Whether hedonism, pessimism, utilitarianism, or eudaimonianism6 - all these ways of thinking, which measure the value of things according to pleasure and pain, that is, according to contingent circumstances and secondary issues, are ways of thinking in the foreground and naivete, which everyone who knows about creative forces and an artistic conscience will look down on, not without ridicule and not without pity. Pity for you! - that is, of course, not pity the way you mean the term: that is not pity for social "need," for "society" and its sick and unlucky people, with those depraved and broken down from the start - they're lying on the ground all around us - even less is it pity for the grumbling oppressed, the rebellious slave classes, who strive for mastery - they call it "Freedom." Our pitying is a higher compassion which sees further - we see how man is making himself smaller, how you are making him smaller! - and there are moments when we look at your very pity with an indescribable anxiety, where we defend ourselves against this pity - where we find your seriousness more dangerous than any carelessness. You want, if possible - and there is no more fantastic "if possible"- to do away with suffering. What about us? It does seem that we would prefer it to be even higher and worse than it ever was! Well being, the way you understand it - that is no goal. To us that looks like an end, a condition which immediately makes human beings laughable and contemptible - something which makes their destruction desirable! The discipline of suffering, of great suffering - don't you realize that up to this point it is only this suffering which has created every enhancement in man up to now? That tension of a soul in misery which develops its strength, its trembling when confronted with great destruction, its inventiveness and courage in bearing, holding out against, interpreting, and using unhappiness, and whatever has been conferred upon it by way of profundity, secrecy, masks, spirit, cunning, and greatness - has that not been given to it through suffering, through the discipline of great suffering? In human beings, creature and creator are united. In man is material stuff, fragments, excess, clay, mud, nonsense, chaos, but in man there is also creator, artist, hammer hardness, the divinity of the spectator and the seventh day - do you understand this contrast? And do you understand that your pity for the "creature in man" is for what must be formed, broken, forged, torn apart, burned, glow, purified - for what must necessarily suffer and should suffer? And our pity - don't you understand for whom our reverse pity matters, when it protects itself against your pity as against the most wretched of all mollycoddling and weakness? - And thus pity against pity! - But, to say the point again, there are higher problems than all those of enjoyment, suffering, and pity, and every philosophy that leads only to these is something naive.-

6. . . . eudaimonianism: the doctrine that our highest goal is happiness.
Friedrich Nietzsche - Beyond Good and Evil
Part VII - Aphorism # 225

« Prev - Random - Next »