You say “I” and you are proud of this word. But greater than this – although you will not believe in it – is your body and its great intelligence, which does not say “I” but performs “I.”
What the sense feels, what the spirit perceives, is never an end in itself. But sense and spirit would like to persuade you that they are the end of all things: they are as vain as that.
Sense and spirit are instruments and toys: behind them still lies the self. The self seeks with the eyes of the sense, it listens too with the ears of the spirit.
The self is always listening and seeking: it compares, subdues, conquers, destroys. It rules and is also the ego’s ruler.
Behind your thoughts and feelings, my brother, stands a mighty commander, an unknown sage – he is called self. He lives in your body, he is your body.
There is more reason in your body than in your best wisdom. And who knows for what purpose your body requires precisely your best wisdom?…
Of Joys and Passions
My brother, if you have a virtue and it is your own virtue, you have it in common with no one.
To be sure, you want to call it by a name and caress it; you want to pull its ears and amuse yourself with it.
And behold! Now you have its name in common with the people and have become of the people and the herd with your virtue!
You would do better to say: “Unutterable and nameless is that which torments and delights my soul and is also the hunger of my belly.”
Let your virtue be too exalted for the familiarity of names: and if you have to speak of it, do not be ashamed to stammer.
Thus say and stammer: “This is my good, this I love, just thus do I like it, only thus do I wish the good.”
“I do not want it as a law of God, I do not want it as a human statute: let it be no sign-post to superearths and paradises.”
“It is an earthly virtue that I love: there is little prudence in it, and least of all common wisdom.”
“But this bird has built its nest beneath my roof: therefore I love and cherish it – now it sits there upon its golden eggs.”
Thus should you stammer and praise your virtue….
…Thus spake Zarathustra.
Zarathustra is alone amongst the great teachers of the world who is not against the body, but for the body. All the other teachers are against the body, and their reasoning is that the body is a hindrance in the growth of the soul, the body is a barrier between you and the divine. This is sheer nonsense.
Zarathustra, perhaps, is the sanest teacher we have known. He will not have anything to do with any kind of nonsense; his approach is pragmatic and scientific. And he is the first to teach the body, to teach humanity that unless you love the body, and unless you understand the body, you cannot grow spiritually. The body is the temple of your soul.
It serves you your whole life without asking anything in return. And it is ugly to condemn it, because all these condemners of the body are born out of the body. They are condemning the body through the body. They are living their life through the body, and yet humanity has accepted a very dangerous ideology: the split between the body and the soul – not only the split, but their polar oppositeness, that you have to choose either the body or the soul. It is part of a bigger philosophy: matter and spirit. Body is matter and soul is spirit. And all these body condemners, body despisers, have become focused on one ideal: that the world consists of two things, matter and spirit.
But now we know not only logically, not only through experience, but through scientific evidence also, that there is only one entity; whether you call it matter or you call it spirit, does not matter. Body and soul, matter and energy, are one and the same. Existence is not a duality; it is an organic whole.