O Solitude! Solitude, my home! I have lived too long wildly in wild strange lands to come home to you without tears!
Now shake your finger at me as mothers do, now smile at me as mothers smile, now say merely: 'And who was it that once stormed away from me like a storm-wind? -
'who departing cried: I have sat too long with Solitude, I have unlearned how to be silent! You have surely learned that - now?
'O Zarathustra, I know all: and that you were lonelier among the crowd, you solitary, than you ever were with me!
'Loneliness is one thing, solitude another: you have learned that - now! And that among men you will always be wild and strange:
'wild and strange even when they love you: for above all they want to be indulged!
'But here you are at your own hearth and home; here you can utter everything and pour out every reason, nothing is here ashamed of hidden, hardened feelings.
'Here all things come caressingly to your discourse and flatter you: for they want to ride upon your back. Upon every image you here ride to every truth.
'Here you may speak to all things straight and true: and truly, it sounds as praise to their ears, that someone should speak with all things - honestly!
'But it is another thing to be lonely. For, do you remember, O Zarathustra? When once your bird cried above you as you stood in the forest undecided, ignorant where to go, beside a corpse.
'When you said: May my animals lead me! I found it more dangerous among men than among animals. That was loneliness!
'And do you remember, O Zarathustra? When you sat upon your island, a well of wine among empty buckets, giving and distributing, bestowing and out-pouring among the thirsty:
'until at last you sat alone thirsty among the intoxicated and lamented each night: "Is it not more blessed to receive than to give? And more blessed to steal than to receive?" - That was loneliness!
'And do you remember, O Zarathustra? When your stillest hour came and tore you forth from yourself, when it said in an evil whisper: "Speak and break!" -
'when it made you repent of all your waiting and silence and discouraged your humble courage: That was loneliness!'
O Solitude! Solitude, my home! How blissfully and tenderly does your voice speak to me!
We do not question one another, we do not complain to one another, we go open and clear; and here even the hours run on lighter feet. For time weighs down more heavily in the dark than in the light.
Here, the words and word-chests of all existence spring open to me: all existence here wants to become words, all becoming here wants to learn speech from me.
Down there, however - all speech is in vain! There, the best wisdom is to forget and pass by: I have learned that - now!
He who wants to understand all things among men has to touch all things. But my hands are too clean for that.
I even dislike to breathe in their breath; alas, that I lived so long among their noise and bad breath!
O blissful stillness around me! O pure odours around me! Oh, how this stillness draws pure breath from a deep breast! Oh, how it listens, this blissful stillness!
But down there - everything speaks, everything is unheard. One may ring in one's wisdom with bells - the shopkeeper in the market-place will out-ring it with pennies!
Everything among them speaks, no one knows any longer how to understand. Everything falls away into failure, nothing falls any longer into deep wells.
Everything among them speaks, nothing prospers and comes to an end any longer. Everything cackles, but who still wants to sit quietly upon the nest and hatch eggs?
Everything among them speaks, everything is talked down. And what yesterday was still too hard for time itself and its teeth, today hangs chewed and picked from the mouth of the men of today.
Everything among them speaks, everything is betrayed. And what was once called a secret and a secrecy of profound souls, today belongs to the street-trumpeters and other butterflies.
O humankind, you strange thing! You noise in dark streets! Now again you lie behind me - my greatest danger lies behind me!
My greatest danger always lay in indulgence and sufferance; and all humankind wants to be indulged and suffered.
With truths held back, with foolish hand and foolish-fond heart and rich in pity's little lies - that is how I used to live among men.
I sat among them disguised, ready to misunderstand myself so that I might endure them, and glad to tell myself: 'You fool, you do not know men!'
One forgets what one has learned about men when one lives among men: there is too much foreground in all men - what can far-seeing, far-seeking eyes do there!
And when they misunderstood me, I, like a fool, indulged them more than I did myself: for I was accustomed to being hard with myself and often even taking revenge on myself for this indulgence.
Stung by poisonous flies and hollowed out like a stone by many drops of wickedness: that is how I sat among them and still told myself: 'Everything small is innocent of its smallness!'
Especially those who call themselves 'the good' did I discover to be the most poisonous flies: they sting in all innocence; how could they be - just towards me!
Pity teaches him to lie who lives among the good. Pity makes the air stifling for all free souls. For the stupidity of the good is unfathomable.
To conceal myself and my riches - that did I learn down there: for I found everybody still poor in spirit. It was my pity's lie that I knew with everybody,
that I saw and scented in everybody what was sufficient spirit for him and what was too much spirit for him!
Their pedantic wise men: I called them wise, not pedantic - thus I learned to slur words. Their gravediggers: I called them investigators and scholars - thus I learned to confound words.
Gravediggers dig diseases for themselves. Evil vapours repose beneath old rubble. One should not stir up the bog. One should live upon mountains.
With happy nostrils I breathe again mountain-freedom! At last my nose is delivered from the odour of all humankind!
My soul, tickled by sharp breezes as with sparkling wine, sneezes - sneezes and cries to itself: Bless you!
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
My favorite passage so far from 'Thus Spoke Zarathustra' penned down by Friedrich Nietzsche, the Superman himself I say!
I have an inkling that he wrote the full book just so that he could express and get away with this passage, his truest experience and feelings. Ahem.