Classic Essays

No Parasites — Not a Single One

I DRAW circles around me and sacred boundaries; fewer and fewer men climb with me on ever higher mountains: I am building a mountain range out of ever more sacred mountains.

But wherever you may climb with me, O my brothers, see to it that no parasite climbs with you. Parasites: creeping, cringing worms which would batten on your secret sores.

And this is their art, that they find where climbing souls are weary; in your grief and discouragement, in your tender parts, they build their nauseating nest.

* * *

Source: Friedrich Nietzsche, “On Old and New Tablets,” from
Thus Spoke Zarathustra

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