Chapter 14: Of the Three Evil Things
To support you in your convenient lies is not love. It makes you feel good, but it is very destructive - it is evil. It destroys your possibilities of growth. And Zarathustra has only one single-pointed teaching: man should transcend himself. But why should he transcend if he is very comfortable? His comfort has to be destroyed; his conveniences have to be taken away; his prejudices have to be shattered; his religions, his gods, his philosophies all have to be burned; he has to be left utterly nude, just like a newly-born baby.
Only from there, from that innocence, from that newness, from that point the superman, the only hope for humanity, can arise and replace this rotten, disgusting mankind. Because we are living in it we have become accustomed to its rottenness. We have become accustomed to his disgusting smell.
Kahlil Gibran has a small story:
A woman has come from the village to the city to sell fish. She is a fisherman’s wife. In the city, after selling her fish, she comes across an old friend. They used to study in the school together, but she was very rich and they had not seen each other for years. So the rich woman invited her, at least for the night, to stay with her. She had a beautiful palace, she had a beautiful garden, and she was certain that her friend would be immensely pleased.
Before going to bed she brought many, many roses and put them by the side of the bed of her guest. But time went on passing and the poor woman could not sleep. She turned over again and again, and because she could not sleep her host also could not sleep. Finally the host asked, “What is the matter?” She said, “You will have to forgive me. Just give me my clothes in which I had brought the fish to sell. Sprinkle them with a little water and remove these roses and bring those clothes back to me. If I can smell fish I will fall asleep immediately. These roses will not allow me to sleep.”
The roses are removed, the rotten clothes, dirty, are sprinkled with water and the whole room starts smelling fishy. The woman is immensely happy and she says, “Now I can sleep perfectly well. I’m accustomed to this perfume. Roses don’t suit me.”
We are accustomed to this humanity - that’s why we don’t see its disgustingness. We don’t see its ugliness; we don’t see its jealousy; we don’t see its lovelessness; we don’t see its unintelligent, stupid, mediocre behavior. Listening to Zarathustra you can become aware of a totally different way of seeing mankind.
I will now place the three most evil things upon the scales and weigh them well and humanly.
I would like you to remember the word humanly, because all the so-called religions and spiritual philosophies have been valuing things very inhumanly. Hence I want you to remember the word humanly.