Beyond Good And Evil
translation by Helen Zimmern Published 1909-1913
I On The Prejudices Of Philosophers
II The Free Spirit
III The Religious Nature
IV Maxims & Interludes
V On the Natural History of Morals
VI We Scholars
VII Our Virtues
VII Peoples and Fatherlands
IX What is Noble
Supposing truth is a woman-what then? Are there not grounds for the suspicion that all philosophers, insofar as they were dogmatists, have been very inexpert about women? That the gruesome seriousness, the clumsy obtrusiveness with which they have usually approached truth so far have been awkward and very improper methods for winning a woman's heart? What is certain is that she has not allowed herself to be won-and today every kind of dogmatism is left standing dispirited and discouraged. If it is left standing at all! For there are scoffers who claim that it has fallen, that all dogmatism lies on the ground-even more, that all dogmatism is dying.
Speaking seriously, there are good reasons why all philosophical dogmatizing, however solemn and definitive its airs used to be, may nevertheless have been no more than a noble childishness and tyronism. And perhaps the time is at hand when it will be comprehended again and again how little used to be sufficient to furnish the cornerstone for such sublime and unconditional philosophers' edifices as the dogmatists have built so far: any old popular superstition from time immemorial (like the soul superstition which, in the form of the subject and ego superstition, has not even yet ceased to do mischief); some play on words perhaps, a seduction by grammar, or an audacious generalization of very narrow, very personal, very human, all too human facts.
The dogmatists' philosophy was, let us hope, only a promise across millennia-as astrology was in still earlier times when perhaps more work, money, acuteness, and patience were lavished in its service than for any real science so far: to astrology and its "supra-terrestrial" claims we owe the grand style of architecture in Asia and Egypt. It seems that all great things first have to bestride the earth in monstrous and frightening masks in order to inscribe themselves in the hearts of humanity with eternal demands: dogmatic philosophy was such a mask; for example, the Vedanta doctrine in Asia and Platonism in Europe.
Let us not be ungrateful to it, although it must certainly be conceded that the worst, most durable, and most dangerous of all errors so far was a dogmatist's error-namely, Plato's invention of the pure spirit and the good as such. But now that it is overcome, now that Europe is breathing freely again after this nightmare and at least can enjoy a healthier-sleep, we, whose task is wakefulness itself, are the heirs of all that strength which has been fostered by the fight against this error. To be sure, it meant standing truth on her head and denying perspective, the basic condition of all life, when one spoke of spirit and the good as Plato did. Indeed, as a physician one might ask: "How could the most beautiful growth of antiquity, Plato, contract such a disease? Did the wicked Socrates corrupt him after all? Could Socrates have been the corrupter of youth after all? And did he deserve his hemlock?
But the fight against Plato or, to speak more clearly and for "the people," the fight against the Christian-ecclesiastical pressure of millennia-for Christianity is Platonism for "the people"-has created in Europe a magnificent tension of the spirit the like of which has never yet existed on earth: with so tense a bow we can now shoot for the most distant goals. To be sure, European man experiences this tension as need and distress; twice already attempts have been made in the grand style to unbend the bow-once by means of Jesuitism, the second time by means of the democratic enlightenment which, with the aid of freedom of the press and newspaper-reading, might indeed bring it about that the spirit would no longer experience itself so easily as a "need." (The Germans have invented gunpowder-all due respect for that!-but then they made up for that: they invented the press.) But we who are neither Jesuits nor democrats, nor even German enough, we good Europeans and free, very free spirits-we still feel it, the whole need of the spirit and the whole tension of the bow. And perhaps also the arrow, the task, and-who knows?-the goal-
Sils Maria, Upper Engadine
Part One : On the Prejudices of Philosophers
The will to truth which will still tempt us to many a venture, that famous truthfulness of which all philosophers so far have spoken with respect - what questions has this will to truth not laid before us! What strange, wicked, questionable questions! That is a long story even now - and yet it seems as if it had scarcely begun. Is it any wonder that we should finally become suspicious, lose patience, and turn away impatiently? that we should finally learn from this Sphinx to ask questions, too? Who is it really that puts questions to us here? What in us really wants "truth"?
Indeed we came to a long halt at the question about the cause of this will - until we finally came to a complete stop before a still more basic question. We asked about the value of this will. Suppose we want truth: why not rather untruth? and uncertainty? even ignorance?
The problem of the value of truth came before us - or was it we who came before the problem? Who of us is Oedipus here? Who the Sphinx? It is a rendezvous, it seems, of questions and question marks.
And though it scarcely seems credible, it finally almost seems to us as if the problem had never even been put so far - as if we were the first to see it, fix it with our eyes, and risk it. For it does involve a risk, and perhaps there is none that is greater.
"How could anything originate out of its opposite? for example, truth out of error? or the will to truth out of the will to deception? or selfless deeds out of selfishness? or the pure and sunlike gaze of the sage out of lust? Such origins are impossible; whoever dreams of them is a fool, indeed worse; the things of highest value must have another, peculiar origin - they cannot be derived from this transitory, seductive, deceptive, paltry world from this turmoil of delusion and lust. Rather from the lap of Being, the intransitory, the hidden god, the 'thing-in-itself' - there must be their basis, and nowhere else."
This way of judging constitutes the typical prejudgment and prejudice which give away the metaphysicians of all ages; this kind of valuation looms in the background of all their logical procedures; it is on account of this "faith" that they trouble themselves about "knowledge," about something that is finally baptized solemnly as "the truth." The fundamental faith of the metaphysicians is the faith in opposite values. It has not even occurred to the most cautious among them that one might have a doubt right here at the threshold where it was surely most necessary - even if they vowed to themselves, "de omnibus dubitandum."
For one may doubt, first, whether there are any opposites at all, and secondly whether these popular valuations and opposite values on which the metaphysicians put their seal, are not perhaps merely foreground estimates, only provisional perspectives perhaps even from some nook, perhaps from below, frog perspective as it were, to borrow an expression painters use. For all the value that the true, the truthful, the selfless may deserve, it would still be possible that a higher and more fundamental value for life might have to be ascribed to deception, selfishness, and lust. It might even be possible that what constitutes the value of these good and revered things is precisely that they are insidiously related, tied to and involved with these wicked, seemingly opposite things - maybe even one with them in essence. Maybe!
But who has the will to concern himself with such dangerous maybes? For that, one really has to wait for the advent of a new species of philosophers such as have somehow another and converse taste and propensity from those we have known so far - philosophers of the dangerous "maybe" in every sense.
And in all seriousness: I see such new philosophers coming up.
After having looked long enough between the philosopher's lines and fingers, I say to myself: by far the greater part of conscious thinking must still be included among instinctive activities, and that goes even for philosophical thinking. We have to relearn here, as one has had to relearn about heredity and what is "innate." As the act of birth deserves no consideration in the whole process and procedure of heredity, so "being conscious" is not in any decisive sense the opposite of what is instinctive: most of the conscious thinking of a philosopher is secretly guided and forced into certain channels by his instincts.
Behind all logic and its seeming sovereignty of movement, too, there stand valuations or, more clearly, physiological demands for the preservation of a certain type of life. For example, that the definite should be worth more than the indefinite, and mere appearance worth less than "truth" - such estimates might be, in spite of their regulative importance for us, nevertheless mere foreground estimates, a certain kind of niaiserie which may be necessary for the preservation of just such beings as we are. Supposing, that is, that not just man is the "measure of things."
The falseness of a judgment is for us not necessarily an objection to a judgment; in this respect our new language may sound strangest. The question is to what extent it is life-promoting, life serving, species-preserving, perhaps even species-cultivating. And we are fundamentally inclined to claim that the falsest judgments (which include the synthetic judgments a priori) are the most indispensable for us; that without accepting the fictions of logic, without measuring reality against the purely invented world of the unconditional and self-identical, without a constant falsification of the world by means of numbers, man could not live - that renouncing false judgments would mean renouncing life and a denial of life. To recognize untruth as a condition of life - that certainly means resisting accustomed value feelings in a dangerous, way; and a philosophy that risks this would by that token alone place itself .
What provokes one to look at all philosophers half suspiciously, half mockingly, is not that one discovers again and again how innocent they are - how often and how easily they make mistakes and go astray; in short, their childishness and childlikeness - but that they are not honest enough in their work, although they make a lot of virtuous noise when the problem of truthfulness is touched even remotely. They all pose as if they had discovered and reached their real opinions through the self-development cold, pure, divinely unconcerned dialectic (as opposed to the mystics of every rank, who are more honest and doltish - and talk of "inspiration"); while at bottom it is an assumption, a hunch, indeed a kind of "inspiration" - most often a desire of the heart that has been filtered and made abstract - that they defend with reasons they have sought after the fact. They are all advocates who resent that name, and for the most part even wily spokesmen for their prejudices which they baptize "truths" - and very far from having the courage of the conscience that admits this, precisely this, to itself; very far from having the good taste of the courage which also lets this be known, whether to warn an enemy or friend, or, from exuberance, to mock itself.
The equally stiff and decorous Tartuffery of the old Kant as he lures us on the dialectical bypaths that lead to his "categorical imperative" - really lead astray and seduce - this spectacle makes us smile, as we are fastidious and find it quite amusing to watch closely the subtle tricks of old moralists and preachers of morals. Or consider the hocus-pocus of mathematical form with which Spinoza a clad his philosophy - really "the love of his wisdom," to render that word fairly and squarely - in mail and mask, to strike terror at the very outset into the heart of any assailant who should dare to glance at that invincible maiden and Pallas Athena: how much personal timidity and vulnerability this masquerade of a sick hermit betrays!
Gradually it has become clear to me what every great philosophy so far has been - namely, the personal confession of its author and a kind of involuntary and unconscious memoir; also that the moral (or immoral) intentions in every philosophy constituted the real germ of life from which the whole plant had grown.
Indeed, if one would explain how the abstrusest metaphysical claims of a philosopher really came about, it is always well (and wise) to ask first: at what morality does all this (does he) aim? According, I do not believe that a "drive to knowledge" is the father of philosophy; but rather that another drive has, here as elsewhere employed understanding (and misunderstanding) as a mere instrument. But anyone who considers the basic drives of man to see to what extent they may have been at play just here as in inspiring spirits (or demons and kobolds) will find that all of them have done philosophy at some time - and that every single one of them would like only too well to represent just itself as the ultimate purpose of existence and the legitimate master of all the other drives. For every drive wants to be master - and it attempts to philosophize in that spirit.
To be sure: among scholars who are really scientific men things may be different -"better," if you like - there you may really find something like a drive for knowledge, some small independent clockwork that, once well wound, works on vigorously without any essential participation from all the other drives of the scholar. The real "interests" of the scholar therefore lie usually somewhere else - say, in his family, or in making money, or in politics. Indeed, it is almost a matter of total indifference whether his little machine is placed at this or that spot in science, and whether the "promising" young worker turns himself into a good philologist or an expert on fungi or a chemist: it does not characterize him that he becomes this or that. In the philosopher conversely, there is nothing whatever that is impersonal; and above all his morality bears decided and decisive witness to who he is - that is, in what order of rank the innermost drives of his nature stand in relation to each other.
How malicious philosophers can be! I know of nothing more venomous than the joke Epicurus permitted himself against Plato and the Platonists; he called them Dionysiokolakes. That means literally - and this is the foreground meaning -"flatterers of Dionysius," in other words, tyrant's baggage and lickspittles; but addition to this he also wants to say, "they are all actors, there is nothing genuine about them" (for Dionysiokolax was a popular name for an actor). And the latter is really the malice that Epicurus aimed at Plato: he was peeved by the grandiose manner, the mise en scene at which Plato and his disciples were so expert - at which Epicurus was not an expert - he, that old schoolmaster from Samos who sat, hidden away, in his little garden at Athens and wrote three hundred books - who knows? perhaps from rage and ambition against Plato?
It took a hundred years until Greece found out who this garden god, Epicurus, had been - did they find out?
There is a point in every philosophy when the philosopher's "conviction" appears on the stage - or to use the language of an ancient Mystery:
Pulcher et fortissimus.
"According to nature" you want to live? O you noble Stoics, what deceptive words these are! Imagine a being like nature, wasteful beyond measure, indifferent beyond measure, without purposes and consideration, without mercy and justice, fertile and desolate and uncertain at the same time; imagine indifference itself as a power - how could you live according to this indifference? Is that not precisely wanting to be other than this nature? Is not living - estimating, preferring, being unjust, being limited - wanting to be different? And supposing your imperative "live according to nature" meant at bottom as much as "live according to life" how could you not do that? Why make a principle of what you yourselves are and must be?
In truth, the matter is altogether different: while you pretend rapturously to read the canon of your law in nature, you want something opposite, you strange actors and self-deceivers! Your pride wants to impose your morality, your ideal, on nature - even on nature - and incorporate them in her; you demand that she be nature "according to the Stoa," and you would like all existence to exist only after your own image - as an immense eternal glorification and generalization of Stoicism. For all your love of truth, you have forced yourselves so long, so persistently, so rigidly-hypnotically to see nature the wrong way, namely Stoically, that you are no longer able to see her differently. And some abysmal arrogance finally still inspires you with the insane hope that because you know how to tyrannize yourselves - Stoicism is self tyranny - nature, too, lets herself be tyrannized: is not the Stoic - a piece of nature?
But this is an ancient, eternal story: what formerly happened with the Stoics still happens today, too, as soon as any philosophy begins to believe in itself. It always creates the world in its own image; it cannot do otherwise. Philosophy is this tyrannical drive itself, the most spiritual will to power, to the "creation of the world," to the causa prima.
The eagerness and subtlety-I might even say, shrewdness- with which the problem of "the real and the apparent world" is to day attacked all over Europe makes one think and wonder; and anyone who hears nothing in the background except a "will to truth," certainly does not have the best of ears. In rare and isolate instances it may really be the case that such a will to truth, some extravagant and adventurous courage, a metaphysician's ambition to hold a hopeless position, may participate and ultimately prefer even a handful of "certainty" to a whole carload of beautiful possibilities; there may actually be puritanical fanatics of conscience who prefer even a certain nothing to an uncertain something to lie down on - and die. But this is nihilism and the sign of a despairing, mortally weary soul - however courageous the gestures of such a virtue may look.
It seems, however, to be otherwise with stronger and livelier thinkers who are still eager for life. When they side against appearance, and speak of "perspective," with a new arrogance; when they rank the credibility of their own bodies about as low as the credibility of the visual evidence that "the earth stands still," and thus, apparently in good humor, let their securest possession go (for in what does one at present believe more firmly than in one's body?) -who knows if they are not trying at bottom to win back something that was formerly an even securer possession, something of the ancient domain of the faith of former times, perhaps the "immortal soul," perhaps "the old God," in short, ideas by which one could live better, that is to say, more vigorously and cheerfully than by "modern ideas"? There is mistrust of these modern ideas in this attitude, a disbelief in all that has been constructed yesterday and today; there is perhaps some slight admixture of satiety and scorn, unable to endure any longer the bric-a-brac of concepts of the most diverse origin, which is the form in which so-called positivism offers itself on the market today; a disgust of the more fastidious taste at the village-fair motleyness and patchiness of all these reality-philosophasters in whom there is nothing new or genuine, except this motleyness. In this, it seems to me, we should agree with these skeptical anti-realists and knowledge microscopists of today: their instinct, which repels them from modern reality, is unrefuted - what do their retrograde bypaths concern us! The main thing about them is not that they wish to go back, but that they wish to get - away. A little more strength, flight, courage, and artistic power. and they would want to rise - not return!
It seems to me that today attempts are made everywhere to diver attention from the actual influence Kant exerted on German philosophy, and especially to ignore prudently the value he set upon himself. Kant was first and foremost proud of his table of categories; with that in his hand he said: "This is the most difficult thing that could ever be undertaken on behalf of metaphysics."
Let us only understand this "could be"! He was proud of having discovered a new faculty in man, the faculty for synthetic judgments a priori. Suppose he deceived himself in this matter; the development and rapid flourishing of German philosophy depended nevertheless on his pride, and on the eager rivalry of the younger generation to discover, if possible, something still prouder - at all events "new faculties"!
But let us reflect; it is high time to do so. "How are synthetic judgments a priori possible?" Kant asked himself - and what really is his answer? "By virtue of a faculty" but unfortunately not in five words, but so circumstantially, venerably, and with such a display of German profundity and curlicues that people simply failed to note the comical niaiserie allemande involved in such an answer. People were actually beside themselves with delight over this new faculty, and the jubilation reached its climax when Kant further discovered a moral faculty in man - for at that time the Germans were still moral and not yet addicted to Realpolitik.
The honeymoon of German philosophy arrived. All the young theologians of the Tubingen seminary went into the bushes - all looking for "faculties." And what did they not find - in that innocent, rich, and still youthful period of the German spirit, to which romanticism, the malignant fairy, piped and sang, when one could not yet distinguish between "finding" and "inventing"! Above all, a faculty for the "surpra-sensible": Schelling christened it intellectual intuition, and thus gratified the most heartfelt cravings of the Germans, whose cravings were at bottom pious. One can do no greater wrong to the whole of this exuberant and enthusiastic movement, which was really youthfulness, however boldly it disguised itself in hoary and senile concepts, than to take it seriously or worse, to treat it with moral indignation. Enough, one grew older and the dream vanished. A time came when people scratched their heads, and they still scratch them today. One had been dreaming, and first and foremost - old Kant. "By virtue of a faculty" - he had said, or at least meant. But is that an answer? An explanation? Or is it not rather merely a repetition of the question? How does opium induce sleep? "By virtue of a faculty," namely the virtus dormitiva, replies the doctor in Moliere,
Quia est in eo virtus dormitiva,
Cujus est natura sensus assoupire.
But such replies belong in comedy, and it is high time to replace the Kantian question, "How are synthetic judgments a priori possible?" by another question, "Why is belief in such judgments necessary?" - and to comprehend that such judgments must be believed to be true, for the sake of the preservation of creatures like ourselves; though they might, of course, be false judgments for all that! Or to speak more clearly and coarsely: synthetic judgments a priori should not "be possible" at all; we have no right to them; in our mouths they are nothing but false judgments. Only, of course, the belief in their truth is necessary, as a foreground belief and visual evidence belonging to the perspective optics of life.
Finally, to call to mind the enormous influence that "German philosophy" - I hope you understand its right to quotation marks - has exercised throughout the whole of Europe, there is no doubt that a certain virtus dormitiva had a share in it: it was a delight to the noble idlers, the virtuous, the mystics, artists, three-quarter Christians, and political obscurantists of all nations, to find, thanks to German philosophy, an antidote to the still predominant sensualism which overflowed from the last century into this, in short - "sensus assoupire."
As for materialistic atomism, it is one of the best refuted theories there are, and in Europe perhaps no one in the learned world is now so unscholarly as to attach serious significance to it for convenient household use (as an abbreviation of the means of expression) thanks chiefly to the Dalmatian Boscovich and the Pole Copernicus have been the greatest and most successful opponents of visual evidence so far. For while Copernicus has persuaded us to believe, contrary to all the senses, that the earth does not stand fast, Boscovich has taught us to abjure the belief in the last part of the earth that "stood fast" - the belief in substance," in "matter," in the earth-residuum and particle-atom; it is the greatest triumph over the senses that has been gained on earth so far.
One must, however, go still further. and also declare war, relentless war unto death, against the "atomistic need" which still leads a dangerous afterlife in places where no one suspects it, just like the more celebrated "metaphysical need": one must also, first of all, give the finishing stroke to that other and more calamitous atomism which Christianity has taught best and longest, the soul atomism. Let it be permitted to designate by this expression the belief which regards the soul as something indestructible. eternal, in divisible, as a monad, as an atomon: this belief ought to be expelled from science! Between ourselves, it is not at all necessary to get rid of "the soul" at the same time, and thus to renounce one of the most ancient and venerable hypotheses - as happens frequently to clumsy naturalists who can hardly touch on "the soul" without immediately losing it. But the way is open for new versions and refinements of the soul-hypothesis; and such conceptions as "mortal soul," and "soul as subjective multiplicity," and ''soul as social structure of the drives and affects want henceforth to have citizens' rights in science. When the new psychologist puts an end to the superstitions which have so far flourished with almost tropical luxuriance around the idea of the soul, he practically exiles himself into a new desert and a new suspicion - it is possible that the older psychologists had a merrier and more comfortable time of it; eventually, however, he finds that precisely thereby he also concerns himself to invention - and - who knows? - perhaps to discovery.
Physiologists should think before putting down the instinct of self-preservation as the cardinal instinct of an organic being. A living thing seeks above all to discharge its strength - life itself is will to power; self-preservation is only one of the indirect and most frequent results.
In short, here as everywhere else, let us beware of superfluous teleological principles - one of which is the instinct of self preservation (we owe it to Spinoza's inconsistency). Thus method, which must be essentially economy of principles, demands it.
It is perhaps just dawning on five or six minds that physics, too, is only an interpretation and exegesis of the world (to suit us, if I may say so!) and not a world-explanation; but insofar as it is based on belief in the senses, it is regarded as more, and for a long time to come must be regarded as more - namely, as an explanation. Eyes and fingers speak in its favor, visual evidence and palpableness do, too: this strikes an age with fundamentally plebian tastes as fascinating, persuasive, and convincing - after all, it follows instinctively the canon of truth of eternally popular sensualism. What is clear, what is "explained"? Only what can be seen and felt - every problem has to be pursued to that point. Conversely, the charm of the Platonic way of thinking, which was a noble way of thinking, consisted precisely in resistance to obvious sense-evidence - perhaps among men who enjoyed even stronger and more demanding senses than our contemporaries, but who knew how to find a higher triumph in remaining masters of their senses - and this by means of pale, cold, gray concept nets which they threw over the motley whirl of the senses - the mob of the senses, as Plato said. In this overcoming of the world and interpreting of the world in the manner of Plato, there was an enjoyment different from that which the physicists of today offer us - and also the Darwinists and anti-teleologists among the workers in physiology, with their principle of the "smallest possible force" and the greatest possible stupidity. "Where man cannot find anything to see or to grasp, he has no further business" - that is certainly an imperative different from the Platonic one, but it may be the right imperative for a tough, industrious race of machinists and bridge-builders of the future, who have nothing but rough work to do.
To study physiology with a clear conscience, one must insist that the sense organs are not phenomena in the sense of idealistic philosophy; as such they could not be causes! Sensualism, therefore, at least as a regulative hypothesis, if not as a heuristic principle.
What? And others even say that the external world is the work of our organs? But then our body, as a part of this external world, would be the work of our organs! But then our organs themselves would be the work of our organs! It seems to me that this is a complete reductio ad absurdum - assuming that the concept of a causa sui is something fundamentally absurd. Consequently, the external world is just the work of our organs - ?
There are still harmless self-observers who believe that there are "immediate certainties"; for example, "I think," or as the superstition of Schopenhauer put it, "I will"; as though knowledge here got hold of its object purely and nakedly as "the thing in it self" without any falsification on the part of either the subject or the object. But that "immediate certainty," as well as "absolute knowledge" and the "thing in itself," involve a contradictio adjecto. I shall repeat a hundred times; we really ought to free our selves from the seduction of words!
Let the people suppose that knowledge means knowing things entirely; the philosopher must say to himself: When I analyze the process that is expressed in the sentence, "I think," I find a whole series of daring assertions that would be difficult, perhaps impossible, to prove; for example, that it is I who think, that there must necessarily be something that thinks, that thinking is an activity and operation on the part of a being who is thought of as a cause, that there is an "ego," and, finally, that it is already determined what is to be designated by thinking - that I know what thinking is. For if I had not already decided within myself what it is, by what standard could I determine whether that which is just happening is not perhaps "willing" or "feeling"? In short, the assertion "I think" assumes that I compare my state at the present moment with other states of myself which I know, in order to determine what it is; on account of this retrospective connection with further "knowledge," it has, at any rate, no immediate certainty for me.
In place of the "immediate certainty" in which the people may believe in the case at hand, the philosopher thus finds a series of metaphysical questions presented to him, truly searching questions of the intellect; to wit: "From where do I get the concept of thing? Why do I believe in cause and effect? What gives me the right to speak of an ego, and even of an ego as cause, and finally ego as the cause of thought?" Whoever ventures to answer the metaphysical questions at once by an appeal to a sort of intuitive perception, like the person who says, "I think, and know that at least, is true, actual, and certain" - will encounter a smile and two question marks from a philosopher nowadays. "Sir," the philosopher will perhaps give him to understand, "it is improbable that you are not mistaken; but why insist on the truth?"
With regard to the superstitions of logicians, I shall never tire of emphasizing a small terse fact, which these superstitious minds hate to concede - namely, that a thought comes when "it" wishes. and not when "I" wish, so that it is a falsification of the facts of the case to say that the subject "I" is the condition of the predicate "think." It thinks; but that this "it" is precisely the famous old "ego" is, to put it mildly, only a supposition, an assertion. and assuredly not an "immediate certainty." After all, one has even gone too far with this "it thinks" - even the "it" contains an interpretation of the process, and does not belong to the process itself. 0ne infers here according to the grammatical habit: "Thinking is an activity; every activity requires an agent; consequently..."
It was pretty much according to the same schema that the older atomism sought, besides the operating "power," that lump of matter in which it resides and out of which it operates - the atom. More rigorous minds, however, learned at last to get along without this "earth-residuum," and perhaps some day we shall accustom ourselves, including the logicians, to get along without the little "it" (which is all that is left of the honest little old ego).
It is certainly not the least charm of a theory that it is refutable; it is precisely thereby that it attracts subtler minds. It seems that the hundred-times-refuted theory of a "free will" owes its persistence to this charm alone; again and again someone comes along who feels he is strong enough to refute it.
Philosophers are accustomed to speak of the will as if it were the best-known thing in the world; indeed, Schopenhauer has given us to understand that the will alone is really known to us, absolutely and completely known, without subtraction or addition. But again and again it seems to me that in this case, too, Schopenhauer only did what philosophers are in the habit of doing - he adopted a popular prejudice and exaggerated it. Willing seems to me to be above all something complicated, something that is a unit only as a word - and it is precisely in this one word that the popular prejudice lurks, which has defeated the always inadequate caution of philosophers. So let us for once be more cautious, let us be "unphilosophical": let us say that in all willing there is, first, a plurality of sensations, namely, the sensation of the state "away from which" the sensation of the state "towards which," the sensation of this "from and towards" themselves, and then also an accompanying muscular sensation, which, even without our putting into motion "arms and legs," begins its action by force of habit as soon as we "will" anything.
Therefore just as sensations (and indeed many kinds of sensation) are to be recognized as ingredients of the will, so, secondly, should thinking also: in every act of the will there is a ruling thought - let us not imagine it possible to sever this thought from the "willing," as if any will would then remain over!
