirit of gravity, and all that it created: constraint, law, necessity and consequence and purpose and will and good and evil:-

For must there not be that which is danced over, danced beyond? Must there not, for the sake of the nimble, the nimblest,- be moles and clumsy dwarfs?-

3.

There was it also where I picked up from the path the word “Superman,” and that man is something that must be overcome.

-That man is a bridge and not a goal- rejoicing over his noontides and evenings, as advances to new rosy dawns:

-The Zarathustra word of the great noontide, and whatever else I have hung up over men like purple evening-afterglows.

Also new stars did I make them see, along with new nights; and over cloud and day and night, did I spread out laughter like a gay-colored canopy.

I taught them all my poetisation and aspiration: to compose and collect into unity what is fragment in man, and riddle and fearful chance;-

-As composer, riddle-reader, and redeemer of chance, did I teach them to create the future, and all that has been- to redeem by creating.

The past of man to redeem, and every “It was” to transform, until the Will says: “But so did I will it! So shall I will it-“

-This did I call redemption; this alone taught I them to call redemption.- Now do I await my redemption- that I may go to them for the last time.

For once more will I go to men: amongst them will my sun set; in dying will I give them my choicest gift!

From the sun did I learn this, when it goes down, the exuberant one: gold does it then pour into the sea, out of inexhaustible riches,-

-So that the poorest fisherman rows even with golden oars! For this did I once see, and did not tire of weeping in beholding it.- Like the sun will also Zarathustra go down: now sits he here and waits, old broken law-tablets around him, and also new law-tablets- halfwritten.

4.

Behold, here is a new table; but where are my brothers who will carry it with me to the valley and into hearts of flesh?-

Thus demands my great love to the remotest ones: be not considerate of your neighbor! Man is something that must be overcome.

There are many divers ways and modes of overcoming: see you thereto! But only a fool thinks: “man can also be overleapt.”

Overcome yourself even in your neighbor: and a right which you can seize upon, shall you not allow to be given you!

What you do can no one do to you again. Lo, there is no requital.

He who cannot command himself shall obey. And many a one can command himself, but still sorely lacks self-obedience!

5.

Thus wishes the type of noble souls: they desire to have nothing gratuitously, least of all, life.

He who is of the rabble wishes to live gratuitously; we others, however, to whom life has given itself- we are ever considering what we can best give in return!

And verily, it is a noble dictum which says: “What life promises us, that promise will we keep- to life!”

One should not wish to enjoy where one does not contribute to the enjoyment. And one should not wish to enjoy!

For enjoyment and innocence are the most bashful things. Neither like to be sought for. One should have them,- but one should rather seek for guilt and pain!-

6.

O my brothers, he who is a firstling is ever sacrificed. Now, however, are we firstlings!

We all bleed on secret sacrificial altars, we all burn and broil in honor of ancient idols.

Our best is still young: this excites old palates. Our flesh is tender, our skin is only lambs’ skin:- how could we not excite old idol-priests!

In ourselves dwells he still, the old idol-priest, who broils our best for his banquet. Ah, my brothers, how could firstlings fail to be sacrifices!

But so wishes our type; and I love those who do not wish to preserve themselves, the down-going ones do I love with my entire love: for they go beyond.-

7.

To be true- that can few be! And he who can, will not! Least of all, however, can the good be true.

Oh, those good ones! Good men never speak the truth. For the spirit, thus to be good, is a malady.

They yield, those good ones, they submit themselves; their heart repeats, their soul obeys: yet he who obeys, does not listen to himself!

All that is called evil by the good, must come together in order that one truth may be born. O my brothers, are you also evil enough for this truth?

The daring venture, the prolonged distrust, the cruel No, the tedium, the cutting-into-the-quick- how seldom do these come together! Out of such seed, however- is truth produced!

Beside the bad conscience has hitherto grown all knowledge! Break up, break up, you discerning ones, the old law-tablets!

