The Genealogy of Morals The Complete Works, Volume Thirteen, edited by Dr. Oscar Levy.

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 41

admit the possibility of the craving for cruelty not
necessarily having become really extinct: it only requires, in view
of the fact that pain hurts more nowadays, a certain sublimation and
subtilisation, it must especially be translated to the imaginative and
psychic plane, and be adorned with such smug euphemisms, that even the
most fastidious and hypocritical conscience could never grow suspicious
of their real nature ("Tragic pity" is one of these euphemisms:
another is "_les nostalgies de la croix_"). What really raises one's
indignation against suffering is not suffering intrinsically, but
the senselessness of suffering; such a _senselessness_, however,
existed neither in Christianity, which interpreted suffering into a
whole mysterious salvation-apparatus, nor in the beliefs of the naive
ancient man, who only knew how to find a meaning in suffering from
the standpoint of the spectator, or the inflictor of the suffering.
In order to get the secret, undiscovered, and unwitnessed suffering
out of the world it was almost compulsory to invent gods and a
hierarchy of intermediate beings, in short, something which wanders
even among secret places, sees even in the dark, and makes a point
of never missing an interesting and painful spectacle. It was with
the help of such inventions that life got to learn the _tour de
force_, which has become part of its stock-in-trade, the _tour de
force_ of self-justification, of the justification of evil; nowadays
this would perhaps require other auxiliary devices (for instance,
life as a riddle, life as a problem of knowledge). "Every evil is
justified in the sight of which a god finds edification," so rang the
logic of primitive sentiment--and, indeed, was it only of primitive?
The gods conceived as friends of spectacles of cruelty--oh how far
does this primeval conception extend even nowadays into our European
civilisation! One would perhaps like in this context to consult Luther
and Calvin. It is at any rate certain that even the Greeks knew no
more piquant seasoning for the happiness of their gods than the joys
of cruelty. What, do you think, was the mood with which Homer makes
his gods look down upon the fates of men? What final meaning have at
bottom the Trojan War and similar tragic horrors? It is impossible to
entertain any doubt on the point: they were intended as festival games
for the gods, and, in so far as the poet is of a more godlike breed
than other men, as festival games also for the poets. It was in just
this spirit and no other, that at a later date the moral philosophers
of Greece conceived the eyes of God as still

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with The Joyful Wisdom Complete Works, Volume Ten

Page 1
"Joyful Wisdom": that implies the Saturnalia of a spirit which has patiently withstood a long, frightful pressure--patiently, strenuously, impassionately, without submitting, but without hope--and which is now suddenly o'erpowered with hope, the hope of health, the _intoxication_ of convalescence.
Page 2
.
Page 28
Those who have been favoured with much possession and satiety, have, to be sure, dropped a word now and then about the "raging demon," as, for instance, the most lovable and most beloved of all the Athenians--Sophocles; but Eros always laughed at such revilers,--they were always his greatest favourites.
Page 35
and the flame of knowledge flashes heavenward in full blaze.
Page 42
At present at least, all militarily established civilisation still stands high above all so-called industrial civilisation; the latter, in its present form, is in general the meanest mode of existence that has ever been.
Page 44
Thus among the Wahabites, there are only two mortal sins: having another God than the Wahabite God, and--smoking (it is designated by them as "the disgraceful kind of drinking").
Page 48
_Where Goodness Begins.
Page 63
By means of it Terpander quieted a tumult, Empedocles calmed a maniac, Damon purged a love-sick youth; by means of it even the maddened, revengeful Gods were treated for the purpose of a cure.
Page 107
255.
Page 112
become restless towards the end, and seldom dip down into the sea with such proud, quiet equilibrium as for example, the mountain-ridge at _Porto fino_--where the Bay of Genoa sings its melody to an end.
Page 115
Here the ugly, which does not permit of being taken away, has been concealed, there it has been re-interpreted into the sublime.
Page 127
_My Dog.
Page 147
It makes the most material difference whether a thinker stands personally related to his problems, having his fate, his need, and even his highest happiness therein; or merely impersonally, that is to say, if he can only feel and grasp them with the tentacles of cold, prying thought.
Page 162
We feel with Leibnitz that "our inner world is far richer, ampler, and more concealed"; as Germans we are doubtful, like Kant, about the ultimate validity of scientific knowledge of nature, and in general about whatever _can_ be known _causaliter:_ the _knowable_ as such now appears to us of _less_ worth.
Page 163
I think not.
Page 169
.
Page 171
.
Page 174
Every handicraft, granting even that it has a golden floor,[3] has also a leaden ceiling above it, which presses and presses on the soul, till it is pressed into a strange and distorted shape.
Page 186
.
Page 194
Morning came: becalmed, the boat Rested on the purple flood: "What had happened?" every throat Shrieked the question: "was there-- Blood?" Naught had happened! On.