Third, the will is not only a complex of sensation and thinking, but it is above all an affect, and specifically the affect of the command. That which is termed "freedom of the will" is essentially the affect of superiority in relation to him who must obey: "I am free, 'he' must obey" - this consciousness is inherent in every will; and equally so the straining of the attention, the straight look that fixes itself exclusively on one aim, the unconditional evaluation that "this and nothing else is necessary now," the inward certainty that obedience will be rendered - and whatever else belongs to the position of the commander. A man who wills commands something within himself that renders obedience, or that he believes renders obedience.
But now let us notice what is strangest about the will - this manifold thing for which the people have only one word: inasmuch as in the given circumstances we are at the same time the commanding and the obeying parties, and as the obeying party we know the sensations of constraint, impulsion, pressure, resistance and motion, which usually begin immediately after the act of will, inasmuch as, on the other hand, we are accustomed to disregard this duality, and to deceive ourselves about it by means of the synthetic concept "I," a whole series of erroneous conclusions, and consequently of false evaluations of the will itself, has become attached to the act of willing - to such a degree that he who wills believes sincerely that willing suffices for action. Since in the great majority of cases there has been exercise of will only when the effect of the command - that is, obedience; that is, the action - was to be expected, the appearance has translated itself into the feeling, as if there were a necessity of effect. In short, he who wills believes with a fair amount of certainty that will and action are somehow one; he ascribes the success, the carrying out of the willing, to the will itself, and thereby enjoys an increase of the sensation of power which accompanies all success.
"Freedom of the will" - that is the expression for the complex state of delight of the person exercising volition, who commands and at the same time identifies himself with the executor of the order - who, as such, enjoys also the triumph over obstacles, but thinks within himself that it was really his will itself that overcame them. In this way the person exercising volition adds the feeling of delight of his successful executive instruments, the useful "under-wills" or under-souls - indeed, our body is but a social structure composed of many souls - to his feelings of delight as commander L'effet c'est moi: what happens here is what happens in every well-constructed and happy commonwealth; namely, the governing class identifies itself with the successes of the commonwealth. In all willing it is absolutely a question of commanding and obeying, on the basis, as already said, of a social structure composed of many "souls." Hence a philosopher should claim the right to include willimg as such within the sphere of morals - morals being understood as the doctrine of the relations of supremacy under which the phenomenon of "life" comes to be.
That individual philosophical concepts are not anything capricious or autonomously evolving, but grow up in connection and relationship with each other; that, however suddenly and arbitrarily they seem to appear in the history of thought, they nevertheless belong just as much to a system as all the members of the fauna of a continent - is betrayed in the end also by the fact that the most diverse philosophers keep filling in a definite fundamental scheme of possible philosophies. Under an invisible spell, they always revolve once more in the same orbit; however independent of each other they may feel themselves with their critical or systematic wills, something within them leads them, something impels them in a definite order, one after the other - to wit, the innate systematic structure and relationship of their concepts. Their thinking is, in fact, far less a discovery than a recognition, a remembering, a return and a homecoming to a remote, primordial, an inclusive household of the soul, out of which those concepts grew originally: philosophizing is to this extent a kind of atavism of the highest order.
The strange family resemblance of all lndian, Greek, and German philosophizing is explained easily enough. Where there is affinity of languages, it cannot fail, owing to the common philosophy of grammar - I mean, owing to the unconscious domination and guidance by similar grammatical functions - that everything is prepared at the outset for a similar development and sequence of philosophical systems; just as the way seems barred against certain other possibilities of world-interpretation. It is highly probable that philosophers within the domain of the Ural-Altaic languages (where the concept of the subject is least developed) look otherwise "into the world," and will be found on paths of thought different from those of the Indo-Germanic peoples and the Muslims: the spell of certain grammatical functions is ultimately also the spell of physiological valuations and racial conditions.
So much by way of rejecting Locke's superficiality regarding the origin of ideas.
The causa sui is the best self-contradiction that has been conceived so far, it is a sort of rape and perversion of logic; but the extravagant pride of man has managed to entangle itself profoundly and frightfully with just this nonsense. The desire for "freedom of the will" in the superlative metaphysical sense, which still holds sway, unfortunately, in the minds of the half-educated; the desire to bear the entire and ultimate responsibility for one's actions oneself, and to absolve God, the world, ancestors, chance, and society involves nothing less than to be precisely this causa sui and, with more than Munchhausen's audacity, to pull oneself up into existence by the hair, out of the swamps of nothingness. Suppose someone were thus to see through the boorish simplicity of this celebrated concept of "free will" and put it out of his head altogether, l beg of him to carry his "enlightenment" a step further, and so put out of his head the contrary of this monstrous conception of "free will": I mean "unfree will," which amounts to a misuse of cause and effect. One should not wrongly reify "cause" and "effect" as the natural scientists do (and whoever, like them, now "naturalizes" in his thinking), according to the prevailing mechanical doltishness which makes the cause press and push until it "effects" its end; one should use "cause" and "effect" only as pure concepts, that is to say, as conventional fictions for the purpose of designation and communication - not for explanation. In the "in itself" there is nothing of "causal connections," of "necessity," or of "psychological non-freedom"; there the effect does not follow the cause, there is no rule of "law." It is we alone who have devised cause, sequence, for-each-other, relativity, constraint, number, law, freedom, motive, and purpose; and when we project and mix this symbol world into things as if it existed "in itself," we act once more as we have always acted - mythologically. The "unfree will" is mythology; in real life it is only a matter of strong and weak wills.
lt is almost always a symptom of what is lacking in himself when a thinker senses in every "causal connection" and "psychological necessity" something of constraint, need, compulsion to obey, pressure, and unfreedom; it is suspicious to have such feelings - that person betrays himself. And in general, if I have observed correctly, the "unfreedom of the will" is regarded as a problem from two entirely opposite standpoints, but always in a profoundly personal manner: some will not give up their "responsibility," their belief in themselves, the personal right to their merits at any price (the vain races belong to this class). Others, on the contrary, do not wish to be answerable for anything, or blamed for anything, and owing to an inward self-contempt, seek to lay the blame for them selves somewhere else. The latter, when they write books, are in the habit today of taking the side of criminals; a sort of socialist pity is their most attractive disguise. And as a matter of fact, the fatalism of the weak-willed embellishes itself surprisingly when it can pose as "la religion de la souffrance humaine"; that is its "good taste."
Forgive me as an old philologist who cannot desist from the malice of putting his finger on bad modes of interpretation: but "nature's conformity to law," of which you physicists talk so proudly as though - why, it exists only owing to your interpretation and bad "philology." It is no matter of fact, no "text," but rather only a naively humanitarian emendation and perversion of meaning, with which you make abundant concessions to the democratic instincts of the modern soul! "Everywhere equality before the law; nature is no different in that respect, no better off than we are" - a fine instance of ulterior motivation, in which the plebian antagonism to everything privileged and autocratic as well as a second and more refined atheism are disguised once more. "Ni Dieu, ni maitre" - that is what you, too, want; and therefore "cheers for the law of nature!" - is it not so? But as said above, that is interpretation, not text; and somebody might come along who, with opposite intentions and modes of interpretation, could read out of the same "nature" and with regard to the same phenomena rather the tyrannically inconsiderate and relentless enforcement of claims of power - an interpreter who would picture the unexceptional and unconditional aspects of all "will to power" so vividly that almost every word, even the word "tyranny" itself, would eventually sound unsuitable, or a weakening and attenuating metaphor -being too human - but he might, nevertheless, end by asserting the same about this world as you do, namely, that it has a "necessary'' and "calculable" course, not because laws obtain in it, but because they are absolutely lacking, and every power draws its ultimate consequences at every moment. Supposing that this also is only interpretation - and you will be eager enough to make this objection - well sp much the better.
All psychology so far has got stuck in moral prejudices and fears; it has not dared to descend into the depths. To understand it as morphology and the doctrine of the development of the will to power, as I do - nobody has yet come close to doing this even in thought - insofar as it is permissible to recognize in what has been written so far a symptom of what has so far been kept silent. The power of moral prejudices has penetrated deeply into the most spiritual world, which would seem to be the coldest and most devoid of presuppositions, and has obviously operated in an injurious, inhibiting, blinding, and distorting manner. A proper physio-psychology has to contend with unconscious resistance in the heart of the investigator, it has "the heart" against it: even a doctrine of the reciprocal dependence of the "good' and the "wicked' drives, causes (as refined immorality) distress and aversion in a still hale and hearty conscience - still more so, a doctrine of the derivation of good impulses from wicked ones. If, however, a person should regard even the affects of hatred, envy, covetousness, and the lust to rule as conditions of life, as factors which, fundamentally and essentially must be present in the general economy of life (and must, there, be further enhanced if life is to be further enhanced) - he will suffer from such a view of things as from seasickness. And yet even this hypothesis is far from being the strangest and most painful in this immense and almost new domain of dangerous insights; and there are in fact a hundred good reasons why everyone should keep away from it who - can.
On the other hand, if one has once drifted there with one's bark, well! all right! let us clench our teeth! let us open our eyes and keep our hand firm on the helm! We sail right over morality, we crush, we destroy perhaps the remains of our own morality by daring to make our voyage there - but what matter are we! Never yet did a profounder world of insight reveal itself to daring travelers and adventurers, and the psychologist who thus "makes a sacrifice" - it is not the sacrifizio dell' intelletto, on the contrary! - will at least be entitled to demand in return that psychology shall be recognized again as the queen of the sciences, for whose service and preparation the other sciences exist. For psychology is now again the path to the fundamental problems.
Part Two : The Free Spirit
O sancta simplicitas! In what strange simplification and falsification man lives! One can never cease wondering once one has acquired eyes for this marvel! How we have made everything around us clear and free and easy and simple! how we have been able to give our senses a passport to everything superficial, our thoughts a divine desire for wanton leaps and wrong inferences! how from the beginning we have contrived to retain our ignorance in order to enjoy an almost inconceivable freedom, lack of scruple and caution, heartiness, and gaiety of life - in order to enjoy life! And only on this now solid, granite foundation of ignorance could knowledge rise so far - the will to knowledge on the foundation of a far more powerful will: the will to ignorance, to the uncertain, to the untrue! Not as its opposite, but as its refinement! Even if language, here as elsewhere, will not get over its awkwardness, and will continue to talk of opposites where there are only degrees and many subtleties of gradation; even if the inveterate Tartuffery of morals, which now belongs to our unconquerable "flesh and blood," infects the words even of those of us who know better - here and there we understand it and laugh at the way in which precisely science at its best seeks most to keep us in this simplified, thoroughly artificial, suitably constructed and suitably falsified world - at the way in which, willy-nilly, it loves error, because, being alive, it loves life.
After such a cheerful commencement, a serious word would like to be heard; it appeals to the most serious. Take care, philosophers and friends, of knowledge, and beware of martyrdom! Of suffering "for the truth's sake"! Even of defending yourselves! spoils all the innocence and fine neutrality of your conscience; makes you headstrong against objections and red rags; it stupefies, animalizes, and brutalizes when in the struggle with danger, slander, suspicion, expulsion, and even worse consequences of hostility, you have to pose as protectors of truth upon earth - as though "the truth" were such an innocuous and incompetent creature as to require protectors! and you of all people, you knights of the most sorrowful countenances dear loafers and cobweb-spinners of the spirit! After all, you know well enough that it cannot be of any con. sequence if you of all people are proved right; you know that no philosopher so far has been proved right, and that there might be a more laudable truthfulness in every little question mark that you place after your special words and favorite doctrines (and occasionally after yourselves) than in all the solemn gestures and trumps before accusers and law courts. Rather, go away. Flee into concealment. And have your masks and subtlety, that you ma mistaken for what you are not, or feared a little. And don't the garden, the garden with golden trelliswork. And have around you who are as a garden - or as music on the waters evening, when the day is turning into memories. Choose the solitude, the free, playful, light solitude that gives you, too, the right, to remain good in some sense. How poisonous, how crafty, hot bad, does every long war make one, that cannot be waged open] by means of force! How personal does a long fear make one, long watching of enemies, of possible enemies! These outcasts society, these long-pursued, wickedly persecuted ones - also compulsory recluses, the Spinozas or Giordano Brunos always come in the end, even under the most spiritual masquerade, perhaps without being themselves aware of it, sophisticated vengeance-seekers and poison-brewers (let someone lay bare the foundation of Spinoza's ethics and theology!), not to speak of the stupidity of moral indignation, which is the unfailing sign in a philosopher that his philosophical sense of humor has left him. The martyrdom of the philosopher, his "sacrifice for the sake of truth," forces into the light whatever of the agitator and actor lurks in him; and if one has so far contemplated him only with artistic curiosity, with regard to many a philosopher it is easy to understand the dangerous desire to see him also in his degeneration (degenerated into a "martyr," into a stage- and platform-bawler). Only, that it is necessary with such a desire to be clear what spectacle one will see in any case - merely a satyr play, merely an epilogue farce, merely the continued proof that the long, real tragedy is at an end, assuming that every philosophy was in its genesis a long tragedy.
Every choice human being strives instinctively for a citadel and a secrecy where he is saved from the crowd, the many, the great majority - where he may forget "men who are the rule," being their exception - excepting only the one case in which he is pushed straight to such men by a still stronger instinct, as a seeker after knowledge in the great and exceptional sense. Anyone who, in intercourse with men, does not occasionally glisten in all the colors of distress, green and gray with disgust, satiety, sympathy, gloominess, and loneliness, is certainly not a man of elevated tastes; supposing, however, that he does not take all this burden and disgust upon himself voluntarily, that he persistently avoids it, and remains, as I said, quietly and proudly hidden in his citadel, one thing is certain: he was not made, he was not predestined, for knowledge. If he were, he would one day have to say to himself: "The devil take my good taste! but the rule is more interesting than the exception - than myself, the exception!" And be would go down and above all, he would go "inside." The long and serious study of the average man, and consequently much disguise, self-overcoming, familiarity, and bad contact (all contact is bad contact except with one's equals) - this constitutes a necessary part of the life-history of every philosopher, perhaps the most disagreeable, odious, and disappointing part. If he is fortunate, however, as a favorite child of knowledge should be, he will encounter suitable shortcuts and helps for his task; I mean so-called cynics, those who simply recognize the animal, the commonplace, and "the rule" in themselves, and at the same time still have that degree of spirituality and that itch which makes them talk of themselves and their likes before witnesses - sometimes they even wallow in books, as on their own dung. Cynicism is the only form in which base souls approach honesty; and the higher man must listen closely to every coarse or subtle cynicism, and congratulate himself when a clown without shame or a scientific satyr speaks out precisely in front of him. There are even cases where enchantment mixes with the disgust - namely, where by a freak of nature genius is tied to some such indiscreet billygoat and ape, as in the case of the Abbe Galiani, the profoundest, most clear-sighted, and perhaps also filthiest man of his century - he was far profounder than Voltaire and consequently also a good deal more taciturn. It happens more frequently, as has been hinted, that a scientific head is placed on an ape's body, a subtle exceptional understanding in a base soul, an occurrence by no means rare, especially among doctors and physiologists of morality. And whenever anyone speaks without bitterness, quite innocently, of man as a belly with two requirements, and a head with one; whenever anyone sees, seeks, and wants to see only hunger, sexual lust, and vanity as the real and only motives of human actions; in short, when anyone speaks "badly" and not even "wickedly" of man, the lover of knowledge should listen subtly land diligently; he should altogether have an open ear wherever people talk without indignation. For the indignant and Whoever perpetually tears and lacerates with his own teeth himself (or as a substitute, the world, or God, or society) may indeed, morally speaking, stand higher than the laughing and self-satisfied satyr, but in every other sense they are a more ordinary, more indifferent, and less instructive case. And no one lies as much as the indignant do.
It is hard to be understood, especially when one thinks and lives gangasrotogati among men who think and live differently namely, kurmagati, or at best "the way frogs walk," mandeikagati (I obviously do everything to be "hard to understand" myself!) - and one should be cordially grateful for the good will to some subtlety of interpretation. As regards "the good friends," however, who are always too lazy and think that as friends they have a right to relax, one does well to grant them from the outset some leeway and romping place for misunderstanding: then on can even laugh - or get rid of them altogether, these good friends - and also laugh.
What is most difficult to render from one language into an other is the tempo of its style, which has its basis in the character of the race, or to speak more physiologically, in the average temp of its metabolism. There are honestly meant translations that, a involuntary vulgarizations, are almost falsifications of the original merely because its bold and merry tempo (which leaps over an obviates all dangers in things and words) could not be translates A German is almost incapable of presto in his language; thus also as may be reasonably inferred, of many of the most delightful and daring nuances of free, free-spirited thought. And just as the buffoon and satyr are foreign to him in body and conscience, so Aristophanes and Petronius are untranslatable for him. Everything ponderous, viscous, and solemnly clumsy, all long-winded and boring types of style are developed in profuse variety among German - forgive me the fact that even Goethe's prose, in its mixture o stiffness and elegance, is no exception, being a reflection of the "good old time" to which it belongs, and a reflection of German taste at a time when there still was a "German taste" - a rococo taste in moribus et artibus. Lessing is an exception, owing to his histrionic nature which understood much and understood how to do many things. He was not the translator of Bayle for nothing and liked to flee to the neighborhood of Diderot and Voltaire, and better yet - that of the Roman comedy writers. In tempo, too, Lessing loved free thinking and escape from Germany. But how could the German language, even in the prose of a Lessing, imitate the tempo of Machiavelli, who in his Principe [The Prince] lets us breathe the dry, refined air of Florence and cannot help presenting the most serious matters in a boisterous allegrissimo, perhaps not without a malicious artistic sense of the contrast he risks - long, difficult, hard, dangerous thoughts and the tempo of the gallop and the very best, most capricious humor? Who, finally, could venture on a German translation of Petronius, who, more than any great musician so far, was a master of presto in invention, ideas, and words? What do the swamps of the sick, wicked world, even the "ancient world," matter in the end, when one has the feet of a wind as he did, the rush, the breath, the liberating scorn of a wind that makes everything healthy by making everything run! And as for Aristophanes - that transfiguring, complementary spirit for whose sake one forgives everything Hellenic for having existed, provided one has understood in its full profundity all that needs to be forgiven and transfigured here - there is nothing that has caused me to meditate more on Plato's secrecy and sphinx nature than the happily preserved petit fait that under the pillow of his deathbed there was found no "Bible," nor anything Egyptian, Pythagorean, or Platonic - but a volume of Aristophanes. How could even Plato have endured life - a Greek life he repudiated - without an Aristophanes?
Independence is for the very few; it is a privilege of the strong. And whoever attempts it even with the best right but without inner constraint proves that he is probably not only strong, but also daring to the point of recklessness. He enters into a labyrinth, he multiplies a thousandfold the dangers which life brings with it in any case, not the least of which is that no one can see how and where he loses his way, becomes lonely, and is torn piecemeal by some minotaur of conscience. Supposing one like that comes to grief, this happens so far from the comprehension of men that they neither feel it nor sympathize. And he cannot go back any longer. Nor can he go back to the pity of men.
Our highest insights must - and should - sound like follies and sometimes like crimes when they are heard without permission by those who are not predisposed and predestined for them. The difference between the exoteric and the esoteric, formerly known to philosophers - among the Indians as among the Greeks, Persians, and Muslims, in short, wherever one believed in an order of rank and not in equality and equal rights - does not so much consist in this, that the exoteric approach comes from outside and sees, estimates, measures, and judges from the outside, not the inside: what is much more essential is that the exoteric approach sees things from below, the esoteric looks down from above. There are heights of the soul from which even tragedy ceases to look tragic; and rolling together all the woe of the world - who could dare to decide whether its sight would necessarily seduce us and compel us to feel pity and thus double this woe? What serves the higher type of men as nourishment or delectation must almost be poison for a very different and inferior type. The virtues of the common man might perhaps signify vices and weaknesses in a philosopher. It could be possible that a man of a high type, when degenerating and perishing, might only at that point acquire qualities that would require those in the lower sphere into which he had sunk to begin to venerate him like a saint. There are books that have opposite values for soul and health, depending on whether the lower soul, the lower vitality, or the higher and more vigorous ones turn to them: in the former case, these books are dangerous and lead to crumbling and disintegration; in the latter, heralds' cries that call the bravest to their courage. Books for all the world are always foul-smelling books: the smell of small people clings to them. Where the people eat and drink, even where they venerate, it usually stinks. One should not go to church if one wants to breathe pure air.
When one is young, one venerates and - despises without that art of nuances which constitutes the best gain of life, and it is only fair that one has to pay dearly for having assaulted men and things in this manner with Yes and No. Everything is arranged so that the worst of tastes, the taste for the unconditional, should be cruelly fooled and abused until a man learns to put a little art into his feelings and rather to risk trying even what is artificial - as the real artists of life do. The wrathful and reverent attitudes characteristic of youth do not seem to permit themselves any rest until they have forged men and things in such a way that these attitudes may be vented on them - after all, youth in itself has something of forgery and deception. Later, when the young soul, tortured by all kinds of disappointments', finally turns suspiciously against itself, still hot and wild, even in its suspicion and pangs of conscience - how wroth it is with itself now! how it tears itself to pieces, impatiently! how it takes revenge for its long self-delusion, just as if it had been a deliberate blindness! In this transition one punishes oneself with mistrust against one's own feelings; one tortures one's own enthusiasm with doubts; indeed, one experiences even a good conscience as a danger, as if it were a way of wrapping oneself in veils and the exhaustion of subtler honesty - and above all one takes sides, takes sides on principle, against "youth." Ten years later one comprehends that all this, too - was still youth.
During the longest part of human history - so-called prehistorical times - the value or disvalue of an action was derived from its consequences. The action itself was considered as little as its origin. It was rather the way a distinction or disgrace still reaches back today from a child to its parents, in China: it was the retroactive force of success or failure that led men to think well or ill of an action. Let us call this period the pre-moral period of mankind: the imperative "know thyself!" was as yet unknown. In the last ten thousand years, however, one has reached the point, step by step, in a few large regions on the earth, where it is no longer the consequences but the origin of an action that one allows to decide its value. On the whole this is a great event which involves a considerable refinement of vision and standards; it is the unconscious aftereffect of the rule of aristocratic values and the faith in "descent" - the sign of a period that one may call moral in the narrower sense. It involves the first attempt at self-knowledge. Instead of the consequences, the origin: indeed a reversal of perspective! Surely, a reversal achieved only after long struggles and vacillations. To be sure, a calamitous new superstition, an odd narrowness of interpretation, thus become dominant: the origin of an action was interpreted in the most definite sense as origin in an intention; one came to agree that the value of an action lay in the value of the intention. The intention as the whole origin and prehistory of an action - almost to the present day this prejudice dominated moral praise, blame, judgment, and philosophy on earth. But today - shouldn't we have reached the necessity of once more resolving on a reversal and fundamental shift in values, owing to another self-examination of man, another growth in profundity? Don't we stand at the threshold of a period which should be designated negatively, to begin with, as extra-moral? After all, today at least we immoralists have the suspicion that the decisive value of an action lies precisely in what is unintentional in it, while everything about it that is intentional, everything about it that can be seen, known, "conscious," still belongs to its surface and skin - which, like every skin, betrays something but conceals even more. In short, we believe that the intention is merely a sign and symptom that still requires interpretation - moreover, a sign that means too much and therefore, taken by itself alone, almost nothing. We believe that morality in the traditional sense, the morality of intentions, was a prejudice, precipitate and perhaps provisional - something on the order of astrology and alchemy - but in any case something that must be overcome. The overcoming of morality, in a certain sense even the self-overcoming of morality - let this be the name for that long secret work which has been saved up for the finest and most honest, also the most malicious, consciences of today, as living touchstones of the soul.
There is no other way: the feelings of devotion, self-sacrifice for one's neighbor, the whole morality of self-denial must be questioned mercilessly and taken to court - no less than the aesthetics of "contemplation devoid of all interest" which is used today as a seductive guise for the emasculation of art, to give it a good conscience. There is too much charm and sugar in these feelings of "for others," "not for myself," for us not to need to become doubly suspicious at this point and to ask: "are these not perhaps - seductions?" That they please those who have them and those who enjoy their fruits, and also the mere spectator - this does not yet constitute an argument in their favor but rather invites caution. So let us be cautious.
Whatever philosophical standpoint one may adopt today, from every point of view the erroneousness of the world in which we think we live is the surest and firmest fact that we can lay eyes on: we find reasons upon reasons for it which would like to lure us to hypotheses concerning a deceptive principle in "the essence of things." But whoever holds our thinking itself, "the spirit," in other words, responsible for the falseness of the world - an honorable way out which is chosen by every conscious or unconscious advocatus dei - whoever takes this world, along with space, time, form, movement, to be falsely inferred - anyone like that would at least have ample reason to learn to be suspicious at long last of all thinking. Wouldn't thinking have put over on us the biggest hoax yet? And what warrant would there be that it would not continue to do what it has always done? In all seriousness: the innocence of our thinkers is somehow touching and evokes reverence, when today they still step before consciousness with the request that it should please give them honest answers; for example, whether it is "real," and why it so resolutely keeps the external world at a distance, and other questions of that kind. The faith in "immediate certainties" is a moral naivet6 that reflects honor on us philosophers; but - after all we should not be "merely moral" men. Apart from morality, this faith is a stupidity that reflects little honor on us. In bourgeois life ever-present suspicion may be considered a sign of "bad character" and hence belong among things imprudent; here, among us, beyond the bourgeois world and its Yes and No - what should prevent us from being imprudent and saying: a philosopher has nothing less than a right to "bad character," as the being who has so far always been fooled best on earth; he has a duty to suspicion today, to squint maliciously out of every abyss of suspicion. Forgive me the joke of this gloomy grimace and trope; for I myself have learned long ago to think differently, to estimate differently with regard to deceiving and being deceived, and I keep in reserve at least a couple of jostles for the blind rage with which the philosophers resist being deceived. Why not? It is no more than a moral prejudice that truth is worth more than mere appearance; it is even the worst proved assumption there is in the world. Let at least this much be admitted: there would be no life at all if not on the basis of perspective estimates and appearances; and if, with the virtuous enthusiasm and clumsiness of some philosophers, one wanted to abolish the "apparent world" altogether - well, supposing you could do that, at least nothing would be left of your "truth" either. Indeed, what forces us at all to suppose that there is an essential opposition of "true" and "false"? Is it not sufficient to assume degrees of apparentness and, as it were, lighter and darker shadows and shades of appearance - different "values," to use the language of painters? Why couldn't the world that concerns us be a fiction? And if somebody asked, "but to a fiction there surely belongs an author?" - couldn't one answer simply: why? Doesn't this "belongs" perhaps belong to the fiction, too? Is it not permitted to be a bit ironical about the subject no less than the predicate and object? Shouldn't philosophers be permitted to rise above faith in grammar? All due respect for governesses - but hasn't the time come for philosophy to renounce the faith of governesses?
