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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 53

for him personally
of the celebrated _morsus conscientiæ_--Spinoza, who had relegated
"good and evil" to the sphere of human imagination, and indignantly
defended the honour of his "free" God against those blasphemers who
affirmed that God did everything _sub ratione boni_ ("but this was
tantamount to subordinating God to fate, and would really be the
greatest of all absurdities"). For Spinoza the world had returned
again to that innocence in which it lay before the discovery of the
bad conscience: what, then, had happened to the _morsus conscientiæ_?
"The antithesis of _gaudium_," said he at last to himself,--"A sadness
accompanied by the recollection of a past event which has turned out
contrary to all expectation" (_Eth_. III., Propos. XVIII. Schol.
i. ii.). Evil-doers have throughout thousands of years felt when
overtaken by punishment _exactly like Spinoza_, on the subject of
their "offence": "here is something which went wrong contrary to my
anticipation," not "I ought not to have done this."--They submitted
themselves to punishment, just as one submits one's self to a disease,
to a misfortune, or to death, with that stubborn and resigned fatalism
which gives the Russians, for instance, even nowadays, the advantage
over us Westerners, in the handling of life. If at that period there
was a critique of action, the criterion was prudence: the real _effect_
of punishment is unquestionably chiefly to be found in a sharpening
of the sense of prudence, in a lengthening of the memory, in a will
to adopt more of a policy of caution, suspicion, and secrecy; in the
recognition that there are many things which are unquestionably beyond
one's capacity; in a kind of improvement in self-criticism. The broad
effects which can be obtained by punishment in man and beast, are the
increase of fear, the sharpening of the sense of cunning, the mastery
of the desires: so it is that punishment _tames_ man, but does not make
him "better"--it would be more correct even to go so far as to assert
the contrary ("Injury makes a man cunning," says a popular proverb: so
far as it makes him cunning, it makes him also bad. Fortunately, it
often enough makes him stupid).


16.

At this juncture I cannot avoid trying to give a tentative and
provisional expression to my own hypothesis concerning the origin of
the bad conscience: it is difficult to make it fully appreciated,
and it requires continuous meditation, attention, and digestion. I
regard the bad conscience as the serious illness which man was bound
to contract under the stress of the most radical change which he has
ever experienced--that change, when he found himself finally imprisoned
within the

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Thoughts Out of Season, Part II

Page 8
He has a divine insight into the original meaning of the hieroglyphs, and comes even to be weary of the letters that are continually unrolled before him.
Page 14
III.
Page 17
This is the "critical" way; which is also in the service of life.
Page 20
The Greeks, the famous people of a past still near to us, had the "unhistorical sense" strongly developed in the period of the greatest power.
Page 40
It may seem a paradox, though it is none, that I should attribute a kind of "ironical self-consciousness" to an age that is generally so honestly, and clamorously, vain of its historical training; and should see a suspicion hovering near it that there is really nothing to be proud of, and a fear lest the time for rejoicing at historical knowledge may soon have gone by.
Page 51
But the world must go forward, the ideal condition cannot be won by dreaming, it must be fought and wrestled for, and the way to redemption lies only through joyousness, the way to redemption from that dull, owlish seriousness.
Page 60
But the same youth, with that same natural instinct of health, has guessed how the paradise can be regained.
Page 66
There are other means of "finding ourselves," of coming to ourselves out of the confusion wherein we all wander as in a dreary cloud; but I know none better than to think on our educators.
Page 69
By its lofty ideal, Christianity has outbidden the ancient Systems of Ethics and their invariable naturalism, with which men came to feel a dull disgust: and afterwards when they did reach the knowledge of what was better and higher, they found they had no longer the power, for all their desire, to return to its embodiment in the antique virtues.
Page 70
My trust in him sprang to life at once, and has been the same for nine years.
Page 74
" And he adds, "If the trace of the sorrow and activity we have gone through cannot be wiped from our features, it is no wonder that all that survives of us and our struggles should bear the same impress.
Page 76
the continual bitterness gives them a threatening and volcanic character.
Page 79
He must look to it that he be not enslaved and oppressed, and become melancholy thereby.
Page 95
" In the first place, the new duties are certainly not those of a hermit; they imply rather a vast community, held together not by external forms but by a fundamental idea, namely that of _culture_; though only so far as it can put a single task before each of us--to bring the philosopher, the artist and the saint,.
Page 98
" It is difficult to give any one this courageous self-consciousness, because it is impossible to teach love; from love alone the soul gains, not only the clear vision that leads to self-contempt, but also the desire to look to a higher self which is yet hidden, and strive upward to it with all its strength.
Page 100
A "highly civilised state" generally implies, at the present time, the task of setting free the spiritual forces of a generation just so far as they may be of use to the existing institutions,--as a mountain stream is split up by embankments and channels, and its diminished power made to drive mill-wheels, its full strength being more dangerous than useful to the mills.
Page 102
What you have in you now is a soft pulpy stuff: make what you will out of it,--elegant dolls and interesting idols--Richard Wagner's phrase will still hold good, 'The German is awkward and ungainly when he wishes to be polite; he is high above all others, when he begins to take fire.
Page 111
An artist, and especially a philosopher, seems often to have dropped by chance into his age, as a wandering hermit or straggler cut off from the main body.
Page 113
All states are badly managed, when other men than politicians busy themselves with politics; and they deserve to be ruined by their political amateurs.
Page 117
And not only the state, but everything required by it for existence--a definite form of religion, a social system, a standing army; a _noli me tangere_ is written above all these things.