Nietzsche’s Jesus

“. . . . he had denied any chasm between God and man, he lived this unity of God and man as his ‘glad tidings’ . . . .”

“One sees what came to an end with the death on the Cross: a new, an absolutely primary beginning to a Buddhistic peace movement, to an actual and not merely promised happiness on earth.”

— Friedrich Nietzsche, The Anti-Christ (translated by R. J. Hollingdale): in the following seven sections, Nietzsche develops his vision (reinterpretation) of Jesus Christ:

29

What I am concerned with is the psychological type of the redeemer. For it could be contained in the Gospels in spite of the Gospels, however much mutilated and overloaded with foreign traits: as that of Francis of Assisi is contained in the legends about him in spite of the legends. Not the truth about what he did, what he said, how he really died: but the question whether his type is still conceivable at all, whether it has been ‘handed down’ by tradition. — The attempts I know of to extract even the history of a ‘soul’ from the Gospels seem to me proofs of an execrable psychological frivolity. Monsieur Renan, that buffoon in psychologics, has appropriated for his explication of the type Jesus the two most inapplicable concepts possible in this case: the concept of the genius and the concept of the hero. But if anything is unevangelic it is the concept hero. Precisely the opposite of all contending, of all feeling oneself in struggle has here become instinct: the incapacity for resistance here becomes morality (‘resist not evil!’: the profoundest saying of the Gospel, its key in a certain sense), blessedness in peace, in gentleness, in the inability for enmity. What are the ‘glad tidings’? True life, eternal life is found — it is not promised, it is here, it is within you: as life lived in love, in love without deduction or exclusion, without distance. Everyone is a child of God — Jesus definitely claims nothing for himself alone — as a child of God everyone is equal to everyone else. . . . To make a hero of Jesus! — And what a worse misunderstanding is the word ‘genius’! Our whole concept, our cultural concept  ‘spirit’ had no meaning whatever in the world Jesus lived in. To speak with the precision of the physiologist a quite different word would rather be in place here: the word idiot. We recognize a condition of morbid susceptibility of the sense of touch which makes it shrink back in horror from every contact, every grasping of a firm object. Translate such physiological habitus [i.e., condition] into its ultimate logic — as instinctive hatred of every reality, as flight into the ‘ungraspable’, into the ‘inconceivable’, as antipathy towards every form, all that is custom, institution, Church, as being at home in a world undisturbed by reality of any kind, a merely ‘inner’ world, a ‘real’ world, an ‘eternal’ world. . . . ‘The kingdom of God is within you‘ . . .

30

Instinctive hatred of reality: consequence of an extreme capacity for suffering and irritation which no longer wants to be ‘touched’ at all because it feels every contact too deeply.

Instinctive exclusion of all aversion, all enmity, all feeling for limitation and distancing: consequence of an extreme capacity for suffering and irritation which already feels all resisting, all need for resistance, as an unbearable displeasure (that is to say harmful, as deprecated by the instinct of self-preservation) and knows blessedness (pleasure) only in no longer resisting anyone or anything, neither the evil nor the evil-doer — love as the sole, as the last possibility of life . . .

There are two physiological realities upon which, out of which the doctrine of redemption has grown. I call it a sublime further evolution of hedonism on a thoroughly morbid basis. Closest related to it, even if with a considerable addition of Greek vitality and nervous energy, is Epicureanism, the redemption doctrine of the pagan world. Epicurus a typical decadent: first recognized as such by me. — The fear of pain, even of the infinitely small in pain — cannot end otherwise than in a religion of love . . .