O Voltaire! O humaneness! O nonsense! There is something about "truth," about the search for truth; and when a human being is too human about it - "il ne cherche le vrai que pour faire le bien" - I bet he finds nothing.
Suppose nothing else were "given" as real except our world of desires and passions, and we could not get down, or up, to any other "reality" besides the reality of our drives - for thinking is merely a relations of these drives to each other; is it not permitted to make the experiment and to ask the question whether this "given" would not be sufficient for also understanding on the basis of this kind of thing the so-called mechanistic (or "material") world? 1, mean, not as a deception, as "mere appearance," an "idea" (in the sense of Berkeley and Schopenhauer) but as holding the same rank of reality as our affect - as a more primitive form of the world of affects in which everything still lies contained in a powerful unity before it undergoes ramifications and developments in the organic process (and, as is only fair, also becomes tenderer and weaker) - as a kind of instinctive life in which all organic functions are still synthetically intertwined along with self-regulation, assimilation, nourishment, excretion, and metabolism - as a pre-form of life. In the end not only is it permitted to make this experiment; the conscience of method demands it. Not to assume several kinds of causality until the experiment of making do with a single one has been pushed to its utmost limit (to the point of nonsense, if I may say so) - that is a moral of method which one may not shirk today - it follows "from its definition," as a mathematician would say. The question is in the end whether we really recognize the will as efficient, whether we believe in the causality of the will: if we do - and at bottom our faith in this is nothing less than our faith in causality itself - then we have to make the experiment of positing the causality of the will hypothetically as the only one. "Will," of course, can affect only "will" - and not "matter" (not "nerves," for example). In short, one has to risk the hypothesis whether will does not affect will wherever "effects" are recognized - and whether all mechanical occurrences are not, insofar as a force is active in them, will force, effects of will. Suppose, finally, we succeeded in explaining our entire instinctive life as the development and ramification of one basic form of the will - namely, of the will to power, as my proposition has it; suppose all organic functions could be traced back to this will to power and one could also find in it the solution of the problem of procreation and nourishment - it is one problem - then one would have gained the right to determine all efficient force univocally as - will to power. The world viewed from inside, the world defined and determined according to its "intelligible character" - it would be "will to power" and nothing else.
"What? Doesn't this mean, to speak with the vulgar: God is refuted, but the devil is not?" On the contrary! On the contrary, my friends. And, the devil - who forces you to speak with the vulgar?
What happened most recently in the broad daylight of modern times in the case of the French Revolution - that gruesome farce which, considered closely, was quite superfluous, though noble and enthusiastic spectators from all over Europe contemplated it from a distance and interpreted it according to their own indignations and enthusiasms for so long, and so passionately, that the text finally disappeared - under the interpretation - could happen once more as a noble posterity might misunderstand the whole past and in that way alone make it tolerable to look at. Or rather: isn't this what has happened even now? haven't we ourselves been this "noble posterity"? And isn't now precisely the moment when, insofar as we comprehend this, it is all over?
Nobody is very likely to consider a doctrine true merely because it makes people happy or virtuous - except perhaps the lovely "idealists" who become effusive about the good, the true, and the beautiful and allow all kinds of motley, clumsy, and benevolent desiderata to swim around in utter confusion in their pond. Happiness and virtue are no arguments. But people like to forget - even sober spirits - that making unhappy and evil are no counterarguments. Something might be true while being harmful and dangerous in the highest degree. Indeed, it might be a basic characteristic of existence that those who would know it completely would perish, in which case the strength of a spirit should be measured according to how much of the "truth" one could still barely endure or to put it more clearly, to what degree one would require it to be thinned down, shrouded, sweetened, blunted, falsified."' But there is no doubt at all that the evil and unhappy are more favored when it comes to the discovery of certain parts of truth, and that the probability of their success here is greater - not to speak of the evil who are happy, a species the moralists bury in silence. Perhaps hardness and cunning furnish more favorable conditions for the origin of the strong, independent spirit and philosopher than that gentle, fine, conciliatory good-naturedness and art of taking things lightly which people prize, and prize rightly, in a scholar. Assuming first of all that the concept "philosopher" is not restricted to the philosopher who writes books - or makes books of his philosophy. A final trait for the image of the free-spirited philosopher is contributed by Stendhal whom, considering German taste, I do not want to fail to stress - for he goes against the German taste. "Pour etre bon philosopher" says this last great psychologist, "il faut etre sec, clair, sans illusion. Un banquier, qui a fait fortune, a une partie du caractere requis pour faire des decouvertes en philosophie, c'est-a-dire pour voir clair dans ce qui est."
Whatever is profound loves masks; what is most profound even hates image and parable. Might not nothing less than the opposite be the proper disguise for the shame of a god? 2 1 A questionable question: it would be odd if some mystic had not risked something to that effect in his mind. There are occurrences of such a delicate nature that one does well to cover them up with some rudeness to conceal them; there are actions of love and extravagant generosity after which nothing is more advisable than to take a stick and give any eyewitness a sound thrashing: that would muddle his memory. Some know how to muddle and abuse their own memory in order to have their revenge at least against this only witness: shame is inventive. It is not the worst things that cause the worst shame: there is not only guile behind a mask - there is so much graciousness in cunning. I could imagine that a human being who had to guard something precious and vulnerable might roll through life, rude and round as an old green wine cask with heavy hoops: the refinement of his shame would want it that way. A man whose sense of shame has some profundity encounters his destinies and delicate decisions, too, on paths which few ever reach and of whose mere existence his closest intimates must not know: his mortal danger is concealed from their eyes, and so is his regained sureness of life. Such a concealed man who instinctively needs speech for silence and for burial in silence and who is inexhaustible in his evasion of communication, wants and sees to it that a mask of him roams in his place through the hearts and heads of his friends. And supposing he did not want it, he would still realize some day that in spite of that a mask of him is there - and that this is well. Every profound spirit needs a mask: even more, around every profound spirit a mask is growing continually, owing to the constantly false, namely shallow, interpretation of every word, every step, every sign of life he gives.
One has to test oneself to see that one is destined for independence and command - and do it at the right time. One should not dodge one's tests, though they may be the most dangerous game one could play and are tests that are taken in the end before no witness or judge but ourselves. Not to remain stuck to a person - not even the most loved - every person is a prison, also a nook. Not to remain stuck to a fatherland - not even if it suffers most and needs help most - it is less difficult to sever one's heart from a victorious fatherland. Not to remain stuck to some pity - not even for higher men into whose rare torture and helplessness some accident allowed us to look. Not to remain stuck to a science - even if it should lure us with the most precious finds that seem to have been saved up precisely for us. Not to remain stuck to one's own detachment, to that voluptuous remoteness and strangeness of the bird who flees ever higher to see ever more below him - the danger of the flier. Not to remain stuck to our own virtues and become as a whole the victim of some detail in us, such as our hospitality, which is the danger of dangers for superior and rich souls who spend themselves lavishly, almost indifferently, and exaggerate the virtue of generosity into a vice. One must know how to conserve oneself: the hardest test of independence.
A new species of philosophers is coming up: I venture to baptize them with a name that is not free of danger. As I unriddle them, insofar as they allow themselves to be unriddled - for it belongs to their nature to want to remain riddles at some point these philosophers of the future may have a right - it might also be a wrong - to be called attempters. This name itself is in the end a mere attempt and, if you will, a temptation.
Are these coming philosophers new friends of "truth"? That is probable enough, for all philosophers so far have loved their truths. But they will certainly not be dogmatists. It must offend their pride, also their taste, if their truth is supposed to be a truth for every man - which has so far been the secret wish and hidden meaning of all dogmatic aspirations. "My judgment is my judgment": no one else is easily entitled to it - that is what such a philosopher of the future may perhaps say of himself. One must shed the bad taste of wanting to agree with many. "Good" is no longer good when one's neighbor mouths it. And how should there be a "common good"! The term contradicts itself: whatever can be common always has little value. In the end it must be as it is and always has been: great things remain for the great, abysses for the profound, nuances and shudders for the refined, and, in brief, all that is rare for the rare.
Need I still say expressly after all this that they, too, will be free, very free spirits, these philosophers of the future - though just as certainly they will not be merely free spirits but something more, higher, greater, and thoroughly different that does not want to be misunderstood and mistaken for something else. But saying this I feel an obligation - almost as much to them as to ourselves who are their heralds and precursors, we free spirits - to sweep away a stupid old prejudice and misunderstanding about the lot of us: all too long it has clouded the concept "free spirit" like a fog. In all the countries of Europe, and in America, too, there now is something that abuses this name: a very narrow, imprisoned, chained type of spirits who want just about the opposite of what accords with our intentions and instincts - not to speak of the fact that regarding the new philosophers who are coming up they must assuredly be closed windows and bolted doors. They belong, briefly and sadly, among the levelers - these falsely so-called "free spirits" - being eloquent and prolifically scribbling slaves of the democratic taste and its "modern ideas"; they are all human beings without solitude, without their own solitude, clumsy good fellows whom one should not deny either courage or respectable decency - only they are unfree and ridiculously superficial, above all in their basic inclination to find in the forms of the old society as it has existed so far just about the cause of all human misery and failure - which is a way of standing truth happily upon her head! What they would like to strive for with all their powers is the universal green-pasture happiness of the herd, with security, lack danger, comfort, and an easier life for everyone; the two songs and doctrines which they repeat most often "equality of rights" and , "sympathy for all that suffers" - and suffering itself they take for something that must be abolished. We opposite men, having opened our eyes and conscience to the question where and how the plant "man" has so far grown most vigorously to a height - we think that this has happened every time under the opposite conditions, that to this end the dangerousness of his situation must first grow to the point of enormity, his power of invention and simulation (his "spirit") had to develop under prolonged pressure and constraint into refinement and audacity, his life - will had to be enhanced into an unconditional power will. We think that hardness, forcefulness, slavery, danger in the alley and the heart, life in hiding, stoicism, the art of experiment and devilry of every kind, that everything evil, terrible, tyrannical in man, everything in him that is kin to beasts of prey and serpents, serves the enhancement of the species "man" as much as its opposite does. Indeed, we do not even say enough when we say only that much; and at any rate we are at this point, in what we say and keep silent about, at the other end from all modem ideology and herd desiderata - as their antipodes perhaps? Is it any wonder that we "free spirits" are not exactly the most communicative spirits? that we do not want to betray in every particular from what a spirit can liberate himself and to what he may then be driven? And as for the meaning of the dangerous formula "," with which we at least guard against being mistaken for others: we are something different from "libres-penseurs," "liberi pensatori," "Freidenker", and whatever else all these goodly advocates of "modern ideas" like to call themselves. At home, or at least having been guests, in many countries of the spirit; having escaped again and again from the musty agreeable nooks into which preference and prejudice, youth, origin, the accidents of people and books or even exhaustion from wandering seemed to have banished us; full of malice against the lures of dependence that lie hidden in honors, or money, or offices, or enthusiasms of the senses; grateful even to need and vacillating sickness because they always rid us from some rule and its "prejudice," grateful to god, devil, sheep, and worm in us; curious to a vice, investigators to the point of cruelty, with uninhibited fingers for the unfathomable, with teeth and stomachs for the most indigestible, ready for every feat that requires a sense of acuteness and acute senses, ready for every venture, thanks to an excess of "free will," with fore- and back-souls into whose ultimate intentions nobody can look so easily, with fore- and backgrounds which no foot is likely to explore to the end; concealed under cloaks of light, conquerors even if we look like heirs and prodigals, arrangers and collectors from morning till late, misers of our riches and our crammed drawers, economical in learning and forgetting, inventive in schemas, occasionally proud of tables of categories, occasionally pedants, occasionally night owls of work even in broad daylight; yes, when it is necessary even scarecrows - and today it is necessary; namely, insofar as we are born, sworn, jealous friends of solitude, of our own most profound, most midnightly, most middaily solitude: that is the type of man we are, we free spirits! And perhaps you have something of this, too, you that are coming? you new philosophers?
Part Three : The Religious Nature
The human soul and its frontiers, the compass of human inner experience in general attained hitherto, the heights, depths and distances of this experience, the entire history of the soul hitherto and its still unexhausted possibilities: this is the predestined hunting?ground for a born psychologist and lover of the `big?game hunt'. But how often must he say despairingly to himself: `one man! alas, but one man! and this great forest and jungle!' And thus he wishes he had a few hundred beaters and subtle well?instructed tracker dogs whom he could send into the history of the human soul and there round up his game. In vain: he discovers again and again, thoroughly and bitterly, how hard it is to find beaters and dogs for all the things which arouse his curiosity. The drawback in sending scholars out into new and dangerous hunting?grounds where courage, prudence, subtlety in every sense are needed is that they cease to be of any use precisely where the `big hunt', but also the big danger, begins ? precisely there do they lose their keenness of eye and keenness of nose. To divine and establish, for example, what sort of history the problem of knowledge and conscience has had in the soul of homines religiosi one would oneself perhaps have to be as profound, as wounded, as monstrous as Pascal's intellectual conscience was ? and then there would still be needed that broad heaven of bright, malicious spirituality capable of looking down on this turmoil of dangerous and painful experiences, surveying and ordering them and forcing them into formulas. ? But who could do me this service! And who could have the time to wait for such servants! ? they appear too rarely, they are at all times so very improbable! In the end one has to do everything oneself if one is to know a few things oneself that is to say, one has much to do! ? But a curiosity like mine is after all the most pleasurable of vices ? I beg your pardon! I meant to say: the love of truth has its reward in Heaven, and already upon earth.-
The faith such as primitive Christianity demanded and not infrequently obtained in the midst of a skeptical and southerly free?spirited world with a centuries?long struggle between philosophical schools behind it and in it, plus the education in tolerance provided by the Imperium Romanum ? this faith is not that gruff, true?hearted liegeman's faith with which a Luther, say, or a Cromwell, or some other northern barbarian of the spirit cleaved to his God and his Christianity; it is rather that faith of Pascal which resembles in a terrible fashion a protracted suicide of reason ? of a tough, long?lived, wormlike reason which is not to be killed instantaneously with a single blow. The Christian faith is from the beginning sacrifice: sacrifice of all freedom, all pride, all self?confidence of the spirit, at the same time enslavement and self?mockery, self-mutilation. There is cruelty and religious Phoenicianism in this faith exacted of an over?ripe, manifold and much?indulged conscience: its presupposition is that the subjection of the spirit is indescribably painful, that the entire past and habitude of such a spirit resists the absurdissimum which `faith' appears to it to be. Modern men, with their obtuseness to all Christian nomenclature, no longer sense the gruesome superlative which lay for an antique taste in the paradoxical formula `god on the cross'. Never and nowhere has there hitherto been a comparable boldness in inversion, anything so fearsome, questioning and questionable, as this formula: it promised a revaluation of all antique values. ? It is the orient, the innermost orient, it is the oriental slave who in this fashion took vengeance on Rome and its noble and frivolous tolerance, on Roman `catholicism' of faith ? and it has never been faith but always freedom from faith, that half?stoical and smiling unconcern with the seriousness of faith, that has enraged slaves in their masters and against their masters. `Enlightenment' enrages: for the slave wants the unconditional, he understands in the domain of morality too only the tyrannical, he loves as he hates, without nuance, into the depths of him, to the point of pain, to the point of sickness ? the great hidden suffering he feels is enraged at the noble taste which seems to deny suffering. Skepticism towards suffering, at bottom no more than a pose of aristocratic morality, was likewise not the least contributory cause of the last great slave revolt which began with the French Revolution.
Wherever the religious neurosis has hitherto appeared on earth we find it tied to three dangerous dietary prescriptions: solitude, fasting and sexual abstinence ? but without our being able to decide with certainty which is cause here and which effect, or whether any relation of cause and effect is involved here at all. The justification of the latter doubt is that one of the most frequent symptoms of the condition, in the case of savage and tame peoples, is the most sudden and most extravagant voluptuousness which is then, just as suddenly, reversed into a convulsion of penitence and a denial of world and will: both perhaps interpretable as masked epilepsy? But nowhere is it more necessary to renounce interpretations: around no other type has there grown up such an abundance of nonsense and superstition, none seems to have hitherto interested men, even philosophers, more ? the time has come to cool down a little on this matter, to learn caution: better, to look away, to go away. ? Still in the background of the most recent philosophy, the Schopenhaueran, there stands, almost as the problem in itself, this gruesome question?mark of the religious crisis and awakening. How is denial of the will possible? How is the saint possible? ? this really seems to have been the question over which Schopenhauer became a philosopher and set to work. And thus it showed a genuinely Schopenhaueran outcome that his most convinced adherent (perhaps also his last adherent, so far as Germany is concerned ?), namely Richard Wagner, brought his own life's work to an end at precisely this point and at last introduced that dreadful and eternal type onto the stage as Kundry, type vecu, just as it is; and at the very time when the psychiatrists of almost all the nations of Europe had an opportunity of studying it at close quarters wherever the religious neurosis or, as I call it, `the religious nature' ? staged its latest epidemic parade and outbreak as the `Salvation Army'. - But if one asks what it has really been in this whole phenomenon of the saint that has interested men of all types and ages, even philosophers, so immoderately, then the answer is, beyond doubt, the appearance of the miraculous adhering to it, namely the direct succession of opposites, of morally antithetical states of soul: here it seemed a palpable fact that a `bad man' all at once became a `saint', a good man. Psychology has hitherto come to grief at this point: has it not been principally because it has acknowledged the dominion of morality, because it itself believed in antithetical moral values and saw, read, interpreted these antitheses into the text and the facts? What? The `miracle' only an error of interpretation? A lack of philology?
It seems that their Catholicism is much more an intrinsic part of the Latin races than the whole of Christianity in general is of us northerners; and that unbelief consequently signifies something altogether different in Catholic countries from what it does in Protestant ? namely a kind of revolt against the spirit of the race, while with us it is rather a return to the spirit (or lack of spirit ?) of the race. We northerners are undoubtedly descended from barbarian races also in respect of our talent for religion: we have little talent for it. We may except the Celts, who therefore supplied the best soil for the reception of the Christian infection in the north ? the Christian ideal came to blossom, so far as the pale northern sun permitted it, in France. How uncongenially pious are to our taste even these latest French sceptics when they have in them any Celtic blood! How Catholic, how un-German does Auguste Comte's sociology smell to us with its Roman logic of the instincts! How Jesuitical that clever and charming cicerone of Port?Royal, Sainte?Beuve, despite all his hostility towards the Jesuits! And even more so Ernest Renan: how inaccessible to us northerners is the language of a Renan, in whom every other minute some nothingness of religious tension topples a soul which is in a refined sense voluptuous and relaxed! Repeat these beautiful words of his ? and what malice and high spirits are at once aroused in reply in our probably less beautiful and sterner, that is to say German, souls: ? `Disons donc hardiment que la religion est un produit de l'homme normal, que l'homme est le plus dans le vrai quand il est le plus religieux et le plus assure d'une destinee infinie . . . C'est quand il est bon qu'il veut que la vertu corresponde a une ordre eternelle, c'est quand il contemple les choses d'une maniere desinteressee qu'il trouve la mort revoltante et absurde. Comment ne pas supposer que c'est dans ces moments-ci, que l'homme voit le mieux?. . .' These words are so totally antipodal to my ears and habits that when I discovered them my immediate anger wrote beside them `la niaiserie religieuse par excellence!' ? until my subsequent anger actually began to like them, these words with their upside?down?truth! It is so pleasant, so distinguishing, to possess one's own antipodes!
What astonishes one about the religiosity of the ancient Greeks is the tremendous amount of gratitude that emanates from it ? the kind of man who stands thus before nature and before life is a very noble one! ? Later, when the rabble came to predominate in Greece, fear also overran religion; and Christianity was preparing itself.
The passion for God: there is the peasant, true?hearted and importunate kind, like Luther's ? the whole of Protestantism lacks southern delicatezza. There is an oriental ecstatic kind, like that of a slave who has been undeservedly pardoned and elevated, as for example in the case of Augustine, who lacks in an offensive manner all nobility of bearing and desire. There is the womanly tender and longing kind which presses bashfully and ignorantly for a unio mystica et physica: as in the case of Madame de Guyon. In many cases it appears strangely enough as a disguise for the puberty of a girl or a youth; now and then even as the hysteria of an old maid, also as her final ambition ? the church has more than once canonized the woman in question.
Hitherto the mightiest men have still bowed down reverently before the saint as the enigma of self?constraint and voluntary final renunciation: why did they bow? They sensed in him as it were behind the question?mark presented by his fragile and miserable appearance ? the superior force that sought to prove itself through such a constraint, the strength of will in which they recognized and knew how to honour their own strength and joy in ruling: they honoured something in themselves when they honoured the saint. In addition to this, the sight of the saint aroused a suspicion in them: such an enormity of denial, of anti?nature, will not have been desired for nothing, they said to themselves. Is there perhaps a reason for it, a very great danger about which the ascetic, thanks to his secret visitors and informants, might possess closer knowledge? Enough, the mighty of the world learned in face of him a new fear, they sensed a new power, a strange enemy as yet unsubdued ? it was the `will to power' which constrained them to halt before the saint. They had to question him ?.
In the Jewish `Old Testament', the book of divine justice, there are men, things and speeches of so grand a style that Greek and Indian literature have nothing to set beside it. One stands in reverence and trembling before these remnants of what man once was and has sorrowful thoughts about old Asia and its little jutting?out promontory Europe, which would like to signify as against Asia the `progress of man'. To be sure: he who is only a measly tame domestic animal and knows only the needs of a domestic animal (like our cultured people of today, the Christians of `cultured' Christianity included ?) has no reason to wonder, let alone to sorrow, among those ruins ? the taste for the Old Testament is a touchstone in regard to `great' and `small' ? : perhaps he will find the New Testament, the book of mercy, more after his own heart (there is in it a great deal of the genuine delicate, musty odour of devotee and petty soul). To have glued this New Testament, a species of rococo taste in every respect, on to the Old Testament to form a single book, as `bible', as `the book of books': that is perhaps the greatest piece of temerity and `sin against the spirit' that literary Europe has on its conscience.
Why atheism today? ? `The father' in God is thoroughly refuted; likewise `the judge', `the rewarder'. Likewise his `free will': he does not hear ? and if he heard he would still not know how to help. The worst thing is: he seems incapable of making himself clearly understood: is he himself vague about what he means? ? These are what, in the course of many conversations, asking and listening, I found to be the causes of the decline of European theism; it seems to me that the religious instinct is indeed in vigorous growth ? but that it rejects the theistic answer with profound mistrust.
What, at bottom, is the whole of modern philosophy doing? Since Descartes ? and indeed rather in spite of him than on the basis of his precedent ? all philosophers have been making an attentat on the ancient soul concept under the cloak of a critique of the subject?and?predicate concept ? that is to say, an attentat on the fundamental presupposition of Christian doctrine. Modern philosophy, as an epistemological scepticism, is, covertly or openly, anti?Christian: although, to speak to more refined ears, by no means anti?religious. For in the past one believed in `the soul' as one believed in grammar and the grammatical subject: one said `I' is the condition, `think' is the predicate and conditioned ? thinking is an activity to which a subject must be thought of as cause. Then one tried with admirable artfulness and tenacity to fathom whether one could not get out of this net ? whether the reverse was not perhaps true: `think' the condition, `I' conditioned; 'I' thus being only a synthesis produced by thinking. Kant wanted fundamentally to prove that, starting from the subject, the subject could not be proved ? nor could the object: the possibility of an apparent existence of the subject, that is to say of `the soul', may not always have been remote from him, that idea which, as the philosophy of the Vedanta, has exerted immense influence on earth before.
There is a great ladder of religious cruelty with many rungs; but three of them are the most important. At one time one sacrificed human beings to one's god, perhaps precisely those human beings one loved best -the sacrifice of the first-born present in all prehistoric religions belongs here, as does the sacrifice of the Emperor Tiberius in the Mithras grotto on the isle of Capri, that most horrible of all Roman anachronisms. Then, in the moral epoch of mankind, one sacrificed to one's god the strongest instincts one possessed, one's `nature'; the joy of thin festival glitters in the cruel glance of the ascetic, the inspired `anti?naturist'. Finally: what was left to be sacrificed? Did one not finally have to sacrifice everything comforting, holy, healing, all hope, all faith in a concealed harmony, in a future bliss and justice? Did one not have to sacrifice God himself and out of cruelty against oneself worship stone, stupidity, gravity, fate, nothingness? To sacrifice God for nothingness-this paradoxical mystery of the ultimate act of cruelty was reserved for the generation which is even now arising: we all know something of it already.
He who, prompted by some enigmatic desire, has, like me, long endeavoured to think pessimism through to the bottom and to redeem it from the half?Christian, half?German simplicity and narrowness with which it finally presented itself to this century, namely in the form of the Schopenhaueran philosophy; he who has really gazed with an Asiatic and more than Asiatic eye down into the most world?denying of all possible modes of thought ? and no longer, like Buddha and Schopenhauer, under the spell and illusion of morality ? perhaps by that very act, and without really intending to, may have had his eyes opened to the opposite ideal: to the ideal of the most exuberant, most living and most world?affirming man, who has not only learned to get on and treat with all that was and is but who wants to have it again as it was and is to all eternity, insatiably calling out da capo not only to himself but to the whole piece and play, and not only to a play but fundamentally to him who needs precisely this play ? and who makes it necessary: because he needs himself again and again ? and makes himself necessary ? What? And would this not be ? circulus vitiosus deus?
With the strength of his spiritual sight and insight the distance, and as it were the space, around man continually expands: his world grows deeper, ever new stars, ever new images and enigmas come into view. Perhaps everything on which the spirit's eye has exercised its profundity and acuteness has been really but an opportunity for its exercise, a game, something for children and the childish. Perhaps the most solemn concepts which have occasioned the most strife and suffering, the concepts `God' and `sin', will one day seem to us of no more importance than a child's toy and a child's troubles seem to an old man ? and perhaps `old man' will then have need of another toy and other troubles ? still enough of a child, an eternal child!
