What we are most subtle in.  Because for many thousands of years it was thought that things (nature, tools, property of all kinds) were also alive and animate, with the power to cause harm and to evade human purposes, the feeling of impotence has been much greater and much more common among men than it would otherwise have been: for one needed to secure oneself against things, just as against men and animals, by force, constraint, flattering, treaties, sacrifices  and here is the origin of most superstitious practices, that is to say, of a considerable, perhaps preponderant and yet wasted and useless constituent of all the activity hitherto pursued by man!  But because the feeling of impotence and fear was in a state of almost continuous stimulation so strongly and for so long, the feeling of power has evolved to such a degree of subtlety that in this respect man is now a match for the most delicate gold-balance. It has become his strongest propensity; the means discovered for creating this feeling almost constitute the history of culture.

Friedrich Nietzsche - Daybreak
Book I - Aphorism # 23

« Prev - Random - Next »