The Honey Sacrifice

And again passed moons and years over Zarathustra’s soul, and he heeded it not; his hair, however, became white. One day when he sat on a stone in front of his cave, and gazed calmly into the distance — one there gazeth out on the sea, and away beyond sinuous abysses — then went his animals thoughtfully round about him, and at last set themselves in front of him.

O Zarathustra, said they, gazest thou out perhaps for thy happiness? Of what account is my happiness! answered he, I have long ceased to strive any more for happiness, I strive for my work. O Zarathustra, said the animals once more, that sayest thou as one who hath overmuch of good things. Liest thou not in a sky-blue lake of happiness? Ye wags, answered Zarathustra, and smiled. How well did ye choose the simile! But ye know also that my happiness is heavy, and not like a fluid wave of water; it presseth me and will not leave me, and is like molten pitch.

Then went his animals again thoughtfully around him, and placed themselves once more in front of him. O Zarathustra, said they, it is consequently for that reason that thou thyself always becometh yellower and darker, although thy hair looketh white and flaxen? Lo, thou sittest in thy pitch! What do ye say, mine animals? said Zarathustra, laughing. Verily I reviled when I spake of pitch. As it happeneth with me, so is it with all fruits that turn ripe. It is the honey in my veins that maketh my blood thicker, and also my soul stiller. So will it be, O Zarathustra, answered his animals, and pressed up to him; but wilt thou not today ascend a high mountain? The air is pure, and today one seeth more of the world than ever. Yea, mine animals, answered he, ye counsel admirably and according to my heart: I will today ascend a high mountain! But see that honey is there ready to hand: yellow, white, good, ice-cool, golden- comb-honey. For know that when aloft I will make the honey sacrifice.

When Zarathustra, however, was aloft on the summit, he sent his animals home that had accompanied him, and found that he was now alone; then he laughed from the bottom of his heart, looked around him, and spake thus: That I spake of sacrifices and honey sacrifices, it was merely a ruse in talking and verily, a useful folly! Here aloft can I now speak freer than in front of mountain-caves and anchorites’ domestic animals.

What to sacrifice! I squander what is given me, a squanderer with a thousand hands: how could I call that sacrificing!

And when I desired honey I only desired bait, and sweet mucus and mucilage, for which even the mouths of growling bears, and strange, sulky, evil birds, water —

The best bait, as huntsmen and fishermen require it. For if the world be as a gloomy forest of animals, and a pleasure-ground for all wild huntsmen, it seemeth to me rather — and preferably — a fathomless, rich sea —

A sea full of many-hued fishes and crabs, for which even the Gods might long, and might be tempted to become fishers in it, and casters of nets — so rich is the world in wonderful things, great and small!

Especially the human world, the human sea — towards it do I now throw out my golden angle-rod and say: Open up, thou human abyss!

Open up, and throw unto me thy fish and shining crabs! With my best bait shall I allure to myself today the strangest human fish!

My happiness itself do I throw out into all places far and wide ’twixt orient, noontide and occident, to see if many human fish will not learn to hug and tug at my happiness —

Until, biting at my sharp hidden hooks, they have to come up unto my height, the motleyest abyss-groundlings, to the wickedest of all fishers of men.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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