Chapter 22: The Greeting
But suddenly before Zarathustra he feels his smallness and he feels that all his kingdom and all his treasures are valueless. This man’s kingdom is of eternity; this man’s kingdom cannot be conquered. Even death cannot take it away. And we have been wasting our time playing with toys; we have been children. It is a moment of great truth when he says, “Perhaps we are just the beginners, and better men are on their way to you.”
For this itself is on its way to you, the last remnant of God among men, that is: all men possessed by great longing, great disgust, great satiety.
The people who are utterly satisfied in the ordinary world suddenly find, in the presence of a man like Zarathustra, that there is much more to be discovered yet. They have become satisfied too early. Perhaps their longing was not great enough.
There will be people who are disgusted with the mean and ugly humanity, and, seeing you, will find that if man is disgusting, it is not his nature; perhaps he has gone astray. It is not his fault; perhaps there was nobody to help him to be on the right way. Here is a man who is a joy to see, a bliss to feel. And there will be coming, men possessed by great longing who don’t know exactly what they want. But one thing is certain: that whatever this world can give is not enough.
They want more. They want something immortal, they want something eternal, they want something divine. All that is mundane makes no sense to them; all that can be taken away by death has no meaning to them. They want to find something which is beyond death, which cannot be destroyed by death. They may not be aware of what they are actually asking for, but hearing your name they must be on the way.
All who do not want to live except they learn to hope again - except they learn from you, O Zarathustra, the great hope!
Seeing you, only one word arises again and again: you are the great hope. Seeing you, it can be trusted that man can reach heights unimaginable, that man can reach depths abysmal, that man can touch stars, that man can contain the whole universe, that man can expand his consciousness to the unlimited universe itself.
All who do not want to live..
They are tired of ordinary living: the mundane, the routine, the mechanical. Those who have lost hope, they will be coming to you, because your fragrance has reached them.
Except they learn to hope again - except they learn from you, O Zarathustra, the great hope!
Truly, you may all be Higher Men (Zarathustra responded): but for me - you are not high and strong enough.