begun earlier than order and peacefulness in the outward
life of the people (enlightenment)."
He then contrasts the inhabitants of easternmost Asia ("like such
individuals, who are not wanting in clean, decent, and comfortable
dwellings, clothing, and surroundings; but who never feel the necessity
for a higher enlightenment") with the Greeks ("in the case of the
Greeks, even among the most educated inhabitants of Attica, the contrary
often happens to an astonishing degree; and the people neglect as
insignificant factors that which we, thanks to our love of order, are in
the habit of looking upon as the foundations of mental culture itself").
Our terminology already shows how prone we are to judge the ancients
wrongly: the exaggerated sense of literature, for example, or, as Wolf,
when speaking of the "inner history of ancient erudition," calls it,
"the history of learned enlightenment."
According to Goethe, the ancients are "the despair of the emulator."
Voltaire said. "If the admirers of Homer were honest, they would
acknowledge the boredom which their favourite often causes them."
The position we have taken up towards classical antiquity is at bottom
the profound cause of the sterility of modern culture; for we have taken
all this modern conception of culture from the Hellenised Romans. We
must distinguish within the domain of antiquity itself: when we come to
appreciate its purely productive period, we condemn at the same time the
entire Romano-Alexandrian culture. But at the same time also we condemn
our own attitude towards antiquity, and likewise our philology.
There has been an age-long battle between the Germans and antiquity,
_i.e._, a battle against the old culture. It is certain that precisely
what is best and deepest in the German resists it. The main point,
however, is that such resistance is only justifiable in the case of the
Romanised culture; for this culture, even at that time, was a
falling-off from something more profound and noble. It is this latter
that the Germans are wrong in resisting.
Everything classic was thoroughly cultivated by Charles the Great,
whilst he combated everything heathen with the severest possible
measures of coercion. Ancient mythology was developed, but German
mythology was treated as a crime. The feeling underlying all this, in my
opinion, was that Christianity had already overcome the old religion .
people no longer feared it, but availed themselves of the culture that
rested upon it. But the old German gods were feared.
A great superficiality in the conception of antiquity--little else than
an appreciation of its formal accomplishments and its knowledge--must
thereby have been brought about. We must find out the forces that stood
in the way of increasing
We no longer believe that truth remains truth when the veil is withdrawn from it: we have lived long enough to believe this.Page 41
his head, and one henceforth speaks of "passions.Page 46
_âConsciousness is the last and latest development of the organic, and consequently also the most unfinished and least powerful of these developments.Page 47
same footnote) And it is so, perhaps! The Stoics at least believed it was so, and they were consistent when they wished to have the least possible pleasure, in order to have the least possible pain from life.Page 70
(to cite the most instructive instance), and all that was dependent on it, experienced.Page 105
_âGerman music, more than any other, has now become European music; because the changes which Europe experienced through the Revolution have therein alone found expression: it is only German music that knows how to express the agitation of popular masses, the tremendous artificial uproar, which does not even need to be very noisy,âwhile Italian opera, for example, knows only the choruses of domestics or soldiers, but not "the people.Page 111
But how could we presume to blame or praise the universe! Let us be on our guard against ascribing to it heartlessness and unreason, or their opposites; it is neither perfect, nor beautiful, nor noble; nor does it seek to be anything of the kind, it does not at all attempt to imitate man! It is altogether unaffected by our Ã¦sthetic and moral judgments! Neither has it any self-preservative instinct, nor instinct at all; it also knows no law.Page 112
almost the property and stock of the human species, are, for example, the following:âthat there are enduring things, that there are equal things, that there are things, substances, and bodies, that a thing is what it appears, that our will is free, that what is good for me is also good absolutely.Page 116
In polytheism man's free-thinking and many-sided thinking had a prototype set up: the power to create for himself new and individual eyes, always newer and more individualised: so that it is for man alone, of all the animals, that there are no _eternal_ horizons and perspectives.Page 154
_The Thought of Death.Page 164
his best art would neither be properly advantageous to anyone else, nor a delight to himself, that through misunderstandings half of his life would slip through his fingers, that much foresight, much concealment, and reticence would constantly be necessary,ânothing but great and useless losses of power! In _this_ keen and clear element, however, he has his entire power: here he can fly! Why should he again go down into those muddy waters where he has to swim and wade and soil his wings!âNo! There it is too hard for us to live! we cannot help it that we are born for the atmosphere, the pure atmosphere, we rivals of the ray of light; and that we should like best to ride like it on the atoms of ether, not away from the sun, but _towards the sun_! That, however, we cannot do:âso we want to do the only thing that is in our power: namely, to bring light to the earth, we want to be "the light of the earth!" And for that purpose we have our wings and our swiftness and our severity, on that account we are manly, and even terrible like the fire.Page 166
For it seems that he never makes a mistake, although he constantly plays the most hazardous games.Page 173
â 346.Page 226
_âWe also have intercourse with "men," we also modestly put on the clothes in which people know us (_as such_), respect us and seek us; and we thereby mingle in society, that is to say, among the disguised who do not wish to be so called; we also do like all prudent masqueraders, and courteously dismiss all curiosity which has not reference merely to our "clothes.Page 262
Dance, oh! dance on all the edges, Wave-crests, cliffs and mountain ledges, Ever finding dances new! Let our knowledge be our gladness, Let our art be sport and madness, .Page 263
Those who come must move as quickly As the windâwe'll have no sickly, Crippled, withered, in our crew; Off with hypocrites and preachers, Proper folk and prosy teachers, Sweep them from our heaven blue.