Man is difficult to discover, most of all to himself; the spirit often tells lies about the soul….
But he has discovered himself who says: This is my good and evil: he has silenced thereby the mole and dwarf who says: “Good for all, evil for all.”
Truly, I dislike also those who call everything good and this world the best of all. I call such people the all-contented.
All-contentedness that knows how to taste everything: that is not the best taste! I honor the obstinate, fastidious tongues and stomachs that have learned to say “I” and “Yes” and “No”….
Deep yellow and burning red: that is to my taste – it mixes blood with all colors. But he who whitewashes his house betrays to me a whitewashed soul….
I also call wretched those who always have to wait – they offend my taste: all tax-collectors and shopkeepers and kings and other keepers of lands and shops.
Truly, I too have learned to wait, I have learned it from the very heart, but only to wait for myself. And above all I have learned to stand and to walk and to run and to jump and to climb and to dance.
This, however, is my teaching: he who wants to learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and to walk and to run and to climb and to dance – you cannot learn to fly by flying!…
I came to my truth by diverse paths and in diverse ways: it was not upon a single ladder that I climbed to the height where my eyes survey my distances.
And I have asked the way only unwillingly – that has always offended my taste! I have rather questioned and attempted the ways themselves.
All my progress has been an attempting and a questioning – and truly, one has to learn how to answer such questioning! That however – is to my taste:
Not good taste, not bad taste, but my taste, which I no longer conceal and of which I am no longer ashamed.
“This – is now my way: where is yours?” Thus I answered those who asked me “the way.” For the way – does not exist!
…Thus spake Zarathustra.
All the religions and all the philosophies are based on the assumption that there exists a way to the ultimate truth. Zarathustra denies it totally. He says there is no way as such. And if there is no way as such, it has tremendous implications.
First, if the people who believe in the way were right, then the way already exists – you have simply to follow, you have simply to move on the way. This is how organized religions are created. They have highways and superhighways, and millions of people walk together towards the ultimate truth. Nobody ever bothers about whether anybody ever reaches anywhere.
Twenty-five centuries have passed, and millions of people have moved on the way they have thought is the way of Gautam the Buddha. But no one has turned around and said, “I have arrived; the way has led me to the promised land.” And the situation is the same for all other religions: Hindus have not been able to produce another Krishna, neither have Christians produced another Christ.
It is strange…still millions of people are following certain routines, certain prayers, certain scriptures; they constitute their “way.” And all ways have failed – because if all these ways had succeeded, the world would have been totally different. It would not have been a world of constant wars, violence, crimes, murder, suicide, madness, of all kinds of perversions. And man would not have been so miserable as he is. He is nothing but a deep wound which knows no way to heal.
Everybody is hiding his wound. You smile just to hide your tears, and you show each other that everything is perfectly alright; and everybody knows nothing is right at all.
I had a friend, and whenever I met him, I used to ask him, “How are things going?” and his reply was almost mechanical, always the same: “Everything is alright.” I inquired of other friends about this man, and they said, “That does not mean anything; he says that to everybody. Ask anything: ‘How is your wife?’ – ‘Everything is alright.’ ‘How are your children?’ – ‘Everything is alright.’”
One day I met him on the way to the university, and I wanted to ask him once again, because three months before, his father had died. I knew it, so I inquired of him, “How is your father?” And he said, “He has been alright for three months, absolutely alright.” I could not believe my ears. The father was dead – certainly he had been alright for three months; he had not created any problem, any difficulty. But he said it in just the same, routine way.