Chapter 15: Of the Spirit of Gravity Part 1
.I am enemy to the spirit of gravity: and truly, mortal enemy, arch-enemy, born enemy!.
I could sing a song about that - and I will sing one, although I am alone in an empty house and have to sing it to my own ears.
There are other singers, to be sure, whose voices are softened, whose hands are eloquent, whose eyes are expressive, whose hearts are awakened, only when the house is full: I am not one of them.
He who will one day teach men to fly will have moved all boundary-stones; all boundary-stones will themselves fly into the air to him, he will baptize the earth anew - as “the weightless.”
The ostrich runs faster than any horse, but even he sticks his head heavily into heavy earth: that is what the man who cannot yet fly is like.
He calls earth and life heavy: and so will the spirit of gravity have it! But he who wants to become light and a bird must love himself - thus do I teach.
Not with the love of the sick and diseased, to be sure..
One must learn to love oneself with a sound and healthy love, so that one may endure it with oneself and not go roaming about - thus do I teach.
Such roaming about calls itself “love of one’s neighbor”: these words have been up to now the best for lying and dissembling, and especially for those who were oppressive to everybody.
And truly, to learn to love oneself is no commandment for today or for tomorrow. Rather is this art the finest, subtlest, ultimate, and most patient of all..
Almost in the cradle are we presented with heavy words and values: this dowry calls itself “good” and “evil.” For its sake we are forgiven for being alive.
And we suffer little children to come to us, to prevent them in good time from loving themselves: the spirit of gravity is the cause of that.
And we - we bear loyally what we have been given upon hard shoulders over rugged mountains! And when we sweat we are told: “Yes, life is hard to bear!”
But only man is hard to bear! That is because he bears too many foreign things upon his shoulders. Like the camel, he kneels down and lets himself be well laden..
.Thus spake Zarathustra.
Anyone who wants man to rise to the heights of the stars is bound to be an enemy of the Spirit of Gravity. Gravity is not only a physical phenomenon; it also has a parallel in spiritual life. Just as things are pulled downwards by the earth and we call it the force of gravity, so something in man also pulls him downwards, which Zarathustra calls the Spirit of Gravity.
Why has man remained a pygmy when he has the potential to be a giant? Why has man remained a small bush when he can become a cedar of Lebanon, reaching high into the sky, into the openness and freedom? Why does man cling to the lowliest things instead of getting free from all that makes him mean, ugly, violent, jealous? Why cannot he grow to the heights of love, consciousness, blissfulness, and shower all around flowers of blessings? There must be something that pulls him downwards and does not allow him to go upwards.
Zarathustra gives it exactly the right name - the Spirit of Gravity. And one has to be very aware to get rid of this gravitation. This gravitation functions on man only if he is unconscious; the more unconscious he is, the more he is in the grip of gravity. The more conscious he becomes, the more he is free to rise above himself. And unless man rises above himself there is no possibility left for further evolution.
Man has been barren for thousands of years. Every other animal has given birth to some other animal higher than itself. Man goes on reproducing himself; he does not give birth to something that is superhuman.
Zarathustra’s sole concern is the birth of the superman. He is trying to approach from every direction, to remove all the hindrances, all the obstacles, and to give every incentive and challenge so that you’re not smugly satisfied with what you are, but a tremendous discontent and longing arises in you - which takes you beyond yourself, which gives you wings and opens the whole sky as your home, which allows you to be a citizen of infinity and eternity. That’s what he means by the superman.
I am enemy to the spirit of gravity: and truly, mortal enemy, arch-enemy, born enemy!
- every mystic is. Mysticism can be defined as a struggle against the Spirit of Gravity.