Nietzsche, F. (2008) Thus spake Zarathustra: a Book for All and None, Trans.  Thomas Common.  Project Gutenberg EBook. 

Dave Harris

[Note that this edition must be quite an early one, because it has a lengthy introduction by Nietzsche's notorious sister, Mrs. Forster - Nietzsche.  We also know that translations are always controversial.  Note that it also originally contains archaic spellings such as 'thee' and 'thou', but I am rendering this in modern English, because my voice recognition software cannot deal with archaic English.  The style of the piece is also difficult.  Zarathustra speaks like a priest delivering sermons, and there are also loads of metaphors and aphorisms.  Because I am reading this mostly as a background to Deleuze's book on Nietzsche, I suppose I had in mind Deleuze's particular take ( see also his essay on Nietzsche) .  For example, he has offered an account of the rather tedious animal metaphors found in this piece.  My notes are just to give you an idea - no doubt we are meant to be swept away by the beauty and force of the rhetoric.]

[I have made each section into a separate paragraph, with occasional reminders, even though this sometimes makes them even more tedious]

Part I

Zarathustra (Z) begins by deciding to return from his lofty mountain to go back down to the valleys where he will encounter real men, and he decides to try to enlighten them.  First he meets an old man/saint living as a hermit in the woods who warns him that his words will fall on deaf ears, and that ordinary men will not understand him because they are too engrossed in their own affairs.  Z remarks to himself that there is no point living as a saintly hermit anymore because god is dead.

Z enters the market place, where people are gathered awaiting some entertainment from a rope dancer.  He launches into a sermon announcing the advent of and the need for the Superman.  He urges the people to forget their commitment to idealist ethics and values, to stop seeking their salvation in another world, to emerge from their misery and what Nietzsche is later going to call their intoxication or stupefaction with the pleasures on offer from their own particular limited culture.  They should focus on the earth itself and also the chaos within them.  The people laugh at him, so he tries another tack, talking this time about the Last Man, a transitional type possibly, the last one before the advent of the superman: Deleuze says they are the ones that show the final manifestation of the untutored but universal human will -- the will to die and be nothing.  Again the people laugh at him and demand to see these last men.  Zarathustra finally tries to talk about the metaphor of the rope as a bridge over a difficult chasm, urging people to make the transition.

[Then it gets all allegorical.  I'm going to treat the allegories with some disrespect, in the same spirit in which Baudrillard urges us to treat irony -to insist it be taken completely literally, which exposes its pretentiousness.  Here we go then:]

The rope walker appears in the marketplace and begins his tightrope act, walking on a stretched rope between two towers.  However, halfway across, a buffoon appears and jumps over him, causing him to fall.  Zarathustra goes to tend the injured body and tells him not to worry because at least he's tried to do something daring.  The rope walker dies nonetheless, and Zarathustra carries the corpse out from the town into the countryside, walking at night, and asking for food at the house of a country dweller [I'm not sure I can see the significance of that].  Z buries the corpse and lies down to sleep.  When he awakes he realizes that he should be seeking living companions, not dead people, and not ordinary common people, members of the herd, because the herdsman will get jealous.  Overhead, he sees the first of his animals, an eagle with a serpent wound around its neck - I think one or both indicates wisdom [but see Deleuze's dictionary - perhaps I should introduce it at this point:

Dictionary of the Main Characters in Nietzsche's Work [more allegorical shit]

Eagle and serpent are Zarathustra's animals, representing the eternal return as a ring (coiled serpent) but in an animal way as a natural assumption.  Thus they can only offer a refrain [in the special sense discussed in Thousand Plateaus ch. 11?].  The uncoiled serpent 'represents what is intolerable and impossible in the eternal return'.  Donkey and camel are beasts of burden in nihilism.  Donkeys say yes or no, but their no is produced by resentment, and the yes is a false yes as above, involving carrying the weight of [conventional] human values.  The long ears of the donkey are meant to be seen as a contrast to the 'small, round labyrinthine ears of Dionysus and Ariadne' (94).  The spider or tarantula is the spirit of resentment and revenge, and its venom represent contagion.  'It preaches equality (that everyone become like it!)'.  Ariadne loved Theseus when she held the thread, that is in a spider like resentful way, and this connection limits her femininity.  Theseus is the higher man, wanting to bear burdens.  Dionysus helps Ariadne become truly affirmative.  They give birth to the Overman.  The buffoon, monkey, dwarf or demon is the caricature of Zarathustra, representing the risk of betrayal of the doctrine—he overcomes by being carried, the bad implication of the Overman.  Christ, St. Paul or the Buddha represent the bad conscience produced by nihilism, and the break with Judaism simply universalizes the condemnation of life and sin, at least according to St. Paul.  There might be another Christ who is kind and joyful, but who actively wants to die, representing the last man, permitting a final transmutation, represented as a synthesis of Dionysus and Christ—'"Dionysus - Crucified"' (96).  Dionysus appears in different guises.  The Higher Men want to replace divine values with human values, and thus represent 'the becoming of culture, or the attempt to put man in the place of God'.  However they use the same principles of evaluation which belong to nihilism.  The subtypes include the Last Pope, who believes god is dead, but is not free,
living on his memories; the Two Kings, who want to 'create free men and through the most violent and restrictive means' (97); the Ugliest of Men, 'who killed god, for he could no longer tolerate his pity' (97).  He now experiences bad conscience and feels the pity of the rabble.  The Man with the Leech who wants to replace divine values with scientific knowledge, 'the exact knowledge of the smallest thing' (98) without worrying about first causes.  The Voluntary Beggar has given up on knowledge and seeks happiness, among the rabble—but 'human happiness can only be found among cows'[!].  The Sorcerer, the man of bad conscience playing roles to incite pity or guilt: 'it wants to shame everything that is alive'(99).  The Wandering Shadow, the failed promise of culture to free and liberate men after god—the shadow disappears in the lights that illuminates Zarathustra.  The Soothsayer [anyone else reminded of the Tarot in all this?] who announces the last man, but fails to see what lies beyond.  Zarathustra and the Lion, the prophet of Dionysus.  It could be that his radical critique is still a No, but not the normal negation, as Zarathustra 'fully participates in dionysian affirmation' (100).  Nevertheless, he acts only to create the conditions in which man can liberate himself.

We learn that human spirit undergoes metamorphoses.  First of all it becomes a camel, laden down with all sorts of obligations, including obligations to endure suffering, or to a mass knowledge at the expense of the soul, to forgive people who can challenge it, to endure humiliation.  The camel enters the wilderness and then becomes a lion, a lordly creature seeking freedom.  The lion encounters a great dragon, representing the power of doctrine, the 'thou shalt', to which the lion wishes to oppose its will.  The dragon represents all the achievements of thousands of years, and insists that an appropriate stance is to be a camel.  However, the lion is more interested in the freedom to create new values, even if this means saying no to duty - at the cost of losing traditional moorings.  Then the lion becomes a child, innocent, forgetful, a new beginning, 'a holy Yea unto life'.  Zarathustra then was living in a town called the Pied Cow which may or may not be significant.

Then Z encounters an academic who preaches that we must live a  good life in order to sleep - to overcome fatigue, do good, practice virtues and so on [the intoxication of thought and practice in the Genealogy].  Z realizes this is why this academic wisdom is so popular, that 'wisdom was sleep without dreams' and would indeed choose it himself if he did not know better.  [Nothing in Deleuze about this?]  However, we will soon move beyond academic wisdom.

Then we get the familiar stuff about how it is the sick and suffering who have created a heaven populated by a god - those who believe in other worlds, or 'backworlds'.  Z knows better: it  is sick bodies that create spirits, and once you address the actual earth as it is, and attain good health, any experience of god disappears.  There is only the body, but it is 'a plurality with one sense', both war and peace.  The spiritual is another outcome.  We get a sense of our ego from the body, which is not the same as [?]  the 'Self', which is both sense and spirit, the real 'mighty lord', the source of pain and pleasure, and even of despising the body.  We must turn to this sagacity, rejecting egoism.  The Self needs to 'create beyond itself', and despising the body will only restrict it.

Virtue is diminished once it is shared and becomes common.  It is better to 'stammer' in order to prevent such reduction.  Passions produce these virtues, and are not just to be seen as evil, or something to be feared and controlled.  Clashes between the virtues can still be a problem [tell JS Mill about it!].

There is some wacky stuff about madness and guilt, and how it is difficult to define it, or, for that matter, to find anyone who can judge it who does not himself suffer from it.  The implication seems to be that all human beings are mixtures of evil thoughts and evil deeds, following a denial that the one causes the other.

