Ecce Homo Complete Works, Volume Seventeen

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 55

sentence or two down
in my note-book, nothing but severe psychological stuff, which it is
possible may have found its way into _Human, all-too-Human._


That which had taken place in me, then, was not only a breach with
Wagner--I was suffering from a general aberration of my instincts,
of which a mere isolated blunder, whether it were Wagner or my
professorship at Bâle, was nothing more than a symptom. I was seized
with a fit of impatience with myself; I saw that it was high time that
I should turn my thoughts upon my own lot. In a trice I realised, with
appalling clearness, how much time had already been squandered--how
futile and how senseless my whole existence as a philologist appeared
by the side of my life-task. I was ashamed of this false modesty....
Ten years were behind me, during which, to tell the truth, the
nourishment of my spirit had been at a standstill, during which I had
added not a single useful fragment to my knowledge, and had forgotten
countless things in the pursuit of a hotch-potch of dry-as-dust
scholarship. To crawl with meticulous care and short-sighted eyes
through old Greek metricians--that is what I had come to!... Moved to
pity I saw myself quite thin, quite emaciated: realities were only too
plainly absent from my stock of knowledge, and what the "idealities"
were worth the devil alone knew! A positively burning thirst overcame
me: and from that time forward I have done literally nothing else than
study physiology, medicine, and natural science--I even returned to
the actual study of history only when my life-task compelled me to. It
was at that time, too, that I first divined the relation between an
instinctively repulsive occupation, a so-called vocation, which is the
last thing to which one is "called" and that need of lulling a feeling
of emptiness and hunger, by means of an art which is a narcotic--by
means of Wagner's art, for instance. After looking carefully about
me, I have discovered that a large number of young men are all in the
same state of distress: one kind of unnatural practice perforce leads
to another. In Germany, or rather, to avoid all ambiguity, in the
Empire,[2] only too many are condemned to determine their choice too
soon, and then to pine away beneath a burden that they can no longer
throw off.... Such creatures crave for Wagner as for an opiate,--they
are thus able to forget themselves, to be rid of themselves for a
moment.... What am I saying!--for five or six hours.


At this time my instincts turned resolutely against any further

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Text Comparison with The Genealogy of Morals The Complete Works, Volume Thirteen, edited by Dr. Oscar Levy.

