Chapter 21: Of the Compassionate
All the religions without exception have deprived man of his pride. And the moment man loses his pride, his dignity, he loses his very soul; he falls below the human level of life to sub-human levels.
Zarathustra brings a new light as far as the original sin is concerned, and he seems to be the most relevant and rational amongst all the other mystics of the world. What he says is so pure, so clear, so undeniably true that it needs no argument to prove it; it is self-evident, it is self-luminous.
As long as men have existed, man has enjoyed himself too little: that alone, my brothers, is our original sin!
You have such an infinite capacity to enjoy the whole rainbow of pleasures, happinesses, joys, and blessings. But all the religions have been telling you: Renounce pleasures, renounce life, live as minimally as possible. Don’t live, just survive. And this has become the way of their saints. This they call austerity, this they call discipline: to wash away the original sin that Adam and Eve committed.
Zarathustra is exceptional, and can be understood only by very intelligent and very exceptional people. That’s why there is not a great religion - as far as numbers are concerned - following Zarathustra. There are millions of people who have not even heard his name, and he has given greater original insights than anybody else.
Do you recognize the originality? He is saying the only original sin is that man has allowed himself to enjoy too little! He has not lived totally, intensely, madly! He has not lived with his whole being, he has not been orgasmic. And even if he has enjoyed a little bit, he has enjoyed it full of fear - he will be punished for it. Torturing yourself is going to be rewarded in the other world; enjoying yourself will lead you into an abysmal hell where you will be tortured eternally; forever and forever.
So even though man has enjoyed a little, there was fear; it was always half-hearted, he was never total in it, he never got lost into it. The religions have not been able to take man away from pleasures completely, but they have succeeded almost ninety-nine percent. And whatsoever has remained - that one percent - they have poisoned it. You enjoyed, knowing perfectly well you are committing a sin and you are paving a path towards hell.
And why does Zarathustra call it the original sin? Because a man who has not enjoyed at the maximum, at the optimum, will not know what life is all about, will not know what is virtue, will not know the significance and the beauty of existence. He will remain ignorant, he will remain psychologically sick - because your whole nature is demanding pleasure and your mind, contaminated by the priests, is holding you back.