Thoughts Out of Season, Part II

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 77

not exist
after death, and all our struggle to gain a possession that may
follow us even to the grave is in vain. If the blade of this thought
do not cut your heart, yet laugh not at another who feels himself
wounded by it in his Holy of Holies. My one highest aim has vanished,
and I have no more." Yes, when will men feel again deeply as Kleist
did, and learn to measure a philosophy by what it means to the "Holy
of Holies"? And yet we must make this estimate of what Schopenhauer
can mean to us, after Kant, as the first pioneer to bring us from the
heights of sceptical disillusionment or "critical" renunciation, to
the greater height of tragic contemplation, the nocturnal heaven with
its endless crown of stars. His greatness is that he can stand
opposite the picture of life, and interpret it to us as a whole:
while all the clever people cannot escape the error of thinking one
comes nearer to the interpretation by a laborious analysis of the
colours and material of the picture; with the confession, probably,
that the texture of the canvas is very complicated, and the chemical
composition of the colours undiscoverable. Schopenhauer knew that one
must guess the painter in order to understand the picture. But now
the whole learned fraternity is engaged on understanding the colours
and canvas, and not the picture: and only he who has kept the
universal panorama of life and being firmly before his eyes, will use
the individual sciences without harm to himself; for, without this
general view as a norm, they are threads that lead nowhere and only
confuse still more the maze of our existence. Here we see, as I said,
the greatness of Schopenhauer, that he follows up every idea, as
Hamlet follows the Ghost, without allowing himself to turn aside for
a learned digression, or be drawn away by the scholastic abstractions
of a rabid dialectic. The study of the minute philosophers is only
interesting for the recognition that they have reached those stages
in the great edifice of philosophy where learned disquisitions for
and against, where hair-splitting objections and counter-objections
are the rule: and for that reason they evade the demand of every
great philosophy to speak _sub specie æternitatis_--"this is the
picture of the whole of life: learn thence the meaning of thine own
life." And the converse: "read thine own life, and understand thence
the hieroglyphs of the universal life." In this way must
Schopenhauer's philosophy always be interpreted; as an individualist
philosophy, starting from the single man, in his own nature,

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Text Comparison with The Antichrist

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KNOPF, INC.
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MENCKEN 7 AUTHOR'S PREFACE 37 THE ANTICHRIST 41 INTRODUCTION Save for his raucous, rhapsodical autobiography, "Ecce Homo," "The Antichrist" is the last thing that Nietzsche ever wrote, and so it may be accepted as a statement of some of his most salient ideas in their final form.
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Moreover, let it not be forgotten that it was Wagner's yielding to Christian sentimentality in "Parsifal" that transformed Nietzsche from the first among his literary advocates into the most bitter of his opponents.
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M.
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Nietzsche, always under the influence of French models, wrote a.
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Mankind surely does _not_ represent an evolution toward a better or stronger or higher level, as progress is now understood.
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My contention is that all the highest values of humanity have been emptied of this will--that the values of _decadence_, of _nihilism_, now prevail under the holiest names.
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We no longer derive man from the "spirit," from the "godhead"; we have dropped him back among the beasts.
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.
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In the first place, it knows that it is of very little consequence whether a thing be true or not, so long as it is _believed_ to be true.
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most _malign_ of evils; it remained behind at the source of all evil.
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_All_ the ideas of the church are now recognized for what they are--as the worst counterfeits in existence, invented to debase nature and all natural values; the priest himself is seen as he actually is--as the most dangerous form of parasite, as the venomous spider of creation.
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.
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A.
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it is better to marry than to burn"?[29] And is it _possible_ to be a Christian so long as the origin of man is Christianized, which is to say, _befouled_, by the doctrine of the _immaculata conceptio_?.
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For nearly a thousand years they have tangled and confused everything their fingers have touched; they have on their conscience all the half-way measures, all the three-eighths-way measures, that Europe is sick of,--they also have on their conscience the uncleanest variety of Christianity that exists, and the most incurable and indestructible--Protestantism.