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Chapter 22: The Greeting

.these children, this living garden, these trees of my will and of my highest hope!

Zarathustra is not impressed by what the king said to him. You cannot impress a great master by praising him. The king praised him the same way as the king was praised by his courtiers. He used beautiful words, he tried his best, but it is impossible to deceive a man like Zarathustra. His eyes are almost like X-rays; they go to your very being, to your innermost core. They don’t bother about your words; they only care about your being.

His response may look a little too hard, because the king was very courteous. But to a great master like Zarathustra courtesy and etiquette and manners are all games. They are good in the marketplace but not in the solitary cave in the mountains, where someone has reached to his ultimate consciousness. You should not take there your toys.

It would have been absolutely right for the king just to sit by the side of Zarathustra, or to touch his feet, or to put his head onto his feet and remain silent. It would have been perfectly right to sit by the side of Zarathustra and let his tears come, and say what his heart is feeling: his joy, his gladness. Or perhaps he could have danced, forgetting all mannerisms, forgetting all the etiquette of his court.

If he had danced to abandon, if he had danced to such an extreme where the dancer disappears and only the dance remains, perhaps Zarathustra would have responded differently - because then he would have been one of his children, one of his islands, one of the trees of his garden.

Then he would have fulfilled his hope: his hope for a new race of men.

.Thus spake Zarathustra.