8.

When the water has planks, when gangways and railings o’erspan the stream, verily, he is not believed who then says: “All is in flux.”

But even the simpletons contradict him. “What?” say the simpletons, “all in flux? Planks and railings are still over the stream!

“Over the stream all is stable, all the values of things, the bridges and bearings, all ‘good’ and ‘evil’: these are all stable!”-

Comes, however, the hard winter, the stream-tamer, then learn even the wittiest distrust, and verily, not only the simpletons then say: “Should not everything- stand still?”

“Fundamentally stands everything still”- that is an appropriate winter doctrine, good cheer for an unproductive period, a great comfort for winter-sleepers and fireside-loungers.

“Fundamentally stands everything still”-: but contrary thereto, preaches the thawing wind!

The thawing wind, a bullock, which is no ploughing bullock- a furious bullock, a destroyer, which with angry horns breaks the ice! The ice however- - breaks gangways!

O my brothers, is not everything at present in flux? Have not all railings and gangways fallen into the water? Who would still hold on to “good” and “evil”?

“Woe to us! Hail to us! The thawing wind blows!”- Thus preach, my brothers, through all the streets!

9.

There is an old illusion- it is called good and evil. Around soothsayers and astrologers has hitherto revolved the orbit of this illusion.

Once did one believe in soothsayers and astrologers; and therefore did one believe, “Everything is fate: you shall, for you must!”

Then again did one distrust all soothsayers and astrologers; and therefore did one believe, “Everything is freedom: you can, for you will!”

O my brothers, concerning the stars and the future there has hitherto been only illusion, and not knowledge; and therefore concerning good and evil there has hitherto been only illusion and not knowledge!

10.

“You shall not rob! you shall not kill!”- such precepts were once called sacred; before them did one bow the knee and the head, and take off one’s shoes.

But I ask you: Where have there ever been better robbers and killers in the world than such sacred precepts?

Is there not even in all life- robbing and killing? And for such precepts to be called sacred, was not truth itself thereby- slain?

-Or was it a sermon of death that called sacred what contradicted and dissuaded from life?- O my brothers, break up, break up for me the old law-tablets!

11.

It is my sympathy with all the past that I see it is abandoned,-

-Abandoned to the favor, the spirit and the madness of every generation that comes, and reinterprets all that has been as its bridge!

A great potentate might arise, an artful prodigy, who with approval and disapproval could strain and constrain all the past, until it became for him a bridge, a harbinger, a herald, and a cock-crowing.

This however is the other danger, and my other sympathy:- he who is of the rabble, his thoughts go back to his grandfather,- with his grandfather, however, does time cease.

Thus is all the past abandoned: for it might some day happen for the rabble to become master, and drown all time in shallow waters.

Therefore, O my brothers, a new nobility is needed, which shall be the adversary of all rabble and potentate rule, and shall inscribe anew the word “noble” on new law-tablets.

For many noble ones are needed, and many kinds of noble ones, for a new nobility! Or, as I once said in parable: “That is just divinity, that there are gods, but no God!”

12.

O my brothers, I consecrate you and point you to a new nobility: you shall become procreators and cultivators and sowers of the future;-

-not to a nobility which you could purchase like traders with traders’ gold; for little worth is all that has its price.

Let it not be your honor henceforth whence you come, but where you go! Your Will and your feet which seek to overcome you- let these be your new honor!

Not that you have served a prince- of what account are princes now!nor that you have become a bulwark to that which stands, that it may stand more firmly.

Not that your family have become courtly at courts, and that you have learned- gay-colored, like the flamingo- to stand long hours in shallow pools:

(For ability-to-stand is a merit in courtiers; and all courtiers believe that to blessedness after death pertains- permission-to-sit!)

