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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 111

youth and
celebrate festivals of memory, so in a short time mankind will stand
towards art: its relation will be that of a _touching memory_ of the
joys of youth. Never, perhaps, in former ages was art dealt with so
seriously and thoughtfully as now when it appears to be surrounded
by the magic influence of death. We call to mind that Greek city in
southern Italy, which once a year still celebrates its Greek feasts,
amidst tears and mourning, that foreign barbarism triumphs ever more
and more over the customs its people brought with them into the land;
and never has Hellenism been so much appreciated, nowhere has this
golden nectar been drunk with so great delight, as amongst these fast
disappearing Hellenes. The artist will soon come to be regarded as a
splendid relic, and to him, as to a wonderful stranger on whose power
and beauty depended the happiness of former ages, there will be paid
such honour as is not often enjoyed by one of our race. The best in us
is perhaps inherited from the sentiments of former times, to which it
is hardly possible for us now to return by direct ways; the sun has
already disappeared, but the heavens of our life are still glowing and
illumined by it, although we can behold it no longer.

[Footnote 1: The allusion is to Goethe's lines:

_Die Sterne, die begehrt man nicht,_
_Man freut sich ihrer Pracht._

We do not want the stars themselves,
Their brilliancy delights our hearts.--J.M.K.




ENNOBLEMENT THROUGH DEGENERATION.--History teaches that a race of
people is best preserved where the greater number hold one common
spirit in consequence of the similarity of their accustomed and
indisputable principles: in consequence, therefore, of their common
faith. Thus strength is afforded by good and thorough customs, thus
is learnt the subjection of the individual, and strenuousness of
character becomes a birth gift and afterwards is fostered as a habit.
The danger to these communities founded on individuals of strong and
similar character is that gradually increasing stupidity through
transmission, which follows all stability like its shadow. It is on
the more unrestricted, more uncertain and morally weaker individuals
that depends the _intellectual progress_ of such communities, it is
they who attempt all that is new and manifold. Numbers of these perish
on account of their weakness, without having achieved any specially
visible effect; but generally, particularly when they have descendants,
they flare up and from time to time inflict a wound

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

Page 19
From this world of representation strict science is really only able to liberate us to a very slight extent--as it is also not at all desirable--inasmuch as it cannot essentially break the power of primitive habits of feeling; but it can gradually elucidate the history of the rise of that world as representation,--and lift us, at least for moments, above and beyond the whole process.
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The primordial belief of everything organic from the beginning is perhaps even this, that all the rest of the world is one and immovable.
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The gain to history and justice is very great,--I do not think that any one would so easily succeed now in doing justice to Christianity and its Asiatic relations without Schopenhauer's assistance, which is specially impossible from the basis of still existing Christianity.
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One would be free from the emphasis, and would no longer feel the goading, of the thought that one is not only nature or more than nature.
Page 40
In the actual act of deception, with all their preparations, the dreadful voice, expression, and mien, in the midst of their effective scenery they are overcome by their _belief in themselves_ it is this, then, which speaks so wonderfully and persuasively to the spectators.
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And thus the social instinct grows out of pleasure.
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In such people as are _capable_ of such sadness--and how few are!--the first experiment made is to see whether _mankind can change itself_ from a _moral_ into a _wise_ mankind.
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affection and the understanding of their deed vanish.
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In a few rare cases this form of insanity may also have been the means by which an all-round exuberant nature was kept within bounds; in individual life the imaginings of.
Page 119
The great task of the Renaissance could not be brought to a termination, this was prevented by the protest of the contemporary backward German spirit (which, for its salvation, had had sufficient sense in the Middle Ages to cross the Alps again and again).
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But idleness, which lies at the bottom of the active man's soul, prevents him from drawing water out of his own well.
Page 153
In intercourse with several individuals a person is therefore to withdraw within himself and represent facts as they are; but he has also to remove from the subjects the pulsating ether of humanity which makes conversation one of the pleasantest things in the world.
Page 154
In short, one should not so readily speak in favour of haughty solitude.
Page 158
And at present they still understand when they are really active (as house-keepers, for instance) how to make a bewildering fuss about it, so that the merit of their activity is usually ten times over-estimated by men.
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It is not the interests the many (of the peoples), as they probably say, but it is first of all the interests of certain princely dynasties, and then of certain commercial and social classes, which impel to this nationalism; once we have recognised this fact, we should just fearlessly style ourselves _good Europeans_.
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If, however, they are brought to the point of comparing themselves with others, they are inclined to a brooding under-estimation of their own worth, so that they have first to be compelled by others _to form_ once more a good and just opinion of themselves, and even from this acquired opinion they will always want to subtract and abate something.