(Photo: Not mine)
Zarathustra as Spiritual Educator: Man is Something that Must be Overcome
(written back in 2013. unedited)
The question of good and evil will always be one of philosophy’s most intriguing problems, up there with the problem of existence itself. I’m not quarreling with your choice of issues, only with your intellectually diminished approach. If evil means to be self-motivated, to live on one’s own terms, then every artist, every thinker, every original mind, is evil. Because we dare to look through our own eyes rather than mouth cliches lent us from the so-called Fathers. To dare to see is to steal fire from the Gods. This is mankind’s destiny, the engine which fuels us as a race.
― Janet Fitch, White Oleander
The purpose of this essay, my aim, is to answer these questions: How does this book, Zarathustra, fit into Nietzsche’s greater body of work, his life, and consequently, his philosophy? What is one supposed to do with a character like Zarathustra? Are we supposed to emulate his way of life? Is Zarathustra the overman we have heard so much about? And if so, what kind of life is one to lead as an overman, as one that has self-actualized, one that has self-overcome? Nevertheless, the most important purpose of this essay is to construct the essence of what it means to self-overcome and what it looks like and the relationship between self-overcoming and spiritual debt in the present. I will engage the overman, what is required for such an actualization, and I will explain the idea of self-overcoming as a creative and artistic endeavor that is the negation of spiritual debt. As Zarathustra says, “I teach you the overman. Man is something that shall be overcome. What have you done to overcome him?”
From the beginning of the text, we see notions of compassion and of sharing. The great star sharing its light and energy and guiding Zarathustra and his animals, whilst keeping him company in his solitude. Zarathustra then thanks the star for everything—“But we waited for you every morning, took your overflow from you, and blessed you for it.” Book Four starts with ‘Of the Compassionate’ and this sets the tone for what is about to occur. It is apparent that for Zarathustra, being compassionate is not a character trait that the overman should embody because it can be dangerous. Zarathustra says, “Alas, where in the world have there been follies than with the compassionate?” However, once we are able to be self-reliant, creative, ‘dangerous’ and rigorous skeptical individuals, we are able to be joyous. Joy comes to us when we are independent of pitiful relationships masked as sentiment or compassion. When we are self-reliant and void of “ass worshipping” we are able to follow our own path without the need to be approved, gazed at, and recognized by the “other,” and then we can start dancing and laughing. Compassion, for Nietzsche, resembles a sense of false altruism that is prevalent—and required—in Christianity and this is why he is skeptical. Compassion, with its roots in Christianity that promotes a false sense of altruism and missionary-ism [ref. the trodden man feeding his arm to the leeches] favors the weak and the herd-like and this is not where Zarathustra wishes to place his energy. One might ask, does Nietzsche believe that the ‘overman’ is threatened by compassion? Does compassion undercut the self-overcoming required of man if he seeks the overman? What are we supposed to do with compassion? “If I must be compassionate,” Zarathustra says, “at least I do not want it known; and if I am compassionate, it is preferably from a distance… Therefore I wash my hand when it helped the sufferer; therefore I wipe even my soul.” I believe that Zarathustra’s compassion is needful and so is companionship in Zarathustra’s self-overcoming. I also believe that he is incapable of self-overcoming without acknowledging the reality that both compassion and companionship are interconnected and embedded within man, as such, there is no surgical separation.