Has it been observed to what extent a genuine religious life (both for its favourite labour of microscopic self?examination and that gentle composure which calls itself `prayer' and which is a constant readiness for the `coming of God'?) requires external leisure or semi?leisure, I mean leisure with a good conscience, inherited, by blood, which is not altogether unfamiliar with the aristocratic idea that work degrades ? that is to say, makes soul and body common? And that consequently modern, noisy, time?consuming, proud and stupidly proud industriousness educates and prepares precisely for `unbelief' more than anything else does? Among those in Germany for example who nowadays live without religion, I find people whose `free?thinking' is of differing kinds and origins but above all a majority of those in whom industriousness from generation to generation has extinguished the religious instincts: so that they no longer have any idea what religions are supposed to be for and as it were merely register their existence in the world with a kind of dumb amazement. They feel they are already fully occupied, these worthy people, whether with their businesses or with their pleasures, not to speak of the `fatherland' and the newspapers and `family duties': it seems that they have no time at all left for religion, especially as it is not clear to them whether it involves another business or another pleasure ? for they tell themselves it is not possible that one goes to church simply to make oneself miserable. They are not opposed to religious usages; if participation in such usages is demanded in certain cases, by the state for instance, they do what is demanded of them as one does so many things ? with patient and modest seriousness and without much curiosity and discomfort ? it is only that they live too much aside and outside even to feel the need for any for or against in such things. The great majority of German middle?class Protestants can today be numbered among these indifferent people, especially in the great industrious centres of trade and commerce; likewise the great majority of industrious scholars and the entire university equipage (excepting the theologians, whose possibility and presence there provides the psychologist with ever more and ever subtler enigmas to solve). Pious or even merely church?going people seldom realize how much good will, one might even say willfulness, it requires nowadays for a German scholar to take the problem of religion seriously; his whole trade (and, as said above, the tradesmanlike industriousness to which his modern conscience obliges him) disposes him to a superior, almost good?natured merriment in regard to religion, sometimes mixed with a mild contempt directed at the `uncleanliness' of spirit which he presupposes wherever one still belongs to the church. It is only with the aid of history (thus not from his personal experience) that the scholar succeeds in summoning up a reverent seriousness and a certain shy respect towards religion; but if he intensifies his feelings towards it even to the point of feeling grateful to it, he has still in his own person not got so much as a single step closer to that which still exists as church or piety: perhaps the reverse. The practical indifference to religious things in which he was born and raised is as a rule sublimated in him into a caution and cleanliness which avoids contact with religious people and things; and it can be precisely the depth of his tolerance and humanity that bids him evade the subtle distress which tolerance itself brings with it. ? Every age has its own divine kind of naivety for the invention of which other ages may envy it ? and how much naivety, venerable, childlike and boundlessly stupid naivety there is in the scholar's belief in his superiority, in the good conscience of his tolerance, in the simple unsuspecting certainty with which his instinct treats the religious man as an inferior and lower type which he himself has grown beyond and above ? he, the little presumptuous dwarf and man of the mob, the brisk and busy head? and handyman of `ideas', of `modern ideas'!
He who has seen deeply into the world knows what wisdom there is in the fact that men are superficial It is their instinct for preservation which teaches them to be fickle, light and false. Here and there, among philosophers as well as artists, one finds a passionate and exaggerated worship of `pure forms': let no one doubt that he who needs the cult of surfaces to that extent has at some time or other made a calamitous attempt to get beneath them. Perhaps there might even exist an order of rank in regard to these burnt children, these born artists who can find pleasure in life only in the intention of falsifying its image (as it were in a long?drawn?out revenge on life ?): one could determine the degree to which life has been spoiled for them by the extent to which they want to see its image falsified, attenuated and made otherworldly and divine ? one could include the homines religiosi among the artists as their highest rank. It is the profound suspicious fear of an incurable pessimism which compels whole millennia to cling with their teeth to ?a religious interpretation of existence: the fear born of that instinct which senses that one might get hold of the truth too soon, before mankind was sufficiently strong, sufficiently hard, sufficient of an artist . . . Piety, the `life in God', would, viewed in this light, appear as the subtlest and ultimate product of the fear of truth, as the artist's worship of an intoxication before the most consistent of all falsifications, as the will to inversion of truth, to untruth at any price. Perhaps there has up till now been no finer way of making man himself more beautiful than piety: through piety man can become to so great a degree of art, surface, play of colours, goodness, that one no longer suffers at the sight of him.
To love men for the sake of God ?that has been the noblest and most remote feeling attained to among men up till now. That love of man without some sanctifying ulterior objective is one piece of stupidity and animality more, that the inclination to this love of man has first to receive its measure, its refinement, its grain of salt and drop of amber from a higher inclination whatever man it was who first felt and `experienced' this, however much his tongue may have faltered as it sought to express such a delicate thought, let him be holy and venerated to us for all time as the man who has soared the highest and gone the most beautifully astray!
The philosopher as we understand him, we free spirits ? as the man of the most comprehensive responsibility who has the conscience for the collective evolution of mankind: this philosopher will make use of the religions for his work of education and breeding, just as he will make use of existing political and economic conditions. The influence on selection and breeding, that is to say the destructive as well as the creative and formative influence which can be exercised with the aid of the religions, is manifold and various depending on the kind of men placed under their spell and protection. For the strong and independent prepared and predestined for command, in whom the art and reason of a ruling race is incarnated, religion is one more means of overcoming resistance so as to be able to rule: as a bond that unites together ruler and ruled and betrays and hands over to the former the consciences of the latter, all that is hidden and most intimate in them which would like to exclude itself from obedience; and if some natures of such noble descent incline through lofty spirituality to a more withdrawn and meditative life and reserve to themselves only the most refined kind of rule (over select disciples or brothers), then religion can even be used as a means of obtaining peace from the noise and effort of cruder modes of government, and cleanliness from the necessary dirt of all politics. Thus did the Brahmins, for example, arrange things: with the aid of a religious organization they gave themselves the power of nominating their kings for the people, while keeping and feeling themselves aside and outside as men of higher and more than kingly tasks. In the meantime, religion also gives a section of the ruled guidance and opportunity for preparing itself for future rule and command; that is to say, those slowly rising orders and classes in which through fortunate marriage customs the strength and joy of the will, the will to self?mastery is always increasing ? religion presents them with sufficient instigations and temptations to take the road to higher spirituality, to test the feelings of great self?overcoming, of silence and solitude ? asceticism and puritanism are virtually indispensable means of education and ennobling if a race wants to become master over its origins in the rabble, and work its way up towards future rule. To ordinary men, finally, the great majority, who exist for service and general utility and who may exist only for that purpose, religion gives an invaluable contentment with their nature and station, manifold peace of heart, an ennobling of obedience, one piece of joy and sorrow more to share with their fellows, and some transfiguration of the whole everydayness, the whole lowliness, the whole half?bestial poverty of their souls. Religion and the religious significance of life sheds sunshine over these perpetual drudges and makes their own sight tolerable to them, it has the effect which an Epicurean philosophy usually has on sufferers of a higher rank, refreshing, refining, as it were making the most use of suffering, ultimately even sanctifying and justifying. Perhaps nothing in Christianity and Buddhism is so venerable as their art of teaching even the lowliest to set themselves through piety in an apparently higher order of things and thus to preserve their contentment with the real order, within which they live hard enough lives ? and necessarily have to!
In the end, to be sure, to present the debit side of the account to these religions and to bring into the light of day their uncanny perilousness ? it costs dear and terribly when religions hold sway, not as means of education and breeding in the hands of the philosopher, but in their own right and as sovereign, when they themselves want to be final ends and not means beside other means. Among men, as among every other species, there is a surplus of failures, of the sick, the degenerate, the fragile, of those who are bound to suffer; the successful cases are, among men too, always the exception, and. considering that man is the animal whose nature has not yet been fixed, the rare exception. But worse still: the higher the type of man a man represents, the greater the improbability he will turn out well: chance, the law of absurdity in the total economy of mankind, shows itself in its most dreadful shape in its destructive effect on higher men, whose conditions of life are subtle, manifold and difficult to compute. Now what is the attitude of the above?named two chief religions towards this surplus of unsuccessful cases? They seek to preserve, to retain in life, whatever can in any way be preserved, indeed they side with it as a matter of principle as religions for sufferers, they maintain that all those who suffer from life as from an illness are in the right, and would like every other feeling of life to be counted false and become impossible. However highly one may rate this kindly preservative solicitude, inasmuch as, together with all the other types of man, it has been and is applied to the highest type, which has hitherto almost always been the type that has suffered most: in the total accounting the hitherto sovereign religions are among the main reasons the type `man' has been kept on a lower level they have preserved too much of that which ought to perish. We have inestimable benefits to thank them for; and who is sufficiently rich in gratitude not to be impoverished in face of all that the `spiritual men' of Christianity, for example, have hitherto done for Europe! And yet, when they gave comfort to the suffering, courage to the oppressed and despairing, a staff and stay to the irresolute, and lured those who were inwardly shattered and had become savage away from society into monasteries and houses of correction for the soul: what did they have to do in addition so as thus, with a good conscience, as a matter of principle, to work at the preservation of everything sick and suffering, which means in fact and truth at the corruption of the European race? Stand all evaluations on their head ? that is what they had to do! And smash the strong, contaminate great hopes, cast suspicion on joy in beauty, break down everything autocratic, manly, conquering, tyrannical, all the instincts proper to the highest and most successful of the type `man', into uncertainty, remorse of conscience, self?destruction, indeed reverse the whole love of the earthly and of dominion over the earth into hatred of the earth and the earthly ? that is the task the church set itself and had to set itself, until in its evaluation 'unworldliness', `unsensuality', and `higher man' were finally fused together into one feeling. Supposing one were able to view the strangely painful and at the same time coarse and subtle comedy of European Christianity with the mocking and unconcerned eye of an Epicurean god, I believe there would be no end to one's laughter and amazement: for does it not seem that one will has dominated Europe for eighteen centuries, the will to make of man a sublime abortion? But he who, with an opposite desire, no longer Epicurean but with some divine hammer in his hand, approached this almost deliberate degeneration and stunting of man such as constitutes the European Christian (Pascal for instance), would he not have to cry out in rage, in pity, in horror: `O you fools, you presumptuous, pitying fools, what have you done! Was this a work for your hands! How you have bungled and botched my beautiful stone! What a thing for you to take upon yourselves!' ? What I am saying is: Christianity has been the most fatal kind of self?presumption ever. Men not high or hard enough for the artistic refashioning of mankind; men not strong or farsighted enough for the sublime self?constraint needed to allow the foreground law of thousandfold failure and perishing to prevail; men not noble enough to see the abysmal disparity in order of rank and abysm of rank between men and man ? it is such men who, with their `equal before God', have hitherto ruled over the destiny of Europe, until at last a shrunken, almost ludicrous species, a herd animal, something full of good will, sickly and mediocre has been bred, the European of today . . .
Part Four : Maxims and Interludes
He who is a teacher from the very heart takes all things seriously only with reference to his students ? even himself.
'Knowledge for its own sake' ? this is the last snare set by morality: one therewith gets completely entangled with it once more.
The charm of knowledge would be small if so much shame did not have to be overcome on the road to it.
One is most dishonest towards one's God: he is not permitted to sin!
The inclination to disparage himself, to let himself be robbed, lied to and exploited, could be the self?effacement of a god among men.
Love of one is a piece of barbarism: for it is practised at the expense of all others. Love of God likewise.
'I have done that,' says my memory. 'I cannot have done that' ? says my pride, and remains adamant. At last ? memory yields.
One has been a bad spectator of life if one has not also seen the hand that in a considerate fashion ? kills.
If one has character one also has one's typical experience which recurs again and again.
The sage as astronomer. ? As long as you still feel the stars as being something 'over you' you still lack the eye of the man of knowledge.
It is not the strength but the duration of exalted sensations which makes exalted men.
He who attains his ideal by that very fact transcends it.
Many a peacock hides his peacock tail from all eyes ? and calls it his pride.
A man with genius is unendurable if he does not also possess at least two other things: gratitude and cleanliness.
The degree and kind of a man's sexuality reaches up into the topmost summit of his spirit.
Under conditions of peace the warlike man attacks himself.
With one's principles one seeks to tyrannize over one's habits or to justify or honour or scold or conceal them ? two people with the same principles probably seek something fundamentally different with them.
He who despises himself still nonetheless respects himself as one who despises.
A soul which knows it is loved but does not itself love betrays its dregs ? its lowest part comes up.
A thing explained is a thing we have no further concern with. ?? What did that god mean who counselled: `know thyself!'? Does that perhaps mean: `Have no further concern with thyself! become objective!' ? And Socrates? ? And the `man of science'?-
It is dreadful to die of thirst in the sea. Do you have to salt your truth so much that it can no longer even ? quench thirst?
`Pity for all' ? would be harshness and tyranny for you, my neighbour!
Instinct ? When the house burns down one forgets even one's dinner. ? Yes: but one retrieves it from the ashes.
Woman learns how to hate to the extent that she unlearns how ? to charm.
The same emotions in man and woman are, however, different in tempo: therefore man and woman never cease to misunderstand one another.
Behind all their personal vanity women themselves always have their impersonal contempt ? for `woman'.
Bound heart, free spirit ? If one binds one's heart firmly and imprisons it one can allow one's spirit many liberties: I have said that before. But no one believes it if he does not already know it . . .
One begins to mistrust very clever people when they become embarrassed.
Terrible experiences make one wonder whether he who experiences them is not something terrible.
Heavy, melancholy people grow lighter through precisely that which makes others heavy, through hatred and love, and for a while they rise to their surface.
So cold, so icy one burns one's fingers on him! Every hand that grasps him starts back! ? And for just that reason many think he is growing hot.
Who has not for the sake of his reputation ? sacrificed himself?
There is no hatred for men in geniality, but for just that reason all too much , contempt for men.
Mature manhood: that means to have rediscovered the seriousness one had as a child at play.
To be ashamed of one's immorality: that is a step on the ladder at the end of which one is also ashamed of one's morality.
One ought to depart from life as Odysseus departed from Nausicaa ? blessing rather than in love with it.
What? A great man? I always see only the actor of his own ideal.
If one trains one's conscience it will kiss us as it bites.
The disappointed man speaks. ? `I listened for an echo and I heard only praise ?.'
Before ourselves we all pose as being simpler than we are: thus do we take a rest from our fellow men.
Today a man of knowledge might easily feel as if he were God become animal.
To discover he is loved in return ought really to disenchant the lover with the beloved. `What? She is so modest as to love even you? Or so stupid? Or ? or ?.'
The danger in happiness. ? `Now everything is turning out well for me, now I love every destiny ? who would like to be my destiny?'
It is not their love for men but the impotence of their love for men which hinders the Christians of today from ? burning us.
The free spirit, the `pious man of knowledge' ? finds pia fraus even more offensive to his taste (to his kind of `piety') than impia fraus. Hence the profound lack of understanding of the church typical of the `free spirit' ? his kind of unfreedom.
By means of music the passions enjoy themselves.
To close your ears to even the best counter?argument once the decision has been taken: sign of a strong character. Thus an occasional will to stupidity.
There are no moral phenomena at all, only a moral interpretation of phenomena. . .
The criminal is often enough not equal to his deed: he disparages and slanders it.
A criminal's lawyers are seldom artists enough to turn the beautiful terribleness of the deed to the advantage of him who did it
Our vanity is hardest to wound precisely when our pride has just been wounded.
He who feels predestined to regard and not believe finds all believers too noisy and importunate: he rebuffs them.
`You want to make him interested in you? Then pretend to be embarrassed in his presence ?'
The tremendous expectation in regard to sexual love and the shame involved in this expectation distorts all a woman's perspectives from the start.
Where neither love nor hate is in the game a woman is a mediocre player.
The great epochs of our life are the occasions when we gain the courage to rebaptize our evil qualities as our best qualities.
The will to overcome an emotion is ultimately only the will of another emotion or of several others.
There is an innocence in admiration: he has it to whom it has not yet occurred that he too could one day be admired.
Disgust with dirt can be so great that it prevents us from cleaning ourselves ? from `justifying' ourselves.
Sensuality often makes love grow too quickly, so that the root remains weak and is easy to pull out.
It was a piece of subtle refinement that God learned Greek when he wanted to become a writer? and that he did not learn it better.
To enjoy praise is with some people only politeness of the heart ? and precisely the opposite of vanity of the spirit.
Even concubinage has been corrupted: ? by marriage.
He who rejoices even at the stake triumphs not over pain but at the fact that he feels no pain where he had expected to feel it. A parable.
When we have to change our opinion about someone we hold the inconvenience he has therewith caused us greatly to his discredit.
A people is a detour of nature to get to six or seven great men. ? Yes: and then to get round them.
Science offends the modesty of all genuine women. They feel as if one were trying to look under their skin ? or worse! under their clothes and finery.
The more abstract the truth you want to teach the more you must seduce the senses to it.
The devil has the widest perspectives for God, and that is why he keeps so far away from him ? the devil being the oldest friend of knowledge.
What a person is begins to betray itself when his talent declines ? when he ceases to show what he can do. Talent is also finery; finery is also a hiding place.
The sexes deceive themselves about one another: the reason being that fundamentally they love and honour only themselves (or their own ideal, to express it more pleasantly?). Thus man wants woman to be peaceful ? but woman is essentially unpeaceful, like the cat, however well she may have trained herself to present an appearance of peace.
One is punished most for one's virtues.
He who does not know how to find the road to his ideal lives more frivolously and impudently than the man without an ideal.
All credibility, all good conscience, all evidence of truth comes only from the senses.
Pharisaism is not degeneration in a good man: a good part of it is rather the condition of all being good.
One seeks a midwife for his thoughts, another someone to whom he can be a midwife: thus originates a good conversation.
When one has dealings with scholars and artists it is easy to miscalculate in opposite directions: behind a remarkable scholar one not infrequently finds a mediocre man, and behind a mediocre artist often ? a very remarkable man.
What we do in dreams we also do when we are awake: we invent and fabricate the person with whom we associate ? and immediately forget we have done so.
In revenge and in love woman is more barbarous than man.
Counsel as conundrum ? `If the bonds are not to burst ? you must try to cut them first.'
The belly is the reason man does not so easily take himself for a god.
The chastest expression I have ever heard: `Dans le veritable amour c'est l'ame, qui enveloppe le corps.'
Our vanity would have just that which we do best count as that which is hardest for us. The origin of many a morality:
When a woman has scholarly inclinations there is usually something wrong with her sexuality. Unfruitfulness itself disposes one to a certain masculinity of taste; for man is, if I may be allowed to say so, `the unfruitful animal'.
Comparing man and woman in general one may say: woman would not have the genius for finery if she did not have the instinct for the secondary role.
He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.
From old Florentine novels, moreover ? from life: 'buona femmina a mala femmina vuol bastone'. Sacchetti, Nov. 86.
To seduce one's neighbour to a good opinion and afterwards faithfully to believe in this good opinion of one's neighbour: who can do this trick as well as women?
That which an age feels to be evil is usually an untimely after-echo of that which was formerly felt to be good ? the atavism of an older ideal.
Around the hero everything becomes a tragedy, around the demi?god a satyr?play; and around God everything becomes what? Perhaps a `world'? -
It is not enough to possess a talent: one must also possess your permission to possess it ? eh, my friends?
`Where the tree of knowledge stands is always Paradise': thus speak the oldest and youngest serpents.
That which is done out of love always takes place .
Objection, evasion, happy distrust, pleasure in mockery are signs of health: everything unconditional belongs in pathology.
The sense of the tragic increases and diminishes with sensuality.
Madness is something rare in individuals ? but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule.
The thought of suicide is a powerful solace: by means of it one gets through many a bad night.
To our strongest drive, the tyrant in us, not only our reason but also our conscience submits.
One has to requite good and ill: but why to precisely the person who did us good or ill?
One no longer loves one's knowledge enough when one has communicated it.
Poets behave impudently towards their experiences: they exploit them.
'Our neighbour is not our neighbour but our neighbour's neighbour' - thus thinks every people.
Love brings to light the exalted and concealed qualities of a lover ? what is rare and exceptional in him: to that extent it can easily deceive as to what is normal in him.
Jesus said to his Jews: `The law was made for servants ? love God as I love him, as his son! What have we sons of God to do with morality!'
Concerning every party ? A shepherd always has need of a bellwether ? or he must himself occasionally be one.
You may lie with your mouth, but with the mouth you make as you do so you none the less tell the truth.
With hard men intimacy is a thing of shame - and something precious.
Christianity gave Eros poison to drink ? he did not die of it, to be sure, but degenerated into vice.
to talk about oneself a great deal can also be a means of concealing oneself.
In praise there is more importunity than in blame.
Pity in a man of knowledge seems almost ludicrous, like sensitive hands on a Cyclops.
From love of man one sometimes embraces anyone (because one cannot embrace everyone): but one must never let this anyone know it. . .
One does not hate so long as one continues to rate low, but only when one has come to rate equal or higher.
You utilitarians, you too love everything useful only as a vehicle of your inclinations ? you too really find the noise of its wheels intolerable?
Ultimately one loves one's desires and not that which is desired.
The vanity of others offends our taste only when it offends our vanity.
Perhaps no one has ever been sufficiently truthful about what `truthfulness' is.
Clever people are not credited with their follies: what a deprivation of human rights!
The consequences of our actions take us by the scruff of the neck, altogether indifferent to the fact that we have `improved' in the meantime.
There is an innocence in lying which is the sign of good faith in a cause.
It is inhuman to bless where one is cursed.
The familiarity of the superior embitters, because it may not be returned.
`Not that you lied to me but that I no longer believe you - that is what has distressed me ?.'
There is a wild spirit of good?naturedness which looks like malice.
`I do not like it.' ? Why? ? `I am not up to it.' ? Has anyone ever answered like that?
Part Five : On the Natural History of Morals
Moral sensibility is as subtle, late, manifold, sensitive and refined in Europe today as the `science of morals' pertaining to it is still young, inept, clumsy and coarse?fingered ? an interesting contrast which sometimes even becomes visible and incarnate in the person of a moralist. Even the expression `science of morals' is, considering what is designated by it, far too proud, and contrary to good taste: which is always accustomed to choose the more modest expressions. One should, in all strictness, admit what will be needful here for a long time to come, what alone is provisionally justified here: assembly of material, conceptual comprehension and arrangement of a vast domain of delicate value?feelings and value-distinctions which live, grow, beget and perish ? and perhaps attempts to display the more frequent and recurring forms of these living crystallizations ? as preparation of a typology of morals. To be sure: one has not been so modest hitherto. Philosophers one and all have, with a strait?laced seriousness that provokes laughter, demanded something much higher, more pretentious, more solemn of themselves as soon as they have concerned themselves with morality as a science: they wanted to furnish the rational ground of morality ? and every philosopher hitherto has believed he has furnished this rational ground of morality itself, however, was taken as 'given'. How far from their clumsy pride was that apparently insignificant task left in dust and mildew, the task of description, although the most delicate hands and senses could hardly be delicate enough for it! It was precisely because moral philosophers knew the facts of morality only somewhat vaguely in an arbitrary extract or as a chance abridgement, as morality of their environment, their class, their church, the spirit of their times, their climate and zone of the earth, for instance ? it was precisely because they were ill informed and not even very inquisitive about other peoples, ages and former times, that they did not so much as catch sight of the real problems of morality ? for these come into view only if we compare many moralities. Strange though it may sound, in all `science of morals' hitherto the problem of morality itself has been lacking: the suspicion was lacking that there was anything problematic here. What philosophers called `the rational ground of morality' and sought to furnish was, viewed in the proper light, only a scholarly form of faith in the prevailing morality, a new way of expressing it, and thus itself a fact within a certain morality, indeed even in the last resort a kind of denial that this morality ought to be conceived of as a problem ? and in any event the opposite of a testing, analysis, doubting and vivisection of this faith. Hear, for example, with what almost venerable innocence Schopenhauer still presented his task, and draw your own conclusions as to how scientific a `science' is whose greatest masters still talk like children and old women: ? 'The principle', he says (Fundamental Problems of Ethics),
the fundamental proposition on whose content all philosophers of ethics are actually at one: neminem laede, immo omnes, quantum potes, juva ? is actually the proposition of which all the teachers of morals endeavour to furnish the rational ground ... the actual foundation of ethics which has been sought for centuries like the philosopher's stone.
? The difficulty of furnishing the rational ground for the above?quoted proposition may indeed be great ? as is well known, Schopenhauer too failed to do it ? ; and he who has ever been certain how insipidly false and sentimental this proposition is in a world whose essence is will to power may like to recall that Schopenhauer, although a pessimist, actually ? played the flute . . . Every day, after dinner: read his biographers on this subject. And by the way: a pessimist, a world?denier and God?denier, who comes to a halt before morality ? who affirms morality and plays the flute, affirms laede neminem morality: what? is that actually ? a pessimist?
Quite apart from the value of such assertions as `there exists in us a categorical imperative' one can still ask: what does such an assertion say of the man who asserts it? There are moralities which are intended to justify their authors before others; other moralities are intended to calm him and make him content with himself; with others he wants to crucify and humiliate himself; with others he wants to wreak vengeance, with others hide himself, with others transfigure himself and set himself on high; this morality serves to make its author forget, that to make him or something about him forgotten; many moralists would like to exercise power and their creative moods on mankind; others, Kant perhaps among them, give to understand with their morality: `what is worthy of respect in me is that I know how to obey ? and things ought to be no different with you!' ? in short, moralities too are only a sign-language of the emotions.