31

I have anticipated my answer to the problem. Its presupposition is that the type of the redeemer has been preserved to us only in a very distorted form. That this distortion should have occurred is in itself very probable: there are several reasons why such a type could not remain pure, whole, free of accretions. The milieu in which this strange figure moved must have left its mark upon him, as must even more the history, the fate of the first Christian community: from this the type was retrospectively enriched with traits which become comprehensible only with reference to warfare and the aims of propaganda. That strange and sick world to which the Gospels introduce us — a world like that of a Russian novel, in which refuse of society, neurosis and ‘childlike’ idiocy seem to make a rendezvous — must in any case have coarsened the type: the first disciples in particular had to translate a being immersed entirely in symbols and incomprehensibilities into their own crudity in order to understand anything of it at all — for them such a type could not exist until it had been reduced to more familiar forms. . . . The prophet, the Messiah, the judge who is to come, the moral preacher, the miracle worker, John the Baptist — so many opportunities for misunderstanding the type. . . . Finally, let us not underestimate the proprium [i.e., characteristic] of all extreme, and in particular sectarian veneration: it extinguishes the original often painfully unfamiliar traits and idiosyncrasies in the revered being — it even fails to see them. One has to regret that no Dostoyevsky lived in the neighborhood of this most interesting décadent; I mean someone who could feel the thrilling fascination of such a combination of the sublime, the sick and the childish. One final viewpoint: [. . . .] I myself have no doubt that [a] plentiful measure of gall (and even of espirit) has only overflowed on to the type of the Master out of the excited condition of Christian propaganda: for one knows very well how resolutely all sectarians adjust their Master into an apologia of themselves. When the first community had need of a censuring theologian to oppose the theologians they created their ‘God’ according to their requirements: just as they unhesitatingly put into his mouth those totally unevangelic concepts which they could not do without, ‘Second Coming’, ‘Last Judgment’, every kind of temporal promise and expectation. —

32

I resist, to repeat it, the incorporation of the fanatic into the type of the redeemer: the word impérieux alone which Renan employs already annuls the type. The ‘glad tidings’ are precisely that there are no more opposites; the kingdom of Heaven belongs to children; the faith which here finds utterance is not a faith which has been won by struggle — it is there, from the beginning, it is as it were a return to childishness in the spiritual domain. The occurrence of retarded puberty undeveloped in the organism as a consequence of degeneration is familiar at any rate to psychologists.  — Such a faith is not angry, does not censure, does not defend itself: it does not bring ‘the sword’ — it has no idea to what extent it could one day cause dissention. It does not prove itself, either by miracles or by rewards and promises, and certainly not ‘by the Scriptures’:  it is every moment its own miracle, its own reward, its own proof, its own ‘kingdom of God’. Neither does this faith formulate itself — it lives, it resists formulas. Chance, to be sure, determines the environment, the language, the preparatory schooling of a particular configuration of concepts: primitive Christianity employs only Judeo-Semitic concepts (– eating and drinking at communion belong here, concepts so sadly abused, like everything Jewish, by the Church). But one must be careful not to see in this anything but a sign-language, a semeiotic, an occasion for metaphors. It is precisely on condition that nothing he says is taken literally that this anti-realist can speak at all. Among Indians he would have made use of Sankhyam concepts, among Chinese those of Lao-tse — and would not have felt the difference. — One could, with some freedom of expression, call Jesus a ‘free spirit’ — he cares nothing for what is fixed: the word killeth, everything fixed killeth. The concept, the experience ‘life’ in the only form he knows it is opposed to any kind of word, formula, law, faith, dogma. He speaks only of the inmost thing: ‘life’ or ‘truth’ or ‘light’ is his expression for the inmost thing — everything else, the whole of reality, the whole of nature, language itself, possesses for him merely the value of a sign, a metaphor. — On this point one must make absolutely no mistake, however much Christian, that is to say ecclesiastical prejudice, may tempt one to do so: such a symbolist par excellence stands outside of all religion, all conceptions of divine worship, all history, all natural science, all experience of the world, all acquirements, all politics, all psychology, all books, all art — his ‘knowledge’ is just the pure folly of the fact that anything of this kind exists. He has not so much as hear of culture, he does not need to fight against it — he does not deny it. . . . The same applies to the state, to society and the entire civic order, to work, to war — he never had reason to deny ‘the world’. . . . Denial is precisely what is totally impossible for him. — Dialectics are likewise lacking, the idea is lacking that a faith, a ‘truth’ could be proved by reasons (– his proofs are inner ‘lights’, inner feelings of pleasure and self-affirmations, nothing by ‘proofs by potency’ –). Neither can such a doctrine argue: it simply does not understand that other doctrines exist, can exist, it simply does not know how to imagine an opinion contrary to its own. . . . Where it encounters one it will, with the most heartfelt sympathy, lament the ‘blindness’ — for it sees the ‘light’ — but it will make no objection . . .

