In A Time Of Universal Deceit, Telling The Truth Becomes A Revolutionary Act. (Orwell)




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Saturday, October 3, 2020


WHEN Zarathustra went one day over the great bridge, then did the cripples and beggars surround him, and a hunchback spoke thus to him: "Behold, Zarathustra! Even the people learn from you, and acquire faith in your teaching: but for them to believe fully in you, one thing is still needful - you must first of all convince us cripples! Here have you now a fine selection, and truly, an opportunity with more than one fore- lock! The blind can you heal, and make the lame run; and from him who has too much behind, could you well, also, take away a little; - that, I think, would be the right method to make the cripples believe in Zarathustra!"

Zarathustra, however, answered thus to him who so spoke: When one takes his hump from the hunchback, then does one take from him his spirit - so do the people teach. And when one gives the blind man eyes, then does he see too many bad things on the earth: so that he curses him who healed him. He, however, who makes the lame man run, inflicts upon him the greatest injury; for hardly can he run, when his vices run away with him - so do the people teach concerning cripples. And why should not Zarathustra also learn from the people, when the people learn from Zarathustra?

It is, however, the smallest thing to me since I have been among men, to see one person lacking an eye, another an ear, and a third a leg, and that others have lost the tongue, or the nose, or the head.

I see and have seen worse things, and divers things so hideous, that I should neither like to speak of all matters, nor even keep silent about some of them: namely, men who lack everything, except that they have too much of one thing - men who are nothing more than a big eye, or a big mouth, or a big belly, or something else big, - reversed cripples, I call such men.

And when I came out of my solitude, and for the first time passed over this bridge, then I could not trust my eyes, but looked again and again, and said at last: "That is an ear! An ear as big as a man!" I looked still more attentively - and actually there did move under the ear something that was pitiably small and poor and slim. And in truth this immense ear was perched on a small thin stalk - the stalk, however, was a man! If one used a magnifying glass one could even recognize an envious tiny face; also, that a bloated little soul was dangling from the stalk. The people told me, however, that the big ear was not only a man, but a great man, a genius. But I never believed in the people when they spoke of great men - and I hold to my belief that it was a reversed cripple, who had too little of everything, and too much of one thing.

When Zarathustra had spoken thus to the hunchback, and to those of whom the hunchback was the mouthpiece and advocate, then did he turn to his disciples in profound dejection, and said:

Truly, my friends, I walk among men as among the fragments and limbs of human beings!

This is the terrible thing to my eye, that I find man broken up, and scattered about, as on a battle - and butcher-ground.

And when my eye flies from the present to the bygone, it finds ever the same: fragments and limbs and fearful chances - but no men!

The present and the bygone upon earth - ah! my friends - that is my most unbearable trouble; and I should not know how to live, if I were not a seer of what is to come.

A seer, a purposer, a creator, a future itself, and a bridge to the future - and Alas. also as it were a cripple on this bridge: all that is Zarathustra.

And you also asked yourselves often: "Who is Zarathustra to us? What shall he be called by us?" And like me, did you give yourselves questions for answers.

Is he a promiser? Or a fulfiller? A conqueror? Or an inheritor? A har- vest? Or a ploughshare? A physician? Or a healed one?

Is he a poet? Or a genuine one? An emancipator? Or a subjugator? A good one? Or an evil one?

I walk among men as the fragments of the future: that future which I contemplate.

And it is all my poetisation and aspiration to compose and collect into unity what is fragment and riddle and fearful chance.

And how could I endure to be a man, if man were not also the composer, and riddle-reader, and redeemer of chance!

To redeem what is past, and to transform every "It was" into "Thus would I have it!" - that only do I call redemption!

Will - so is the emancipator and joy-bringer called: thus have I taught you, my friends! But now learn this likewise: the Will itself is still a prisoner.

Willing emancipates: but what is that called which still putts the emancipator in chains?

"It was": thus is the Will's teeth-gnashing and lonesomest tribulation called. Impotent towards what has been done - it is a malicious spectator of all that is past.

Not backward can the Will will; that it cannot break time and time's desire - that is the Will's lonesomest tribulation.

Willing emancipates: what does Willing itself devise in order to get free from its tribulation and mock at its prison?

Ah, a fool becomes every prisoner! Foolishly delivers itself also the imprisoned Will.

That time does not run backward - that is its animosity: "That which was": so is the stone which it cannot roll called.

And thus does it roll stones out of animosity and ill-humour, and takes revenge on whatever does not, like it, feel rage and ill-humour.

Thus did the Will, the emancipator, become a torturer; and on all that is capable of suffering it takes revenge, because it cannot go backward.

This, yes, this alone is revenge itself: the Will's antipathy to time, and its "It was."

Truly, a great folly dwells in our Will; and it became a curse to all humanity, that this folly acquired spirit!

The spirit of revenge: my friends, that has thus far been man's best contemplation; and where there was suffering, it was claimed there was always penalty.

"Penalty," so calls itself revenge. With a lying word it feigns a good conscience.

And because in the willer himself there is suffering, because he cannot will backwards - thus was Willing itself, and all life, claimed - to be penalty!

And then did cloud after cloud roll over the spirit, until at last madness preached: "Everything perishes, therefore everything deserves to perish!" "

And this itself is justice, the law of time - that he must devour his children:" thus did madness preach.

"Morally are things ordered according to justice and penalty. Oh, where is there deliverance from the flux of things and from the 'existence' of penalty?" Thus did madness preach.

"Can there be deliverance when there is eternal justice? Alas, unrollable is the stone, 'It was': eternal must also be all penalties!" Thus did madness preach.

"No deed can be annihilated: how could it be undone by the penalty! This, this is what is eternal in the 'existence' of penalty, that existence also must be eternally recurring deed and guilt!

Unless the Will should at last deliver itself, and Willing become non- Willing-:" but you know, my brothers, this fabulous song of madness!

Away from those fabulous songs did I lead you when I taught you: "The Will is a creator."

All "It was" is a fragment, a riddle, a fearful chance - until the creating Will says to it: "But thus would I have it."-

Until the creating Will says to it: "But thus do I will it! Thus shall I will it!"

But did it ever speak thus? And when does this take place? has the Will been unharnessed from its own folly?

Has the Will become its own deliverer and joy-bringer? has it unlearned the spirit of revenge and all teeth-gnashing?

And who has taught it reconciliation with time, and something higher than all reconciliation?

Something higher than all reconciliation must the Will will which is the Will to Power-: but how does that take place? Who has taught it also to will backwards?

-But at this point in his discourse it chanced that Zarathustra suddenly paused, and looked like a person in the greatest alarm. With terror in his eyes did he gaze on his disciples; his glances pierced as with arrows their thoughts and arrear-thoughts. But after a brief space he again laughed, and said soothingly:

"It is difficult to live among men, because silence is so difficult - especially for a babbler." -

Thus spoke Zarathustra.

The hunchback, however, had listened to the conversation and had covered his face during the time; but when he heard Zarathustra laugh, he looked up with curiosity, and said slowly: "But why does Zarathustra speak otherwise to us than to his disciples?"

Zarathustra answered: "What is there to be wondered at! With hunchbacks one May well speak in a hunchbacked way!"

"Very good," said the hunchback; "and with pupils one may well tell tales out of school.

But why does Zarathustra speak otherwise to his pupils - than to himself?"-

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