Every morality is, as opposed to laisser aller, a piece of tyranny against `nature', likewise against `reason': but that can be no objection to it unless one is in possession of some other morality which decrees that any kind of tyranny and unreason is impermissible. The essential and invaluable element in every morality is that it is a protracted constraint: to understand Stoicism or Port?Royal or Puritanism one should recall the constraint under which every language has hitherto attained strength and freedom ? the metrical constraint, the tyranny of rhyme and rhythm. How much trouble the poets and orators of every nation have given themselves! ? not excluding a few present?day prose writers in whose ear there dwells an inexorable conscience ? `for the sake of foolishness', as the utilitarian fools say, thinking they are clever ? `from subjection to arbitrary laws', as the anarchists say, feeling themselves `free', even free?spirited. But the strange fact is that all there is or has been on earth of freedom, subtlety, boldness, dance and masterly certainty, whether in thinking itself, or in ruling, or in speaking and persuasion, in the arts as in morals, has evolved only by virtue of the `tyranny of such arbitrary laws'; and, in all seriousness, there is no small probability that precisely this is `nature' and `natural' ? and not that laisser aller! Every artist knows how far from the feeling of letting himself go his `natural' condition is, the free ordering, placing, disposing, forming in the moment of `inspiration' ? and how strictly and subtly he then obeys thousandfold laws which precisely on account of their severity and definiteness mock all formulation in concepts (even the firmest concept is by comparison something fluctuating, manifold, ambiguous ?). The essential thing `in heaven and upon earth' seems, to say it again, to be a protracted obedience in one direction: from out of that there always emerges and has always emerged in the long run something for the sake of which it is worthwhile to live on earth, for example virtue, art, music, dance, reason, spirituality ? something transfiguring, refined, mad and divine. Protracted unfreedom of spirit, mistrustful constraint in the communicability of ideas, the discipline thinkers imposed on themselves to think within an ecclesiastical or courtly rule or under Aristotelian presuppositions, the protracted spiritual will to interpret all events according to a Christian scheme and to rediscover and justify the Christian God in every chance occurrence ? all these violent, arbitrary, severe, gruesome and antirational things have shown themselves to be the means by which the European spirit was disciplined in its strength, ruthless curiosity and subtle flexibility: though admittedly an irreplaceable quantity of force and spirit had at the same time to be suppressed, stifled and spoiled (for here as everywhere `nature' shows itself as it is, in all its prodigal and indifferent magnificence, which is noble though it outrage our feelings). That for thousands of years European thinkers thought only so as to prove something ? today, on the contrary, we suspect any thinker who `wants to prove something' ? that they always knew in advance that which was supposed to result from the most rigorous cogitation, as used to be the case with Asiatic astrology and is still the case with the innocuous Christian?moral interpretation of the most intimate personal experiences `to the glory of God' and `for the salvation of the soul' ? this tyranny, this arbitrariness, this rigorous and grandiose stupidity has educated the spirit; it seems that slavery, in the cruder and in the more refined sense, is the indispensable means also for spiritual discipline and breeding. Regard any morality from this point of view: it is `nature' in it which teaches hatred of laisser aller, of too great freedom, and which implants the need for limited horizons and immediate tasks ? which teaches the narrowing of perspective, and thus in a certain sense stupidity, as a condition of life and growth. 'Thou shalt obey someone and for a long time: otherwise thou shalt perish and lose all respect for thyself'? this seems to me to be nature's imperative, which is, to be sure, neither `categorical' as old Kant demanded it should be (hence the 'otherwise'?), nor addressed to the individual (what do individuals matter to nature!), but to peoples, races, ages, classes, and above all to the entire animal `man', to mankind.
The industrious races find leisure very hard to endure: it was a masterpiece of English instinct to make Sunday so extremely holy and boring that the English unconsciously long again for their week? and working?days ? as a kind of cleverly devised and cleverly intercalated fast, such as is also to be seen very frequently in the ancient world (although, as one might expect in the case of southern peoples, not precisely in regard to work ?). There have to be fasts of many kinds; and wherever powerful drives and habits prevail legislators have to see to it that there are intercalary days on which such a drive is put in chains and learns to hunger again. Seen from a higher viewpoint, entire generations and ages, if they are infected with some moral fanaticism or other, appear to be such intercalated periods of constraint and fasting, during which a drive learns to stoop and submit, but also to purify and intensify itself; certain philosophical sects (for example the Stoa in the midst of the Hellenistic culture, with its air grown rank and overcharged with aphrodisiac vapours) likewise permit of a similar interpretation. ? This also provides a hint towards the elucidation of that paradox why it was precisely during Europe's Christian period and only under the impress of Christian value judgements that the sexual drive sublimated itself into love (amour passion).
There is something in Plato's morality which does not really belong to Plato but is only to be met with in his philosophy, one might say in spite of Plato: namely Socratism, for which he was really too noble. `No one wants to do injury to himself, therefore all badness is involuntary. For the bad man does injury to himself: this he would not do if he knew that badness is bad. Thus the bad man is bad only in consequence of an error; if one cures him of his error, one necessarily makes him ? good.' ? This way of reasoning smells of the mob, which sees in bad behaviour only its disagreeable consequences and actually judges `it is stupid to act badly'; while it takes `good' without further ado to be identical with `useful and pleasant'. In the case of every utilitarian morality one may conjecture in advance a similar origin and follow one's nose: one will seldom go astray. ? Plato did all he could to interpret something refined and noble into his teacher's proposition, above all himself ? he, the most intrepid of interpreters, who picked up the whole of Socrates only in the manner of a popular tune from the streets, so as to subject it to infinite and impossible variations: that is, to make it into all his own masks and multiplicities. One might ask in jest, and in Homeric jest at that: what is the Platonic Socrates if not prosthe Platon opithen to Platon mess? te chimaira?
The old theological problem of `faith' and `knowledge' ? or, more clearly, of instinct and reason ? that is to say, the question whether in regard to the evaluation of things instinct deserves to have more authority than rationality, which wants to evaluate and act according to reasons, according to a `why?', that is to say according to utility and fitness for a purpose ? this is still that old moral problem which first appeared in the person of Socrates and was already dividing the minds of men long before Christianity. Socrates himself, to be sure, had, with the taste appropriate to his talent ? that of a superior dialectician ? initially taken the side of reason; and what indeed did he do all his life long but laugh at the clumsy incapacity of his noble Athenians, who were men of instinct, like all noble men, and were never able to supply adequate information about the reasons for their actions? Ultimately, however, in silence and secrecy, he laughed at himself too: he found in himself, before his more refined conscience and self?interrogation, the same difficulty and incapacity. But why, he exhorted himself, should one therefore abandon the instincts! One must help both them and reason to receive their due one must follow the instincts, but persuade reason to aid them with good arguments. This was the actual falsity of that great ironist, who had so many secrets; he induced his conscience to acquiesce in a sort of self?outwitting: fundamentally he had seen through the irrational aspect of moral judgement. ? Plato, more innocent in such things and without the craftiness of the plebeian, wanted at the expenditure of all his strength ? the greatest strength any philosopher has hitherto had to expend! ? to prove to himself that reason and instinct move of themselves towards one goal, towards the good, towards `God'; and since Plato all theologians and philosophers have followed the same path ? that is to say, in moral matters instinct, or as the Christians call it `faith', or as I call it `the herd', has hitherto triumphed. One might have to exclude Descartes, the father of rationalism (and consequently the grandfather of the Revolution), who recognized only the authority of reason: but reason is only an instrument, and Descartes was superficial.
He who has followed the history of an individual science will find in its evolution a clue to the comprehension of the oldest and most common processes of all `knowledge and understanding': in both cases it is the premature hypotheses, the fictions, the good stupid will to `believe', the lack of mistrust and patience which are evolved first ? it is only late, and then imperfectly, that our senses learn to be subtle, faithful, cautious organs of understanding. It is more comfortable for our eye to react to a particular object by producing again an image it has often produced before than by retaining what is new and different in an impression: the latter requires more strength, more `morality'. To hear something new is hard and painful for the ear; we hear the music of foreigners badly. When we hear a foreign language we involuntarily attempt to form the sounds we hear into words which have a more familiar and homely ring: thus the Germans, for example, once heard arcubalista and adapted it into Armbrust. The novel finds our senses, too, hostile and reluctant; and even in the case of the `simplest' processes of the senses, the emotions, such as fear, love, hatred, and the passive emotions of laziness, dominate. - As little as a reader today reads all the individual words (not to speak of the syllables) of a page ? he rather takes about five words in twenty haphazardly and `conjectures' their probable meaning ? just as little do we see a tree exactly and entire with regard to its leaves, branches, colour, shape; it is so much easier for us to put together an approximation of a tree. Even when we are involved in the most uncommon experiences we still do the same thing: we fabricate the greater pan of the experience and can hardly be compelled not to contemplate some event as its `inventor'. All this means: we are from the very heart and from the very first ? accustomed to lying. Or, to express it more virtuously and hypocritically, in short more pleasantly: one is much more of an artist than one realizes. In a lively conversation I often see before me the face of the person with whom I am speaking so clearly and subtly determined by the thought he is expressing or which I believe has been called up in him that this degree of clarity far surpasses the power of my eyesight ? so that the play of the muscles and the expression of the eyes must have been invented by me. Probably the person was making a quite different face or none whatever.
Quidquid luce fuit, tenebris agit: but also the other way round. That which we experience in dreams, if we experience it often, is in the end just as much a part of the total economy of our soul as is anything we `really' experience: we are by virtue of it richer or poorer, feel one need more or one need fewer, and finally are led along a little in broad daylight and even in the most cheerful moments of our waking spirit by the habits of our dreams. Suppose someone has often flown in his dreams and finally as soon as he starts dreaming becomes conscious of a power and art of flying as if it were a privilege he possessed, likewise as his personal and enviable form of happiness: such a man as believes he can realize any arc and angle with the slightest impulse, as knows the feeling of a certain divine frivolity, a `going up' without tension or constraint, a `going down' without condescension or abasement - without gravity! ? how should the man who knew such dream-experiences and dream?habits not find at last that the word `happiness' had a different colour and definition in his waking hours too! How should he not have a different kind of ? desire for happiness? `Soaring rapture' as the poets describe it must seem to him, in comparison with this `flying', too earthy, muscular, violent, too `grave'.
The diversity of men is revealed not only in the diversity of their tables of what they find good, that is to say in the fact that they regard diverse goods worth striving for and also differ as to what is more or less valuable, as to the order of rank of the goods they all recognize ? it is revealed even more in what they regard as actually having and possessing what they find good. In regard to a woman, for example, the more modest man.counts the simple disposal of her body and sexual gratification as a sufficient and satisfactory sign of having, of possession; another, with a more jealous and demanding thirst for possession, sees the `question?mark', the merely apparent quality of such a having and requires subtler tests, above all in order to know whether the woman not only gives herself to him but also gives up for his sake what she has or would like to have ? : only thus does she count to him as `possessed'. A third, however, is not done with jealousy and desire for having even then; he asks himself whether, when the woman gives up everything for him, she does not perhaps do so for a phantom of him: he demands that she know him to the very heart before she is able to love him at all, he dares to let himself be unravelled ? . He feels that his beloved is fully in his possession only when she no longer deceives herself about him but loves him as much for his devilry and hidden insatiability as she does for his goodness, patience and spirituality. One would like to possess a people: and all the higher arts of a Cagliostro and Catiline seem to him right for that end. Another, with a more refined thirst for possession, says to himself? `one may not deceive where one wants to possess' ? he is irritated and dissatisfied at the idea that it is a mask of him which rules the hearts of the people: 'so I must let myself be known and, first of all, know myself!' Among helpful and charitable people one almost always finds that clumsy deceitfulness which first adjusts and adapts him who is to be helped: as if, for example, he `deserved' help, desired precisely their help, and would prove profoundly grateful, faithful and submissive to them in return for all the help he had received with these imaginings they dispose of those in need as if they were possessions, and are charitable and helpful at all only from a desire for possessions. They are jealous if one frustrates or anticipates them when they want to help. Parents involuntarily make of their child something similar to themselves they call it `education' ? and at the bottom of her heart no mother doubts that in her child she has borne a piece of property, no father disputes his right to subject it to his concepts and values. Indeed, in former times (among the ancient Germans, for instance) it seemed proper for fathers to possess power of life or death over the newborn and to use it as they thought fit. And as formerly the father, so still today the teacher, the class, the priest, the prince unhesitatingly see in every new human being an opportunity for a new possession. From which it follows . . .
The Jews ? a people `born for slavery' as Tacitus and the whole ancient world says, `the chosen people' as they themselves say and believe ? the Jews achieved that miracle of inversion of values thanks to which life on earth has for a couple of millennia acquired a new and dangerous fascination ? their prophets fused `rich', `godless', `evil', `violent', `sensual' into one and were the first to coin the word `world' as a term of infamy. It is in this inversion of values (with which is involved the employment of the word for `poor' as a synonym of `holy' and `friend') that the significance of the Jewish people resides: with them there begins the slave revolt in morals.
It is to be inferred that there exist countless dark bodies close to the sun ? such as we shall never see. This is, between ourselves, a parable; and a moral psychologist reads the whole starry script only as a parable and sign?language by means of which many things can be kept secret.
One altogether misunderstands the beast of prey and man of prey (Cesare Borgia for example), one misunderstands `nature', so long as one looks for something `sick' at the bottom of these healthiest of all tropical monsters and growths, or even for an inborn `hell' in them?: as virtually all moralists have done hitherto. It seems, does it not, that there exists in moralists a hatred for the jungle and the tropics? And that the `tropical man' has to be discredited at any cost, whether as the sickness and degeneration of man or as his own hell and self-torment? But why? For the benefit of `temperate zones'? The benefit of temperate men? Of the `moral'? Of the mediocre? This for the chapter `Morality as Timidity'.
All these moralities which address themselves to the individual person, for the promotion of his `happiness' as they say what are they but prescriptions for behaviour in relation to the degree of perilousness in which the individual person lives with himself; recipes to counter his passions, his good and bad inclinations in so far as they have will to power in them and would like to play the tyrant; great and little artifices and acts of prudence to which there clings the nook?and?cranny odour of ancient household remedies and old?woman wisdom; one and all baroque and unreasonable in form ? because they address themselves to `all', because they generalize where generalization is impermissible ? speaking unconditionally one and all, taking themselves for unconditional, flavoured with more than one grain of salt, indeed tolerable only, and occasionally even tempting, when they learn to smell overspiced and dangerous, to smell above all of `the other world': all this is, from an intellectual point of view, of little value and far from constituting `science', not to speak of `wisdom', but rather, to say it again and to say it thrice, prudence, prudence, prudence, mingled with stupidity, stupidity, stupidity ? whether it be that indifference and statuesque coldness towards the passionate folly of the emotions which the Stoics advised and applied; or that no?more?laughing and no?more?weeping of Spinoza, that destruction of the emotions through analysis and vivisection which he advocated so naively; or that depression of the emotions to a harmless mean at which they may be satisfied, the Aristotelianism of morals; even morality as enjoyment of the emotions in a deliberate thinning down and spiritualization through the symbolism of art, as music for instance, or as love of God or love of man for the sake of God ? for in religion the passions again acquire civic rights, assuming that . . .; finally, even that easygoing and roguish surrender to the emotions such as Hafiz and Goethe taught, that bold letting fall of the reins, that spiritual?physical licentia morum in the exceptional case of wise old owls and drunkards for whom there is `no longer much risk in it'. This too for the chapter `Morality as Timidity'.
Inasmuch as ever since there have been human beings there have also been human herds (family groups, communities, tribes, nations, states, churches), and always very many who obey compared with the very small number of those who command ? considering, that is to say, that hitherto nothing has been practised and cultivated among men better or longer than obedience, it is fair to suppose that as a rule a need for it is by now innate as a kind of formal conscience which commands: 'thou shaft unconditionally do this, unconditionally not do that', in short 'thou shaft'. This need seeks to be satisfied and to fill out its form with a content; in doing so it grasps about wildly, according to the degree of its strength, impatience and tension, with little discrimination, as a crude appetite, and accepts whatever any commander ? parent, teacher, law, class prejudice, public opinion ? shouts in its ears. The strange narrowness of human evolution, its hesitations, its delays, its frequent retrogressions and rotations, are due to the fact that the herd instinct of obedience has been inherited best and at the expense of the art of commanding. If we think of this instinct taken to its ultimate extravagance there would be no commanders or independent men at all; or, if they existed, they would suffer from a bad conscience and in order to be able to command would have to practise a deceit upon themselves: the deceit, that is, that they too were only obeying. This state of things actually exists in Europe today: I call it the moral hypocrisy of the commanders. They know no way of defending themselves against their bad conscience other than to pose as executors of more ancient or higher commands (commands of ancestors, of the constitution, of justice, of the law or even of God), or even to borrow herd maxims from the herd's way of thinking and appear as `the first servant of the people' for example, or as `instruments of the common good'. On the other hand, the herd?man in Europe today makes himself out to be the only permissible kind of man and glorifies the qualities through which he is tame, peaceable and useful to the herd as the real human virtues: namely public spirit, benevolence, consideration, industriousness, moderation, modesty, forbearance, pity. In those cases, however, in which leaders and bell?wethers are thought to be indispensable, there is attempt after attempt to substitute for them an adding?together of clever herd?men: this, for example, is the origin of all parliamentary constitutions. All this notwithstanding, what a blessing, what a release from a burden becoming intolerable, the appearance of an unconditional commander is for this herd?animal European, the effect produced by the appearance of Napoleon is the latest great witness ? the history of the effect of Napoleon is almost the history of the higher happiness this entire century has attained in its most valuable men and moments.
The man of an era of dissolution which mixes the races together and who therefore contains within him the inheritance of a diversified descent, that is to say contrary and often not merely contrary drives and values which struggle with one another and rarely leave one another in peace ? such a man of late cultures and broken lights will, on average, be a rather weak man: his fundamental desire is that the war which he is should come to an end; happiness appears to him, in accord with a sedative (for example Epicurean or Christian) medicine and mode of thought, pre?eminently as the happiness of repose, of tranquillity, of satiety, of unity at last attained, as a `Sabbath of Sabbaths', to quote the holy rhetorician Augustine, who was himself such a man. ? If, however, the contrariety and war in such a nature should act as one more stimulus and enticement to life ? and if, on the other hand, in addition to powerful and irreconcilable drives, there has also been inherited and cultivated a proper mastery and subtlety in conducting a war against oneself, that is to say self?control, self?outwitting: then there arise those marvellously in-comprehensible and unfathomable men, those enigmatic men predestined for victory and the seduction of others, the fairest examples of which are Alcibiades and Caesar (? to whom I should like to add that first European agreeable to my taste, the Hohenstaufen Friedrich II), and among artists perhaps Leonardo da Vinci. They appear in precisely the same ages as those in which that rather weak type with his desire for rest comes to the fore: the two types belong together and originate in the same causes.
So long as the utility which dominates moral value?judgements is solely that which is useful to the herd, so long as the object is solely the preservation of the community and the immoral is sought precisely and exclusively in that which seems to imperil the existence of the community: so long as that is the case there can be no `morality of love of one's neighbour'. Supposing that even there a constant little exercise of consideration, pity, fairness, mildness, mutual aid was practised, supposing that even at that stage of society all those drives are active which are later honourably designated `virtues' and are finally practically equated with the concept `morality': in that era they do not yet by any means belong to the domain of moral valuations ? they are still extra?moral. An act of pity, for example, was during the finest age of Rome considered neither good nor bad, neither moral nor immoral; and even if it was commended, this commendation was entirely compatible with a kind of involuntary disdain, as soon, that is, as it was set beside any action which served the welfare of the whole, of the res publica. Ultimately `love of one's neighbour' is always something secondary, in part conventional and arbitrarily illusory, when compared with fear of one's neighbour Once the structure of society seems to have been in general fixed and made safe from external dangers, it is this fear of one's neighbour which again creates new perspectives of moral valuation. There are certain strong and dangerous drives, such as enterprisingness, foolhardiness, revengefulness, craft, rapacity, ambition, which hitherto had not only to be honoured from the point of view of their social utility ? under different names, naturally, from those chosen here ? but also mightily developed and cultivated (because they were constantly needed to protect the community as a whole against the enemies of the community as a whole); these drives are now felt to be doubly dangerous ? now that the diversionary outlets for them are lacking ? and are gradually branded as immoral and given over to calumny. The antithetical drives and inclinations now come into moral honour; step by step the herd instinct draws its conclusions. How much or how little that is dangerous to the community, dangerous to equality, resides in an opinion, in a condition or emotion, in a will, in a talent, that is now the moral perspective: here again fear is the mother of morality. When the highest and strongest drives, breaking passionately out, carry the individual far above and beyond the average and lowlands of the herd conscience, the self?confidence of the community goes to pieces, its faith in itself, its spine as it were, is broken: consequently it is precisely these drives which are most branded and calumniated. Lofty spiritual independence, the will to stand alone, great intelligence even, are felt to be dangerous; everything that raises the individual above the herd and makes his neighbour quail is henceforth called evil; the fair, modest, obedient, self?effacing disposition, the mean and average in desires, acquires moral names and honours. Eventually, under very peaceful conditions, there is less and less occasion or need to educate one's feelings in severity and sternness; and now every kind of severity, even severity in justice, begins to trouble the conscience; a stern and lofty nobility and self?responsibility is received almost as an offence and awakens mistrust, `the lamb', even more `the sheep', is held in higher and higher respect. There comes a point of morbid mellowing and over?tenderness in the history of society at which it takes the side even of him who harms it, the criminal, and does so honestly and wholeheartedly. Punishment: that seems to it somehow unfair ? certainly the idea of `being punished' and `having to punish' is unpleasant to it, makes it afraid. `Is it not enough to render him harmless? why punish him as well? To administer punishment is itself dreadful!' with this question herd morality, the morality of timidity, draws its ultimate conclusion. Supposing all danger, the cause of fear, could be abolished, this morality would therewith also be abolished: it would no longer be necessary, it would no longer regard itself as necessary! ? He who examines the conscience of the present?day European will have to extract from a thousand moral recesses and hiding?places always the, same imperative, the imperative of herd timidity: `we wish hat there will one day no longer be anything to fear!' One day everywhere in Europe the will and way to that day is now called `progress'.
Let us straight away say once more what we have already said a hundred times: for ears today offer such truths ? our truths no ready welcome. We know well enough how offensive it sounds when someone says plainly and without metaphor that man is an animal; but it will be reckoned almost a crime in us that precisely in regard to men of `modern ideas' we constantly employ the terms `herd', `herd instinct', and the like. But what of that! we can do no other: for it is precisely here that our new insight lies. We have found that in all principal moral judgements Europe has become unanimous, including the lands where Europe's influence predominates: one manifestly knows in Europe what Socrates thought he did not know, and what that celebrated old serpent once promised to teach ? one `knows' today what is good and evil. Now it is bound to make a harsh sound and one not easy for ears to hear when we insist again and again: that which here believes it knows, that which here glorifies itself with its praising and blaming and calls itself good, is the instinct of the herd?animal man: the instinct which has broken through and come to predominate and prevail over the other instincts and is coming to do so more and more in proportion to the increasing physiological approximation and assimilation of which it is the symptom. Morality is in Europe today herd?animal morality ? that is to say, as we understand the thing, only one kind of human morality beside which, before which, after which many other, above all higher, moralities are possible or ought to be possible. But against such a `possibility', against such an `ought', this morality defends itself with all its might: it says, obstinately and stubbornly, `I am morality itself, and nothing is morality besides me!' ? indeed, with the aid of a religion which has gratified and flattered the sublimest herd?animal desires, it has got to the point where we discover even in political and social institutions an increasingly evident expression of this morality: the democratic movement inherits the Christian. But that the tempo of this movement is much too slow and somnolent for the more impatient, for the sick and suffering of the said instinct, is attested by the ever more frantic baying, the ever more undisguised fang?baring of the anarchist dogs which now rove the streets of European culture: apparently the reverse of the placidly industrious democrats and revolutionary ideologists, and even more so of the stupid philosophasters and brotherhood fanatics who call themselves socialists and want a `free society', they are in fact at one with them all in their total and instinctive hostility towards every form of society other than that of the autonomous herd (to the point of repudiating even the concepts `master' and `servant' ? ni dieu ni maitre says a socialist formula ? ); at one in their tenacious opposition to every special claim, every special right and privilege (that is to say, in the last resort to every right: for when everyone is equal no one will need any `rights' ? ); at one in their mistrust of punitive justice (as if it were an assault on the weaker, an injustice against the necessary consequence of all previous society ? ); but equally at one in the religion of pity, in sympathy with whatever feels, lives, suffers (down as far as the animals, up as far, as `God' ? the extravagance of `pity for God' belongs in a democratic era ? ); at one, one and all, in the cry and impatience of pity, in mortal hatred for suffering in general, in their almost feminine incapacity to remain spectators of suffering, to let suffer; at one in their involuntary gloom and sensitivity, under whose spell Europe seems threatened with a new Buddhism; at one in their faith in the morality of mutual pity, as if it were morality in itself and the pinnacle, the attained pinnacle of man, the sole hope of the future, the consolation of the present and the great redemption from all the guilt of the past ? at one, one and all, in their faith in the community as the saviour, that is to say in the herd, in `themselves' . . .
We, who have a different faith ? we, to whom the democratic movement is not merely a form assumed by political organization in decay but also a form assumed by man in decay, that is to say in diminishment, in process of becoming mediocre and losing his value: whither must the direct our hopes? ? Towards new philosophers, we have no other choice; towards spirits strong and original enough to make a start on antithetical evaluations and to revalue and reverse `eternal values'; towards heralds and forerunners, towards men of the future who in the present knot together the constraint which compels the will of millennia on to new paths. To teach man the future of man as his will, as dependent on a human will, and to prepare for great enterprises and collective experiments in discipline and breeding so as to make an end of that gruesome dominion of chance and nonsense that has hitherto been called `history' ? the nonsense of the `greatest number' is only its latest form for that a new kind of philosopher and commander will some time be needed, in face of whom whatever has existed on earth of hidden, dreadful and benevolent spirits may well look pale and dwarfed. It is the image of such leaders which hovers before our eyes ? may I say that aloud, you free spirits?
The circumstances one would have in part to create, in part to employ, to bring them into existence; the conjectural paths and tests by virtue of which a soul could grow to such height and power it would feel compelled to these tasks; a revaluation of values under whose novel pressure and hammer a conscience would be steeled, a heart transformed to brass, so that it might endure the weight of such a responsibility; on the other hand, the need for such leaders, the terrible danger they might not appear or might fail or might degenerate ? these are our proper cares and concerns, do you know that, you free spirits? These are the heavy, remote thoughts and thunder clouds that pass across our life's sky. There are few more grievous pains than once to have beheld, divined, sensed, how an extraordinary man missed his way and degenerated: but he who has the rare eye for the collective danger that `man' himself may degenerate, he who, like us, has recognized the tremendous fortuitousness which has hitherto played its game with the future of man ? a game in which no hand, not even a `finger of God' took any part! ? he who has divined the fatality that lies concealed in the idiotic guilelessness and blind confidence of `modern ideas', even more in the whole of Christian?European morality: he suffers from a feeling of anxiety with which no other can be compared ? for he comprehends in a single glance all that which, given a favourable accumulation and intensification of forces and tasks, could be cultivated out of man, he knows with all the knowledge of his conscience how the greatest possibilities in man are still unexhausted and how often before the type man has been faced with strange decisions and new paths ? he knows even better from his most painful memories against what wretched things an evolving being of the highest rank has hitherto usually been shattered and has broken off, sunk and has itself become wretched. The collective degeneration of man down to that which the socialist dolts and blockheads today see as their `man of the future' ? as their ideal! ? this degeneration and diminution of man to the perfect herd animal (or, as they say, to the man of the `free society'), this animalization of man to the pygmy animal of equal rights and equal pretensions is possible, there is no doubt about that! He who has once thought this possibility through to the end knows one more kind of disgust than other men do ? and perhaps also a new task! . . .
