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Chapter 17: Of Old and New Law Tables Part 1

But that is the situation of all the religions. They have responded to their own time correctly, but time is not a fixed thing. Life is a moving river. It is entering into new areas, new territories, new potentialities, and it has to be alert about it.

Life cannot be lived according to the past.

That is one of the basic teachings of Zarathustra: one has to live according to the present, aware of the future. And one has to remember: what is true for me is not true for all, and what is true for me today is not going to be necessarily true for me tomorrow. Our values have to be according to life - not vice versa.

The moment you try to make life be according to your values you become life-destructive, life-negative. And to destroy life is to destroy yourself. Then misery is going to be your lot.

Zarathustra is saying:

Here I sit and wait, old shattered law-tables around me and also new, half-written law-tables.

Life changes so fast that by the time you have written your laws they are already out of date. That’s why Zarathustra says, “I am sitting here, waiting, old shattered law-tables around me and also new, half-written lawtables.”

Why half-written? - because by the time you write them they may not be relevant anymore. One has to live spontaneously, not according to any written law. One has to take the responsibility totally on one’s own shoulders.

He cannot say.because it was written by Manu five thousand years ago, or written by Moses four thousand years ago, or said by Jesus two thousand years ago. It may have been right at the time it was asserted, but now all those law-tables are shattered. And the new ones are half-written. The new ones will never be fully written. By the time they are fully written they will be old, and they will be shattered and thrown onto the same heap as the old tables of law.

When will my hour come?

He is saying, “I am waiting.” Waiting for what? - waiting for my hour..

The hour of my down-going, my descent: for I want to go to men once more.

Now, living in the mountains, in the solitude, he is more clear about his vision and he is also more clear about man’s ignorance. He feels that now there is a possibility; perhaps he can bring some light into the dark night of humanity.

For that I now wait: for first the sign that it is my hour must come to me.

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