Early Greek Philosophy & Other Essays Collected Works, Volume Two

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 66

we get into fog, into the mysticism of _qualitates occultæ,_
and even a little into mythology. Parmenides, like Heraclitus, looks
at the general Becoming and Not-remaining and explains to himself a
Passing only thus, that the "Non-Existent" bore the guilt. For how
should the "Existent" bear the guilt of Passing? Likewise, however,
the Originating, i.e., the Becoming, must come about through the
assistance of the "Non-Existent"; for the "Existent" is always there
and could not of itself first originate and it could not explain any
Originating, any Becoming. Therefore the Originating, the Becoming
as well as the Passing and Perishing have been brought about by the
negative qualities. But that the originating "thing" has a content,
and the passing "thing" loses a content, presupposes that the positive
qualities--and that just means that very content--participate
likewise in both processes. In short the proposition results: "For the
Becoming the 'Existent' as well as the 'Non-Existent' is necessary;
when they co-operate then a Becoming results." But how come the
"positive" and the "negative" to one another? Should they not on the
contrary eternally flee one another as antitheses and thereby make
every Becoming impossible? Here Parmenides appeals to a _qualitas
occulta,_ to a mystic tendency of the antithetical pairs to approach
and attract one another, and he allegorises that peculiar contrariety
by the name of Aphrodite, and by the empirically known relation of
the male and female principle. It is the power of Aphrodite which
plays the matchmaker between the antithetical pair, the "Existent"
and the "Non-Existent." Passion brings together the antagonistic and
antipathetic elements: the result is a Becoming. When Desire has become
satiated, Hatred and the innate antagonism again drive asunder the
"Existent" and the "Non-Existent"--then man says: the thing perishes,
passes.



10


But no one with impunity lays his profane hands on such awful
abstractions as the "Existent" and the "Non-Existent"; the blood
freezes slowly as one touches them. There was a day upon which an odd
idea suddenly occurred to Parmenides, an idea which seemed to take
all value away from his former combinations, so that he felt inclined
to throw them aside, like a money bag with old worn-out coins. It is
commonly believed that an external impression, in addition to the
centrifugal consequence of such ideas as "existent" and "non-existent,"
has also been co-active in the invention of that day; this impression
was an acquaintance with the theology of the old roamer and rhapsodist,
the singer of a mystic deification of Nature, the Kolophonian
_Xenophanes._ Throughout an extraordinary life Xenophanes lived as
a wandering poet and became through his travels a well-informed and
most instructive man who knew how to

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Text Comparison with Thoughts out of Season, Part I David Strauss, the Confessor and the Writer - Richard Wagner in Bayreuth.

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There, and nowhere else, will you find the true heroes of coming times, men of moral courage, men whose failures and successes are alike admirable, men whose noble passions have altogether superseded the ordinary vulgarities and moralities of lower beings, men endowed with an extraordinary imagination, which, however, is balanced by an equal power of reason, men already anointed with a drop of that sacred and noble oil, without which the High Priest-Philosopher of Modern Germany would not have crowned his Royal Race of the Future.
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of the first _Thought out of Season_, expresses his utter astonishment that a total stranger should have made such a dead set at him.
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Can we picture him, then,--a young and enthusiastic scholar with a cultured love of music, and particularly of Wagner's music, eagerly scanning all his circle, the whole city and country in which he lived--yea, even the whole continent on which he lived--for something or some one that would set his doubts at rest concerning the feasibility of his ideal? Can we now picture this young man coming face to face with probably one of the greatest geniuses of his age--with a man whose very presence must have been electric, whose every word or movement must have imparted some power to his surroundings--with Richard Wagner? If we can conceive of what the mere attention, even, of a man like Wagner must have meant to Nietzsche in his twenties, if we can form any idea of the intoxicating effect produced upon him when this attention developed into friendship, we almost refuse to believe that Nietzsche could have been critical at all at first.
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" It is indeed a deplorable fact that intellect should show such a decided preference for the "unhealthy" and the "unprofitable"; and even the Philistine, if he be true to himself, will admit that, in regard to the philosophies which men of his stamp produce, he is conscious of a frequent lack of intellectuality, although of course they are always thoroughly healthy and profitable.
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His spirit, however, lacked hardness.
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Yet Strauss does this when he discusses his faith.
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Was it possible that we were the victims of the same hallucination as that to which our friend had been subjected in his dream? The musicians to whom Strauss referred seemed to us to be wrongly designated as long as he spoke about them, and we began to think that the talk must certainly be about somebody else, even admitting that it did not relate to incongruous phantoms.
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But it is to be feared that such a code could only have emanated from a bold spirit like that of Hobbes', and must have taken its root in a love of truth quite different from that which was only able to vent itself in explosive outbursts against parsons, miracles, and the "world-wide humbug" of the Resurrection.
Page 62
" What merit should we then discover in the piety of those whom Strauss calls "We"? Otherwise, it is almost to be feared that modern men will pass on in pursuit of their business without troubling themselves overmuch concerning the new furniture of faith offered them by the apostle: just as they have done heretofore, without the doctrine of the rationality of the All.
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At length an attempt is made to convince us of the classical taste of the inmates.
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He would be quite happy to be regarded as mischievous, bold, malicious, daring; but his ideal of bliss would consist in finding himself compared with either Lessing or Voltaire--because these men were undoubtedly anything but Philistines.
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Now, to the observer who sees things relatively, it must seem strange that the modern man who happens to be gifted with exceptional talent should as a child and a youth so seldom be blessed with the quality of ingenuousness and of simple individuality, that he is so little able to have these qualities at all.
Page 88
But genuine philosophers do, as a matter of fact, teach this doctrine themselves, inasmuch as they work at endeavouring to alter the very changeable views of men, and do not keep their opinions to themselves.
Page 89
Thus Christianity appears, for instance, as a product of Oriental antiquity, which was thought out and pursued to its ultimate conclusions by men, with almost intemperate thoroughness.
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For us, Bayreuth is the consecration of the dawn of the combat.
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For if we who are but the spectators and not the creators of this display of dithyrambic dramatic art, can almost imagine a dream to be more real than the actual experiences of our wakeful hours, how much more keenly must the creator realise this contrast! There he stands amid all the clamorous appeals and importunities of the day, and of the necessities of life;.
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Thus everything that others regard as commonplace strikes him as weird, and he is tempted to meet the whole phenomenon with haughty mockery.
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Life and art weigh heavily upon him when he cannot play wit their most difficult questions.
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May blessed reason preserve us from ever thinking that mankind will at any time discover a final and ideal order of things, and that happiness will then and ever after beam down upon us uniformly, like the rays of the sun in the tropics.
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The desperate vagabond finds deliverance from his distress in the compassionate love of a woman who would rather die than be unfaithful to him: the theme of the Flying Dutchman.