When yester-eve the moon arose, then did I fancy it about to bear a sun: so broad and teeming did it lie on the horizon.
But it was a liar with its pregnancy; and sooner will I believe in the man in the moon than in the woman.
To be sure, little of a man is he also, that timid night-reveller. Verily, with a bad conscience doth he stalk over the roofs.
For he is covetous and jealous, the monk in the moon; covetous of the earth, and all the joys of lovers.
Nay, I like him not, that tom-cat on the roofs! Hateful unto me are all that slink around half-closed windows!
Piously and silently doth he stalk along on the star-carpetsbut I like no light-treading human feet, on which not even a spur jingleth.
Every honest ones step speaketh; the cat however, stealeth along over the ground. Lo, cat-like doth the moon come along, and dishonestly.
This parable speak I unto you sentimental dissemblers, unto you, the pure discerners! You do I callcovetous ones!
Also ye love the earth, and the earthly: I have divined you well! But shame is in your love, and a bad conscienceye are like the moon!
To despise the earthly hath your spirit been persuaded, but not your bowels; these, however, are the strongest in you!
And now is your spirit ashamed to be at the service of your bowels, and goeth by-ways and lying ways to escape its own shame.
That would be the highest thing for meso saith your lying spirit unto itselfto gaze upon life without desire, and not like the dog, with hanging-out tongue;
To be happy in gazing; with dead will, free from the grip and greed of selfishnesscold and ashy-grey all over, but with intoxicated moon-eyes!
That would be the dearest thing to methus doth the seduced one seduce himselfto love the earth as the moon loveth it, and with the eye only to feel its beauty.
And this do I call immaculate perception of all things: to want nothing else from them, but to be allowed to lie before them as a mirror with a hundred facets.
Oh, ye sentimental dissemblers, ye covetous ones! Ye lack innocence in your desire; and now do ye defame desiring on that account!
Verily, not as creators, as procreators or as jubilators do ye love the earth!
Where is innocence? Where there is will to procreation. And he who seeketh to create beyond himself, hath for me the purest will.
Where is beauty? Where I must will with my whole Will; where I will love and perish, that an image may not remain merely an image.
Loving and perishing: these have rhymed from eternity. Will to love: that is to be ready also for death. Thus do I speak unto you cowards!
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