Thoughts Out of Season, Part II

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 48

he lays the final stone of his knowledge, he
seems to cry aloud to listening Nature: "We are at the top, we are
the top, we are the completion of Nature!"

O thou too proud European of the nineteenth century, art thou not
mad? Thy knowledge does not complete Nature, it only kills thine own
nature! Measure the height of what thou knowest by the depths of thy
power to _do_. Thou climbest the sunbeams of knowledge up towards
heaven--but also down to Chaos. Thy manner of going is fatal to thee;
the ground slips from under thy feet into the unknown; thy life has
no other stay, but only spider's webs that every new stroke of thy
knowledge tears asunder.--But not another serious word about this,
for there is a lighter side to it all.

The moralist, the artist, the saint and the statesman may well be
troubled, when they see that all foundations are breaking up in mad
unconscious ruin, and resolving themselves into the ever flowing
stream of becoming; that all creation is being tirelessly spun into
webs of history by the modern man, the great spider in the mesh of
the world-net. We ourselves may be glad for once in a way that we see
it all in the shining magic mirror of a philosophical parodist, in
whose brain the time has come to an ironical consciousness of itself,
to a point even of wickedness, in Goethe's phrase. Hegel once said,
"when the spirit makes a fresh start, we philosophers are at hand."
Our time did make a fresh start--into irony, and lo! Edward von
Hartmann was at hand, with his famous Philosophy of the
Unconscious--or, more plainly, his philosophy of unconscious irony.
We have seldom read a more jovial production, a greater philosophical
joke than Hartmann's book. Any one whom it does not fully enlighten
about "becoming," who is not swept and garnished throughout by it, is
ready to become a monument of the past himself. The beginning and end
of the world-process, from the first throb of consciousness to its
final leap into nothingness, with the task of our generation settled
for it;--all drawn from that clever fount of inspiration, the
Unconscious, and glittering in Apocalyptic light, imitating an honest
seriousness to the life, as if it were a serious philosophy and not a
huge joke,--such a system shows its creator to be one of the first
philosophical parodists of all time. Let us then sacrifice on his
altar, and offer the inventor of a true universal medicine a lock of
hair, in Schleiermacher's phrase. For what medicine would be more

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with The Joyful Wisdom

Page 6
The unconscious disguising of physiological requirements under the cloak of the objective, the ideal, the purely spiritual, is carried on to an alarming extent,—and I have often enough asked myself, whether, on the whole, philosophy hitherto has not generally been merely an interpretation of the body, and a _misunderstanding of the body_.
Page 45
_Our Eruptions.
Page 62
Their repute is continually in process of mutation, like their character, for their changing methods require this change, and they show and _exhibit_ sometimes this and sometimes that actual or fictitious quality on the stage; their friends and associates, as we have said, belong to these stage properties.
Page 71
It is thus, however, that it seems to be with most people at present.
Page 77
We then shut our ears against all physiology, and we decree in secret that "we will hear nothing of the fact that man is something else than _soul and form_!" "The man under the skin" is an abomination and monstrosity, a blasphemy of God and of love to all lovers.
Page 92
Such a fundamental feeling no longer allows itself to be fully eradicated,—and even now, after millenniums of long labour in combating such superstition, the very wisest of us occasionally becomes the fool of rhythm, be it only that one _perceives_ a thought to be _truer_ when it has a metrical form and approaches with a divine hopping.
Page 93
But what is their drink and their drunkenness to _me_! Does the inspired one need wine? He rather looks with a kind of disgust at the agency and the agent which are here intended to produce an effect without sufficient reason,—an imitation of the high tide of the soul! What? One gives the mole wings and proud fancies—before going to sleep, before he creeps into his hole? One sends him into the theatre and puts great magnifying-glasses to his blind and tired eyes? Men, whose life is not "action" but business, sit in front of the stage and look at strange beings to whom life is more than business? "This is proper," you say, "this is entertaining, this is what culture wants!"—Well then! culture is too often lacking in me, for this sight is too often disgusting to me.
Page 104
_A Word for Philologists.
Page 109
Page 117
While we feel law and regulation as constraint and loss, people formerly regarded egoism as a painful thing, and a veritable evil.
Page 147
Page 154
_Personal Providence.
Page 159
Page 193
Lo! I am weary of my wisdom, like the bee that hath gathered too much honey; I need hands outstretched to take it.
Page 206
can _get rid_ of its secrets, cares, and worse things (for the man who "communicates himself" gets rid of himself, and he who has "confessed" forgets).
Page 214
We feel.
Page 222
Page 229
We leave ourselves at home when we go to the theatre; we there renounce the right to our own tongue and choice, to our taste, and even to our courage as we possess it and practise it within our own four walls in relation to God and man.
Page 247
What doth me to these woods entice? The chance to give some thief a trouncing? A saw, an image? Ha, in a trice My rhyme is on it, swiftly pouncing! All things that creep or crawl the poet Weaves in his word-loom cunningly.
Page 265