Page 3
Rée thinks:--rather is it that this object is only imported, under certain definite conditions, and always as something extra and additional).
Page 9
The pathos of nobility and distance, as I have said, the chronic and despotic _esprit de corps_ and fundamental instinct of a higher dominant race coming into association with a meaner race, an "under race," this is the origin of the antithesis of good and bad.
Page 14
The knightly-aristocratic "values" are based on a careful cult of the physical, on a flowering, rich, and even effervescing healthiness, that goes considerably beyond what is necessary for maintaining life, on war, adventure, the chase, the dance, the tourney--on everything, in fact, which is contained in strong, free, and joyous action.
Page 15
195)--that it was, in fact, with the Jews that the _revolt of the slaves_ begins in the sphere _of morals_; that revolt which has behind it a history of two millennia, and which at the present day has only moved out of our sight, because it--has achieved victory.
Page 19
An inability to take seriously for any length of time their enemies, their disasters, their _misdeeds_--that is the sign of the full strong natures who possess a superfluity of moulding plastic force, that heals completely and produces forgetfulness: a good example of this in the modern world is Mirabeau, who had no memory for any insults and meannesses which were practised on him, and who was only incapable of forgiving because he forgot.
Page 24
" Thereby do they win for themselves the right of attributing to the birds of prey the _responsibility_ for being birds of prey: when the oppressed, down-trodden, and overpowered say to themselves with the vindictive guile of weakness, "Let us be otherwise than the evil, namely, good! and good is every one who does not oppress, who hurts no one, who does not attack, who does not pay back, who hands over revenge to God, who holds himself, as we do, in hiding; who goes out of the way of evil, and demands, in short, little from life; like ourselves the patient, the meek, the just,"--yet all this, in its cold and unprejudiced interpretation, means nothing more than "once for all, the weak are weak; it is good to do _nothing for which we are not strong enough_"; but this dismal state of affairs, this prudence of the lowest order, which even insects possess (which in a great danger are fain to sham death so as to avoid doing "too much"), has, thanks to the counterfeiting and self-deception of weakness, come to masquerade in the pomp of an ascetic, mute, and expectant virtue, just as though the _very_ weakness of the weak--that is, forsooth, its _being_, its working, its whole unique inevitable inseparable reality--were a voluntary result, something wished, chosen, a deed, an act of _merit_.
Page 29
This is very remarkable: Rome is undoubtedly defeated.
Page 30
--I avail myself of the opportunity offered by this treatise to express, openly and formally, a wish which up to the present has only been expressed in occasional conversations with scholars, namely, that some Faculty of philosophy should, by means of a series of prize essays, gain the glory of having promoted the further study of the _history of morals_--perhaps this book may serve to give forcible impetus in such a direction.
Page 33
If, however, we place ourselves at the end of this colossal process, at the point where the tree finally matures its fruits, when society and its morality of custom finally bring to light that to which it was only the means, then do we find as the ripest fruit on its tree the _sovereign individual_, that resembles only himself, that has got loose from the morality of custom, the autonomous "super-moral" individual (for "autonomous" and "moral" are mutually-exclusive terms),--in short, the man of the personal, long, and independent will, _competent to promise_, and we find in him a proud consciousness (vibrating in every fibre), of _what_ has been at last achieved and become vivified in him, a genuine consciousness of power and freedom, a feeling of human perfection in general.
Page 38
At last he too, for once in a way, attains the edifying consciousness of being able to despise and ill-treat a creature--as an "inferior"--or at any rate of _seeing_ him being despised and ill-treated, in case the actual power of punishment, the administration of punishment, has already become transferred to the "authorities.
Page 47
To talk of intrinsic right and intrinsic wrong is absolutely non-sensical; intrinsically, an injury, an oppression, an exploitation, an annihilation can be nothing wrong, inasmuch as life is _essentially_ (that is, in its cardinal functions) something which functions by injuring, oppressing, exploiting, and annihilating, and is absolutely inconceivable without such a character.
Page 58
Each step towards race decay, all disastrous events, all symptoms of degeneration, of approaching disintegration, always _diminish_ the fear of the founders' spirit, and whittle away the idea of his sagacity, providence, and potent presence.
Page 59
Page 74
flight of thoughts; of good air--rare, clear, free, dry, as is the air on the heights, in which every animal creature becomes more intellectual and gains wings; they think of peace in every cellar; all the hounds neatly chained; no baying of enmity and uncouth rancour; no remorse of wounded ambition; quiet and submissive internal organs, busy as mills, but unnoticed; the heart alien, transcendent, future, posthumous--to summarise, they mean by the ascetic ideal the joyous asceticism of a deified and newly fledged animal, sweeping over life rather than resting.
Page 89
If you have understood in all their depths--and I demand that you should _grasp them profoundly_ and understand them profoundly--the reasons for the impossibility of its being the business of the healthy to nurse the sick, to make the sick healthy, it follows that you have grasped this further necessity--the necessity of doctors and nurses _who themselves are sick_.
Page 107
But the fact of science requiring hard work, the fact of its having contented workers, is absolutely no proof of science as a whole having to-day one end, one will, one ideal, one passion for a great faith; the contrary, as I have said, is the case.
Page 111
A valuation of the ascetic ideal inevitably entails a valuation of science as well; lose no time in seeing this clearly, and be sharp to catch it! (_Art_, I am speaking provisionally, for I will treat it on some other occasion in greater detail,––art, I repeat, in which lying is sanctified and the _will for deception_ has good conscience on its side, is much more fundamentally opposed to the ascetic ideal than is science: Plato's instinct felt this––Plato, the greatest enemy of art which Europe has produced up to the present.
Page 118
God help me! Amen"--were Luther's words before the Reichstag at Worms.
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