Then there is a bit about reading and writing.  Mere reading is not adequate.  We should learn by heart the peaks of reading, which produces a metaphor about proverbs as the peaks of mountains, requiring a readership with big tall bodies.  Zarathustra sees himself as exalted and therefore able to laugh at mere misfortune and tragedy, or at least tragic plays.  Wisdom is a woman who loves only warriors.  Life is hard to bear but we shall overcome it, even love it, even if that involves madness.  We should take pleasure in a small and obvious things like butterflies.  We need to overcome seriousness through laughter.

Z encounters an elusive youth, and compares mankind to a tree with vigorous roots producing lofty growth upwards.  The youth was too ambitious and changeable,  people did not like it.  The higher he got, the more he despised those below him.  He has come to long for his own destruction.  Z explains that he is still seeking his freedom.  He knows there are dangers but urges the youth to aim at love and hope.  Normal people have always hated the noble ones and seen them as an obstacle, but it is important not to give in and become a mere scoffer or destroyer, nor to turn to voluptuous pleasures.  People should aim at being a hero.

We should beware the  preachers of death, and the 'spiritually consumptive ones' who long for lassitude and renunciation.  We should approve of their wish to be dead rather than trying to awaken them.  They claim that life is refuted by suffering, or grasp but simple pleasures.  They might as well be urged to kill themselves before they persuade others to adopt their stance.  Of course suffering makes people tired of life, but is necessary to believe in it.  A promise of eternal life afterwards is no proper compensation.

Z addresses warriors admires them and yet opposes them.  There should be warriors of knowledge, not conventional soldiers who have uniform thoughts as well as clothes.  They are too ready to find enemies who oppose these thoughts.  They should aim at real victories and lasting peace [this seems to be some argument that proper armament brings peace].  There is such a thing as a good war, and it has brought more benefits and charity.  Being brave is good.  Warriors should not apologise for their energy.  However, wickedness is a combination of haughtiness and weakness.  We should not despise our enemies but be proud of them, because if we overcome them it makes us look even better.  You should love life, and pursue only the goal of surpassing existing mankind, living a life of obedience and war.

The state is not the same as the people.  States have to be maintained by force and defeat.  Every people has its own notion of good and evil, and this is not understood by its neighbours, but it is worse to have a state imposing some universal language of good and evil, which is bound to be false and confused.  The state claims to be above all other things, and this is the source of appeal to a wide range of people, even the great ones.  It becomes the new idol, but it is a cold monster, requiring everyone to worship it and offering rewards.  It poses as life itself.  Its 'superfluous ones' [intellectuals and service industry people?  Newspapers are specifically mentioned]  plunder the treasure of others and reproduce it half digested.  They scramble to climb the greasy pole.  Anyone with any sense will avoid this clambering and the bad odour that idolatry produces.  Supermen will have nothing to do with such states.

We should withdraw from the marketplace with all its buzzing flies.  The people have never understood greatness, and admire mere representers and actors rather than creative people, and neither of these can be relied upon to speak the truth, since they change their positions to suit the circumstances, they are mere 'clattering buffoons'.  We should resist having to obey the demands of the market for right answers, and re-enter slow experience, solitude.  It is not even worth attempting to fight the mob, because they will wear you down.  It is equally important to avoid praise and flattery, false amiability.  Gentleness and uprightness will be misunderstood, and it makes the mob resentful.

It is important to avoid lustful women, and to remain chaste, as long as this does not become a vice of its own.  Lust can take different forms, even masquerading as a sympathy for others.  If chastity is too difficult, though, it is not worth pursuing.  Anything is better than shallowness.

People often think of themselves as dualist, but there is always a third one present even with anchorites - the friend.  But longing for friends can betray us - better instead to have a proper enemy.  Enemies will follow anyway if we sport or friends, but we should honor our enemies.  Friends are often envious anyway.  Our duty is to make them long for the superman, to surpass the ordinary notion of humanity.  It is best to support friends with what they need rather than what they want.  Is necessary to be free yourself first, and not to be a tyrant.  Women are often both slave and tyrant and thus are 'not yet capable of friendship', only love, which is blind and unjust.  However not all men are capable of friendship either.

Z found that the distinction between good and bad is fundamental to all human cultures, although there was a great deal of relativism here, and little mutual understanding.  A definition of excellence in each society indicates their will to power, something difficult to be achieved, something that will help them rule or conquer.  Various societies valued speaking truth, skill at arms, honouring their parents, remaining faithful and all the rest of it - all these values systems were created by men themselves.  Essentially, a system of values is needed for all creation.  Values often change, leading to the destruction of the earlier ones.  Pleasure is slightly different [?] and the most obvious source of it comes from being members of herds: the egoist was always seen as somebody wanting to gain personal advantage.  However, there have been many such systems of values, with no one single goal for humanity - and thus no actual humanity [tends to get a bit fascist here with Hitler representing the voice of divine providence as a single will and all that]

Neighbour love is misleading, as is unselfishness, a residue from the old days of herd belonging.  Better still to love remote and high possibilities, even if they are phantoms: we should clothe them.  Helping others is really only attempting to make yourself feel better, hence solitude looks like a prison.  Festivals are tedious because they contain only actors.  The proper friend is a foretaste of the superman, the creating friend, aimed at the future.  It is that we should love, not our neighbours

It is difficult to leave society and become isolated, and we are likely to feel the pressure of the herd in the form of pangs of conscience.  Being on your own requires strength and authority, not just ambition.  There are many thoughts aimed at inflating us.  It is necessary to have a proper understanding of freedom and the constraints that prevent it: the point is to be free for something not just from something.  It is necessary to think again about good and bad.  Loneliness might be unendurable, and lead to self doubt.  You will meet hostile reactions from many others, and be reduced in their sight, even hated.  It is necessary to overcome all this injustice and slander, and also to avoid the good and just who want to bring you back in.  There is no such thing as holy simplicity.  Beware the lower sorts of friendship, but above all beware yourself.  You'll come to think of yourself as a heretic or a fool, but this is necessary to strip off the old identities, necessary for creation [obviously pretty self serving stuff]

(XVIII) We should not talk about women or even to them, because everything about them is a riddle, and everything leads to the main issue of getting pregnant.  Women are dangerous, and have a role only in the recreation of the warrior.  Women are always attempting to discover the child in a man.  Their real goal should be to bear the superman.  Women understand little about honor or valour, but should simply give love and sacrifice.  Men are right to fear women and their meanness.  Women should find happiness only in the will of the man.  She must obey, the man will give her a depth.  Wise women know this, but otherwise this truth is extremely unpopular [!].  When men approach women they should take their whip. [Classic idiotic macho, presumably referring to working class women above all.  Deleuze says N's own relationships with women, including the one he loved most, lie behind his discussions of the Theseus/Dionysus/Ariadne triangle -- see the essays in Essays and in Immanence ]

Z is bitten by an adder, who comes to regret its act.  Z thanks it for waking him up.  The adder sucks out its own poison.  Disciples asked for the moral, but Z denied any interest in morality, and said the point is to value your enemies, prove that they do you some good, but not turning the other cheek: retaliation is better because it spreads the injustice, and small revenge is more human than taking no revenge.  The usual claim that justice is objective means only that it is cold, lacking passion or love.  We need to be just, but from the heart.  In particular, we should not attack anchorites, and if we do, we should proceed to simply kill them.

Marriage is acceptable for supermen, as long as it is not driven by lust alone.  If it helps create a new better generation, that's fine.  However, too many marriages are based on trivial grounds, and it is a joke to say they are made in heaven.  Many a man has had his vigour and virtue sapped by marrying an unsuitable woman.

It is important to have the right sort of death, one that is a result of will, one that hands something on to the next generation, the 'golden ball'  including the great quest to seek life.  There is no point hanging on if you are past it or decrepit: you might as well make room for your heirs. Better to leave a shining spirit.  Jesus died too early, knowing only melancholy and experiencing the hatred of the people.  As a result he came even to long for death himself.  If he had stayed in the wilderness and lived longer, he would have learned to love life and the earth, and thus would have had disavowed his own doctrines.

Gold has value because, like virtue, it is uncommon.  It is normal and acceptable to expect you have good things flow towards yourself, although this is often called selfishness.  Real selfishness is much meaner, the selfishness of the thief or the sick.  We have to pursue an upward course and avoid degeneration of this kind.  We should see everything in terms of 'similes of elevations', although these offer only hints, not adequate knowledge.  We should enrich and develop our bodies and its spirit, to become a creator and valuer.  Well developed persons with strength and will are the origin of virtue.  They despise the pleasant and the effeminate.  They develop their will to power.  We must address the earthly, the body and life that gives meaning.  We must avoid delusion ignorance and error, the madness of millennia.  We fight with chance and non sense.  We have to create anew, exalting a purified body.  Physicians should heal themselves first. We need to explore the unknown, to awake, orient ourselves for the future.  The superman shall emerge.