Nor even that a Spirit called Holy, led your forefathers into promised lands, which I do not praise: for where the worst of all trees grew- the cross,- in that land there is nothing to praise!-

-And verily, wherever this “Holy Spirit” led its knights, always in such campaigns did- goats and geese, and wry-heads and guy-heads run foremost!-

O my brothers, not backward shall your nobility gaze, but outward! Exiles shall you be from all fatherlands and forefather-lands!

Your children’s land shall you love: let this love be your new nobility,the undiscovered in the remotest seas! For it do I bid your sails search and search!

To your children shall you make amends for being the children of your fathers: all the past shall you thus redeem! This new table do I place over you!

13.

“Why should one live? All is vain! To live- that is to thresh straw; to livethat is to burn oneself and yet not get warm.-

Such ancient babbling still passes for “wisdom”; because it is old, however, and smells mustily, therefore is it the more honored. Even mould ennobles.-

Children might thus speak: they shun the fire because it has burnt them! There is much childishness in the old books of wisdom.

And he who ever “threshes straw,” why should he be allowed to rail at threshing! Such a fool one would have to muzzle!

Such persons sit down to the table and bring nothing with them, not even good hunger:- and then do they rail: “All is vain!”

But to eat and drink well, my brothers, is verily no vain art! Break up, break up for me the law-tablets of the never-joyous ones!

14.

“To the clean are all things clean”- thus say the people. I, however, say to you: To the swine all things become swinish!

Therefore preach the visionaries and bowed-heads (whose hearts are also bowed down): “The world itself is a filthy monster.”

For these are all unclean spirits; especially those, however, who have no peace or rest, unless they see the world from the backside- the afterworldly!

To those do I say it to the face, although it sound unpleasantly: the world resembles man, in that it has a backside,- so much is true!

There is in the world much filth: so much is true! But the world itself is not therefore a filthy monster!

There is wisdom in the fact that much in the world smells badly: loathing itself creates wings, and fountain-divining powers!

In the best there is still something to loathe; and the best is still something that must be overcome!-

O my brothers, there is much wisdom in the fact that much filth is in the world!-

15.

Such sayings did I hear pious afterworldly speak to their consciences, and verily without wickedness or guile,- although there is nothing more guileful in the world, or more wicked.

“Let the world be as it is! Raise not a finger against it!”

“Let whoever will choke and stab and skin and scrape the people: raise not a finger against it! Thereby will they learn to renounce the world.”

“And your own reason- this shall you yourself stifle and choke; for it is a reason of this world,- thereby will you learn yourself to renounce the world.”-

-Shatter, shatter, O my brothers, those old law-tablets of the pious! Tatter the maxims of the world-maligners!-

16.

“He who learns much unlearns all violent cravings”- that do people now whisper to one another in all the dark lanes.

“Wisdom wearies, nothing is worth while; you shall not crave!”- this new table found I hanging even in the public markets.

Break up for me, O my brothers, break up also that new table! The weary-o’-the-world put it up, and the preachers of death and the jailer: for lo, it is also a sermon for slavery:-

Because they learned badly and not the best, and everything too early and everything too fast; because they ate badly: from thence has resulted their ruined stomach;-

-For a ruined stomach, is their spirit: it persuades to death! For verily, my brothers, the spirit is a stomach!

Life is a well of delight, but to him in whom the ruined stomach speaks, the father of affliction, all fountains are poisoned.

To discern: that is delight to the lion-willed! But he who has become weary, is himself merely “willed”; with him play all the waves.

And such is always the nature of weak men: they lose themselves on their way. And at last asks their weariness: “Why did we ever go on the way? All is indifferent!”

To them sounds it pleasant to have preached in their ears: “Nothing is worth while! You shall not will!” That, however, is a sermon for slavery.

O my brothers, a fresh blustering wind comes Zarathustra to all wayweary ones; many noses will he yet make sneeze!

Even through walls blows my free breath, and into prisons and imprisoned spirits!

Willing emancipates: for willing is creating: so do I teach. And only for creating shall you learn!