33

In the entire psychology of the ‘Gospel’ the concept of guilt and punishment is lacking; likewise the concept reward. ‘Sin’, every kind of distancing relationship between God and man, is abolished — precisely this is the ‘glad tidings’. Blessedness is not promised, it is not tied to any conditions: it is the only reality — the rest is signs for speaking of it . . .

The consequence of such a condition projects itself into new practice, the true evangelic practice. It is not a ‘belief’ which distinguishes the Christian: the Christian acts, he is distinguished by a different mode of acting. Neither by words nor in his heart does he resist the man who does him evil. He makes no distinction between foreigner and native, between Jew and non-Jew (‘one’s neighbor’ is properly one’s co-religionist, the Jew). He is not angry with anyone, does not disdain anyone. He neither appears in courts of law nor claims their protection (‘not swearing’). Under no circumstances, not even in the case of proved unfaithfulness, does  he divorce his wife. — All fundamentally one law, all consequences of one instinct. —

The life of the redeemer was nothing else than this practice — his death too was nothing else. . . . He no longer required any formulas, any rites for communicating with God — not even prayer. He has settled his accounts with the whole Jewish penance-and-reconciliation doctrine; he knows that it is through the practice of one’s life that one feels ‘divine’, ‘blessed’, ‘evangelic’, at all times a ‘child of God’. It is not ‘penance’, not ‘prayer for forgiveness’ which leads to God: evangelic practice alone leads to God, it is God!  — What was abolished with the Evangel was the Judaism of the concepts ‘sin’, ‘forgiveness of sin’, ‘faith’, ‘redemption by faith’ — the whole of Jewish ecclesiastical teaching was denied in the ‘glad tidings’.

The profound instinct of how one would have to live in order to feel oneself ‘in Heaven’, to feel oneself ‘eternal’, while in every other condition one by no means feels oneself ‘in Heaven’: this alone is the psychological reality of ‘redemption’. — A new way of living, not a new belief . . .

34

If I understand anything of this great symbolist it is that he took for realities, for ‘truths’, only inner realities — that he understood the rest, everything pertaining to nature, time, space, history, only as signs, as occasion for metaphor. The concept ‘the Son of Man’ is not a concrete person belonging to history, anything at all individual or unique, but an ‘eternal’ fact, a psychological symbol freed from the time concept. The same applies supremely to the God of this typical symbolist, to the ‘kingdom of God’, to the ‘kingdom of Heaven’, to ‘God’s children’. Nothing is more un-Christian than the ecclesiastical crudities of a God as a person, of a ‘kingdom of God’ which comes, of a ‘kingdom of Heaven’ in the Beyond, of a ‘Son of God’, the second person in the Trinity. All this — forgive the expression — a fist in the eye — oh in what an eye! — of the Gospel: world-historical cynicism in the mockery of symbolism. . . . But it is patently obvious what is alluded to in the symbols ‘Father’ and ‘Son’ — not patently obvious to everyone, I grant: in the word ‘Son’ is expressed the entry into the collective feeling of the transfiguration of all things (blessedness), in the word ‘Father’ this feeling itself, the feeling of perfection and eternity. — I am ashamed to recall what the Church has made of this symbolism: has it not set an Amphitryon story at the threshold of Christian ‘faith’? And a dogma of ‘immaculate conception’ into the bargain? . . . But it has thereby maculated conception —

The ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ is a condition of the heart — not something that comes ‘upon the earth’ or ‘after death’. The entire concept of natural death is lacking in the Gospel: death is not a bridge, not a transition, it is lacking because it belongs to quite another world, a merely apparent world useful only for the purpose of symbolism. The ‘hour of death’ is not a Christian concept — the ‘hour’, time, physical life and its crises, simply do not exist for the teacher of the ‘glad tidings’. . . . The ‘kingdom of Heaven’ is not something one waits for; it has no yesterday or tomorrow, it does not come ‘in a thousand years’ — it is an experience within a heart; it is everywhere, it is nowhere . . .

