"truth" as opposed to falsehood and lying (Naturalism);
the "scientific spirit" (the "human document": or, in plain English,
the serial story which means "addition"--instead of "composition");
"passion" in the place of disorder and intemperance; "depth" in the
place of confusion and the pell-mell of symbols.
_Concerning the criticism of big words._--I am full of mistrust and
malice towards what is called "ideal": this is my _Pessimism,_ that
I have recognised to what extent "sublime sentiments" are a source of
evil--that is to say, a belittling and depreciating of man.
Every time "progress" is expected to result from an ideal,
disappointment invariably follows; the triumph of an ideal has always
been a _retrograde movement_.
Christianity, revolution, the abolition of slavery, equal rights,
philanthropy, love of peace, justice, truth: all these big words are
only valuable in a struggle, as banners: not as realities, but as
_show-words,_ for something quite different (yea, even quite opposed to
what they mean!).
The kind of man is known who has fallen in love with the sentence
"_tout comprendre Ã est tout pardonner"_ It is the weak and, above all,
the disillusioned: if there is something to pardon in everything, there
is also something to contemn! It is the philosophy of disappointment,
which here swathes itself so humanly in pity, and gazes out so sweetly.
They are Romanticists, whose faith has gone to pot: now they at least
wish to look on and see how everything vanishes and fades. They call it
_l'art pour l'art,_ "objectivity," etc.
_The main symptoms of Pessimism_:--Dinners at Magny's; Russian
Pessimism (Tolstoy, Dostoiewsky); Ã¦sthetic Pessimism, _l'art pour
l'art,_ "description" (the romantic and the anti-romantic Pessimism);
Pessimism in the theory of knowledge (Schopenhauer: phenomenalism);
anarchical Pessimism; the "religion of pity," Buddhistic preparation;
the Pessimism of culture (exoticness, cosmopolitanism); moral
"_Without the Christian Faith_" said Pascal, "you would yourselves
be like nature and history, _un monstre et un chaos._" We fulfilled
this prophecy: once the weak and optimistic eighteenth century had
_embellished_ and _rationalised_ man.
_Schopenhauer_ and _Pascal._--I none essential point, Schopenhauer is
the first who _takes up Pascal's_ movement again: _un monstre et un
chaos,_ consequently something that must be negatived ... history,
nature, and man himself!
"_Our inability to know the truth_ is the result of our _corruption,_
of our moral _decay_" says Pascal. And Schopenhauer says essentially
the same. "The more profound the corruption of reason is, the
more necessary is the doctrine of salvation"--or, putting it into
Schopenhauerian phraseology, negation.
_Schopenhauer as an epigone_ (state of affairs before the
Revolution):--Pity, sensuality, art, weakness of will, Catholicism
of the most intellectual desires--that is, at bottom, the good old
_Schopenhauer's_ fundamental misunderstanding of the _will_ (just
His life-long aim, the uplifting of the type man, was still in view, but the way leading towards it was once more uncertain.Page 7
Thou shouldst obtain power over thy pro and contra, and learn how to put them forth and withdraw them again in accordance with thy higher purpose.Page 8
Thou shouldst----" But enough; the free spirit _knows_ henceforth which "thou shalt" he has obeyed, and also what he _can_ now _do,_ what he only now--_may do_.Page 13
--Directly the origins of religion, art, and morals have been so described that one can perfectly explain them without having recourse to metaphysical concepts at the beginning and in the course of the path, the strongest interest in the purely theoretical problem of the "thing-in-itself" and the "phenomenon" ceases.Page 26
But who still bothers about the theologians now--except the theologians? Apart from all theology and its contentions, it is quite clear that the world is not good and not bad (to say nothing of its being the best or the worst), and that the terms "good" and "bad" have only significance with respect to man, and indeed, perhaps, they are not justified even here in the way they are usually employed; in any case we must get rid of both the calumniating and the glorifying conception of the world.Page 55
This feeling was a good deal carried over into other relations, for instance, the sex relations, which, as a privilege and _á¼Î´oÏ ÏÎ¿Î½_ of riper years, had to be withheld from the knowledge of the young for their advantage, relations for the protection and sanctification of which many gods were invented and were set up as guardians in the nuptial chamber.Page 63
the very deepest, understanding of the world was ascribed to them; which science has only to strip of its dogmatic garment in order to possess the "truth" in unmythical form.Page 65
In the imagination of religious people all nature is a summary of the actions of conscious and voluntary creatures, an enormous complex of _arbitrariness.Page 76
Let us venture, therefore, to isolate separate impulses from the soul of saints and ascetics, and finally to imagine them as intergrown.Page 81
He scourges his self-adoration with self-contempt and cruelty, he rejoices in the wild tumult of his desires and the sharp pain of sin, even in the idea of being lost; he understands how to lay a trap for his emotions, for instance even for his keen love of ruling, so that he sinks into the most utter abasement and his tormented soul is thrown out of joint by this contrast; and finally, if he longs for visions, conversations with the dead or with divine beings, it is at bottom a rare.Page 98
THE WRITINGS OF ACQUAINTANCES AND THEIR READERS.Page 102
Artists are by no means creatures of great passion; but they frequently _represent_ themselves as such with the unconscious feeling that their depicted passion will be better believed in if their own life gives credence to their experience in these affairs.Page 106
THE BEYOND IN ART.Page 120
--Every better future that is desired for mankind is necessarily in many respects also a worse future, for it is foolishness to suppose that a new, higher grade of humanity will combine in itself all the good points of former grades, and must produce, for instance, the highest form of art.Page 166
CULTURE AND CASTE.Page 169
--When the Socialists point out that the division of property at the present day is the consequence of countless deeds of injustice and violence, and, _in summa,_ repudiate obligation to anything with so unrighteous a basis, they only perceive something isolated.Page 186
THE NOBLEST HYPOCRITE.Page 197
With this observation this other is also in accordance, namely, that all strong influences of passions, teachers, and political events, which in our youthful years draw us hither and thither, seem later on to be referred back again to a fixed standard; of course they still continue to exist and operate within us, but our fundamental sentiments and opinions have now the upper hand, and use their influence perhaps as a source of strength, but are no longer merely regulative, as was perhaps the case in our twenties.Page 206