And also the learning shall you learn only from me, the learning well!He who has ears let him hear!

17.

There stands the boat- there goes it over, perhaps into vast nothingnessbut who wills to enter into this “Perhaps”?

None of you want to enter into the death-boat! How should you then be world-weary ones!

World-weary ones! And have not even withdrawn from the earth! Eager did I ever find you for the earth, amorous still of your own earthweariness!

Not in vain does your lip hang down:- a small worldly wish still sits on it! And in your eye- floats there not a little cloud of unforgotten earthly bliss?

There are on the earth many good inventions, some useful, some pleasant: for their sake is the earth to be loved.

And many such good inventions are there, that they are like woman’s breasts: useful at the same time, and pleasant.

You world-weary ones, however! You earth-idlers! You, shall one beat with stripes! With stripes shall one again make you sprightly limbs.

For if you be not invalids, or decrepit creatures, of whom the earth is weary, then are you sly sloths, or dainty, sneaking pleasure-cats. And if you will not again run gaily, then shall you- pass away!

To the incurable shall one not seek to be a physician: thus teaches Zarathustra:- so shall you pass away!

But more courage is needed to make an end than to make a new verse: that do all physicians and poets know well.-

18.

O my brothers, there are law-tablets which weariness framed, and lawtablets which slothfulness framed, corrupt slothfulness: although they speak similarly, they want to be heard differently.-

See this languishing one! Only a span-breadth is he from his goal; but from weariness has he lain down obstinately in the dust, this brave one!

From weariness yawns he at the path, at the earth, at the goal, and at himself: not a step further will he go,- this brave one!

Now glows the sun upon him, and the dogs lick at his sweat: but he lies there in his obstinacy and preferrs to languish:-

-A span-breadth from his goal, to languish! you will have to drag him into his heaven by the hair of his head- this hero!

Better still that you let him lie where he has lain down, that sleep may come to him, the comforter, with cooling patter-rain.

Let him lie, until of his own accord he awakens,- until of his own accord he repudiates all weariness, and what weariness has taught through him!

Only, my brothers, see that you scare the dogs away from him, the idle skulkers, and all the swarming vermin:-

-All the swarming vermin of the “cultured,” that- feast on the sweat of every hero!-

19.

I form circles around me and sacred boundaries; ever fewer ascend with me ever higher mountains: I build a mountain-range out of ever holier mountains.-

But wherever you would ascend with me, O my brothers, take care lest a parasite ascend with you!

A parasite: that is a reptile, a creeping, cringing reptile, that tries to fatten on your infirm and sore places.

And this is its art: it divines where ascending souls are weary, in your trouble and dejection, in your sensitive modesty, does it build its loathsome nest.

Where the strong are weak, where the noble are all-too-gentle- there builds it its loathsome nest; the parasite lives where the great have small sore-places.

What is the highest of all species of being, and what is the lowest? The parasite is the lowest species; yet he who is of the highest species feeds most parasites.

For the soul which has the longest ladder, and can go deepest down: how could there fail to be most parasites upon it?-

-The most comprehensive soul, which can run and stray and rove furthest in itself; the most necessary soul, which out of joy flings itself into chance:-

-The soul in Being, which plunges into Becoming; the possessing soul, which seeks to attain desire and longing:-

-The soul fleeing from itself, which overtakes itself in the widest circuit; the wisest soul, to which folly speaks most sweetly:-

-The soul most self-loving, in which all things have their current and counter-current, their ebb and their flow:- oh, how could the loftiest soul fail to have the worst parasites?

20.

O my brothers, am I then cruel? But I say: What falls, that shall one also push!

Everything of today- it falls, it decays; who would preserve it! But I- I wish also to push it!

Know you the delight which rolls stones into precipitous depths?Those men of today, see just how they roll into my depths!

A prelude am I to better players, O my brothers! An example! Do according to my example!

