Just look at your great men, the so-called higher men, and you will be surprised that behind their masks are hiding very little, very mean and very ugly human beings. That’s why the king is referred to as the so-called higher man. But even a so-called higher man in the presence of a man like Zarathustra forgets to pretend, forgets his act; he opens up, becomes available in his reality. These words will show it.
The king said to Zarathustra: Just to see this would we climb higher mountains than this mountain. Just to see you.
He has completely forgotten that he is the king. He has completely forgotten that Zarathustra is nothing but a beggar. But this is the beauty of existence – that there are kings who are beggars and there are beggars who are kings. Zarathustra may be a beggar, but the moment you encounter him you will suddenly realize: he may not have a kingdom, but he is a great king.
Perhaps his kingdom is of the inner world.
Just to see this would we climb higher mountains than this mountain. For we have come as sightseers, we wanted to see what makes sad eyes bright.
We had seen people coming to you, and when they had come back we were surprised: what a miracle is happening. When they had gone they went with sad eyes, and when they had come back all that sadness had disappeared; their eyes were bright. When they had gone they were heavy, loaded with a thousand and one worries, tensions and anxieties, and when they came down from the mountains they came just as the rivers come dancing, so fresh, so alive – as if they are newly born. It is these people who have brought us here.
We had come originally just as sightseers, just out of curiosity – what is happening? But seeing you has changed everything. We are no longer sightseers. We have seen, for the first time, a man who is worthy of being called a man. We could have climbed higher mountains to see you. Just to see you is such a tremendous experience, so transforming, that one feels at a loss how to understand it. It is beyond reason and beyond logic: just to see a man and all your sadness disappears, and suddenly your heart is full of songs.
Nothing more gladdening grows on earth, O Zarathustra, than an exalted, robust will: it is the earth’s fairest growth. A whole landscape is refreshed by one such tree.
Nothing more gladdening…and the man is a king and he has seen much. He has a kingdom and he may have great treasures; he may have beautiful wives. He has tasted all that is available in the world. Still he says:
Nothing more gladdening grows on earth, O Zarathustra…