"man"--into uncertainty, distress
of conscience, and self-destruction; forsooth, to invert all love of the
earthly and of supremacy over the earth, into hatred of the earth and
earthly things--THAT is the task the Church imposed on itself, and
was obliged to impose, until, according to its standard of value,
"unworldliness," "unsensuousness," and "higher man" fused into one
sentiment. If one could observe the strangely painful, equally coarse
and refined comedy of European Christianity with the derisive and
impartial eye of an Epicurean god, I should think one would never cease
marvelling and laughing; does it not actually seem that some single will
has ruled over Europe for eighteen centuries in order to make a SUBLIME
ABORTION of man? He, however, who, with opposite requirements (no longer
Epicurean) and with some divine hammer in his hand, could approach this
almost voluntary degeneration and stunting of mankind, as exemplified in
the European Christian (Pascal, for instance), would he not have to
cry aloud with rage, pity, and horror: "Oh, you bunglers, presumptuous
pitiful bunglers, what have you done! Was that a work for your hands?
How you have hacked and botched my finest stone! What have you presumed
to do!"--I should say that Christianity has hitherto been the most
portentous of presumptions. Men, not great enough, nor hard enough,
to be entitled as artists to take part in fashioning MAN; men,
not sufficiently strong and far-sighted to ALLOW, with sublime
self-constraint, the obvious law of the thousandfold failures and
perishings to prevail; men, not sufficiently noble to see the radically
different grades of rank and intervals of rank that separate man from
man:--SUCH men, with their "equality before God," have hitherto swayed
the destiny of Europe; until at last a dwarfed, almost ludicrous species
has been produced, a gregarious animal, something obliging, sickly,
mediocre, the European of the present day.
CHAPTER IV. APOPHTHEGMS AND INTERLUDES
63. He who is a thorough teacher takes things seriously--and even
himself--only in relation to his pupils.
64. "Knowledge for its own sake"--that is the last snare laid by
morality: we are thereby completely entangled in morals once more.
65. The charm of knowledge would be small, were it not so much shame has
to be overcome on the way to it.
65A. We are most dishonourable towards our God: he is not PERMITTED to
66. The tendency of a person to allow himself to be degraded, robbed,
deceived, and exploited might be the diffidence of a God among men.
67. Love to one only is a barbarity, for it is exercised at the expense
of all others. Love to God also!
68. "I did that," says my
How strange and how terrible! It is our very alleviations for which we have to make the severest atonement! And if we want to return to health, we have no choice left--we must load ourselves _more heavily_ than we were ever laden before.Page 11
That the recognition of this fact cannot be resisted much longer is shown by the despairing and incredible postures and grimaces of those who still press against it and continue their wrestling-bout with it.Page 18
Another reaches its full bitterness only by speaking out: it is more advisable for it to have to gulp down something--the restraint that men of this stamp place upon themselves in the presence of enemies and superiors improves their character and prevents it from becoming too acrid and sour.Page 35
The circle must be described--but the individual, even the greatest, sits firm on his point of the circumference, with an inexorable look of obstinacy, as if the circle ought never to be completed.Page 44
His poetry responded to their higher, nobler, more violent if more confused emotions, their delight in the jingle of moral words (a delight that begins to disappear when we reach the thirties).Page 46
For this music sprang from a culture that is undergoing a rapid decay, from the soil of that epoch of reaction and restoration in which a certain Catholicism of feeling, as well as a delight in all indigenous, national, primitive manners, burst into bloom and scattered a blended perfume over Europe.Page 52
those who should support culture and spread its teachings ruin themselves if they go about armed, and by precautions, night-watches, and bad dreams turn the peace of their domestic and artistic life into sinister unrest.Page 82
_The Wanderer_: Your moderation is not flattering to those to whom you confess it.Page 99
The darker those regions, the more careless we have been.Page 132
--The temptation to traverse for once the forbidden paths, and to have his say in science as well, is easy and pardonable in the artist.Page 133
Lessing, perhaps, still lives to-day--but among a young and ever younger band of scholars.Page 143
They can only live in their own air and on their own soil.Page 146
--The thralls who tremble before him and serve him know, for their part, that they are worth just so much as they appear to him to be worth, and so they work with an eye to this valuation rather than to their own self-satisfaction.Page 151
--In the later days of Greece the cities were full of such deified human abstractions (if one may so call them).Page 168
THERE ARE NO TEACHERS.Page 173
there as guarantor and pledge his name if the name of the creator is lacking or is unknown.Page 174
trade (in other words, desiring as far as possible to diminish prices for the producer and raise prices for the consumer, and thus to profit by the greatest possible loss to both).Page 176
there were, man's envy of his neighbour would prevent him from believing in their equality.