PREFACE FOR THE SECOND EDITION
This book may need more than one preface, and in the end there would still remain room for doubt whether anyone who had never lived through similar experiences could be brought closer to the experience of this book by means of prefaces. It seems to be written in the language of the wind that thaws ice and snow: high spirits, unrest, contradiction, and April weather are present in it, and one is instantly reminded no less of the proximity of winter than of the triumph over the winter that is coming, must come, and perhaps has already come.
Gratitude pours forth continually, as if the unexpected had just happened—the gratitude of a convalescent—for convalescence was unexpected. "Gay Science": that signifies the saturnalia of a spirit who has patiently resisted a terrible, long pressure—patiently, severely, coldly, without submitting, but also without hope—and who is now all at once attacked by hope, the hope for health, and the intoxication of convalescence. Is it any wonder that in the process much that is unreasonable and foolish comes to light, much playful tenderness that is lavished even on problems that have a prickly hide and are not made to be caressed and enticed? This whole book is nothing but a bit of merry-making after long privation and powerlessness, the rejoicing of strength that is returning, of a reawakened faith in a tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, of a sudden sense and anticipation of a future, of impending adventures, of seas that are open again, of goals that are permitted again, believed again. And what did not lie behind me then! This stretch of desert, exhaustion, disbelief, icing up in the midst of youth, this interlude of old age at the wrong time, this tyranny of pain even excelled by the tyranny of pride that refused the conclusions of pain—and conclusions are consolations—this radical retreat into solitude as a self-defense against a contempt for men that had become pathologically clairvoyant—this determined self-limitation to what was bitter, harsh, and hurtful to know, prescribed by the nausea that had gradually developed out of an incautious and pampering spiritual diet, called romanticism—oh, who could reexperience all of this? But if anyone could, he would surely pardon more than a little foolishness, exuberance, and "gay science"—for example, the handful of songs that have now been added to this book—songs in which a poet makes fun of all poets in a way that may be hard to forgive. Alas, it is not only the poets and their beautiful "lyrical sentiments" on whom the resurrected author has to vent his sarcasm: who knows what victim he is looking for, what monster of material for parody will soon attract him? "Incipit tragoedia" we read at the end of this awesomely aweless book. Beware! Something downright wicked and malicious is announced here: incipit parodia, no doubt.
But let us leave Herr Nietzsche: what is it to us that Herr Nietzsche has become well again?
For a psychologist there are few questions that are as attractive as that concerning the relation of health and philosophy, and if he should himself become ill, he will bring all of his scientific curiosity into his illness. For assuming that one is a person, one necessarily also has the philosophy that belongs to that person; but there is a big difference. In some it is their deprivations that philosophize; in others, their riches and strengths. The former need their philosophy, whether it be a prop, a sedative, medicine, redemption, elevation, or self-alienation. For the latter it is merely a beautiful luxury—in the best cases, the voluptuousness of a triumphant gratitude that eventually still has to inscribe itself in cosmic letters on the heaven of concepts. But in the former case, which is more common, when it is distress that philosophizes, as is the case with all sick thinkers—and perhaps sick thinkers are more numerous in the history of philosophy—what will become of the thought itself when it is subjected to the pressure of sickness? This is the question that concerns the psychologist, and here an experiment is possible. Just as a traveler may resolve, before he calmly abandons himself to sleep, to wake up at a certain time, we philosophers, if we should become sick, surrender for a while to sickness, body and soul—and, as it were, shut our eyes to ourselves. And as the traveler knows that something is not asleep, that something counts the hours and will wake him up, we, too, know that the decisive moment will find us awake, and that something will leap forward then and catch the spirit in the act: I mean, in its weakness or repentance or resignation or hardening or gloom, and whatever other names there are for the pathological states of the spirit that on healthy days are opposed by the pride of the spirit (for the old saying is still valid: "the proud spirit, peacock, and horse are the three proudest beasts on earth").
After such self-questioning, self-temptation, one acquires a subtler eye for all philosophizing to date; one can infer better than before the involuntary detours, side lanes, resting places, and sunny places of thought to which suffering thinkers are led and misled on account of their suffering; for now one knows whether the sick body and its needs unconsciously urge, push, and lure the spirit—toward the sun, stillness, madness, patience, medicine, balm in some sense. Every philosophy that ranks peace above war, every ethic with a negative definition of happiness, every metaphysics and physics that knows some finale, some final state of some sort, every predominant aesthetic or religious craving for some Apart, Beyond, Outside, Above, permits the question whether it was not sickness that inspired the philosopher. The unconscious disguise of physiological needs under the cloaks of the objective, ideal, purely spiritual goes to frightening lengths—and often I have asked myself whether, taking a large view, philosophy has not been merely an interpretation of the body and a misunderstanding of the body.
Behind the highest value judgments that have hitherto guided the history of thought, there are concealed misunderstandings of the physical constitution—of individuals or classes or even whole races. All those bold insanities of metaphysics, especially answers to the question about the value of existence, may always be considered first of all as the symptoms of certain bodies. And if such world affirmations or world negations tout court lack any grain of significance when measured scientifically, they are the more valuable for the historian and psychologist as hints or symptoms of the body, of its success or failure, its plenitude, power, and autocracy in history, or of its frustrations, weariness, impoverishment, its premonitions of the end, its will to the end.
I am still waiting for a philosophical physician in the exceptional sense of that word—one who has to pursue the problem of the total health of a people, time, race or of humanity—to muster the courage to push my suspicion to its limits and to risk the proposition: what was at stake in all philosophizing hitherto was not at all "truth" but something else—let us say, health, future, growth, power, life.
You see that I do not want to take leave ungratefully from that time of severe sickness whose profits I have not yet exhausted even today. I am very conscious of the advantages that my fickle health gives me over all robust squares [Vierschrötigen des Geistes]. A philosopher who has traversed many kinds of health, and keeps traversing them, has passed through an equal number of philosophies; he simply cannot keep from transposing his states every time into the most spiritual form and distance: this art of transfiguration is philosophy. We philosophers are not free to divide body from soul as the people do; we are even less free to divide soul from spirit. We are not thinking frogs, nor objectifying and registering mechanisms with their innards removed: constantly, we have to give birth to our thoughts out of our pain and, like mothers, endow them with all we have of blood, heart, fire, pleasure, passion, agony, conscience, fate, and catastrophe. Life—that means for us constantly transforming all that we are into light and flame—also everything that wounds us; we simply can do no other. And as for sickness: are we not almost tempted to ask whether we could get along without it? Only great pain is the ultimate liberator of the spirit, being the teacher of the great suspicion that turns every U into an X, a real, genuine X, that is the letter before the penultimate one. [There is a German expression for deceiving someone that means literally: passing off a u as an x. Originally it referred to the Roman numerals, V and X, and meant passing off a five for a ten. The suspicion of which Nietzsche speaks does not inflate conventional values; it insists that they are not really known but rather unknown quantities—the x of the mathematicians.]
Only great pain, the long, slow pain that takes its time—on which we are burned, as it were, with green wood—compels us philosophers to descend into our ultimate depths and to put aside all trust, everything good-natured, everything that would interpose a veil, that is mild, that is medium—things in which formerly we may have found our humanity. I doubt that such pain makes us "better"; but I know that it makes us more profound.
Whether we learn to pit our pride, our scorn, our will power against it, equaling the American Indian who, however tortured, repays his torturer with the malice of his tongue; or whether we withdraw from pain into that Oriental Nothing—called Nirvana—into mute, rigid, deaf resignation, self-forgetting, self-extinction: out of such long and dangerous exercises of self-mastery one emerges as a different person, with a few more question marks—above all with the will henceforth to question further, more deeply, severely, harshly, evilly, and quietly than one had questioned heretofore. The trust in life is gone: life itself has become a problem. Yet one should not jump to the conclusion that this necessarily makes one gloomy. Even love of life is still possible, only one loves differently. It is the love for a woman that causes doubts in us.
The attraction of everything problematic, the delight in an x, however, is so great in such more spiritual, more spiritualized men that this delight flares up again and again like a bright blaze over all the distress of what is problematic, over all the danger of uncertainty, and even over the jealousy of the lover. We know a new happiness.
In the end, lest what is most important remain unsaid: from such abysses, from such severe sickness, also from the sickness of severe suspicion, one returns newborn, having shed one's skin, more ticklish and malicious, with a more delicate taste for joy, with a tenderer tongue for all good things, with merrier senses, with a second dangerous innocence in joy, more childlike and yet a hundred times subtler than one has ever been before.
How repulsive pleasure is now, that crude, musty, brown pleasure as it is understood by those who like pleasure, our "educated" people, our rich people, and our rulers! How maliciously we listen now to the big country-fair boom-boom with which the "educated" person and city dweller today permits art, books, and music to rape him and provide "spiritual pleasures"—with the aid of spirituous liquors! How the theatrical scream of passion now hurts our ears, how strange to our taste the whole romantic uproar and tumult of the senses have become, which the educated mob loves, and all its aspirations after the elevated, inflated, and exaggerated! No, if we convalescents still need art, it is another kind of art—a mocking, light, fleeting, divinely untroubled, divinely artificial art that, like a pure flame, licks into unclouded skies. Above all, an art for artists, for artists only! We know better afterward what above all is needed for this: cheerfulness, any cheerfulness, my friends—also as artists: let me prove it. There are a few things we now know too well, we knowing ones: oh, how we now learn to forget well, and to be good at not knowing, as artists!
And as for our future, one will hardly find us again on the paths of those Egyptian youths who endanger temples by night, embrace statues, and want by all means to unveil, uncover, and put into a bright light whatever is kept concealed for good reasons [An allusion to Frederich Schiller's "The Veiled Image at Sais.]. No, this bad taste, this will to truth, to "truth at any price," this youthful madness in the love of truth, have lost their charm for us: for that we are too experienced, too serious, too merry, too burned, too profound. We no longer believe that truth remains truth when the veils are withdrawn; we have lived too much to believe this. Today we consider it a matter of decency not to wish to see everything naked, or to be present at everything, or to understand and "know" everything.
"Is it true that God is present everywhere?" a little girl asked her mother; "I think that's indecent"—a hint for philosophers! One should have more respect for the bashfulness with which nature has hidden behind riddles and iridescent uncertainties. Perhaps truth is a woman who has reasons for not letting us see her reasons? Perhaps her name is—to speak Greek—Baubo? [A primitive and obscene female demon; originally a personification of the female genitals.]
Oh, those Greeks! They knew how to live. What is required for that is to stop courageously at the surface, the fold, the skin, to adore appearance, to believe in forms, tones, words, in the whole Olympus of appearance. Those Greeks were superficial—out of profundity. And is not this precisely what we are coming back to, we daredevils of the spirit who have climbed the highest and most dangerous peak of present thought and looked around from up there—we who have looked down from there? Are we not, precisely in this respect, Greeks? Adorers of forms, of tones, of words? And therefore—artists?
Ruta, near Genoa,
in the fall of 1886
"Joke, Cunning, and Revenge":
Prelude in German Rhymes
Take a chance and try my fare:
It will grow on you, I swear;
Soon it will taste good to you.
If by then you should want more,
All the things I've done before
Will inspire things quite new.
Since I grew tired of the chase
And search, I learned to find;
And since the wind blows in my face,
I sail with every wind.
Where you stand, dig deep and pry!
Down there is the well.
Let the obscurantists cry:
"Down there's only—hell!"
[Vademecum: a manual or guidebook; literally, "go with me." Vadetecum: go with yourself.]
Lured by my style and tendency,
you follow and come after me?
Follow your own self faithfully—
take time—and thus you follow me.
11. The Proverb Speaks
Sharp and mild, rough and fine,
Strange and familiar, impure and clean,
A place where fool and sage convene:
All this I am and wish to mean,
Dove as well as snake and swine.
13. For Dancers
for those who dance with expertise.
Interpreting myself, I always read
Myself into my books. I clearly need
Some help. But all who climb on their own way
Carry my image, too, into the breaking day.
30. The Neighbor
I do not love my neighbor near,
but wish he were high up and far.
How else could he become my star?
What you want is fame?
Then note the price:
To honor you must sacrifice.
60. Higher Men
He should be praised for climbing; yet
The other man comes always from a height
And lives where praise can never get—
Beyond your sight.
62. Ecce Homo
Yes, I know from where I came!
Ever hungry like a flame,
I consume myself and glow.
Light grows all that I conceive,
Ashes everything I leave:
Flame I am assuredly.
63. Star Morals
Called a star's orbit to pursue,
What is the darkness, star, to you?
Roll on in bliss, traverse this age—
Its misery far from you and strange.
Let farthest world your light secure.
Pity is sin you must abjure.
But one command is yours: be pure!
1. The teachers of the purpose of existence
Whether I contemplate men with benevolence or with an evil eye, I always find them concerned with a single task, all of them and every one of them in particular: to do what is good for the preservation of the human race. Not from any feeling of love for the race, but merely because nothing in them is older, stronger, more inexorable and unconquerable than this instinct—because this instinct constitutes the essence of our species, our herd. It is easy enough to divide our neighbors quickly, with the usual myopia, from a mere five paces away, into useful and harmful, good and evil men; but in any large-scale accounting, when we reflect on the whole a little longer, we become suspicious of this neat division and finally abandon it. Even the most harmful man may really be the most useful when it comes to the preservation of the species; for he nurtures either in himself or in others, through his effects, instincts without which humanity would long have become feeble or rotten. Hatred, the mischievous delight in the misfortune of others, the lust to rob and dominate, and whatever else is called evil belongs to the most amazing economy of the preservation of the species. To be sure, this economy is not afraid of high prices, of squandering, and it is on the whole extremely foolish. Still it is proven that it has preserved our race so far.
I no longer know whether you, my dear fellow man and neighbor, are at all capable of living in a way that would damage the species; in other words, "unreasonably" and "badly." What might have harmed the species may have become extinct many thousands of years ago and may by now be one of those things that are not possible even for God. Pursue your best or your worst desires, and above all perish! In both cases you are probably still in some way a promoter and benefactor of humanity and therefore entitled to your eulogists—but also to your detractors. But you will never find anyone who could wholly mock you as an individual, also in your best qualities, bringing home to you to the limits of truth your boundless, flylike, froglike wretchedness! To laugh at oneself as one would have to laugh in order to laugh out of the whole truth—to do that even the best so far lacked sufficient sense for the truth, and the most gifted had too little genius for that. Even laughter may yet have a future. I mean, when the proposition "the species is everything, one is always none" has become part of humanity, and this ultimate liberation and irresponsibility has become accessible to all at all times. Perhaps laughter will then have formed an alliance with wisdom, perhaps only "gay science" will then be left.
For the present, things are still quite different. For the present, the comedy of existence has not yet "become conscious" of itself. For the present, we still live in the age of tragedy, the age of moralities and religions. What is the meaning of the ever new appearance of these founders of moralities and religions, these instigators of fights over moral valuations, these teachers of remorse and religious wars? What is the meaning of these heroes on this stage? Thus far these have been the heroes, and everything else, even if at times it was all that could be seen and was much too near to us, has always merely served to set the stage for these heroes, whether it was machinery or coulisse or took the form of confidants and valets. (The poets, for example, were always the valets of some morality.)
It is obvious that these tragedians, too, promote the interests of the species, even if they should believe that they promote the interest of God or work as God's emissaries. They, too, promote the life of the species, by promoting the faith in life. "Life is worth living," every one of them shouts; "there is something to life, there is something behind life, beneath it; beware!"
From time to time this instinct, which is at work equally in the highest and the basest men—the instinct for the preservation of the species—erupts as reason and as passion of the spirit. Then it is surrounded by a resplendent retinue of reasons and tries with all the force at its command to make us forget that at bottom it is instinct, drive, folly, lack of reasons. Life shall be loved, because—! Man shall advance himself and his neighbor, because—! What names all these Shalls and Becauses receive and may yet receive in the future! In order that what happens necessarily and always, spontaneously and without any purpose, may henceforth appear to be done for some purpose and strike man as rational and an ultimate commandment, the ethical teacher comes on stage, as the teacher of the purpose of existence; and to this end he invents a second, different existence and unhinges by means of his new mechanics the old, ordinary existence. Indeed, he wants to make sure that we do not laugh at existence, or at ourselves—or at him: for him, one is always one, something first and last and tremendous; for him there are no species, sums, or zeroes. His inventions and valuations may be utterly foolish and overenthusiastic; he may badly misjudge the course of nature and deny its conditions—and all ethical systems hitherto have been so foolish and anti-natural that humanity would have perished of every one of them if it had gained power over humanity—and yet, whenever "the hero" appeared on the stage, something new was attained: the gruesome counterpart of laughter, that profound emotional shock felt by many individuals at the thought: "Yes, I am worthy of living!" Life and I and you and all of us became interesting to ourselves once again and for a little while.
There is no denying that in the long run every one of these great teachers of a purpose was vanquished by laughter, reason, and nature: the short tragedy always gave way again and returned into the eternal comedy of existence; and "the waves of uncountable laughter"—to cite Aeschylus—must in the end overwhelm even the greatest of these tragedians. In spite of all this laughter which makes the required corrections, human nature has nevertheless been changed by the ever new appearance of these teachers of the purpose of existence: It now has one additional need—the need for the ever new appearance of such teachers and teachings of a "purpose."
Gradually, man has become a fantastic animal that has to fulfill one more condition of existence than any other animal: man has to believe, to know, from time to time why he exists; his race cannot flourish without a periodic trust in life—without faith in reason in life. And again and again the human race will decree from time to time: "There is something at which it is absolutely forbidden henceforth to laugh." The most cautious friend of man will add: "Not only laughter and gay wisdom but the tragic, too, with all its sublime unreason, belongs among the means and necessities of the preservation of the species."
Consequently—. Consequently. Consequently. O, do you understand me, my brothers? Do you understand this new law of ebb and flood? There is a time for us, too!
2. The intellectual conscience
I keep having the same experience and keep resisting it every time. I do not want to believe it although it is palpable: the great majority of people lack an intellectual conscience. Indeed, it has often seemed to me as if anyone calling for an intellectual conscience were as lonely in the most densely populated cities as if he were in a desert. Everybody looks at you with strange eyes and goes right on handling his scales, calling this good and that evil. Nobody even blushes when you intimate that their weights are underweight; nor do people feel outraged; they merely laugh at your doubts. I mean: the great majority of people does not consider it contemptible to believe this or that and to live accordingly, without first having given themselves an account of the final and most certain reasons pro and con, and without even troubling themselves about such reasons afterward: the most gifted men and the noblest women still belong to this "great majority." But what is goodheartedness, refinement, or genius to me, when the person who has these virtues tolerates slack feelings in his faith and judgments and when he does not account the desire for certainty as his inmost craving and deepest distress—as that which separates the higher human beings from the lower.
Among some pious people I have found a hatred of reason and was well disposed to them for that; for this at least betrayed their bad intellectual conscience. But to stand in the midst of this rerum concordia discors [Discordant concord of things: Horace, Epistles, I.12.19.] and of this whole marvelous uncertainty and rich ambiguity of existence without questioning, without trembling with the craving and the rapture of such questioning, without at least hating the person who questions, perhaps even finding him faintly amusing—that is what I feel to be contemptible, and this is the feeling for which I look first in everybody. Some folly keeps persuading me that every human being has this feeling, simply because he is human. This is my sense of injustice.
