Ecce Homo Complete Works, Volume Seventeen

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 64

This is bad indeed; but, that we should regard
his worthiest aims and hopes with ill-concealed amusement, or perhaps
give them no thought at all, is inevitable. Another ideal now leads
us on, a wonderful, seductive ideal, full of danger, the pursuit of
which we should be loath to urge upon any one, because we are not so
ready to acknowledge any one's _right to it:_ the ideal of a spirit who
plays ingenuously (that is to say, involuntarily, and as the outcome
of superabundant energy and power) with everything that, hitherto,
has been called holy, good, inviolable, and divine; to whom even the
loftiest thing that the people have with reason made their measure of
value would be no better than a danger, a decay, and an abasement, or
at least a relaxation and temporary forgetfulness of self: the ideal
of a humanly superhuman well-being and goodwill, which often enough
will seem inhuman--as when, for instance, it stands beside all past
earnestness on earth, and all past solemnities in hearing, speech,
tone, look, morality, and duty, as their most lifelike and unconscious
parody--but with which, nevertheless, _great earnestness_ perhaps alone
begins, the first note of interrogation is affixed, the fate of the
soul changes, the hour hand moves, and tragedy begins."


Has any one at the end of the nineteenth century any distinct notion
of what poets of a stronger age understood by the word inspiration?
If not, I will describe it. If one had the smallest vestige of
superstition left in one, it would hardly be possible completely to
set aside the idea that one is the mere incarnation, mouthpiece, or
medium of an almighty power. The idea of revelation, in the sense
that something which profoundly convulses and upsets one becomes
suddenly visible and audible with indescribable certainty and
accuracy--describes the simple fact. One hears--one does not seek; one
takes--one does not ask who gives: a thought suddenly flashes up like
lightning, it comes with necessity, without faltering--I have never had
any choice in the matter. There is an ecstasy so great that the immense
strain of it is sometimes relaxed by a flood of tears, during which
one's steps now involuntarily rush and anon involuntarily lag. There
is the feeling that one is utterly out of hand, with the very distinct
consciousness of an endless number of fine thrills and titillations
descending to one's very toes;--there is a depth of happiness in which
the most painful and gloomy parts do not act as antitheses to the rest,
but are produced and required as necessary shades of colour in such an
overflow of light. There

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Text Comparison with On the Future of our Educational Institutions

Page 3
The third and most important stipulation is, that he should in no case be constantly bringing himself and his own "culture" forward, after the style of most modern men, as the correct standard and measure of all things.
Page 4
My desire--yea, my very first condition, therefore, would be to become united in spirit with those who have not only thought very deeply upon educational problems, but have also the will to promote what they think to be right by all the means in their power.
Page 5
All I ask, is, like a Roman haruspex, to be allowed to steal glimpses of the future out of the very entrails of existing conditions, which, in this case, means no more than to hand the laurels of victory to any one of the many forces tending to make itself felt in our present educational system, despite the fact that the force in question may be neither a favourite, an esteemed, nor a very extensive one.
Page 18
" For instance, I heard the younger of the two men defending himself with great animation while the philosopher rebuked him with ever increasing vehemence.
Page 19
It were therefore a mistake publicly to reveal the ridiculous disproportion between the number of really cultured people and the enormous magnitude of the educational apparatus.
Page 26
We are both acquainted with public schools; do you think, for instance, that in respect of these institutions anything may be done by means of honesty and good and new ideas to abolish the tenacious and antiquated customs now extant? In this quarter, it seems to me, the battering-rams of an attacking party will have to meet with no solid wall, but with the most fatal of stolid and slippery principles.
Page 28
This can be clearly seen from the way in which German is taught.
Page 32
The words: 'formal education' belong to that crude kind of unphilosophical phraseology which one should do one's utmost to get rid of; for there is no such thing as 'the opposite of formal education.
Page 38
On the other hand, that which now grandiloquently assumes the title of 'German culture' is a sort of cosmopolitan aggregate, which bears the same relation to the German spirit as Journalism does to Schiller or Meyerbeer to Beethoven: here the strongest influence at work is the fundamentally and thoroughly un-German civilisation of France, which is aped neither with talent nor with taste, and the imitation of which gives the society, the press, the art, and the literary style of Germany their pharisaical character.
Page 45
Something there immediately assures him that he is destined to be an imitator of AEschylus, and leads him to believe, indeed, that he 'has something in common with' AEschylus: the miserable poetaster! Yet another peers with the suspicious eye of a policeman into every contradiction, even into the shadow of every contradiction, of which Homer was guilty: he fritters away his life in tearing Homeric rags to tatters and sewing them together again, rags that he himself was the first to filch from the poet's kingly robe.
Page 50
The public school is here looked upon as an honourable aim, and every one who feels himself urged on to the sphere of government will be found on his way to it.
Page 53
(_Delivered on the 5th of March 1872.
Page 54
"But even in this highest form of the ego, in the enhanced needs of such a distended and, as it were, collective individual, true culture is never touched upon; and if, for example, art is sought after, only its disseminating and stimulating actions come into prominence, _i.
Page 55
The regulations and standards prevailing at such institutions differ from those in a true educational institution; and what in the latter is permitted, and even freely held out as often as possible, ought to be considered as a criminal offence in the former.
Page 58
As when a traveller, walking heedlessly across unknown ground, suddenly puts his foot over the edge of a cliff, so it now seemed to us that we had hastened to meet the great danger rather than run away from it.
Page 61
" Our minds, as we thus argued with the philosopher, were unanimous, and, mutually encouraging and stimulating one another, we slowly walked with him backwards and forwards along the unencumbered space which had earlier in the day served us as a shooting range.
Page 65
all the objections we had made, and how greatly the echo of _the_ present was heard in them, the voice of which, in the province of culture, the old man would fain not have heard.
Page 66
They would employ it to prevent themselves from being separated from one another and overwhelmed by the first huge crowd, to prevent their few select spirits from losing sight of their splendid and noble task through premature weariness, or from being turned aside from the true path, corrupted, or subverted.
Page 76
At this age, which, as it were, sees his experiences encircled with metaphysical rainbows, man is, in the highest degree, in need of a guiding hand, because he has suddenly and almost instinctively convinced himself of the ambiguity of existence, and has lost the firm support of the beliefs he has hitherto held.
Page 81
A divine command bound them together to seek harder and more pious superiority: what could be feared from them? To what extent this fear was merely deceptive or simulated or really true is something that will probably never be exactly known; but a strong instinct spoke out of this fear and out of its disgraceful and senseless persecution.