Thoughts Out of Season, Part II

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 50

forward? Or, to ask another
question:--what further has the historically educated fanatic of the
world-process to do,--swimming and drowning as he is in the sea of
becoming,--that he may at last gather in that vintage of disgust, the
precious grape of the vineyard? He has nothing to do but to live on
as he has lived, love what he has loved, hate what he has hated, and
read the newspapers he has always read. The only sin is for him to
live otherwise than he has lived. We are told how he has lived, with
monumental clearness, by that famous page with its large typed
sentences, on which the whole rabble of our modern cultured folk have
thrown themselves in blind ecstasy, because they believe they read
their own justification there, haloed with an Apocalyptic light. For
the unconscious parodist has demanded of every one of them, "the full
surrender of his personality to the world-process, for the sake of
his end, the redemption of the world": or still more clearly,--"the
assertion of the will to live is proclaimed to be the first step on
the right road: for it is only in the full surrender to life and its
sorrow, and not in the cowardice of personal renunciation and
retreat, that anything can be done for the world-process.... The
striving for the denial of the individual will is as foolish as it is
useless, more foolish even than suicide.... The thoughtful reader
will understand without further explanation how a practical
philosophy can be erected on these principles, and that such a
philosophy cannot endure any disunion, but only the fullest
reconciliation with life."

The thoughtful reader will understand! Then one really could
misunderstand Hartmann! And what a splendid joke it is, that he
should be misunderstood! Why should the Germans of to-day be
particularly subtle? A valiant Englishman looks in vain for "delicacy
of perception" and dares to say that "in the German mind there does
seem to be something splay, something blunt-edged, unhandy and
infelicitous." Could the great German parodist contradict this?
According to him, we are approaching "that ideal condition in which
the human race makes its history with full consciousness": but we are
obviously far from the perhaps more ideal condition, in which mankind
can read Hartmann's book with full consciousness. If we once reach
it, the word "world-process" will never pass any man's lips again
without a smile. For he will remember the time when people listened
to the mock gospel of Hartmann, sucked it in, attacked it, reverenced
it, extended it and canonised it with all the honesty of that "German
mind," with "the

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