If so, then the "over-man," correctly thought, cannot be the product of an unbridled and degenerate fantasy that is plunging headlong into the void. We can just as little uncover the nature of overman historically by virtue of an analysis of the modern age. We dare not seek the essential figure of overman in those personalities who, as major functionaries of a shallow, misguided will to power, are swept to the pinnacles of that will's sundry organizational forms. Of course, one thing ought to be clear to us immediately: this thinking that pursues the figure of a teacher who teaches the over-man involves us, involves Europe, involves the earth as a whole—not merely today, but especially tomorrow. That is so, no matter whether we affirm or reject this thinking, whether we neglect it or ape it in false tones. Every essential thinking cuts across all discipleship and opposition alike without being touched.

Hence it behooves us first of all to learn how to learn from the teacher, even if that only means to ask out beyond him. In that way alone will we one day experience who Zarathustra is. Or else we will never experience it.

To be sure, we must still ponder whether this asking out beyond Nietzsche's thinking can be a continuation of his thought, or whether it must become a step back.

And before that, we must ponder whether this "step back" merely refers to a historically ascertainable past which one might choose to revive (for example, the world of Goethe), or whether the word back indicates something that has been. For the commencement of what has been still awaits a commemorative thinking, in order that it might become a beginning, a beginning to which the dawn grants upsurgence.*

Yet we shall now restrict ourselves to the effort to learn a few provisional things about Zarathustra, The appropriate way to proceed would be to follow the first steps taken by this teacher—the teacher that Zarathustra is. He teaches by showing. He previews the essence of overman and brings that essence to visible configuration. Zarathustra is merely the teacher, not the over-man himself.

* See "The Anaximander Fragment," in Early Greek Thinking, pp. 16-18.

Who Is Nietzsche's Zarathustra?