Zarathustra is alone amongst the great teachers of the world who is not against the body, but for the body. All the other teachers are against the body, and their reasoning is that the body is a hindrance in the growth of the soul, the body is a barrier between you and the divine. This is sheer nonsense.
Zarathustra, perhaps, is the sanest teacher we have known. He will not have anything to do with any kind of nonsense; his approach is pragmatic and scientific. And he is the first to teach the body, to teach humanity that unless you love the body, and unless you understand the body, you cannot grow spiritually. The body is the temple of your soul.
It serves you your whole life without asking anything in return. And it is ugly to condemn it, because all these condemners of the body are born out of the body. They are condemning the body through the body. They are living their life through the body, and yet humanity has accepted a very dangerous ideology: the split between the body and the soul - not only the split, but their polar oppositeness, that you have to choose either the body or the soul. It is part of a bigger philosophy: matter and spirit. Body is matter and soul is spirit. And all these body condemners, body despisers, have become focused on one ideal: that the world consists of two things, matter and spirit.
But now we know not only logically, not only through experience, but through scientific evidence also, that there is only one entity; whether you call it matter or you call it spirit, does not matter. Body and soul, matter and energy, ore one and the same. Existence is not a duality; it is an organic whole.
But there was a fundamental reason to condemn the body: that was their way of praising the soul, that was their way of praising immaterial energy. It would have been a little difficult without condemning the body and matter. Condemn the body - it gives you a good background for praising the soul. Condemn the world and you can praise God. But they never saw a very obvious fact that they themselves are preaching continuously that God created the world. If God created the world, then the world is nothing but an extension of God, His creativity; it cannot be His enemy.
Zarathustra has a very clear insight and nobody that far back, twenty- five centuries ago, was able to see that the body has a wisdom of its own. You come across it every moment, but still the old conditioning is so heavy that it does not allow you to recognize the wisdom of the body.
For example, your eyes are continuously blinking. They could have been left just as your ears are, always open. But the body has a wisdom, a deep intelligence - eyes are so delicate, they need continuously cleaning. And when the eyelid comes down, goes up, it is helping the body to remain, through the eyes, absolutely clean. And there are glands which have water in them. When you cry and weep it comes in tears, but when your eyelids are blinking, the same liquid cleanses any dust that may have accumulated on the most delicate part of your body.
Eyes are almost the windows of your soul. Immense care is taken, by the body, of the eyes. And this is just an example. All the basic necessities of the body are not left to you; you are not that reliable.
By "you" I mean your mind. Breathing is not at all dependent on the mind. It would have been dangerous, because mind is not in such a small space.
The body goes on renewing itself. After every seven years you are a new person, without knowing it. Not a single old cell in your body is there; they have been replaced by new cells. Before they become too old, and can become destructive, they are removed. Your blood i||continuously taking out your dead cells and bringing new cells, taking out carbon dioxide, which can become a cause of death if it accumulates in you, and goes on replacing it with oxygen, which is your life. And this all goes on so silently, no noise is made. Still almost all the religions condemn the body, saying that the body is the source of sin.
The body is the source of your whole life. Now what you make of it, that depends on you. You can be a sinner, you can be a saint. The body neither seduces you to be a sinner, nor encourages you to be a saint, whoever you are, a sinner or a saint, the body continues its own work. Its own work is so vast, it has no time for any other thing. Zarathustra has tremendous respect for the body, because it is the beginning of your being. From the body you can move to the being.
But if the body is condemned, renounced, tortured, which has been done for centuries, then you cannot go to your being. You become unnecessarily involved, entangled, in a fight with the body. Your whole energy is destroyed in this antagonism. The body should be accepted lovingly, thankfully, gratefully. In fact that is the intention of nature.