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On Chastity

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On Chastity:


I love the forest. In the cities it is bad to live: there are too many there that are in heat.

Is it not better to fall into the hands of a murderer than into the dreams of a woman in heat?

And just look at these men here: their eye says it - they know of nothing better on earth than to lie with a woman.

Mud is at the bottom of their souls; and woe, if their mud still has any spirit!

Would that you were perfect at least as beasts! But to the beast belongs innocence.

Do I counsel you to deaden your senses? I counsel you to innocence of the senses.

Do I counsel you to chastity? Chastity is in some people a virtue, but in many almost a vice.

These latter abstain certainly: but the bitch sensuality looks enviously out of everything they do.

Even into the heights of their virtue and the coldness of the spirit this beast with its discord follows them.

And how nicely the bitch sensuality knows how to beg for a piece of spirit when a piece of flesh is denied her!

You love tragedies and all that breaks the heart? But I am mistrustful of your bitch.

Your eyes are too cruel for me and you look lustfully at sufferers. Has your lust not merely disguised itself and called itself pity?

And this parable, too, I give to you: not a few who wanted to drive out their Devil have themselves entered into the swine.

Those for whom chastity is difficult should be counselled against it, that it might not become their path to Hell - that is to mud and heat of the soul.

Do I speak of filthy things? That is for me not the worst thing.

Not when the truth is filthy, but when it is shallow, is the one who understands reluctant to step into its waters.

Verily, there are those who are chaste from the ground up: they are gentler of heart, and laugh more readily and richly than you.

They even laugh about chastity and ask: 'What is chastity!

'Is chastity not folly? But this folly came to us and not we to it.

'We offered this guest shelter and our hearts: now it lives with us - may it stay as long as it wants!'


Thus spoke Zarathustra.


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