Part Six: We Scholars
At the risk that moralizing will here too prove to be what it has always been ? namely an undismayed montrer ses plaies, as Balzac says ? I should like to venture to combat a harmful and improper displacement of the order of rank between science and philosophy which is today, quite unnoticed and as if with a perfect good conscience, threatening to become established. In my view it is only' from one's experience experience always means bad experience, does it not? ? that one can acquire the right to speak on such a higher question of rank: otherwise one will talk like a blind man about colours or like women and artists against science (`oh this wicked science', their modesty and instinct sighs, `it always exposes the facts!'?). The Declaration of Independence of the man of science, his emancipation from philosophy, is one of the more subtle after?effects of the democratic form and formlessness of life: the self?glorification and presumption of the scholar now stands everywhere in full bloom and in its finest springtime ? which does not mean to say that in this case self?praise smells sweetly. `Away with all masters!' ? that is what the plebeian instinct desires here too; and now that science has most successfully resisted theology, whose `hand maid' it was for too long, it is now, with great high spirits and a plentiful lack of understanding, taking it upon itself to lay down laws for philosophy and for once to play the `master' ? what am I saying? to play the philosopher itself. My memory ? the memory of a man of science, if I may say so! is full of arrogant naiveties I have heard about philosophy and philosophers from young scientists and old physicians (not to speak of the most cultured and conceited of all scholars, the philologists and schoolmen, who are both by profession ?). Now it was the specialist and jobbing workman who instinctively opposed synthetic undertakings and capacities in general; now the industrious labourer who had got a scent of the otium and noble luxury in the philosopher's physical economy and felt wronged and diminished by it. Now it was that colour blindness of the utility man who sees in philosophy nothing but a series of refuted systems and a wasteful expenditure which `benefits' nobody. Now a fear of disguised mysticism and a rectification of the frontiers of knowledge leaped out; now a disrespect for an individual philosopher which had involuntarily generalized itself into a disrespect for philosophy. Finally, what I found most frequently among young scholars was that behind the arrogant disdain for philosophy there lay the evil after?effect of a philosopher himself, from whom they had, to be sure, withdrawn their allegiance, without, however, having got free from the spell of his disparaging evaluation of other philosophers ? the result being a feeling of ill humour towards philosophy in general. (This is the sort of after?effect which, it seems to me, Schopenhauer, for example, has had on Germany in recent years ? with his unintelligent rage against Hegel he succeeded in disconnecting the entire last generation of Germans from German culture, which culture was, all things considered, a high point and divinatory refinement of the historical sense: but Schopenhauer himself was in precisely this respect poor, unreceptive and un?German to the point of genius.) In general and broadly speaking, it may have been above all the human, all too human element, in short the poverty of the most recent philosophy itself, which has been most thoroughly prejudicial to respect for philosophy and has opened the gates to the instinct of the plebeian. For one must admit how completely the whole species of a Heraclitus, a Plato, an Empedocles, and whatever else these royal and splendid hermits of the spirit were called, is lacking in our modern world; and to what degree, in face of such representatives of philosophy as are, thanks to fashion, at present as completely on top as they are completely abysmal (in Germany, for example, the two lions of Berlin, the anarchist Eugen Duhring and the amalgamist Eduard von Hartmann) a worthy man of science is justified in feeling he is of a better species and descent. It is, in particular, the sight of those hotchpotch?philosophers who call themselves `philosophers of reality' or `positivists' which is capable of implanting a perilous mistrust in the soul of an ambitious young scholar: these gentlemen are at best scholars and specialists themselves, that fact is palpable! ? they are one and all defeated men brought back under the sway of science, who at some time or other demanded more of themselves without having the right to this `more' and the responsibility that goes with it ? and who now honourably, wrathfully, revengefully represent by word and deed the unbelief in the lordly task and lordliness of philosophy. Finally: how could things be otherwise! Science is flourishing today and its good conscience shines in its face, while that to which the whole of modern philosophy has gradually sunk, this remnant of philosophy, arouses distrust and displeasure when it does not arouse mockery and pity. Philosophy reduced to `theory of knowledge', actually no more than a timid epochism and abstinence doctrine: a philosophy that does not even get over the threshold and painfully denier itself the right of entry ? that is philosophy at its last gasp, an end, an agony, something that arouses pity. How could such a philosophy rule!
The perils in the way of the evolution of the philosopher are in truth so manifold today one may well doubt whether this fruit can still ripen at all. The compass and tower?building of the sciences has grown enormous, and therewith the probability has also grown enormous that the philosopher will become weary while still no more than a learner, or that he will let himself be stopped somewhere and `specialize': so that he will never reach his proper height, the height from which he can survey, look around and look down. Or that he will reach this height too late, when his best time is past and his best strength spent; or damaged, coarsened, degenerate, so that his view, his total value judgement, no longer means much. Perhaps it is the very refinement of his intellectual conscience which makes him linger on the way and arrive late; he fears he may be seduced into dilettantism, into becoming an insect with a thousand feet and a thousand antennae, he knows too well that one who has lost respect for himself can no longer command, can no longer lead as a man of knowledge either, unless he wants to become a great actor, a philosophical Cagliostro and pied piper of the spirit, in short a mis?leader. This is ultimately a question of taste even if it were not a question of conscience. In addition to this, so as to redouble his difficulties, there is the fact that the philosopher demands of himself a judgement, a Yes or No, not in regard to the sciences but in regard to life and the value of life ? that he is reluctant to believe he has a right, to say nothing of a duty, to come to such a judgement, and has to find his way to this right and this faith only through the widest?perhaps most disturbing and shattering ? experiences, and often hesitating, doubting, and being struck dumb. Indeed, the mob has long confounded and confused the philosopher with someone else, whether with the man of science or with the religiously exalted, dead to the senses, `dead to the world' fanatic and drunkard of God; and today if one hears anyone commended for living `wisely' or `like a philosopher', it means hardly more than `prudently and apart'. Wisdom: that seems to the rabble to be a kind of flight, an artifice and means for getting oneself out of a dangerous game; but the genuine philosopher ? as he seems to ms, my friends? ? lives `unphilosophically' and `unwisely', above all imprudently, and bears the burden and duty of a hundred attempts and temptations of life ? he risks himself constantly, he plays the dangerous game . . .
In comparison with a genius, that is to say with a being which either begets or bears, both words taken in their most comprehensive sense ? the scholar, the average man of science, always has something of the old maid about him: for, like her, he has no acquaintanceship with the two most valuable functions of mankind. To both of them, indeed, to the scholar and to the old maid, one concedes respectability, by way of compensation as it were ? one emphasizes the respectability in these cases ? and experiences the same feeling of annoyance at having been constrained to this concession. Let us look more closely: what is the man of science? An ignoble species of man for a start, with the virtues of an ignoble, that is to say subservient, unauthoritative and un?self?sufficient species of man: he possesses industriousness, patient acknowledgement of his proper place in the rank and file, uniformity and moderation in abilities and requirements, he possesses the instinct for his own kind and for that which his own kind have need of, for example that little bit of independence and green pasture without which there is no quiet work, that claim to honour and recognition (which first and foremost presupposes recognizability ?), that sunshine of a good name, that constant affirmation of his value and his utility with which his inner distrust, the dregs at the heart of all dependent men and herd animals, have again and again to be overcome. The scholar also possesses, as is only to be expected, the diseases and ill breeding of an ignoble species: he is full of petty envy and has very keen eyes for what is base in those natures to whose heights he is unable to rise. He is trusting, but only like one who sometimes lets himself go but never lets himself flow out?, and it is precisely in the presence of men who do flow out that he becomes the more frosty and reserved ? his eye is then like a reluctant smooth lake whose surface is disturbed by no ripple of delight or sympathy. The worst and most dangerous thing of which a scholar is capable comes from the instinct of mediocrity which characterizes his species: from that jesuitism of mediocrity which instinctively works for the destruction of the uncommon man and tries to break or ? better still! ? relax every bent bow. For relaxing with consideration, with indulgent hand, naturally, relaxing with importunate pity: that is the true art of jesuitism, which has always understood how to introduce itself as the religion of pity.
However gratefully one may go to welcome an objective spirit ? and who has not been sick to death of everything subjective and its accursed ipsissimosity! ? in the end one has to learn to be cautious with one's gratitude too and put a stop to the exaggerated way in which the depersonalization of the spirit is today celebrated as redemption and transfiguration, as if it were the end in itself: as is usually the case within the pessimist school, which also has good reason to accord the highest honours to `disinterested knowledge'. The objective man who no longer scolds or curses as the pessimist does, the ideal scholar in whom the scientific instinct, after thousandfold total and partial failure, for once comes to full bloom, is certainly one of the most precious instruments there are: but he belongs in the hand of one who is mightier. He is only an instrument, let us say a mirror ? he is not an `end in himself'. And the objective man is in fact a mirror: accustomed to submitting to whatever wants to be known, lacking any other pleasure than that provided by knowledge, by `mirroring' he waits until something comes along and then gently spreads himself out, so that not even the lightest footsteps and the fluttering of ghostly beings shall be lost on his surface and skin. Whatever still remains to him of his `own person' seems to him accidental, often capricious, more often disturbing: so completely has he become a passage and reflection of forms and events not his own. He finds it an effort to think about `himself', and not infrequently he thinks about himself mistakenly; he can easily confuse himself with another, he fails to understand his own needs and is in this respect alone unsubtle and negligent. Perhaps he is troubled by his health or by the pettiness and stuffiness of his wife and friends, or by a lack of companions and company yes, he forces himself to reflect on his troubles: but in vain! Already his thoughts are roaming, off to a more general case, and tomorrow he will know as little how to help himself as he did yesterday. He no longer knows how to take himself seriously, nor does he have the time for it: he is cheerful, not because he has no troubles but because he has no fingers and facility for dealing with his troubles. His habitual going out to welcome everything and every experience, the sunny and ingenuous hospitality with which he accepts all he encounters, his inconsiderate benevolence, his perilous unconcernedness over Yes and No: alas, how often he has to suffer for these his virtues! ? and as a human being in general he can all too easily become the caput mortuum of these virtues. If love and hatred are demanded of him, I mean love and hatred as God, woman and animal understand them ?: he will do what he can and give what he can. But one ought not to be surprised if it is not very much ? if he proves spurious, brittle, questionable and soft. His love and his hatred are artificial and more of a tour de force, a piece of vanity and exaggeration. For he is genuine only when he can be objective: only in his cheerful totalism can he remain `nature' and `natural'. His mirroring soul, for ever polishing itself, no longer knows how to affirm or how to deny; he does not command, neither does he destroy. 'je ne meprise presque rien' ? he says with Leibniz: one should not overlook or underestimate the presque Nor is he an exemplar; he neither leads nor follows; he sets himself altogether too far off to have any reason to take sides between good and evil. When he was for so long confused with the philosopher, with the Caesarian cultivator and Gewaltmensch of culture, he was done much too great honour and what is essential in him was overlooked ? he is an instrument, something of a slave, if certainly the sublimest kind of slave, but in himself he is nothing ? presque rien! The objective man is an instrument, a precious, easily damaged and tarnished measuring instrument and reflecting apparatus which ought to be respected and taken good care of; but he is not an end, a termination and ascent, a complementary man in whom the rest of existence is justified, a conclusion ? and even less a beginning, a begetting and first cause, something solid, powerful and based firmly on itself that wants to be master: but rather only a delicate, empty, elegant, flexible mould which has first to wait for some content so as `to form' itself by it as a rule a man without content, a `selfless' man. Consequently nothing for women either, in parenthesis.
When a philosopher today gives us to understand that he is not a sceptic ? I hope the foregoing account of the objective spirit has brought this out? ? all the world is offended to hear it; thereafter he is regarded with a certain dread, there is so much one would like to ask him . . . indeed, among timid listeners, of whom there are nowadays a very great number, he is henceforth considered dangerous. It is as if, in his rejection of scepticism, they seemed to hear some evil, menacing sound from afar, as if some new explosive were being tested somewhere, a dynamite of the spirit, perhaps a newly discovered Russian nihiline, a pessimism bonae voluntatis which does not merely say No, will No, but ? dreadful thought! does No. Against this kind of `good will' ? a will to the actual active denial of life ? there is today confessedly no better sedative and soporific than scepticism, the gentle, gracious, lulling poppy scepticism; and even Hamlet is prescribed by the doctors of our time against the `spirit' and its noises under the ground. `Are our ears not already filled with nasty sounds?' says the sceptic as a friend of sleep and almost as a kind of security police: `this subterranean No is terrible! Be quiet, you pessimistic moles!' For the sceptic, that delicate creature, is all too easily frightened; his conscience is schooled to wince at every No, indeed even at a hard decisive Yes, and to sense something like a sting. Yes! and No! ? that is to him contrary to morality; on the other hand, he likes his virtue to enjoy a noble continence, perhaps by saying after Montaigne `What do I know?' Or after Socrates: `I know that I know nothing.' Or: `Here I do not trust myself, here no door stands open to me.' Or: `If it did stand open, why go straight in?' Or: `What is the point of hasty hypotheses? To make no hypothesis at all could well be a part of good taste. Do you absolutely have to go straightening out what is crooked? Absolutely have to stop up every hole with oakum? Is there not plenty of time? Does time not have time? Oh you rogues, are you unable to wait? Uncertainty too has its charms, the sphinx too is a Circe, Circe too was a philosopher.'? Thus does a sceptic console himself; and it is true he stands in need of some consolation. For scepticism is the most spiritual expression of a certain complex physiological condition called in ordinary language nervous debility and sickliness; it arises whenever races or classes long separated from one another are decisively and suddenly crossed. In the new generation, which has as it were inherited varying standards and values in its blood, all is unrest, disorder, doubt, experiment; the most vital forces have a retarding effect, the virtues themselves will not let one another grow and become strong, equilibrium, centre of balance, upright certainty are lacking in body and soul. But that which becomes most profoundly sick and degenerates in such hybrids is the will: they no longer have any conception of independence of decision, of the valiant feeling of pleasure in willing ? even in their dreams they doubt the `freedom of the will'. Our Europe of today, the scene of a senselessly sudden attempt at radical class ? and consequently race ? mixture, is as a result sceptical from top to bottom, now with that agile scepticism which springs impatiently and greedily from branch to branch, now gloomily like a cloud overcharged with question?marks and often sick to death of its will! Paralysis of will: where does one not find this cripple sitting today! And frequently so dressed up! How seductively dressed up! There is the loveliest false finery available for this disease; and that most of that which appears in the shop windows today as `objectivity', `scientificality', `l'art pour l'art, `pure will?less knowledge' is merely scepticism and will?paralysis dressed up ? for this diagnosis of the European sickness I am willing to go bail. Sickness of will is distributed over Europe unequally: it appears most virulently and abundantly where culture has been longest, indigenous it declines according to the extent to which `the barbarian' still ? or again ? asserts his rights under the loose?fitting garment of Western culture. In present?day France, consequently, as one can as easily deduce as actually see, the will is sickest; and France, which has always possessed a masterly adroitness in transforming even the most fateful crises of its spirit into something charming and seductive, today really demonstrates its cultural ascendency over Europe as the school and showcase for all the fascinations of scepticism. The strength to will, and to will one thing for a long time, is somewhat stronger already in Germany, and stronger again in the north of Germany than in the centre of Germany; considerably stronger in England, Spain and Corsica, there in association with dullness, here with hardness of head ? not to speak of Italy, which is too young to know what it wants and first has to prove whether it is capable of willing ? but strongest of all and most astonishing in that huge empire?in?between, where Europe as it were flows back into Asia, in Russia. There the strength to will has for long been stored up and kept in reserve, there the will is waiting menacingly ? uncertain whether it is a will to deny or a will to affirm ? in readiness to discharge itself, to borrow one of the physicists' favourite words. It may need not only wars in India and Asian involvements to relieve Europe of the greatest danger facing it, but also internal eruptions, the explosion of the empire into small fragments, and above all the introduction of the parliamentary imbecility, including the obligation upon everyone to read his newspaper at breakfast. I do not say this, because I desire it: the reverse would be more after my heart I mean such an increase in the Russian threat that Europe would have to resolve to become equally threatening, namely to acquire a single will by means of a new caste dominating all Europe, a protracted terrible will of its own which could set its objectives thousands of years ahead ? so that the long-drawn-out comedy of its petty states and the divided will of its dynasties and democracies should finally come to an end. The time for petty politics is past: the very next century will bring with it the struggle for mastery over the whole earth ? the compulsion to grand politics.
To what extent the new warlike age upon which we Europeans have obviously entered may perhaps also be favourable to the evolution of a new and stronger species of scepticism: on that question I should like for the moment to speak only in a parable which amateurs of German history will easily understand. That unscrupulous enthusiast for tall handsome grenadiers who, as king of Prussia, brought into existence a military and sceptical genius ? and therewith at bottom that new type of German which has just triumphantly emerged ? the questionable mad father of Frederick the Great, himself had on one point the grasp and lucky clutch of genius: he knew what was then lacking in Germany and which deficiency was a hundred times more alarming and pressing than any deficiency in culture or social polish ? his antipathy for the youthful Frederick was the product of a deep instinctual fear. Men were lacking; and he suspected, with the bitterest vexation, that his own son was not enough of a man. In that he was deceived: but who would not have been deceived in his place? He saw his son lapse into the atheism, the esprit, the pleasure?seeking frivolity of ingenious Frenchmen ? he saw in the background the great blood?sucker, the spider scepticism, he suspected the incurable wretchedness of a heart which is no longer hard enough for evil or for good, of a broken will which no longer commands, can no longer command. But in the meantime there grew up in his son that more dangerous and harder new species of scepticism ? who knows to what extent favoured by precisely the father's hatred and the icy melancholy of a will sent into solitude? ? the scepticism of audacious manliness, which is related most closely to genius for war and conquest and which first entered Germany in the person of the great Frederick. This scepticism despises and yet grasps to itself; it undermines and takes into possession; it does not believe but retains itself; it gives perilous liberty to the spirit but it keeps firm hold on the heart; it is the German form of scepticism which, as a continuation of Frederick?ism intensified into the most spiritual domain, for a long time brought Europe under the dominion of the German spirit and its critical and historical mistrust. Thanks to the indomitably strong and tough masculinity of the great German philologists and critical historians (who, seen aright, were also one and all artists in destruction and disintegration), there became established, gradually and in spite of all the romanticism in music and philosophy, a new conception of the German spirit in which the trait of manly scepticism decisively predominated: whether as intrepidity of eye, as bravery and sternness of dissecting hand, or as tenacious will for perilous voyages of discovery, for North Pole expeditions of the spirit beneath desolate and dangerous skies. There may be good reason for warm?blooded and superficial humanitarians to cross themselves before precisely this spirit: cet esprit fataliste, ironique, mephistophelique Michelet calls it, not without a shudder. But if one wishes to appreciate what a mark of distinction is this fear of the `man' in the German spirit through which Europe was awoken from its `dogmatic slumber', one might like to recall the earlier conception which it had to overcome ? and how it is not very long since a masculinized woman could, with unbridled presumption, venture to commend the Germans to Europe's sympathy as gentle, good?hearted, weak?willed and poetic dolts. One should at last have a sufficiently profound comprehension of Napoleon's astonishment when he caught sight of Goethe: it betrays what had for centuries been thought was meant by the `German spirit'. 'Voila un Homme!' ? which is to say: `but that is a man! And I had expected only a German!'
Supposing, then, that in the image of the philosophers of the future some trait provokes the question whether they will not have to be sceptics in the sense last suggested, this would still designate only something about them ? and not them themselves. They might with equal justification let themselves be called critics; and they will certainly be experimenters. Through the name with which I have ventured to baptize them I have already expressly emphasized experiment and the delight in experiment: was this because, as critics body and soul, they like to employ experiment in, a new, perhaps wider, perhaps more dangerous sense? Will they, in their passion for knowledge, have to go further with audacious and painful experiments than the tender and pampered taste of a democratic century can approve of? ? There can be no doubt that these coming men will want to dispense least with those serious and not indubious qualities which distinguish the critic from the sceptic: I mean certainty in standards of value, conscious employment of a unity of method, instructed courage, independence and ability to justify oneself; indeed, they confess to taking a pleasure in negating and dissecting and to a certain self-possessed cruelty which knows how to wield the knife with certainty and deftness even when the heart bleeds. They will be harder (and perhaps not always only against themselves) than humane men might wish, they will not consort with `truth' so as to be `pleased' by it or `elevated' and `inspired' - they will rather be little disposed to believe that troth of all things should be attended by such pleasures. They will smile, these stern spirits, if someone should say in their presence: `This thought elevates me: how should it not be true?' Or: `This work delights me: how should it not be beautiful?' Or: `This artist enlarges me: how should he not be great?' - perhaps they will have not only a smile but a feeling of genuine disgust for all such fawning enthusiasm, idealism, feminism, hermaphroditism, and he who could penetrate into the secret chambers of their hearts would hardly discover there the intention of reconciling `Christian feelings' with `classical taste' and perhaps even with `modern parliamentarianism' (as such a conciliatory spirit is said to exist even among philosophers in our very uncertain and consequently conciliatory century). Critical discipline and every habit conducive to cleanliness and severity in things of the spirit will be demanded by these philosophers not only of themselves: they could even display them as their kind of decoration - none the less they still do not want to be called critics on that account. It seems to them no small insult to philosophy when it is decreed, as is so happily done today: `Philosophy itself is criticism and critical science - and nothing whatever besides!' This evaluation of philosophy may enjoy the applause of every positivist in France and Germany ( and it might possibly have flattered the heart and taste of Kant: one should recall the titles of his principal works): our new philosophers will still say: critics are the philosophers' instruments and for that reason very far from being philosophers themselves! Even the great Chinaman of Konigsberg was only a great critic.
I insist that philosophical labourers and men of science in general should once and for all cease to be confused with philosophers ? that on precisely this point `to each his own' should be strictly applied, and not much too much given to the former, much too little to the latter. It may be required for the education of a philosopher that he himself has also once stood on all those steps on which his servants, the scientific labourers of philosophy, remain standing ? have to remain standing; he himself must perhaps have been critic and sceptic and dogmatist and historian and, in addition, poet and collector and traveller and reader of riddles and moralist and seer and `free spirit' and practically everything, so as to traverse the whole range of human values and value?feelings and be able to gaze from the heights into every distance, from the depths into every height, from the nook?and?comer into every broad expanse with manifold eyes and a manifold conscience. But all these are only preconditions of his task: this task itself demands something different ? it demands that he create values. Those philosophical labourers after the noble exemplar of Kant and Hegel have to take some great fact of evaluation ? that is to say, former assessments of value, creations of value which have become dominant and are for a while called `truths' ? and identify them and reduce them to formulas, whether in the realm of logic or of politics (morals) or of art. It is the duty of these scholars to take everything that has hitherto happened and been valued, and make it clear, distinct, intelligible and manageable, to abbreviate everything long, even `time' itself, and to subdue the entire past: a tremendous and wonderful task in the service of which every subtle pride, every tenacious will can certainly find satisfaction. Actual philosophers, however, are commanders and law givers: they say `thus it shall be!', it is they who determine the Wherefore and Whither of mankind, and they possess for this task the preliminary work of all the philosophical labourers, of all those who have subdued the past ? they reach for the future with creative hand, and everything that is or has been becomes for them a means, an instrument, a hammer. Their `knowing' is creating, their creating is a law?giving, their will to truth is ?mill to power. ? Are there such philosophers today? Have there been such philosophers? Must there not be such philosophers? . . .
It seems to me more and more that the philosopher, being necessarily a man of tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, has always found himself and bad to find himself in contradiction to his today: his enemy has always been the ideal of today. Hitherto these extraordinary promoters of mankind who have been called philosophers and have seldom felt themselves to be friends of knowledge but, rather, disagreeable fools and dangerous question?marks ? have found their task, their hard, unwanted, unavoidable task, but finally the greatness of their task, in being the bad conscience of their age. By laying the knife vivisectionally to the bosom of the very virtues of the age they betrayed what was their own secret: to know a new greatness of man, a new untrodden path to his enlargement. Each time they revealed how much hypocrisy, indolence, letting oneself go and letting oneself fall, how much falsehood was concealed under the most honoured type of their contemporary morality, how much virtue was outlived; each time they said: `We have to go thither, out yonder, where you today are least at home.' In face of a world of `modern ideas' which would like to banish everyone into a comer and `speciality', a philosopher, assuming there could be philosophers today, would be compelled to see the greatness of man, the concept `greatness', precisely in his spaciousness and multiplicity, in his wholeness in diversity: he would even determine value and rank according to how much and how many things one could endure and take upon oneself, how far one could extend one's responsibility. Today the taste of the age and the virtue of the age weakens and attenuates the will, nothing is so completely timely as weakness of will: consequently, in the philosopher's ideal precisely strength of will, the hardness and capacity for protracted decisions, must constitute part of the concept `greatness'; with just as much justification as the opposite doctrine and the ideal of a shy, renunciatory, humble, selfless humanity was appropriate to an opposite age, to one such as, like the sixteenth century, suffered from its accumulation of will and the stormiest waters and flood?tides of selfishness. In the age of Socrates, among men of nothing but wearied instincts, among conservative ancient Athenians who let themselves go ? `towards happiness', as they said, towards pleasure, as they behaved ? and who at the same time had in their mouth the old pretentious words to which their lives had long ceased to give them any right, irony was perhaps required for greatness of soul, that Socratic malicious certitude of the old physician and plebeian who cut remorselessly into his own flesh as he did into the flesh and heart of the `noble', with a look which said distinctly enough: 'do not dissemble before me! Here ? we are equal!' Today, conversely, when the herd animal alone obtains and bestows honours in Europe, when 'equality of rights' could all too easily change into equality in wrongdoing: I mean into a general war on everything rare, strange, privileged, the higher man, the higher soul, the higher duty" the higher responsibility, creative fullness of power and mastery ? today, being noble, wanting to be by oneself, the ability to be different, independence and the need for self?responsibility pertains to the concept 'greatness'; and the philosopher will betray something of his ideal when he asserts: 'He shall be the greatest who can be the most solitary, the most concealed, the most divergent, the man , the master of his virtues, the superabundant of will; this shall be called greatness: the ability to be as manifold as whole, as vast as full.' And, to ask it again: is greatness possible today?