With that, Z left his followers and proceeded into the countryside, warning people that they should not idolise him.  It is necessary to not remain as a scholar but to go beyond your teachers.  There is always a suspicion of betrayal, a likelihood of veneration turning into disaffection.  It's not enough to be a believer, but to find your own route.  Only then can Z return and form a proper relationship.  The present moment is the noon, midway between the animal and superman, and we should advance to the evening the better to greet the new morning.  All gods are dead, 'now do we desire the superman to live'

Part II

Z spends more years in the wilderness, until a child approaches one day and shows him his reflection in the mirror - it is a distorted demonic face.  Z realises that his doctrines have become corrupted by men, and that he should return. His wisdom has grown.  He also realises that he needs enemies to become properly vigorous, and yearns for the fight and its activity.

Back in human society, this time in the 'Happy Isles', Z  compares the superman notion to the god notion.  God can only be a conjecture and it is inconceivable for human beings to actually create him [although that is what happened].  However, they can at least conceive of a fuller human life to come, a world based on reason and love.  We must have that kind of hope to live at all.  Supermen need no gods.  God as a conjecture involves bitterness, limited life, a devaluation of what exists and is perishable.  It's really evil and misanthropic.  Better to think of time and becoming, creating, even if that requires more suffering and dying: we should think of it as the pangs of childbirth.  Z himself has known much sorrow and suffering, but still wants to impose his will to create and procreate.  Believing in an all powerful god leaves no room for such a creation.  The whole concept involves a prison and we must demolish it.

Z has been accused of treating ordinary humans as animals, but it is more like acting as if they were animals - ordinary men are perfectly capable of discernment, but are limited by shame.  There is no virtue in pity or modesty, and those afflicted with it may be beyond redemption.  Original sin actually involves enjoying oneself too little.  We should not feel excessively obliged to alleviate suffering, because this can make the suffering vengeful.  So Z is perfectly willing to offer people the fruits of his wisdom, but without imposing obligation.  However beggars should not be tolerated.  Bad conscience and the notion of sin often arise from mere petty thoughts, and these tend to infect us more than evil does.  It is better to address enemies than express unconcern, to serve the suffering by befriending them, surpassing forgiveness and pity, listening to one's heart.  God has died of his own pity for men.  Creators are all hard men.

Priests include some heroic men, but they make bad enemies.  Z can understand them, and sympathize with them as prisoners of the faith, of false values and fatuous words.  These will become a monster devouring human beings.  Churches and ritual only conceal the banality and interests of the priests.  They demonstrated their love of god in a curious way - 'by nailing men to the cross'.  They live as corpses.  Their religion is not based on knowledge, but on the notion of god as a stop gap.  They are consumed with pity.  They act as shepherds to the mob.  They combine a sultry heart and cold head.  Their claim to be saviours is absurd because there are greater people, and will be supermen.  But even the greatest are only ever human -- all too human

Human senses need to be awakened, but with gentle beauty.  Followers often require some reward, but there is none to be sought in following somebody or demonstrating virtue.  In practice, human beings are too pure to entertain without cost emotions like vengeance or punishment or retribution.  They should be able to love without reward, as mothers do.  The long-term benefits of virtue should be considered, the way in which it develops the Self.  Virtue as normally named conceal much meaner emotions such as laziness hatred or jealousy.  As a human, life overwhelms them, and then the virtuous call to god.  Some people practise virtue by plodding along, acting 'like eight day clocks'.  Others are proud of righteousness and are quite willing to use it to do violence to others.  The virtuous sometimes refrain from life, or adopt appropriate attitudes or behaviour. Some want to be edified.  Nearly everyone thinks they are virtuous and can tell the difference between good and evil, but Z is going to expose these old words and formulae.  He will supply them with new virtues.

The rabble is unclean and odious, acting out their lustfull dreams.  They have often repelled better men into the wilderness, or provoked aggressive action.  But the rabble is also necessary for life.  However, too many rulers have compromised with them, and it was necessary to contact the rabble directly, even at the expense of a bad smell.  There Z encountered  the 'power rabble, the scribe rabble and the pleasure rabble'.  What prevented him from loathing the rabble?  He addressed the higher life and attempted to deal only with higher delights, beyond the reach of the unclean ones.  We must aim and live higher, create no room for the impure, acting as a strong wind to sweep away filth.

Let's examine a tarantula - - something nasty, but also, as a parable, something that will warn us about false equality: those who propose it are secretly revengefull, tarantulas.  Vengeance does not lead to justice.  The will to equality should not be the overriding virtue.  Those who preach it are really expressing a secret longing for vengeance, conceit and envy, perhaps based on their parents' fate.  Sometimes they develop a philosophy, but all is driven by jealousy.  They should be distrusted because of their impulse to punish.  'They are people of bad races and lineage'.  If they get power they will become pharisees.  They are poisonous spiders even though they speak in favour of life.  They will become heretic - burners.  In fact, men are not equal and never will be - the concept of the superman shows this.  Egalitarian politicians fight with phantoms they have created, old notions of good and evil, rich and poor.  Life will advance and elevate itself, the temple will grow on the tarantula's den [actually a ruined temple, showing that the wise ones were already well aware of the possibilities of vengefullness].  We find inequality in beauty.  We know the importance of struggle and inequality in war.  It is difficult to avoid vengefulness, however, the bite of the tarantula, since punishment and enmity are necessary in life as well.  Z can only be watchful and urge his friends to be the same.

The wise have tended to agree with people's superstition not the truth, and gained respect: it is the free spirit who gets hated by the people, because he goes against what they think.  The wise who conform are 'stiff necked and artful, like the ass', donkeys, who sometimes masquerade with the skin of the lion.  They can now be exposed.  It is no good arguing for conscientiousness, the point is to seek truth, to avoid comforts and idols, to remain outside, hungry, useful to no master, even the people.  The wise have helped the people make progress, but they are still blind and do not know what spirit is, life.  This can never be known by donkeys, because it involves pride as well as humility, coldness, alarm, discomfort, something ice cold.

Z has to resist all the comforts of society, and live by his own lights, in poverty and in hunger.  He sometimes feels tempted to injure others who reject him, and to take revenge.  He grows weary with bestowing happiness and virtual.  He has ceased to respond to the shame of suppliants.  There is no comfort and warmth.  There is weariness in having to enlighten people, and refuge in the night.

[These next bits get really poetic, and I am pleased to be doing injustice to them by putting them into flat prose] Z encounters some maidens dancing, and urges them to continue.  He wants to encourage the 'little God dearest to maidens'[search me - cupid?].  Dance and song resists gravity [it is cupid!].  It is necessary to laugh when life appear as unfathomable.  Wisdom reminds us that it is necessary to praise life.  Wisdom should not become more precious than life, although they are similar, female, seductive, possibly wicked and false.  Z becomes lonely again when the dance is over, and asks whether or not he should still be alive.

Z approaches the 'grave island' and is reminded that everything perishes.  However, he counts his blessings, and cherishes the memories of the dead, acknowledging that some of them suffered for him, were selected as targets to get back at him.  His enemies wronged him not just by manslaughter, but by removing all his visions and his playmates.  They deserve to be cursed.  Once everything seemed to be acceptable and divine, holy, but this was in happier times.  His enemies led 'an owl-monster across my path'[more dubious wisdom?].  The vow to avoid loathing did not survive this encounter.  His rejection is down to his enemies, and led him to doubt even his greatest achievements, test his charity in sympathy to the limit, devalue his sacrifices.  On the verge of his greatest achievements [his dance] he became melancholy, and lost hope.  Yet his will triumphed and helped him continue, feeling invulnerable, transcending death in resurrection.  [Real lunatic stuff here].

Most people will to be able to bend the truth to suit them, to meet their need for a will to power.  However, this would still not be a free world, rather one that would force obedience and ignorance.  The wise might be able to claim a superior value.  However, the river of life will now carry the wise as passengers.  Eventually, the will itself, the will to power, the 'unexhausted, procreating life-will' will threaten them.  All normal life involves obedience, submission to an external will if the self is incapable of making its own demands.  However, commanding is more difficult than obeying, it is a burden and a risk, and it risks becoming the subject of its own will and judgment [becoming redundant?].  However, people obey as a result of their own will to power, a weaker one, but found even in the servant, who wills to be master.  Servants 'slink into the fortress and into the heart of the mightier one' [as in the master slave dialectic?].  Life has a tendency to always surpass itself, to procreate, to achieve higher goals, and any failure is simply the price to be paid for power -- life takes crooked paths.  Whatever is created soon ceases to give satisfaction, even truth.  It's not just a will to existence, but that living things alone can will their own future existence.  Will to life is will to power, as we might see when something is reckoned higher than life itself.  Good and evil do not exist abstractly.  Values and formulae of good and evil represent ways of exercising power.  A stronger power yet grows out of these values, and to release it might involve breaking values first.  We must not remain silent, we must be prepared to break things in the name of truth.

