The Ass-festival


At this place in the litany, however, Zarathustra could no longer control himself; he himself cried out Ye-a, louder even than the ass, and sprang into the midst of his maddened guests. Whatever are you about, ye grown-up children? he exclaimed, pulling up the praying ones from the ground. Alas, if any one else, except Zarathustra, had seen you —

Every one would think you the worst blasphemers, or the very foolishest old women, with your new belief!

And thou thyself, thou old pope, how is it in accordance with thee, to adore an ass in such a manner as God?

O Zarathustra, answered the pope, forgive me, but in divine matters I am more enlightened even than thou. And it is right that it should be so.

Better to adore God so, in this form, than in no form at all! Think over this saying, mine exalted friend; thou wilt readily divine that in such a saying there is wisdom.

He who said ‘God is a Spirit’ — made the greatest stride and slide hitherto made on earth towards unbelief: such a dictum is not easily amended again on earth!

Mine old heart leapeth and boundeth because there is still something to adore on earth. Forgive it, O Zarathustra, to an old, pious pontiff-heart!

And thou, said Zarathustra to the wanderer and shadow, thou callest and thinkest thyself a free spirit? And thou here practisest such idolatry and hierolatry?

Worse verily doest thou here than with thy bad brown girls, thou bad, new believer!

It is sad enough, answered the wanderer and shadow. Thou art right; but how can I help it! The old God liveth again, O Zarathustra, thou mayst say what thou wilt.

The ugliest man is to blame for it all; he hath reawakened him. And if he say that he once killed him, with Gods death is always just a prejudice.

And thou, said Zarathustra, thou bad old magician, what didst thou do! Who ought to believe any longer in thee in this free age, when thou believest in such divine donkeyism?

It was a stupid thing that thou didst; how couldst thou a shrewd man do such a stupid thing!

O Zarathustra, answered the shrewd magician, thou art right, it was a stupid thing — it was also repugnant to me.

And thou even, said Zarathustra to the spiritually conscientious one, consider, and put thy finger to thy nose! Doth nothing go against thy conscience here? Is thy spirit not too cleanly for this praying and the fumes of those devotees?

There is something therein, said the spiritually conscientious one, and put his finger to his nose. There is something in this spectacle which even doeth good to my conscience.

Perhaps I dare not believe in God; certain it is however, that God seemeth to me most worthy of belief in this form.

God is said to be eternal, according to the testimony of the most pious; he who hath so much time taketh his time. As slow and as stupid as possible: thereby can such a one nevertheless go very far.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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