And him whom you do not teach to fly, teach I pray you- to fall faster!-

21.

I love the brave: but it is not enough to be a swordsman,- one must also know whereon to use swordsmanship!

And often is it greater bravery to keep quiet and pass by, that thereby one may reserve oneself for a worthier foe!

You shall only have foes to be hated; but not foes to be despised: you must be proud of your foes. Thus have I already taught.

For the worthier foe, O my brothers, shall you reserve yourselves: therefore must you pass by many a one,-

-Especially many of the rabble, who din your ears with noise about people and peoples.

Keep your eye clear of their For and Against! There is there much right, much wrong: he who looks on becomes wroth.

Therein viewing, therein hewing- they are the same thing: therefore depart into the forests and lay your sword to sleep!

Go your ways! and let the people and peoples go theirs!- gloomy ways, verily, on which not a single hope glints any more!

Let there the trader rule, where all that still glitters is- traders’ gold. It is the time of kings no longer: that which now calls itself the people is unworthy of kings.

See how these peoples themselves now do just like the traders: they pick up the small advantage out of all kinds of rubbish!

They lay lures for one another, they lure things out of one another,that they call “good neighborliness.” O blessed remote period when a people said to itself: “I will be- master over peoples!”

For, my brothers, the best shall rule, the best also wills to rule! And where the teaching is different, there- the best is lacking.

22.

If they had- bread for nothing, alas! for what would they cry! Their maintainment- that is their true entertainment; and they shall have it hard!

Beasts of prey, are they: in their “working”- there is even plundering, in their “earning”- there is even over-reaching! Therefore shall they have it hard!

Better beasts of prey shall they thus become, subtler, cleverer, more man-like: for man is the best beast of prey.

All the animals has man already robbed of their virtues: that is why of all animals it has been hardest for man.

Only the birds are still beyond him. And if man should yet learn to fly, alas! to what height- would his rapacity fly!

23.

Thus would I have man and woman: fit for war, the one; fit for maternity, the other; both, however, fit for dancing with head and legs.

And lost be the day to us in which a measure has not been danced. And false be every truth which has not had laughter along with it!

24.

Your marriage-arranging: see that it be not a bad arranging! You have arranged too hastily: so there follows therefrom- marriage-breaking!

And better marriage-breaking than marriage-bending, marriage-lying!- Thus spoke a woman to me: “Indeed, I broke the marriage, but first did the marriage break- me!

The badly paired found I ever the most revengeful: they make every one suffer for it that they no longer run singly.

On that account want I the honest ones to say to one another: “We love each other: let us see to it that we maintain our love! Or shall our pledging be blundering?”

-“Give us a set term and a small marriage, that we may see if we are fit for the great marriage! It is a great matter always to be twain.”

Thus do I counsel all honest ones; and what would be my love to the Superman, and to all that is to come, if I should counsel and speak otherwise!

Not only to propagate yourselves onwards but upwards- thereto, O my brothers, may the garden of marriage help you!

25.

He who has grown wise concerning old origins, lo, he will at last seek after the fountains of the future and new origins.-

O my brothers, not long will it be until new peoples shall arise and new fountains shall rush down into new depths.

For the earthquake- it chokes up many wells, it causes much languishing: but it brings also to light inner powers and secrets.

The earthquake discloses new fountains. In the earthquake of old peoples new fountains burst forth.

And whoever calls out: “Lo, here is a well for many thirsty ones, one heart for many longing ones, one will for many instruments”:- around him collects a people, that is to say, many attempting ones.

Who can command, who must obey- that is there attempted! Ah, with what long seeking and solving and failing and learning and reattempting!

Human society: it is an attempt- so I teach- a long seeking: it seeks however the ruler!-

-An attempt, my brothers! And no “contract”! Destroy, I pray you, destroy that word of the soft-hearted and half-and-half!

26.

