Human, All-Too-Human: A Book for Free Spirits, Part 1 Complete Works, Volume Six

By Friedrich Nietzsche

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with it the virtue of diffidence.


3.

APPRECIATION OF UNPRETENTIOUS TRUTHS.--It is a mark of a higher
culture to value the little unpretentious truths, which have been
found by means of strict method, more highly than the joy-diffusing
and dazzling errors which spring from metaphysical and artistic times
and peoples. First of all one has scorn on the lips for the former,
as if here nothing could have equal privileges with anything else,
so unassuming, simple, bashful, apparently discouraging are they,
so beautiful, stately, intoxicating, perhaps even animating, are
the others. But the hardly attained, the certain, the lasting, and
therefore of great consequence for all wider knowledge, is still
the higher; to keep one's self to that is manly and shows bravery,
simplicity, and forbearance. Gradually not only single individuals
but the whole of mankind will be raised to this manliness, when
it has at last accustomed itself to the higher appreciation of
durable, lasting knowledge, and has lost all belief in inspiration
and the miraculous communication of truths. Respecters of _forms,_
certainly, with their standard of the beautiful and noble, will first
of all have good reasons for mockery, as soon as the appreciation of
unpretentious truths, and the scientific spirit, begin to obtain the
mastery; but only because their eye has either not yet recognised the
charm of the _simplest_ form, or because men educated in that spirit
are not yet completely and inwardly saturated by it, so that they
still thoughtlessly imitate old forms (and badly enough, as one does
who no longer cares much about the matter). Formerly the spirit was
not occupied with strict thought, its earnestness then lay in the
spinning out of symbols and forms. This is changed; that earnestness
in the symbolical has become the mark of a lower culture. As our arts
themselves grow evermore intellectual, our senses more spiritual, and
as, for instance, people now judge concerning what sounds well to the
senses quite differently from how they did a hundred years ago, so the
forms of our life grow ever more _spiritual,_ to the eye of older ages
perhaps _uglier,_ but only because it is incapable of perceiving how
the kingdom of the inward, spiritual beauty constantly grows deeper
and wider, and to what extent the inner intellectual look may be of
more importance to us all than the most beautiful bodily frame and the
noblest architectural structure.


4.

ASTROLOGY AND THE LIKE.--It is probable that the objects of religious,
moral, æsthetic and logical sentiment likewise belong only to the
surface of things, while man willingly believes that here, at least,
he has touched the heart of the world; he

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

Page 1
My thoughts concerning the _genealogy_ of our moral prejudices--for they constitute the issue in this polemic--have their first, bald, and provisional expression in that collection of aphorisms entitled _Human, all-too-Human, a Book for Free Minds_, the writing of which was begun in Sorrento, during a winter which allowed me to gaze over the broad and dangerous territory through which my mind had up to that time wandered.
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136 et seq.
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Enough, that after this vista had disclosed itself to me, I myself had reason to search for learned, bold, and industrious colleagues (I am doing it even to this very day).
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But _this_ is what took place: from the trunk of that tree of revenge and hate, Jewish hate,--that most profound and sublime hate, which creates ideals and changes old values to new creations, the like of which has never been on earth,--there grew a phenomenon which was equally incomparable, _a new love_, the most profound and sublime of all kinds of love;--and from what other trunk could it have grown? But beware of supposing that this love has soared on its upward growth, as in any way a real negation of that thirst for revenge, as an antithesis to the Jewish hate! No, the contrary is the truth! This love grew out of that hate, as its crown, as its triumphant crown, circling wider and wider amid the clarity and fulness of the sun, and pursuing in the very kingdom of light and height its goal of hatred, its victory, its spoil, its strategy, with the same intensity with which the roots of that tree of hate sank into everything which was deep and evil with increasing stability and increasing desire.
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9.
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They enjoy there freedom from all social control, they feel that in the wilderness they can give vent with impunity to that tension which is produced by enclosure and imprisonment in the peace of society, they _revert_ to the innocence of the beast-of-prey conscience, like jubilant monsters, who perhaps come from a ghastly bout of murder, arson, rape, and torture, with bravado and a moral equanimity, as though merely some wild student's prank had been played, perfectly convinced that the poets have now an ample theme to sing and celebrate.
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This kind of man finds the belief in a neutral, free-choosing "subject" _necessary_ from an instinct of self-preservation, of self-assertion, in which every lie is fain to sanctify itself.
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In my opinion it is repugnant to the.
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7.
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In sooth, only divine spectators could have appreciated the drama that then began, and whose end baffles conjecture as yet--a drama too subtle, too wonderful, too paradoxical to warrant its undergoing a non-sensical and unheeded performance on some random grotesque planet! Henceforth man is to be counted as one of the most unexpected and sensational lucky shots in the game of the "big baby" of Heracleitus, whether he be called Zeus or Chance--he awakens on his behalf the interest, excitement, hope, almost the confidence, of his being the harbinger and forerunner of something, of man being no end, but only a stage, an interlude, a bridge, a great promise.
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This is a kind of madness of the will in the sphere of psychological cruelty which is absolutely unparalleled:--man's _will_ to find himself guilty and blameworthy to the point of inexpiability, his _will_ to think of himself as punished, without the punishment ever being able to balance the guilt, his _will_ to infect and to poison the fundamental basis of the universe with the problem of punishment and guilt, in order to cut off once and for all any escape out of this labyrinth of "fixed ideas," his will for rearing an ideal--that of the "holy God"--face to face with which he can have tangible proof of his own un-worthiness.
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.
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--Am I not understood?--Have I not been understood?--"Certainly not, sir?"--Well, let us begin at the beginning.
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6.
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But this by no means excludes the possibility of that particular sweetness and fulness, which is peculiar to the æsthetic state, springing directly from the ingredient of sensuality (just as that "idealism" which is peculiar to girls at puberty originates in the same source)--it may be, consequently, that sensuality is not removed by the approach of the æsthetic state, as Schopenhauer believed, but merely becomes transfigured, and ceases to enter into the consciousness as sexual excitement.
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Day and night cross not these bridges, nor age, nor death, nor suffering, nor good deeds, nor evil deeds.
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ideal superior to itself, and wherever science still consists of passion, love, ardour, suffering, it is not the opposition to that ascetic ideal, but rather the _incarnation of its latest and noblest form_.
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Book V.
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Van Dyck was nobler in this respect: who in all those whom he painted added a certain amount of what he himself most highly valued: he did not descend from himself, but rather lifted up others to himself when he "rendered.
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" I am thinking of men like Napoleon, Heinrich Heine, Goethe, Beethoven, Stendhal, Schopenhauer.