Chapter 1: Of the Famous Philosophers
You create something - a statue, a painting, a poem. Will your painting evolve? Will your statue change with time? Will your poetry go on renewing itself each and every moment to keep pace with evolution? Anything created has a full stop on it; there is no opening for evolution. That’s what the story of the creation of the world says: God created the world in six days - and there comes the full stop.
Evolution means that the universe has always been there - constantly changing, moving, evolving, creating new forms, better forms. It is evolution that has brought about man and his consciousness. Evolution is religion for Zarathustra, not creation. And in evolution there is no place for God, at least not as a creator. The only place possible for God, if you love the word, if you want it somehow to be fitted in somewhere, the only possibility is that man’s consciousness evolves to its ultimate potential. That will be the creation of God.
Zarathustra denies God as a creator, but he is willing to accept God as the ultimate creation of human consciousness. To avoid misunderstanding, he calls this ultimate evolution of consciousness “the superman.” Superman is his God. But he does not come at the beginning, he comes at the very crescendo, in the end. He is not your master and your lord, he is your evolved form, refined form. Hence another thing has to be remembered: Zarathustra cannot believe in one God. There are millions of beings, they are all evolving, and there will be millions of gods; because each life has the seed, the potential, to become a god.
Zarathustra brings a total revolution in the concept of God and religion. Now religion is no longer a worship or a belief; now religion becomes the greatest creative act of man. Now religion is not that which enslaves man, imprisons his spirit. In Zarathustra’s hands religion becomes the art of shattering all the chains, destroying all the hindrances - so that human consciousness can become divine consciousness, so that man disappears and gives birth to the superman.
Twenty-five centuries ago this man had one of the most potential ideas: God in the beginning makes no difference. At the most you become believers - and all beliefs are blind, all beliefs are false. They do not help you to grow up, they only help you to kneel down like a slave before dead statues, rotten scriptures, primitive philosophies.
Zarathustra wants to clean the whole ground completely of all that is rotten, of all that is old. He wants your eyes to be fixed on a faraway distant star - the star that is your future, the star that you can become, the star that you have to become, because unless you become that distant star, your life will not be a dance, your life will not be a song, your life will not be a celebration.
He changes the whole focus from the past to the future. You cannot do anything with the past. That which is gone is gone - nothing can be done about it; you cannot undo it. Hence, because humanity has believed in the past, it has remained stuck. What can you do with the past?