O my brothers! With whom lies the greatest danger to the whole human future? Is it not with the good and just?-

-As those who say and feel in their hearts: “We already know what is good and just, we possess it also; woe to those who still seek thereafter!

And whatever harm the wicked may do, the harm of the good is the harmfulest harm!

And whatever harm the world-maligners may do, the harm of the good is the harmfulest harm!

O my brothers, into the hearts of the good and just looked some one once on a time, who said: “They are the Pharisees.” But people did not understand him.

The good and just themselves were not free to understand him; their spirit was imprisoned in their good conscience. The stupidity of the good is unfathomably wise.

It is the truth, however, that the good must be Pharisees- they have no choice!

The good must crucify him who creates his own virtue! That is the truth!

The second one, however, who discovered their country- the country, heart and soil of the good and just,- it was he who asked: “Whom do they hate most?” The creator, hate they most, him who breaks the law-tablets and old values, the breaker,- him they call the law-breaker.

For the good- they cannot create; they are always the beginning of the end:-

-They crucify him who writes new values on new law-tablets, they sacrifice to themselves the future- they crucify the whole human future!

The good- they have always been the beginning of the end.-

27.

O my brothers, have you also understood this word? And what I once said of the “last man”?- -

With whom lies the greatest danger to the whole human future? Is it not with the good and just?

Break up, break up, I pray you, the good and just!- O my brothers, have you understood also this word?

28.

You flee from me? You are frightened? You tremble at this word?

O my brothers, when I enjoined you to break up the good, and the law-tablets of the good, then only did I embark man on his high seas.

And now only comes to him the great terror, the great outlook, the great sickness, the great nausea, the great seasickness.

False shores and false securities did the good teach you; in the lies of the good were you born and bred. Everything has been radically contorted and distorted by the good.

But he who discovered the country of “man,” discovered also the country of “man’s future.” Now shall you be sailors for me, brave, patient!

Keep yourselves up betimes, my brothers, learn to keep yourselves up! The sea storms: many seek to raise themselves again by you.

The sea storms: all is in the sea. Well! Cheer up! You old seamanhearts!

What of fatherland! There strives our helm where our children’s land is! Therewards, stormier than the sea, storms our great longing!-

29.

“Why so hard!”- said to the diamond one day the charcoal; “are we then not near relatives?”-

Why so soft? O my brothers; thus do I ask you: are you then not- my brothers?

Why so soft, so submissive and yielding? Why is there so much negation and abnegation in your hearts? Why is there so little fate in your looks?

And if you will not be fates and inexorable ones, how can you one day- conquer with me?

And if your hardness will not glance and cut and chip to pieces, how can you one day- create with me?

For the creators are hard. And blessed must it seem to you to press your hand upon millenniums as upon wax,-

-Blessed to write upon the will of millenniums as upon brass,- harder than brass, nobler than brass. Entirely hard is only the noblest.

This new table, O my brothers, put I up over you: Become hard!-

30.

O you, my Will! you change of every need, my needfulness! Preserve me from all small victories!

You fatedness of my soul, which I call fate! you In-me! Over-me! Preserve and spare me for one great fate!

And your last greatness, my Will, spare it for your last- that you may be inexorable in your victory! Ah, who has not perished to his victory!

Ah, whose eye has not bedimmed in this intoxicated twilight! Ah, whose foot has not faltered and forgotten in victory- how to stand!-

-That I may one day be ready and ripe in the great noon-tide: ready and ripe like the glowing ore, the lightning-bearing cloud, and the swelling milk-udder:-

-Ready for myself and for my most hidden Will: a bow eager for its arrow, an arrow eager for its star:-

-A star, ready and ripe in its noontide, glowing, pierced, blessed, by annihilating sun-arrows:-

-A sun itself, and an inexorable sun-will, ready for annihilation in victory!

O Will, you change of every need, my needfulness! Spare me for one great victory!-

Thus spoke Zarathustra.