35

This ‘bringer of glad tidings’ died as he lived, as he taughtnot to ‘redeem mankind’ but to demonstrate how one ought to live. What he bequeathed to mankind is his practice: his bearing before the judges, before the guards, before the accusers and every kind of calumny and mockery — his bearing on the Cross. He does not resist, he does not defend his rights, he takes no steps to avert the worst that can happen to him — more, he provokes it. . . . And he entreats, he suffers, he loves with those, in those who are doing evil to him. His words to the thief on the Cross contain the whole Evangel. ‘That was verily a divine man, a child of God!’ — says the thief. ‘If thou feelest this’ — answers the redeemer — ‘thou art in Paradise, thou art a child of God.’ Not to defend oneself, not to grow angry, not to make responsible. . . . But not to resist even the evil man — to love him . . .

Why I am a Destiny :: Nietzsche

1

I know my fate. One day there will be associated with my name the recollection of something frightful — of a crisis like no other before on earth, of the profoundest collision of conscience, of a decision evoked against everything that until then had been believed in, demanded, sanctified. I am not a man, I am dynamite. — And with all that there is nothing in me of a founder of a religion — religions are affairs of the rabble, I have need of washing my hands after contact with religious people . . . I do not want ‘believers’, I think I am too malicious to believe in myself, I never speak to masses . . . I have a terrible fear I shall one day be pronounced holy: one will guess why I bring out this book beforehand; it is intended to prevent people from making mischief with me . . . I do not want to be a saint, rather even a buffoon . . . And none the less, or rather not none the less — for there has hitherto been nothing more mendacious than saints — the truth speaks out of me. — But my truth is dreadful: for hitherto the lie has been called the truth. — Revaluation of all values: this is my formula for an act of supreme coming-to-oneself on the part of mankind which in me has become flesh and genius. It is my fate to have to be the first decent human being, to know myself in opposition to the mendaciousness of millennia . . . I was the first to discover the truth, in that I was the first to sense — smell — the lie as lie . . . My genius is in my nostrils . . . I contradict as has never been contradicted and am none the less the opposite of a negative spirit. I am a bringer of good tidings such as there has never been, I know tasks from such a height that any conception of them has hitherto been lacking; only after me is it possible to hope again. With all that I am necessarily a man of fatality. For when truth steps into battle with the lie of millennia we shall have convulsions, an earthquake spasm, a transposition of valley and mountain such as has never been dreamed of . . .

2

Does  one want a formula for a destiny that has become man. It stands in my Zarathustra.

— and he who wants to be a creator in good and evil has first to be a destroyer and break values.
Thus the greatest evil belongs with the greatest good: this, however, is the creative good.

I am by far the most terrible human being there has ever been; this does not mean I shall not be the most beneficient. I know joy in destruction to a degree corresponding to my strength for destruction — in both I obey my dionysian nature, which does not know how to separate No-doing from Yes-saying. I am the first immoralist: I am therewith the destroyer par excellence. —

[From Ecce Homo, translated by R. J. Hollingdale]

O my brothers, break, break the old tablets!

For the old gods, after all, things came to an end long ago; and verily, they had a good gay godlike end. They did not end in a “twilight,” though this lie is told. Instead: one day they laughed themselves to death. That happened when the most godless word issued from one of the gods themselves — the word: “There is one god. Thou shalt have no other god before me!” An old grimbeard of a god, a jealous one, thus forgot himself. And then all the gods laughed and rocked on their chairs and cried,

“Is not just this godlike that there are gods but no God?”

*

In a dream, in the last dream of the morning, I stood in the foothills today — beyond the world, held scales, and weighed the world. . . .

*

I flew, quivering, an arrow, through sun-drunken delight, away into distant futures where no dream had yet seen, into hotter souths than artists ever dreamed of, where gods in their dances are ashamed of all clothes — to speak in parables and to limp and stammer like a poet; and verily, I am ashamed that I must still be a poet.

Where all becoming seemed to me the dance of gods and the prankishness of gods, and the world seemed free and frolicsome and as if fleeing back to itself — as an eternal  fleeing and seeking each other  again of many gods, as the happy controverting of each other, conversing again with each other, and converging again of many gods.

Where all time seemed to me a happy mockery of moments, where necessity was freedom itself playing happily with the sting of freedom.

*

Now I wait for my own redemption — that I may go to them for the last time. For I want to go to men once more; under their eyes I want to go under; dying, I want to give them my richest gift. From the sun I learned this: when he goes down, overrich; he pours gold into the sea out of inexhaustible riches, so that even the poorest fisherman still rows with golden oars. For this I once saw and I did not tire of my tears as I watched it.

