Ecce Homo Complete Works, Volume Seventeen

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 84

from a yea-saying attitude towards life.
Let me halt for a moment at the question of the psychology of the
good man. In order to appraise the value of a certain type of man, the
cost of his maintenance must be calculated,--and the conditions of his
existence must be known. The condition of the existence of the _good_
is falsehood: or, otherwise expressed, the refusal at any price to
see how reality is actually constituted. The refusal to see that this
reality is not so constituted as always to be stimulating beneficent
instincts, and still less, so as to suffer at all moments the intrusion
of ignorant and good-natured hands. To consider distress of all kinds
as an objection, as something which must be done away with, is the
greatest nonsense on earth; generally speaking, it is nonsense of the
most disastrous sort, fatal in its stupidity--almost as mad as the will
to abolish bad weather, out of pity for the poor, so to speak. In the
great economy of the whole universe, the terrors of reality (in the
passions, in the desires, in the will to power) are incalculably more
necessary than that form of petty happiness which is called "goodness";
it is even needful to practise leniency in order so much as to allow
the latter a place at all, seeing that it is based upon a falsification
of the instincts. I shall have an excellent opportunity of showing the
incalculably calamitous consequences to the whole of history, of the
credo of optimism, this monstrous offspring of the _homines optimi._
Zarathustra,[1] the first who recognised that the optimist is just as
degenerate as the pessimist, though perhaps more detrimental, says:
"_Good men never speak the truth. False shores and false harbours
were ye taught by the good. In the lies of the good were ye born and
bred. Through the good everything hath become false and crooked from
the roots._" Fortunately the world is not built merely upon those
instincts which would secure to the good-natured herd animal his paltry
happiness. To desire everybody to become a "good man," "a gregarious
animal," "a blue-eyed, benevolent, beautiful soul," or--as Herbert
Spencer wished--a creature of altruism, would mean robbing existence of
its greatest character, castrating man, and reducing humanity to a sort
of wretched Chinadom. _And this some have tried to do! It is precisely
this that men called morality._ In this sense Zarathustra calls "the
good," now "the last men," and anon "the beginning of the end"; and
above all, he considers them as _the most detrimental kind of men,_
because they secure their existence at

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Text Comparison with The Joyful Wisdom Complete Works, Volume Ten

Page 6
Oh, those Greeks! They knew how _to live:_ for that purpose it is necessary to keep bravely to the surface, the fold and the skin; to worship appearance, to believe in forms, tones, and words, in the whole Olympus of appearance! Those Greeks were superficial--_from profundity!_ And are we not coming back precisely to this point, we dare-devils of the spirit, who have scaled the highest and most dangerous peak of contemporary thought, and have looked around us from it, have _looked down_ from it? Are we not precisely in this respect--Greeks? Worshippers of forms, of tones, and of words? And precisely on that account--artists? RUTA, near GENOA _Autumn,_ 1886.
Page 24
Formerly these rare qualities were usual, and were consequently regarded as common: they did not distinguish people.
Page 26
_Doing good_ and being kind to those who are in any way already dependent on us (that is, who are accustomed to think of us as their _raison d'être);_ we want to increase their power, because we thus increase our own; or we want to show them the advantage there is in being in our power,--they thus become more contented with their position, and more hostile to the enemies of _our_ power and readier to contend with to If we make sacrifices in doing good or in doing ill, it does not alter the ultimate value of our actions; even if we stake our life in the cause, as martyrs for the sake of our church, it is a sacrifice to _our_ longing for power, or for the purpose of conserving our sense of power.
Page 42
It is curious that the subjection to powerful, fear-inspiring, and even dreadful individuals, to tyrants and leaders of armies, is not at all felt so painfully as the subjection to such undistinguished and uninteresting persons as the captains of industry; in the employer the workman usually sees merely a crafty, blood-sucking dog of a man, speculating on every necessity, whose name, form, character, and reputation are altogether indifferent to him.
Page 52
_In Honour of Friendship.
Page 59
--It has become a necessity to us, which we cannot satisfy out of the resources of actuality, to hear men talk well and in full detail in the most trying situations: it enraptures us at present when the tragic hero still finds words, reasons, eloquent gestures, and on the whole a bright spirituality, where life approaches the abysses, and where the actual man mostly loses his head, and certainly his fine language.
Page 66
Page 79
We must rest from ourselves occasionally by contemplating and looking down upon ourselves, and by laughing or weeping _over_ ourselves from an artistic remoteness: we must discover the _hero,_ and likewise the _fool,_ that is hidden in our passion for knowledge; we must now and then be joyful in our folly, that we may continue to be joyful in our wisdom! And just because we are heavy and serious men in our ultimate depth, and are rather weights than men, there is nothing that does us so much good as the _fool's cap and bells:_ we need them in presence of ourselves--we need all arrogant, soaring, dancing, mocking, childish and blessed Art, in order not to lose the _free dominion over things_ which our ideal demands of us.
Page 85
At that time the "free will" had.
Page 88
It is something new in history that knowledge claims to be more than a means.
Page 104
_--The victims think otherwise than the spectators about sacrifice and sacrificing: but they have never been allowed to express their opinion.
Page 157
For, to repeat it once more, man, like every living creature, thinks unceasingly, but does not know it; the thinking which is becoming _conscious of itself_ is only the smallest part thereof, we may say, the most superficial part, the worst part:--for this conscious thinking alone _is done in words, that is to say, in the symbols for communication,_ by means of which the origin of consciousness is revealed.
Page 168
Page 169
_The Problem of the Actor_--The problem of the actor has disquieted me the longest; I was uncertain (and am sometimes so still) whether one could not get at the dangerous conception of "artist"--a conception hitherto treated with unpardonable leniency--from this point of view.
Page 180
Page 183
_Our Slow Periods.
Page 184
Is it not obvious that with all this we must feel ill at ease in an age which claims the honour of being the most humane, gentle and just that the sun has ever seen? What a pity that at the mere mention of these fine words, the thoughts at the bottom of our hearts are all the more unpleasant, that we see therein only the expression--or the masquerade--of profound weakening, exhaustion, age, and declining power! What can it matter to us with what kind of tinsel an invalid decks out his weakness? He may parade it as his _virtue;_ there is no doubt whatever that weakness makes people gentle, alas, so gentle, so just, so inoffensive, so "humane"!--The "religion of pity," to which people would like to persuade us--yes, we know sufficiently well the hysterical little men and women who need this religion at present as a cloak and adornment! We are no humanitarians; we should not dare to speak.
Page 187
compare it with other earlier or future moralities, one must do as the traveller who wants to know the height of the towers of a city: for that purpose he _leaves_ the city.
Page 188
But it would be worse still if it were otherwise,--if we knew too much; our duty is and remains first of all, not to get into confusion about ourselves.
Page 199
Dance, oh! dance on all the edges, Wave-crests, cliffs and mountain ledges, Ever finding dances new! Let our knowledge be our gladness, Let our art be sport and madness, All that's joyful shall be true! Let us snatch from every bower, As we pass, the fairest flower, With some leaves to make a crown; Then, like minstrels gaily dancing, Saint and witch together prancing, Let us foot it up and down.