[We are well in the hands of a manic person who thinks these bizarre poetic thoughts are of interest to the rest of us].  So the sublime one, 'a penitent of the spirit' is to be laughed at, for not conquering his own lust for seriousness.  He appears ungracious and ugly, as do all self engrossed people.  This is a matter of taste of course, but 'all life is a dispute about taste and tasting'.  Penitence only makes people withdrawn and pale - he needs  to act more spontaneously, as oxen do, worshiping the earth.  We should learn a proper purpose for will - exaltation not sublimity.  He should transform his monsters into children.  He should seek beauty and gracefulness: beauty is only power become gracious and visible.  Heroism is not enough if it requires us to abandon our souls.  We need superheroes.

Present day society and culture is still laughable.  It is multi colored, with different colour patches and mirrors everywhere.  Men are unrecognizable, written over with characters of the past, no coherent substance, a relativist stance towards customs and beliefs, surfaces only, unpalatable both naked and clothed.  People claim to be without faith or superstition, but really, they are incapable of belief anymore, given their relativism.  They are untrustworthy, inauthentic, unfruitful, possessed only of a surface Christian knowledge.  And yet they see themselves as marvels.  Z sees them as a burden, alien, a mockery, unsuitable to live with.  He can look only to the future.

The point is to love the earth and the earthly, not half heartedly [via an unhelpful parable about the Moon passing over the earth], not with shame and bad conscience.  Humans love the earth with their bowels but are ashamed to do so and think they should be more spiritual, free from selfishness.  This is 'immaculate perception of all things', wanting nothing else but to accept reality.  Such people suppress their desires by dissembling and with sentimentalism, and disown desire.  The goal of creating something beyond yourself is the purest example of will, obtaining beauty, loving, preparing for death.  Mere contemplation is cowardly and emasculated.  Luckily, it produces nothing.  Noble words are one thing but it is what is in the heart that counts.  It is all self deception.  Even Z was once deceived by this apparent nobility, but the clear light of day has dispelled it, the sun is replaced the Moon.

Z is accused of not being a proper scholar any longer, but this is like having a sheep eat the ivy-wreath from your head.  It is a good thing to leave behind the house of scholars, since there is no sustenance for the soul, too much pedantry, too much to give up in exchange for honours and dignities.  Burning insights require open air.  Scholarly insight is based on an uncritical acceptance of other people's thoughts, once based on life itself, but turned into a 'petty sayings and truths'.  Scholars are dexterous; they are 'good clockworks', accurate and modest.  They work like millstones grinding corn small.  They are competitive, and wait for each other to make mistakes.  They play with false dice.  However it is their claim to virtue that makes them even more repugnant.  They disliked real thinkers like Z and made sure he was not heard, producing any and every excuse, every human fault and weakness they could think of to keep him at a distance.  However, men are not equal, and Z is above all this, showing a superior will.

(XXXIX) Poets lie too much, although it is not easy to give immediate reasons for this opinion.  Z is also a poet.  He should not gain his authority simply from disciples believing in him.  The question should be rephrased as admitting that we poets lie too much, usually because they do not know enough or are willing to learn enough.  That is why they like the poor in spirit, 'especially when they are young women'.  However, anyone with an open mind can learn something of the world.  If poets experience emotions, they think these are natural and that they are especially blessed to receive them.  However, there are many other things which poets have not grasped, especially that dimension which exists above the heavens, above the actual [meaning the virtual as in Deleuze?]: 'How I am weary of all the inadequate that is insisted on as actual!'.  Poetry is superficial, focusing on the sensations alone not the real passions, although poets pretend to be deep, and to explain the world: usually there is some traditional belief at the bottom of it.  Poetry is rarely that insightful, despite its high opinion of itself.  Poets are peacocks, with only limited spirit.

[Another little parable --oh good].  The crew of a ship anchored off the Happy Isles, go ashore and are greeted by a man  saying 'It is time!' -- Z.  The rumour broke out that Z had disappeared and gone to hell, through a convenient volcano, or was aboard a ship to leave the Isles.  In fact he had encountered 'the fire dog' who told him that humanity was a disease on the skin of the earth, and that the fire dog had been deceiving humanity.  Z confronted him and called him up from the depths, exposing his ventriloquism and bragging.  The call for freedom is particularly pernicious, if made in the midst of a hullabaloo.  Z argues that it is new values that we should be after, and that these take place without fuss.  Existing laws are too resilient to be easily overthrown and can even come back stronger.  The occasional overthrowing might even be beneficial to kings and churches.  The church should be seen as a particular kind of state, one which 'is a dissembling dog', displaying sound and fury.  However, another fire dog spoke from the earth itself, whose heart is gold. [Nietzsche's rhetoric succeeds Marx's?]. The first firedog retreats.  [Deleuze explains this whole section about fire dogs thus:
the fire dog, which comes to stand for species activity, the relation of human beings to the earth.  But this first bit refers to domesticated men and deformed species activity serving reactive forces.  Zarathustra rebukes the dog for defending these institutions masquerading as self important representatives of the species.  Another fire dog is required, symbolizing species activity in prehistory]

 Z becomes aware that he might be mistaken for his shadow which could spoil his reputation.  The question of what it is the time for remains a mystery [we find out below - -another illness and convalescence?] .

A new doctrine appeared of despair and emptiness, a world weariness, in anticipation of 'the long twilight' [sounds like Game of Thrones now].  Z gets demoralised and wonders how he might survive and what will remain of him.  However, a comforting but puzzling dream occurs to him.  He remains a guardian of life which has long since expired, carrying keys which have long gone rusty.  It all ends in a mysterious journey but then laughter, mocking.  A disciple interpreted the dream as indicating that Z had the power of death, that he himself had inspired the mocking caricatures, he will not disappear in the twilight, because he has opened new worlds and new energies to his followers.  He has awakened from the worst that his enemies can think of him.  However, Z remained skeptical, although apparently a lot happier.

Z became surrounded by 'cripples and beggars', demanding that he convince and heal them.  However, Z argues that we should learn to accept disabilities, that they define us and not always in a bad way.  He has seen people far worse, including some who are only 'a big mouth or a big belly' -- 'reversed cripples'. These people's organs dominate the rest of them.  This describes some geniuses and specialists, who have 'too little of everything and too much of one thing'.  Z sees most men like this, as mere fragments, not real men, both in the present and the past.  Luckily the future can also be seen, and it all lies through Z.  The people still want to know what sort of person Z he is, suggesting various roles like poet or seer, but he claims he is unfragmented, something that can unify fragments, or redeem past tendencies.  The will is crucial in emancipation, but it is still limited itself by an undue attention to the past.  The past can never be recaptured, but if we are not careful it takes revenge on us [as in syphilis and guilt?]. The spirit of revenge has to be guarded against.  We do not need to suffer endlessly as a kind of penance, which is only the revenge of the past.  Some people see their whole lives as a penalty imposed by the past.  Others see that everything perishes, so it must somehow deserve to perish.  We need to break with this whole system and deliver ourselves from this eternal obligation.  We need to create, exercise and will..  The will to power is greater than the need to reconcile.  But then the implications adorned on Z.  The cripples and beggars were still asking why they were being spoken to in this different way -- Z seems to believe,like OFSTED,  in pedagogic differentiation!

It is necessary to take into account the past and the present, the heights and the depths, but to aim upwards to avoid the depths.  Z is forced to live among real men in order to encounter this sort of temptation and deceit.  Experience strengthens his 'manly prudence' [especially his prudence with dodgy women?] .  It is necessary to guard against the tendencies and habits of ordinary men, to stay clean.  It's also necessary to be prudent to avoid vanity.  The vain are excellent actors in inventing themselves, and in staving off melancholy, so they can be tolerated, and they can teach us to believe in ourselves.  Manly prudence also needs to avoid admiration of what is really wicked in humanity and in nature.  Wickedness is not as persistent as it seems, though, and many things called wicked are really quite insignificant.  However, evil may return in the shape of  'the superdragon'[Gof T]  a worthy opponent for Z.  Until then, human beings are too timorous: they even find the Superman a source of fright, perhaps even a devil.  Z can see through human disguises, and yearns for a future where they will be unnecessary, although, at the present, both humanity and Z himself should explicitly retain their disguise, partly in order to retain a sense of what they are really like.

Z contemplates retiring again to solitude.  He heard a voice in  'the stillest hour'.  He experiences a terrifying dream in the stillness, and in being addressed by the voice, which challenged him to admit that which he knew secretly about himslef .  He entertains moments of self doubt, and admitted that he has endured similar episodes in the past.  He was urged not to sink back into these depths but to focus on conquering the mountains.  Z says he is achieved nothing, and  has been mocked, but the voice reassures him and urges him to retain the confidence to command and to pursue great goals.  Z insists he is not a lion, but the voice reassures him that still words and dove-like behaviour can also guide the world.  It was first necessary for Z to become a child, without shame again, and he was laughed at for his doubts.  A period of solitude was recommended to consolidate his gains.  Z addresses his friends to explain why he he needs to retreat again, although leaving them caused him to weep.  But he left.

