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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 86

stones and humanising of beasts, have
perhaps been best achieved precisely by that art.


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

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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.
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56 No impatience! Superman is our next stage and to this end, to this limit, moderation and manliness are necessary.