Thoughts Out of Season, Part II

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 18

also the resultant of their errors,
passions, and crimes: it is impossible to shake off this chain.
Though we condemn the errors and think we have escaped them, we
cannot escape the fact that we spring from them. At best, it comes to
a conflict between our innate, inherited nature and our knowledge,
between a stern, new discipline and an ancient tradition; and we
plant a new way of life, a new instinct, a second nature, that
withers the first. It is an attempt to gain a past _a posteriori_
from which we might spring, as against that from which we do spring;
always a dangerous attempt, as it is difficult to find a limit to the
denial of the past, and the second natures are generally weaker than
the first. We stop too often at knowing the good without doing it,
because we also know the better but cannot do it. Here and there the
victory is won, which gives a strange consolation to the fighters, to
those who use critical history for the sake of life. The consolation
is the knowledge that this "first nature" was once a second, and that
every conquering "second nature" becomes a first.


This is how history can serve life. Every man and nation needs a
certain knowledge of the past, whether it be through monumental,
antiquarian, or critical history, according to his objects, powers,
and necessities. The need is not that of the mere thinkers who only
look on at life, or the few who desire knowledge and can only be
satisfied with knowledge; but it has always a reference to the end of
life, and is under its absolute rule and direction. This is the
natural relation of an age, a culture and a people to history; hunger
is its source, necessity its norm, the inner plastic power assigns
its limits. The knowledge of the past is only desired for the service
of the future and the present, not to weaken the present or undermine
a living future. All this is as simple as truth itself, and quite
convincing to any one who is not in the toils of "historical

And now to take a quick glance at our time! We fly back in
astonishment. The clearness, naturalness, and purity of the
connection between life and history has vanished; and in what a maze
of exaggeration and contradiction do we now see the problem! Is the
guilt ours who see it, or have life and history really altered their
conjunction and an inauspicious star risen between them? Others may
prove we have seen falsely; I am merely

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Text Comparison with Thoughts Out of Season, Part II

Page 2
We do need history, but quite differently from the jaded idlers in the garden of knowledge, however grandly they may look down on our rude and unpicturesque requirements.
Page 7
" Such a standpoint might be called "super-historical," as one who took it could feel no impulse from history to any further life or work, for he would have recognised the blindness and injustice in the soul of the doer as a condition of every deed:.
Page 8
Some will say they have the consolation that the next twenty will be better: they are the men referred to satirically by David Hume:-- "And from the dregs of life hope to receive, What the first sprightly running could not give.
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 22
"We feel by theory," he says.
Page 26
"Are these human beings," one might ask, "or only machines for thinking, writing and speaking?" Goethe says of Shakespeare: "No one has more despised correctness of costume than he: he knows too well the inner costume that all men wear alike.
Page 27
But in order that no one may take any comparison of history and the Eternal Feminine too seriously, I will say at once that I hold it, on the contrary, to be the Eternal Masculine: I only add that for those who are "historically trained" throughout, it must be quite indifferent which it is; for they are themselves neither man nor woman, nor even hermaphrodite, but mere neuters, or, in more philosophic language, the Eternal Objective.
Page 39
only realities.
Page 47
Close to the modern man's pride there stands his irony about himself, his consciousness that he must live in a historical, or twilit, atmosphere, the fear that he can retain none of his youthful hopes and powers.
Page 52
But if we have the doctrines of the finality of "becoming," of the flux of all ideas, types, and species, of the lack of all radical difference between man and beast (a true but fatal idea as I think),--if we have these thrust on the people in the usual mad way for another generation, no one need be surprised if that people drown on its little miserable shoals of egoism, and petrify in its self-seeking.
Page 57
" In any event, there are perhaps a hundred men more now than there were a century ago who know what poetry is: perhaps in another century there will be a hundred more who have learned in the meantime what culture is, and that the Germans have had as yet no culture, however proudly they may talk about it.
Page 62
The Delphian god cries his oracle to you at the beginning of your wanderings, "Know thyself.
Page 72
He is honest, as speaking and writing for himself alone; joyful, because his thought has conquered the greatest difficulties; consistent, because he cannot help being so.
Page 87
Goethe appears to have seen where the weakness and danger of his creation lay, as is clear from Jarno's word to Wilhelm Meister: "You are bitter and ill-tempered--which is quite an excellent thing: if you could once become.
Page 95
voice with ears that hear.
Page 99
"--This is the seductive formula.
Page 111
As an outcome of many attempts to adapt Schopenhauer to this enervated age, the new danger has gradually arisen of regarding him as an odd kind of pungent herb, of taking him in grains, as a sort of metaphysical pepper.
Page 112
In considering the conditions that, at best, keep the born philosopher from being oppressed by the perversity of the age, I am surprised to find they are partly those in which Schopenhauer himself grew up.
Page 113
Any one who thinks I do Kant wrong in saying this does not know what a philosopher is--not only a great thinker, but also a real man; and how could a real man have sprung from a savant? He who lets conceptions, opinions, events, books come between himself and things, and is born for history (in the widest sense), will never see anything at once, and never be himself a thing to be "seen at once"; though both these powers should be in the philosopher, as he must take most of his doctrine from himself and be himself.
Page 114
The contemplative man in Germany usually pursues his scientific studies to the detriment of his sincerity, as a "considerate fool," in search of place and honour, circumspect and obsequious, and fawning on his influential superiors.