Thoughts Out of Season, Part II

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 46

the actual, you would say: "he had spoken everything
that was in him to speak, a longer life would only have enabled him
to create a similar beauty, and not a new beauty," and so on. Thus
you become an _advocatus diaboli_ by setting up the success, the
fact, as your idol: whereas the fact is always dull, at all times
more like calf than a god. Your apologies for history are helped by
ignorance: for it is only because you do not know what a _natura
naturans_ like Raphael is, that you are not on fire when you think it
existed once and can never exist again. Some one has lately tried to
tell us that Goethe had out-lived himself with his eighty-two years:
and yet I would gladly take two of Goethe's "out-lived" years in
exchange for whole cartloads of fresh modern lifetimes, to have
another set of such conversations as those with Eckermann, and be
preserved from all the "modern" talk of these esquires of the moment.
How few living men have a right to live, as against those mighty
dead! That the many live and those few live no longer, is simply a
brutal truth, that is, a piece of unalterable folly, a blank wall of
"it was once so" against the moral judgment "it ought not to have
been." Yes, against the moral judgment! For you may speak of what
virtue you will, of justice, courage, magnanimity, of wisdom and
human compassion,--you will find the virtuous man will always rise
against the blind force of facts, the tyranny of the actual, and
submit himself to laws that are not the fickle laws of history. He
ever swims against the waves of history, either by fighting his
passions, as the nearest brute facts of his existence, or by training
himself to honesty amid the glittering nets spun round him by
falsehood. Were history nothing more than the "all-embracing system
of passion and error," man would have to read it as Goethe wished
Werther to be read;--just as if it called to him, "Be a man and
follow me not!" But fortunately history also keeps alive for us the
memory of the great "fighters against history," that is, against the
blind power of the actual; it puts itself in the pillory just by
glorifying the true historical nature in men who troubled themselves
very little about the "thus it is," in order that they might follow a
"thus it must be" with greater joy and greater pride. Not to drag
their generation to the grave, but to found a new one--that is

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The fact is that Nietzsche had no interest whatever in the delusions of the plain people--that is, intrinsically.
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He is, in truth, anything but the crown of creation: beside him stand many other animals, all at similar stages of development.
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He does not resist; he does not defend his rights; he makes no effort to ward off the most extreme penalty--more, _he invites it_.
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Paul _wants_ to dispose of the "wisdom of this world": his enemies are the _good_ philologians and physicians of the Alexandrine school--on them he makes his war.
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We others, who have the _courage_ for health _and_ likewise for contempt,--we may well despise a religion that teaches misunderstanding of the body! that refuses to rid itself of the superstition about the soul! that makes a "virtue" of insufficient nourishment! that combats health as a sort of enemy, devil, temptation! that persuades itself that it is possible to carry about a "perfect soul" in a cadaver of a body, and that, to this end, had to devise for itself a new concept of "perfection," a pale, sickly, idiotically ecstatic state of existence, so-called "holiness"--a holiness that is itself merely a series of symptoms of an impoverished, enervated and incurably disordered body!.
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--They are the most honourable kind of men: but that does not prevent them being the most cheerful and most amiable.
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And mankind reckons _time_.