Thoughts Out of Season, Part II

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 110

the state, the
superficiality of the business men, and the cold arrogance of the
professors; and I hope there may be some to understand what I mean by
my sketch of Schopenhauer's destiny, and to what end Schopenhauer can
really educate.


But setting aside all thoughts of any educational revolution in the
distant future;--what provision is required _now_, that our future
philosopher may have the best chance of opening his eyes to a life
like Schopenhauer's--hard as it is, yet still livable? What, further,
must be discovered that may make his influence on his contemporaries
more certain? And what obstacles must be removed before his example
can have its full effect and the philosopher train another
philosopher? Here we descend to be practical.

Nature always desires the greatest utility, but does not understand
how to find the best and handiest means to her end; that is her great
sorrow, and the cause of her melancholy. The impulse towards her own
redemption shows clearly her wish to give men a significant existence
by the generation of the philosopher and the artist: but how unclear
and weak is the effect she generally obtains with her artists and
philosophers, and how seldom is there any effect at all! She is
especially perplexed in her efforts to make the philosopher useful;
her methods are casual and tentative, her failures innumerable; most
of her philosophers never touch the common good of mankind at all.
Her actions seem those of a spendthrift; but the cause lies in no
prodigal luxury, but in her inexperience. Were she human, she would
probably never cease to be dissatisfied with herself and her
bungling. Nature shoots the philosopher at mankind like an arrow; she
does not aim, but hopes that the arrow will stick somewhere. She
makes countless mistakes that give her pain. She is as extravagant in
the sphere of culture as in her planting and sowing. She fulfils her
ends in a large and clumsy fashion, using up far too much of her
strength. The artist has the same relation to the connoisseurs and
lovers of his art as a piece of heavy artillery to a flock of
sparrows. It is a fool's part to use a great avalanche to sweep away
a little snow, to kill a man in order to strike the fly on his nose.
The artist and the philosopher are witnesses against Nature's
adaptation of her means, however well they may show the wisdom of her
ends. They only reach a few and should reach all--and even these few
are not struck with the strength they used when they shot. It is

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