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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 66

he inquires
anxiously;--is there, then, no means of making those powers as regular
through tradition and law as you are yourself? The aim of those who
believe in magic and miracles is to _impose a law on nature,_--and,
briefly, the religious cult is a result of this aim. The problem which
those people have set themselves is closely related to this: how can
the _weaker_ race dictate laws to the _stronger,_ rule it, and guide
its actions (in relation to the weaker)? One would first remember the
most harmless sort of compulsion, that compulsion which one exercises
when one has gained any one's affection. By imploring and praying, by
submission, by the obligation of regular taxes and gifts, by flattering
glorifications, it is also possible to exercise an influence upon the
powers of nature, inasmuch as one gains the affections; love binds and
becomes bound. Then one can make compacts by which one is mutually
bound to a certain behaviour, where one gives pledges and exchanges
vows. But far more important is a species of more forcible compulsion,
by magic and witchcraft. As with the sorcerer's help man is able to
injure a more powerful enemy and keep him in fear, as the love-charm
works at a distance, so the weaker man believes he can influence the
mightier spirits of nature. The principal thing in all witchcraft
is that we must get into our possession something that belongs to
some one, hair, nails, food from their table, even their portrait,
their name. With such apparatus we can then practise sorcery; for the
fundamental rule is, to everything spiritual there belongs something
corporeal; with the help of this we are able to bind the spirit, to
injure it, and destroy it; the corporeal furnishes the handles with
which we can grasp the spiritual. As man controls man, so he controls
some natural spirit or other; for this has also its corporeal part
by which it may be grasped. The tree and, compared with it, the seed
from which it sprang,--this enigmatical contrast seems to prove that
the same spirit embodied itself in both forms, now small, now large.
A stone that begins to roll suddenly is the body in which a spirit
operates; if there is an enormous rock lying on a lonely heath it seems
impossible to conceive human strength sufficient to have brought it
there, consequently the stone must have moved there by itself, that
is, it must be possessed by a spirit. Everything that has a body is
susceptible to witchcraft, therefore also the natural spirits. If a god
is bound to his image we

Last Page Next Page

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

Page 7
inscribed the two great names upon their banner.
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.
Page 19
--But, my dear Sir, if _your_ book is not Romanticism, what in the world is? Can the deep hatred of the present, of "reality" and "modern ideas" be pushed farther than has been done in your artist-metaphysics?--which would rather believe in Nothing, or in the devil, than in the "Now"? Does not a radical bass of wrath and annihilative pleasure growl on beneath all your contrapuntal vocal art and aural seduction, a mad determination to oppose all that "now" is, a will which is not so very far removed from practical nihilism and which seems to say: "rather let nothing be true, than that _you_ should be in the right, than that _your_ truth should prevail!" Hear, yourself, my dear Sir Pessimist and art-deifier, with ever so unlocked ears, a single select passage of your own book, that not ineloquent dragon-slayer passage, which may sound insidiously rat-charming to young ears and hearts.
Page 24
_ It is either under the influence of the narcotic draught, of which the hymns of.
Page 26
455 ff.
Page 27
It was the reconciliation of two antagonists, with the sharp demarcation of the boundary-lines to be thenceforth observed by each, and with periodical transmission of testimonials;--in reality, the chasm was not bridged over.
Page 30
To be able to live, the Greeks had, from direst necessity, to create these gods: which process we may perhaps picture to ourselves in this manner: that out of the original Titan thearchy of terror the Olympian thearchy of joy was evolved, by slow transitions, through the Apollonian impulse to beauty, even as roses break forth from thorny bushes.
Page 37
Now let us suppose that he beholds _himself_ also among these images as non-genius, _i.
Page 39
Only in so far as the genius in the act of artistic production coalesces with this primordial artist of the world, does he get a glimpse of the eternal essence of art, for in this state he is, in a marvellous manner, like the weird picture of the fairy-tale which can at will turn its eyes and behold itself; he is now at once subject and object, at once poet, actor, and spectator.
Page 46
Not reflection, no!--true knowledge, insight into appalling truth, preponderates over all motives inciting to action, in Hamlet as well as in the Dionysian man.
Page 52
Page 55
But even this interpretation which Æschylus has given to the myth does not fathom its astounding depth of terror; the fact is rather that the artist's delight in unfolding, the cheerfulness of artistic creating bidding defiance to all calamity, is but a shining stellar and nebular image reflected in a black sea of sadness.
Page 58
From the smile of this Dionysus sprang the Olympian gods, from his tears sprang man.
Page 79
But now science, spurred on by its powerful illusion, hastens irresistibly to its limits, on which its optimism, hidden in the essence of logic, is wrecked.
Page 83
This actual world, then, the world of particular things, affords the object of perception, the special and the individual, the particular case, both to the universality of concepts and to the universality of the melodies.
Page 84
If now we reflect that music in its highest potency must seek to attain also to its highest symbolisation, we must deem it possible that it also knows how to find the symbolic expression of its inherent Dionysian wisdom; and where shall we have to seek for this expression if not in tragedy and, in general, in the conception of the _tragic_? From the nature of art, as it is ordinarily conceived according to the single category of appearance and beauty, the tragic cannot be honestly deduced at all; it is only through the spirit of music that we understand the joy in the annihilation of the individual.
Page 86
With respect to Greek tragedy, which of course presents itself to us only as word-drama, I have even intimated that the incongruence between myth and expression might easily tempt us to regard it as shallower and less significant than it really is, and accordingly to postulate for it a more superficial effect than it must have had according to the testimony of the ancients: for how easily one forgets that what the word-poet did not succeed in doing, namely realising the highest spiritualisation and ideality of myth, he might succeed in doing every moment as creative musician! We require, to be sure, almost by philological method to reconstruct for ourselves the ascendency of musical influence in order to receive something of the incomparable comfort which must be characteristic of true tragedy.
Page 91
While this optimism, resting on apparently unobjectionable _æterna veritates,_ believed.
Page 104
If in these last propositions I have succeeded in giving perhaps only a preliminary expression, intelligible to few at first, to this difficult representation, I must not here desist from stimulating my friends to a further attempt, or cease from beseeching them to prepare themselves, by a detached example of our common experience, for the perception of the universal proposition.
Page 123