At sunset, the people had gathered at the foot of the orangery. The rumor was spreading around that Zarathustra chose the scented shade of the trees on this mound to rest his body during the hot day. When the rest was long enough, he stood up and pulled a fig from his coat to eat, and his eyes brightened. Then he turned to the mirror of the night and spoke these words :
« O thou, dark side of a thousand pupils ! You, who cover passions and weaknesses of men with an opaque veil, bless my path ! »
As he saw the gathering that had surrounded him, he paused and said in his heart :
« So my trials are not finished. Must it be that I still have to stand before men to make them drop their clay ears ? That I go down their river, that I immerse myself to the thighs, and dry the course. Only then could I withdraw to my mountain ».
Finally Zarathustra turned to the crowd and explained this parable :
« In a small fishing village lived a young boy who was the pride of his family. Before the age of ten, he knew every plant and its medicinal properties, and understood the art of predicting the rains. He was initiated into the knowledge of astronomy and he learned the language of passing strangers. But as he grew in his body and in his soul, the son of the fisherman discovered nothing that he did not already know. But he reached the age when we leave childhood, and realized that something was still missing in his knowledge.
» At that time, a rumor spread that in a nearby village lived a wise old man who spoke all things, and many listeners were sitting in his courtyard to hear his talk. The young man left his home and his family, went to the nearby village and sat in the courtyard of the old sage among many listeners.
» When the old man had spoken all day, his auditors withdrew, yet he continued to talk alone and in the middle of the night. Then he saw the young man, and was silent. — Old man, he says, I come from afar. Enlighten me with your wisdom and answer my question: what is philosophy ?
» At these words, the sage's beard unrolled and his face lit up at night. — Listen to me, and never forget what I tell you. The old man asked him to read a dialogue of Plato and a few discourses of Aristotle, showed him how to decorticate an obscure passage of Kant and quoted Wittgenstein with a very spiritual apropos.
» It would have sufficed much less to make the young man enthusiastic. He took leave of the old sage and, animated by a strong inspiration, gave himself to a whole night of intense work.
» The colors of the triumphant dawn surprised him, tracing the last words of a series of magisterial masterpieces and memoirs imprinted with a powerful originality. With pride and excitement, he delivered his work to the old man. When the sage read the work of the son of the fisherman, his face and beard pale, his voice tinged with disappointment and anger : — So you did not understand last night ! But my argument was clear : to philosophize means to read Plato and Aristotle, decorticate Kant and quote Wittgenstein with apropos ».
Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
Table of contents
Scholie 7 : pluralité et malentendu,
pdf (213 Kb)
La notion d’exister dans l’existentialisme généralisé,
pdf (541 Kb)
Jankélévitch et la musique,
pdf (430 Kb)
Le mystère du labyrinthe de Pylos,
pdf (1.6 Mb)
pdf (6.5 Mb)
pages 7, 59.