With compassion being presented as the final challenge that Zarathustra must face and pass, I would assume that not being a victim to compassion is the biggest challenge for Zarathustra, Nietzsche, and man. Is compassion a sentiment that draws us away from our true cultivation of an authentic self—a self that is liberated from the gaze of the other? In addition, compassion seems to be wrapped up in the Christian ideal of virtue and altruism, which further illustrates that it would not be something Zarathustra would advocate. If this is the case, it seems that Zarathustra’s last proof of strength was to overcome pity and compassion, especially at the “The Last Supper.” If so, compassion is a negative sentiment we must overcome if one is to become the overman. Is possessing too much compassion the danger, or possessing any compassion at all? Zarathustra seems to be joyful once he realizes that he is no longer harboring any feelings of pity and compassion for the ‘ultimate man’, Higher Men, and the degenerates in the market place. There is a pure feeling of exhilaration once he realizes he is no longer trapped by feelings of having to ‘save’ these people and his “superman-complex” is no longer a hindrance to him—because of his new found lightness, Zarathustra can now dance freely. With this, I believe Zarathustra has become master of himself and of his emotions, in the Hellenistic way. However, Zarathustra will never be fully void of compassion, and this continues the paradoxical duality in Nietzsche’s philosophy.
Zarathustra is lonely because he has not found another man that wishes for the overman the same way he desires to self-overcome. He is seeking partnership, a partnership that will be beneficial to both—an equal pairing whereby both parties push and encourage each other to be their best selves. This is what Nietzsche, the man, is also seeking—a partner in crime, friends, and lovers, who will encourage him to be better, to self-overcome, and vice versa. Zarathustra after carrying the dead body all night long awake in an epiphany and exclaims, “An insight has come to me: companions I need, living ones—not dead companions and corpses whom I carry with myself wherever I want to. Living companions I need, who follow me because they want to follow themselves—wherever I want. An insight has come to me: let Zarathustra speak not to the people but to companions. Zarathustra shall not become the shepherd and dog of a herd.” He continues,
Companions, the creator seeks, not corpses, not herds and believers. Fellow creators, the creator seeks—those who write new values on new tablets. Companions, the creator seeks, and fellow harvesters; for everything about him is ripe for the harvest. But he lacks a hundred sickles: so he plucks ears and is annoyed. Companions, the creator seeks, and such as know how to whet their sickles. Destroyers they will be called, and despisers of good and evil. But they are the harvesters and those who celebrate. Fellow creators, Zarathustra seeks, fellow harvesters and fellow celebrants: what are herds and shepherds and corpses to him? And you, my first companion, farewell! I buried you well in your hollow tree; I have hidden you well from the wolves. But I part from you; the time is up. Between dawn and dawn a new truth has come to me. No shepherd shall I be, nor gravedigger. Never again shall I speak to the people: for the last time have I spoken to the dead. I shall join the creators, the harvesters, the celebrants: I shall show them the rainbow and all the steps to the overman. To the hermits I shall sing my song, to the lonesome and the twosome; and whoever still has ears for the unheard-of—his heart shall become heavy with my happiness. To my goal I will go—on my own way; over those who hesitate and lag behind I shall leap. Thus let my going be their going under.
Reading a text like Zarathustra allows for a reflection on who we are and what constitutes our beliefs. We are left to engage Zarathustra in a way like no other philosophical text allows us. We have the space to interpret and create for ourselves a kind of erotic interaction where something unique is created, the way we all read it is varied, and as a result, what is produced for me, is not the same for you. The text allows for our own individuality to take shape. A reading that affirms our unique interaction with it, re-creating ourselves within every page. To a letter written to his friend, Franz Overbeck, during the period of writing Zarathustra, Nietzsche says, “the writing of Zarathustra would give him the most splendid chance to prove that for me—as for Emerson—all experiences are useful, all days holy and all people godlike.” This sentiment is echoed in the beginning of Zarathustra when Zarathustra says, “Is not the greatness of deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?” Does the individual overcome first before forming a friendship? What is accomplished via friendship, that is not possible in the self’s relation to itself? Does Zarathustra need friends in order to overcome himself? Does the friend serve to benefit the individual, or does the individual serve to benefit the friend?
