My pity for all that is past is that I see: It has been handed over –
handed over to the favor, the spirit, the madness of every generation that comes and transforms everything that has been into its own bridge!…
This, however, is the other danger… He who is of the mob remembers back to his grandfather – with his grandfather, however, time stops.
Thus all that is past is handed over: for the mob could one day become master, and all time be drowned in shallow waters.
Therefore, O my brothers, is a new nobility needed: to oppose all mob-rule and all despotism and to write anew upon new law-tables the word: “Noble.”
For many noblemen are needed, and noblemen of many kinds, for nobility to exist! Or, as I once said in a parable: “Precisely this is godliness, that there are gods but no God!”
O my brothers, I direct and consecrate you to a new nobility: you shall become begetters and cultivators and sowers of the future –
truly, not to a nobility that you could buy like shopkeepers with shopkeepers’ gold: for all that has a price is of little value.
Let where you are going, not where you come from, henceforth be your honor! Your will and your foot that desires to step out beyond you – let them be your new honor!
Truly, not that you have served a prince – of what account are princes now! – or have become a bulwark to that which stands, that it may stand more firmly!
Not that your family have grown courtly at courts and you have learned to stand for long hours in shallow pools, motley-colored like a flamingo:
for being able to stand is a merit with courtiers; and all courtiers believe that part of the bliss after death is – being allowed to sit!
O my brothers, your nobility shall not gaze backward, but outward! You shall be fugitives from all fatherlands and fore-fatherlands!
You shall love your children’s land: let this love be your new nobility – the undiscovered land in the furthest sea! I bid your sails seek it and seek it!
You shall make amends to your children for being the children of your fathers: thus you shall redeem all that is past! This new law-table do I put over you!
…Thus spake Zarathustra.
We are accustomed to dividing time into past, present, and future. But in reality these are not the divisions of time, these are divisions of our mind – because past does not exist anymore, except in our memories, and the future exists not yet, except in our imaginations. As far as time is concerned, it is always present; it is always now.
Zarathustra is giving you one of the golden keys that opens the mysteries of life. That is, get rid of the past. The moment you get rid of the past, your mind is unburdened of all that has happened; it is light. And the second thing is, the moment the past is abandoned you cannot imagine the future, because what is your future? – a refined past, a modified past, a better past. What can you think of the future? If there is no past, the future automatically disappears.
The insistence on getting rid of the past is of great importance, because it not only makes you free of the past, it makes you free of the future – and what is left is you and this moment, utterly pure, unpolluted. Your whole consciousness is unburdened from the past and future. It becomes such a great source of light and awareness that it transforms the present moment into a blissful experience.
This concentrated consciousness on the present is the golden key, because you can enter into existence only through the present. That is the only thing that exists. You can go on roaming and wandering in the past, in your memories, or you can go on dreaming about the future, but there is no place from where you can enter into existence.
Existence knows only one thing: the present moment.
And if you are also in the present moment, there happens a deep rapport with the trees, with the mountains, with the stars, with the flowers – with all that exists, with all that is. This deep rapport has been known as the greatest ecstasy.
But what we are doing is just the opposite. We are missing the present for the past which is dead, for the future which is not born. If we are miserable and in suffering, it is not a coincidence. We have made our lives miserable by our own efforts. Remember, blissfulness comes without any effort; misery needs great work. You have to drag all your past and all your future. You have to dig all the graves of the past – you have to become a gravedigger – and you have to wander into future tombs. Certainly your life becomes an anguish. It is with great effort, arduous discipline that you maintain your suffering.
The simple is the way of being blissful.
Easy is right, and right is easy.
Zarathustra is saying: