is the Will's lonesomest tribulation.
Willing emancipateth: what doth Willing itself devise in order to get
free from its tribulation and mock at its prison?
Ah, a fool becometh every prisoner! Foolishly delivereth itself also the
That time doth not run backward--that is its animosity: "That which
was": so is the stone which it cannot roll called.
And thus doth it roll stones out of animosity and ill-humour, and taketh
revenge on whatever doth not, like it, feel rage and ill-humour.
Thus did the Will, the emancipator, become a torturer; and on all
that is capable of suffering it taketh revenge, because it cannot go
This, yea, this alone is REVENGE itself: the Will's antipathy to time,
and its "It was."
Verily, a great folly dwelleth in our Will; and it became a curse unto
all humanity, that this folly acquired spirit!
THE SPIRIT OF REVENGE: my friends, that hath hitherto been man's best
contemplation; and where there was suffering, it was claimed there was
"Penalty," so calleth itself revenge. With a lying word it feigneth a
And because in the willer himself there is suffering, because he cannot
will backwards--thus was Willing itself, and all life, claimed--to be
And then did cloud after cloud roll over the spirit, until at last
madness preached: "Everything perisheth, therefore everything deserveth
"And this itself is justice, the law of time--that he must devour his
children:" thus did madness preach.
"Morally are things ordered according to justice and penalty. Oh, where
is there deliverance from the flux of things and from the 'existence' of
penalty?" Thus did madness preach.
"Can there be deliverance when there is eternal justice? Alas,
unrollable is the stone, 'It was': eternal must also be all penalties!"
Thus did madness preach.
"No deed can be annihilated: how could it be undone by the penalty!
This, this is what is eternal in the 'existence' of penalty, that
existence also must be eternally recurring deed and guilt!
Unless the Will should at last deliver itself, and Willing become
non-Willing--:" but ye know, my brethren, this fabulous song of madness!
Away from those fabulous songs did I lead you when I taught you: "The
Will is a creator."
All "It was" is a fragment, a riddle, a fearful chance--until the
creating Will saith thereto: "But thus would I have it."--
Until the creating Will saith thereto: "But thus do I will it! Thus
shall I will it!"
But did it ever speak thus? And when doth this take place? Hath the Will
been unharnessed from its own folly?
Hath the Will become its own deliverer and joy-bringer? Hath it
FROM THE TRANSLATOR.Page 3
But I will first relieve my mind by the confession that the experiences which produced those disturbing feelings were mostly drawn from myself,--and from other sources only for the sake of comparison; and that I have only reached such "unseasonable" experience, so far as I am the nursling of older ages like the Greek, and less a child of this age.Page 14
He is careful to preserve what survives from ancient days, and will reproduce the conditions of his own upbringing for those who come after him; thus he does life a service.Page 25
Individuality has withdrawn itself to its recesses; it is seen no more from the outside, which makes one doubt if it be possible to have causes without effects.Page 28
But leaving these weaklings, let us turn rather to a point of strength for which the modern man is famous.Page 36
But the history that merely destroys without any impulse to construct, will in the long-run make its instruments tired of life; for such men destroy illusions, and "he who destroys illusions in himself and others is punished by the ultimate tyrant, Nature.Page 40
The older generation of savants had good reason for thinking this abuse an oppressive burden: the modern savants have an equally good reason for welcoming it, because, leaving their little corner of knowledge out of account, they are part of the "general public" themselves, and its needs are theirs.Page 49
It is very pitiful to see, but it will be still more pitiful yet.Page 50
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.Page 65
We have to answer for our existence to ourselves; and will therefore be our own true pilots, and not admit that our being resembles a blind fortuity.Page 83
Such men have lost the last remnant of feeling, not only for philosophy, but also for religion, and have put in its place a spirit not so much of optimism as of journalism, the evil spirit that broods over the day--and the daily paper.Page 86
From the first has come forth a strength that led and still leads to fearful revolution: for in all socialistic upheavals it is ever Rousseau's man who is the Typhoeus under the Etna.Page 90
His strength lies in his self-forgetfulness: if he have a thought for himself, it is only to measure the vast distance between himself and his aim, and to view what he has left behind him as so much dross.Page 91
They will at some time disappear: and then will it be day.Page 97
It is sometimes harder to agree to a thing than to understand it; many will feel this when they consider the proposition--"Mankind must toil unceasingly to bring forth individual great men: this and nothing else is its task.Page 102
Once rich and conscious of themselves, our people will have a culture too.Page 104
The single sections are never combined for him, he only infers their connection, and consequently has no strong general impression.Page 114
He knew by this experience how the free strong man, to whom all artistic culture was looking, must come to be born; and could he, after this vision, have much desire to busy himself with the so-called "art," in the learned, hypocritical manner of the moderns? He had seen something higher than that--an awful unearthly judgment-scene in which all life, even the highest and completest, was weighed and found too light; he had beheld the saint as the judge of existence.Page 120
They have given up such pretensions now, and have become mostly mild, muddled folk, with no Lucretian boldness, but merely some spiteful complaints of the "dead weight that lies on the intellects of mankind"! No one can even learn logic from them now, and their obvious knowledge of their own powers has made them discontinue the dialectical disputations common in the old days.Page 121
But granted that this herd of bad philosophers is ridiculous--and who will deny it?--how far are they also harmful? They are harmful just because they make philosophy ridiculous.