Zarathustra says in On Love of the Neighbor, “Association with other people corrupts one’s character—especially if one has none….I teach you not the neighbor, but the friend. The friend should be the festival of the earth to you and an anticipation of the overman. I teach you the friend and his overflowing heart. But one must learn to be a sponge if one wants to be loved by hearts that overflow.” He continues, “I teach you the friend in whom the world stands completed, a bowl of goodness—the creating friend who always has a completed world to give away. And as the world rolled apart for him, it rolls together again in circles for him, as the becoming of the good through evil, as the becoming of purposes out of accident.” And he concludes, “Let the future and the farthest be for you the cause of your today: in your friend you shall love the overman as your cause. My brothers, love of the neighbor I do not recommend to you: I recommend to you love of the farthest. Thus spoke Zarathustra.” At the end of Book Two we see Zarathustra fiercely crying when he is departing from his friends and heading back into his lonely solitude. He was crying so severely that his friends did not know how to comfort his broken heart.
Here, I will return to the beginning of my paper and ask the question, what are we supposed to do with a book like this, with a character like Zarathustra? Are we, like Schopenhauer was for Nietzsche, supposed to embody this skeptic-Dionysian-Socratic-daemon in our daily lives? James Miller writes in his book Examined Lives, “Nietzsche recalls taking Schopenhauer’s book home, hoping ‘for the spirit of this powerful, mysterious genius to work its miracles on me.’ He was not disappointed. In the pages of Schopenhauer, he ‘found a mirror in which was reflected in terrifying grandeur the world, life, and my own character.’ He felt himself gripped ‘by a desire for self-knowledge, even self-mortification,’ and pondered ‘the deification and transformation of the very heart of mankind.'” In essence, I think Zarathustra was supposed to achieve something similar upon his readers. Nietzsche advices his readers to read his work, extract what is needful to their lives, and then move on; to surpass him through their own self-overcoming—the same way he did with Wagner and Schopenhauer. Upon meeting the old man, the first person, Zarathustra encounters upon ascendance from the hill, he exclaims, “I love man.” However, man is something to overcome. Zarathustra later says, “The earth has a skin, and this skin has diseases. One of these diseases, for example, he calls ‘man.’ Similar to Nietzsche’s Zarathustra, Emile is Rousseau’s way of ensuring that the institutions—Church and State—do not get to him, and change him over time. That Emile will be strong and self-reliant enough and he will listen to his innate daemon that will guide him authentically, avoiding any bad faith or corruption that civility produces. Rousseau expects Emile to strive for virtue by acting virtuously. Zarathustra says that “only man placed values in things to preserve himself—he alone created a meaning for things, a human meaning. Therefore he calls himself “man,” which means: the esteemer.” He continues by saying that, “Man is a rope, tied between beast and overman—a rope over an abyss. A dangerous across, a dangerous on-the-way, a dangerous looking-back, a dangerous shuddering and stopping.” And this is what must overcome, the danger that lies beneath if man remains in this state of civility and societal gaze, the state of interdependence on each other for the wrong reasons, this need to be superficially recognized and judged, this dangerous place of greed, lust, envy, jealousy and all the other avarices that hinders man from reaching his full potential, from actualizing his true self by giving himself style.
