Chapter 11: Of the Virtue That Makes Small
I am more godless than Zarathustra; but it is very difficult to bridge the gap, twenty-five centuries, because at least Zarathustra goes on denying God.I don’t even care to deny him.
Even to deny God is, in a negative way, keeping his name alive.
I want humanity simply to forget that nightmare of thousands of years that is associated with God. I don’t think it is even necessary to say, “There is no God.” It simply is not.
I would have given Zarathustra good company, but perhaps twenty-five centuries ago it was difficult to find a man.particularly in Iran, where Zarathustra was teaching his tremendously important philosophy. But in India at that very time there was Mahavira who denies God, and there was Gautam Buddha who denies God. But their denial is very sophisticated.
Zarathustra is very raw and very wild, and that is his beauty. He does not speak in a polished way; he speaks like a child, utterly innocent. He does not speak in a roundabout way, he does not speak in a sophisticated way. Buddha and Mahavira both speak in such a way that many people may not understand that they don’t believe in God.
But Zarathustra is straight. He simply calls a spade a spade. And that’s what I love in him - his rawness. He is not a diamond - cut, polished; he is directly from the mine - uncut, unpolished. Therein lies his beauty and his truth.
I am Zarathustra the godless: where shall I find my equal? All those who give themselves their own will and renounce all submission, they are my equals.
Those who renounce all submission, surrendering to any god, being obedient to any scriptures..
The other-world teachers have been insisting, “Renounce the world.” Zarathustra is saying, “Renounce your scriptures, and the renouncers! Renounce submission, renounce your cowardliness.” Be authentically yourself, and only then your life sources can start flowing.
But why do I speak where no one has my kind of ears? And so I will shout it out to all the winds.
One can understand the difficulty. Particularly I can understand the difficulty. Many mystics have found the same problem.
Bodhidharma, one of the greatest masters, who became the source of the tradition of Zen, remained for nine years facing the wall. He would not face his audience. People would ask questions and he would answer to the wall.