Consciousness is the last and latest development of the organic and hence also what is most unfinished and unstrong. Consciousness gives rise to countless errors that lead an animal or man to perish sooner than necessary, "exceeding destiny," as Homer puts it. If the conserving association of the instincts were not so very much more powerful, and if it did not serve on the whole as a regulator, humanity would have to perish of its misjudgments and its fantasies with open eyes, of its lack of thoroughness and its credulity—in short, of its consciousness; rather, without the former, humanity would long have disappeared.
Before a function is fully developed and mature it constitutes a danger for the organism, and it is good if during the interval it is subjected to some tyranny. Thus consciousness is tyrannized—not least by our pride in it. One thinks that it constitutes the kernel of man; what is abiding, eternal, ultimate, and most original in him. One takes consciousness for a determinate magnitude. One denies it growth and its intermittences. One takes it for the "unity of the organism."
This ridiculous overestimation and misunderstanding of consciousness has the very useful consequence that it prevents an all too fast development of consciousness. Believing that they possess consciousness, men have not exerted themselves very much to acquire it; and things haven't changed much in this respect. To this day the task of incorporating knowledge and making it instinctive is only beginning to dawn on the human eye and is not yet clearly discernible; it is a task that is seen only by those who have comprehended that so far we have incorporated only our errors and that all our consciousness relates to errors.
13. On the doctrine of the feeling of power
Benefiting and hurting others are ways of exercising one's power upon others; that is all one desires in such cases. One hurts those whom one wants to feel one's power, for pain is a much more efficient means to that end than pleasure; pain always raises the question about its origin while pleasure is inclined to stop with itself without looking back. We benefit and show benevolence to those who are already dependent on us in some way (which means that they are used to thinking of us as causes); we want to increase their power because in that way we increase ours, or we want to show them how advantageous it is to be in our power; that way they will become more satisfied with their condition and more hostile to and willing to fight against the enemies of our power.
Whether benefiting or hurting others involves sacrifices for us does not affect the ultimate value of our actions. Even if we offer our lives, as martyrs do for their church, this is a sacrifice that is offered for our desire for power or for the purpose of preserving our feeling of power. Those who feel "I possess Truth"—how many possessions would they not abandon in order to save this feeling! What would they not throw overboard to stay "on top"—which means, above the others who lack "the Truth"!
Certainly the state in which we hurt others is rarely as agreeable, in an unadulterated way, as that in which we benefit others; it is a sign that we are still lacking power, or it shows a sense of frustration in the face of this poverty; it is accompanied by new dangers and uncertainties for what power we do possess, and clouds our horizon with the prospect of revenge, scorn, punishment, and failure. It is only for the most irritable and covetous devotees of the feeling of power that it is perhaps more pleasurable to imprint the seal of power on a recalcitrant brow—those for whom the sight of those who are already subjected (the objects of benevolence) is a burden and boredom. What is decisive is how one is accustomed to spice one's life: it is a matter of taste whether one prefers the slow or the sudden, the assured or the dangerous and audacious increase of power; one seeks this or that spice depending on one's temperament.
An easy prey is something contemptible for proud natures. They feel good only at the sight of unbroken men who might become their enemies and at the sight of all possessions that are hard to come by. Against one who is suffering they are often hard because he is not worthy of their aspirations and pride; but they are doubly obliging toward their peers whom it would be honorable to fight if the occasion should ever arise. Spurred by the good feeling of this perspective, the members of the knightly caste became accustomed to treating each other with exquisite courtesy.
Pity is the most agreeable feeling among those who have little pride and no prospects of great conquests; for them easy prey—and that is what all who suffer are—is enchanting. Pity is praised as the virtue of prostitutes.
14. The things people call love
...Even the most beautiful scenery is no longer assured of our love after we have lived in it for three months, and some distant coast attracts our avarice: possessions are generally diminished by possession…
43. What laws betray
It is a serious mistake to study the penal code of a people as if it gave expression to the national character. The laws do not betray what a people are but rather what seems to them foreign, strange, uncanny, outlandish. The laws refer to the exceptions to the morality of mores, and the severest penalties are provide for what accords with the mores of a neighboring people... [see 143.]
56. The craving for suffering
When I think of the craving to do something, which continually tickles and spurs those millions of young Europeans who cannot endure their boredom and themselves, then I realize that they must have a craving to suffer and to find in their suffering a probable reason for action, for deeds. Neediness is needed! [Not ist nötig.] Hence the politicians' clamor, hence the many false, fictitious, exaggerated "conditions of distress" of all sorts of classes and the blind readiness to believe in them. These young people demand that—not happiness but unhappiness should approach from the outside and become visible; and their imagination is busy in advance to turn it into a monster so that afterward they can fight a monster. If these people who crave distress felt the strength inside themselves to benefit themselves and to do something for themselves internally, then they would also know how to create for themselves, internally, their very own authentic distress. Then their inventions might be more refined and their satisfactions might sound like good music, while at present they fill the world with their clamor about distress and all too often introduce it into the feeling of distress. They do not know what to do with themselves—and therefore paint the distress of others on the wall; they always need others! And continually other others! —Pardon me, my friends, I have ventured to paint my happiness on the wall.
58. Only as creators!
This has given me the greatest trouble and still does: to realize that what things are called is incomparably more important than what they are. The reputation, name, and appearance, the usual measure and weight of a thing, what it counts for—originally almost always wrong and arbitrary, thrown over things like a dress and altogether foreign to their nature and even to their skin—all this grows from generation unto generation, merely because people believe in it, until it gradually grows to be part of the thing and turns into its very body. What at first was appearance becomes in the end, almost invariably, the essence and is effective as such. How foolish it would be to suppose that one only needs to point out this origin and this misty shroud of delusion in order to destroy the world that counts for real, so-called "reality." We can destroy only as creators. —But let us not forget this either: it is enough to create new names and estimations and probabilities in order to create in the long run new "things."
98. In praise of Shakespeare
I could not say anything more beautiful in praise of Shakespeare as a human being than this: he believed in Brutus and did not cast one speck of suspicion upon this type of virtue. It was to him that he devoted his best tragedy—it is still called by the wrong name—to him and to the most awesome quintessence of a lofty morality. Independence of the soul!—that is at stake here. No sacrifice can be too great for that: one must be capable of sacrificing one’s dearest friend for it, even if he should also be the most glorious human being, an ornament of the world, a genius without peer—if one loves freedom as the freedom of great souls and he threatens this kind of freedom. That is what Shakespeare must have felt. The height at which he places Caesar is the finest honor that he could bestow on Brutus: that is how he raises beyond measure Brutus’ inner problem as well as the spiritual strength that was able to cut this knot.
Could it really have been political freedom that led this poet to sympathize with Brutus—and turned him into Brutus’ accomplice? Or was political freedom only a symbol for something inexpressible? Could it be that we confront some unknown dark event and adventure in the poet’s own soul of which he wants to speak only in signs? What is all of Hamlet's melancholy compared to that of Brutus? And perhaps Shakespeare knew both from firsthand experience. Perhaps he, too, had his gloomy hour and his evil angel, like Brutus.
But whatever similarities and secret relationships there may have been: before the whole figure and virtue of Brutus, Shakespeare prostrated himself, feeling unworthy and remote. His witness of this is written into the tragedy. Twice he brings in a poet, and twice he pours such an impatient and ultimate contempt over him that it sounds like a cry—the cry of self-contempt. Brutus, even Brutus, loses patience as the poet enters—conceited, pompous, obtrusive, as poets often are—apparently overflowing with possibilities of greatness, including moral greatness, although in the philosophy of his deeds and his life he rarely attains even ordinary integrity. "I'll know his humor when he knows his time. / What should the wars do with these jiggling fools? / Companion, hence!" shouts Brutus. This should be translated back into the soul of the poet who wrote it.
107. Our ultimate gratitude to art
If we had not welcomed the arts and invented this kind of cult of the untrue, then the realization of general untruth and mendaciousness that now comes to us through science—the realization that delusion and error are conditions of human knowledge and sensation—would be utterly unbearable. Honesty would lead to nausea and suicide. But now there is a counterforce against our honesty that helps us to avoid such consequences: art as the good will to appearance. We do not always keep our eyes from rounding off something and, as it were, finishing the poem; and then it is no longer eternal imperfection that we carry across the river of becoming—then we have the sense of carrying a goddess, and feel proud and childlike as we perform this service. As an artistic phenomenon existence is still bearable for us, and art furnishes us with eyes and hands and above all the good conscience to be able to turn ourselves into such a phenomenon. At times we need a rest from ourselves by looking upon, by looking down upon, ourselves and, from an artistic distance, laughing over ourselves or weeping over ourselves. We must discover the hero no less than the fool in our passion for knowledge; we must occasionally find pleasure in our folly, or we cannot continue to find pleasure in our wisdom. Precisely because we are at bottom grave and serious human beings—really more weights than human beings—nothing does us as much good as a fool’s cap: we need it in relation to ourselves—we need all exuberant, floating, dancing, mocking, childish, and blissful art lest we lose the freedom above things that our ideal demands of us. It would mean a relapse for us, with our irritable honesty, to get involved entirely in morality and, for the sake of the over-severe demands we make on ourselves in these matters, to become virtuous monsters and scarecrows. We should be able also to stand above morality—and not only to stand with the anxious stiffness of a man who is afraid of slipping and falling at any moment, but also to float above it and play. How then could we possibly dispense with art—and with the fool? —And as long as you are in any way ashamed before yourselves, you do not yet belong with us.
New Struggles. After Buddha was dead people showed his shadow for centuries afterwards in a cave - an immense frightful shadow. God is dead: but as the human race is constituted, there will perhaps be caves for millenniums yet, in which people will show his shadow. And we - we have still to overcome his shadow!
Let us be on our Guard. Let us be on our guard against thinking that the world is a living being. Where could it extend itself? What could it nourish itself with? How could it grow and increase? We know tolerably well what the organic is; and we are to reinterpret the emphatically derivative, tardy, rare and accidental, which we only perceive on the crust of the earth, into the essential, universal and eternal, as those do who call the universe an organism? That disgusts me. Let us now be on our guard against believing that the universe is a machine; it is assuredly not constructed with a view to one end; we invest it with far too high an honor with the word "machine."Let us be on our guard against supposing that anything so methodical as the cyclic motions of our neighboring stars obtains generally and throughout the universe; indeed a glance at the Milky Way induces doubt as to whether there are not many cruder and more contradictory motions there, and even stars with continuous, rectilinearly gravitating orbits, and the like. The astral arrangement in which we live is an exception; this arrangement, and the relatively long durability which is determined by it, has again made possible the exception of exceptions, the formation of organic life. The general character of the world, on the other hand, is to all eternity chaos; not by the absence of necessity, but in the sense of the absence of order, structure, form, beauty, wisdom, and whatever else our aesthetic humanities are called. Judged by our reason, the unlucky casts are far oftenest the rule, the exceptions are not the secret purpose; and the whole musical box repeats eternally its air, which can never be called a melody - and finally the very expression, "unlucky cast" is already an anthropomorphizing which involves blame. But how could we presume to blame or praise the universe? Let us be on our guard against ascribing to it heartlessness and unreason, or their opposites; it is neither perfect, nor beautiful, nor noble; nor does it seek to be anything of the kind, it does not at all attempt to imitate man! It is altogether unaffected by our aesthetic and moral judgments! Neither has it any self-preservative instinct, nor instinct at all; it also knows no law. Let us be on our guard against saying that there are laws in nature. There are only necessities: there is no one who commands, no one who obeys, no one who transgresses. When you know that there is no design, you know also that there is no chance: for it is only where there is a world of design that the word "chance" has a meaning. Let us be on our guard against saying that death is contrary to life. The living being is only a species of dead being, and if a very rare species. Let us be on our guard against thinking that the world eternally creates the new. There are no eternally enduring substances; matter is just another such error as the God of the Eleatics. But when shall we be at an end with our foresight and precaution? When will all these shadows of God cease to obscure us? When shall we have nature entirely undeified? When shall we be permitted to naturalize ourselves by means of the pure, newly discovered, newly redeemed nature?
Origins of Knowledge. Throughout immense stretches of time the intellect produced nothing but errors; some of them proved to be useful and preservative of the species: he who fell in with them, or inherited them, waged the battle for himself and his offspring with better success. Those erroneous articles of faith which were successively transmitted by inheritance, and have finally become almost the property and stock of the human species, are, for example, the following: that there are enduring things, that there are equal things, that there are things, substances, and bodies, that a thing is what it appears, that our will is free that what is good for me is also good absolutely. It was only very late that the deniers, doubters of such propositions came forward - it was only very late that truth made its appearance as the most impotent form of knowledge. It seemed as if it were impossible to get along with truth, our organism was adapted for the very opposite; all its higher functions, the perceptions of the senses, and in general every kind of sensation, cooperated with those primevally embodied, fundamental errors. Moreover, those propositions became the very standards of knowledge according to which the "true "and the "false" were determined - throughout the whole domain of pure logic. The strength of conceptions does not, therefore, depend on their degree of truth, but on their antiquity, their embodiment, their character as conditions of life. Where life and knowledge seemed to conflict, there has never been serious contention; denial and doubt have there been regarded as madness. The exceptional thinkers like the Eleatics, who, in spite of this, advanced and maintained the antitheses of the natural errors, believed that it was possible also to live these counterparts: it was they who devised the sage as the man of immutability, impersonality and universality of intuition, as one and all at the same time, with a special faculty for that reverse kind of knowledge; they were of the belief that their knowledge was at the same time the principle of life. To be able to affirm all this, however, they had to deceive themselves concerning their own condition: they had to attribute to themselves impersonality and unchanging permanence, they had to mistake the nature of the philosophic individual, deny the force of the impulses in cognition, and conceive of reason generally as an entirely free and self-originating activity; they kept their eyes shut to the fact that they also had reached their doctrines in contradiction to valid methods, or through their longing for repose or for exclusive possession or for domination. The subtler development of sincerity and of skepticism finally made these men impossible; their life also, and their judgments, turned out to be dependent on the primeval impulses and fundamental errors of all sentient beings. The subtler sincerity and skepticism arose wherever two antithetical maxims appeared to be applicable to life, because both of them were compatible with the fundamental errors; where, therefore, there could be contention concerning a higher or lower degree of utility for life; and likewise where new maxims proved to be, not necessarily useful, but at least not injurious, as expressions of an intellectual impulse to play a game that was like all games innocent and happy The human brain was gradually filled with such judgments and convictions; and in this tangled skein there arose ferment, strife and lust for power. Not only utility and delight, but every kind of impulse took part in the struggle for "truths"; the intellectual struggle became a business, an attraction, a calling, a duty, an honor; cognizing and striving for the true finally arranged themselves as needs among other needs. From that moment not only belief and conviction, but also examination, denial, distrust and contradiction became forces; all "evil "instincts were subordinated to knowledge, were placed in its service, and acquired the prestige of the permitted, the honored, the useful, and finally the appearance and innocence of the good. Knowledge thus became a portion of life itself, and as life it became a continually growing power; until finally the cognitions and those primeval, fundamental errors clashed with each other, both as life, both as power, both in the same man. The thinker is now the being in whom the impulse to truth and those life-preserving errors wage their first conflict, now that the impulse to truth has also proved itself to be a life-preserving power. In comparison with the importance of this conflict everything else is indifferent; the final question concerning the conditions of life is here raised, and the first attempt is here made to answer it by experiment. How far is truth susceptible of embodiment - that is the question, that is the experiment.
Origin of the Logical. Where has logic originated in men's heads? Undoubtedly out of the illogical, the domain of which must originally have been immense. But numberless beings who reasoned otherwise than we do at present, perished; albeit that they may have come nearer to truth than we! Whoever, for example, could not discern the "like" often enough with regard to food, and with regard to animals dangerous to him, whoever, therefore, deduced too slowly, or was too circumspect in his deductions, had smaller probability of survival than he who in all similar cases immediately divined the equality. The preponderating inclination, however, to deal with the similar as the equal - an illogical inclination, for there is no thing equal in itself - first created the whole basis of logic. It was just so (in order that the conception of substance should originate, this being indispensable to logic, although in the strictest sense nothing actual corresponds to it) that for a long period the changing process in things had to be overlooked, and remain unperceived; the beings not seeing correctly had an advantage over those who saw everything "in flux." In itself every high degree of circumspection in conclusions, every skeptical inclination, is a great danger to life. No living being might have been preserved unless the contrary inclination - to affirm rather than suspend judgment, to mistake and fabricate rather than wait, to assent rather than deny, to decide rather than be in the right - had been cultivated with extra ordinary assiduity. The course of logical thought and reasoning in our modern brain corresponds to a process and struggle of impulses, which singly and in themselves are all very illogical and unjust; we experience usually only the result of the struggle so rapidly and secretly does this primitive mechanism now operate in us.
Cause and Effect. We say it is "explanation "; but it is only in "description" that we are in advance of the older stages of knowledge and science. We describe better, we explain just as little as our predecessors. We have discovered a manifold succession where the naive man and investigator of older cultures saw only two things, "cause" and "effect,"as it was said; we have perfected the conception of becoming, but have not got a knowledge of what is above and behind the conception. The series of "causes" stands before us much more complete in every case; we conclude that this and that must first precede in order that that other may follow - but we have not grasped anything thereby. The peculiarity, for example, in every chemical process seems a "miracle," the same as before, just like all locomotion; nobody has "explained" impulse. How could we ever explain? We operate only with things which do not exist, with lines, surfaces, bodies, atoms, divisible times, divisible spaces - how can explanation ever be possible when we first make everything a conception, our conception? It is sufficient to regard science as the exactest humanizing of things that is possible; we always learn to describe ourselves more accurately by describing things and their successions. Cause and effect: there is probably never any such duality; in fact there is a continuum before us, from which we isolate a few portions - just as we always observe a motion as isolated points, and therefore do not properly see it, but infer it. The abruptness with which many effects take place leads us into error; it is however only an abruptness for us. There is an infinite multitude of processes in that abrupt moment which escape us. An intellect which could see cause and effect as a continuum, which could see the flux of events not according to our mode of perception, as things arbitrarily separated and broken - would throw aside the conception of cause and effect, and would deny all conditionality.
The Theory of Poisons. So many things have to be united in order that scientific thinking may arise, and all the necessary powers must have been devised, exercised, and fostered singly! In their isolation, however, they have very often had quite a different effect than at present, when they are confined within the limits of scientific thinking and kept mutually in check - they have operated as poisons; for example, the doubting impulse, the denying impulse, the waiting impulse, the collecting impulse, the disintegrating impulse. Many hecatombs of men were sacrificed before these impulses learned to understand their juxtaposition and regard themselves as functions of one organizing force in one man! And how far are we still from the point at which the artistic powers and the practical wisdom of life shall cooperate with scientific thinking, so that a higher organic system may be formed, in relation to which the scholar, the physician, the artist, and the lawgiver, as we know them at present, will seem sorry antiquities!
