Tuesday, May 13, 2014

On Academics

Sleep tappeth on mine eye, and it turneth heavy. Sleep toucheth my mouth, and it remaineth open.
Verily, on soft soles doth it come to me, the dearest of thieves, and stealeth from me my thoughts: stupid do I then stand, like this academic chair.  
But not much longer do I then stand: I already lie.-

When Zarathustra heard the wise man thus speak, he laughed in his heart: for thereby had a light dawned upon him. And thus spake he to his heart: A fool seemeth this wise man with his forty thoughts: but I believe he knoweth well how to sleep.
Happy even is he who liveth near this wise man! Such sleep is contagious - even through a thick wall it is contagious.
A magic resideth even in his academic chair. And not in vain did the youths sit before the preacher of virtue.
His wisdom is to keep awake in order to sleep well. And verily, if life had no sense, and had I to choose nonsense, this would be the desirablest nonsense for me also.
Now know I well what people sought formerly above all else when they sought teachers of virtue. Good sleep they sought for themselves, and poppy-head virtues to promote it!
To all those belauded sages of the academic chairs, wisdom was sleep without dreams: they knew no higher significance of life.
Even at present, to be sure, there are some like this preacher of virtue, and not always so honourable: but their time is past. And not much longer do they stand: there they already lie.
Blessed are those drowsy ones: for they shall soon nod to sleep.-

...When I came unto men, then found I them resting on an old infatuation: all of them thought they had long known what was good and bad for men.
An old wearisome business seemed to them all discourse about virtue; and he who wished to sleep well spake of "good" and "bad" ere retiring to rest.
This somnolence did I disturb when I taught that no one yet knoweth what is good and bad:- unless it be the creating one!
-It is he, however, who createth man's goal, and giveth to the earth its meaning and its future: he only effecteth it that aught is good or bad.
And I bade them upset their old academic chairs, and wherever that old infatuation had sat; I bade them laugh at their great moralists, their saints, their poets, and their saviours.
Thus spake Zarathustra.

Chapter 2

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