Saturday, November 24, 2012

I LOVE the forest (Postcard from Zarathustra)

It is bad to live in cities: there are too
many of the lustful.

Would that ye were perfect - at least as animals! But to animals belongeth innocence. Do I counsel you to slay your instincts? I counsel you to innocence in your instincts.  
Thus Spake Zarathustra (Chapter 13, Chastity)


  1. I saw an interview yesterday on the best of One Plus One (ABCTV) with a woman who has been living with an African tribe for two decades and she was saying that she wants for nothing, but possesses very little. There is no such thing as age in the tribe, no one is ever lonely because they always have people around them, but they also have no privacy.No one ever gets depressed. The tribe is nomadic and is happy with the food they find. She said (of western society and its obsession with choice) that they have only one kind of bread and one kind of milk. In essence, they have no choice and yet they are happy with very little. She was horrified that (we, in the west) buy new IPods, mobile phones etc. every year and are obsessed by material wealth. So, I take (your) and Nietzsche's words - yes we are lustful, but perhaps lustful of things that don't really make us happy.

  2. Is a complicated chapter and my own understanding is imperfect, some of the phrases especially about dog-like longing seems straight from Martin Luther and the allegory is unclear

  3. I think that 'Of Chastity' in my version (page 81) shows that Nietzsche feared the seduction of women and believed that it was a state of being higher than chastity that would encourage a man to focus on something other than his lust for women or animal nature. Being in the forest enables the higher man to be away from the lure of animal and instincts that appear more prevalent in towns where the lustful live. Yes, it is a difficult passage because he seems to be struggling with his concepts which are wrought with contradictions.