Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: a Book for Everyone and No-one. Also Sprach Zarathustra: Ein Buch für Alle und Keinen

Composed in four parts between 1883 and 1885

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THE DESPISERS OF THE BODY.  To the despisers of the body will I speak my word.  Not so that they may learn or teach differently but simply so that they may say farewell to their own bodies— and thus fall silent.  "I am a body and a soul"— thus speaks a child.  And why should one not speak like children?  But the awakened, the enlightened man says: "I am only body and nothing more; and soul is merely a word for something in the body."  The body is a great intelligence, a multiplicity with one sense, a war and a peace, a flock and a shepherd.  A tool of your body is your lesser intelligence, my brother, which you call "spirit"— a little instrument and plaything of your great intelligence.  "I" you say, and you are proud of that word.  But the greater thing— in which you are unwilling to believe— is your body with its great intelligence; it does not say “I”, but performs it.  What the senses feel, what the spirit perceives, is never an end in itself.  But senses and spirit would like to persuade you that they are the end of all things: that is the extent of their vanity.  Tools and playthings are the senses and the spirit: behind them there still lies the Self.  The Self seeks with the eyes of the senses, it listens also with the ears of the spirit.  The Self is ever listening and seeking; it compares, compels, conquers, destroys.  It rules and is also the I’s ruler.  Behind your thoughts and feelings, my brother, there stands a mighty commander, an unknown wise man— 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 to what end your body requires precisely this your best wisdom?  Your Self laughs at your ego and its proud leaps.  "What are these leaps and flights of fancy to me?"  it says to itself.  "A detour to my purpose.  I am the leading reins of the I and the prompter of its conceptions."  The Self says to the I: "Feel pain here!"  And then it suffers and reflects on how it might suffer no more— and this is the very purpose for which it is meant to think.  The Self says to the ego: "Feel pleasure here!"  Then it is happy and relects on how it might be happy again— and this is the very purpose for which it is meant to think.  To the despisers of the body will I say a word.  Their respect is the cause of their disrespect.  What is it that created respect and disrespect and value and will?  The creating Self created for itself respect and disrespect, it created for itself joy and sorrow.  The creating body created spirit for itself as the hand of its will.  Even in your folly and despising, you despisers of the body, you serve your Self.  I say to you: your Self wants to die and turns away from life.  No longer is it capable of doing that which it desires the most— to create beyond itself.  That is what it desires the most; that is its entire passion.  But now it has become too late for that— so your Self wishes to die, you despisers of the body.  Your Self wishes to die, and therefore you have become despisers of the body!  For you are no longer able to create beyond yourselves.  And that is why you now angry with life and with the earth.  There is an unconcious envy lurking beneath the grimaces of your despite.  I will not walk your path, you despisers of the body!  You are no bridges for me to the Superman!  — Thus spoke Zarathustra.  

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