Nietzsche: The Ultimate Anarch’ Icarus

The Anarchist is a Dancer

I would believe only in a god who could
dance.
And when I saw my devil I found him
serious, thorough, profound and solemn;
it was the spirit of gravity — through him
all things fall.

Not by wrath does one kill but by
laughter.
Come let us kill the spirit of
gravity.
I have learned to walk:
ever since, I let myself run.

I have learned to fly.
Now I am light,
now I fly,
now I see myself beneath
myself,
now a god dances
through me.

(Zarathustra, “On Reading and Writing”)

What to say about this passage of Zarathustra!  This is a case of  ‘language’ spoils. So dance can say it better:


This ‘poem” by Nietzsche inaugurates a series of Icarus portraits of known and obscure Icaruses.

Today’s Fool’s Message:

On Dancing…

“Under the charm of the Dionysian not only is the union between man and man reaffirmed, but Nature which has become estranged, hostile, or subjugated, celebrates once more her reconciliation with her prodigal son, man…. Now the slave is free; now all the stubborn, hostile barriers, which necessity, caprice or ‘shameless fashion’ have erected between man and man, are broken down… Each one feels himself not only united, reconciled, blended with his neighbour, but all as one with him… In song and in dance man expresses himself as a member of a higher community; he has forgotten how to walk and speak; he is about to take a dancing flight into the air… He feels himself a god, he himself now walks about enchanted, in ecstasy… He is no longer an artist, he has become a work of art: in these paroxysms of intoxication the artistic power of all nature reveals itself to the highest gratification of the Primordial Unity” (The Birth of Tragedy)

On Dancing more…


Dancing in all its forms cannot be excluded from the curriculum of all noble education; dancing with the feet, with ideas, with words, and, need I add that one must also be able to dance with the pen?

Every day I count wasted in which there has been no dancing.

And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.

He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying.

Only in the dance do I know how to tell the parable of the highest things…. (Zarathustra, “The Tomb Song”)


How much a spirit needs for its nourishment, for this there is no formula; but if its taste is for independence, for quick coming and going, for roaming, perhaps for adventures for which only the swiftest are a match, it is better for such a spirit to live in freedom with little to eat than unfree and stuffed. It is not fat but the greatest possible suppleness and strength that a good dancer desires from his nourishment – and I would not know what the spirit of a philosopher might wish more to be than a good dancer. For the dance is his ideal, also his art, and finally also his only piety, his “service of God.” (“The Gay Science”)

On Dancing  ( Un )still…


Our first questions of value, in relation to books, people, and music, are: “can they walk? what’s more, can they dance?”
[Nietzsche, The Gay Science, section 366.]

Lift up your hearts, my brothers, high, higher! And do not forget your legs either. Lift up your legs too, you good dancers; and better yet, stand on your heads!
(…)
Zarathustra, the dancer; Zarathustra, the light one who beckons with his wings, preparing for a flight, beckoning to all birds, ready and heady, blissfully lightheaded;
(…)
You higher men, the worst about you is that all of you have not learned to dance as one must dance – dancing away over yourselves! …learn to laugh away over yourselves! Lift up your hearts, you good dancers, high, higher! And do not forget good laughter. This crown of him who laughs, this rose-wreath crown: to you, my brothers, I throw this crown. Laughter I have pronounced holy; you higher men, learn to laugh! (Zarathustra, “On the Higher Man,”) also quoted in the second preface to Birth of Tragedy)

Happy Heuristics

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