As the pale criminal says to Zarathustra, “My ego is something that shall be overcome: my ego is to me the great contempt of man…” For Zarathustra, if man fails to overcome himself, if he fails to achieve a new sense of being, a re-envisioned essence of himself, and the world, then man will inflict wrath onto himself and others around him. Zarathustra explains, “Those who become sick today are overcome by that evil which is evil today: they want to hurt with that which hurts them. But there have been other ages and another evil and good. Once doubt was evil and the will to self. Then the sick became heretics or witches: as heretics or witches they suffered and wanted to inflict suffering.” Self-overcoming requires a forgetting, the need for something new, an eternal forgetting and re-emerging. As Zarathustra says, he overcame himself and created a brighter day, a new meaning. Zarathustra says that, “To create new values—that even the lion cannot do; but the creation of freedom for oneself for new creation—that is within the power of the lion. The creation of freedom for oneself and a sacred “No” even to duty—for that, my brothers, the lion is needed.” However, in this self-overcoming, in this creation of new values, in this state of gayness and blissful dancing, the newly enlightened individual can be lonely and isolated in this new state of nirvana—the reason being, the majority of man has yet to overcome themselves, this is why Zarathustra seeks other self-overcoming individuals to be his companions, so they can share in this new state of existence. This is also where we see compassion and friendship/companionship coming together. Similarly to Rousseau’s Emile, in Nietzsche’s Zarathustra, Zarathustra advices against the evils of the world, the things that cause man to remain in a state of suffering—mainly, his desires. Rousseau advices us through Emile to contain our desires, do not let them become inflamed and do not desire things that are superficial and alien from man’s natural state. Similarly, Nietzsche through Zarathustra warns us of these same avarices. He even goes so far as to list them, he says, “…I shall now place the three most evil things on the scales and weigh them humanly well. He that taught to bless also taught to curse; what are the three best cursed things in the world? I shall put them on the scales. Sex, the lust to rule, selfishness”As Nietzsche tells us in the Gay Science, the mark of an enlightened man is one who is no longer ashamed of himself when he looks at himself in a mirror—and this is the mark of a liberated soul. Self-overcoming also requires the creation of new values from which to live by—new creative values. Zarathustra says, “Believe me, friend Hellishnoise: the greatest events—they are not our loudest but our stillest hours. Not around the inventors of new noise, but around the inventors of new values does the world revolve; it revolves inaudibly.” This unashamed individual has taken inventory of him/herself, of the strong and weak character traits and has created something uniform and multi-functioning, a new being has been created that is unified by its parts. This unification, however, requires a certain hardness toward oneself, it requires rigor and accountability, and it requires self-reflection and an analysis of the self that can only be performed fiercely.
Zarathustra is about self-discovery, it is about finding one’s own values to believe in, it is about self-creation which requires an over-coming of the composed self that one currently inhabits—it requires a rupture from the modern self through an overcoming into a natural self not swayed by inflamed passions and modern avarices. Zarathustra sees himself as a bridge from modern man to the overman, as a bridge from the destruction of modernity and civility and a return to a better human being, one not corrupted by religion, society, and avarices that come along with knowledge-formation, the will to power, and institutions. He says, “A seer, a willer, a creator, a future himself and a bridge to the future—and alas, also, as it were, a cripple at this bridge: all this is Zarathustra.” Zarathustra reminds us that it is up to us to live this life to the fullest and thoroughly enjoy it because there is no after-life whereby we get a do-over. He reminds us that we are our own creators and we give style to our character and our own humanity—we should create our own values. Zarathustra, like Nietzsche, believes that man should live his life with danger, he should dare to lead a life that is not sedentary—but with beautifully enlightened chaos; “But Zarathustra was a friend of all who travel far and do not like to live without danger.” He later says on page 172, “Alas, that you would understand my word: Do whatever you will, but first be such as are able to will. Do love your neighbor as yourself, but first be such as love themselves—loving with a great love, loving with a great contempt. Thus speaks Zarathustra the godless.” This self-overcoming requires is a coming to peace with oneself and all the attributes that one possesses. As Nietzsche says in the Gay Science, in aphorism 290:
One thing is needful.—To ‘give style’ to one’s character—a great and rare art! It is practiced by those who survey all the strengths and weaknesses that their nature has to offer and then fit them into an artistic plan until each appears as art and reason and even weaknesses delight the eye. Here a great mass of second nature has been added; there a piece of first nature removed—both times through long practice and daily work at it. Here the ugly that could not be removed is concealed; there it is reinterpreted into sublimity. Much that is vague and resisted shaping has been saved and employed for distant views—it is supposed to beckon towards the remote and immense. In the end, when the work is complete, it becomes clear how it was the force of a single taste that ruled and shaped everything great and small—whether the taste was good or bad means less than one may think; it’s enough that it was one taste! It will be the strong and domineering natures who experience their most exquisite pleasure under such coercion, in being bound by but also perfected under their own law; the passion of their tremendous will becomes less intense in the face of all stylized nature, all conquered and serving nature; even when they have palaces to build and gardens to design, they resist giving nature free rein. Conversely, it is the weak characters with no power over themselves who hate the constraint of style: they feel that if this bitterly evil compulsion were to be imposed on them, they would have to become commonplace under it—they become slaves as soon as they serve; they hate to serve. Such minds—and they may be of the first rank—are always out to shape or interpret their environment as free nature—wild, arbitrary, fantastic, disorderly, and surprising—and they are well advised to do so, because only thus do they please themselves! For one thing is needful: that a human being should attain satisfaction with himself—be it through this or that poetry or art; only then is a human being at all tolerable to behold! Whoever is dissatisfied with himself is continually prepared to avenge himself for this, and we others will be his victims if only by having to endure his sight. For the sight of something ugly makes one bad and gloomy.
