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They reveal his long-term design of a fictional tetralogy charting the philosophical, pedagogical, and psychological journeys of his alter-ego, Zarathustra. Here, in nuce , appear Zarathustra's teaching about the death of God; his discovery that the secret of life is the will to power; and his most profound and most frightening thought—that his own life, human history, and the entire cosmos will eternally return. Paul S. David F.

The Death of Nietzsche's Zarathustra

The excellent translations draw on the latest scholarship and are based on the state-of-the-art Colli-Montinari edition. The editors and translators have taken care to provide consistency in rendering Nietzsche's German and explaining important terms and variants. With their extensive and helpful annotations, the translations are indispensable for the scholar and appealing to the general reader.

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The Colli-Montinari de Gruyter critical edition of Nietzsche's writings, on which they are based, is the German-language 'gold standard' for Nietzsche scholarship. The Stanford series, as it fills out, will undoubtedly come to hold comparable pride of place for English-speaking readers world-wide. Loeb and David F. Through the mouth of Zarathustra, close to the beginning of the book, Nietzsche lays out the three metamorphoses that the individual must go through to find true freedom and an abundance of creative power. Using allegorical imagery, he describes the metamorphoses as the camel, the lion, and finally the child.

The sage likens people to the herd. Herd animals do not wish to carry, they simply want a safe and abundant pasture: a quiet, no surprises, relatively but not very wealthy life. The herd stick close together and do not wish to take risks, they rely on the shepherd to show them what is good for them. Unlike the majority in the herd, some people are strong in spirit and they begin a spiritual journey to self-actualisation that they may or may not complete.

As bizarre as this metaphor sounds, it makes a lot of sense. Those of us who are strong in spirit want to delve deeper into the meaning of things, but that task requires carrying a lot of baggage. We read, we travel, we learn, we uncover.

Episode Nietzsche’s Zarathustra (Part One)

The weight adds up. There is so much knowledge, so many great minds that came before us that we can hold in reverence. We rejoice in our strength in carrying their burden. The camel must overcome fear, confront truth, endure unrequited love and so on.


But the desert is lonely, and the camel spirit no longer wants to bear the burden of ideas and knowledge that are not its own. The world, the camel has discovered, does not have essential or universal values. There is no one meaning of life. But to unburden yourself and create your own meaning and destiny you must undergo a new transformation. In the lonely desert the second metamorphosis happens: to fulfil its destiny, the spirit needs to rule over the desert, to become lord of the desert to capture freedom.

In order to do so, the lion, Nietzsche tells us, must struggle with the existing lord.

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The dragon is the enemy of true self-mastery. The lion must then fight the dragon to become lord of the desert and win its freedom. Nietzsche was stateless he had given up his citizenship of Prussia , jobless and godless. He had to fight those who disapproved of the life choices he had made, including his own family. When describing the lion, he was perhaps writing from experience.

The Overman, he believed, was a true individual, one who must build self-mastery on his or her own terms. The spirit now wills his own will, those who have relinquished the world that came before them, now have the power to conquer. Imagine a state of the pure individual who is unburdened of the rules, customs and conventions of society. Imagine the person who wills their own destiny, makes up their own values that they do not impose on anybody else , and exists in a liberated state of free creativity and play. What does that state resemble that is right under our noses?

The child is curious and filled with wonder. The child is not weighed down by rules and values, the child discovers for themselves the meaning in things.

Bibliographic Information

We can create our own values, to take the risks to find what we want from life. The sacred Yes, Nietzsche tells us, is the for the game of creation. The spirit becomes its own will, it wins its own world. After writing Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Nietzsche further alienated himself from friends and family.

Despite his problems he went on to write more extraordinarily prescient books that foreshadowed the struggles of individuals and nations in the twentieth century. Nietzsche became an intellectual titan whose work foreshadowed psychology, existentialism, structuralism, and postmodernism.

While wandering a street in Turin, Nietzsche was finally broken by the sight of a coachman flogging a horse. Nietzsche never recovered from an abyss of mental illness from the age of After two strokes and contracting pneumonia, Nietzsche died in the summer of aged Nietzsche wrote in Human, All Too Human :.