The Extent of the Moral. We construct a new picture, which we see immediately with the aid of all the old experiences which we have had, always according, to the degree of our honesty and justice. The only experiences are moral experiences, even in the domain of sense-perception.
The Four Errors. Man has been reared by his errors: firstly, he saw himself always imperfect; secondly, he attributed to himself imaginary qualities; thirdly, he felt himself in a false position in relation to the animals and nature; fourthly, he always devised new tables of values, and accepted them for a time as eternal and unconditioned, so that at one time this, and at another time that human impulse or state stood first, and was ennobled in consequence. When one has deducted the effect of these four errors, one has also deducted humanity, humaneness, and "human dignity."
Herd-Instinct. Wherever we meet with a morality we find a valuation and order of rank of the human impulses and activities. These valuations and orders of rank are always the expression of the needs of a community or herd: that which is in the first place to its advantage - and in the second place and third place - is also the authoritative standard for the worth of every individual. By morality the individual is taught to become a function of the herd, and to ascribe to himself value only as a function. As the conditions for the maintenance of one community have been very different from those of another community, there have been very different moralities; and in respect to the future essential transformations of herds and communities, states and societies, one can prophesy that there will still be very divergent moralities. Morality is the herd-instinct in the individual.
The Herd's Sting of Conscience. In the longest and remotest ages of the human race there was quite a different sting of conscience from that of the present day. At present one only feels responsible for what one intends and for what one does, and we have our pride in ourselves. All our professors of jurisprudence start with this sentiment of individual independence and pleasure, as if the source of right had taken its rise here from the beginning. But throughout the longest period in the life of mankind there was nothing more terrible to a person than to feel himself independent. To be alone, to feel independent, neither to obey nor to rule, to represent an individual - that was no pleasure to a person then, but a punishment; he was condemned "to be an individual." Freedom of thought was regarded as discomfort personified. While we feel law and regulation as constraint and loss, people formerly regarded egoism as a painful thing, and a veritable evil. For a person to be himself, to value himself according to his own measure and weight - that was then quite distasteful. The inclination to such a thing would have been regarded as madness; for all miseries and terrors were associated with being alone. At that time the "free will" had bad conscience in close proximity to it; and the less independently a person acted, the more the herd-instinct, and not his personal character, expressed itself in his conduct, so much the more moral did he esteem himself. All that did injury to the herd, whether the individual had intended it or not, then caused him a sting of conscience - and his neighbor likewise, indeed the whole herd! It is in this respect , that we have most changed our mode of thinking.
Benevolence. Is it virtuous when a cell transforms itself into the function of a stronger cell? It must do so. And is it wicked when the stronger one assimilates the other? It must do so likewise: it is necessary, for it has to have abundant indemnity and seeks to regenerate itself. One has therefore to distinguish the instinct of appropriation and the instinct of submission in benevolence, according as the stronger or the weaker feels benevolent. Gladness and covetousness are united in the stronger person, who wants to transform something to his function: gladness and desire-to-be-coveted in the weaker person, who would like to become a function. The former case is essentially pity, a pleasant excitation of the instinct of appropriation at the sight of the weak: it is to be remembered, however, that "strong" and "weak" are relative conceptions.
No Altruism! I see in many men an excessive impulse and delight in wanting to be a function; they strive after it, and have the keenest scent for all those positions in which precisely they themselves can be functions. Among such persons are those women who transform themselves into just that function of a man that is but weakly developed in him, and then become his purse, or his politics, or his social intercourse. Such beings maintain themselves best when they insert themselves in an alien organism; if they do not succeed they become vexed, irritated, and eat themselves up.
Health of the Soul. The favorite medico-moral formula (whose originator was Ariston of Chios), "Virtue is the health of the soul" would, for all practical purposes, have to be altered to this: "Thy virtue is the health of thy soul." For there is no such thing as health in itself, and all attempts to define a thing in that way have lamentably failed It is necessary to know the aim, the horizon, the powers, the impulses, the errors, and especially the ideals and fantasies of the soul, in order to determine what health implies even for the body. There are consequently innumerable kinds of physical health; and the more one again permits the unique and unparalleled to raise its head, the more one unlearns the dogma of the "Equality of men," so much the more also must the conception of a normal health, together with a normal diet and a normal course of disease, be abrogated by our physicians. And then only would it be time to turn our thoughts to the health and disease of the soul, and make the special virtue of everyone consist in its health; but, to be sure, what appeared as health in one person might appear as the contrary of health in another. In the end the great question might still remain open: Whether we could do without sickness for the development of our virtue, and whether our thirst for knowledge and self-knowledge would not especially need the sickly soul as well as the sound one; in short, whether the mere will to health is not a prejudice, a cowardice, and perhaps an instance of the subtlest barbarism and unprogressiveness?
Life no Argument. We have arranged for ourselves a world in which we can live - by the postulating of bodies, lines, surfaces, causes and effects, motion and rest, form and content: without these articles of faith no one could manage to live at present. But for all that they are still unproved. Life is no argument; error might be among the conditions of life.
The Element of Moral Skepticism in Christianity. Christianity also has made a great contribution to enlightenment, and has taught moral skepticism - in a very impressive and effective manner, accusing and embittering, but with untiring patience and subtlety; it annihilated in every individual the belief in his virtues: it made the great virtuous ones, of whom antiquity had no lack, vanish for ever from the earth, those popular men, who, in the belief in their perfection, walked about with the dignity of a hero of the bullfight. When, trained in this Christian school of skepticism, we now read the moral books of the ancients, for example those of Seneca and Epictetus, we feel a pleasurable superiority, and are full of secret insight and penetration - it seems to us as if a child tallied before an old man, or a pretty, gushing girl before La Rochefoucauld; we know better what virtue is? After all, however, we have applied the same skepticism to all religious states and processes, such as sin, repentance, grace, sanctification, etc., and have allowed the worm to burrow so well, that we have now the same feeling of subtle superiority and insight even in reading all Christian books; we know also the religious feelings better! And it is time to know them well and describe them well, for the pious ones of the old belief die out also; let us save their likeness and type, at least for the sake of knowledge.
Knowledge more than a Means. Also without this passion - I refer to the passion for knowledge - science would be furthered: science has hitherto increased and grown up without it. The good faith in science, the prejudice in its favor, by which States are at present dominated (it was even the Church formerly), rests fundamentally on the fact that the absolute inclination and impulse has so rarely revealed itself in it, and that science is regarded not as a passion, but as a condition and an "ethos." Indeed, amour-plaisir of knowledge (curiosity) often enough suffices, amour-vanite suffices, and habituation to it, with the afterthought of obtaining honor and bread: it even suffices for many that they do not know what to do with a surplus of leisure, except to continue reading, collecting, arranging, observing and narrating; their "scientific impulse"is their ennui. Pope Leo X once (in the brief to Beroaldus) sang the praise of science; he designated it as the finest ornament and the greatest pride of our life, a noble employment in happiness and in misfortune; "without it," he says finally, "all human undertakings would be without a firm basis - even with it they are still sufficiently mutable and insecure!" But this rather skeptical Pope, like all other ecclesiastical panegyrists of science, suppressed his ultimate judgment concerning it. If one may deduce from his words what is remarkable enough for such a lover of art, that he places science above art, it is after all, however, only from politeness that he omits to speak of that which he places high above all science: the "revealed truth," and the "eternal salvation of the soul" - what are ornament, pride, entertainment and security of life to him, in comparison thereto? "Science is something of secondary rank, nothing ultimate or unconditioned, no object of passion" - this judgment was kept back in Leo's soul: the truly Christian judgment concerning science! In antiquity its dignity and appreciation were lessened by the fact that, even among its most eager disciples, the striving after virtue stood foremost, and that people thought they had given the highest praise to knowledge when they celebrated it as the best means to virtue. It is something new in history that knowledge claims to be more than a means.
In the Horizon of the Infinite. We have left the land and have gone aboard ship! We have broken down the bridge behind us - nay, more, the land behind us! Well, little ship! look out! Beside thee is the ocean; it is true it does not always roar, and sometimes it spreads out like silk and gold and a gentle reverie. But times will come when thou wilt feel that it is infinite, and that there is nothing more frightful than infinity. Oh, the poor bird that felt itself free, and now strikes against the walls of this cage! Alas, if homesickness for the land should attack thee, as if there had been more freedom there - and there is no "land" any longer!
The Madman. Have you ever heard of the madman who on a bright morning lighted a lantern and ran to the market-place calling out unceasingly: "I seek God! I seek God!" As there were many people standing about who did not believe in God, he caused a great deal of amusement. Why? is he lost? said one. Has he strayed away like a child? said another. Or does he keep himself hidden? Is he afraid of us? Has he taken a sea voyage? Has he emigrated? - the people cried out laughingly, all in a hubbub. The insane man jumped into their midst and transfixed them with his glances. "Where is God gone?" he called out. "I mean to tell you! 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? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the whole horizon? What did we do when we loosened this earth from its sun? Whither does it now move? Whither do we move? Away from all suns? Do we not dash on unceasingly? Backwards, sideways, forwards, in all directions? Is there still an above and below? Do we not stray, as through infinite nothingness? Does not empty space breathe upon us? Has it not become colder? Does not night come on continually, darker and darker? Shall we not have to light lanterns in the morning? Do we not hear the noise of the grave-diggers who are burying God? Do we not smell the divine putrefaction? - for even Gods putrefy! God is dead! God remains dead! And we have killed him! How shall we console ourselves, the most murderous of all murderers? The holiest and the mightiest that the world has hitherto possessed, has bled to death under our knife - who will wipe the blood from us? With what water could we cleanse ourselves? What lustrums, what sacred games shall we have to devise? Is not the magnitude of this deed too great for us? Shall we not ourselves have to become Gods, merely to seem worthy of it? There never was a greater event - and on account of it, all who are born after us belong to a higher history than any history hitherto!" Here the madman was silent and looked again at his hearers; they also were silent and looked at him in surprise. At last he threw his lantern on the ground, so that it broke in pieces and was extinguished. "I come too early," e then said. "I am not yet at the right time. This prodigious event is still on its way, and is traveling - it has not yet reached men's ears. Lightning and thunder need time, the light of the stars needs time, deeds need time, even after they are done, to be seen and heard. This deed is as yet further from them than the furthest star - and yet they have done it themselves!" It is further stated that the madman made his way into different churches on the same day, and there intoned his Requiem aeternam deo. When led out and called to account, he always gave the reply: "What are these churches now, if they are not the tombs and monuments of God?"
143. The greatest advantage of polytheism
For an individual to posit his own ideal and to derive from it his own law, joys, and rights—that may well have been considered hitherto as the most outrageous human aberration and as idolatry itself. The few who dared as much always felt the need to apologize to themselves, usually by saying: "It wasn't I! Not I! But a god through me!" The wonderful art and gift of creating gods—polytheism—was the medium through which this impulse could discharge, purifiy, perfect, and ennoble itself; for originally it was a very undistinguished impulse, related to stubbornness, disobedience and envy. Hostility against this impulse to have an ideal of one's own was formerly the central law of all morality. There was only one norm, man; and every people thought that it possessed this one ultimate norm. But above and outside, in some distant overworld, one was permitted to behold a plurality of norms; one god was not considered a denial of another god, nor blasphemy against him. It was here that the luxury of individuals was first permitted; it was here that one first honored the rights of individuals. The invention of gods, heroes, and overmen of all kinds, as well as near-men and undermen, of dwarfs, fairies, centaurs, satyrs, demons, and devils was the inestimable preliminary exercise for the justification of the egoism and sovereignty of the individual: the freedom that one conceded to a god in his relation to other gods—one eventually also granted to oneself in relation to laws, customs, and neighbors.
Monotheism, on the other hand, this rigid consequence of the doctrine of one normal human type— the faith in one normal human god beside whom there are only pseudo-gods—was perhaps the greatest danger that has yet confronted humanity. It threatened us with the premature stagnation that, as far as we can see, most other species have long reached; for all of them believe in one normal type and ideal for their species, and they have translated the morality of mores definitively into their own flesh and blood. In polytheism the free-spiriting and many-spiriting of man obtained its first preliminary form—the strength to create for ourselves our own new eyes—and ever again new eyes that are even more are own: hence man alone among all the animals has no eternal horizons and perspectives. [see 43.]
149. The failures of reformations
Among the Greeks several attempts to found new Greek religions failed—which speaks for the higher civilization of the Greeks even in rather early times. It suggests that there must have been in Greece at an early time large numbers of diverse individuals whose diverse needs and miseries could not be taken care of with a single prescription of faith and hope.
Pythagoras and Plato, perhaps also Empedocles, and much earlier yet the Orphic enthusiasts, aimed to found new religions; and the first two had souls and talents that fitted them so obviously for the role of religious founders that one can scarcely marvel enough that they should have failed. Yet all they managed to found were sects. Whenever the reformation of a whole people fails and it is only sects that elevate their leader, we may conclude that the people has become relatively heterogeneous and has begun to move away from rude herd instincts and the morality of mores: they are hovering in an interesting position that is usually dismissed as a mere decay of morals and corruption, although in fact it proclaims that the egg is approaching maturity, and that the eggshell is about to be broken…
The more general and unconditional the influence of an individual or the idea of an individual can be, the more homogenous and the lower must the mass be that is influenced, while counter-movements give evidence of counter-needs that also want to be satisfied and recognized. Conversely, we may always infer that a civilization is really high when powerful and domineering natures have little influence and create only sects. This applies also to the various arts and the field of knowledge. Where someone rules, there are masses; and where we find masses we also find a need to be enslaved. Where men are enslaved, there are few individuals, and these are opposed by herd instincts and conscience.
151. Of the origin of religion
The metaphysical need is not the origin of religions, as Schopenhauer supposed, but merely a late offshoot. Under the rule of religious ideas, one has become accustomed to the notion of "another world (behind, below, above) "—and when religious ideas are destroyed one is troubled by an uncomfortable emptiness and deprivation. From this feeling grows once again "another world," but now merely a metaphysical one that is no longer religious. But what first led to a positing of "another world" in primeval times was not some impulse or need but an error in the interpretation of certain natural events, a failure of the intellect.
153. Homo poeta
"I myself, having made this tragedy of tragedies all by myself, insofar as it is finished—I, having first tied the knot of morality into existence before I drew it so tight that only a god could untie it (which is what Horace demands)—I myself have now slain all gods in the fourth act, for the sake of morality. Now, what is to become of the fifth act? From where am I to take the tragic solution?—Should I begin to think about a comic solution?"
154. Different types of dangerous lives
You have no idea what you are living through; you rush through life as if you were drunk and now and then fall down some staircase. But thanks to your drunkenness you never break a limb; your muscles are too relaxed and your brain too benighted for you to find the stones of these stairs as hard as we do. For us life is more dangerous: we are made of glass; woe unto us if we merely bump ourselves! And all is lost if we fall!
173. Being profound and seeming profound
Those who know that they are profound strive for clarity. Those who would like to seem profound to the crowd strive for obscurity. For the crowd believes that if it cannot see to the bottom of something it must be profound. It is so timid and dislikes going into the water.
Parliamentarianism—that is, public permission to choose between five basic political opinions—flatters and wins the favor of all those who would like to seem independent and individual, as if they fought for their opinions. Ultimately, however, it is indifferent whether the herd is commanded to have one opinion or permitted to have five. Whoever deviates from the five public opinions and stands apart will always have the whole herd against him.
Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings—always darker, emptier, simpler.
Laughter means: being schadenfroh but with a good conscience. [schadenfroh: the word is famous for being untranslatable; it signifies taking a malicious delight in the discomfort of another person.]
What makes one heroic?—Going out to meet at the same time one’s highest suffering and one’s highest hope.
In what do you believe?—In this, that the weights of all things must be determined anew.
What does your conscience say?—"You shall become the person you are."
Where are your greatest dangers?—In pity.
What do you love in others?—My hopes.
Whom do you call bad?—Those who always want to put to shame.
What do you consider most humane?—To spare someone shame.
What is the seal of liberation?—No longer being ashamed in front of oneself.
BOOK IV Sanctus Januarius
With a flaming spear you crushed
All its ice until my soul
Roaring toward the ocean rushed
Of its highest hope and goal.
Ever healthier it swells,
Lovingly compelled but free:
Thus it lauds your miracles,
Fairest month of January!
GENOA, January 1882.
For the New Year. I still live, I still think; I must still live, for I must still think. Sum, ergo cogito: Congo, ergo sum. Today everyone takes the liberty of expressing his wish and his favorite thought: well, I also mean to tell what I have wished for myself today, and what thought first crossed my mind this year-a thought which ought to be the basis, the pledge and the sweetening of all my future life! I want more and more to perceive the necessary characters in things as the beautiful-I shall thus be one of those who beautify things. Amor fati: let that henceforth be my love! I do not want to wage war with the ugly. I do not want to accuse, I do not want even to accuse the accusers. Looking aside, let that be my sole negation! And all in all, to sum up: I wish to be at any time hereafter only a yea-sayer!
Personal Providence. There is a certain climax in life, at which, notwithstanding all our freedom, and however much we may have denied all directing reason and goodness in the beautiful chaos of existence, we are once more in great danger of intellectual bondage, and have to face our hardest test. For now the thought of a personal providence first presents itself before us with its most persuasive force, and has the best of I advocates, apparentness, in its favor, now when it is obvious that all and everything that happens to us always turns out for the best. The life of every day and of every hour seems to be anxious for nothing else but always to prove this proposition I anew, let it be what it will, bad or good weather, the loss of a friend, a sickness, a calumny, the non-receipt of a letter, the spraining of one's! foot, a glance into a shop-window, a counter-argument, the opening of a book, a dream, a deception-it shows itself immediately, or very soon afterwards, as something "not permitted to be absent,"-it is full of profound significance and utility precisely for?sS! Is there a more dangerous temptation to rid ourselves of the belief in the Gods of Epicurus, those careless, unknown Gods, and believe in some anxious and mean Divinity, who knows person ally every little hair on our heads, and feels no disgust in rendering the most wretched services? Well-I mean in spite of all this! we want to leave the Gods alone (and the serviceable genii likewise), and wish to content ourselves with the assumption that our own practical and theoretical skillfulness in explaining and suitably arranging events has now reached its highest point. We do not want either to think too highly of this dexterity of our wisdom, when the wonderful harmony which results from playing on our instrument sometimes surprises us I too much: a harmony which sounds too well for us to dare to ascribe it to ourselves. In fact, now and then there is one who plays with us-beloved Chance: he leads our hand occasionally, and even the all-wisest Providence could not devise any finer music than that of which our foolish hand is then capable.
