Thoughts Out of Season, Part II

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 91

with all their
strength: and there is an evil principle in nature that not one shall
find that which he cannot help seeking. But the man who looks for a
lie in everything, and becomes a willing friend to unhappiness, shall
have a marvellous disillusioning: there hovers near him something
unutterable, of which truth and happiness are but idolatrous images
born of the night; the earth loses her dragging weight, the events
and powers of earth become as a dream, and a gradual clearness widens
round him like a summer evening. It is as though the beholder of
these things began to wake, and it had only been the clouds of a
passing dream that had been weaving about him. They will at some time
disappear: and then will it be day.


V.

But I have promised to speak of Schopenhauer, as far as my experience
goes, as an _educator_, and it is far from being sufficient to paint
the ideal humanity which is the "Platonic idea" in Schopenhauer;
especially as my representation is an imperfect one. The most
difficult task remains;--to say how a new circle of duties may spring
from this ideal, and how one can reconcile such a transcendent aim
with ordinary action; to prove, in short, that the ideal is
_educative_. One might otherwise think it to be merely the blissful
or intoxicating vision of a few rare moments, that leaves us
afterwards the prey of a deeper disappointment. It is certain that
the ideal begins to affect us in this way when we come suddenly to
distinguish light and darkness, bliss and abhorrence; this is an
experience that is as old as ideals themselves. But we ought not to
stand in the doorway for long; we should soon leave the first stages,
and ask the question, seriously and definitely, "Is it possible to
bring that incredibly high aim so near us, that it should educate us,
or 'lead us out,' as well as lead us upward?"--in order that the
great words of Goethe be not fulfilled in our case--"Man is born to a
state of limitation: he can understand ends that are simple, present
and definite, and is accustomed to make use of means that are near to
his hand; but as soon as he comes into the open, he knows neither
what he wishes nor what he ought to do, and it is all one whether he
be confused by the multitude of objects or set beside himself by
their greatness and importance. It is always his misfortune to be led
to strive after something which he cannot attain by any

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THE DONOR'S MODESTY.
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--Alas, if only the mere sight of it were sufficient! If only we could be misers.
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NOT CONCEALING ONE'S VIRTUES.