Daybreak

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Popular morality and popular medicine.  The morality which prevails in a community is constantly being worked at by everybody: most people produce example after example of the alleged relationship between cause and effect, between guilt and punishment, confirm it as well founded and strengthen their faith: some observe actions and their consequences afresh and draw conclusions and laws from their observations: a very few take exception here and there and thus diminish faith on these points.  All, however, are at one in the wholly crude, unscientific character of their activity; whether it is a matter of producing examples, making observations or taking exception, whether it is a matter of proving, confirming, expressing or refuting a law  both material and form are worthless, as are the material and form of all popular medicine. Popular medicine and popular morality belong together and ought not to be evaluated so differently as they still are: both are the most dangerous pseudo-sciences.

Friedrich NietzscheDaybreak: Book I - Aphorism #116796 years, 8 months ago 

12

Consequence as supplement.  Formerly people believed that the outcome of an action was not a consequence but a free supplement  namely God' s. I s a greater confusion conceivable? The action and its outcome had to be worked at separately, with quite different means and practices!

Friedrich NietzscheDaybreak: Book I - Aphorism #126516 years, 8 months ago 

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Towards the re-education of the human race.  Men of application and goodwill assist in this one work: to take the concept of punishment which has overrun the whole world and root it out! There exists no more noxious weed! Not only has it been implanted into the consequences of our actions  and how dreadful and repugnant to reason even this is, to conceive cause and effect as cause and punishment!  but they have gone further and, through this infamous mode of interpretation with the aid of the concept of punishment, robbed of its innocence the whole purely chance character of events. Indeed, they have gone so far in their madness as to demand that we feel our very existence to be a punishment  it is as though the education of the human race had hitherto been directed by the fantasies of jailers and hangmen!

Friedrich NietzscheDaybreak: Book I - Aphorism #137786 years, 8 months ago 

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Significance of madness in the history of morality.  When in spite of that fearful pressure of 'morality of custom' under which all the communities of mankind have lived, many millennia before the beginnings of our calendar and also on the whole during the course of it up to the present day (we ourselves dwell in the little world of the exceptions and, so to speak, in the evil zone):  when, I say, in spite of this, new and deviate ideas, evaluations, drives again and again broke out, they did so accompanied by a dreadful attendant: almost everywhere it was madness which prepared the way for the new idea, which broke the spell of a venerated usage and superstition. Do you understand why it had to be madness which did this? Something in voice and bearing as uncanny and incalculable as the demonic moods of the weather and the sea and therefore worthy of a similar awe and observation? Something that bore so visibly the sign of total unfreedom as the convulsions and froth of the epileptic, that seemed to mark the madman as the mask and speaking-trumpet of a divinity? Something that awoke in the bearer of a new idea himself reverence for and dread of himself and no longer pangs of conscience and drove him to become the prophet and martyr of his idea?  while it is constantly suggested to us today that, instead of a grain of salt, a grain of the spice of madness is joined to genius, all earlier people found it much more likely that wherever there is madness there is also a grain of genius and wisdom  something 'divine', as one whispered to oneself. Or rather: as one said aloud forcefully enough. 'It is through madness that the greatest good things have come to Greece', Plato said, in concert with all ancient mankind. Let us go a step further: all superior men who were irresistibly drawn to throw off the yoke of any kind of morality and to frame new laws had, if they were not actually mad, no alternative but to make themselves or pretend to be mad  and this indeed applies to innovators in every domain and not only in the domain of pries fly and political dogma:  even the innovator of poetical metre had to establish his credentials by madness. (A certain convention that they were mad continued to adhere to poets even into much gentler ages: a convention of which Solon13, for example, availed himself when he incited the Athenians to reconquer Salamis.)  'How can one make oneself mad when one is not mad and does not dare to appear so?'  almost all the significant men of ancient civilisation have pursued this train of thought; a secret teaching of artifices and dietetic hints was propagated on this subject, together with the feeling that such reflections and purposes were innocent, indeed holy. The recipes for becoming a medicine-man among the Indians, a saint among the Christians of the Middle Ages, an angekok14 among Greenlanders, a pajee among Brazilians are essentially the same: senseless fasting, perpetual sexual abstinence, going into the desert or ascending a mountain or a pillar, or 'sitting in an aged willow tree which looks upon a lake' and thinking of nothing at all except what might bring on an ecstasy and mental disorder. Who would venture to take a look into the wilderness of bitterest and most superfluous agonies of soul in which probably the most fruitful men of all times have languished! To listen to the sighs of these solitary and agitated minds: 'Ah, give me madness, you heavenly powers! Madness, that I may at last believe in myself! Give deliriums and convulsions, sudden lights and darkness, terrify me with frost and fire such as no mortal has ever felt, with deafening din and prowling figures, make me howl and whine and crawl like a beast: so that I may only come to believe in myself! I am consumed by doubt, I have killed the law, the law anguishes me as a corpse does a living man: if I am not more than the law I am the vilest of all men. The new spirit which is in me, whence is it if it is not from you? Prove to me that I am yours; madness alone can prove it.' And only too often this fervour achieved its goal all too well: in that age in which Christianity proved most fruitful in saints and desert solitaries, and thought it was proving itself by this fruitfulness, there were in Jerusalem vast madhouses for abortive saints, for those who had surrendered to it their last grain of salt.

13. Solon (c. 630 BC c. 560 BC): Athenian poet, lawgiver and statesman, one of the Seven Wise Men of Greece. Recited a martial poem that inspired the Athenians to capture Salamis from the Magarians c. 600 BC. The Athenians ejected the Magarians, whose presence on the island threatened Athenian approaches by sea.
14. angekok (or angakok): an Eskimo medicine man or shaman.
Friedrich NietzscheDaybreak: Book I - Aphorism #1415896 years, 8 months ago 

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The oldest means of solace.  First stage: man sees in every feeling of indisposition and misfortune something for which he has to make someone else suffer  in doing so he becomes conscious of the power he still possesses and this consoles him. Second stage: man sees in every feeling of indisposition and misfortune a punishment, that is to say, an atonement for guilt and the means of getting free from the evil spell of a real or supposed injustice. When he realises this advantage which misfortune brings with it, he no longer believes he has to make someone else suffer for it  he renounces this kind of satisfaction because he now has another.

Friedrich NietzscheDaybreak: Book I - Aphorism #156936 years, 8 months ago