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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 22

turn round the end of the course.


CONJECTURAL VICTORY OF SCEPTICISM.--For once let the sceptical
starting-point be accepted,--granted that there were no other
metaphysical world, and all explanations drawn from metaphysics about
the only world we know were useless to us, in what light should we
then look upon men and things? We can think this out for ourselves, it
is useful, even though the question whether anything metaphysical has
been scientifically proved by Kant and Schopenhauer were altogether set
aside. For it is quite possible, according to historical probability,
that some time or other man, as a general rule, may grow _sceptical;_
the question will then be this: What form will human society take under
the influence of such a mode of thought? Perhaps the _scientific proof_
of some metaphysical world or other is already so _difficult_ that
mankind will never get rid of a certain distrust of it. And when there
is distrust of metaphysics, there are on the whole the same results as
if it had been directly refuted and _could_ no longer be believed in.
The historical question with regard to an unmetaphysical frame of mind
in mankind remains the same in both cases.


which accompanies the cessation of metaphysical views lies in the fact
that the individual looks upon his short span of life too exclusively
and receives no stronger incentives to build durable institutions
intended to last for centuries,--he himself wishes to pluck the fruit
from the tree which he plants, and therefore he no longer plants those
trees which require regular care for centuries, and which are destined
to afford shade to a long series of generations. For metaphysical
views furnish the belief that in them the last conclusive foundation
has been given, upon which henceforth all the future of mankind is
compelled to settle down and establish itself; the individual furthers
his salvation, when, for instance, he founds a church or convent, he
thinks it will be reckoned to him and recompensed to him in the eternal
life of the soul, it is work for the soul's eternal salvation. Can
science also arouse such faith in its results? As a matter of fact, it
needs doubt and distrust as its most faithful auxiliaries; nevertheless
in the course of time, the sum of inviolable truths--those, namely,
which have weathered all the storms of scepticism, and all destructive
analysis--may have become so great (in the regimen of health, for
instance), that one may determine to found thereupon "eternal" works.
For the present the _contrast_ between our excited ephemeral existence
and the long-winded repose of metaphysical

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

Page 3
The issue for me was the value of morality, and on that subject I had to place myself in a state of abstraction, in which I was almost alone with my great teacher Schopenhauer,.
Page 6
But on that day on which we say from the fullness of our hearts, "Forward! our old morality too is fit material for Comedy," we shall have discovered a new plot, and a new possibility for the Dionysian drama entitled The Soul's Fate--and he will speedily utilise it, one can wager safely, he, the great ancient eternal dramatist of the comedy of our existence.
Page 9
In the second place, quite apart from the fact that this hypothesis as to the genesis of the value "good" cannot be historically upheld, it suffers from an inherent psychological contradiction.
Page 25
This they call 'Blessedness.
Page 34
"How is a memory to be made for the man-animal? How is an impression to be so deeply fixed upon this ephemeral understanding, half dense, and half silly, upon this incarnate forgetfulness, that it will be permanently present?" As one may imagine, this primeval problem was not solved by exactly gentle answers and gentle means; perhaps there is nothing more awful and more sinister in the early history of man than his _system of mnemonics_.
Page 38
Page 39
Page 43
" Man lives in a community, man enjoys the advantages of a community (and what advantages! we occasionally underestimate them nowadays), man lives protected, spared, in peace and trust, secure from certain injuries and enmities, to which the man outside the community, the "peaceless" man, is exposed,--a German understands the original meaning of "Elend" (_êlend_),--secure because he has entered into pledges and obligations to the community in respect of these very injuries and enmities.
Page 51
--Punishment as a kind of compensation for advantages which the wrong-doer has up to that time enjoyed (for example, when he is utilised as a slave in the mines).
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pale of society and of peace.
Page 55
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.
Page 73
reason, every animal shudders mortally at every kind of disturbance and hindrance which obstructs or could obstruct his way to that optimum (it is not his way to happiness of which I am talking, but his way to power, to action, the most powerful action, and in point of fact in many cases his way to unhappiness).
Page 74
It is nothing like romantic and Syrian enough for them, nothing like enough of a stage desert! Here as well there are plenty of asses, but at this point the resemblance ceases.
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But that which Heracleitus shunned is still just what we too avoid nowadays: the noise and democratic babble of the Ephesians, their politics, their news from the "empire" (I mean, of course, Persia), their market-trade in "the things of to-day "--for there is one thing from which we philosophers especially need a rest--from the things of "to-day.
Page 102
He--knows more.
Page 113
" All this is to a high degree ascetic, but at the same time it is to a much greater degree _nihilistic_; make no mistake about this! You see in the historian a gloomy, hard, but determined gaze,––an eye that _looks out_ as an isolated North Pole explorer looks out (perhaps so as not to look within, so as not to look back?)––there is snow––here is life silenced, the last crows which caw here are called "whither?" "Vanity," "Nada"––here nothing more flourishes and grows, at the most the metapolitics of St.
Page 114
The "contemplative" are a hundred times worse––I never knew anything which produced such intense nausea as one of those "objective" _chairs_,[6] one of those scented mannikins-about-town of history, a thing half-priest, half-satyr (Renan _parfum_), which betrays by the high, shrill falsetto of his applause what he lacks and where he lacks it, who betrays where in this case the Fates have plied their ghastly shears, alas! in too surgeon-like a fashion! This is distasteful to me, and irritates my patience; let him keep patient at such sights who has nothing to lose thereby,––such a sight enrages me, such spectators embitter me against the "play," even more than does the play itself (history itself, you understand); Anacreontic moods imperceptibly come over me.
Page 115
It is obvious that, in regard to this over-production, a new _trade_ possibility lies open; it is obvious that there is a new business to be done in little ideal idols and obedient "idealists"--don't pass over this tip! Who has sufficient courage? We have in _our hands_ the possibility of idealising the whole earth.
Page 121
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.
Page 122
England's small-mindedness is the great danger now on earth.