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Chapter 4 The Despisers of the Body

TO THE despisers of the body I speak my word. I wish them neither to learn afresh, nor teach anew, but only to bid farewell to their own bodies,- and thus become silent.

"Body am I, and soul"- so says the child. And why should one not speak like children?

But the awakened one, the knowing one, says: "Body am I entirely, and nothing more; and soul is only the name of something in the body."

The body is a great wisdom, a plurality with one sense, a war and a peace, a flock and a shepherd.

An instrument of your body is also your small wisdom, my brother, which you call "mind"- a little instrument and toy of your great wisdom.

"I," you say, and are proud of that word. But the greater thing- in which you are unwilling to believe- is your body with its great wisdom; that does not say "I," but does "I."

What the sense feels, what the mind knows, never has its end in itself. But sense and mind would rather persuade you that they are the end of all things: so vain are they.

Instruments and toys are sense and mind: behind them there is still the Self. The Self seeks with the eyes of the senses, it listens also with the ears of the mind.

Always the Self listens and seeks; it compares, masters, conquers, and destroys. It rules, and is also the mind's ruler.

Behind your thoughts and feelings, my brother, there is a mighty lord, an unknown sage- it is called Self; it dwells in your body, it is your body.

There is more wisdom in your body than in your best wisdom. And who then knows why your body needs precisely your best wisdom?

Your Self laughs at your mind, and its bold leaps. "What are these leaps and flights of thought to me?" it says to itself. "A detour to my end. I hold the puppet-strings of the mind, and am the prompter of its notions."

The Self says to the mind: "Feel pain!" Then the mind suffers, and thinks how it may put an end to its suffering- and that is why it is made to think.

The Self says to the mind: "Feel pleasure!" Then the mind is pleased, and thinks how it may be pleased again- and that is why it is made to think.

I want to speak to the despisers of the body. Their contempt is caused by their respect. What is it that created respect and contempt and worth and will?

The creating Self created for itself respect and contempt, it created for itself pleasure and pain. The creative body created the mind as a hand for its will.

Even in your folly and contempt you each serve your Self, you despisers of the body. I tell you, your very Self wants to die, and turns away from life.

No longer can your Self do that which it desires most:- create beyond itself. That is what it desires most; that is its fervent wish.

But it is now too late to do so:- so your Self wishes to perish, you despisers of the body.

To perish- so wishes your Self; and therefore you have become despisers of the body. For you can no longer create beyond yourselves.

And that is why you are angry with life and the earth. An unconscious envy is in the sidelong glance of your contempt.

I do not go your way, you despisers of the body! You are no bridges to the Superman!-

Thus spoke Zarathustra.