Thoughts Out of Season, Part II

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 41

that a people's education
need be so extremely historical as it is; the mightiest nations,
mightiest in action and influence, have lived otherwise, and their
youth has been trained otherwise. The knowledge gives a sceptical
turn to their minds. "The absurdity and superstition," these sceptics
say, "suit men like ourselves, who come as the latest withered shoots
of a gladder and mightier stock, and fulfil Hesiod's prophecy, that
men will one day be born gray-headed, and that Zeus will destroy that
generation as soon as the sign be visible." Historical culture is
really a kind of inherited grayness, and those who have borne its
mark from childhood must believe instinctively in _the old age of
mankind_. To old age belongs the old man's business of looking back
and casting up his accounts, of seeking consolation in the memories
of the past,--in historical culture. But the human race is tough and
persistent, and will not admit that the lapse of a thousand years, or
a hundred thousand, entitles any one to sum up its progress from the
past to the future; that is, it will not be observed as a whole at
all by that infinitesimal atom, the individual man. What is there in
a couple of thousand years--the period of thirty-four consecutive
human lives of sixty years each--to make us speak of youth at the
beginning, and "the old age of mankind" at the end of them? Does not
this paralysing belief in a fast-fading humanity cover the
misunderstanding of a theological idea, inherited from the Middle
Ages, that the end of the world is approaching and we are waiting
anxiously for the judgment? Does not the increasing demand for
historical judgment give us that idea in a new dress? as if our time
were the latest possible time, and commanded to hold that universal
judgment of the past, which the Christian never expected from a man,
but from "the Son of Man." The _memento mori_, spoken to humanity as
well as the individual, was a sting that never ceased to pain, the
crown of mediæval knowledge and consciousness.

The opposite message of a later time, _memento vivere_, is spoken
rather timidly, without the full power of the lungs; and there is
something almost dishonest about it. For mankind still keeps to its
_memento mori_, and shows it by the universal need for history;
science may flap its wings as it will, it has never been able to gain
the free air. A deep feeling of hopelessness has remained, and taken
the historical colouring that has now darkened and depressed all
higher education. A religion that, of all

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Text Comparison with On the Future of our Educational Institutions

Page 4
much an inexperienced stranger among you, and much too superficially acquainted with your methods, to pretend to pass judgment upon any such special order of scholastic establishments, or to predict the probable course their development will follow.
Page 5
All I ask, is, like a Roman haruspex, to be allowed to steal glimpses of the future out of the very entrails of existing conditions, which, in this case, means no more than to hand the laurels of victory to any one of the many forces tending to make itself felt in our present educational system, despite the fact that the force in question may be neither a favourite, an esteemed, nor a very extensive one.
Page 16
On the way my friend openly revealed his thoughts to the philosopher, he confessed how much he had feared that perhaps to-day for the first time a philosopher was about to stand in the way of his philosophising.
Page 17
I have already pointed.
Page 19
And even this number of really cultured people would not be possible if a prodigious multitude, from reasons opposed to their nature and only led on by an alluring delusion, did not devote themselves to education.
Page 21
"In the case of the view you have described so clearly, there arises the great and awful danger that at some time or other the great masses may overleap the middle classes and spring headlong into this earthly bliss.
Page 24
_) LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,--Those among you whom I now have the pleasure of addressing for the first time and whose only knowledge of my first lecture has been derived from reports will, I hope, not mind being introduced here into the middle of a dialogue which I had begun to recount on the last occasion, and the last points of which I must now recall.
Page 27
The same teacher would also have to take our classical authors and show, line for line, how carefully and with what precision every expression has to be chosen when a writer has the correct feeling in his heart and has before his eyes a perfect conception of all he is writing.
Page 38
In Germany, on the other hand, they will strike him as unoriginal, flabby, filled with dressing-gown thoughts and expressions, unpleasantly spread out, and therewithal possessing no background of social form.
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And, in serious matters of this kind, to hasten forward the progress of the education of the people means simply the postponement of this violent demolition, and the maintenance of that wholesome unconsciousness, that sound sleep, of the people, without which counter-action and remedy no culture, with the exhausting strain and excitement of its own actions, can make any headway.
Page 47
And such a usefully employed philologist would now fain be a teacher! He now undertakes to teach the youth of the public schools something about the ancient writers, although he himself has read them without any particular impression, much less with insight! What a dilemma! Antiquity has said nothing to him, consequently he has nothing to say about antiquity.
Page 48
The public schools may still be seats of learning: not, however of _the_ learning which, as it were, is only the natural and involuntary auxiliary of a culture that is directed towards the noblest ends; but rather of that culture which might be compared to the hypertrophical swelling of an unhealthy body.
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relationship with nature.
Page 60
Then what you call 'culture' merely totters meaninglessly.
Page 67
But now it is just these talents I speak of which are drawn away from the true path, and their instincts estranged, by the continual seductions of that modern 'culture.
Page 69
FIFTH LECTURE.
Page 72
" I continued the argument where my friend left off.
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even seems to me," I said, "that everything for which you have justly blamed the public school is only a necessary means employed to imbue the youthful student with some kind of independence, or at all events with the belief that there is such a thing.
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[11] "When the war of liberation was over, the young student brought back home the unlooked-for and worthiest trophy of battle--the freedom of his fatherland.
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" [From a few MS.