Zarathustra saw many lands and many peoples: thus he discovered the good and evil of many peoples. No greater power did Zarathustra find on earth than good and evil.
No people could live without first valuing; if a people would preserve itself, however, it must not value as its neighbor values.
Much that passed for good with one people was regarded with scorn and contempt by another: thus I found it. Much I found here called evil, which was there decked with purple honors.
Never did the one neighbor understand the other: always did his soul marvel at his neighbor’s delusion and wickedness.
A tablet of the good hangs over every people. Behold, it is the tablet of their triumphs; behold, it is the voice of their Will to Power.
Laudable is all they think difficult; what is indispensable and difficult they call good; and what relieves in the direst distress, the unique and most difficult of all,- they extol as sacred.
Whatever makes them rule and conquer and shine, to the dismay and envy of their neighbors, they regard as the highest and most important thing, the test and the meaning of all else.
My brother, if you only knew a people’s need, its land, its sky, and its neighbor, then you would guess the law of its overcomings, and why it climbs up that ladder to its hope.
“Always shall you be the first and excel all others: your jealous soul shall love no one, except the 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 it seemed both pleasing and difficult to the people who gave me my name- the name which is both pleasing and difficult for me.
“To honor father and mother, and from the root of the soul to do their will”- this tablet of overcoming another people hung over them, and became powerful and permanent thereby.
“To be loyal, and for the sake of loyalty to risk honor and blood, even for evil and dangerous purposes”- teaching itself so, another people mastered itself, and thus mastering itself, became pregnant and heavy with great hopes.
Men have given to themselves all their good and evil. They did not take it, they did not find it, it did not come to them as a voice from heaven.
Man assigned values to things in order to preserve himself- he alone created the meaning of things, a human meaning! Therefore, calls he himself “man,” that is, the valuator.
Valuing is creating: hear it, you creators! Valuing itself is the treasure and jewel of all valued things.
Through valuation only is there value; and without valuation the nut of existence would be hollow. Hear it, you creators!
Change of values- that means, change of creators. Always he destroys, he who would be a creator.
Peoples were the first creators, and only in later times individuals; verily, the individual himself is the latest creation.
Peoples once hung over themselves law-tablets of the good. Love which would rule and love which would obey have created for themselves such law-tablets.
Pleasure in the herd is older than pleasure in the ego: and as long as the good conscience is for the herd, only the evil conscience says: “I”.
The crafty ego, the loveless one, that seeks its advantage in the advantage of many- it is not the origin of the herd, but its downfall.
It was always loving ones and creators that created good and evil. Fire of love glows in the names of all the virtues, and fire of wrath.
Zarathustra saw many lands, and many peoples: no greater power did Zarathustra find on earth than the creations of the loving ones- “good” and “evil” are their names.
A monster is this power of praising and blaming. Tell me, you brothers, who will master it for me? Who will yoke the thousand necks of this beast?
A thousand goals have there been so far, for a there have been a thousand peoples. Only the yoke for the thousand necks is still lacking; there is lacking the one goal. Humanity still has no goal.
But pray tell me, my brothers, if the goal of humanity is still lacking, is humanity itself- not also lacking?
Thus spoke Zarathustra.