The Will to Power, Book I and II An Attempted Transvaluation of all Values

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 157

in spirit."


The wholesale deception and fraud of so-called _moral improvement._

We do not believe that one man can be another if he is not that
other already--that is to say, if he is not, as often happens, an
accretion of personalities or at least of parts of persons. In this
case it is possible to draw another set of actions from him into the
foreground, and to drive back "the older man." ... The man's aspect
is altered, but _not_ his actual nature.... It is but the merest
_factum brutum_ that any one should cease from performing certain
actions, and the fact allows of the most varied interpretations.
Neither does it always follow therefrom that the habit of performing
a certain action is entirely arrested, nor that the reasons for
that action are dissipated. He whose destiny and abilities make him
a criminal never unlearns anything, but is continually adding to his
store of knowledge: and long abstinence acts as a sort of tonic on
his talent.... Certainly, as far as society is concerned, the only
interesting fact is that some one has ceased from performing certain
actions; and to this end society will often raise a man out of those
circumstances which make him _able_ to perform those actions: this
is obviously a wiser course than that of trying to break his destiny
and his particular nature. The Church,--which has done nothing except
to take the place of, and to appropriate, the philosophic treasures
of antiquity,--starting out from another standpoint and wishing to
secure a "soul" or the "salvation" of a soul, believes in the expiatory
power of punishment, as also in the obliterating power of forgiveness:
both of which supposed processes are deceptions due to religious
prejudice--punishment expiates nothing, forgiveness obliterates
nothing; what is done cannot be undone. Because some one forgets
something it by no means proves that something has been wiped out....
An action leads to certain consequences, both among men and away from
men, and it matters not whether it has met with punishment, or whether
it has been "expiated," "forgiven," or "obliterated," it matters not
even if the Church meanwhile canonises the man who performed it. The
Church believes in things that do not exist, it believes in "Souls"; it
believes in "influences" that do not exist--in divine influences; it
believes in states that do not exist, in sin, redemption, and spiritual
salvation: in all things it stops at the surface and is satisfied with
signs, attitudes, words, to which it lends an arbitrary interpretation.
It possesses a method of counterfeit psychology which is thought out
quite systematically.


"Illness makes men better," this

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Text Comparison with On the Future of our Educational Institutions; Homer and Classical Philology Complete Works, Volume Three

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_) Ladies and Gentlemen,--The subject I now propose to consider with you is such a serious and important one, and is in a sense so disquieting, that, like you, I would gladly turn to any one who could proffer some information concerning it,--were he ever so young, were his ideas ever so improbable--provided that he were able, by the exercise of his own faculties, to furnish some satisfactory and sufficient explanation.
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We wished to attach no importance to anything, to have strong views about nothing, to aim at nothing; we wanted to take no thought for the morrow, and desired no more than to recline comfortably like good-for-nothings on the threshold of the present; and we did--bless us! --That, ladies and gentlemen, was our standpoint then!-- Absorbed in these reflections, I was just about to give an answer to the question of the future of _our_ Educational Institutions in the same self-sufficient way, when it gradually dawned upon me that the "natural music," coming from.
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What? Are you too proud to be a teacher? Do you despise the thronging multitude of learners? Do you speak contemptuously of the teacher's calling? And, aping my mode of life, would you fain live in solitary seclusion, hostilely isolated from that multitude? Do you suppose that you can reach at one bound what I ultimately had to win for myself only after long and determined struggles, in order even to be able to live like a philosopher? And do you not fear that solitude will wreak its vengeance upon you? Just try living the life of a hermit of culture.
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" Whereupon, to account for his behaviour, he described the general character of modern educational methods so vividly that the philosopher could not help interrupting him in a voice full of sympathy, and crying words of comfort to him.
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the highest posts in the scholastic profession, as I myself have done, then I know how we often laughed at the exact contrary, and grew serious over something quite different----" "Now, my friend," interrupted the philosopher, laughingly, "you speak as one who would fain dive into the water without being able to swim, and who fears something even more than the mere drowning; _not_ being drowned, but laughed at.
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"The same holds good in regard to teachers.
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This, however, does not happen when a modern State lays claim to such hearty gratitude because it renders such chivalrous service to German culture and art: for in this regard its past is as ignominious as its present, as a proof of which we have but to think of the manner in which the memory of our great poets and artists is celebrated in German cities, and how the highest objects of these German masters are supported on the part of the State.
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point of view, instead of which we have shrewd and clever calculations, and, so to speak, overreachings of nature.
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The philosopher was surprised, and stood still.
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From the tone of resignation in which you have just referred to students many would be inclined to think that you had some peculiar experiences which were not at all to your liking; but personally I rather believe that you saw and experienced in such places just what every one else saw and experienced in them, but that you judged what you saw and felt more justly and severely than any one else.
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Do not, then, let yourselves be deceived in regard to the cultured student; for he, in so far as he thinks he has absorbed the blessings of education, is merely the public school boy as moulded by the hands of his teacher: one who, since his academical isolation, and after he has left the public school, has therefore been deprived of all further guidance to culture, that from now on he may begin to live by himself and be free.
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Their comfort, however, does not counter-balance the suffering of one single young man who has an inclination for culture and feels the need of a guiding hand, and who at last, in a moment of discontent, throws down the reins and begins to despise himself.
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But you are afraid of this spirit, and it has therefore come to pass that a cloud of another sort has thrown a heavy and oppressive atmosphere around your universities, in which your noble-minded scholars breathe wearily and with difficulty.
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"But set a genius--a real genius--in the midst of this crowd; and you instantly perceive something almost incredible.
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That these wholly different scientific and æsthetico-ethical impulses have been associated under a common name, a kind of sham monarchy, is shown especially by the fact that philology at every period from its origin onwards was at the same time pedagogical.
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The first school, on the other hand, wavered between the supposition of one genius plus a number of minor poets, and another hypothesis which assumed only a number of superior and even mediocre individual bards, but also postulated a mysterious discharging, a deep, national, artistic impulse, which shows itself in individual minstrels as an almost indifferent medium.
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The masses have never experienced more flattering treatment than in thus having the laurel of genius set upon their empty heads.
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On the contrary, this design is a later product, far later than Homer's celebrity.
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We everywhere find traces of the fact that philology has lived in company with poets, thinkers, and artists for the last hundred years: whence it has now come about that the heap of ashes formerly pointed to as classical philology is now turned into fruitful and even rich soil.