The Thought of Death. It gives me a melancholy happiness to live in the midst of this confusion of streets, of necessities, of voices: how much enjoyment, impatience and desire, how much thirsty life and drunkenness of life comes to light here every moment! And yet it will soon be so still for all these shouting, lively, life- loving people! How everyone's shadow, his gloomy travelling companion stands behind him! It is always as in the last moment before the departure of an emigrant- ship: people have more than ever to say to one another, the hour presses, the ocean with its lonely silence waits impatiently behind all the noise-so greedy, so certain of its prey! And all, all, suppose that the past has been nothing, or a small matter, that the near future is everything: hence this haste, this crying, this self-deafening and self-overreaching! Everyone wants to be foremost in this future-and yet death and the stillness of death are the only things certain and common to all in this future! How strange that this sole thing that is certain and common to all, exercises almost no influence on men, and that they are the furthest from regarding themselves as the brotherhood of death! It makes me happy to see that men do not want to think at all of the idea of death! I would fain do something to make the idea of life to us to be more than friends in the sense of that sublime possibility. And so we will believe in our even a hundred times more worthy of their attention.
Stellar Friendship. We were friends, and have become strangers to each other. But this is as it I ought to be, and we do not want either to conceal I or obscure the fact, as if we had to be ashamed of I it. We are two ships, each of which has its goal and its course; we may, to be sure, cross one I another in our paths, and celebrate a feast together as we did before-and then the gallant ships lay quietly in one harbor and in one sunshine, so that it might have been thought they were already at their goal, and that they had had one goal. But then the almighty strength of our tasks forced us apart once more into different seas and into different zones, and perhaps we shall never see one another again-or perhaps we may see one another, but not know one another again; the different seas and suns have altered us! That we had to become strangers to one another is the law to which we are subject: just by that shall we become more sacred to one another! Just by that shall the thought of our former friendship become holier! There is probably some immense, invisible curve and stellar orbit in which our courses and goals, so widely different, may be comprehended as small stages of the way-let us raise ourselves to this thought! But our life is too short, and our power of vision too limited for terrestrial enemies to one another.
Architecture for Thinkers. An insight is needed (and that probably very soon) as to what is specially lacking in our great cities-namely, quiet, spacious, and widely extended places for reflection, places with long, lofty colonnades for bad weather, or for too sunny days, where no noise of wagons or of shouters would penetrate, and where a more refined propriety would prohibit loud praying even to the priest: buildings and situations which as a whole would express the sublimity of self- communion and seclusion from the world. The time is past when the Church possessed the monopoly of reflection, when the vita contemplative had always in the first place to be the vita religiosa: and everything that the Church has built expresses this thought. I know not how we could content ourselves with their structures, even if they should be divested of their ecclesiastical purposes: these structures speak a far too pathetic and too biased speech, as houses of God and places of splendor for supernatural intercourse, for us godless ones to be able to think our thoughts in them. We want to have ourselves translated into stone and plant, we want to go for a walk in ourselves when we wander in these halls and gardens.
Knowing how to Find the End. Masters of the first rank are recognized by knowing in a perfect I manner how to find the end, in the whole as well as in the part; be it the end of a melody or of a| thought, be it the fifth act of a tragedy or of a state affair. The masters of the second degree always become restless towards the end, and seldom dip I down into the sea with such proud, quiet equilibrium as, for example, the mountain-ridge at Porto Mino-where the Bay of Genoa sings its melody to an end.
The Gait. There are mannerisms of the intellect by which even great minds betray that they originate from the populace, or from the semi-populace-it is principally the gait and step of their thoughts which betray them; they cannot walk. It was thus that even Napoleon, to his profound chagrin, could not walk "legitimately" and in princely fashion on occasions when it was necessary to do so properly, as in great coronation processions and on similar occasions: even there he was always just the leader of a column-proud and brusque at the same time, and very self- conscious of it all. It is something laughable to see those writers who make the folding robes of their periods rustle around them: they want to cover their feet.
Pioneers. I greet all the signs indicating that a more manly and warlike age is commencing, which will, above all, bring heroism again into honor! For it has to prepare the way for a yet higher age, and gather the force which the latter will one day require-the age which will carry heroism into knowledge, and wage war for the sake of ideas and their consequences. For that end many brave pioneers are now needed, who, however, cannot originate out of nothing-and just as little out of the sand and slime of present-day civilization and the culture of great cities: men silent, solitary and resolute, who know how to be content and persistent in invisible activity: men who with innate disposition seek in all things that which is to be overcome in them: men to whom cheerfulness, patience, simplicity, and contempt of the great vanities belong just as much as do magnanimity in victory and indulgence to the trivial vanities of all the vanquished: men with an acute and independent judgment regarding all victors, and concerning the part which chance has played in the winning of victory and fame: men with their own holidays, their own work-days, and their own periods of mourning; accustomed to command with perfect assurance, and equally ready, if need be, to obey, proud in the one case as in the other, equally serving their own interests: men more imperiled, more productive, more happy! For believe me- the secret of realizing the largest productivity and the greatest enjoyment of existence is to live in danger! Build your cities on the slope of Vesuvius! Send your ships into unexplored seas! Live in war with your equals and with yourselves! Be robbers and spoilers, ye knowing ones, as long as ye cannot be rulers and possessors! The time will soon pass when you can be satisfied to live like timorous deer concealed in the forests. Knowledge will finally stretch out her hand for that which belongs to her-she means to rule and possess, and you with her!
Belief in Oneself. In general, few men have belief in themselves-and of those few some are I endowed with it as a useful blindness or partial obscuration of intellect (what would they perceive if they could see to the bottom of themselves!). The others must first acquire the belief for themselves: everything good, clever, or great that they do, is first of all an argument against the skeptic that dwells in them: the question is how to convince or persuade this skeptic, and for that purpose genius almost is needed. They are signally dissatisfied with themselves.
Excelsior. "Thou wilt never more pray, never more worship, never more repose in infinite trust-thou refusest to stand still and dismiss thy thoughts before an ultimate wisdom, an ultimate virtue, an ultimate power-thou hast no constant guardian and friend in thy seven solitudes-thou livest without the outlook on a mountain that has snow on its head and fire in its heart-there is no I longer any requiter for thee, nor any amender with his finishing touch-there is no longer any reason in that which happens, or any love in that which will happen to thee-there is no longer any resting place for thy weary heart, where it has only to find and no longer to seek, thou art opposed to any kind of ultimate peace, thou desirest the eternal recurrence of war and peace-man of renunciation, wilt thou renounce in all these things? Who will give thee the strength to do so? No one has yet had this strength!"- There is a lake which one day refused to flow away, and threw up a dam at the place where it had hitherto discharged: since then this lake has always risen higher and higher. Perhaps the very renunciation will also furnish us with the strength with which the renunciation itself can be borne; perhaps man will ever rise higher and higher from that point onward, when he no longer goes out into a God.
A Digression. Here are hopes; but what will you see and hear of them, if you have not experienced glance and glow and dawn of day in your own souls? I can only suggest-I cannot do more! To move the stones, to make animals men-would you have me do that? Alas, if you are yet stones and animals, you must seek your Orpheus!
Love of Blindness. "My thoughts," said the wanderer to his shadow, "ought to show me where I stand, but they should not betray to me whither I go. I love ignorance of the future, and do not want to come to grief by impatience and anticipatory tasting of promised things."
Lofty Moods. It seems to me that most men do not believe in lofty moods, unless it be for the moment, or at the most for a quarter of an hour-except the few who know by experience a longer duration of high feeling. But to be absolutely a man with a single lofty feeling, the incarnation of a single lofty mood-that has hitherto been only a dream and an enchanting possibility: history does not yet give us any trustworthy example of it. Nevertheless one might also some day produce such men-when a multitude of favorable conditions have been created and established, which at present even the happiest chance is unable to throw together. Perhaps that very state which has hitherto entered into our soul as an exception, felt with horror now and then, may be the usual condition of those future souls: a continuous movement between high and low, and the feeling of high and low, a constant state of mounting as on steps, and at the same time reposing as on clouds.
Aboard Ship! When one considers how a full philosophical justification of his mode of living and thinking operates upon every individual-namely, as a warming, blessing, and fructifying sun, specially shining on him; how it makes him independent of praise and blame, self-sufficient, rich and generous in the bestowal of happiness and kindness; how it unceasingly transforms the evil to the good, brings all the energies to bloom and maturity, and altogether hinders the growth of the greater and lesser weeds of chagrin and discontent-one at last cries out importunately: Oh, that many such new suns were created! The evil man, also, the unfortunate man, and the exceptional man, shall each have his philosophy, his rights, and his sunshine! It is not sympathy with them that is necessary! We must unlearn this arrogant fancy, notwithstanding that humanity has so long learned it and used it exclusively-we have not to set up any confessor, exorcist, or pardoner for them! It is a new justice, however, that is necessary! And a new solution! And new philosophers! The moral earth also is round! The moral earth also has its antipodes! The antipodes also have their right to exist! There is still another world to discover-and more than one! Aboard ship! ye philosophers!
One Thing is Needful. To "give style" to one's character-that is a grand and a rare art! He who surveys all that his nature presents in its strength and in its weakness, and then fashions it into an ingenious plan, until everything appears artistic and rational, and even the weaknesses enchant the eye-exercises that admirable art. Here there has been a great amount of second nature added, there a portion of first nature has been taken away-in both cases with long exercise and daily labor at the task. Here the ugly, which does not permit of being taken away, has been concealed, there it has been re-interpreted into the sublime. Much of the vague, which refuses to take form, has been reserved and utilized for the perspectives-it is meant to give a hint of the remote and immeasurable. In the end, I when the work has been completed, it is revealed how it was the constraint of the same taste that organized and fashioned it in whole and in part: whether the taste was good or bad is of less importance than one thinks-it is sufficient that it was a taste!It will be the strong imperious I natures which experience their most refined joy in such constraint, in such confinement and perfection under their own law; the passion of their I violent volition lessens at the sight of all disciplined nature, all conquered and ministering nature: even when they have pa laces to build and gardens to lay out, it is not to their taste to allow nature to be free. It is the reverse with weak characters who have not power over themselves, and hate the restriction of style: they feel that if this repugnant constraint were laid upon them, they would necessarily become vulgarized under it: they become slaves as soon as they serve, they hate service. Such intellects-they may be intellects of the first rank-are always concerned with fashioning and interpreting themselves and their surroundings as free nature-wild, arbitrary, fantastic, confused and surprising: and it is well for them to do so, because only in this manner can they please themselves! For one thing is needful: namely, that man should attain to satisfaction with himself-be it but through this or that fable and artifice: it is only then that man's aspect is at all endurable! He who is dissatisfied with himself is ever ready to avenge himself on that account: we others will be his victims, if only in having always to endure his ugly aspect. For the aspect of the ugly makes one mean and sad.
Genoa. I have looked upon this city, its villas and pleasure-grounds, and the wide circuit of its inhabited heights and slopes, for a considerable time: in the end I must say that I see countenances out of past generations-this district is strewn with the images of bold and autocratic men. They have lived and have wanted to live on- they say so with their houses, built and decorated for centuries, and not for the passing hour: they were well disposed to life, however ill-disposed they may often have been towards themselves. I always see the builder, how he casts his eye on all that is built around him far and near, and likewise on the city, the sea, and the chain of mountains; how he expresses power and conquest with his gaze: all this he wishes to fit into his plan, and in the end make it his property, by its becoming a portion of the same. The whole district is overgrown with this superb, insatiable egoism of the desire to possess and exploit; and as these men when abroad recognized no frontiers, and in their thirst for the new placed a new world beside the old, so also at home everyone rose up against everyone else, and devised some mode of expressing his superiority, and of placing between himself and his neighbor his personal illimitableness. Everyone won for himself his home once more by overpowering it with his architectural thoughts, and by transforming it into a delightful sight for his race. When we consider the mode of building cities in the north, the law, and the general delight in legality and obedience, impose upon us: we thereby divine the propensity to equality and submission which must have ruled in those builders. Here, however, on turning every corner you find a man by himself, who knows the sea, knows adventure, and knows the Orient, a man who is averse to law and to neighbor, as if it bored him to have to do with them, a man who scans all that, is already old and established with envious glances: with a wonderful craftiness of fantasy, he would like, at least in thought, to establish all this anew, to lay his hand upon it, and introduce his meaning into it-if only for the passing hour of a sunny afternoon, when for once his insatiable and melancholy soul feels satiety, and when only what is his own, and nothing strange, may show itself to his eye.
To the Preachers of Morality. I do not mean to moralize, but to those who do, I would give this advice: if you mean ultimately to deprive the best things and the best conditions of all honor and worth, continue to speak of them in the same way as heretofore! Put them at the head of your morality, and speak from morning till night of the happiness of virtue, of repose of soul, of righteousness, and of reward and punishment in the nature of things: according as you go on in this manner, all these good things will finally acquire a popularity and a street cry for themselves: but then all the gold on them will also be worn off, and more besides: all the gold in Zheen will have changed into lead. Truly, you understand the reverse art of alchemy, the depreciating of the most valuable things! Try, just for once, another recipe, in order not to realize as hitherto the opposite of what you mean to attain: deny those good things, withdraw from them the applause of the populace and discourage the spread of them, make them once more the concealed chastities of solitary souls, and say: morality is something forbidden! Perhaps you will thus attract to your cause the sort of men who are only of any account, I mean the heroic. But then there must be something formidable in it, and not as hitherto something disgusting! Might one not be inclined to say at present with reference to morality what Master Eckardt says: "XX pray God to deliver me from God!"
Our Atmosphere. We know it well: in him who only casts a glance now and then at science, as when taking a walk (in the manner of women, and alas! also like many artists), the strictness in its service, its inexorability in small matters as well as in great, its rapidity in weighing, judging and condemning, produce something of a feeling of giddiness and fright. It is especially terrifying to him that the hardest is here demanded, that the best is done without the reward of praise or distinction; it is rather as among soldiers-almost nothing but blame and sharp reprimand is heard; for doing well prevails here as the rule, doing ill as the exception; the rule, however, has, here as everywhere, a silent tongue. It is the same with this "severity of science" as with the manners and politeness of the best society: it frightens the uninitiated. He, however, who is accustomed to it, does not like to live anywhere but in this clear, transparent, powerful, and highly electrified atmosphere, this manly atmosphere Anywhere else it is not pure and airy enough for him: he suspects that there his best art would neither be properly advantageous to anyone else, nor a delight to, himself, that through misunderstandings half of his life would slip through his fingers, that much foresight, much concealment and reticence would constantly be necessary- nothing but great and useless losses of power! In this keen and clear element, however, he has his entire power: here he can fly! Why should he again go down into those muddy waters where he has to swim and wade and soil his wings! No! There it is too hard for us to live! we cannot help it that we are born for the atmosphere, the pure atmosphere, we rivals of the ray of light; and that we should like best to ride like it on the atoms of ether, not away from the sun, but towards the sun! That, however, we cannot do-so we want to do the only thing that is in our power: namely, to bring light to the earth, we want to be "the light of the earth!" And for that purpose we have our wings and our swiftness and our severity, on that account we are manly, and even terrible like the fire. Let those fear us, who do not know how to warm and brighten themselves by our influence!
Against the Disparagers of Nature. They are disagreeable to me, those men in whom every natural inclination forthwith becomes a disease, something disfiguring, or even disgraceful. They have seduced us to the opinion that the inclinations and impulses of men are evil; they are the cause of our great injustice to our own nature, and to all nature! There are enough of men who may yield to their impulses gracefully and carelessly: but they do not do so, for fear of that imaginary "evil thing" in nature! That is the cause why there is so little nobility to be found among men: the indication of which will always be to have no fear of oneself, to expect nothing disgraceful from oneself, to fly without hesitation whithersoever we are impelled-we free-born birds! Wherever we come, there will always be freedom and sunshine around us.
Short-lived Habits. I love short-lived habits, and regard them as an invaluable means for getting a knowledge of 1nany things and various conditions, to the very bottom of their sweetness and bitterness; my nature is altogether arranged for short-lived habits, even in the needs of its bodily health, and in general, as far as I can see, from the lowest up to the highest matters. I always think that this will at last satisfy me permanently (the short-lived habit has also this characteristic belief of passion, the belief in everlasting duration; I am to be envied for having found it and recognized it), and then it nourishes me at noon and at eve, and spreads a profound satisfaction around me and in me, so that I have no longing for anything else, not needing to compare, or despise, or hate. But one day the! habit has had its time: the good thing separates from me, not as something which then inspires disgust in me- but peaceably, and as though satisfied with me, as I am with it as if we had to be mutually thankful, and thus shook hands for farewell. And already the new habit waits at the door, and similarly also my belief-indestructible fool and sage that I am!that this new habit will be the right one, the ultimate right one. So it is with me as regards foods, thoughts, men, cities, poems, music, doctrines, arrangements of the day, and modes of life. On the other hand, I hate permanent habits, and feel as if a tyrant came into my neighborhood, and as if my life's breath condensed, when events take such a form that permanent habits seem necessarily to grow out of them: for example, through an official position, through constant companionship with the same persons, through a settled abode, or through a uniform state of health. Indeed, from the bottom of my soul I am gratefully disposed to all my misery and sickness, and to whatever is imperfect in me, because such things leave me a hundred back-doors through which I can escape from permanent habits. The most unendurable thing, to be sure, the really terrible I thing, would be a life without habits, a life which I continually required improvisation-that would be my banishment and my Siberia.
A Fixed Reputation. A fixed reputation was formerly a matter of the very greatest utility; and wherever society continues to be ruled by the herd-instinct, it is still most suitable for every individual to give to his character and business the appearance of unalterableness-even when they are not so in reality. "One can rely on him, he remains the same"-that is the praise which has most significance in all dangerous conditions of society. Society feels with satisfaction that it has a reliable tool ready at all times in the virtue of this one, in the ambition of that one, and in the reflection and passion of a third one-it honors this tool-like nature, this self- constancy, this unchangeableness in opinions, efforts, and even in faults, with the highest honors. Such a valuation, which prevails and has prevailed everywhere simultaneously with the morality of custom, educates "characters," and brings all changing, re-learning, and self-transforming into disrepute. Be the advantage of this mode of thinking ever so great otherwise, it is in any case the mode of judging which is most injurious to knowledge: for precisely the good-will of the knowing one ever to declare himself unhesitatingly as opposed to his former opinions, and in general to be distrustful of all that wants to be fixed in him -is here condemned and brought into disrepute. The disposition of the thinker, as incompatible with a "fixed reputation," is regarded as dishonorable, while the petrifaction of opinions has all the honor to itself-we have at present still to live under the interdict of such rules! How difficult it is to live when one feels that the judgment of many millenniums is around one and against one. It is probable that for many millenniums knowledge was afflicted with a bad conscience, and there must have been much self-contempt and secret misery in the history of the greatest intellects.
Ability to Contradict. Everyone knows at present that the ability to endure contradiction is a good indication of culture. Some people even know that the higher man courts opposition, and provokes it, so as to get a cue to his hitherto unknown partiality. But the ability to contradict, the attainment of a good conscience in hostility to the accustomed, the traditional and the hallowed-that is more than both the above-named abilities, and is the really great, new and astonishing thing in our culture, the step of all steps of the emancipated intellect: who knows that?
A Sigh. I caught this notion on the way, and rapidly took the readiest, poor words to hold it fast, so that it might not again fly away. But it has died in these dry words, and hangs and flaps about in them-and now I hardly know, when I look upon it, how I could have had such happiness when I caught this bird.