[God this was awful.  Self important sermonising punctuated by periods of depression and doubt.  The basic arguments of the Genealogy, but rendered in this dreadful way.  Although I have been reducing poetry to prose, even I can see the relevance of these sad little metaphors, the keys as the source of wisdom, the journey back into the valley as a metaphor for depression and all that.]

Part III

You can laugh at tragedy if you decide to rise above it

Z sets off on his wandering and mountain climbing, and says that he loves it.  However, one only finds oneself in the end [typical male heroics] .  His fate is in his own hands.  His greatest challenge lies ahead, but this is not to be averted.  Greatness follows hardship and effort.  No one will ever follow him. He must rely upon his own resources.  It is necessary to become hard and to avoid over indulgence and softness, to look around, to get over yourself.  This was a comfort although he was sore at heart.  He realized he must become lonely again and descend once more into pain, but it is all linked together.  He doubts if he will have the strength for another journey, and then rebukes himself.  He realizes that he needs to love life and learn to laugh at misadventure, although he was angry and sad at having to leave his friends. 

(XLVI) On board there was much speculation, but Z remained silent, although he was inevitably drawn towards the curious activities on board, and eventually addressed his fellows, admiring them for enjoying the twilight and courage.  He tells them of an enigma. He described his own ventures along 'an evil,lonesome path', moving ever upwards overcoming all the constraints and negative thoughts. A dwarf appears and reminds him that all things fall in the end.  However, his courage triumphed over dejection, and he decided to confront his worst fears/the dwarf.  However, courage cannot completely overthrow self doubt.  Z comes to a fork in the road, one backwards into eternity and one forwards into another eternity.  They coincide at a gate called 'This Moment'.  Although opposed in the present, they can eventually be reconciled: since what can run its course must have already run in the past, all things that can happen have already happened, the past and future are bound together, and we can see them linked at this moment.  Everything in the present must have already existed, and we must also eternally  return in the future [at last.  Note that the dwarf has already had mistakenly said that time simply runs in a circle].  A dog howling reminds him of a similar episode in his childhood, but that dog was also a believer in ghosts, or rather foreseeing the future dog.  Suddenly, everything disappeared -- the dwarf, the gateway, all the whispering.  But the man remained and so did the dog.  He also saw a shepherd with a black serpent hanging out of his mouth -- evidently it had crawled into his throat.  Failing to pull the serpent out, Z urges the shepherd to bite off its head, in fear and loathing.  This is the enigma that needs to be interpreted [OK, let's have a bash - the serpent is evil of all kinds that creeps up on us. We have to attack it to remove it, and then we will be free. The serpent has also been identified as time, and when biting its own tail as the eternal return -- thus spake Deleuze] .  When the shepherd had obeyed Z and bit off the head of the serpent, he was able to spring up again and laugh as no one had ever laughed before.

After four days, Z  accepts his fate and overcomes his pain.  He persuades himself that he wants to be alone.  He reconciles himself to fate which will happen anyway.  He sees the point of all the earlier sacrifices and mockery in providing him with this thought.  He realizes that he is only in the middle of his work, and it is that that counts.  The earlier work wasn't too bad anyway, although still in its happy infancy -- time to harden it, to overcome further tests, to be worthy of Z.  So Z has to become perfect himself to face his final tests, to look forward to the challenge of isolation, to escape the comforts of the past.  He realized it was time to move on, even though he questioned whether he had the strength to overcome these comforts.  Nevertheless victory beckoned.  The temptations of the warm afternoon at sea had to be distrusted in the name of a higher bliss whose time has yet to come.  However, things turned out to be not as bad as he thought, and with the dawn, happiness returned.

[Life enhancing this is not!] Z finds himself talking to {the real?] god [who is not dead] and seeking his beauty in heaven.  He identifies with god.  They are buddies.  All his wandering has been to seek god, the pure god that is of course.  Z regrets hating him, and everything that taints his purity, including all the half hearted men.  It is necessary to say yes, and only then will blessing descend, beyond mere good and evil.  Above the world is the heaven of chance, of innocence, of hazard and of wantonness [still hung up about that obviously].  He regrets his own support for earthly freedoms and rationality.  Better to 'dance on the feet of chance', better to avoid the cobweb of reason, better to worship the divine game of dice.

Z wants to know what has happened with humanity in the meantime, and does not like the look of some new housing: indeed everything seems to have become smaller.  Everything must now cater only for small people.  He wishes to argue that small virtues are the most suitable for small people.  Such people are necessary, even though they do not appreciate or understand him, and leave a zone of silence and stillness around him.  People take their babies away.  They say they do not have time to listen.  But even their praise would hardly be worth anything, and they will probably expect something back anyway.  They are small because of their highly limited doctrines of happiness and virtue, they are seeking comfort.  They hobble.  They lie.  Only a few of them actually will, and most follow the will of others, pretending that that is what they want.  Women have become masculine, and real men are required to restore them.  Even their rulers are also servants, and pride themselves on this.  They have the happiness of the fly.  Their kindness, justice and pity is combined with weakness.  They want to be like each other.  Their main goal is to avoid pain, and this includes placating people: it is cowardice although it's thought to be virtue.  Their virtues have made them modest and tame and domestic.  They occupy some mediocre middle ground.  They did not understand the wise words of Z, and think he is preaching against the usual voices.  When he criticizes them for cowardice, they say he is godless - and he is by their standards.  He revels in being godless--this is far better than being submissive and lowly.  Your self reliant man obeys his own will.  He sees small virtues as leading nowhere, certainly not to greatness.  Submission leads to a slippery slope.  Ordinary men need to love themselves before they love their neighbours, and should not see love and contempt as opposites.  Z knows he will not be understood because he is a forerunner, and the hour of the small will come first.  They will eventually perish in the fire -- and want to.

Z seeks warmth and calmness, on the olive mount [so paranoia and illusions of grandeur are at their maximum here]. The cold is unwelcome, but at least it introduces a certain severity.  He seeks out the manly virtues in poverty [nearly asceticism after all?]: better those than creeping before all the powerful.  He takes cold baths in the morning, rising before dawn, admiring the winter sky, which is admirably silent and clear.  He is quite capable of outwitting anyone else with speech, but does not wish to betray himself, wishes to conceal his depth and will in silence.  He sees winter as a 'heavenly simile  of my soul and its wantonness'. He needs to disguise himself to prevent vulgar envy, present a wintry face, concealing the delights in warmth.  He welcomes chance [presumably chance which has brought N his personal misfortune] just as Jesus welcomed little children [not explicit but clearly implied here].  He needs to conceal his happiness to avoid vulgar pity as well.  Loneliness is not always bad anyway, if it avoids sick people.  Beneath his wintry appearance he is frolicking in the warmth on the olive mount.

Z comes to the gates of the city and encounters a fool called '"the ape of Zarathustra', someone who talks like him.  His voice urges him not to enter the city, because it will corrupt his spirit as it has with so many other people, providing them with things like newspapers.  Matters of the spirit have become a mere verbal game.  People desperately seek entertainment and comfort in lust and vice.  There are some virtues as well, although the virtuous here possess 'scribe- fingers and hard-sitting flesh and waiting- flesh', and daughters with small breasts and no haunches.  There is also a great deal of piety and self abasement before the Christian god.  Everything is penetrated by a service ethic.  The real god is the small shopkeeper.  Z should turn his back on these sick people and their city.  However, Z tells the ape to shut up, as a mere frog, able to revile, but unable to do anything himself.  The ape/pig is driven only by vengeance.  Z has suffered from these foolish words.  He also loathes cities, however, and wishes them destroyed by a pillar of fire, but this will have to wait.  In the meantime, the message seems to be if you can no longer love somewhere and/or its way of life,  you should pass it by. 

[OK I have really had enough now -- very brief and flat notes from now on, picking out only the bits that seem philosophically important]

LII.  There are many who have drawn back from Z and decided to run with the crowd and be pious again.  They can be ignored.  Ordinary people prefer leisure and other distractions.  They like to be infantile, or think themselves profound.  They are susceptible to all sorts of superstition.

