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The Parable of  the Madman

Have you not heard of that madman who lit  a lantern in the bright morning hours, ran to the market place,  and cried incessantly: “I seek God! I seek God!”—As  many of those who did not believe in God were standing around  just then, he provoked much laughter. Has he got lost? asked one.  Did he lose his way like a child? asked another. Or is he hiding?  Is he afraid of us? Has he gone on a voyage? emigrated?—Thus  they yelled and laughed

The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes.  “Whither is God?” he cried; “I will tell you. We    have killed him—you and I. All of us are his murderers.  But how did we do this? How could we drink up the sea? Who gave  us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What were we doing  when we unchained this earth from its sun? Whither is it moving  now? Whither are we moving? Away from all suns? Are we not plunging  continually? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is  there still any up or down? Are we not straying, as through an  infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has  it not become colder? Is not night continually closing in on us?  Do we not need to light lanterns in the morning? Do we hear nothing  as yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do  we smell nothing as yet of the divine decomposition? Gods, too,  decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.

“How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers?  What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned  has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off  us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals  of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not  the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves  not become gods simply to appear worthy of it? There has never  been a greater deed; and whoever is born after us—for the sake  of this deed he will belong to a higher history than all history  hitherto.”

Here the madman fell silent and looked again at his listeners;  and they, too, were silent and stared at him in astonishment.  At last he threw his lantern on the ground, and it broke into  pieces and went out. “I have come too early,” he said  then; “my time is not yet. This tremendous event is still  on its way, still wandering; it has not yet reached the ears of  men. Lightning and thunder require time; the light of the stars  requires time; deeds, though done, still require time to be seen  and heard. This deed is still more distant from them than most  distant stars—and yet they have done it themselves.

It has been related further that on the same day the madman forced  his way into several churches and there struck up his requiem    aeternam deo. Led out and called to account, he is said always  to have replied nothing but: “What after all are these churches  now if they are not the tombs and sepulchers of God?”

 

This site is designed to be visited by all atheists, agnostics, skeptics, non-believers and believers of all faiths. If  you have any questions for me, please post them here. If it’s appropriate I will have a pubic answer for you. This way, I won’t have to repeat myself again.

In heaven all the interesting people are missing – Friedrich Nietzsche

 

 

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