What one should Learn from Artists. What means have we for making things beautiful, attractive, and desirable, when they are not so? and I suppose they are never so in themselves! We have here something to learn from physicians, when, for example, they dilute what is bitter, or put wine and sugar into their mixing- bowl; but we have still more to learn from artists, who in fact, are continually concerned in devising such inventions and artifices. To withdraw from things until one no longer sees much of them, until one has even to see things into them, in order to see them at all-or to view them from the side, and as in a frame-or to place them so that they partly disguise themselves and only permit of perspective views-or to look at them through colored glasses, or in the light of the sunset-or to furnish them with a surface or skin which is not fully transparent: we should learn all this from artists, and moreover be wiser than they. For this fine power of theirs usually ceases with them where art ceases and life begins; we, however, want to be the poets of our lives, and first of all in the smallest and most commonplace matters.
Prelude to Science. Do you believe then that the sciences would have arisen and grown up if the sorcerers, alchemists, astrologers and witches had not been their forerunners; those who, with their promisings and foreshadowings, had first to create a thirst, a hunger, and a taste for hidden and forbidden powers? Yea, that infinitely more had to be promised than could ever be fulfilled, in order that something might be fulfilled in the domain of knowledge? Perhaps the whole of religion, also, may appear to some distant age as an exercise and a prelude, in like manner as the prelude and preparation of science here exhibit themselves, though not at all practiced and regarded as such. Perhaps religion may have been the peculiar means for enabling individual men to enjoy but once the entire self- satisfaction of a God and all his self-redeeming power. Indeed!one may ask-would man have learned at all to get on the tracks of hunger and thirst for himself, and to extract satiety and fullness out of himself, without that religious schooling and preliminary history Had Prometheus first to fancy that he had stolen the light, and that he did penance for the theft-in order finally to discover that he had created the light, in that he had longed for the light, and that not only man, but also God, had been the work of his hands and the clay in his hands? All mere creations of the creator?just as the illusion, the theft, the Caucasus, the vulture, and the whole tragic Prometheus of all thinkers.
Illusion of the Contemplative. Higher men are distinguished from lower, by seeing and hearing immensely more, and in a thoughtful manner-and it is precisely this that distinguishes man from the animal, and the higher animal from the lower. The world al ways becomes fuller for him who grows up to the full stature of humanity; there are always more interesting fishing-hooks, thrown out to him; the number of his stimuli is continually on the increase, and similarly the varieties of his pleasure and pain-the higher man becomes always at the same time happier and unhappier. An illusion, however, is his constant accompaniment all along: he thinks he is placed as a spectator and auditor before the great pantomime and concert of life; he calls his nature a contemplative nature, and there by overlooks the fact that he himself is also a real creator, and continuous poet of life-that he no doubt differs greatly from the actor in this drama, the so-called practical man, but differs still more from a mere onlooker or spectator before the stage. There is certainly vis contemplative, and re-examination of his work peculiar to him as poet, but at the same time, and first and foremost, he has the vis creativa, which the practical man or doer lacks, whatever appearance and current belief may say to the contrary. It is we, who think and feel, that actually and unceasingly make something which did not before exist: the whole eternally increasing world of valuations, colors, weights, perspectives, gradations, affirmations and negations. This composition of ours is continually learnt, practiced, and translated into flesh and actuality, and even into the commonplace, by the so-called practical men (our actors, as we have said). Whatever has value in the present world, has not it in itself, by its nature-nature is always worthless-but a value was once given to it, bestowed upon it and it was we who gave and bestowed! We only have created the world which is of any account to man. But it is precisely this knowledge that we lack, and when we get hold of it for a moment we have forgotten it the next: we misunderstand our highest power, we contemplative men, and estimate ourselves at too low a rate, -we are I neither as proud nor as happy as we might be.
The Danger of the Happiest Ones. To have fine senses and a fine taste; to be accustomed to the select and the intellectually best as our proper and readiest fare; to be blessed with a strong, bold, and daring soul; to go through life with a quiet eye and a firm step, ever ready for the worst as for a festival, and full of longing for undiscovered worlds and seas, men and Gods; to listen to all joyous music, as if there perhaps brave men, soldiers and seafarers, took a brief repose and enjoyment, and in the profoundest pleasure of the moment were overcome with tears and the whole purple melancholy of happiness: who would not like all this to be his possession, his condition! It was the happiness of Gomer! The condition of him who invented the Gods for the Greeks-nay, who invented his Gods for himself! But let us not conceal the fact that with this happiness of Homer in one's soul, one is more liable to suffering than any other creature under the sun! And only at this price do we purchase the most precious pearl that the waves of existence have hitherto washed ashore! As its possessor one always becomes more sensitive to pain, and at last too sensitive: a little displeasure and loathing sufficed in the end to make Homer disgusted with life. He was unable to solve a foolish little riddle which some young fishers proposed to him! Yes, the little riddles are the dangers of the happiest ones!
Two Happy Ones. Certainly this man, notwith0 standing his youth, understands the improvisation of life, and astonishes even the acutest observers. For it seems that he never makes a mistake, although he constantly plays the most hazardous games. One is reminded of the improvising masters of the musical art, to whom even the listeners would fain ascribe a divine infallibility of the hand, notwithstanding that they now and then make a mistake, as every mortal is liable to do. But they are skilled and inventive, and always ready in a moment to arrange into the structure of the score the most accidental tone (where the jerk of a finger or a humor brings it about), and to animate the accident with a fine meaning and soul. Here is quite a different man: every thing that he intends and plans fails with him in the long run. That on which he has now and again set his heart has already brought him several times to the abyss, and to the very verge of ruin; and if he has I as yet got out of the scrape, it certainly has not been merely with a "black eye." Do you think that he is unhappy over it? He resolved long ago not to regard his own wishes and plans as of so much importance. "If this does not succeed with me," he says to himself, "perhaps that will succeed; and on the whole I do not know but that I am under more obligation to thank my failures than any of my successes. Am I made to be headstrong, and to wear the bull's horns? That which constitutes the worth and the sum of life for me, lies somewhere else; I know more of life, because I have been so often on the point of losing it; and just on that account I have more of life than any of you!"
In Doing we Leave Undone. In the main all those moral systems are distasteful to me which say: "Do not do this! Renounce! Overcome thyself!" On the other hand I am favorable to those moral systems which stimulate me to do something, and to do it again from morning till evening, to dream of it at night, and think of nothing else but to do it well, as well as is possible for me alone! From him who so lives there fall off one after the other the things that do not pertain to such a life: without hatred or antipathy, he sees this take leave of him today, and that tomorrow, like the yellow leaves which every livelier breeze strips from the tree: or he does not see at all that they take leave of him, so firmly is his eye fixed upon his goal, and generally forward, not sideways, backward, or downward. "Our doing must determine what we leave undone; in that we do, we leave undone"-so it pleases me, so runs my placitum. But I do not mean to strive with open eyes for my impoverishment; I do not like any of the negative virtues whose very essence is negation and self-renunciation.
Self-control. Those moral teachers who first and foremost order man to get himself into his own power, induce thereby a curious infirmity in him-namely, a constant sensitiveness with reference to all natural strivings and inclinations, and as it were, a sort of itching. Whatever may henceforth drive him, draw him, allure or impel him, whether internally or externally-it always seems to this sensitive being as if his self-control were in danger: he is no longer at liberty to trust himself to any instinct, to any free flight, but stands constantly with defensive mien, armed against himself, with sharp distrustful eye, the eternal watcher of his stronghold, to which office he has appointed himself. Yes, he can be great in that position! But how unendurable he has now become to others, how difficult even for himself to bear, how impoverished and cut off from the finest accidents of his soul! Yea, even from all further instruction! For we must be able to lose ourselves at times, if we want to learn something of what we have not in ourselves.
Stoic and Epicurean. The Epicurean selects the situations, the persons, and even the events which suit his extremely sensitive, intellectual constitution; he renounces the rest-that is to say, by far the greater part of experience-because it would be too strong and too heavy fare for him. The Stoic,! on the contrary, accustoms himself to swallow stones and vermin, glass-splinters and scorpions, without feeling any disgust: his stomach is meant to become indifferent in the end to all that the accidents of existence cast into it-he reminds one of the Arabic sect of the Assaua, with which the French became acquainted in Algiers; and like those insensible persons, he also likes well to have an invited public at the exhibition of his insensibility, the very thing the Epicurean willingly dispenses with-he has of course his "garden"! Stoicism may be quite advisable for men with I whom fate improvises, for those who live in violent times and are dependent on abrupt and changeable individuals. He, how ever, who anticipates that fate will permit him to spin "a long thread," does well to make his arrangements in Epicurean fashion; all men devoted to intellectual labor have done it hitherto! For it would be a supreme loss to them to forfeit their fine sensibility, and to acquire the hard, stoical hide with hedgehog prickles in exchange.
In Favor of Criticism. Something now appears to thee as an error which thou formerly lovest as a truth, or as a probability: thou pushest it from thee and imaginest that thy reason has there I gained a victory. But perhaps that error was then, when thou wast still another person-thou art always another person-just as necessary to I thee as all thy present "truths," like a skin, as it were, which concealed and veiled from thee much which thou still mayst not see. Thy new life, and not thy reason, has slain that opinion for thee: thou dost not beguile it any longer, and now it breaks down of its own accord, and the irrationality crawls out of it as a worm into the light When we make use of criticism it is not something arbitrary and impersonal-it is, at least very often, a proof that there are lively, active forces in us, which cast a skin. We deny, and must deny, because something in us wants to live and affirm itself, something which we perhaps do not as yet know, do not as yet see!So much in favor of criticism.
The History of each Day. What is it that constitutes the history of each day for thee? Look at thy habits of which it consists: are they the product of numberless little acts of cowardice and laziness, or of thy bravery and inventive reason? Although the two cases are so different, it is possible that men might bestow the same praise upon thee, and that thou mightest also be equally useful to them in the one case as in the other. But praise and utility and respectability may suffice for him whose only de sire is to have a good conscience-not however for thee, the "trier of the reins," who hast a consciousness of the conscience!
Out of the Seventh Solitude. One day the wanderer shut a door behind him, stood still, and wept. Then he said: "Oh, this inclination and impulse towards the true, the real, the non-apparent, the certain! How I detest it! Why does this gloomy and passionate taskmaster follow just line I should like to test, but it does not permit me to do so. Are there not a host of things seducing me to tarry! Everywhere there are gardens of Armida for me, and therefore there will ever be fresh separations and fresh bitterness of heart! I must set my foot forward, my weary wounded foot: and because I feel I must do this, I often cast grim glances back at the most beautiful things which could not detain me-because they I could not detain me!"
Will and Wave. How eagerly this wave comes hither, as if it were a question of its reaching something! How it creeps with frightful haste into the innermost corners of the rocky cliff! It seems that it wants to forestall some one; it seems that something is concealed there that has value, high value. And now it retreats somewhat more slowly, still quite white with excitement-is it disappointed. Has it found what it sought? Does it merely pretend to be disappointed?But already another wave approach is, still more eager and wild than the first, and its soul also seems to be full of secrets, and of longing for treasure-seeking. Thus live the waves-thus live we who exercise will!I do not say more. But what! Ye distrust me? Ye are angry at me, ye beautiful monsters? Do ye fear that I will quite betray your secret? Well! Just be angry with me, raise your green, dangerous bodies as high as ye can, make a wall between me and the sun-as at present! Verily, there is now nothing more left of the world save green twilight and green lightning-flashes. Do as ye will, ye wanton creatures, roar with delight and wickedness or dive under again, pour your emeralds down into the depths, and cast your endless white tresses of foam and spray over them-it is all the same to me, for all is so well with you, and I am so pleased with you for it all: how could I betray you For take this to heart!I know you and your secret, I know your race! You and I are indeed of one race! You and I have indeed one secret!
Broken Lights. We are not always brave, and when we are weary, people of our stamp are liable to lament occasionally in this wise- "It is so hard to cause pain to men-oh, that it should be necessary! What good is it to live concealed, when we do not want to keep to ourselves that which causes vexation? Would it not be more advisable to live in the madding crowd, and compensate individuals for sins that are committed, and must be committed, against mankind in general? Foolish with fools, vain with the vain, enthusiastic with enthusiasts? Would that not be reasonable when there is such an inordinate amount of divergence in the main? When I hear of the malignity of others against me-is not my first feeling that of satisfaction? It is well that it should be so!I seem to myself to say to them "I am so little in harmony with you, and have so much truth on my side: see henceforth that ye be merry at my expense as often as ye can! Here are my defects and mistakes, here are my illusions, my bad taste, my confusion, my tears, my vanity, my owlish concealment, my contradictions! Here you have something to laugh at! Laugh then, and enjoy yourselves! I am not averse to the law and nature of things, which is that defects and errors should give pleasure! To be sure, there were once I more glorious times, when as soon as any one got an idea, however moderately new it might be, he would think himself so indispensable as to go out into the street with it, and call to everybody: 'Behold! the kingdom of heaven is at hand!' I should not miss myself, if I were a- wanting. We are none of us indispensable!" As we have said, however, we do not think thus when we are brave; we do not think about it at all.
My Dog. I have given a name to my pain, and call it "a dog,"-it is just as faithful, just as importunate and shameless, just as entertaining, just as wise, as any other dog-and I can domineer over it, and vent my bad humor on it, as others do with their dogs, servants, and wives.
No Picture of a Martyr. I will take my cue from Raphael, and not paint any more martyr-pictures. There are enough of sublime things without its being necessary to seek sublimity where it is linked with cruelty; moreover my ambition would not be gratified in the least if I aspired to be a sublime executioner.
New Domestic Animals. I want to have my lion and my eagle about me, that I may always have hints and premonitions concerning the amount of my strength or weakness. Must I look down on them today, and be afraid of them? And will the hour come once more when they will look up to me, and tremble?
The Last Hour. Storms are my danger. Shall I have my storm in which I perish, as Oliver Cromwell perished in his storm? Or shall I go out as a light does, not first blown out by the wind, but grown tired and weary of itself-a burnt-out light? Or finally, shall I blow myself out, so as not to burn out?
Prophetic Men. Ye cannot divine how sorely prophetic men suffer: ye think only that a fine "gift," has been given to them, and would fain have it yourselves -but I will express my meaning by a simile. How much may not the animals suffer from the electricity ot the atmosphere and the clolds! Some of them, as we see, have a prophetic faculty with regard to the weather, for example, apes (as one can observe very well even in Europe, and not only in menageries, but at Gibraltar). That it never occurs to us that it is their sufferings-that are their prophets! When strong positive electricity, under the influence of an approaching cloud not at all visible, is suddenly converted into negative electricity, and an alteration of the weather is imminent, these animals then behave as if an enemy were approaching them, and prepare for defense, or flight: they generally hide themselves -they do not think of the bad weather as weather, but as an enemy whose hand they already feel!
Retrospect. We seldom become conscious of tl1e real pathos of any period of life as such, as long as we continue in it, but always think it is the only possible and reasonable thing for us henceforth, and that it is altogether ethos and not pathos-to speak and distinguish like the Greeks. a few notes of music today recalled a winter an(l a house, and a life of utter solitude to my mind, and at the same time the sentiments in which I then lived: I thought I should be able to live in such a state al ways. But now I understand that it was entirely pathos and passion, something comparable to this painfully bold and truly comforting music-it is not one's lot to have these sensations for years, still less for eternities: otherwise one would become too "ethereal" for this planet.
Wisdom in Pain. In pain there is as much wisdom as in pleasure: like the latter it is one of the best self-preservatives of a species. Were it not so, pain would long ago have been done away with; that it is hurtful is no argument against it, for to be hurtful is its very essence. In pain I hear the commanding call of the ship's captain: "Take in sail!" "Man," the bold seafarer, must have learned to set his sails in a thousand different ways, otherwise he could not have sailed long, for the ocean would soon have swallowed him up. We must also know how to live with reduced energy: as soon as pain gives its precautionary signal, it is time to reduce the speed-some great danger, some storm, is approaching, and we do well to "catch" as little wind as possible. It is true that there are men who, on the approach of severe pain, hear the very opposite call of command, and never appear more proud, more martial, or more happy than when the storm is brewing; indeed, pain itself provides them with their supreme moments! These are the heroic men, the great pain-bringers of mankind: those few and rare ones who need just the same apology as pain generally-and verily, it should not be denied them They are forces of the greatest importance for preserving and advancing the species, be it only because they are opposed to smug ease, and do not conceal their disgust at this kind of happiness.
As Interpreters of our Experiences. One form of honesty has always been lacking among founders of religions and their kin-they have never made their experiences a matter of the intellectual conscience. "What did I really experience? What then took place in me and around me? Was my understanding clear enough? Was my will directly opposed to all deception of the senses, and courageous in its defense against fantastic notions? "None of them ever asked these questions, nor to this day do any of the good religious people ask them. They have rather a thirst for things which are contrary to reason, and they don't want to have too much difficulty in satisfying this thirst-so they experience "miracles" and "regenerations," and hear the voices of angels! But we who are different, who are thirsty for reason, want to look as carefully into our experiences as in the case of a scientific experiment, hour by hour, day by day! We ourselves want to be our own experiments, and our own subjects of experiment.
On Meeting Again. A: Do I quite understand you? You are in search of something? Where, in the midst of the present, actual world, is your niche and star? Where can you lay yourself in the sun, so that you also may have a surplus of well- being, that your existence may justify itself? Let everyone do that for himself-you seem to say -and let him put talk about generalities, concern for others and society, out of his mind!1s: I want more; I am no seeker. I want to create my own sun for myself.
A New Precaution. Let us no longer think so much about punishing, blaming, and improving! We shall seldom be able to alter an individual, and if we should succeed in doing so, something else may also succeed, perhaps unawares: we may have been altered by him! Let us rather see to it that our own influence on all that is to come outweighs and overweighs his influence! Let us not struggle in direct conflict!all blaming, punishing, and desire to improve comes under this category. But let us elevate ours elves all the higher! Let us ever give to our pattern more shining colors! Let us obscure the other by our light! No! We do not mean to become darker ourselves on his account, like those who punish and are discontented! Let us rather go aside! Let us look away!
A Simile. Those thinkers in whom all the stars move in cyclic orbits, are not the most profound. He who looks into himself, as into an immense universe, and carries Milky Ways in himself, knows also how irregular all Milky Ways are; they lead into the very chaos and labyrinth of existence.
Happiness in Destiny. Destiny confers its greatest distinction upon us when it has made us fight for a time on the side of our adversaries. We are thereby predestined to a great victory.
In Media Vita. No! Life has not deceived me! On the contrary, from year to year I find it richer, more desirable and more mysterious- from the day on which the great liberator broke my fetters, the thought that life may be an experiment of the thinker -and not a duty, not a fatality, not a deceit!And knowledge itself may be for others something different; for example, a bed of ease, or the path to a bed of ease, or an entertainment, or a course of idling-for me it is a world of dangers and victories, in which even the heroic sentiments have their arena and dancing-floor. "Life as a means to knowledge"-with this principle in one's heart, one cannot only be brave, but can even live joyfully and laugh joyfully! And who could know how to laugh well and live well, who did not first understand the full significance of war and victory?