LII Z is tired of being seen as strange and wants to go home where he can be himself.  He's OK with loneliness, but does not want to feel forsaken and ignored.  He's had enough of ordinary men and their misunderstandings, their endless prattle.  The only way to endure them is to be self controlled.  He has unfairly blamed himself for their lack of judgment.  He has learnt to mistrust people especially those who think they're good or wise.  They should be left to their own devices while Z returns to the mountains and regains his health

LIV [etc].  He launches a simple critique of metrication: compared to his perceptions, it is vulgar.  However the three worst things in the world are usuall;y seen as voluptuousness, passion for power and selfishness, but for him this is unnatural.  Voluptuousness has long been condemned, but it is actually something innocent, natural and free, to the right people of course.  Passion for power is seen as something entirely rotten and punitive, but it could be seen as the result of passion, aiming at virtue.  Selfishness can also be wholesome and healthy for heroes.  There is nothing wrong with healthy bodies.  Only cowards require conventional wisdom, and they abase themselves like slaves.  This is really what is bad, including the feminine and servile, world weary selflessness.  At the day of judgment, the great noontide, all will be revealed, and this moment is nigh.

All this is too much for the ordinary people, rabbits and scribblers.  Z is made of sterner stuff, the foot of a horse, the stomach of an eagle.  He wants to fly, defying gravity.  Lots of people do not want this, however and therefore lead heavy lives dominated by gravity.  The first step is to learn to love yourself, avoiding all the usual connotations of brotherly love.  Putting yourself last is the spirit of gravity.  We should not adhere to the usual definitions of good and evil, especially if this leads us to see everything and the world is good, nor should we simply bear our fate, like a camel.  We have to eschew everything that is repulsive.  We should not consume everything like the swine, nor should we assent to everything like the ass [as in not 'neigh!' but 'yea!'] .  We should deal with a real flesh-and-blood, not phantoms.  We should avoid parasites, including human ones, and all those who become dominant or submissive.  He doesn't like people who wait on others, including shopkeepers.  First we must learn to walk and run, before we fly, but we can achieve elevated perceptions, and keep alive small flames.  We must learn by questioning and testing.  There is no single right way.

[A major rant here -- I have not broken it into paragraphs for obvious reasons. God it dragged on and on!].  Z is waiting for his time to come. He is isolated, so he can go over past events - his initial discovery that human beings were still being misled by the old notions.  He wanted to persuade them to think again about good and evil.  He wanted to attack 'old academic chairs' - [this whole section has furniture metaphors - he is seated among the old broken tables and finds new ones to write upon] and reject their old saints and poets.  Both their best and their worst were pathetically small.  He preserved his own spirit of enquiry and wisdom.  He doesn't like talking in parables or stammering, but he feels it necessary still to do this [to conceal banality?] .  He is interested in becoming, the dancing of gods, endless becoming and rebecoming, in freedom, defying gravity and other constraints.  However, not everyone can be a nimble dancer and there must also be 'moles and clumsy dwarfs'.  This is how the motion of superman emerged, as a bridge to the future, not a goal in itself, bringing a new noon.  He taught people to laugh and create their own futures, to redeem themselves and reawaken their will.  He is anxiously awaiting his own redemption, even if it means sacrificing himself first.  We should not put neighbours before our selves, we should not think of going beyond humanity.  We should achieve the best we possibly can, learning to command ourselves, becoming a noble soul, embracing life.  We have a duty to promote such life, even if it does not lead to immediate enjoyment.  We should expect to feel guilty.  We should expect to sacrifice ourselves, but we must beware of reintroducing the old beliefs.  Only a few can do this, the good men, but too many good men cannot bring themselves to speak the truth: they should listen more to their inner selves.  If what we do is called evil, we should embrace evil, be daring, overcome tedium, take adventures in the pursuit of truth.  Everything is in flux, even though natural flows are often channeled and managed: the notion that everything stands still is  a mistaken 'winter doctrine', suitable for times when nothing is happening.  The old stability is currently dissolving, together with its old illusions and priests, trusting to fate rather than freedom.  The 10 commandments are for hypocrites, and their advocates, and rob us of our life and freedom, and kill the truth.  There is a danger of a new populist power emerging, bringing in a new shallow popular era.  What we want instead is a new nobility, or new gods.  It will be a nobility based on honour and will, not on service and heredity.  The old nobility were a bunch of 'goats and geese' and we should look further to the future.  There is no point asking why we should live, because life is more than just enduring.  Children can often see this.  People should just learn to enjoy the way they live.  They should not pursue the swinish, or those who condemn the world.  True, the world has a backside just like a man [sic], and there is filth - but we have to see this as something against which we can compare the best, to use our loathing to develop our aspirations.  Thus the world is not to be changed, but rather renounced, as a matter of reason.  Wisdom has been rejected by the populace, because  they have learned badly.  They will find delight in being able to discern and discriminate between things in the world, but if they are indifferent, they will always be weary of the world.  Above all, people should reassert their will, to emancipate themselves.  They should learn all this from Z.  They should take risks --why not if they are world weary?  There is much in the world to love as well, including good inventions and women's breasts [sic again].  If you don't want to do this, you deserve to perish.  We have to discriminate among these tables.  We have to encourage those lagging behind, the obstinate or the weary: some however will have to be left to sort themselves out, although we can at least drive away the 'swarming vermin of the "cultured"' surrounding them.  People who follow Z into the mountains must be careful that they do not also take a parasite, or reptile, drawing upon weakness and weariness.  The most ambitious and deserving often attract parasites particularly.  Is all this cruel?  We have to reject much of what exists today in order to achieve greater delights.  We have to be careful, giving up on the worst cases, encouraging people to focus their courage and bravery, not taking all our critics on for fear of exhaustion, valuing the best foes, being ever watchful and hoping for the great day.  We should be hard like beasts of prey, ignoring the world, regaining our natural virtues and raising our aspirations.  Both men and women can be included, even though men are best at war, and women at maternity.  We should not retain marriage, especially among those who are badly paired: those who love each other will be able to maintain it while preserving their independence: marriage is fine as long as it leads towards the great goal.  In the future new peoples will arise.  There will be an earthquake bringing forth new fountains and wells.  Current social arrangements have produced soft hearted people and should be rejected: do-gooders do the most harm.  They are pharisees and they must crucify anyone who does not agree, anyone who is creative, who has burst out of the old constraints.  They must be broken with because they threaten the future.  This might be a frightening message, but this must be overcome just as seasickness on a journey.  We should journey to the land of the future, not the old fatherland.  Ordinary people should be rebuked for being 'soft, submissive and yielding', afraid of fate, afraid to be creative, to impress their will on history.  Z prays to be preserved for 'one great fate', to preserve his great will, despite the occasional temptation to falter, hoping to be ready when the great day comes.

(LVII) Z  has to wake up his thinking faculties, then he collapses. The animals feed him, and urge him to go forth again. Z waxes philosophical about  the charm of small things in the world, the way that difference persists among semblances, how men can name the world. Then -- the eternal return -- everything dies but the wheel of life rolls on, and existence begins anew. Everything renews itself in the ring of existence. Eternity follows a crooked path. Z rebukes them for letting him suffer after his struggle with evil, and notes the pleasure in cruelty, masked by pity,  especially by lesser men. But all this shows only human power, and men must deepen their activities,even 'evil' ones. His disgust at man it was that had strangled him: sadly small men also return eternally and this is depressing. Cheer up,mate, sayeth the animals -- go out and smell the flowers, pal. Z's role is to prophesy eternal return, a great year of Becoming[THIS bit agrees with Deleuze, and, of course, D sees becoming as something more than just repetition] . Death is but a stage. The 'plexus of causes' that created us will create us again. The new life will not be better or even similar though -- but identical, with highs and lows [sic -- Deleuze says the text here says NOT identical, but this version has: ' I come again with this sun, with this eagle, with this serpent --NOT to a new life, or a better life or a similar life: I come again eternally to this identical and self-same life, in its greatest and smallest, to teach again the eternal return of all things']

[A hero who has collected a lot of quotes from N on this topic has reproduced them here. I am no N scholar but they all seem to preserve the idea of eternal return as the return of the same, with all its depressing consequences . Maybe the last one implies that if we knew about the eternal return we -- that is the strong -- could take advantage of it to make sure better things returned? I also like the person who spotted a contradiction -- it might be Kaufmann -- in that if N's discovery is really new, then the same has NOT returned, ubnless N is eternally condemned to be ignored and have to reinvent the concept each time?]

Plan for an unfinished book: The Eternal Recurrence

My philosophy brings the triumphant idea of which all other modes of thought will ultimately perish. It is the great cultivating idea: the races that cannot bear it stand condemned; those who find it the greatest benefit are chosen to rule...

I want to teach the idea that gives many the right to erase themselves - the great cultivating idea...

Everything becomes and recurs eternally - escape is impossible! - Supposing we could judge value, what follows? The idea of recurrence as a selective principle, in the service of strength (and barbarism!!)...[He is saying we could select if we only accepted his values?]