What a philosopher is, is hard to learn, because it cannot be taught: one has to 'know' it from experience ? or one ought to be sufficiently proud not to know it. But that nowadays all the world talks of things of which it cannot have experience is most and worst evident in respect of philosophers and the philosophical states of mind ? very few know them or are permitted to know them, and all popular conceptions of them are false. Thus, for example, that genuinely philosophical combination of a bold exuberant spirituality which runs presto and a dialectical severity and necessity which never takes a false step is to most thinkers and scholars unknown from experience and consequently, if someone should speak of it in their presence, incredible. They imagine every necessity as a state of distress, as a painful compelled conformity and constraint; and thought itself they regard as something slow, hesitant, almost as toil and often as `worthy of the sweat of the noble' ? and not at all as something easy, divine, and a closest relation of high spirits and the dance! 'Thinking' and `taking something seriously', giving it 'weighty consideration' ? to them these things go together: that is the only way they have 'experienced' it. Artists may here have a more subtle scent: they know only too well that it is precisely when they cease to act 'voluntarily' and do everything of necessity that their feeling of freedom, subtlety, fullness of power, creative placing, disposing, shaping reaches its height ? in short, that necessity and 'freedom of will' are then one in them. In the last resort there exists an order of rank of states of soul with which the order of rank of problems accords; and the supreme problems repel without mercy everyone who ventures near them without being, through the elevation and power of his spirituality, predestined to their solution. Of what avail is it if nimble commonplace minds or worthy clumsy mechanicals and empiricists crowd up to them, as they so often do today, and with their plebeian ambition approach as it were this 'court of courts'! But coarse feet may never tread such carpets: that has been seen to in the primal law of things; the doors remain shut against such importunates, though they may batter and shatter their heads against them! For every elevated world one has to be born or, expressed more clearly, bred for it: one has a right to philosophy ? taking the word in the grand sense ? only by virtue of one's origin; one's ancestors, one's `blood' are the decisive thing here too. Many generations must have worked to prepare for the philosopher; each of his virtues must have been individually acquired, tended, inherited, incorporated, and not only the bold, easy, delicate course and cadence of his thoughts but above all the readiness for great responsibilities, the lofty glance that rules and looks down, the feeling of being segregated from the mob and its duties and virtues, the genial protection and defence of that which is misunderstood and calumniated, be it god or devil, the pleasure in and exercise of grand justice, the art of commanding, the breadth of will, the slow eye which seldom admires, seldom looks upward, seldom loves . . .
Part Seven: Our Virtues
Our virtues? ? it is probable that we too still have our virtues, although naturally they will not be those square and simple virtues on whose account we hold our grandfathers in high esteem but also hold them off a little. We Europeans of the day after tomorrow, we first?born of the twentieth century with all our dangerous curiosity, our multiplicity and art of disguise, our mellow and as it were sugared cruelty in spirit and senses ? if we are to have virtues we shall presumably have only such virtues as have learned to get along with our most secret and heartfelt inclinations, with our most fervent needs: very well, let us look for them within our labyrinths! where, as is well known, such a variety of things lose themselves, such a variety of things get lost for ever. And is there anything nicer than to look for one's own virtues? Does this not almost mean: to believe in one's own virtue? But this `believing in one's virtue' ? is this not at bottom the same thing as that which one formerly called one's `good conscience', that venerable long conceptual pigtail which our grandfathers used to attach to the back of their heads and often enough to the back of their minds as well? It seems that, however little we may think ourselves old?fashioned and grandfatherly?respectable in other respects, in one thing we are none the less worthy grandsons of these grandfathers, we last Europeans with a good conscience: we too still wear their pigtail. ? Alas! if only you knew how soon, how very soon, things will be ? different! . . .
As in the realm of the stars it is sometimes two suns which determine the course of a planet, as in certain cases suns of differing colour shine on a single planet now with a red light, now with a green light, and sometimes striking it at the same time and flooding it with many colours: so we modern men are, thanks to the complicated mechanism of our `starry firmament', determined by differing moralities; our actions shine alternately in differing colours, they are seldom unequivocal ? and there are cases enough in which we perform many?coloured actions.
Love of one's enemies? I think that has been well learned: it happens thousandfold today, on a large and small scale; indeed, occasionally something higher and more sublime happens ? we learn to despise when we love, and precisely when we love best but all this unconsciously, without noise, without ostentation, with that modesty and concealment of goodness which forbids the mouth solemn words and the formulas of virtue. Morality as a posture ? goes against our taste today. This too is progress: just as it was progress when religion as a posture finally went against the taste of our fathers, including hostility and Voltarian bitterness towards religion (and whatever else formerly belonged to the gesture?language of free?thinkers). It is the music in our conscience, the dance in our spirit, with which puritan litanies, moral preaching and philistinism will not chime.
Beware of those who set great store on being credited with moral tact and subtlety in moral discrimination! If once they blunder in our presence (not to speak of in respect of us) they never forgive us ? they unavoidably take to slandering and derogating us, even if they still remain our `friends'. ? Blessed are the forgetful: for they shall `have done' with their stupidities too.
The psychologists of France ? and where else today are there psychologists? ? have still not yet exhausted the bitter and manifold pleasure they take in the betise bourgeoise, just as if . . . enough, they thereby betray something. Flaubert, for example, the worthy citizen of Rouen, in the end no longer saw, heard or tasted anything else ? it was his mode of self?torment and more refined cruelty. I now suggest, by way of a change ? for this is getting boring ? a new object of enjoyment: the unconscious cunning of the attitude adopted by all good, fat, worthy spirits of mediocrity towards more exalted spirits and their tasks, that subtle, barbed, jesuitical cunning which is a thousand times subtler than the taste and understanding of this middle class in its best moments ? subtler even than the understanding of its victims ? : another demonstration that, of all forms of intelligence discovered hitherto, `instinct' is the most intelligent. In brief: study, psychologists, the philosophy of the `rule' in its struggle with the `exception': there you have a spectacle fit for the gods and for divine maliciousness! Or, still more clearly: carry out vivisection on the `good man', on the 'homo bonae voluntatis' . . . on yourselves!
Moral judgement and condemnation is the favourite form of revenge of the spiritually limited on those who are less so, likewise a form of compensation for their having been neglected by nature, finally an occasion for acquiring spirit and becoming refined ? malice spiritualizes. Deep in their hearts they are glad there exists a standard according to which those overloaded with the goods and privileges of the spirit are their equals ? they struggle for the `equality of all before God' and it is virtually for that purpose that they need the belief in God. It is among them that the most vigorous opponents of atheism are to be found. Anyone who told them `a lofty spirituality is incompatible with any kind of worthiness and respectability of the merely moral man' would enrage them I shall take care not to do so. I should, rather, like to flatter them with my proposition that a lofty spirituality itself exists only as the final product of moral qualities; that it is a synthesis of all those states attributed to the `merely moral' man after they 'have been acquired one by one through protracted discipline and practice, perhaps in the course of whole chains of generations; that lofty spirituality is the spiritualization of justice and of that benevolent severity which knows itself empowered to maintain order of rank in the world among things themselves ? and not only among men
Now that the `disinterested' are praised so widely one has, perhaps not without some danger, to become conscious of what it is the people are really interested in, and what in general the things are about which the common man is profoundly and deeply concerned: including the educated, even the scholars and, unless all appearance deceives, perhaps the philosophers as well. The fact then emerges that the great majority of those things which interest and stimulate every higher nature and more refined and fastidious taste appear altogether `uninteresting' to the average man ? if he none the less notices a devotion to these things, he calls it 'desinteresse and wonders how it is possible to act `disinterestedly'. There have been philosophers who have known how to lend this popular wonderment a seductive and mystical?otherwordly expression ( ? perhaps because they did not know the higher nature from experience?) ? instead of stating the naked and obvious truth that the `disinterested' act is a very interesting and interested act, provided that . .. `And love?' ? what! Even an act performed out of love is supposed to be `unegoistic'? But you blockheads ? ! `And commendation of him who sacrifices?' ? But he who has really made sacrifices knows that he wanted and received something in return perhaps something of himself in exchange for something of himself ? that he gave away here in order to have more there, perhaps in general to be more or to feel himself `more'. But this is a domain of questions and answers in which a more fastidious taste prefers not to linger: truth has so much to stifle her yawns here when answers are demanded of her. She is, after all, a woman: one ought not to violate her.
It can happen, said a pettyfogging moral pedant, that I honour and respect an unselfish man: but not because he is unselfish but because he seems to me to have the right to be useful to another man at his own expense. Enough: the question is always who he is and who the other is. In one made and destined for command, for example, self?abnegation and modest retirement would be not a virtue but the waste of a virtue: so it seems to me. Every unegoistic morality which takes itself as unconditional and addresses itself to everybody is not merely a sin against taste: it is an instigation to sins of omission, one seduction more under the mask of philanthropy ? and a seduction and injury for precisely the higher, rarer, privileged. Moralities must first of all be forced to bow before order of rank, their presumption must be brought home to them ? until they at last come to understand that it is immoral to say: `What is good for one is good for another.' ? Thus my moralistic pedant and bonhomme: does he deserve to be laughed at for thus exhorting moralities to morality? But one should not be too much in the right if one wants to have the laughers on one's own side; a grain of wrong is even an element of good taste.
Where pity and fellow?suffering is preached today ? and, heard aright, no other religion is any longer preached now the psychologist should prick up his ears: through all the vanity, all the noise characteristic of these preachers (as it is of all preachers) he will hear a hoarse, groaning, genuine note of self?contempt. It is part of that darkening and uglification of Europe which has now been going on for a hundred years (the earliest symptoms of which were first recorded in a thoughtful letter of Galiani's to Madame d'Epinay): if it is not the cause of it l The man of `modern ideas', that proud ape, is immoderately dissatisfied with himself: that is certain. He suffers: and his vanity would have him only `suffer with his fellows' . . .
The hybrid European ? a tolerably ugly plebeian, all in all definitely requires a costume: he needs history as his storeroom for costumes. He realizes, to be sure, that none of them fits him properly ? he changes and changes. Consider the nineteenth century with regard to these rapid predilections and changes in the style?masquerade; notice too the moments of despair because `nothing suits' us ?. It is in vain we parade ourselves as romantic or classical or Christian or Florentine or baroque or `national', in moribus et artibus: the `cap doesn't fit'! But the `spirit', especially the `historical spirit', perceives an advantage even in this despair: again and again another piece of the past and of foreignness is tried out, tried on, taken off, packed away, above all .studied ? we are the first studious age in puncto of `costumes', I mean those of morality, articles of faith, artistic tastes and religions, prepared as no other age has been for the carnival in the grand style, for the most spiritual Shrovetide laughter and wild spirits, for the transcendental heights of the most absolute nonsense and Aristophanic universal mockery. Perhaps it is precisely here that we are discovering the realm of our invention, that realm where we too can still be original, perhaps as parodists of world history and God's buffoons ? perhaps, even if nothing else of today has a future, precisely our laughter may still have a future!
The historical sense (or the capacity for divining quickly the order of rank of the evaluations according to which a people, a society, a human being has lived, the 'divinatory instinct' for the relationships of these evaluations, for the relation of the authority of values to the authority of effective forces): this historical sense, to which we Europeans lay claim as our speciality, has come to us in the wake of the mad and fascinating semi?barbarism into which Europe has been plunged through the democratic mingling of classes and races ? only the nineteenth century knows this sense, as its sixth sense.
The past of every form and mode of life, of cultures that formerly lay close beside or on top of one another, streams into us `modern souls' thanks to this mingling, our instincts now run back in all directions, we ourselves are a kind of chaos ? : in the end, as I said before, `the spirit' perceives its advantage in all this. Through our semi?barbarism in body and desires we have secret access everywhere such as a noble age never had, above all the access to the labyrinth of unfinished cultures and to every semi?barbarism which has ever existed on earth; and, in so far as the most considerable part of human culture hitherto has been semi?barbarism, `historical sense' means virtually the sense and instinct for everything, the taste and tongue for everything: which at once proves it to be an ignoble sense. We enjoy Homer again, for instance: perhaps it is our happiest advance that we know how to appreciate Homer, whom the men of a noble culture (the French of the seventeenth century, for example, such as Saint Evremond, who reproached him for his esprit vaste, and even their dying echo, Voltaire) cannot and could not assimilate so easily ? whom they hardly permitted themselves to enjoy. The very definite Yes and No of their palate, their easily aroused disgust, their hesitant reserve with regard to everything strange, their horror of the tastelessness even of a lively curiosity, and in general that unwillingness of a noble and self?sufficient culture to admit to a new desire, a dissatisfaction with one's own culture, an admiration for what is foreign: all this disposes them unfavourably towards even the best things in the world which are not their property and could not become their prey ? and no sense is so unintelligible to such men as the historical sense and its obsequious plebeian curiosity. It is no different with Shakespeare, that astonishing Spanish?Moorish?Saxon synthesis of tastes over which an ancient Athenian of the circle of Aeschylus would have half?killed himself with laughter or annoyance: but we ? we accept precisely this confusion of colours, this medley of the most delicate, the coarsest and the most artificial, with a secret confidence and cordiality, we enjoy him as an artistic refinement reserved precisely for us and allow ourselves to be as little disturbed by the repellent fumes and the proximity of the English rabble in which Shakespeare's art and taste live as we do on the Chiaja of Naples, where we go our way enchanted and willing with all our senses alert, however much the sewers of the plebeian quarters may fill the air. That as men of the `historical sense' we have our virtues is not to be denied ? we are unpretentious, selfless, modest, brave, full of self?restraint, full of devotion, very grateful, very patient, very accommodating ? with all that, we are perhaps not very `tasteful'. Let us finally confess it to ourselves: that which we men of the `historical sense' find hardest to grasp, to feel, taste, love, that which at bottom finds us prejudiced and almost hostile, is just what is complete and wholly mature in every art and culture, that which constitutes actual nobility in works and in men, their moment of smooth sea and halcyon self?sufficiency, the goldness and coldness displayed by all things which have become perfect. Perhaps our great virtue of the historical sense necessarily stands opposed to good taste, or to the very best taste at any rate, and it is precisely the brief little pieces of good luck and transfiguration of human life that here and there come flashing up which we find most difficult and laboursome to evoke in ourselves: those miraculous moments when a great power voluntarily halted before the boundless and immeasurable ? when a superfluity of subtle delight in sudden restraint and petrifaction, in standing firm and fixing oneself, was enjoyed on a ground still trembling. Measure is alien to us, let us admit it to ourselves; what we itch for is the infinite, the unmeasured. Like a rider on a charging steed we let fall the reins before the infinite, we modern men, like semi?barbarians ? and attain our state of bliss only when we are most ? in danger.
Whether it be hedonism or pessimism or utilitarianism or eudaemonism: all these modes of thought which assess the value of things according to pleasure and pain, that is to say according to attendant and secondary phenomena, are fore-ground modes of thought and naiveties which anyone conscious of creative powers and an artist's conscience will look down on with derision, though not without pity. Pity for you! That, to be sure, is not pity for social `distress', for `society' and its sick and unfortunate, for the vicious and broken from the start who lie all around us; even less is it pity for the grumbling, oppressed, rebellious slave classes who aspire after domination ? they call it `freedom'. Our pity is a more elevated, more farsighted pity ? we see how man is diminishing himself, how you are diminishing him! ? and there are times when we behold your pity with an indescribable anxiety, when we defend ourselves against this pity ? when we find your seriousness more dangerous than any kind of frivolity. You want if possible ? and there is no madder `if possible' to abolish suffering; and we? ? it really does seem that we would rather increase it and make it worse than it has ever been! Well?being as you understand it ? that is no goal, that seems to us an end! A state which soon renders man ludicrous and contemptible ? which makes it desirable that he should perish! The discipline of suffering, of great suffering ? do you not know that it is this discipline alone which has created every elevation of mankind hitherto? That tension of the soul in misfortune which cultivates its strength, its terror at the sight of great destruction, its inventiveness and bravery in undergoing, enduring, interpreting, exploiting misfortune, and whatever of depth, mystery, mask, spirit, cunning and greatness has been bestowed upon it ? has it not been bestowed through suffering, through the discipline of great suffering? In man, creature and creator are united: in man there is matter, fragment, excess, clay, mud, madness, chaos; but in man there is also creator, sculptor, the hardness of the hammer, the divine spectator and the seventh day ? do you understand this antithesis? And that your pity is for the `creature in man', for that which has to be formed, broken, forged, torn, burned, annealed, refined ? that which has to suffer and should suffer? And our pity ? do you not grasp whom our opposite pity is for when it defends itself against your pity as the worst of all pampering and weakening? ? Pity against pity, then! ? But, to repeat, there are higher problems than the problems of pleasure and pain and pity; and every philosophy that treats only of them is a piece of naivety.
We immoralists! ? This world which concerns as, in which we have to love and fear, this almost invisible, inaudible world of subtle commanding, subtle obeying, a world of `almost' in every respect, sophistical, insidious, sharp, tender: it is well defended, indeed, against clumsy spectators and familiar curiosity! We are entwined in an austere shirt of duty and cannot get out of it ? and in this we are `men of duty', we too! Sometimes, it is true, we may dance in our `chains' and between our `swords'; often, it is no less true, we gnash our teeth at it and frown impatiently at the unseen hardship of our lot. But do what we will, fools and appearances speak against us and say `these are men without duty' ? we always have fools and appearances against us!
Honesty ? granted that this is our virtue, from which we cannot get free, we free spirits ? well, let us labour at it with all love and malice and not weary of `perfecting' ourselves in our virtue, the only one we have: may its brightness one day overspread this ageing culture and its dull, gloomy seriousness like a gilded azure mocking evening glow! And if our honesty should one day none the less grow weary, and sigh, and stretch its limbs, and find us too hard, and like to have things better, easier, gentler, like an agreeable vice: let us remain bard, we last of the Stoics! And let us send to the aid of our honesty whatever we have of devilry in us ? our disgust at the clumsy and casual, our `nitimur in vetitum', our adventurer's courage, our sharp and fastidious curiosity, our subtlest, most disguised, most spiritual will to power and world?overcoming which wanders avidly through all the realms of the future let us go to the aid of our `god' with all our `devils'! It is probable that we shall be misunderstood and taken for what we are not: but what of that! People will say: `Their "honesty" ? is their devilry and nothing more!' But what of that! And even if they were right! Have all gods hitherto not been such devils grown holy and been rebaptized? And what do we know of ourselves, when all's said and done? And what the spirit which leads us on would like to be called (it is a question of names)? And how many spirits we harbour? Our honesty, we free spirits ? let us see to it that our honesty does not become our vanity, our pomp and finery, our limitation, our stupidity! Every virtue tends towards stupidity, every stupidity towards virtue; `stupid to the point of saintliness' they say in Russia ? let us see to it that through honesty we do not finally become saints and bores! Is life not a hundred times too short to be ? bored in it? One would have to believe in eternal life to . . .
May I be forgiven the discovery that all moral philosophy hitherto has been boring and a soporific ? and that `virtue' has in my eyes been harmed by nothing more than it has been by this boringness of its advocates; in saying which, however, I should not want to overlook their general utility. It is important that as few people as possible should think about morality consequently it is very important that morality should not one day become interesting! But do not worry! It is still now as it has always been: I see no one in Europe who has (or propagates) any idea that thinking about morality could be dangerous, insidious, seductive ? that fatality could be involved! Consider, for example, the indefatigable, inevitable English utilitarians and with what clumsy and worthy feet they walk, stalk (a Homeric metaphor says it more plainly) along in the footsteps of Bentham, just as he himself had walked in the footsteps of the worthy Helvetius (no, he was not a dangerous man, this Helvetius, ce senateur Pococurante as Galiani called him ? ). No new idea, no subtle expression or turn of an old idea, not even a real history of what had been thought before: an impossible literature altogether, unless one knows how to leaven it with a little malice. For into these moralists too (whom one has to read with mental reservations if one has to read them at all ? ) there has crept that old English vice called cant, which is moral tartuffery, this time concealed in the new form of scientificality; there are also signs of a secret struggle with pangs of conscience, from which a race of former Puritans will naturally suffer. (Is a moralist not the opposite of a Puritan? That is to say, as a thinker who regards morality as something questionable, as worthy of question?marks, in short as a problem? Is moralizing not ? immoral?) Ultimately they all want English morality to prevail: inasmuch as mankind, or the `general utility', or `the happiness of the greatest number', no! the happiness of England would best be served; they would like with all their might to prove to themselves that to strive after English happiness, I mean after comfort and fashion (and, as the supreme goal, a seat in Parliament), is at the same time the true path of virtue, indeed that all virtue there has ever been on earth has consisted in just such a striving. Not one of all these ponderous herd animals with their uneasy conscience (who undertake to advocate the cause of egoism as the cause of the general welfare ? ) wants to know or scent that the `general welfare' is not an ideal, or a goal, or a concept that can be grasped at all, but only an emetic ? that what is right for one cannot by any means therefore be right for another, that the demand for one morality for all is detrimental to precisely the higher men, in short that there exists an order of rank between man and man, consequently also between morality and morality. They are a modest and thoroughly mediocre species of man, these English utilitarians, and, as aforesaid, in so far as they are boring one cannot think sufficiently highly of their utility. One ought even to encourage them: which is in part the objective of the following rhymes.
Hail, continual plodders, hail! `Lengthen out the tedious tale', Pedant still in head and knee, Dull, of humour not a trace, Permanently commonplace, Sans genie et sans esprit!
In late ages which may be proud of their humaneness there remains so much fear, so much superstitious fear of the `savage cruel beast', to have mastered which constitutes the very pride of those more humane ages, that even palpable truths as if by general agreement, remain unspoken for centuries, because they seem as though they might help to bring back to life that savage beast which has been finally laid to rest. Perhaps I am risking something when I let one of these truths escape: let others capture it again and give it sufficient of the `milk of pious thoughts' for it to lie still and forgotten in its old corner. ? One should open one's eyes and take a new look at cruelty; one should at last grow impatient, so that the kind of immodest fat errors which have, for example, been fostered about tragedy by ancient and modern philosophers should no longer go stalking virtuously and confidently about. Almost everything we call `higher culture' is based on the spiritualization and intensification of cruelty ?this is my proposition; the `wild beast' has not been laid to rest at all, it lives, it flourishes, it has merely become ? deified. That which constitutes the painful voluptuousness of tragedy is cruelty; that which produces a pleasing effect in so?called tragic pity, indeed fundamentally in everything sublime up to the highest and most refined thrills of metaphysics, derives its sweetness solely from the ingredient of cruelty mixed in with it. What the Roman in the arena, the Christian in the ecstasies of the Cross, the Spaniard watching burnings or bullfights, the Japanese of today crowding in to the tragedy, the Parisian suburban workman who has a nostalgia for bloody revolutions, the Wagnerienne who, with will suspended, `experiences' Tristan and Isolde ? what all of these enjoy and look with secret ardour to imbibe is the spicy potion of the great Circe `cruelty'. Here, to be sure, we must put aside the thick?wined psychology of former times which had to teach of cruelty only that it had its origin in the sight of the sufferings of others: there is also an abundant, over?abundant enjoyment of one's own suffering, of making oneself suffer ? and wherever man allows himself to be persuaded to self?denial in the religious sense, or to selfmutilation, as among Phoenicians and ascetics, or in general to desensualization, decarnalization, contrition, to Puritanical spasms of repentance, to conscience?vivisection and to a Pascalian sacrifizio dell' intelletto, he is secretly lured and urged onward by his cruelty, by the dangerous thrills of cruelty directed against himself. Consider, finally, how even the man of knowledge, when he compels his spirit to knowledge which is counter to the inclination of his spirit and frequently also to the desires of his heart ? by saying No, that is, when he would like to affirm, love, worship ? disposes as an artist in and transfigurer of cruelty; in all taking things seriously and thoroughly, indeed, there is already a violation, a desire to hurt the fundamental will of the spirit, which ceaselessly strives for appearance and the superficial ? in all desire to know there is already a drop of cruelty.
Perhaps what I have said here of a `fundamental will of the spirit' may not be immediately comprehensible: allow me to explain. ? That commanding something which the people calls `spirit' wants to be master within itself and around itself and to feel itself master: out of multiplicity it has the will to simplicity, a will which binds together and tames, which is imperious and domineering. In this its needs and capacities are the same as those which physiologists posit for everything that lives, grows and multiplies. The power of the spirit to appropriate what is foreign to it is revealed in a strong inclination to assimilate the new to the old, to simplify the complex, to overlook or repel what is wholly contradictory: just as it arbitrarily emphasizes, extracts and falsifies to suit itself certain traits and lines in what is foreign to it, in every piece of `external world'. Its intention in all this is the incorporation of new `experiences', the arrangement of new things within old divisions ? growth, that is to say; more precisely, the feeling of growth, the feeling of increased power.
This same will is served by an apparently antithetical drive of the spirit, a sudden decision for ignorance, for arbitrary shutting?out, a closing of the windows, an inner denial of this or that thing, a refusal to let it approach, a kind of defensive posture against much that can be known, a contentment with the dark, with the closed horizon, an acceptance and approval of ignorance: all this being necessary according to the degree of its power to appropriate, its `digestive power', to speak in a metaphor ? and indeed `the spirit' is more like a stomach than anything else. It is here that there also belongs the occasional will of the spirit to let itself be deceived, perhaps with a mischievous notion that such and such is not the case, that it is only being allowed to pass for the case, a joy in uncertainty and ambiguity, an exultant enjoyment of the capricious narrowness and secrecy of a nook?and?corner, of the all too close, of the foreground, of the exaggerated, diminished, displaced, beautified, an enjoyment of the capriciousness of all these expressions of power. Finally there also belongs here that not altogether innocent readiness of the spirit to deceive other spirits and to dissemble before them, that continual pressing and pushing of a creative, formative, changeable force: in this the spirit enjoys the multiplicity and cunning of its masks, it enjoys too the sense of being safe that this brings ? for it is precisely through its protean arts that it is best concealed and protected) This will to appearance, to simplification, to the mask, to the cloak, in short to the superficial ? for every surface is a cloak ? is counteracted by that sublime inclination in the man of knowledge which takes a profound, many?sided and thorough view of things and will take such a view: as a kind of cruelty of the intellectual conscience and taste which every brave thinker will recognize in himself, provided he has hardened and sharpened for long enough his own view of himself, as he should have, and is accustomed to stern discipline and stern language. He will say `there is something cruel in the inclination of my spirit' ? let the amiable and virtuous try to talk him out of that) In fact, it would be nicer if, instead of with cruelty, we were perhaps credited with an `extravagant honesty' ? we free, very free spirits ? and perhaps that will actually one day be our posthumous fame? In the meantime ? for it will be a long time before that happens ? we ourselves are likely to be least inclined to dress up in moralistic verbal tinsel and valences of this sort: all our labour hitherto has spoiled us for this taste and its buoyant luxuriousness. They are beautiful, glittering, jingling, festive words: honesty, love of truth, love of wisdom, sacrifice for the sake of knowledge, heroism of the truthful ? there is something about them that makes one's pride swell. But we hermits and marmots long ago became convinced that this worthy verbal pomp too belongs among the ancient false finery, lumber and gold?dust of unconscious human vanity, and that under such flattering colours and varnish too the terrible basic text homo natura must again be discerned. For to translate man back into nature; to master the many vain and fanciful interpretations and secondary meanings which have been hitherto scribbled and daubed over that eternal basic text homo natura; to confront man henceforth with man in the way in which, hardened by the discipline of science, man today confronts the rest of nature, with dauntless Oedipus eyes and stopped?up Odysseus ears, deaf to the siren songs of old metaphysical bird?catchers who have all too long been piping to him `you are more! you are higher! you are of a different origin!' ? that may be a strange and extravagant task but it is a task ? who would deny that? Why did we choose it, this extravagant task? Or, to ask the question differently: `why knowledge at all?'? Everyone will ask us about that. And we, thus pressed, we who have asked ourselves the same question a hundred times, we have found and can find no better answer...