What Belongs to Greatness. Who can attain to anything great if he does not feel in himself the force and will to inflict great pain? The ability to suffer is a small matter: in that line, weak women and even slaves often attain masterliness. But not to perish from internal distress and doubt when one inflicts great suffering and hears the cry of it-that is great, that belongs to greatness.
Physicians of the Soul and Pain. All preachers of morality, as also all theologians, have a bad habit in common: all of them try to persuade man that he is very ill, and that a severe, final, radical cure is necessary. And because mankind as a whole has for centuries listened too eagerly to those teachers, something of the superstition that the human race is in a very bad way has actually come over men: so that they are now far too ready to sigh; they find nothing more in life and make melancholy faces at each other, as if life were indeed very hard to endure. In truth, they are inordinately assured of their life and in love with it, and full of untold intrigues and subtleties for suppressing everything disagreeable, and for extracting the thorn from pa in and misfortune. It seems to me that people always speak with exaggeration about pain and misfortune, as if it were a matter of good behavior to exaggerate here: on the other hand people are intentionally silent in regard to the number of expedients for alleviating pain; as for instance, the deadening of it, feverish flurry of thought, a peaceful position, or good and bad reminiscences, intentions, and hopes, -also many kinds of pride and fellow-feeling, which have almost the effect of anesthetics: while in the greatest degree of pain fainting takes place of itself. We understand very well how to pour sweetness on our bitterness, especially on the bitterness of our soul; we find a remedy in our bravery and sublimity, as well as in the nobler delirium of submission and resignation. a loss scarcely remains a loss for an hour: in some way or other a gift from heaven has always fallen into our lap at the same moment-a new form of strength, for example: be it but a new opportunity for the exercise of strength! What have the preachers of morality not dreamt concerning the inner misery of evil men! What lies have they not told us about the misfortunes of impassioned men! Yes, lying is here the right word: they were only too well aware of the overflowing happiness of this kind of man, but they kept silent as death about it; because it was a refutation of their theory, according to which happiness only originates through the annihilation of the passions and the silencing of the will! And finally, as regards the recipe of all those physicians of the soul and their recommendation of a severe radical cure, we may be allowed to ask: Is our life really painful and burdensome enough for us to exchange it with advantage for a Stoical mode of living, and Stoical putrefaction? We do not feel sufficiently miserable to have to feel ill in the Stoical fashion!
Taking Things Seriously. The intellect is with most people an awkward, obscure and creaking machine, which is difficult to set in motion: they call it "taking a thing seriously" when they work with this machine and want to think well-oh, how burdensome must good thinking be to them! That delightful animal, man, seems to lose his good humor whenever he thinks well; he becomes serious "! And "where there is laughing and gaiety, thinking cannot be worth anything:"- so speaks the prejudice of this serious animal against all "Joyful Wisdom."-Well, then! Let us show that it is prejudice!
Doing Harm to Stupidity. It is certain that the belief in the reprehensibility of egoism, preached with such stubbornness and conviction, has on the whole done harm to egoism (in favor of the herd instinct, as I shall repeat a hundred times!), especially by depriving it of a good conscience, and by bidding us seek in it the source of all misfortune. "Thy selfishness is the bane of thy life"-so rang the preaching for millenniums: it did harm, as we have said, to selfishness, and deprived it of much spirit, much cheerfulness, much ingenuity, and much beauty; it stultified and deformed and poisoned selfishness!Philosophical antiquity, on the other hand, taught that there was another principal source of evil: from Socrates downwards, the thinkers were never weary of preaching that "your thoughtlessness and stupidity, your unthinking way of living according to rule, and your subjection to the opinion of your neighbor, are the reasons why you so seldom attain to happiness-we thinkers are, as thinkers, the happiest of mortals." Let us not decide here whether this preaching against stupidity was more sound than the preaching against selfishness; it is certain, however, that stupidity was thereby deprived of its good conscience- those philosophers did harm to stupidity.
Leisure and Idleness. There is an Indian savagery, a savagery peculiar to the Indian blood, in the manner in which the Americans strive after gold: and the breathless hurry of their work-the characteristic vice of the New World-already begins to infect old Europe, and makes it savage also, spreading over it a strange lack of intellectuality. One is now ashamed of repose: even long reflection almost causes remorse of conscience. Thinking is done with a stopwatch, as dining is done with the eyes fixed on the financial newspaper; we live like men who are continually "afraid of letting opportunities slip." "Better do anything whatever, than nothing"-this principle also is a noose with which all culture and all higher taste may be strangled. And just as all form obviously disappears in this hurry of workers, so the sense for form itself, the ear and the eye for the melody of movement, also disappear. The proof of this is the clumsy perspicuity which is now everywhere demanded in all positions where a person would like to be sincere with his fellows, in intercourse with friends, women, relatives, children, teachers, pupils, leaders and princes-one has no longer either time or energy for ceremonies, for roundabout courtesies, for any esprit in conversation, or for any odium whatever. For life in the hunt for gain continually compels a person to consume his intellect, even to exhaustion, in constant dissimulation, overreaching, or forestalling: the real virtue nowadays is to do something in a shorter time than another person. And so there are only rare hours of sincere intercourse permitted: in them, however, people are tired, and would not only like "to let themselves go," but to stretch their legs out wide in awkward style. The way people write their letters nowadays is quite in keeping with the age; their style and spirit will always be the true "sign of the times." If there be still enjoyment in society and in art, it is enjoyment such as over-worked slaves provide for themselves. Oh, this moderation in "joy" of our cultured and uncultured classes! Oh, this increasing suspiciousness of all enjoyment! Work is winning over more and more the good conscience to its side: the desire for enjoyment already calls itself "need of recreation," and even begins to be ashamed of itself. "One owes it to one's health," people say, when they are caught at a picnic. Indeed, it might soon go so far that one could not yield to the desire for the vita contemplative (that is to say, excursions with thoughts and friends), without self-contempt and a bad conscience. Well! Formerly it was the very reverse: it was "action" that suffered from a bad conscience. a man of good family I concealed his work when need compelled him to labor. The slave labored under the weight of the feeling that he did something contemptible-the "doing" itself was something contemptible. "Only in otium and bellum is there nobility and honor:" so rang the voice of ancient prejudice!
Applause. The thinker does not need applause or the clapping of hands, provided he be sure of the clapping of his own hands: the latter, however, he cannot do without. Are there men who could also do without this, and in general without any kind of applause? I doubt it: and even as regards the wisest, Tacitus, who is no calumniator of the wise, says: quando etiam sapientibus gloriae cupido novissima exvitur-that means with him: never.
Better Deaf than Deafened. Formerly a person wanted to have his calling, but that no longer suffices today, for the market has become too large-there has now to be bawling. The consequence is that even good throats outcry each other, and the best wares are offered for sale with hoarse voices; without market-place bawling and hoarseness there is now no longer any genius. It is, sure enough, an evil age for the thinker: he has to learn to find his stillness betwixt two noises, and has to pretend to be deaf until he finally becomes so. As long as he has not learned this, he is in danger of perishing from impatience and headaches.
The Evil Hour. There has perhaps been an evil hour for every philosopher, in which he thought: What do I matter, if people should not believe my poor arguments!And then some malicious bird has flown past him and twittered: "What do you matter? What do you matter?"
What does Knowing Mean? Non ridere, non lugere, neque detestari, sed intelligere! says Spinoza, so simply and sublimely, as is his wont. Nevertheless, what else is this intelligere ultimately, but just I the form in which the three other things become perceptible to us all at once? a result of the diverging and opposite impulses of desiring to deride, lament and execrate? Before knowledge is possible each of these impulses must first have brought forward its one-sided view of the object or event. The struggle of these one-sided views occurs afterwards, and out of it there occasionally arises a compromise, a pacification, a recognition of rights on all three sides, a sort of justice and agreement: for in virtue of the justice and agreement all those impulses can maintain themselves in existence and retain their mutual rights. We, to whose consciousness only the closing reconciliation scenes and final settling of accounts of these long processes manifest themselves, think on that account that intelligere is something conciliating, just and good, something essentially antithetical to the impulses; whereas it is only a certain relation of the impulses to one another. For a very long time conscious thinking was regarded as the only thinking: it is now only that the truth dawns upon us that the greater part of our intellectual activity goes on unconsciously and unfelt by us; I believe, however, that the impulses which are here in mutual conflict under stand rightly how to make themselves felt by one another, and how to cause pain-the violent, sudden exhaustion which overtakes all thinkers, may have its origin here (it is the exhaustion of the battlefield). Aye, perhaps in our struggling interior there is much concealed heroism, but certainly nothing divine, or eternally-reposing-in-itself, as Spinoza supposed. Conscious thinking, and especially that of the philosopher, is the weakest, and on that account also the relatively mildest and quietest mode of thinking: and thus it is precisely the philosopher who is most easily misled concerning the nature of knowledge.
One must Learn to Love. This is our experience in music: we must first learn in general to hear, to hear fully, and to distinguish a theme or a melody, we have to isolate and limit it as a life by itself; then we need to exercise effort and good- will in order to endure it in spite of its strangeness, we need patience towards its aspect and expression, and indulgence towards what is odd in it-in the end there comes a moment when we are accustomed to it, when we expect it, when it dawns upon us that we should miss it if it were lacking; and then it goes on to exercise its spell and charm more and more, and does not cease until we have become its humble and enraptured lovers, who want it, and want it again, and ask for nothing better from the world. I is thus with us, however, not only in music: it is precisely thus that we have learned to love everything that we love. We are always finally recompensed for our good-will, our patience, reasonableness and gentleness towards what is unfamiliar, by the unfamiliar slowly throwing off its veil and presenting itself to us as a new, ineffable beauty-that is its thanks for our hospitality. He also who loves himself must have learned it in this way: there is no other way. Love also has to be learned.
Cheers for Physics! How many men are there who know how to observe? And among the few who do know-how many observe themselves? "Everyone is furthest from himself"-all the "triers of the reins" know that to their discomfort; and the saying, "Know thyself," in the mouth of a God and spoken to man, is almost a mockery. But that the case of self-observation is so desperate, is attested best of all by the manner in which almost everybody talks of the nature of a moral action, that prompt, willing, convinced, loquacious manner, with its look, its smile, and its pleasing eagerness! Everyone seems inclined to say to you: "Why, my dear Sir, that is precisely my affair! You address yourself with your question to him who is authorized to answer, for I happen to be wiser with regard to this matter than in anything else. Therefore, when a man decides that 'this is right,' when he accordingly concludes that 'it must therefore be done,' and thereupon does what he has thus recognized as right and designated as necessary-then the nature of his action is moral" But, my friend, you are talking to me about three actions instead of one: your deciding, for instance, that "this is right," is also an action-could one not judge either morally or immorally? Why do you regard this, and just this, as right? "Because my conscience tells me so; conscience never speaks immorally, indeed it determines in the first place what shall be moral! "-But why do you listen to the voice of your conscience? And in how far are you justified in regarding such a judgment as true and infallible? This belief-is there no further conscience for it? Do you know nothing of an intellectual conscience? a conscience behind your "conscience"? Your decision, "this is right," has a previous history in your impulses, your likes and dislikes, your experiences and non- experiences; "how has it originated?" you must ask, and afterwards the further question: "what really impels me to give ear to it?" You can listen to its command like a brave soldier who hears the command of his officer. Or like a woman who loves him who commands. Or like a flatterer and coward, afraid of the commander. Or like a blockhead who follows because he has nothing to say to the contrary. In short, you can give ear to your conscience in a hundred different ways. But that you hear this or that judgment as the voice of conscience, consequently, that you feel a thing to be right-may have its cause in the fact that you have never thought about your nature, and have blindly accepted from your childhood what has been designated to you as right: or in the fact that hitherto bread and honors have fallen to your share with that which you call your duty-it is "right" to you, because it seems to be your "condition of existence" (that you, however, have a right to existence seems to you irrefutable!). The persistency of your moral judgment might still be just a proof of personal wretchedness or impersonality; your "moral force" might have its source in your obstinacy-or in your incapacity to perceive new ideals! And to be brief: if you had thought more acutely, observed more accurately, and had learned more, you would no longer under all circumstances call this and that your "duty" and your "conscience": the know ledge how moral judgments have in general always ortginated would make you tired of these pathetic words-as you have already grown tired of other pathetic words, for instance "sin," "salvation," and "redemption."-And now, my friend, do not talk to me about the categorical imperative! That word tickles my ear, and I must laugh in spite of your presence and your seriousness. In this connection I recollect old Kant, who, as a punishment for having gained possession surreptitiously of the "thing in itself"-also a very ludicrous affair!was imposed upon by the categorical imperative, and with that in his heart strayed back again to "God," the "soul," "freedom," and "immortality," like a fox which strays back into its cage: and it had been his strength and shrewdness which had broken open this cage! What? You admire the categorical imperative in you? This "persistency" of your so-called moral judgment? This absoluteness of the feeling that "as I think on this matter, so must everyone think"? Admire rather your selfishness therein! And the blindness, paltriness, and modesty of your selfishness! For it is selfishness in a person to regard his judgment as universal law, and a blind, paltry and modest selfishness besides, because it betrays that you have not yet discovered yourself, that you have not yet created for yourself any personal, quite personal ideal-for this could never be the ideal of another, to say nothing of all, of every one! -He who still thinks that "each would have to act in this manner in this case," has not yet advanced half a dozen paces in self-knowledge: otherwise he would know that there neither are, nor can be, similar actions-that every action that has been done, has been done in an entirely unique and inimitable manner, and that it will be the same with regard to all future actions; that all precepts of conduct (and even the most esoteric and subtle precepts of all moralities up to the present), apply only to the coarse exterior,-that by means of them, indeed, a semblance of equality can be attained, but only a semblance-that in outlook and retrospect, every action is, and remains, an impenetrable affair -that our opinions of the "good," "noble" and "great" can never be proved by our actions, because no action is cognizable -that our opinions, estimates, and tables of values are certainly among the most powerful levers in the mechanism of our actions, that in every single case, nevertheless, the law of their mechanism is untraceable. Let us confine ourselves, therefore, to the purification of our opinions and appreciations, and to the construction of new tables of value of our own-we will, however, brood no longer over the "moral worth of our actions"! Yes, my friends! As regards the whole moral twaddle of people about one another, it is time to be disgusted with it! To sit in judgment morally ought to be opposed to our taste! Let us leave this nonsense and this bad taste to those who have nothing else to do, save to drag the past a little distance further through time, and who are never themselves the present-consequently to the many, to the majority! We, however, would seek to become what we are-the new, the unique, the incomparable, making laws for ourselves and creating ourselves! And for this purpose we must become the best students and discoverers of all the laws and necessities in the world. We must be physicists in order to be creators in that sense-whereas hitherto all appreciations and ideals have been based on ignorance of physics, or in contradiction thereto. And therefore, three cheers for physics! And still louder cheers for that which impels us there to our honesty.
Avarice of Nature. Why has nature been so niggardly towards humanity that she has not let human beings shine, this man more and that man less, according to their inner abundance of light? Why have not great men such a fine visibility in their rising and setting as the sun? How much less equivocal would life among men then be!
Future "Humanity." When I look at this age with the eye of a distant future, I find nothing so remarkable in the man of the present day as his peculiar virtue and sickness called "the historical sense." It is a tendency to something quite new and foreign in history: if this embryo were given several centuries and more, there might finally evolve out of it a marvelous plant, with a smell equally marvelous, on account of which our old earth might be more pleasant to live in than it has been hitherto. We moderns are just beginning to form the chain of a very powerful, future sentiment, link by link-we hardly know what we are doing. It almost seems to us as if it were not the question of a new sentiment, but of the decline of all old sentiments-the historical sense is still something so poor and cold, and many are attacked by it as by a frost, and are made poorer and colder by it. To others it appears as the indication of stealthily approaching age, and our planet is regarded by them as a melancholy invalid, who, in order to forget his present condition, writes the history of his youth. In fact, this is one aspect of the new sentiment. He who knows how to regard the history of man in its entirety as his own history, feels in the immense generalization all the grief of the invalid who thinks of health, of the old man who thinks of the dream of his youth, of the lover who is robbed of his beloved, of the martyr whose ideal is destroyed, of the hero on the evening of the indecisive battle which has brought him wounds and the loss of a friend. But to bear this immense sum of grief of all kinds, to be able to bear it, and yet still be the hero who at the commencement of a second day of battle greets the dawn and his happiness, as one who has an horizon of centuries before and behind him, as the heir of all nobility, of all past intellect, and the obligatory heir (as the noblest) of all the old nobles; while at the same time the first of a new nobility, the equal of which has never been seen nor even dreamt of: to take all this upon his soul, the oldest, the newest, the losses, hopes, conquests, and victories of mankind: to have all this at last in one soul, and to comprise it in one feeling-this would necessarily furnish a happiness which man has not hitherto known-a God's happiness, full of power and love, full of tears and laughter, a happiness which, like the sun in the evening, continually gives of its inexhaustible riches and empties into the sea-and like the sun, too, feels itself richest when even the poorest fisherman rows with golden oars! This divine feeling might then be called-humanity!