To endure the idea of the recurrence one needs: freedom from morality; new means against the fact of pain ( pain conceived as a tool, as the father of pleasure...); the enjoyment of all kinds of uncertainty, experimentalism, as a counterweight to this extreme fatalism; abolition of the concept of necessity; abolition of the "will"; abolition of "knowledge-in-itself." [well yes -- all that tosh about the will would have to be revised? Do we learn to love fate or will our lives to be different?]

Greatest elevation of the consciousness of strength in man, as he creates the overman.[Who will end the eternal return?]

from The Will to Power, s. 1053,1056,1058,1060, Walter Kaufmann transl.

Z feels he has cleansed his soul and finally got rid of all the shame and guilt.  He felt it was acceptable to say yes or no to anything, and saw the connection between love and contentment.  He was done with 'all obeying and knee bending and homage paying', and saw himself as responding to different needs and conflict.  He felt an impulse to experiment anew, to seek a superabundance.  He felt filled with compassion and graciousness, seeing grief as a necessary part of it.  He bids his soul to sing.

In an exuberant mood, he sees a golden ship awaiting.  He begins to dance, encouraged and caressed by his soul.  It is a mixture of fear and love in the face of omnipotence, fearing to be led astray.  He's not sure if he is the hound or the chamois [being hunted].  He alternates between following Life as a spirit and a serpent.  Life reassure him that both are beyond good and evil, and that this should be accepted.  Z should not hold back at this stage.  Life predicts that he will betray when the clock strikes 12 times, and he does indeed harbour thoughts that it might all end badly.  [Riddled with Christian conceptions]

[this section,LX, is called The Seven Seals!].  Z gets all affirmative again, seeing hope in the future.  He sees hope in eternity.  He thinks he has sufficiently broken with all the old ideas.  He loves eternity, just like he would love a woman, if he ever found her, who would bear his children.  His vision is of the gods playing dice on a table that is the earth.  He loves eternity [repeated for the third time -- 7 or 8 in all].  He hopes he has played some small part in bringing the return about.  He thinks you should never take a simple stance towards nature, which both constrains and liberates: even afloat on the endless sea, we can find some cheer by thinking of eternity.  Everything is mixed, and everything points to the return.  [Very lyrical and tedious]

Part IV [at last]

The greatest folly is pity.  It causes more suffering.  God died from pity for man.

He is talking to the animals again, and they asked why he is still unhappy and moody.  He decides to visit the mountains again, on their advice, and immediately cheers up and denies that he has had to sacrifice anything - it was just a ruse to get rid of the animals.  The point is to fish in the deep sea that is the world, including the human world, and the point is to tempt humans with happiness.  He is content.  It's important to address the future, the eternal.  He is scornful for anything else.

[Then he encounters lots of metaphorical people -- very boring. You  have to be pretty weird to see this as great philosophy]

He encounters a soothsayer who tries to persuade him that nothing is worthwhile.  Z welcomes him, but does not agree with him.  The soothsayer predicts rising misery and distress.  Z rejects the temptation to feel pity.  Although perhaps the higher men need him.  Z insists that there are still happy isles, although he agrees to seek the higher man.  The soothsayer predicts it'll all end in tears.

Z sees two kings in procession, driving a laden ass.  The kings are fed up with normal society, and want to welcome Z, whom they take to be an anchorite or wise peasant.  Peasants are at least better than the normal populace.  The kings are weary of their own posturing covering their hereditary powers, and they know their day is over.  Z introduces himself, and asks them if they have found the higher man.  The kings say they are also on the way to find him, because they want him to rule--better than the populace ruling.  The donkey apparently agreed, saying yea.  Z makes up a blank verse involving the decline of civilisation, where Romans Caesars become beasts and God becomes a Jew. The kings realize Z is a great man after all.  They talk about the benefits of a good war, and all the good old days.  Z invites them to wait for him in his cave.

Z stumbles over a man, and apologizes for initial aggression.  The man is not happy nonetheless.  He is lying with his arm in a swamp, apparently wounded.  The man confesses himself intrigued by the name of Z and also by the leech.  He sees Z as the [beneficial] leech of conscience.  He claims to be spiritually conscientious, a rigorous investigator of the spiritual, having learned from Z.  He despises people who only half know things, at second hand.  He claims to understand leeches, or at least their brains, better than anyone: it has become an obsession.  He believes in pursuing things to the bitter end, with severity and rigour, literally with his own blood, and claims to base this stance on Z himself, when he recommended pursuing the spirit.  Z says there is a lesson in this [no doubt the one about people wasting their lives specializing, the 'reverse cripples'  as before] and invites the man to his cave.

Z then encounters a man in distress and behaving strangely, and thinks this must be the higher man.  However, he finds an old man, scarcely aware of his surroundings.  He begins to lament and asked for help, warmth, an end to his torment.  God is apparently responsible for this torment and suffering.  Nevertheless he is determined to resist rather than submit, and demands that God reveals his will [all this is rendered in another typeface, as a kind of soliloquy].  He'd like to escape God, but this will be even more of a torture, to produce such loneliness.  Z hits him with a stick and calls him an evil magician.  The old bloke admits that he was only fooling, that it was a performance, a test for Z.  He was acting like the penitent in spirit, someone who destroys himself with bad science and conscience.  Z should admit he was fooled initially!  Z replies that he speaks with many voices, producing whitewash and lies-- for example it was not just for amusement that he performed in this way, but there was some authentic penitence as well.  The old man is defiant at first but admits that Z was right, that all this artifice only leads to disgust.  Z admires his honesty at least, by asking why the magician wanted to test him.  The point was to find the real Z.  Z invites him to the cave.  Z says he's never seen a genuine great man, they're all puffed up, and anyway, the populace would never recognise great men.  He has no intention of posing as a great man himself.

Then he meets a tall black [ie dressed in black?]man with a pale countenance.  This man looks like a typical priest or sorcerer, and Z tried to get past, but he was overtaken and asked for help.  They agree that the old god is now dead, and the man claims to be the last Pope, now out of work.  He was seeking a saint in the forest, but realized that the saint was dead as well, so he decided instead he would seek Z.  Z gives him a searching glance, and announces that he is the most ungodly of people.  He asked what had happened to god in the end - was he choked by sympathy or pity?  The Pope was still yearning for god, and explained that he served god so well that he realized his secret faults as well, including the adultery that produced his son.  God wanted to be loving, but he was also prepared to judge people, and was initially harsh and revengeful, only softening in old age.  He ended up as a sad old grandmother[sic].  Z agrees it could have happened that way, but the main point is that god is gone.  He saw god himself as having something of the priest in him [something hypocritical?] --he raged at people for not understanding him, but did not speak more clearly himself, and anyway he created our limited capacities to hear.  He took revenge on us.  No wonder people rejected him.  The last Pope replies that Z himself is still operating with some notion of a proper god, despite his protestations.  Z invites him to the cave.

Z enters a dead zone, with nothing growing and no animals accept ugly serpents.  Then he hears human speech.  Suddenly he felt wobbly and collapsed, but soon regained control.  He recognizes a misshapen human figure as the murderer of god, the ugliest man, committing murder out of resentment.  The ugliest  man has been persecuted ever since, and is also the subject of pity.  He urges Z not to retread his path.  He was glad Z did not pity him but was rather ashamed.  He bangs on a bit about how pity is the wrong stance towards misfortune, and that petty people should not be treated as the source of wisdom.  They have degraded the notion of truth and have become puffed up with power.  Z must not show pity to those who are now following him.  God had to die because he saw the whole truth of humanity, even its ugliness, and this was too intrusive: men cannot endure such a witness.  Z gets very cold towards him, but invites him to his cave, and urges him to talk to the animals.  He walked away thinking how shameful and ugly men were, and how they despised each other.

Further wandering ensues.  He creates a herd of cattle and hears them speaking with a human voice: in the middle sat a particular peaceable man and preacher [Preacher-on -the-Mount].  He thinks that people should become more like cattle, especially in terms of ruminating.  That would deal with disgust.  He recognizes Z and is frightened and impressed.  Z recognizes him as the voluntary beggar who once gave away great riches, who was rejected by men nonetheless, and who therefore sought the company of animals.  Z sees that giving itself is a difficult art, especially since the poverty stricken are now rebellious and haughty, and on the verge of 'a mob -and- slave -insurrection'.  This will bring bilious envy and greed.  The kingdom of heaven therefore is best represented by the cattle.  Z asks him why the rich should not inherit the earth, but the beggar says they also achieve their riches by dealing with rubbish, from crime.  Z rebuked him for excessive severity, and accuses him of secret vegetarianism: he agrees and recommends acting like cattle again.  Invitation to the cave and to discussion with the animals follows.

