After having sought food from an old man along the way, Zarathustra finds himself in the forest, and having laid down his dead companion, finally sleeps. Hours later, he awakens….
And then he spoke to his heart thus:
A light has dawned for me: I need companions, living ones, not dead companions and corpses which I carry with me wherever I wish.
But I need living companions who follow me because they want to follow themselves – and who want to go where I want to go.
A light has dawned for me: Zarathustra shall not speak to the people but to companions!
I was saying to you last night that Zarathustra comes so close to my heart for the simple reason, that his experiences are exactly my experiences. I don’t want any followers either; I don’t want any believers, I don’t want a crowd. I have dropped the idea of being concerned about humanity – they are not going to listen. It is a hopeless task. And wasting my time with those who cannot even understand is a great wastage, because the same time can be given to those few who can be fellow travelers, who can be companions.
Why does he think he needs companions – not believers, but friends; and living ones? Because the world is so full of dead people. Most people die long before their actual death. People die nearabout the age of thirty, although their actual death may happen nearabout eighty. For fifty years they appear to be alive, but there is no life in them, no song in them, no dance in them. Why they are living, they know not.
Who are they? – they have never asked the question. Why they are here, from where they have come, to where they are going – they will tell you, “Don’t raise such questions, because they disturb our peace. And it does not matter from where we come and to where we are going.” They have no interest in discovering the meaning of life, the significance of their own being. They have no interest in their own roots or in their own flowers.
The hippies used to say a very significant thing: never believe a man beyond the age of thirty, because most people die at thirty. There was some fragment of truth in it. It is very rare to find a man living at the time of actual death. It is possible only if you go on growing, if you go on discovering, if you go on loving, if you go on singing, if you go on dancing; if you never lose interest, if existence remains always a wonder to you, and you have the eyes of an innocent child, so full of wonder that each and every thing is a mystery to you. Then you will live to the very end of this life; not only will you live to the very end of this life – such a man knows no death.
Death happens only to dead people.