Is it your wish, my brother, to go into solitude? Is it your wish to seek the way to yourself? Then linger a moment, and listen to me.
"He who seeks, easily gets lost. All loneliness is guilt"—thus speaks the herd. And you have long belonged to the herd. The voice of the herd will still be audible in you. And when you will say, "I no longer have a common conscience with you," it will be a lament and an agony. Behold, this agony itself was born of the common conscience, and the last glimmer of that conscience still glows on your affliction.
But do you want to go the way of your affliction, which is the way to yourself? Then show me your right and your strength to do so. Are you a new strength and a new right? A first movement? A self-propelled wheel? Can you compel the very stars to revolve around you?
Alas, there is so much lusting for the heights! There are so many convulsions of the ambitious. Show me that you are not one of the lustful and ambitious.
Alas, there are so many great thoughts which do no more than a bellows: they puff up and make emptier.
You call yourself free? Your dominant thought I want to hear, and not that you have escaped from a yolk. Are you one of those who had the right to escape from a yoke? There are some who threw away their last value when they threw away their servitude.
Free from what? As if that mattered to Zarathustra! But your eyes should tell me brightly: free for what?
Can you give yourself your own evil and your own good and hang your own will over yourself as a law? Can you be your own judge and avenger of your law? Terrible it is to be alone with the judge and avenger of one's own law. Thus is a star thrown out into the void and into the icy breath of solitude. Today you are still suffering from the many, being one: today your courage and your hopes are still whole. But the time will come when solitude will make you weary, when your pride will double up, and your courage gnash its teeth. And you will cry, "I am alone!" The time will come when that which seems high to you will no longer be in sight, and that which seems low will be all-too-near; even what seems sublime to you will frighten you like a ghost. And you will cry, "All is false!"
There are feelings which want to kill the lonely; and if they do not succeed, well, then they themselves must die. But are you capable of this—to be a murderer?
My brother, do you know the word "contempt" yet? And the agony of your justice—being just to those who despise you? You force many to relearn about you; they charge it bitterly against you. You came close to them and yet passed by; that they will never forgive. You pass over and beyond them: but the higher you ascend, the smaller you appear to the eye of envy. But most of all they hate those who fly.
"How would you be just to me?" you must say. "I choose injustice as my proper lot." Injustice and filth they throw after the lonely one: but, my brother, if you would be a star, you must not shine less for them because of that.
And beware of the good and the just! They like to crucify those who invent their own virtue for themselves—they hate the lonely one. Beware also of holy simplicity! Everything that is not simple it considers unholy; it also likes to play with fire—the stake. And beware also of the attacks of your love! The lonely one offers his hand too quickly to whomever he encounters. To some people you may not give your hand, only a paw: and I desire that your paw should also have claws.
But the worst enemy you can encounter will also be you, yourself; you lie in wait for yourself in caves and woods.
Lonely one, you are going the way to yourself. And your way leads past yourself and your seven devils. You will be a heretic to yourself and a witch and soothsayer and fool and doubter and unholy one and a villain. You must wish to consume yourself in your own flame: how could you wish to become new unless you had first become ashes!
Lonely one, you are going the way of the creator: you would create a god for yourself out of your seven devils.
Lonely one, you are going the way of the lover: yourself you love, and therefore you despise yourself, as only lovers despise. The lover would create because he despises. What does he know of love who did not have to despise precisely what he loved!
Go into your loneliness with your love and with your creation, my brother; and only much later will justice limp after you.
With my tears go into your loneliness, my brother. I love him who wants to create over and beyond himself and thus perishes.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
From Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None by Friedrich Nietzsche, translated by Walter Kaufmann
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