*

My brothers, the firstling is always sacrificed. We, however, are firstlings. All of us bleed at secret sacrificial altars; all of us burn and roast in honor of old idols. What is best in us is still young: that attracts old palates. Our flesh is tender, our hide is mere lamb-skin: how could we fail to attract old idol-priests? Even in ourselves the old idol-priest still lives who roasts what is best in us for his feast. Alas, my brothers, how could firstlings fail to be sacrifices?

But thus our kind wants it; and I love those who do not want to preserve themselves. Those who are going under I love with my whole life: for they cross over.

*

Everything that the good call evil must must come together so that one truth may be born.

O my brothers, are you evil enough for this truth? The audacious daring, the long mistrust, the cruel No, the disgust, the cutting into the living — how rarely does all this come together. But from such seed is truth begotten.

*

“Thou shalt not rob! Thou shalt not kill!” Such words were once called holy; one bent the knee and head and took off one’s shoes before them. But I ask you: where have there ever been better robbers and killers in this world than such holy words?

Is there not in all life itself robbing and killing? And that such words were called holy — was not truth itself killed thereby? Or was it the preaching of death that was called holy, which contradicted and contravened all life? O my brothers, break, break the old tablets!

*

“To the clean all is clean,” the people say. But I say unto you, “To the mean all becomes mean.”

Therefore the swooners and head-hangers, whose hearts also hang limply, preach, “The world itself is a filthy monster.” For all these have an unclean spirit — but especially those who have neither rest nor repose except when they see the world from abaft, the afterworldly. To these I say to their faces, even though it may not sound nice: the world is like man in having a backside abaft; that much is true. There is much filth in the world; that much is true. But that does not make the world itself a filthy monster.

There is wisdom in this, that there is much in the world that smells foul: nausea itself creates wings and water-divining powers. Even in the best there is still something that nauseates; and even the best is something that must be overcome. O my brothers, there is much wisdom in this, that there is much filth in the world.

*

To gain knowledge is a joy for the lion-willed! But those who have become weary are themselves merely being “willed,” and all the billows play with them. And this is always the manner of the weak: they get lost on the way. And in the end their weariness till asks, “Why did we ever pursue any way at all? It is all the same.” Their ears appreciate the preaching, “Nothing is worth while! You shall not will!” Yet this is an exhortation to bondage.

*

There stands the bark; over there perhaps the great nothing lies. But who would embark on this “perhaps”? No one of you wants to embark on the bark of death. Why then do you want to be world-weary? World-weary! And you are not even removed from the earth. Lusting after the earth I have always found you, in love even with your own world-weariness. Not for nothing is your lip hanging; a little earthly wish still sits on it. And in your eyes — does not a little cloud of unforgotten earthly joy float there?

There are many good inventions on earth, some useful, some pleasing: for their sake, the earth is to be loved. And there is such a variety of well-invented things that the earth is like the breasts of a woman: useful as well as pleasing.

But you who are world-weary, you who are earth-lazy, you should be lashed with switches: with lashes one should make your legs sprightly again. For when you are not invalids and decrepit wretches of whom the earth is weary, you are shrewd sloths or sweet-toothed, sneaky pleasure-cats. And if you do not want to run again with pleasure, then you should pass away. To the incurable, one should not try to be a physician — thus Zarathustra teaches — so you shall pass away!

But it takes more courage to make an end than to make a new verse: all physicians and poets know that.

*

What is the highest species of all and what is the lowest? The parasite is the lowest species; but whoever is of the highest species will nourish the most parasites. For the soul that has the longest ladder and reaches down deepest — how should the most parasites not sit on that? The most comprehensive soul, which can run and stray and roam farthest within itself; the most necessary soul, which out of sheer joy plunges itself into chance; the soul which, having being, dives into becoming; the soul which has, but wants to want and will; the soul which flees itself and catches up with itself in the widest circle; the wisest soul; which folly exhorts most sweetly; the soul which loves itself most, in which all things have their sweep and countersweep and ebb and flow — oh, how shoud the highest soul not have the most parasites?

*

Thus I want man and woman: the one fit for war, the other fit to give birth, but both fit to dance with head and limbs.

