Yet where are the eyes to see this?

Metaphysical thinking rests on the distinction between what truly is and what, measured against this, constitutes all that is not truly in being. However, what is decisive for the essence of metaphysics is by no means the fact that the designated distinction is formulated as the opposition of the suprasensuous to the sensuous realm, but the fact that this distinction—in the sense of a yawning gulf between the realms—remains primary and all-sustaining. The distinction persists even when the Platonic hierarchy of suprasensuous and sensuous is inverted and the sensuous realm is experienced more essentially and more thoroughly—in the direction Nietzsche indicates with the name Dionysos. For the superabundance for which Zarathustra's "great longing" yearns is the inexhaustible permanence of Becoming, which the will to power in the eternal recurrence of the same wills itself to be.

Nietzsche brought what is essentially metaphysical in his thinking to the extremity of ill will in the final lines of his final book, Ecce Homo: How One Becomes What One Is. Nietzsche composed the text in October of 1888. It was first published in a limited edition twenty years later; in 1911 it was taken up into the fifteenth volume of the Grossoktav edition. The final lines of Ecce Homo read: "Have I been understood?—Dionysos versus the Crucified...."

Who is Nietzsche's Zarathustra? He is the advocate of Dionysos. That means that Zarathustra is the teacher who in and for his doctrine of overman teaches the eternal return of the same.

Does the preceding statement provide the answer to our query? No. Nor does it provide the answer after we have pursued all the references that might elucidate the statement, hoping in that way to follow Zarathustra—if only in that first step across the bridge. The statement, which looks like an answer, nonetheless wants us to take note, wants to make us more alert, as it conducts us back to the question that serves as our title.

Who is Nietzsche's Zarathustra? The question now asks who this teacher is. Who is this figure which, at the stage of metaphysics' completion, appears within metaphysics? Nowhere else in the history of Western metaphysics has the essential figure been expressly created in this way for its respective thinker—or, to put it more appropriately and literally, nowhere else has that figure been so tellingly thought.

Who Is Nietzsche's Zarathustra?