XXXV. THE SUBLIME ONES
by Friedrich Nietzsche
Calm is the bottom of my sea: who would guess that it hides droll
Unmoved is my depth: but it sparkles with swimming enigmas and laughters.
A sublime one saw I today, a solemn one, a penitent of the spirit: Oh,
how my soul laughed at his ugliness!
With upraised breast, and like those who draw in their breath: thus did he
stand, the sublime one, and in silence:
Overhung with ugly truths, the spoil of his hunting, and rich in torn
raiment; many thorns also hung on him--but I saw no rose.
Not yet had he learned laughing and beauty. Gloomy did this hunter return
from the forest of knowledge.
From the fight with wild beasts returned he home: but even yet a wild
beast gazes out of his seriousness--an unconquered wild beast!
As a tiger does he ever stand, on the point of springing; but I do not like
those strained souls; ungracious is my taste towards all those self-
And ye tell me, friends, that there is to be no dispute about taste and
tasting? But all life is a dispute about taste and tasting!
Taste: that is weight at the same time, and scales and weigher; and alas
for every living thing that would live without dispute about weight and
scales and weigher!
Should he become weary of his sublimeness, this sublime one, then only will
his beauty begin--and then only will I taste him and find him savoury.
And only when he turns away from himself will he overleap his own shadow
--and verily! into HIS sun.
Far too long did he sit in the shade; the cheeks of the penitent of the
spirit became pale; he almost starved on his expectations.
Contempt is still in his eye, and loathing hides in his mouth. To be
sure, he now rests, but he has not yet taken rest in the sunshine.
As the ox ought he to do; and his happiness should smell of the earth, and
not of contempt for the earth.
As a white ox would I like to see him, which, snorting and lowing, walks
before the plough-share: and his lowing should also laud all that is
Dark is still his countenance; the shadow of his hand dances upon it.
Overshadowed is still the sense of his eye.
His deed itself is still the shadow upon him: his doing obscures the
doer. Not yet has he overcome his deed.
To be sure, I love in him the shoulders of the ox: but now do I want to
see also the eye of the angel.
Also his hero-will has he still to unlearn: an exalted one shall he be,
and not only a sublime one:--the ether itself should raise him, the will-
He has subdued monsters, he has solved enigmas. But he should also
redeem his monsters and enigmas; into heavenly children should he transform
As yet has his knowledge not learned to smile, and to be without jealousy;
as yet has his gushing passion not become calm in beauty.
Verily, not in satiety shall his longing cease and disappear, but in
beauty! Gracefulness belongs to the munificence of the magnanimous.
His arm across his head: thus should the hero repose; thus should he also
surmount his repose.
But precisely to the hero is BEAUTY the hardest thing of all. Unattainable
is beauty by all ardent wills.
A little more, a little less: precisely this is much here, it is the most
To stand with relaxed muscles and with unharnessed will: that is the
hardest for all of you, ye sublime ones!
When power becomes gracious and descends into the visible--I call such
And from no one do I want beauty so much as from you, powerful one:
let thy goodness be thy last self-conquest.
All evil do I accredit to thee: therefore do I desire of you the good.
Verily, I have often laughed at the weaklings, who think themselves good
because they have crippled paws!
The virtue of the pillar shall you strive after: more beautiful does it
ever become, and more graceful--but internally harder and more sustaining--
the higher it rises.
Yea, thou sublime one, one day shall you also be beautiful, and hold up
the mirror to thine own beauty.
Then will thy soul thrill with divine desires; and there will be adoration
even in thy vanity!
For this is the secret of the soul: when the hero has abandoned it, then
only approachs it in dreams--the superhero.--
Thus spake Zarathustra.
the first thought of Zarathustra