A self that is free and liberated within itself—a self that is content and happy to give style to itself without fear and influence of the gaze of society. A liberated self that is free from the need for revenge and vengeance—this is a self that moves forward without looking backwards with anger and displeasure with his/her past. A self that is content with the parts that create the whole—a self that accepts the past as crucial for the present and for the future. Such that, my present being is a direct result of my past. It is about self-reliance, autonomy, self-determination and a radical individualism that still holds compassion and companionship close to its heart—since we have killed God, what we know need is the overman; we want the overman to live. At the end of the day, Zarathustra is human, he is disgusted by human nature and simultaneously loves mankind, he seeks solitude and refuge and misses the comforts and pleasures of having friends—after all, man is a social being. However, the relationship with himself and with his fellow companions is one of fluidity and constant self-overcoming, and this is also reflected in Nietzsche himself. Alexander Nehamas reminds us, “Nietzsche, though, writes: ‘One does best to separate artists from their work, not taking them as seriously as their work. They are, after all, only the precondition of their work, the womb, the soil, sometimes the dung and manure on which, out of which, it grows—and therefore in most cases something one must forget if one is to enjoy the work itself.’”
Zarathustra is feeling things that every human, at one point or another, has felt—the push and pull of wanting to be compassionate and on the other side, to be tough and fierce. It is the duality of mankind, that’s the essence of Nietzsche’s Zarathustra. At the beginning of Book Three, Nietzsche writes, “Love is the danger of the loneliest; love of everything if only it is alive. Laughable, verily, are my folly and my modesty in love. Thus spoke Zarathustra and laughed for the second time. But then he recalled his friends whom he had left; and, as if he had wronged them with his thoughts, he was angry with himself for his thoughts. And soon it happened that he who had laughed wept: from wrath and longing Zarathustra wept bitterly.” I would like to interject here a quote from one of my favourite novels, it is by Janet Finch and it is called White Oleander, in this passage, the mother, who is an artist, is giving advice to her one and only daughter, Astrid, who is also a talented and beautiful artist; she says, “Loneliness is the human condition. Cultivate it. The way it tunnels into you allows your soul room to grow. Never expect to outgrow loneliness. Never hope to find people who will understand you, someone to fill that space. An intelligent, sensitive person is the exception, the very great exception. If you expect to find people who will understand you, you will grow murderous with disappointment. The best you’ll ever do is to understand yourself, know what it is that you want, and not let the cattle stand in your way.” Zarathustra, at the end of the day, is a lesson in man’s desires, his compassion, his duality, and the need for value-creation. One has to self-overcome and celebrate one’s inner chaos and one’s ability to be creative and remain radically individualistic—if one dare’s to be one’s own god, one’s own free spirit, one’s own Übermensch—and as Walter Kaufmann says, “and the man who has overcome himself has become an overman.” This ability to direct oneself is a form of freedom—freedom of will. And as Kaufmann beautifully states, “The unphilosophic and inartistic mass remain animalic, while the man who overcomes himself, sublimating his impulses, consecrating his passions, and giving style to his character, becomes truly human or—as Zarathustra would say, enraptured by the word Über—superhuman.” Zarathustra is an homage to individuality, self-discovery, self-mastery and life-affirmation all of which require radical and rigorous control of one’s passions, the knowledge of self [know thyself], and fierce self-reliance. Zarathustra, as a text speaks to the negation of spiritual debt by enforcing self-reliance, self-overcoming, and value-creation through the spiritualization of ones desires.