And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh.

*

O thou my will! Thou cessation of all need, my own necessity! Keep me from all small victories! Thou destination of my soul, which I call destiny! Thou in-me! Over-me! Keep me and save me for a great destiny!

And thy last greatness, my will, save up for thy last feat that thou mayest be inexorable in thy victory. Alas,  who was not vanquished in his victory? Alas, whose eye would not darken in this drunken twilight? Alas, whose foot would not reel in victory and forget how to stand?

That I may one day be ready and ripe in the great noon: as ready and ripe as glowing bronze, clouds pregnant with lightning, and swelling milk udders — ready for myself and my most hidden will: a bow lusting for its arrow, an arrow lusting for its star — a star ready and ripe in its noon, glowing, pierced, enraptured by annihilating sun arrows — a sun itself and an inexorable solar will, ready to annihilate in victory!

O will, cessation of all need, my own necessity! Save me for a great victory!

Thus spoke Zarathustra.

Was that life? Well then! Once more!

But there is something in me that I call courage; that has so far slain my every discouragement. This courage finally bade me stand still and speak: “Dwarf! It is I or you!”

For courage is the best slayer, courage which attacks; for in every attack there is playing and brass.

Man, however, is the most courageous animal: hence he overcame every animal. With playing and brass he has so far overcome every pain; but human pain is the deepest pain.

Courage also slays dizziness at the edge of abysses: and where does man not stand at the edge of abysses? Is not seeing always — seeing abysses?

Courage is the best slayer: courage slays even pity. But pity is the deepest abyss: as deeply as man sees into life, he also sees into suffering.

Courage, however, is the best slayer — courage which attacks: which slays even death itself, for it says, “Was that life? Well then! Once more!”

[Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra, On the Vision and the Riddle]

For all things have been baptized in the well of eternity and are beyond good and evil

BEFORE SUNRISE

The world is deep —
and deeper than day had ever been aware.
Not everything may be put into
words in the presence of day.
But the day is coming,
so let us part.

O heaven above me, pure and deep! You abyss of light! Seeing you, I tremble with godlike desires. To throw myself into your height, that is my depth. To hide in your purity, that is my innocence.

Gods are shrouded by their beauty; thus you conceal your stars. You do not speak; thus you proclaim your wisdom to me. Today you rose for me silently over the roaring sea; your love and your shyness are a revelation to my roaring soul. That you came to me, beautiful, shrouded in your beauty, that you speak to me silently, revealing your wisdom — oh, how should I not guess all that is shy in your soul! Before the sun you came to me, the loneliest of all.

We are friends from the beginning: we share grief and ground and gray dread; we even share the sun. We do not speak to each other, because we know too much; we are silent to each other, we smile our knowledge at each other. Are you not the light for my fire? Have you not the sister soul to my insight? Together we have learned everything; together we have learned to ascend ourselves to ourselves and smile cloudlessly — to smile down cloudlessly from bright eyes and from a vast distance when constraint and contrivance and guilt steam beneath us like rain.

And when I wandered alone, for whom did my soul hunger at night, on false paths? And when I climbed mountains, whom did I always seek on the mountains, if not you? And all my wandering and mountain climbing were sheer necessity and a help in my helplessness: what I want with all my will is to fly, to fly up into you.

And whom did I hate more than drifting clouds and all that stains you? And I hated even my own hatred because it stained you. I loathe the drifting clouds, those stealthy great cats which prey on what you and I have in common — the uncanny, unbounded Yes and Amen. We loathe these mediators and mixers, the drifting clouds that are half-and-half and have learned neither to bless nor to curse from the heart.

Rather would I sit in a barrel under closed heavens, rather sit in the abyss without a heaven, than see you, bright heaven, stained by drifting clouds.

And often I had the desire to tie them fast with the jagged golden wires of the lightning, that, like thunder, I might beat the big drums on their kettle-belly — an angry kettle-drummer — because they rob me of your Yes and Amen, O heaven over me, pure and light! You abyss of light! Because they rob me of my Yes and Amen. For I prefer even noise and thunder and storm-curses to this deliberate, doubting cats’ calm; and among men too I hate most of all the soft-treaders and those who are half-and-half and doubting, tottering drift clouds.

