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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 62

worse still
for the priests, for they have hitherto lived on the narcotisation of
human woes.


SORROW IS KNOWLEDGE.--How greatly we should like to exchange the
false assertions of the priests, that there is a god who desires good
from us, a guardian and witness of every action, every moment, every
thought, who loves us and seeks our welfare in all misfortune,--how
greatly we would like to exchange these ideas for truths which would be
just as healing, pacifying and beneficial as those errors! But there
are no such truths; at most philosophy can oppose to them metaphysical
appearances (at bottom also untruths). The tragedy consists in the fact
that we cannot _believe_ those dogmas of religion and metaphysics,
if we have strict methods of truth in heart and brain: on the other
hand, mankind has, through development, become so delicate, irritable
and suffering, that it has need of the highest means of healing and
consolation; whence also the danger arises that man would bleed to
death from recognised truth, or, more correctly, from discovered error.
Byron has expressed this in the immortal lines:--

Sorrow is knowledge: they who know the most
Must mourn the deepest o'er the fatal truth,
The Tree of Knowledge is not that of Life.

For such troubles there is no better help than to recall the stately
levity of Horace, at least for the worst hours and eclipses of the
soul, and to say with him:

... quid æternis minorem
consiliis animum fatigas?
cur non sub alta vel platano vel hac
pinu jacentes.[1]

But assuredly frivolity or melancholy of every degree is better than
a romantic retrospection and desertion of the flag, an approach to
Christianity in any form; for according to the present condition of
knowledge it is absolutely impossible to approach it without hopelessly
soiling our _intellectual conscience_ and giving ourselves away to
ourselves and others. Those pains may be unpleasant enough, but we
cannot become leaders and educators of mankind without pain; and woe
to him who would wish to attempt this and no longer have that clear


THE TRUTH IN RELIGION.--In the period of rationalism justice was not
done to the importance of religion, of that there is no doubt, but
equally there is no doubt that in the reaction that followed this
rationalism justice was far overstepped; for religions were treated
lovingly, even amorously, and, for instance, a deeper, even

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Text Comparison with The Birth of Tragedy; or, Hellenism and Pessimism

Page 7
For a whole day he did his utmost to pay no heed to the injury, and to overcome the pain it caused him; but in the end he only swooned, and a dangerously acute inflammation of the injured tissues was the result.
Page 14
What I then laid hands on, something terrible and dangerous, a problem with horns, not necessarily a bull itself, but at all events a _new_ problem: I should say to-day it was the _problem of science_ itself--science conceived for the first time as problematic, as questionable.
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Page 24
The higher truth, the perfection of these states in contrast to the only partially intelligible everyday world, ay, the deep consciousness of nature, healing and helping in sleep and dream, is at the same time the symbolical analogue of the faculty of soothsaying and, in general, of the arts, through which life is made possible and worth living.
Page 32
If we therefore waive the consideration of our own "reality" for the present, if we conceive our empiric existence, and that of the world generally, as a representation of the Primordial Unity generated every moment, we shall then have to regard the dream as an _appearance of appearance,_ hence as a still higher gratification of the primordial desire for appearance.
Page 46
The satyr, like the idyllic shepherd of our more recent time, is the offspring of a longing after the Primitive and the Natural; but mark with what firmness and fearlessness the Greek embraced the man of the woods, and again, how coyly and mawkishly the modern man dallied with the flattering picture of a tender, flute-playing, soft-natured shepherd! Nature, on which as yet no knowledge has been at work, which maintains unbroken barriers to culture--this is what the Greek saw in his satyr, which still was not on this account supposed to coincide with the ape.
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Page 56
The suddenly swelling tide of the Dionysian then takes the separate little wave-mountains of individuals on its back, just as the brother of Prometheus, the Titan Atlas, does with the earth.
Page 79
to knowledge and perception the power of a universal medicine, and sees in error and evil.
Page 80
Presently also the forces will be designated which seem to me to guarantee _a re-birth of tragedy_--and who knows what other blessed hopes for the German genius! Before we plunge into the midst of these struggles, let us array ourselves in the armour of our hitherto acquired knowledge.
Page 83
This relation may be very well expressed in the language of the schoolmen, by saying: the concepts are the _universalia post rem,_ but music gives the _universalia ante rem,_ and the real world the _universalia in re.
Page 84
For in the particular examples of such annihilation only is the eternal phenomenon of Dionysian art made clear to us, which gives expression to the will in its omnipotence, as it were, behind the _principium individuationis,_ the eternal life beyond all phenomena, and in spite of all annihilation.
Page 89
" 18.
Page 90
All our educational methods have originally this ideal in view: every other form of existence must struggle onwards wearisomely beside it, as something tolerated, but not intended.
Page 93
He no longer wants to have anything entire, with all the natural cruelty of things, so thoroughly has he been spoiled by his optimistic contemplation.
Page 111
On the other hand, many a one more nobly and delicately endowed by nature, though he may have gradually become a critical barbarian in the manner described, could tell of the unexpected as well as totally unintelligible effect which a successful performance of _Lohengrin,_ for example, exerted on him: except that perhaps every warning and interpreting hand was lacking to guide him; so that the incomprehensibly heterogeneous and altogether incomparable sensation which then affected him also remained isolated and became extinct, like a mysterious star after a brief brilliancy.
Page 119
Music and tragic myth are equally the expression of the Dionysian capacity of a people, and are inseparable from each other.
Page 120
'Hellenism and Pessimism' had been a more unequivocal title: namely, as a first lesson on the way in which the Greeks got the better of pessimism,--on the means whereby they _overcame_ it.
Page 121
And again, through my diagnosing Socrates as a decadent, I had given a wholly unequivocal proof of how little risk the trustworthiness of my psychological grasp would run of being weakened by some moralistic idiosyncrasy--to view morality itself as a symptom of decadence is an innovation, a novelty of the first rank in the history of knowledge.
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James Waddell Tupper, Ph.