Quotation by Friedrich Nietzsche

Three metamorphoses of the spirit I relate to you: how the spirit becomes a camel; and the camel, a lion; and the lion, finally, a child.
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900), German philosopher, classical scholar, critic of culture. Friedrich Nietzsche, Sämtliche Werke: Kritische Studienausgabe, vol. 4, p. 29, eds. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, Berlin, de Gruyter (1980). Zarathustra, in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, First Part, "On the Three Metamorphoses," (1883).

An allegorical progression echoing and inverting a widespread etiological tale that illustrates why it is that as we get older we necessarily adopt the degrading and dehumanizing destinies appropriate to asses, dogs, and apes—see Richard Perkins, "Metamorphosis in Nietzsche and its Sources in Satiric Fable," Comparative Literature Studies, vol. 22, no. 4 (Winter 1985), pp. 472-496.
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