Zarathustra smiled and said: “Some souls one will never discover. Unless one invents them first.”
 Ibid: 12
 All quotes will be taken from Zarathustra. Translated and with a Preface by Walter Kaufmann. Penguin Books. 1954: Viking 10
 TSZ, pg. 298 “For today the petty people have become lord and master: they all preach submission and acquiescence and prudence and diligence and consideration and the long et cetera of petty virtues. What is womanish, what stems from slavishness and especially from the mob hotchpotch: that now wants to become master of mankind’s entire destiny–oh disgust! disgust! disgust!
 Ibid: 296 “I am a law only for my own, I am not a law for all. But he who belongs to me must be strong-limbed and nimble-footed, ‘merry in war and feasting, no mournful man, no dreamy fellow, ready for what is hardest as for a feast, healthy and whole.”
 Ibid: On the Compassionate
 Ibid: 23
 Ibid: 24
 Conversation with Jenna Goodman
 How we experience time has a great deal to do with how we experience our creativity. Zarathustra says that his path is individual and specific to him and not for everyone. What the path means uniquely for Zarathustra is different us.
 EL, pg. 338
 Ibid: 62
 James Miller. Examined Lives: 325. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 2011
 Zarathustra: 11
 Ibid: 130
 My use of Rousseau’s Emile is not to germinate a question of “Anxiety of Influence” (Harold Bloom) in Nietzsche’s work but rather to illuminate and strengthen my advocacy for Zarathustra as not only a text, but also a postmodern beacon of hope in a spiritually debased world—a world in debt. This essay is not interested in a corrective to the anxiety of influence. If there is anything between Rousseau and Nietzsche as far as influence of anxiety, it would be between “mighty opposites.” Nietzsche’s Zarathustra is a retrospective engagement with Emile through a formulation of the future by re-evaluating one’s present. J.D Salinger says, “Among other things, you’ll find that you’re not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You’re by no means alone on that score, you’ll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You’ll learn from them—if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It’s a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn’t education. It’s history. It’s poetry.” If, as Salinger says, poetry is learning from one’s predecessors—from their mistakes and successes—why then should there be an anxiety of influence? Rather, there should be gratitude for documenting what to avoid and what to perform if one seeks a certain style of life—a Nietzschean creation of one’s own values? Bloom lists “Six Revisionary Ratios” and they are Clinamen, Tessera, Kenosis, Daemonization, Askesis, Apophrades. For the purposes of this essay, if there were “anxiety of influence” between Rousseau and Nietzsche’s work, it would lie in daemonization and askesis—with a domineering overflow in askesis over daemonization. There is a psychological or psychoanalytic framework to Bloom’s text that I am not interested in engaging nor am I equipped to engage, and again, as I have marked prior, the anxiety of influence that Bloom puts forward is not of interest to the thesis of this essay. However, his engagement of askesis is congenial to my ideas of Nietzsche and Zarathustra. The purging and self-overcoming that is essential in the text is crucial in negating the spiritual debt of modern man. What I find most interesting in Bloom’s Anxiety of Influence is his use of askesis, and that is sufficient for the purpose of my essay. This task of this essay is not a conversation on the anxiety of influence from Nietzsche to Rousseau; rather, Rousseau’s Emile illuminates the relevance and importance of Zarathustra as a text and as a model to emulate, in an attempt to negate modern man’s spiritual debt.
