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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 78

affection
and the understanding of their deed vanish. Therefore, at bottom even
those actions of self-denial are not moral, inasmuch as they are not
done strictly with regard to others; rather the other only provides
the highly-strung temperament with an opportunity of relieving itself
through that denial.


139.

In many respects the ascetic seeks to make life easy for himself,
usually by complete subordination to a strange will or a comprehensive
law and ritual; something like the way a Brahmin leaves nothing
whatever to his own decision but refers every moment to holy precepts.
This submission is a powerful means of attaining self-mastery: man
is occupied and is therefore not bored, and yet has no incitement to
self-will or passion; after a completed deed there is no feeling of
responsibility and with it no tortures of remorse. We have renounced
our own will once and for ever, and this is easier than only renouncing
it occasionally; as it is also easier to give up a desire entirely than
to keep it within bounds. When we remember the present relation of
man to the State, we find that, even here, unconditional obedience is
more convenient than conditional. The saint, therefore, makes his life
easier by absolute renunciation of his personality, and we are mistaken
if in that phenomenon we admire the loftiest heroism of morality.
In any case it is more difficult to carry one's personality through
without vacillation and unclearness than to liberate one's self from it
in the above-mentioned manner; moreover, it requires far more spirit
and consideration.


140.

After having found in many of the less easily explicable actions
manifestations of that pleasure in _emotion per se,_ I should like
to recognise also in self-contempt, which is one of the signs of
holiness, and likewise in the deeds of self-torture (through hunger and
scourging, mutilation of limbs, feigning of madness) a means by which
those natures fight against the general weariness of their life-will
(their nerves); they employ the most painful irritants and cruelties
in order to emerge for a time, at all events, from that dulness and
boredom into which they so frequently sink through their great mental
indolence and that submission to a strange will already described.


141.

The commonest means which the ascetic and saint employs to render
life still endurable and amusing consists in occasional warfare with
alternate victory and defeat. For this he requires an opponent, and
finds it in the so-called "inward enemy." He principally makes use
of his inclination to vanity, love of honour and rule, and of his
sensual desires, that he may be permitted to regard his life as a
perpetual battle and

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_Egoism.
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_The Heaviest Burden.
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"— _Turenne.
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