stones and humanising of beasts, have
perhaps been best achieved precisely by that art.
ART MAKES HEAVY THE HEART OF THE THINKER.--How strong metaphysical
need is and how difficult nature renders our departure from it may be
seen from the fact that even in the free spirit, when he has cast off
everything metaphysical, the loftiest effects of art can easily produce
a resounding of the long silent, even broken, metaphysical string,--it
may be, for instance, that at a passage in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony
he feels himself floating above the earth in a starry dome with the
dream of _immortality_ in his heart; all the stars seem to shine round
him, and the earth to sink farther and farther away.--If he becomes
conscious of this state, he feels a deep pain at his heart, and sighs
for the man who will lead back to him his lost darling, be it called
religion or metaphysics. In such moments his intellectual character is
put to the test.
PLAYING WITH LIFE.--The lightness and frivolity of the Homeric
imagination was necessary to calm and occasionally to raise the
immoderately passionate temperament and acute intellect of the Greeks.
If their intellect speaks, how harsh and cruel does life then appear!
They do not deceive themselves, but they intentionally weave lies
round life. Simonides advised his countrymen to look upon life as
a game; earnestness was too well-known to them as pain (the gods so
gladly hear the misery of mankind made the theme of song), and they
knew that through art alone misery might be turned into pleasure. As
a punishment for this insight, however, they were so plagued with the
love of romancing that it was difficult for them in everyday life to
keep themselves free from falsehood and deceit; for all poetic nations
have such a love of falsehood, and yet are innocent withal. Probably
this occasionally drove the neighbouring nations to desperation.
THE BELIEF IN INSPIRATION.--It is to the interest of the artist that
there should be a belief in sudden suggestions, so-called inspirations;
as if the idea of a work of art, of poetry, the fundamental thought of
a philosophy shone down from heaven like a ray of grace. In reality
the imagination of the good artist or thinker constantly produces
good, mediocre, and bad, but his _judgment,_ most clear and practised,
rejects and chooses and joins together, just as we now learn from
Beethoven's notebooks that he gradually composed the most beautiful
melodies, and in a manner selected them, from many different attempts.
He who makes less severe distinctions, and willingly abandons himself
to imitative memories, may under certain
The "true world"--an idea that no longer serves any purpose, that no longer constrains one to anything,--a useless idea that has become quite superfluous, consequently an exploded idea: let us abolish it! (Bright daylight; breakfast; the return of common sense and of cheerfulness; Plato.Page 26
_ To trace something unfamiliar back to something familiar, is at once a relief, a comfort and a satisfaction, while it also produces a feeling of power.Page 29
12 I have been reading the life of Thomas Carlyle, that unconscious and involuntary farce, that heroico-moral interpretation of dyspeptic moods.Page 55
_ .Page 67
Goethe conceived a strong, highly-cultured man, skilful in all bodily accomplishments, able to keep himself in check, having a feeling of reverence for himself, and so constituted as to be able to risk the full enjoyment of naturalness in all its rich profusion and be strong enough for this freedom; a man of tolerance, not out of weakness but out of strength, because he knows how to turn to his own profit that which would ruin the mediocre nature; a man unto whom nothing is any longer forbidden, unless it be weakness either as a vice or as a virtue.Page 73
THE HAMMER SPEAKETH "Why so hard!"--said the diamond once unto the charcoal; "are we then not next of kin?" "Why so soft? O my brethren; this is my question to you.Page 77
People have dared to call pity a virtue (--in every _noble_ culture it is considered as a weakness--); people went still further, they exalted it to _the_ virtue, the root and origin of all virtues,--but, of course, what must never be forgotten is the fact that this was done from the standpoint of a philosophy which was nihilistic, and on whose shield the device _The Denial of Life_ was inscribed.Page 82
With the idea of perfecting man, he was conjured to draw his senses inside himself, after the manner of the tortoise, to cut off all relations with terrestrial things, and to divest himself of his mortal shell.Page 106
The love of a disciple admits of no such thing as accident.Page 119
Truth is not a thing which one might have and another be without: only peasants or peasant-apostles, after the style of Luther, can think like this about truth.Page 133
Between ourselves, they are not even men.Page 142
Eternal renovation presupposes that energy voluntarily increases itself, that it not only has the intention, but also the power, to avoid repeating itself or to avoid returning into a previous form, and that every instant it adjusts itself in every one of its movements to prevent such a contingency,--or that it was incapable of returning to a state it had already passed through.Page 147
Even supposing the recurrence of the cycle is only a probability or a possibility, even a thought, even a possibility, can shatter us and transform us.Page 150
5 The dissolution of morality, in its practical consequences, leads to the atomistic individual, and further to the subdivision of the individual into a quantity of parts--absolute liquefaction.Page 151
56 No impatience! Superman is our next stage and to this end, to this limit, moderation and manliness are necessary.