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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 30

a theoretical result, a philosophy
of dissolution, disintegration, and self-destruction? I believe that
the decision with regard to the after-effects of the knowledge will
be given through the _temperament_ of a man; I could imagine another
after-effect, just as well as that one described, which is possible in
certain natures, by means of which a life would arise much simpler,
freer from emotions than is the present one, so that though at first,
indeed, the old motives of passionate desire might still have strength
from old hereditary habit, they would gradually become weaker under
the influence--of purifying knowledge. One would live at last amongst
men, and with one's self as with _Nature,_ without praise, reproach,
or agitation, feasting one's eyes, as if it were a _play,_ upon much
of which one was formerly afraid. 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. Certainly, as already remarked, a
good temperament would be necessary for this, an even, mild, and
naturally joyous soul, a disposition which would not always need to be
on its guard against spite and sudden outbreaks, and would not convey
in its utterances anything of a grumbling or sudden nature,--those
well-known vexatious qualities of old dogs and men who have been long
chained up. On the contrary, a man from whom the ordinary fetters of
life have so far fallen that he continues to live only for the sake of
ever better knowledge must be able to renounce without envy and regret:
much, indeed almost everything that is precious to other men, he must
regard as the _all-sufficing_ and the most desirable condition; the
free, fearless soaring over men, customs, laws, and the traditional
valuations of things. The joy of this condition he imparts willingly,
and he _has_ perhaps nothing else to impart,--wherein, to be sure,
there is more privation and renunciation. If, nevertheless, more is
demanded from him, he will point with a friendly shake of his head to
his brother, the free man of action, and will perhaps not conceal a
little derision, for as regards this "freedom" it is a very peculiar




all-too-human--or, according to the learned expression, psychological
observation--is one of the means by which one may lighten the burden
of life, that exercise in this art produces presence of mind in
difficult circumstances, in the midst of tiresome surroundings, even
that from the most thorny and unpleasant periods of one's own life
one may gather maxims and thereby

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