The Will to Suffering and the Compassionate. Is it to your advantage to be above all compassionate? And is it to the advantage of the sufferers when you are so? But let us leave the first question for a moment without an answer. That from which we suffer most profoundly and personally is almost incomprehensible and inaccessible to every one else: in this matter we are hidden from our neighbor even when he eats at the same table with us. Everywhere, however, where we are noticed as sufferers, our suffering is interpreted in a shallow way; it belongs to the nature of the emotion of pity to dsvest unfamiliar suffering of its properly personal character- our "benefactors" lower our I value and volition more than our enemies. In most benefits which are conferred on the unfortunate there is something shocking in the intellectual levity with which the compassionate person plays the role of fact: he knows nothing of all the inner consequences and complications which are called misfortune for me or for you! The entire economy of my soul and its adjustment by "misfortune," the uprising of new sources and needs, the closing up of old wounds, the repudiation of whole periods of the past-none of these things which may be connected with misfortune preoccupy the dear sympathizer. He wishes to succor, and does not reflect that there is a personal necessity for misfortune; that terror, want, impoverishment, midnight watches, adventures, hazards and mistakes are as necessary to me and to you as their opposites, yea, that, to speak mystically, the path to one's own heaven always leads through the voluptuousness of one's own hell. No, he knows nothing thereof. The "religion of compassion" (or "the heart") bids him help, and he thinks he has helped best when he has helped most speedily! If you adherents of this religion actually have the same sentiments towards yourselves which you have towards your fellows, if you are unwilling to endure your own suffering even for an hour, and continually forestall all possible misfortune, if you regard suffering and pain generally as evil, as detestable, as deserving of annihilation, and as blots on existence, well, you have then, besides your religion of compassion, yet another religion in your heart (and this is perhaps the mother of the former)-the religion of smug ease. Ah, how little you know of the happiness of man, you comfortable and good-natured ones!for happiness and misfortune are brother and sister, and twins, who grow tall together, or, as with you, remain small together! But now let us return to the first question. How is it at all possible for a per son to keep to his path! Some I cry or other is continually calling one aside: our eye then rarely lights on anything without it becoming necessary for us to leave for a moment our own affairs and rush to give assistance. I know there are hundreds of respectable and laudable methods of making me stray from my course, and in truth the most "moral" of methods! Indeed, the opinion of the present-day preachers of the morality of compassion goes so far as to imply that just this, and this alone is moral-to stray from our course to that extent and to run to the assistance of our neighbor. I am equally certain that I need only give myself over to the sight of one case of actual distress, and I, too, am lostl And if a suffering friend said to me, "See, I shall soon die, only promise to die with me"-I might promise it, just as-to select for once bad examples for good reasons-the sight of a small, mountain people struggling for freedom, would bring me to the point of offering them my hand and my life. Indeed, there is even a secret seduction in all this awakening of compassion, and calling for help: our "own way" is a thing too hard and insistent, and too far removed from the love and gratitude of others-we escape from it and from our most personal conscience, not at all unwillingly, and, seeking security in the conscience of others, we take refuge in the lovely temple of the "religion of pity." As soon now as any war breaks out, there always breaks out at the same time a certain secret delight precisely in the noblest class of the people: they rush with rapture to meet the new danger of death, because they believe that in the sacrifice for their country they have finally that long-sought-for permission-the permission to shirk their aim-war is for them a detour to suicide, a detour, however, with a good conscience. And although silent here about some things, I will not, however, be silent about my morality, which says to me: Live in concealment in order that thou mayest live to thyself. Live ignorant of that which seems to thy age to be most important! Put at least the skin of three centuries betwixt thyself and the present day! And the clamor of the present day, the noise of wars and revolutions, ought to be a murmur to thee! Thou wilt also want to help, but only those whose distress thou entirely understandest, because they have one sorrow and one hope in common with thee-thy friends: and only in the way that thou helpest thyself-I want to make them more courageous, more enduring, more simple, more joyful! I want to teach them that which at present so few understand, and the preachers of fellowship in sorrow least of all-namely, fellowship in joy!
Vita femina. To see the ultimate beauties in a work-all knowledge and good-will is not enough; it requires the rarest, good chance for the veil of clouds to move for once from the summits, and for the sun to shine on them. We must not only stand at precisely the right place to see this, our very soul itself must have pulled away the veil from its heights, and must be in need of an external expression and simile, so as to have a hold and remain master of itself. All these, however, are so rarely united at the same time that I am inclined to believe that the highest summit of all that is good, be it work, deed, man, or nature, has hitherto remained for most people, and even for the best, as something concealed and shrouded-that, however, which unveils itself to us, unveils itself to us but once. The Greeks indeed prayed: "Twice and thrice, everything beautiful!" Ah, they had their good reason to call on the Gods, for ungodly actuality does not furnish us with the beautiful at all, or only does so once! I mean to say that the world is overfull of beautiful things, but it is nevertheless poor, very poor, in beautiful moments, and in the unveiling of those beautiful things. But perhaps this is the greatest charm of life: it puts a gold- embroidered veil of lovely potentialities over itself, promising, resisting, modest, mocking, sympathetic, seductive. Yes, life is a woman!
The Dying Socrates. I admire the courage and wisdom of Socrates in all that he did, said-and did not say. This mocking and amorous demon and rat-catcher of Athens, who made the most insolent youths tremble and sob, was not only the wisest babbler that has ever lived, but was just as great in his silence. I would that he had also been silent in the last moment of his life--perhaps he might then have belonged to a still higher order of intellects. Whether it was death, or the poi son, or piety, or wickedness-something or other loosened his tongue at that moment, and he said: "O Crito, I owe a cock to Asclepius." For him who has ears, this ludicrous and terrible "last word" implies: "O Crito, life is a long sickness."' Is it possible! a man like him, who had lived cheerfully and to all appearance as a soldier-was a pessimist! He had merely put on a good demeanor towards life, and had all along concealed his ultimate judgment, his profoundest sentiment! Socrates, Socrates had suffered from life! And he also took his revenge for it-with that veiled, fearful, pious, and blasphemous phrase! Had even a Socrates to revenge himself? Was there a grain too little of magnanimity in his superabundant virtue? Ah, my friends! We must surpass even the Greeks!
The Greatest Burden. What if a demon crept after thee into thy loneliest loneliness some day or night, and said to thee: "This life, as thou livest it at present, and hast lived it, thou must live it once more, and also innumerable times; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and every sigh, and all the unspeakably small and great in thy life must come to thee again, and all in the same series and sequence-and similarly this spider and this moonlight among the trees, and similarly this moment, and I myself. The eternal sand-glass of existence will ever be turned once more, and thou with it, thou speck of dust!"- Wouldst thou not throw thyself down and gnash thy teeth, and curse the demon that so spake? Or hast thou once experienced a tremendous moment in which thou wouldst answer him: "Thou art a God, and never did I hear anything so divine! "If that thought acquired power over thee as thou art, it would transform thee, and perhaps crush thee; the question with regard to all and everything: "Dost thou want this once more, and also for innumerable times?" would lie as the heaviest burden upon thy activity! Or, how wouldst thou have to become favorably inclined to thyself and to life, so as to long for nothing more ardently than for this last eternal sanctioning and sealing?
Incipit Tragoedia. When Zarathustra was thirty years old, he left his home and the Lake of Urmi, and went into the mountains. There he enjoyed his spirit and his solitude, and for ten years did not weary of it. But at last his heart chanted-and rising one morning with the rosy dawn, he went before the sun and spake thus to it: "Thou great star! What would be thy happiness if thou hadst not those for whom thou shinest! For ten years hast thou climbed hither unto my cave: thou wouldst have wearied of thy light and of the journey, had it not been for me, mine eagle, and my serpent. But we awaited thee every morning, took from thee thine overflow, and blessed thee for it. Lo! I am weary of my wisdom, like the bee that hath gathered too much honey; I need hands out-stretched to take it. I would fain bestow and distribute, until the wise have once more become joyous in their folly, and the poor happy in their riches. Therefore must I descend into the deep, as thou doest in the evening, when thou goest behind the sea and givest light also to the nether world, thou most rich star! Like thee must I go down, as men say, to whom I shall descend. Bless me then, thou tranquil eye, that canst behold even the greatest happiness without envy! Bless the cup that is about to overflow, that the water may grow golden out of it, and carry everywhere the reflection of thy bliss! Lo! This cup is again going to empty itself, and Zarathustra is again going to be a man." Thus began Zarathustra's down-going.
BOOK V WE FEARLESS ONES
"Carcasse, tu trembles? Tu tremblerais bien davantage, si tu savais, ou je te mene."—Henri de la tour d’Auvergne, Vicomte de Turenne [1611-1675, French general, Marshall of France (1643), buried in the Invalides in Paris by order of Napoleon. Sometimes during battle he could not help trembling. Then he talked to his body as one talks to a servant: "You tremble, carcass? But if you knew where I am taking you, you would tremble a lot more."]
The meaning of our cheerfulness. The greatest recent event—that "God is dead," that the belief in the Christian God has become unbelievable—is already beginning to cast its first shadows over Europe. For the few at least, whose eyes—the suspicion in whose eyes is strong and subtle enough for this spectacle, some suns seem to have set and some ancient and profound trust has been turned into doubt; to them our old world must appear daily more like evening, more mistrustful, stranger, "older." But in the main one may say: the event itself is far too great, too distant, too remote from the multitude's capacity for comprehension even for the tidings of it to be thought of as having arrived as yet. Much less may one suppose that many people know as yet what this event really means—and how much must collapse now that this faith has been undermined because it was built upon this faith, propped up by it, grown into it; for example, the whole of our European morality. This long plenitude and sequence of breakdown, destruction, ruin, and cataclysm that is now impending—who could guess enough of it today to be compelled to play the teacher and advance proclaimer of this monstrous logic of terror, the prophet of a gloom and an eclipse of the sun whose like has probably never yet occurred on earth?
Even we born guessers of riddles who are, as it were, waiting on the mountains, posted between today and tomorrow, stretched in the contradictions between today and tomorrow, we firstlings and premature births of the coming century, to whom the shadows that must soon envelop Europe really should have appeared by now—why is it that even we look forward to the approaching gloom without any real sense of involvement and above all without any worry or fear for ourselves? Are we perhaps still too much under the impression of the initial consequences of this event—and these initial consequences, the consequences for ourselves, are quite the opposite of what one might perhaps expect: They are not at all sad and gloomy but rather like a new and scarcely describable kind of light, relief, exhiliration, encouragement, dawn.
Indeed, we philosophers and "free spirits" feel, when we hear the news that the "old god is dead," as if a new dawn shone on us; our heart overflows with gratitude, amazement, premonitions, expectation. At long last the horizon appears free to us again, even if it should not be bright; at long last our ships may venture out again, venture out to face any danger; all the daring of the lover of knowledge is permitted again; the sea, our sea, lies open again; perhaps there has never yet been such an "open sea."—
How we, too, are still pious. In science convictions have no rights of citizenship, as one says with good reason. Only when they decide to descend to the modesty of hypotheses, of a provisional experimental point of view, of a regulative fiction, they may be granted admission and even a certain value in the realm of knowledge—though always with the restriction that they remain under police supervision, under the police of mistrust. —But does this not mean, if you consider it more precisely, that a conviction may obtain admission to science only when it ceases to be a conviction? Would it not be the first step in the discipline of the scientific spirit that one would not permit oneself any more convictions?
Probably this is so; only we still have to ask: To make it possible for this discipline to begin, must there not be some prior conviction—even one that is so commanding and unconditional that it sacrifices all other convictions to itself? We see that science also rests on a faith; there simply is no science "without presuppositions." The question whether truth is needed must not only have been affirmed in advance, but affirmed to such a degree that the principle, the faith, the conviction finds expression: "Nothing is needed more than truth, and in relation to it everything else has only second-rate value."
This unconditional will to truth—what is it? Is it the will not to allow oneself to be deceived? Or is it the will not to deceive? For the will to truth could be interpreted in the second way, too—if only the special case "I do not want to deceive myself" is subsumed under the generalization "I do not want to deceive." But why not deceive? But why not allow oneself to be deceived?
Note that the reasons for the former principle belong to an altogether different realm from those for the second. One does not want to allow oneself to be deceived because one assumes that it is harmful, dangerous, calamitous to be deceived. In this sense, science would be a long-range prudence, a caution, a utility; but one could object in all fairness: How is that? Is wanting not to allow oneself to be deceived really less harmful, less dangerous, less calamitous? What do you know in advance of the character of existence to be able to decide whether the greater advantage is on the side of the unconditionally mistrustful or of the unconditionally trusting? But if both should be required, much trust as well as much mistrust, from where would science then be permitted to take its unconditional faith or conviction on which it rests, that truth is more important than any other thing, including every other conviction. Precisely this conviction could never have come into being if both truth and untruth constantly proved to be useful, which is the case. Thus—the faith in science, which after all exists undeniably, cannot owe its origin to such a calculus of utility; it must have originated in spite of the fact that the disutility and dangerousness of "the will to truth," of "truth at any price" is proved to it constantly. "At any price": how well we understand these words once we have offered and slaughtered one faith after another on this altar!
Consequently, "will to truth" does not mean "I will not allow myself to be deceived" but—there is no alternative—"I will not deceive, not even myself"; and with that we stand on moral ground. For you only have to ask yourself carefully, "Why do you not want to deceive?" especially if it should seem—and it does seem!—as if life aimed at semblance, meaning error, deception, simulation, delusion, self-delusion, and when the great sweep of life has actually always shown itself to be on the side of the most scrupulous polytropoi [Greek word used in the first line of the Odyssey to describe Odysseus; meaning ranges from much turned to much traveled, versatile, wily, and manifold]. Charitably interpreted, such a resolve might perhaps be a quixotism, a minor slightly mad enthusiasm; but it might also be something more serious, namely, a principle that is hostile to life and destructive.—"Will to truth"—that might be a concealed will to death ["will to death" borrowed by Freud in Beyond the Pleasure Principle].
Thus the question "Why science?" leads back to the moral problem: Why have morality at all when life, nature, and history are "not moral"? No doubt, those who are truthful in that audacious and ultimate sense that is presupposed by the faith in science thus affirm another world than the world of life, nature, and history; and insofar as they affirm this "other world"—look, must they not by the same token negate its counterpart, this world, our world?—But you will have gathered what I am driving at, namely, that it is still a metaphysical faith upon which our faith in science rests—that even we seekers after knowledge today, we godless anti-metaphysicians still take our fire, too, from the flame lit by a faith that is thousands of years old, that Christian faith which was also the faith of Plato, that God is the truth, that truth is divine. —But what if this should become more and more incredible, if nothing should prove to be divine any more unless it were error, blindness, the lie—if God himself should prove to be our most enduring lie?—
Morality as a problem. The lack of personality always takes its revenge: A weakened, thin, extinguished personality that denies itself is no longer fit for anything good—least of all for philosophy. "Selflessness" has no value either in heaven or on earth. All great problems demand great love, and of that only strong, round, secure spirits who have a firm grip on themselves are capable. It makes the most telling difference whether a thinker has a personal relationship to his problems and finds in them his destiny, his distress and his greatest happiness, or an "impersonal" one, meaning that he can do no better than to touch them and grasp them with the antennae of cold, curious thought. In the latter case nothing will come of it; that much one can promise in advance, for even if great problems should allow themselves to be grasped by them they would not permit frogs and weaklings to hold on to them; such has been their taste from time immemorial—a taste, incidentally, that they share with all redoubtable females.
Why is it then that I have never yet encountered anybody, not even in books, who approached morality in this personal way and who knew morality as a problem, and this problem as his own personal distress, torment, voluptuousness, and passion? It is evident that up to now morality was no problem at all but, on the contrary, precisely that on which after all mistrust, discord, and contradiction one could agree—that hallowed place of peace where our thinkers took a rest even from themselves, took a deep breath, and felt revived. I see nobody who ventured a critique of moral valuations; I miss even the slightest attempts of scientific curiosity, of the refined, experimental imagination of psychologists and historians that readily anticipates a problem and catches it in flight without quite knowing what it has caught. I have scarcely detected a few meager preliminary efforts to explore the history of the origins of these feelings and valuations (which is something quite different from a critique and again different from a history of ethical systems). In one particular case [allusion to Paul Rée, author of Der Ursprung der moralischen Empfindungen (1877) and Die Entstehung des Gewissens (1885).] I have done everything to encourage a sympathy and talent for this kind of history—in vain, as it seems to me today.
These historians of morality (mostly Englishmen) do not amount to much. Usually they themselves are still quite unsuspectingly obedient to one particular morality and, without knowing it, serve that as shield-bearers and followers—for example, by sharing that popular superstition of Christian Europe which people keep mouthing so guilelessly to this day, that what is characteristic of moral actions is selflessness, self-sacrifice, or sympathy and pity. Their usual mistaken premise is that they affirm some consensus of the nations, at least of tame nations, concerning certain principles of morals, and then they infer from this that these principles must be unconditionally binding also for you and me; or, conversely, they see the truth that among different nations moral valuations are necessarily different and then infer from this that no morality is at all binding. Both procedures are equally childish.
The mistake made by the more refined among them is that they uncover and criticize the perhaps foolish opinions of a people about their morality, or of humanity about all human morality—opinions about its origin, religious sanction, the superstition of free will [See 347.], and things of that sort—and then suppose that they have criticized the morality itself. But the value of a command "thou shalt" is still fundamentally different from and independent of such opinions about it and the weeds of error that may have overgrown it—just as certainly as the value of a medication for a sick person is completely independent of whether he thinks about medicine scientifically or the way old women do. Even if a morality has grown out of an error, the realization of this fact would not as much as touch the problem of its value.
Thus nobody up to now has examined the value of that most famous of all medicines which is called morality; and the first step would be—for once to question it. Well then, precisely this is our task.—
Our question mark. But you do not understand this? Indeed, people will have trouble understanding us. We are looking for words; perhaps we are also looking for ears. Who are we anyway? If we simply called ourselves, using an old expression, godless, or unbelievers, or perhaps immoralists, we do not believe that this would even come close to designating us: We are all three in such an advanced stage that one—that you, my curious friends—could never comprehend how we feel at this point. Ours is no longer the bitterness and passion of the person who has turned himself away and still feels compelled to turn his unbelief into a new belief, a purpose, a martyrdom. We have become cold, hard, and tough in the realization that the way of this world is anything but divine; even by human standards it is not rational, merciful, or just. We know it well, the world in which we live is ungodly, immoral, "inhuman"; we have interpreted it far too long in a false and mendacious way, in accordance with the wishes of our reverence, which is to say, according to our needs. For man is a reverent animal. But he is also mistrustful; and that the world is not worth what we thought it was, that is about as certain as anything of which our mistrust has finally got hold. The more mistrust, the more philosophy.
We are far from claiming that the world is worth less; indeed it would seem laughable to us today if man were to insist on inventing values that were supposed to excel the value of the actual world. This is precisely what we have turned our backs on as an extravagant aberration of human vanity and unreason that for a long time was not recognized as such. It found its final expression in modern pessimism [i.e., Schopenhauer’s philosophy], and a more ancient and stronger expression in the teaching of Buddha; but it is part of Christianity also, if more doubtfully and ambiguously so but not for that reason any less seductive.
The whole pose of "man against the world," of man as a "world-negating" principle, of man as the measure of the value of things, as judge of the world who in the end places existence itself upon his scales and finds it wanting—the monstrous insipidity of this pose has finally come home to us and we are sick of it. We laugh as soon as we encounter the juxtaposition of "man and world," separated by the sublime presumption of the little word "and." But look, when we laugh like that, have we simply not carried the contempt for man one step further? And thus also pessimism, the contempt for that existence which is knowable by us? Have we not exposed ourselves to the suspicion of an opposition—an opposition between the world in which we were at home up to now with our reverences that perhaps made it possible for us to endure life, and another world that consists of us—an inexorable, fundamental, and deepest suspicion about ourselves that is more and more gaining worse and worse control of us Europeans and that could easily confront coming generations with the terrifying Either/Or: "Either abolish your reverences or—yourselves!" The latter would be nihilism; but would not the former also be—nihilism? —This is our question mark.
Believers and their need to believe. How much one needs a faith [In German there is only one word for belief and faith, Glaube; and to believe is glauben] in order to flourish, how much that is "firm" and that one does not wish to be shaken because one clings to it, that is a measure of the degree of one’s strength (or, to put the point more clearly, of one’s weakness). Christianity, it seems to me, is still needed by most people in old Europe even today; therefore it still finds believers. For this is how man is: An article of faith could be refuted before him a thousand times—if he needed it, he would consider it "true" again and again, in accordance with that famous "proof of strength" of which the Bible speaks. [I Corinthians 2.4: "in demonstration of the Spirit and of power."]
Metaphysics is still needed by some; but so is that impetuous demand for certainty that today discharges itself among large numbers of people in a scientific-positivistic form. The demand that one wants by all means that something should be firm (while on account of the ardor of this demand one is easier and more negligent about the demonstration of this certainty)—this, too, is still the demand for a support, a prop, in short, that instinct of weakness which, to be sure, does not create religious, metaphysical systems, and convictions of all kinds but—conserves them.
