The Child with the Mirror

Back on his mountain, Zarathustra dreams of a child showing him a mirror in which he sees the face of a devil. Realizing that his enemies are perverting his teaching, and full of a new need to share his wisdom, Zarathustra descends from the mountain and returns to the people.

Upon the Blessed Isles

Zarathustra equates the creative will with freedom. A belief in God inhibits creativity because a creative God would leave nothing left for us to create.

On the Pitying

Pity does nobody good. If we show pity and mercy to the unfortunate, they will come to resent us for exposing their powerlessness. This resentment eats away unnoticed at the insides like a fungus. Feeling joy is better than feeling pity: in learning joy we learn not to hurt others.

On Priests

Priests see life as suffering, and so want to make others suffer as well. The uncertainty and hardships of life are too much for them, and so they have given up on life. They are little more than corpses, believing that their God and their pity are an escape.

On the Virtuous

Popular morality promises rewards for being virtuous, or at least preaches that virtue is its own reward. Popular misconceptions of virtue include being vengefully just, or being too weak to cause any harm. Zarathustra suggests instead that virtue is simply a matter of putting oneself wholeheartedly into one's deeds. This is not done out of hope for reward or punishment, but simply out of an exuberance of being.

On the Rabble

The multitudes of common people spoil everything that they touch. Suffering from nausea, Zarathustra wonders whether this rabble might actually be necessary for life. By rising above the rabble, he finds purity, peace, and valuable friendship.

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