Z's own shadow then addresses him.  Z is getting fed up with all these people on his own mountain [him and me both].  Z confronts his shadow and sees that he is slender and worn out, condemned to eternal wandering, fatigued with the world, but no longer in thrall to anything.  '"Nothing is true, all is permitted"', but some truths turned out to be unpalatable, and sometimes it was necessary to lie.  Only life matters.  Only seeking home.  Z says that the shadow has had a bad day [sic].  He warns that a new narrow faith might look tempting.  He needs a rest and a home - in the cave.

Z found nobody else [thank god], but at noon, he passes an old tree surrounded by a vine with yellow groups.  He feels tempted to sleep beneath the tree.  He seems content at having found perfection, with his soul at rest at last, like a ship returning to the land, attached to the earth.  He realizes that very little is required for happiness, only gentle and natural things.  He gets up again, but succumbed to sleep again.  He gets up again, realizing the temptations of restfulness and simple happiness.

Late in the afternoon, he returns to the cave, and hears a new cry of distress composed of many voices.  All the people he had invited are gathered around the eagle with a wise serpent round its neck.  Z addresses them and says he now knows where to find the higher man--in this very cave.  However the others who have been invited obviously cannot agree among themselves, and require a leader who will make them laugh and dance.  Every one feels better if they see someone deeper in despair.  Z assumes leadership, and offers protection.  One of the kings thanks him and says that his generosity has uplifted them and made their journey worthwhile, opened their hearts and reintroduced gaiety.  They see the need for a strong will as the secret of happiness, a commander and victor.  No wonder so many people want to follow Z!  They all want to live with him, but are afraid that he has withdrawn forever or even died.  Nevertheless, he will soon be restored by popular demand.  All those who want to hope and learn will seek him out.  However Z resists these obvious appeals to his vanity.  He suspects those who wish to be treated indulgently, and he wants warriors instead.  They also are required to be 'pure, smooth mirrors for my doctrines'.  They still have many flaws.  At best they will only be bridges for the higher ones to pass over, maybe future generations.  It is not people like that that he wishes to serve, but others, higher and stronger, 'laughing lions'.

The soothsayer interrupts, and says that they were promised food and security from danger.  The animals are brassed off at seeing the risk to the food they have brought.  The soothsayer demands wine as well, and they discuss the merits of wine and bread: Z says that men do not live by bread alone, but also eat lambs, and promises to cook two of them as long as everybody mucks in.  The voluntary beggar mocks the luxury involved, and realizes the benefits of only moderate poverty.  Z says he can eat in whatever way he wants, as long as he is healthy and ready for the fight.  He says it's fine to go for the best, including 'the fairest women'.  During the whole supper, they all discussed the higher man.

Z reviews his life [again -- N trying to convince himself?] descending to the marketplace trying to speak to everybody, and then finally realizing the necessity to withdraw.  This is a lesson for the higher men--not to operate in the marketplace and attempt to appeal to the people, who believe in equality.  They also believe in god, but higher men must realize that god is dead, and that this is good because he presented a danger to them.  Higher men should not be frightened of the consequences, and should follow their desires, especially that the superman should live.  It is not enough to meet human needs, they have to surpass man.  That the higher men despise the populace is a very good sign.  The populace preach submission and humility, they are effeminate and servile -- how disgusting!  They are only interested in maintaining their petty lives.  Higher men need the courage to live differently, the courage of the anchorite and the eagle.  They must have heart.  They should overcome their fears and deal proudly with the abyss.  Human beings are evil, but must become more evil, unburdened by the notion of sin.  These words are not popular, but are destined for higher men.  Z can only offer further wandering and climbing, heading for the heights, following the hardest paths.  They need to suffer.  Z suffers acutely because he sees the pettiness of human beings and they should realise this too.  We should wait for the lightning flash to blind the unbelievers.  We should act to develop our power, rather than aim at impossible goals.  It is necessary to be honest about what could be achieved.  The populace themselves no longer know what is true and what is false, and need to be distrusted.  The learned will also hate higher men because they are cold and cynical.  The difference between lies and truth is trivial.  People should progress under their own steam.  Creative men should stick up for themselves and not seek to be reconciled with their neighbours: they should not be acting for or on behalf of anybody, but should love only their work, and expect to suffer while giving birth [there is also a strange bit about how giving birth makes you filthy and pollutes your soul].  We should walk in the footsteps of our fathers, but make sure we transcend them.  But do not expect to improve upon their vices or good acts.  Living in the wilderness is not the answer either, because even the saints of the wilderness have to cope with filth.  See yourselves as dice players, and learn to both play and mock.  Overcome failure: accept it as human and do not generalise from it, because great efforts often do fail.  Laugh at yourself [good advice for N himself].  Think of the great powers of humanity, think of what has already been achieved.  Admire the small but perfect things.  Laughter is really important and should not be seen as a sin.  So is love.  Do not let the populace convince you otherwise.  Avoid the poor and sickly, and those are the negative attitude to life.  Walk on your own path, like Z himself.  Run and dance with light feet.  Some heavy animals can also be happy, however 'like an elephant which endeavoureth to stand upon its head'[!].  Unlearn all that shit about sorrow.  Avoid the populace [for about the 10th time] and behave like the wind, or 'the laughing storm'.  Learn to dance beyond your own limits, see what is possible, above all to laugh.

[Oh Jesus, there is more].  Z retreats back outside, seeking purer odours and the company of animals, especially the eagle and serpent.  Meanwhile, the old magician mocks what Z has just said, and says that now god has died and no new god has arisen all that's left is evil and magic.  The spirit of melancholy descends upon him again [and then he picks up his harp and sings!  He sings of human foolishness, greed and opportunism, preying on a more sheep-like people.  He sees no need to have to censor these feelings]

Some of the people in the cave want to get Z back in, and deny the sly words of the magician.  The magician insists that he has spoken the truth about what is in every one.  The conscientious man argues there must be more than just looking 'at bad girls dancing naked'.  It is wrong to yearn for a dangerous and sinful life, to be misled through fear.  Fear has already produced one good result -- science.  z returns and denies that science is the answer.  He sees courage as more important than fear, the need to seek for wisdom in his particular way.  Even the magician agrees.

The shadow begs him to stay to prevent melancholy from settling on them again, a new attack from 'weakly, womanly spirits'.  The shadow said that he once learned a lot from daughters of the desert, orientals and their songs.  He grabs the harp and sings of these friendly damsels, the joy of the oasis, the beautiful faces of the women, the clear air, the legs of the dancing girls, the difficulty of abandoning European morals.

Everyone talked at once, but the YEA of the ass was particularly prominent.  Z sees this as a partial victory, that there is now at least laughter and new hope.  However, Z soon detects the scent of incense, and realizes that all his guests have become pious again, worshipping the ass.  The ugliest man delivered a litany to the faithful animal that bore the burdens.  After each verse the ass brays YEA.  He worships stupidity as beyond good and evil.

Z jumps into their midst and urges them to come to their senses.  The last Pope says it is better to still have a god, even if it is only an ass.  At least it is something embodied, something that can be adored.  Each of them has their own reason for believing, but each one admits they are foolish.  Being stupid like an ass is perhaps the result of great wisdom.  Some try to twist Z's words, including those of the need for laughter.  Z accuses them of reverting to childishness, parodying the remark about needing to be childlike to enter heaven, and reminding them that they should be pursuing the kingdom of earth.  He sees the need for festivals and laughter, and lets them continue as long as they do so in his name.

Eventually everyone drifts outside the cave.  The ugliest man admits that he's now content with his life on earth.  All the others realize how much they owed Z.  Z is unsure how to react, but finally realizes that midnight is close and it is time to wander forth.  He has more wisdom to impart, although it is hard to say so.  It is all over.  It is time for someone to assume a mastership of the world, for dancers to do their duty, to appreciate the full depth of the world.  The danger is to rest with contentment at this moment.  We should beware of perfection.  Z thinks himself too perfect and too spiritual for the world and denies that he is god.  He realises that his life is coming to an end [and this forking book with any luck].  He asserts that joy is deeper than grief, and that everything wants to live, to long for the future, even if this does break with the contentment of the moment.  We must carry on and suffer.  We must realise something about the eternal return, however, which is really driven by contentment and joy, but there are other more mysterious implicit goals including hate, shame, woe.  This is deep and profound eternity.  Z pushes home his point with a song. [Still can't see anything here that supports Deleuze saying N saw the eternal return as selective,apart from the general point about chance and dice-playing]

Next day Z comes out of the cave to greet the sun, while his companions are still sleeping.  The eagles are awake.  All sorts of birds then descend upon him and surround him [like seagulls at a picnic!], but with love, and his lion appears.  It is a sign!  Z greeted all the animals as his children, and then he wept.  The higher men appeared, but the lion roared at them.  Z saw them for what they are, seducers.  He realizes that mere happiness is not for him, and that he should return to his work.

[And then it ends, thank the lord]

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