Beyond Good and Evil

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 93

the Parisian suburbs who has a homesickness for bloody revolutions,
the Wagnerienne who, with unhinged will, "undergoes" the performance of
"Tristan and Isolde"--what all these enjoy, and strive with mysterious
ardour to drink in, is the philtre of the great Circe "cruelty." Here,
to be sure, we must put aside entirely the blundering psychology of
former times, which could only teach with regard to cruelty that
it originated at the sight of the suffering of OTHERS: there is an
abundant, super-abundant enjoyment even in one's own suffering, in
causing one's own suffering--and wherever man has allowed himself to be
persuaded to self-denial in the RELIGIOUS sense, or to self-mutilation,
as among the Phoenicians and ascetics, or in general, to
desensualisation, decarnalisation, and contrition, to Puritanical
repentance-spasms, to vivisection of conscience and to Pascal-like
SACRIFIZIA DELL' INTELLETO, he is secretly allured and impelled
forwards by his cruelty, by the dangerous thrill of cruelty TOWARDS
HIMSELF.--Finally, let us consider that even the seeker of knowledge
operates as an artist and glorifier of cruelty, in that he compels his
spirit to perceive AGAINST its own inclination, and often enough against
the wishes of his heart:--he forces it to say Nay, where he would like
to affirm, love, and adore; indeed, every instance of taking a thing
profoundly and fundamentally, is a violation, an intentional injuring
of the fundamental will of the spirit, which instinctively aims at
appearance and superficiality,--even in every desire for knowledge there
is a drop of cruelty.

230. Perhaps what I have said here about a "fundamental will of the
spirit" may not be understood without further details; I may be allowed
a word of explanation.--That imperious something which is popularly
called "the spirit," wishes to be master internally and externally,
and to feel itself master; it has the will of a multiplicity for a
simplicity, a binding, taming, imperious, and essentially ruling will.
Its requirements and capacities here, are the same as those assigned by
physiologists to everything that lives, grows, and multiplies. The power
of the spirit to appropriate foreign elements reveals itself in a strong
tendency to assimilate the new to the old, to simplify the manifold,
to overlook or repudiate the absolutely contradictory; just as it
arbitrarily re-underlines, makes prominent, and falsifies for itself
certain traits and lines in the foreign elements, in every portion of
the "outside world." Its object thereby is the incorporation of new
"experiences," the assortment of new things in the old arrangements--in
short, growth; or more properly, the FEELING of growth, the feeling of
increased power--is its object. This same will has at its service an
apparently opposed impulse of the spirit,

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.
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.
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Page 141
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