And “whoever cannot bless should learn to curse” — this bright doctrine fell to me from a bright heaven; this star stands in my heaven even in black nights.

But I am one who can bless and say Yes, if only you are about me, pure and light, you abyss of light; then I carry the blessings of my Yes into all abysses. I have become one who blesses and says Yes; and I fought long for that and was a fighter that I might one day get my hands free to bless. But this is my blessing: to stand over every single thing as its own heaven, as its round roof, its azure bell, and eternal security; and blessed is he who blesses thus.

For all things have been baptized in the well of eternity and are beyond good and evil; and good and evil themselves are but intervening shadows and damp depressions and drifting clouds.

Verily, it is a blessing and not a blasphemy when I teach: “Over all things stand the heaven Accident, the heaven Innocence, the heaven Chance, the heaven Prankishness.”

“By Chance” — that is the most ancient nobility of the world, and this I restored to all things: I delivered them from their bondage under Purpose. This freedom and heavenly cheer I have placed over all things like an azure bell when I taught that over them and through them no “eternal will” wills. This prankish folly I have put in the place of that will when I taught: “In everything one thing is impossible: rationality.”

A little reason, to be sure, a seed of wisdom scattered from star to star — this leaven is mixed in with all things: for folly’s sake, wisdom is mixed in with all things. A little wisdom is possible indeed; but this blessed certainty I found in all things: that they would rather dance on the feet of Chance.

O heaven over me, pure and high! That is what your purity is to me now, that there is no eternal spider or spider web of reason; that you are to me a dance floor of divine accidents, that you are to me a divine table for divine dice and dice players. But you blush? Did I speak the unspeakable? Did I blaspheme, wishing to bless you? Or is it the shame of twosomeness that makes you blush? Do you bid me go and be silent because the day is coming now?

The world is deep — and deeper than day had ever been aware. Not everything may be put into words in the presence of day. But the day is coming, so let us part.

O heaven over me, bashful and glowing! O you, my happiness before sunrise! The day is coming, so let us part.

Thus spoke Zarathustra.

Beyond Good and Evil :: 296 (my written and painted thoughts)

Alas! what are you, after all, my written and painted thoughts! Not long ago you were so variegated, young and malicious, so full of thorns and secret spices, that you made me sneeze and laugh — and now? You have already doffed your novelty, and some of you, I fear, are ready to become truths, so immortal do they look, so pathetically honest, so tedious! And was it ever otherwise? What then do we write and paint, we mandarins with Chinese brush, we immortalizers of things which lend themselves to writing, what are we alone capable of painting? Alas, only that which is just about to fade and begins to lose its odour! Alas, only exhausted and departing storms and belated yellow sentiments! Alas, only birds strayed and fatigued by flight, which now let themselves be captured with the hand — with our hand! We immortalize what cannot live and fly much longer, things only which are exhausted and mellow! And it is only for your afternoon, you, my written and painted thoughts, for which alone I have colours, many colours, perhaps, many variegated softenings, and fifty yellows and browns and greens and reds; — but nobody will divine thereby how ye looked in your morning, you sudden sparks and marvels of my solitude, you, my old, beloved — evil thoughts!

— Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil 296 (translated by Hellen Zimmern)

You Lie in Wait for Yourself (in Caves and Woods)

. . . the Logos who suffers in us at every moment. This verily is that. I am the fire upon the altar. I am the sacrificial butter.
— James Joyce, Ulysses

But the worst enemy you can encounter will always be you; you lie in wait for yourself in caves and woods.

Lonely one, you are going the way to yourself. And your way leads past yourself and your seven devils. You will be a heretic to yourself and a witch and soothsayer and fool and doubter and unholy one and a villain. You must wish to consume yourself in your own flame: how could you wish to become new unless you had first become ashes!

Lonely one, you are going the way of the creator: you would create a god for yourself out of your seven devils.

Lonely one, you are going the way of the lover: yourself you love, and therefore you despise yourself, as only lovers despise. The lover would create because he despises. What does he know of love who did not have to despise precisely what he loved!

Go into your loneliness with your love and with your creation, my brother; and only much later will justice limp after you.

With my tears go into your loneliness, my brother. I love him who wants to create over and beyond himself and thus perishes.

Thus Spoke Zarathustra.