Chapter 20: On the Blissful Islands
On the Blissful Islands
Zarathustra has returned to the mountains where he lives a solitary existence for many years - until one morning he has a dream.
Filled with new resolve and an overwhelming desire to share his words with his friends, Zarathustra speaks thus: Behold, what abundance is around us! And it is fine to gaze out upon distant seas from the midst of superfluity.
Once you said “God” when you gazed upon distant seas; but now I have taught you to say “Superman.”
God is a supposition; but I want your supposing to reach no further than your creating will.
Could you create a god? - so be silent about all gods! But you could surely create the superman.
Perhaps not you yourselves, my brothers! But you could transform yourselves into forefathers and ancestors of the superman: and let this be your finest creating!
God is a supposition: but I want your supposing to be bounded by conceivability.
Could you conceive a god? - but may the will to truth mean this to you: that everything shall be transformed into the humanly-conceivable, the humanly-evident, the humanly-palpable! You should follow your own senses to the end!
And you yourselves should create what you have hitherto called the world: the world should be formed in your image by your reason, your will, and your love! And truly, it will be to your happiness, you enlightened men!.
But to reveal my heart entirely to you, friends: if there were gods, how could I endure not to be a god! Therefore there are no gods.
I, indeed, drew that conclusion; but now it draws me.
God is a supposition: but who could imbibe all the anguish of this supposition without dying? Shall the creator be robbed of his faith and the eagle of his soaring into the heights?.
I call it evil and misanthropic, all this teaching about the one and the perfect and the unmoved and the sufficient and the intransitory..
But the best images and parables should speak of time and becoming: they should be a eulogy and a justification of all transitoriness..
All feeling suffers in me and is in prison: but my willing always comes to me as my liberator and bringer of joy.
Willing liberates: that is the true doctrine of will and freedom.
.Thus Zarathustra teaches you.
Zarathustra is a mine of original thoughts and extraordinary insights.
God has always been the creator of the world. Zarathustra wants to show that the very idea of a creator of the world destroys our freedom. We become creatures, and anything that is being created can be uncreated. It all depends on a whimsical God. The very hypothesis, the very supposition of God, is so absurd that it seems inconceivable how mankind could have lived with the idea for thousands of years.
The hypothesis of God creates more problems than it solves. It solves nothing - and a hypothesis is needed to solve problems. The hypothesis of God has only created a jungle of problems - all the theologies, all the religions, all the temples, churches, synagogues. And they are all based on such an irrational hypothesis - not only irrational, but inconceivable too.
For example, according to Christianity, God created the world exactly four thousand and four years before Jesus Christ was born. How have they managed to discover this figure - four thousand and four years before Jesus Christ - is anybody’s guess, because there could not have been any eyewitness. The very idea of there being an eyewitness means the world was already there.
God must have created the world without any witness. Then who is the man, and what right has he to bring this number of four thousand and four years? On what grounds? Christianity has not given any grounds. There is no possibility to give any grounds, and naturally the question arises of what God was doing before that? - because it is a very short period: from today it is only six thousand years. In the vast expanse of eternity, six thousand years mean nothing.
According to scientific calculations, even this earth is four billion years old, our sun perhaps sixteen billion years old. And our sun is not the oldest star in the galaxy, nor the biggest; it is only a mediocre star.
And against every belief, there have been discovered cities underneath the earth which are certainly seven thousand years old. And there have been found on the Himalayas, fossils of sea animals - which is a very strange thing. What were sea animals doing on the Himalayas? And they are nearly eighty thousand years old.
The conclusion is that eighty thousand years ago, where the Himalayas are today, there was an ocean. In some cataclysmic change the Himalayas arose, and the ocean went downwards. But many animals died in that cataclysm, and their dead bodies remained on the Himalayan peaks; otherwise, there is no way for them to reach there, they cannot come out of the ocean.