The Joyful Wisdom, 115–125, decoded.

The Four Errors. Man has been created by his errors. First, he sees himself as imperfect. Second, he gives himself imaginary qualities. Third, he sees himself in a false position in regards to animals and nature. Fourth, he has always invented new systems of morality that he accepted. When one has eliminated the effects of these four errors, one has also eliminated humanity and human dignity.

Herd-Instinct. Moralities always rank human impulses and activities. The ranking expresses the needs of the herd. Morality teaches a person to become a sheep, and to value herself merely as a function. Because cultures and their needs are different, moralities are different.

The Herd’s Sting of Conscience. We are proud of ourselves for being independent, but this has not always been the case. For most of history, feeling independent was the worst possible feeling for a person. Individuality was a punishment, and to be left alone ‘in solitary’ was a terrifying and miserable. Freedom of thought was punishment too. The more one helped the herd, the more one thought of oneself. It is in this respect that we have most changed our way of thinking.

Benevolence. Is it wicked for a lion to eat a lamb? Is it virtuous for a lamb to give its wool to the farmer? They must do so. One must not think that submission is good and covetousness is bad. Gladness and covetousness are united in the strong person; gladness and a desire-to-be-coveted are united in the weak one.

No Altruism! Many people want to be used, to be a function. Among them are women who want to be a man’s accessory. These people are parasites. They survive on the strength of their hosts.

The Madman. Have you ever heard of the madman who on a bright morning lit a lantern and ran to the market, yelling: “I seek God! I seek God!” The people there laughed at him. “Why! is he lost?” said one. “Has he wandered away like a child?” said another. The insane man stared. “Where is God gone? We have killed him— you and I! We are all his murderers! But how have we done it? How were we able to drink up the sea? What did we do when we pulled the earth from the sun? God is dead! God remains dead! And we have killed him! Won’t we now have to become Gods? This is the greatest event in history!” He fell silent and looked the crowds. They returned his stare. “I have come too early,” he said, “You cannot understand me yet.” He went from church to church and, when forced out, would scream: “These churches are merely the tombs of God!”