 Rousseau explains the problem with modern man is the creation of society and consequently institutions of civility. He is warning Emile against the avarices that comes along with these institutions of modern man and to save himself and keep his soul pure and authentic, he must detach himself from the seduction of modern greed, envy, jealousy, vanity, pride, luxury, leisure and all other avarices that come along with modern man. Zarathustra warns in On The New Idol, he says, “All-too-many are born: for the superfluous that state was invented. Behold, how it lures them, the all-too-many—and how it devours them, chew them, and ruminates!….Only where the state ends, there begins the human being who is not superfluous: there begins the song of necessity, the unique and inimitable tune.” [49/51]
 Ibid: 59
 Ibid: 14
 Aphorism 290: The Gay Science (This speaks to spiritual debt)
 Ibid: 38
 Ibid: 39
 Ibid: 31
 Ibid: 27
 Ibid: 42: “I no longer trust myself since I aspire to the height, and nobody trusts me anymore; how did this happen? I change too fast: my today refutes my yesterday. I often skip steps when I climb: no step forgives me that. When I am at the top I always find myself alone. Nobody speaks to me; the frost of loneliness makes me shiver. What do I want up high? My contempt and my longing grow at the same time;’
 Ibid: 188
 Ibid: 131
 Ibid: 117: “If he grew tired of his sublimity, this sublime one, only then would his beauty commence; and only then will I taste him and find him tasteful. And only when he turns away from himself, will he jump over his shadow—and verily, into his sun.”
 Ibid: 139
 To elaborate on my point, I will use Walter Kaufmann, he quotes Nietzsche: “In man these is both creator and creature” and then explains it by saying, “the human and the all-too-human, the superhuman and the animalistic. Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Anti-Christ. Meridian Books. New York. 1956: 268
 Ibid: 155
 Ibid: 172
 On Redemption, pages 137-142
 Alexander Nehamas. Nietzsche: Life as Literature. Harvard University Press. Cambridge, MA. 1985. Nehamas: 198
 Ibid: 185 “Oh, everything human is strange”. And to elaborate a bit more, I will use a quote by J.D Salinger from The Catcher in the Rye, “Among other things, you’ll find that you’re not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You’re by no means alone on that score, you’ll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You’ll learn from them—if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It’s a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn’t education. It’s history. It’s poetry.
 Ibid: 155
 Alexander Nehamas says that the “Ubermensch is essentially aware of the fluidity of the personality. And it is this fluidity that accounts for Nietzsche’s emphasis on constant “self-overcoming.” The fluidity of character in turn explains why the eternal reoccurrence can function as the “highest formula of affirmation that is at all attainable.” It suggests that a life can be justified only if it comes to be accepted in its entirety.
 Walter Kaufmann. Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist. Meridian Books. New York. 1956: 268.
 Ibid: 270. Kaufmann later goes on to say, “The ‘human, superhuman’ then refers to our true self, and the ‘superman’ is the one who has transfigured his physis and acquired self-mastery.”
 Ibid: 55: And this is man’s challenge, to over-come himself, it is the hardest thing he will ever have to do—Nietzsche says, “Man is hard to discover—hardest of all for himself.” It is a process by which we over-come the modern man that we have created, and through this process of deconstruction, we can over-come and become the overman.” Nehamas goes on to say, “To achieve or to create such a perfect life involves action as well as the constant reinterpretation of what is in a sense already there, since the whole self is implicit in its every action. Nietzsche seems to think that to lead a perfect life is to come to know what the self is that is already there and to live according to that knowledge. But to live according to that knowledge will inevitably include new actions that must be integrated with what has already occurred and the reinterpretation of which will result in the creation or discovery of a self that could not have been there already. This paradoxical interplay between creation and discovery, knowledge and action, literature and life is at the center of Nietzsche’s conception of the self. This tension now sets for us the task of understanding one of Zarathustra’s most puzzling self-descriptions: Zarathustra says, “For that is what I am through and through: reeling, reeling in, raising up, raising, a raiser, cultivator, and disciplinarian, who once counseled himself, not for nothing: Become who you are!” [Z, IV, 1]. Alexander Nehamas. Nietzsche: Life as Literature. Harvard University Press. Cambridge, MA. 1985.
 Ibid: 42