Zarathustra and Kahlil Gibran



Much in you is still man, and much in you is not yet man,
but a shapeless pygmy that walks asleep in the mist searching for its own awakening.
And of the man in you would I now speak.
For it is he and not your god-self nor the pygmy in the mist, that knows crime and the punishment of crime.
Ofttimes have I heard you speak of one who commits a wrong as though he were not one of you, but a stranger unto you and an intruder upon your world.
But I say that even as the holy and the righteous cannot rise beyond the highest which is in each one of you,
So the wicked and the weak cannot fall lower than the lowest which is in you also.

Nietzsche’s Lebanese Boston Transcendentalist disciple Kahlil Gibran makes Nietzsche’s Zarathustra also seem kitschy and hokey to me — a precursor of fin-de-siècle decadence, chic spirituality,and self-help books. The book was more readable in my (weak) German than it had been in English, and in fact, because of its very un-German short sentences, I propose that Also Sprach Zarathustra should be adopted as the introductory text for German reading classes.