Early Greek Philosophy & Other Essays Collected Works, Volume Two

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 54

pleasure when he is able to contradict reason by means of a
truth gained intuitively, and this he does in such propositions as:
"Everything has always its opposite within itself," so fearlessly
that Aristotle before the tribunal of Reason accuses him of the
highest crime, of having sinned against the law of opposition.
Intuitive representation however embraces two things: firstly, the
present, motley, changing world, pressing on us in all experiences,
secondly, the conditions by means of which alone any experience of
this world becomes possible: time and space. For these are able to be
intuitively apprehended, purely in themselves and independent of any
experience; _i.e.,_ they can be perceived, although they are without
definite contents. If now Heraclitus considered time in this fashion,
dissociated from all experiences, he had in it the most instructive
monogram of all that which falls within the realm of intuitive
conception. Just as he conceived of time, so also for instance did
Schopenhauer, who repeatedly says of it: that in it every instant
exists only in so far as it has annihilated the preceding one, its
father, in order to be itself effaced equally quickly; that past
and future are as unreal as any dream; that the present is only the
dimensionless and unstable boundary between the two; that however, like
time, so space, and again like the latter, so also everything that
is simultaneously in space and time, has only a relative existence,
only through and for the sake of a something else, of the same kind
as itself, _i.e.,_ existing only under the same limitations. This
truth is in the highest degree self-evident, accessible to everyone,
and just for that very reason, abstractly and rationally, it is only
attained with great difficulty. Whoever has this truth before his eyes
must however also proceed at once to the next Heraclitean consequence
and say that the whole essence of actuality is in fact activity, and
that for actuality there is no other kind of existence and reality,
as Schopenhauer has likewise expounded ("The World As Will And Idea,"
Vol. I., Bk. I, sec. 4): "Only as active does it fill space and time:
its action upon the immediate object determines the perception in
which alone it exists: the effect of the action of any material object
upon any other, is known only in so far as the latter acts upon the
immediate object in a different way from that in which it acted before;
it consists in this alone. Cause and effect thus constitute the whole
nature of matter; its true being _is_ its action. The totality of
everything material is therefore

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