​There they laugh—they do not understand Me

When Zarathustra had spoken these words he looked again at the people and fell silent. There they stand (he said to his heart), there they laugh: they do not understand me, I am not the mouth for these ears. Must one first shatter their ears to teach them to hear with their eyes? Must one rumble like drums and Lenten preachers? Or do they believe only those who stammer and lie in broad daylight? They have something of which they are proud. What is it called that makes them proud? They call it culture; it distinguishes them from the rest of the animal kingdom. Therefore they dislike hearing the word ‘contempt’ spoken of them. So I shall speak to their pride. So I shall speak to them of the most contemptible man: and that is the ultimate man.
And thus spoke Zarathustra to the people: It is time for man to fix his goal. It is time for man to plant the seed of his highest hope. His soil is still rich enough for it. But this soil will one day be poor and weak; no longer will a high tree be able to grow from it. Alas! The time is coming when man will no more shoot the arrow of his longing out over mankind, and the string of his bow will have forgotten how to twang!

I tell you: one must have chaos in one, to give birth to a dancing star. I tell you: you still have chaos in you. Alas! The time is coming when man will give birth to no more stars. Alas! The time of the most contemptible man is coming, the man who can no longer despise himself. Behold! I shall show you the ultimate man. “What is love? What is creation? What is longing? What is a star?” thus asks the ultimate man and blinks. The earth has become small, and upon it hops the ultimate man, who makes everything small. His race is as unexterminable as the flea; the ultimate man lives longest. “We have discovered happiness,” says the ultimate men and blinks. They have left the places where living was hard: for one needs warmth. One still loves one’s neighbor and rubs oneself against him: for one needs warmth.

Sickness and mistrust count as sins with them: one should go about warily. He is a fool who still stumbles over stones or over men! A little poison now and then: that produces pleasant dreams. And a lot of poison at last, for a pleasant death. They still work, for work is entertainment. But they take care the entertainment does not exhaust them. Nobody grows rich or poor any more: both are too much of a burden. Who still wants to rule? Who obey? Both are too much of a burden. Everyone wants the same thing, everyone is the same: whoever thinks otherwise goes voluntarily into the madhouse. “Formerly all the world was mad,” says the most acute of them and blinks. They are clever and know everything that has ever happened: so there is no end to their mockery. They still quarrel, but they soon make up – otherwise indigestion would result. They have their little pleasure for the day and little pleasure for the night: but they respect health.

“We have discovered happiness,” say the ultimate men and blink.

Thus spake Zarathustra.

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