When Zarathustra talks about the overman creating new values, we might understand this not so much as the creation of a new moral code as much as the creation of a new way of seeing. While we might have a hard time precisely articulating what new "values" we find in a ##Kafka##, a ##Picasso##, a Wittgenstein, an ##Einstein##, a Stravinsky, or a ##Beckett##, these twentieth-century geniuses certainly saw the world in a new light. It would be presumptuous to say that Nietzsche would consider any of these people overmen, but they are certainly far more deserving of that title than most people.

We might now understand why Nietzsche so regularly talks about the struggle, suffering, and self-overcoming necessary for becoming an overman. We master the technical aspects of an art form only by learning the rules and the ways that people have done things in the past. It takes a great deal of flexibility of mind to then question these rules, to push on them, and to break free from the influence of one's teachers. It is much easier to rest content with what one knows than to be always dissatisfied with it, always looking for something better and newer. Progress toward the overman demands a constant struggle, where a new self overcomes an old one.

In the chapter "On War and Warriors," Zarathustra likens this struggle to a war, and contrasts the "saints of knowledge"—presumably the overmen that have achieved their goal—with the "warriors" that still struggle toward it. This chapter is one of the most misquoted in all of Nietzsche's works. Lines such as "You should love peace as a means to new wars—and the short peace more than the long" have been cited as evidence that Nietzsche was a proto-Nazi warmonger. Those who read such passages out of context must be reminded that Nietzsche is talking about an intellectual, inner struggle, and not a literal war of violence and bloodshed.

More commonly, Nietzsche likens this struggle to climbing a mountain. We see this imagery most especially in the chapter "On Reading and Writing," where Zarathustra speaks of the overman as standing on a mountain peak and looking down. This looking down from mountain heights is likened to a superior looking down on an inferior person. The overman has risen so high that there is nothing that he doesn't look down upon. Thus, everything—even the saddest of tragedies—is for him the subject of ridicule and laughter. Zarathustra praises levity and laughter because the overman has nothing left to look up to, nothing to take seriously. Instead, he can take everything lightly, and enjoy his freedom. This levity and freedom is frequently expressed in dancing.

With regard to Zarathustra's claims regarding the body, "the body" can be seen as representing the physical world generally. Metaphysics and religion frequently assert the existence and supreme importance of some supra-sensible world of spirit, be it the Christian heaven or Platonic Forms. Zarathustra counters that this earth is the only earth and that it is fundamentally composed of physical things. Our mental lives, including the things we value, feel, and believe in, are all responses to the needs of our bodies. Thus, he suggests that a belief in an afterlife or in God is the invention of a sick body that wants some relief from this life. A healthy body has no need of gods or of other worlds: it is sufficient unto itself. We should be clear, though, that "healthy body" is not meant to refer primarily to someone who eats well and who gets a lot of exercise. Rather, it describes people who are happy seeing themselves as primarily bodies, who are content with this life and this world. This contrasts with the chapter "On the Preachers of Death," which contains a direct criticism of the Buddha's assertion that all life is suffering, interpreting it as the utterance of a sick body.

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