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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 94

servility, for German pusillanimity).
In such a case there is invariably recourse to a _war_ on a grand scale
with the feeling of depression; let us inform ourselves briefly on its
most important practices and phases (I leave on one side, as stands to
reason, the actual _philosophic_ war against the feeling of depression
which is usually simultaneous--it is interesting enough, but too
absurd, too practically negligible, too full of cobwebs, too much of a
hole-and-corner affair, especially when pain is proved to be a mistake,
on the _naïf_ hypothesis that pain must needs _vanish_ when the mistake
underlying it is recognised--but behold! it does anything but vanish
...). That dominant depression is _primarily fought_ by weapons which
reduce the consciousness of life itself to the lowest degree. Wherever
possible, no more wishes, no more wants; shun everything which produces
emotion, which produces "blood" (eating no salt, the fakir hygiene);
no love; no hate; equanimity; no revenge; no getting rich; no work;
begging; as far as possible, no woman, or as little woman as possible;
as far as the intellect is concerned, Pascal's principle, "_il faut
s'abêtir._" To put the result in ethical and psychological language,
"self-annihilation," "sanctification"; to put it in physiological
language, "hypnotism"--the attempt to find some approximate human
equivalent for what _hibernation_ is for certain animals, for what
_æstivation_ is for many tropical plants, a minimum of assimilation
and metabolism in which life just manages to subsist without really
coming into the consciousness. An amazing amount of human energy
has been devoted to this object--perhaps uselessly? There cannot be
the slightest doubt but that such _sportsmen_ of "saintliness," in
whom at times nearly every nation has abounded, have really found a
genuine relief from that which they have combated with such a rigorous
_training_--in countless cases they really escaped by the help of their
system of hypnotism _away_ from deep physiological depression; their
method is consequently counted among the most universal ethnological
facts. Similarly it is improper to consider such a plan for starving
the physical element and the desires, as in itself a symptom of
insanity (as a clumsy species of roast-beef-eating "freethinkers" and
Sir Christophers are fain to do); all the more certain is it that their
method can and does pave the way to all kinds of mental disturbances,
for instance, "inner lights" (as far as the case of the Hesychasts of
Mount Athos), auditory and visual hallucinations, voluptuous ecstasies
and effervescences of sensualism (the history of St. Theresa). The
explanation of such events given by the victims is always the acme of
fanatical falsehood; this is self-evident. Note well, however, the tone
of implicit

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