Actually, what is steaming around all of these positivistic systems is the vapor of a certain pessimistic gloom, something that smells of weariness, fatalism, disappointment, and fear of new disappointments—or else ostentatious wrath, a bad mood, the anarchism of indignation, and whatever other symptoms and masquerades of the feeling of weakness there may be. Even the vehemence with which our most intelligent contemporaries lose themselves in wretched nooks and crannies, for example, into patriotism [Vaterländerei] (I mean what the French call chauvinisme and the Germans "German") or into petty aesthetic creeds after the manner of French naturalisme (which drags up and bares only that partof nature which inspires nausea and simultaneous amazement—today people like to call this part la vérité vraie [the true truth]) or into nihilism à la Petersburg (meaning the belief in unbelief even to the point of martyrdom) always manifests above all the need for a faith, a support, backbone, something to fall back on.
Faith is always coveted most and needed most urgently where will is lacking; for will, as the affect of command, is the decisive sign of sovereignty and strength. In other words, the less one knows how to command, the more urgently one covets someone who commands, who commands severely—a god, prince, class, physician, father confessor, dogma, or party conscience. From this one might perhaps gather that the two world religions, Buddhism and Christianity, may have owed their origin and above all their sudden spread to a tremendous collapse and disease of the will. And that is what actually happened: both religions encountered a situation in which the will had become diseased, giving rise to a demand that had become utterly desperate for some "thou shalt." Both religions taught fanaticism in ages in which the will had become exhausted, and thus they offered innumerable people some support, a new possibility of willing, some delight in willing. For fanaticism is the only "strength of the will" that even the weak and insecure can be brought to attain, being a sort of hypnotism of the whole system of the senses and the intellect for the benefit of an excessive nourishment (hypertrophy) of a single point of view and feeling that henceforth becomes dominant—which the Christian calls his faith. Once a human being reaches the fundamental conviction that he must be commanded, he becomes "a believer." Conversely, one could conceive of such a pleasure and power of self-determination, such a freedom of the will [This conception of "freedom of the will" (alias, autonomy) does not involve any belief in what Nietzsche called "the superstition of free will" in section 345 (alias, the exemption of human actions from an otherwise universal determinism).] that the spirit would take leave of all faith and every wish for certainty, being practiced in maintaining himself on insubstantial ropes and possibilities and dancing even near abysses. Such a spirit would be the free spirit par excellence.
Once more the origin of scholars. The wish to preserve oneself is the symptom of a condition of distress, of a limitation of the really fundamental instinct of life which aims at the expansion of power and, wishing for that, frquently risks and even sacrifices self-preservation....in nature it is not conditions of distress that are dominant but overflow and squandering, even to the point of absurdity. The struggle for existence is only an exception, a temporary restriction of the will of life. The great and small struggle always revolves around superiority [Übergewicht], around growth and expansion, around power—in accordance with the will to power which is the will of life.
In honor of the priestly type. ...a priest is and remains a human sacrifice...The common people attribute wisdom to such serious men of "faith" who have become quiet, meaning that they have acquired knowledge and are "certain" compared to one's own uncertainty. Who would want to deny them this word and this reverence?—But, it is also fair conversely, when philosophers consider priests as still "common people" and not men of knowledge—above all, because they simply do not believe in any "men of knowledge"; in this belief, or rather superstition, they smell the "common people." It was modesty that invented the word "philosopher" in Greece and left the magnificent overweening presumption in calling oneself wise to the actors of the spirit—the modesty of such monsters of pride and sovereignty as Pythagoras, as Plato—.
How morality is scarcely dispensable. A naked human being is generally a shameful sight. I am speaking of us Europeans (and not even of female Europeans!). Suppose that, owing to some magician's malice, the most cheerful company at table suddenly saw itself disrobed and undressed; I believe that not only their cheerfulness would vanish and that the strongest appetite would be discouraged— it seems that we Europeans simply cannot dispense with that masquerade which one calls clothes.
Now consider the way "moral man" is dressed up, how he is veiled behind moral formulas and concepts of decency—the way our actions are benevolently concealed by the concepts of duty, virtue, sense of community, honorableness, self-denial—should the reasons for all this not be equally good? I am not suggesting that all this is meant to mask human malice and villainy—the wild animal in us; my idea is, on the contrary, that it is precisely as tame animals that we are a shameful sight and in need of the moral disguise, that the "inner man" in Europe is not by a long shot bad enough to show himself without shame (or to be beautiful). The European disguises himself with morality because he has become a sick, sickly, crippled animal that has good reasons for being "tame"; for he is almost an abortion, scarce half made up, weak, awkward.
It is not the ferocity of the beast of prey that requires a moral disguise but the herd animal with its profound mediocrity, timidity, and boredom with itself. With morality the European dresses up—let us confess it!—to look nobler, more important, more respectable, "divine"—
The origin of our concept of knowledge. I take this explanation from the street. I heard one of the common people say, "he knew me right away." Then I asked myself: "What is it that the common people take for knowledge? What do they want when they want "knowledge"? Nothing more than this: Something strange is to be reduced to something familiar. And we philosophers—have we really meant more than this when we have spoken of knowledge? What is familiar means what we are used to so that we no longer marvel at it, our everyday, some rule in which we are stuck, anything at all in which we feel at home. Look, isn't our need for knowledge precisely this need for the familiar, the will to uncover under everything strange, unusual, and questionable something that no longer disturbs us? Is it not the instinct of fear that bids us to know? And is the jubilation of those who attain knowledge not the jubilation over the restoration of a sense of security?
Here is a philospher who fancied that the world was "known" when he had reduced it to the "idea." Was it not because the "idea" was so familiar to him and he was so well used to it—because he hardly was afraid of the "idea" any more?
How easily these men of knowledge are satisfied! Just have a look at their principles and their solutions of the world riddle with this in mind! When they find something in things—under them, or behind them—that is unfortunately quite familiar to us, such as our multiplication tables or our logic, or our willing and desiring—how happy they are right away! For "what is familiar is known": on this they are agreed. Even the most cautious among them suppose that what is familiar is at least more easily knowable than what is strange, and that, for example, sound method demands that we start from the "inner world," from the "facts of consciousness," because this world is more familiar to us. Error of errors! What is familiar is what we are used to; and what we are used to is most difficult to "know"—that is, to see as a problem; that is, to see as strange, as distant, as "outside us."
The great certainty of the natural sciences in comparison with psychology and the critique of the elements of consciousness—one might almost say, with the unnatural sciences—is due precisely to the fact that they choose for their object what is strange, while it is almost contradictory and absurd to even try to choose for an object what is not-strange.
The hermit speaks once more. We, too associate with "people"; we, too, modestly don the dress in which (as which) others know us, respect us, look for us—and then we appear in company, meaning among people who are disguised without wanting to admit it. We, too, do what all prudent masks do, and in response to every curiosity that does not concern our "dress" we politely place a chair against the door. But there are also other ways and tricks when it comes to associating with or passing among men—for example, as a ghost, which is altogether advisable if one wants to get rid of them quickly and make them afraid. Example: One reaches out for us but gets no hold of us. That is frightening. Or we enter through a closed door. Or after all lights have been extinguished. Or after we have died.
The last is the trick of posthumous people par excellence. ("What did you think?" one of them once asked impatiently; "would we feel like enduring the estrangement, the cold and quiet of the grave around us—this whole subterranean, concealed, mute, undiscovered solitude that among us is called life but might just as well be called death—if we did not know what will become of us, and that it is only after death that we shall enter our life and become alive, oh, very much alive, we posthumous people!") [Untimeliness is the price of immortality: "Some are born posthumously" (Ecce Homo); "One pays dearly for immortality; one has to die several times while still alive" (Ecce Homo). Graffiti: "God is dead."—Nietzsche "Nietzsche is dead."—God "Some are born posthumously."—Nietzsche]
Our new "infinite". How far the perspective character of existence extends or indeed whether existence has any other character than this; whether existence without interpretation, without "sense," does not become "nonsense"; whether, on the other hand, all existence is not essentially actively engaged in interpretation—that cannot be decided even by the most industrious and most scrupulously conscientious analysis and self-examination of the intellect; for in the course of this analysis the human intellect cannot avoid seeing itself in its own perspectives, and only in these. We cannot look around our own corner: it is a hopeless curiosity that wants to know what other kinds of intellects and perspectives there might be; for example, whether some beings might be able to experience time backward, or alternately forward and backward (which would involve another direction of life and another concept of cause and effect). But I should think that today we are at least far from the ridiculous immodesty that would be involved in decreeing from our corner that perspectives are permitted only from this corner. Rathe has the world become "infinite" for us all over again, inasmuch as we cannot reject the possibility that it may include infinite interpretations. Once more we are seized by a great shudder; but who would feel inclined immediately to deify again after the old manner this monster of an unknown world? And to worship the unknown henceforth as "the Unknown One"? Alas, too many ungodly possibilities of interpretation are included in the unknown, too much devilry, stupidity, and foolishness of interpretation—even our own human, all too human folly, which we know.
Why we look like Epicureans. We are cautious, we modern men, about ultimate convictions. Our mistrust lies in wait for the enchantments and deceptions of the conscience that are involved in every strong faith, every unconditional Yes and No. How is this to be explained? Perhaps what is to be found here is largely the care of the "burned child," of the disappointed idealist; but there is also another, superior component: the jubilant curiosity of one who formerly stood in his corner and was driven to despair by his corner, and now delights and luxuriates in the opposite of a corner, in the boundless, in what is "free as such." Thus an almost Epicurean bent for knowledge develops that will not easily let go of the questionable character of things; also an aversion to big moral words and gestures; a taste that rejects all crude, four-square opposites and is proudly conscience of its practice in having reservations. For this constitutes our pride, this slight tightening of the reins as our urge for certainty races ahead, this self-control of the rider during his wildest rides; for we still ride mad and fiery horses, and when we hesitate it is least of all danger that makes us hesitate.
We who are homeless. Among Europeans today there is no lack of those who are entitled to call themselves homeless in a distinctive and honorable sense: it is to them that I especially commend my secret wisdom and gaya scienza. For their fate is hard, their hopes are uncertain; it is quite a feat to devise some comfort for them—but what avail? We children of the future, how could we be at home in this today? We feel disfavor for all ideals that might lead one to feel at home even in this fragile, broken time of transition; as for its "realities," we do not believe that they will last. The ice that still supports people today has become very thin; the wind that brings the thaw is blowing; we ourselves who are homeless constitute a force that breaks open ice and other all too thin "realities."
We "conserve" nothing; neither do we want to return to any past periods; we are not by any means "liberal"; we do not work for "progress"; we do not need to plug up our ears against the sirens who in the market place sing of the future: their song about "equal rights," "a free society," "no more masters and no servants" has no allure for us. We simply do not consider it desirable that a realm of justice and concord should be established on earth (because it would certainly be the realm of the deepest leveling and chinoiserie) [concluding poem, Beyond Good and Evil: "nur wer sich wandelt bleibt mit mir verwandt" (Only those who keep changing remain akin to me)]; we are delighted with all who love, as we do, danger, war, and adventures, who refuse to compromise, to be captured, reconciled, and castrated; we count ourselves among conquerors; we think about the necessity for new orders, also for a new slavery—for every strengthening and enhancement of the human type also involves a new kind of enslavement. Is it not clear that with all this we are bound to feel ill at ease in an age that likes to claim the distinction of being the most humane, the mildest, and the most righteous age that the sun has ever seen? It is bad enough that precisely when we hear these beautiful words we have the ugliest suspicions. What we find in them is merely an expression—and a masquerade—of a profound weakening, of weariness, of old age, of declining energies. What can it matter to us what tinsel the sick may use to cover up their weakness? Let them parade it as their virtue; after all, there is no doubt that weakness makes one mild, oh so mild, so righteous, so inoffensive, so "humane"!
The "religion of pity" to which one would like to convert us—oh, we know the hysterical little males and females well enough who today need precisely this religion as a veil and make-up. We are no humanitarians; we should never dare to permit ourselves to speak of our "love for humanity"; our kind is not actor enough for that. Or not Saint-Simonist enough [i.e., not a utopian socialist], not French enough. One really has to be afflicted with a Gallic excess of erotic irritability and enamored impatience to approach in all honesty the whole of humanity with one’s lust!
Humanity! Has there ever been a more hideous old woman among all old women—(unless it were "truth": a question for philosophers)? No, we do not love humanity ["Man is something that shall be overcome": Thus Spake Zarathustra, Prologue]; but on the other hand we are not nearly "German" enough, in the sense in which the word "German" is constantly being used nowadays, to advocate nationalism and race hatred and to be able to take pleasure in the national scabies of the heart and blood poisoning that now leads the nations of Europe to delimit and barricade themselves against each other as if it were a matter of quarantine. For that we are too openminded, too malicious, too spoiled, also too well informed, too "traveled": we far prefer to live on mountains, apart, "untimely," in past or future centuries, merely in order to keep ourselves from experiencing the silent rage to which we know we should be condemned as eyewitnesses of politics that are desolating the German spirit by making it vain and that is, moreover, petty politics: to keep its own creation from immediately falling apart again, is it not finding it necessary to plant it between two deadly hatreds? must it not desire the eternalization of the European system of a lot of petty states?
We who are homeless are too manifold and mixed racially and in our descent, being "modern men," and consequently do not feel tempted to participate in the mendacious racial self-admiration and racial indecency that parades in Germany today as a sign of a German way of thinking and that is doubly false and obscene among the people of the "historical sense." We are, in one word—and let this be our word of honor—good Europeans, the heirs of Europe, the rich, oversupplied, but also overly obligated heirs of thousands of years of European spirit. As such, we have also outgrown Christianity and are averse to it—precisely because we have grown out of it, because our ancestors were Christians who in their Christianity were uncompromisingly upright: for their faith they willingly sacrificed possessions and position, blood and fatherland. We—do the same. For what? For our unbelief? For every kind of unbelief? No, you know better than that, friends! The hidden Yes in you is stronger than all Nos and Maybes that afflict you and your age like a disease; and when you have to embark on the sea, you emigrants, you, too, are compelled to this by—a faith!
The fool interrupts. The writer of this book is no misanthrope; today one pays too dearly for hatred of men. If one would hate the way man was hated formerly, Timonically [Timon of Athens], wholly, without exception, with a full heart, with the whole love of hatred, then one would have to renounce contempt. And how much fine joy, how much patience, how much graciousness even do we owe precisely to our contempt! Moreover, it makes us the "elect of God": refined contempt is our taste and privilege, our art, our virtue perhaps, as we are the most modern of moderns.
Hatred, on the other hand, places people on a par, vis-à-vis; in hatred there is honor; finally, in hatred there is fear, a good and ample element of fear. We fearless ones, however, we more spiritual human beings of this age, we know our own advantage well enough to live without fear of this age precisely because we are more spiritual. We shall hardly be decapitated, imprisoned, or exiled; not even our books will be banned or burned. The age loves the spirit; it loves and needs us, even if we should have to make clear to it that we are virtuosos of contempt; that every association with human beings makes us shudder slightly; that for all our mildness, patience, geniality, and politeness, we cannot persuade our nose to give up its prejudices against the proximity of a human being; that we love nature the less humanly it behaves, and art when it is the artist’s escape from man, or the artist’s mockery of man, or the artist’s mockery of himself.
The "wanderer" speaks. If one would like to see our European morality for once as it looks from a distance, and if one would like to measure it against other moralities, past and future, then one has to proceed like a wanderer who wants to know how high the towers in a town are: he leaves the town. "Thoughts are moral prejudices," [subtitle to The Dawn (1881 edition)] if they are not meant to be prejudices about prejudices, presuppose a position outside morality, some point beyond good and evil to which one has to rise, climb, or fly—and in the present case at least a point beyond our good and evil, a freedom from everything "European," by which I mean the sum of the imperious value judgments that have become part of our flesh and blood. That one wants to go precisely out there, up there, may be a minor madness, a peculiar and unreasonable "you must"—for we seekers for knowledge also have our idiosyncrasies of "unfree will"—the question is whether one really can get up there.
This may depend on manifold conditions. In the main the question is how light or heavy we are—the problem of our "specific gravity." One has to be very light to drive one’s will to knowledge into such a distance and, as it were, beyond one’s time, to create for oneself eyes to survey millennia and, moreover, clear skies in these eyes. One must have liberated oneself from many things that oppress, inhibit, hold down, and make heavy precisely us Europeans today. The human being of such a beyond who wants to behold the supreme measures of value of his time must first of all "overcome" this time in himself—this is the test of his strength—and consequently not only his time but also his prior aversion and contradiction against this time, his suffering from this time, his un-timeliness, his romanticism.
The great health. Being new, nameless, hard to understand, we premature births of an as yet unproven future need for a new goal also a new means—namely a new health, stronger, more seasoned, tougher, more audacious, and gayer than any previousl health. Whoever has a soul that craves to have experienced the whole range of values and desiderata to date, and to have sailed around all the coast of this ideal "mediterranean"; whoever wants to know from the adventures of his own more authentic experience how a discoverer and conqueror of the ideal feels, land also an artist, a saint, a legislator, a sage, a scholar, a pious man, a soothsayer, and one who stands divinely apart in the old style—needs one thing above everything else: the great health—that one does not merely have but also acquires continually, and must acquire because one gives it up again and again, and must give it up.
And now, after we have long been on our way in this manner, we argonauts of the ideal, with more daring perhaps than is prudent, and have suffered shipwreck and damage often enough, but are, to repeat it, healthier than one likes to permit us, dangerously healthy, ever again healthy—it will seem to us as if, as a reward, we now confronted an as yet undiscovered country whose boundaries nobody has surveyed yet, something beyond all the lands and nooks of the ideal so far, a world so overrich in what is beautiful, strange, questionable, terrible, and divine that our curiosity as well as our craving to possess it has got beside itself—alas, now nothing will sate us any more!
After such vistas and with such a burning hunger in our conscience and science [In Wissen und Gewissen], how could we still be satisfied with present-day man? It may be too bad but it is inevitable that we find it difficult to remain serious when we look at his worthiest goals and hopes, and perhaps we do not even bother to look any more.
Another ideal runs ahead of us, a strange, tempting, dangerous ideal to which we should not wish to persuade anybody because we do not readily concede the right to it to anyone: the ideal of a spirit who plays naively—that is, not deliberately but from overflowing power and abundance—with all that was hitherto called holy, good, untouchable, divine; for whom those supreme things that the people naturally accept as their value standards, signify danger, decay, a debasement, or at least recreation, blindness, and temporary self-oblivion; the ideal of a human, superhuman well-being and benevolence [Wohlseins und Wohlwollens] that will often appear inhuman—for example, when it confronts all earthly seriousness so far, all solemnity in gesture, word, tone, eye, morality, and task so far, as if it were their most incarnate and involuntary parody—and in spite of all of this, it is perhaps only with him that great seriousness really begins, that the real question mark is posed for the first time, that the destiny of the soul changes, the hand moves forward, the tragedy begins.