Learning transforms us, it does that which all nourishment does which does not merely `preserve' : as the physiologist knows. But at the bottom of us, `right down deep', there is, to be sure, something unteachable, a granite stratum of spiritual fate, of predetermined decision and answer to predetermined selected questions. In the case of every cardinal problem there speaks an unchangeable `this is I'; about man and woman, for example, a thinker cannot relearn but only learn fully ? only discover all that is `firm and settled' within him on this subject. One sometimes comes upon certain solutions to problems which inspire strong belief in us; perhaps one thenceforth calls them one's `convictions'. Later ? one sees them only as footsteps to self?knowledge, signposts to the problem which we are ? more correctly, to the great stupidity which we are, to our spiritual fate, to the unteachable `right down deep'. ? Having just paid myself such a deal of pretty compliments I may perhaps be more readily permitted to utter a few truths about `woman as such': assuming it is now understood from the outset to how great an extent these are only ? my truths.
Woman wants to be independent: and to that end she is beginning to enlighten men about `woman as such' ? this is one of the worst developments in the general uglification of Europe. For what must these clumsy attempts on the part of female scientificality and self?exposure not bring to light! Woman has so much reason for shame; in woman there is concealed so much pedanticism, superficiality, schoolmarmishness, petty presumption, petty unbridledness and petty immodesty ? one needs only to study her behaviour with children! .? which has fundamentally been most effectively controlled and repressed hitherto by fear of man. Woe when the `eternal?boring in woman' ? she has plenty of that! ? is allowed to venture forth! When she begins radically and on principle to forget her arts and best policy: those of charm, play, the banishing of care, the assuaging of grief and taking lightly, together with her subtle aptitude for agreeable desires! Already female voices are raised which, by holy Aristophanes! make one tremble; there are threatening and medically explicit statements of what woman wants of man. Is it not in the worst of taste when woman sets about becoming scientific in that fashion? Enlightenment in this field has hitherto been the affair and endowment of men ? we remained `among ourselves' in this; and whatever women write about `woman', we may in the end reserve a good suspicion as to whether woman really wants or can want enlightenment about herself... Unless a woman is looking for a new adornment for herself in this way ? self?adornment pertains to the eternal?womanly, does it not? ? she is trying to inspire fear of herself ? perhaps she is seeking dominion. But she does not want truth: what is truth to a woman! From the very first nothing has been more alien, repugnant, inimical to woman than truth ? her great art is the lie, her supreme concern is appearance and beauty. Let us confess it, we men: it is precisely this art and this instinct in woman which we love and honour: we who have a hard time and for our refreshment like to associate with creatures under whose hands, glances and tender follies our seriousness, our gravity and profundity appear to us almost as folly. Finally I pose the question: has any woman ever conceded profundity to a woman's mind or justice to a woman's heart? And is it not true that on the whole `woman' has hitherto been slighted most by woman herself ? and not at all by us? ? We men want woman to cease compromising herself through enlightenment: just as it was man's care and consideration for woman which led the Church to decree: mulier taceat in ecclesia! It was to the benefit of woman when Napoleon gave the all too eloquent Madame de Stael to understand: mulier taceat in politicis! ? and I think it is a true friend of women who calls on them today: mulier taceat de muliere!
It betrays corruption of the instincts ? quite apart from the fact that it betrays bad taste ? when a woman appeals precisely to Madame Roland or Madame de Stael or Monsieur George Sand as if something in favour of `woman as such' were thereby demonstrated. Among men the above?named are the three comic women as such ? nothing more! ? and precisely the best involuntary counter?arguments against emancipation and female autocracy.
Stupidity in the kitchen; woman as cook; the dreadful thoughtlessness with which the nourishment of .the family and the master of the house is provided for! Woman does not understand what food means: and she wants to be the cook! If woman were a thinking creature she would, having been the cook for thousands of years, surely have had to discover the major facts of physiology, and likewise gained possession of the art of healing. It is through bad female cooks ? through the complete absence of reason in the kitchen, that the evolution of man has been longest retarded and most harmed: even today things are hardly any better. A lecture for high?school girls.
There are fortunate turns of the spirit, there are epigrams, a little handful of words, in which an entire culture, a whole society is suddenly crystallized. Among these is Madame de Lambert's remark to her son: 'mon ami, me vous permettez jamais que de folies, qui vous feront grand plaisir' ? the most motherly and prudent remark, incidentally, that was ever addressed to a son.
That which Dante and Goethe believed of woman ? the former when he sang `ella guardava suso, ed io in lei', the latter when he translated it `the eternal?womanly draws us upward'?: I do not doubt that every nobler woman will resist this belief, for that is precisely what she believes of the eternal-manly . . .
Seven Proverbs for Women How the slowest tedium flees when a man comes on his knees! Age and scientific thought give even virtue some support. Sober garb and total muteness dress a woman with ? astuteness. Who has brought me luck today? God! ? and my couturier. Young: a cavern decked about. Old: a dragon sallies out. Noble name, a leg that's fine, man as well: oh were be mine! Few words, much meaning ? slippery ground, many a poor she?ass has found! Men have hitherto treated women like birds which have strayed down to them from the heights: as something more delicate, more fragile, more savage, stranger, sweeter, soulful ? but as something which has to be caged up so that it shall not fly away.
To blunder over the fundamental problem of `man and woman', to deny here the most abysmal antagonism and the necessity of an eternally hostile tension, perhaps to dream here of equal rights, equal education, equal claims and duties: this is a typical sign of shallow?mindedness, and a thinker who has proved himself to be shallow on this dangerous point shallow of instinct! ? may be regarded as suspect in general, more, as betrayed, as found out: he will probably be too `short' for all the fundamental questions of life, those of life in the future too, incapable of any depth. On the other hand, a man who has depth, in his spirit as well as in his desires, and also that depth of benevolence which is capable of hardness and severity and is easily confused with them, can think of woman only in an oriental way ? he must conceive of woman as a possession, as property with lock and key, as something predestined for service and attaining her fulfilment in service ? in this matter he must take his stand on the tremendous intelligence of Asia, on Asia's superiority of instinct, as the Greeks formerly did: they were Asia's best heirs and pupils and, as is well known, from Homer to the age of Pericles, with the increase of their culture and the amplitude of their powers, also became step by step more strict with women, in short more oriental. Flow necessary, how logical, horn humanly desirable even, this was: let each ponder for himself!
The weak sex has in no age been treated by men with such respect as it is in ours ? that pertains to the democratic inclination and fundamental taste, as does disrespectfulness to old age ?: is it any wonder if this respect is immediately abused? She wants more, she learns to demand, in the end she finds this tribute of respect almost offensive, she would prefer competition for rights, indeed a real stand?up fight: enough, woman loses in modesty. Let us add at once that she also loses in taste. She unlearns fear of man: but the woman who `unlearns fear' sacrifices her most womanly instincts. That woman should venture out when the fear?inspiring in man, let us put it more precisely and say the man in man, is no longer desired and developed, is fair enough, also comprehensible enough; what is harder to comprehend is that, through precisely this fact ? woman degenerates. This is what is happening today: let us not deceive ourselves! Wherever the spirit of industry has triumphed over the military and aristocratic spirit woman now aspires to the economic and legal independence of a clerk: `woman as clerk' stands inscribed on the portal of the modern society now taking shape. As she thus seizes new rights, looks to become `master', and inscribes the `progress' of woman on her flags and banners, the reverse is happening with dreadful clarity: woman is retrogressing. Since the French Revolution the influence of woman in Europe has grown less in the same proportion as her rights and claims have grown greater; and the `emancipation of woman', in so far as it has been demanded and advanced by women themselves (and not only by male shallow?pates), is thus revealed as a noteworthy symptom of the growing enfeeblement and blunting of the most feminine instincts. There is stupidity in this movement, an almost masculine stupidity, of which a real woman ? who is always a clever woman ? would have to be ashamed from the very heart. To lose her sense for the ground on which she is most sure of victory; to neglect to practise the use of her own proper weapons; to let herself go before the man, perhaps even `to the extent of producing a book', where formerly she kept herself in check and in subtle cunning humility; to seek with virtuous assurance to destroy man's belief that a fundamentally different ideal is wrapped up in woman, that there is something eternally, necessarily feminine; emphatically and loquaciously to talk man out of the idea that woman has to be maintained, cared for, protected, indulged like a delicate, strangely wild and often agreeable domestic animal; the clumsy and indignant parade of all of slavery and bondage that woman's position in the order of society has hitherto entailed and still entails (as if slavery were a counter?argument and not rather a condition of every higher culture, of every enhancement of culture) ? what does all this mean if not a crumbling of the feminine instinct, a defeminizing? To be sure, there are sufficient idiotic friends and corrupters of woman among the learned asses of the male sex who advise woman to defeminize herself in this fashion and to imitate all the stupidities with which `man' in Europe, European `manliness', is sick ? who would like to reduce woman to the level of `general education', if not to that of newspaper reading and playing at politics. Here and there they even want to turn women into free?spirits and literati: as if a woman without piety would not be something utterly repellent or ludicrous to a profound and godless man ?; almost everywhere her nerves are being shattered by the most morbid and dangerous of all the varieties of music (our latest German music), and she is being rendered more and more hysterical with every day that passes and more and more incapable of her first and last profession, which is to bear strong children. There is a desire to make her in general more `cultivated' and, as they say, to make the `weak sex' strong through culture: as if history did not teach in the most emphatic manner possible that making human beings `cultivated' and making them weaker ? that is to say, enfeebling, fragmenting, contaminating, the force of the mill, have always gone hand in hand, and that the world's most powerful and influential women (most recently the mother of Napoleon) owed their power and ascendancy over men precisely to the force of their will ? and not to schoolmasters! That in woman which inspires respect and fundamentally fear is her mature, which is more `natural' than that of the man, her genuine, cunning, beast?of?prey suppleness, the tiger's claws beneath the glove, the naivety of her egoism, her ineducability and inner savagery, and how incomprehensible, capacious and prowling her desires and virtues are . . . That which, all fear notwithstanding, evokes pity for this dangerous and beautiful cat `woman' is that she appears to be more afflicted, more vulnerable, more in need of love and more condemned to disappointment than any other animal. Fear and pity: it is with these feelings that man has hitherto stood before woman, always with one foot in tragedy, which lacerates as it delights. ? What? And is this now over with? And is woman now being deprived of her enchantment? Is woman slowly being made boring? O Europe! Europe! We know the horned beast which always attracted you most, which again and again threatens you with danger! Your ancient fable could once again become `history' ? once again a monstrous stupidity could master you and carry you off! And no god concealed within it, no! merely an `idea', a `modern idea'! . . .
Part Eight: Peoples and Fatherlands
I have heard, once again for the fast time ? Richard Wagner's overture to the Meistersinger: it is a magnificent, overladen, heavy and late art which has the pride to presuppose for its understanding that two centuries of music are still living ? it is to the credit of the Germans that such a pride was not misplaced! What forces and juices, what seasons and zones are not mixed together here! Now it seems archaic, now strange, acid and too young, it is as arbitrary as it is pompous?traditional, it is not infrequently puckish, still more often rough and uncouth ? it has fire and spirit and at the same time the loose yellow skin of fruits which ripen too late. It flows broad and full: and suddenly a moment of inexplicable hesitation, as it were a gap between cause and effect, an oppression producing dreams, almost a nightmare ? but already the old stream of wellbeing broadens and widens again, the stream of the most manifold wellbeing, of happiness old and new, very much including the happiness of the artist in himself, which he has no desire to conceal, his happy, astonished knowledge of the masterliness of the means he is here employing, new, newly acquired, untried artistic means, as his art seems to betray to us. All in all, no beauty, nothing of the south or of subtle southerly brightness of sky, nothing of gracefulness, no dance, hardly any will to logic; a certain clumsiness, even, which is actually emphasized, as if the artist wanted to say: `it is intentional'; a cumbersome drapery, something capriciously barbarous and solemn, a fluttering of venerable learned lace and conceits; something German in the best and worst sense of the word, something manifold, formless and inexhaustible in the German fashion; a certain German powerfulness and overfullness of soul which is not afraid to hide itself among the refinements of decay ? which perhaps feels itself most at ease there; a true, genuine token of the German soul, which is at once young and aged, over?mellow and still too rich in future. This kind of music best expresses what I consider true of the Germans: they are of the day before yesterday and the day after tomorrow ? thy have as yet no today.
We `good Europeans': we too have our hours when we permit ourselves a warm?hearted patriotism, a lapse and regression into old loves and narrownesses ? I have just given an example of it ? hours of national ebullition, of patriotic palpitations and floods of various outmoded feelings. More ponderous spirits than we may have done with what in our case is confined to a few hours and is then over only after a longer period: one takes half a year, another half a life, according to the speed and power with which he digests it and of his `metabolism'. Indeed, I can imagine dull, sluggish races which, even in our fast?moving Europe, would need half a century to overcome such atavistic attacks of patriotism and cleaving to one's native soil and to be restored to reason, I mean to `good Europeanism'. And, while digressing on this possibility, I chanced to become the ear?witness of a conversation between two old `patriots' ? it is clear they were both hard of hearing and thus spoke all the louder. `He has and knows as much philosophy as a peasant or a fraternity student', said one of them: `he is still innocent. But what does that matter nowadays! It is the age of the masses: they fall on their faces before anything massive. And in politics likewise. A statesman who builds for them another Tower of Babel, some monstrosity of empire and power, they call "great" ? what does it matter if we, more cautious and reserved than they, persist in the old belief that it is the great idea alone which can bestow greatness on a deed or a cause. Suppose a statesman were to put his nation in the position of having henceforth to pursue "grand politics", for which it was ill equipped and badly prepared by nature, so that it had to sacrifice its old and sure virtues for the sake of a new and doubtful mediocrity ?suppose a statesman were to condemn his nation to "politicizing" at all, while that nation had hitherto had something better to do and think about and in the depths of its soul still retained a cautious disgust for the restlessness, emptiness and noisy wrangling of those nations which actually do practise politics ? suppose such a statesman were to goad the slum-bering passions and desires of his nation, turn its former diffidence and desire to stand aside into a stigma and its pre-dilection for foreign things and its secret infiniteness into a fault, devalue its most heartfelt inclinations in its own eyes, reverse its conscience, make its mind narrow and its taste "national" ? what! a statesman who did all this, a statesman for whom his nation would have to atone for all future time, assuming it had a future ? would such a statesman be great?' `Undoubtedly!' the other patriot replied vehemently: `other-wise he would not have been able to do it! Perhaps you may say it was mad to want to do such a thing? But perhaps every-thing great has been merely mad to begin with!' ? `Misuse of words!' cried the other: ? 'strong! strong! strong and mad! Not great!' ? The old men had obviously grown heated as they thus shouted their `truths' in one another's faces; I, however, in my happiness and beyond, considered how soon a stronger will become master of the strong; and also that when one nation becomes spiritually shallower there is a compensation for it: another nation becomes deeper. ?
Whether that which now distinguishes the European be called `civilization' or `humanization' or 'progress'; whether one calls it simply, without implying any praise or blame, the democratic movement in Europe: behind all the moral and political foregrounds indicated by such formulas a great physio-logical process is taking place and gathering greater and ever greater impetus ? the process of the assimilation of all Euro-peans, their growing detachment from the conditions under which races dependent on climate and class originate, their increasing independence of any definite milieu which, through making the same demands for centuries, would like to inscribe itself on soul and body ? that is to say, the slow emergence of an essentially supra?national and nomadic type of man which, physiologically speaking, possesses as its typical distinction a maximum of the art and power of adaptation. This process of the becoming European, the tempo of which can be retarded by great relapses but which will perhaps precisely through them gain in vehemence and depth ? the still?raging storm and stress of `national feeling' belongs here, likewise the anarchism now emerging ?: this process will probably lead to results which its naive propagators and panegyrists, the apostles of `modern ideas', would be least inclined to anticipate. The same novel conditions which will on average create a levelling and mediocritizing of man ? a useful, industrious, highly serviceable and able herd?animal man ? are adapted in the highest degree to giving rise to exceptional men of the most dangerous and enticing quality. For while that power of adapta-tion which continually tries out changing conditions and begins a new labour with every new generation, almost with every new decade, cannot make possible the powerfulness of the type; while the total impression produced by such future Europeans will probably be that of multifarious, garrulous, weak?willed and highly employable workers who need a master, a commander, as they need their daily bread; while, therefore, the democratization of Europe will lead to the production of a type prepared for slavery in the subtlest sense: in individual and exceptional cases the strong man will be found to turn out stronger and richer than has perhaps ever happened before ?thanks to the unprejudiced nature of his schooling, thanks to the tremendous multiplicity of practice, art and mask. What I mean to say is that the democratization of Europe is at the same time an involuntary arrangement for the breeding of tyrants ? in every sense of that word, including the most spiritual.
I hear with pleasure that our sun is moving rapidly in the direction of the constellation of Hercules: and I hope that men on the earth will in this matter emulate the sun. And we at their head, we good Europeans!
There was a time when it was usual to call the Germans `profound', and this was meant as a term of distinction: now, when the most successful type of the new Germanism thirsts after quite different honours and perhaps feels that anything profound lacks `dash', it is almost timely and patriotic to doubt whether that commendation of former days was not founded on self?deception: whether German profundity is not at bottom something different and worse ? and something which, thanks be to God, one is on the verge of successfully getting rid o¢G Let us therefore try to learn anew about German profundity: all that is required is a little vivisection of the German soul. ? The German soul is above all manifold, of diverse origins, put together and superimposed rather than actually constructed: the reason for that is its source. A German who would make bold to say `two souls, alas, within my bosom dwell' would err very widely from the truth, more correctly he would fall short of the truth by a large number of souls. As a people of the most tremendous mixture and mingling of races, perhaps even with a preponderance of the pre?Aryan element, as the `people of the middle' in every sense, the Germans are more incomprehensible, more comprehensive, more full of contradictions, more unknown, more incalculable, more surprising, even more frightening to themselves than other peoples are ? they elude definition and are for that reason alone the despair of the French. It is characteristic of the Germans that the question `what is German?' never dies out among them. Kotzebue certainly knew his Germans well enough: `we are known' they cried to him jubilantly but Sand too thought she knew them. Jean Paul knew what he was doing when he declared himself incensed by Fichte's mendacious but patriotic flatteries and exaggerations ? but it is likely that Goethe thought otherwise of the Germans than jean Paul did, even though he agreed with him about Fichte.
What Goethe really thought of the Germans? ? But there were many things round him about which he never expressed himself clearly and his whole life long he knew how to maintain a subtle silence ? he had no doubt good reason. What is certain is that it was not `the Wars of Liberation' which made him look up more cheerfully, any more than it was the French Revolution ? the event on account of which he rethought his Faust, indeed the whole problem of `man', was the appearance of Napoleon. There exist statements by Goethe in which, as if he was from another country, he condemns with impatient severity that which the Germans take pride in: the celebrated German Gemut he once defined as `indulgence of others' weaknesses, and one's own'. Was he wrong? ? it is characteristic of the Germans that one is seldom wholly wrong about them. The German soul has corridors and interconnecting corridors in it there are caves, hiding?places, dungeons in it; its disorder possesses much of the fascination of the mysterious; the German is acquainted with the hidden paths to chaos. And as everything loves its symbol, the German loves clouds and all that is obscure, becoming, crepuscular, damp and dismal: the uncertain, unformed, shifting, growing of every kind he feels to be `profound'. The German himself is not, he is becoming, he is `developing'. `Development' is thus the truly German discovery and lucky shot in the great domain of philosophical formulas ? a ruling concept which, in concert with German beer and German music, is at work at the Germanization of all Europe. Foreigners are astonished and drawn by the enigmas which the contradictory nature at the bottom of the German soul propounds to them (which Hegel reduced to a system and Richard Wagner finally set to music). `Good?natured and malicious' ? such a juxtaposition, nonsensical in respect of any other people, is unfortunately too often justified in Germany: you have only to live among Swabians for a while! The ponderousness of the German scholar, his social insipidity, gets on frightfully well with an inner rope?walking and easy boldness before which all the gods have learned fear. If you want the `German soul' demonstrated ad oculos, you have only to look into German taste, into German arts and customs: what boorish indifference to 'taste'! How the noblest and the commonest here stand side by side! How disorderly and wealthy this whole psychical household is! The German drags his soul, he drags everything he experiences. He digests his events badly, he is never 'done' with them; German profundity is often only a sluggish 'digestion'. And just as all chronic invalids, all dyspeptics, have an inclination for comfort, so the German loves 'openness' and 'uprightness': how comfortable it is to be open and upright! Perhaps it is the most dangerous and successful disguise the German knows how to use today, this confiding, accommodating, cards?on?the?table German honesty: it is his real Mephistophelean art, with its aid he can 'still go far'! The German lets himself go, and as he does so he gazes out with true blue empty German eyes ? and other countries at once confound him with his dressing?gown! ? I meant to say: whatever 'German profundity' may be ? and when we are quite by ourselves we shall perhaps permit ourselves to laugh at it? we would do well to hold its appearance and good name in respect henceforth too and not to sell former old reputation as the profound nation too cheaply for Prussian 'dash' and Berlin wit and sand. It is clever for a people to be considered, to get itself considered, profound, clumsy, good?natured, honest, not clever: it might even be ? profound! Finally: one ought not to be ashamed of one's own name ?it is not for nothing one is called das 'tiusche' Volk, das Tausche?Volk . . .
The 'good old days' are gone, in Mozart they sang themselves out ? how fortunate are we that his rococo still speaks to us, that his 'good company', his tender enthusiasm, his child?like delight in chinoiserie and ornament, his politeness of the heart, his longing for the graceful, the enamoured, the dancing, the tearful, his faith in the south may still appeal to some residue in us! Alas, some day it will all be gone ? but who can doubt that understanding and taste for Beethoven will be gone first! ? for Beethoven was only the closing cadence of a transition of style and stylistic breach and not, as Mozart was, the closing cadence of a great centuries?old European taste. Beethoven is the intermediary between an old mellow soul that is constantly crumbling and a future over?young soul that is constantly arriving; upon his music there lies that twilight of eternal loss and eternal extravagant hope ? the same light in which Europe lay bathed when it dreamed with Rousseau, when it danced around the Revolution's Tree of Liberty and finally almost worshipped before Napoleon. But how quickly this feeling is now fading away, how hard it is today even to know of this feeling ? how strange to our ears sounds the language of Rousseau, Schiller, Shelley, Byron, in whom together the same European destiny that in Beethoven knew how to sing found its way into words! ? Whatever German music came afterwards belongs to romanticism, that is to say to a movement which was, historically speaking, even briefer, even more fleeting, even more superficial than that great interlude, that transition of Europe from Rousseau to Napoleon and to the rise of democracy. Weber: but what are Freischutz and Oberon to us today! Or Marshner's Hans Heilin and Vampyr!
Or even Wagner's Tannhauser! It is dead, if not yet forgotten, music. All this music of romanticism was, moreover, insufficiently noble, insufficiently musical, to maintain itself anywhere but in the theatre and before the mob; it was from the very first second?rate music to which genuine musicians paid little regard. It was otherwise with Felix Mendelssohn, that halcyon master who was, on account of his lighter, purer, happier soul, speedily honoured and just as speedily forgotten: as the beautiful intermezzo of German music. But as for Schumann, who took things seriously and was also taken seriously from the first ? he was the last to found a school ?: do we not now think it a piece of good fortune, a relief, a liberation that this Schumann?romanticism has been overcome? Schumann, fleeing into the 'Saxon Switzerland' of his soul, his nature half Werther, half Jean Paul, not at all like Beethoven, not at all Byronic! ? his music for Manfred is a mistake and misunderstanding to the point of injustice ? Schumann, with his taste which was fundamentally a petty taste (that is to say a dangerous inclination, doubly dangerous among Germans, for quiet lyricism and drunkenness of feeling), continually going aside, shyly withdrawing and retiring, a noble effeminate delighting in nothing but anonymous weal and woe, a kind of girl and noli me tangere from the first: this Schumann was already a merely German event in music, no longer a European event, as Beethoven was, as to an even greater extent Mozart had been ? in him German music was threatened with its greatest danger, that of losing the voice for the .coal of Europe and sinking into a merely national affair.
? What a torment books written in German are for him who has a third earl How disgustedly he stands beside the slowly turning swamp of sounds without resonance, of rhythms that do not dance, which the Germans call a 'book'! Not to mention the German who reads books! How lazily, how reluctantly, how badly he reads! How many Germans know, or think they ought to know, that there is art in every good sentence ? art that must be grasped if the sentence is to be understood! A misunderstanding of its tempo, for example: and the sentence itself is misunderstood! That one must be in no doubt about the syllables that determine the rhythm, that one should feel the disruption of a too?severe symmetry as intentional and as something attractive, that one should lend a refined and patient ear to every staccato, every rubato, that one should divine the meaning in the sequence of vowels and diphthongs and how delicately and richly they can colour and recolour one another through the order in which they come: who among book?reading Germans has sufficient goodwill to acknowledge such demands and duties and to listen to so much art and intention in language? In the end one simply `has no ear for it': and so the greatest contrasts in style go unheard and the subtlest artistry is .squandered as if on the deaf. ? These were my thoughts when I noticed how two masters of the art of prose were clumsily and unsuspectingly confused with one another: one from whom words fall cold and hesitantly as from the roof of a damp cavern ? he calculates on the heavy dullness of their sound and echo ? and another who handles his language like a supple blade and feels from his arm down to his toes the perilous delight of the quivering, over?sharp steel that wants to bite, hiss, cut
How little German style has to do with sound and the ears is shown by the fact that precisely our good musicians write badly. The German does not read aloud, does not read for the ear, but merely with his eyes: he has put his ears away in the drawer. In antiquity, when a man read ? which he did very seldom ? he read to himself aloud, and indeed in a loud voice; it was a matter for surprise if someone read quietly, and people secretly asked themselves why he did so. In a loud voice: that is to say, with all the crescendos, inflections, variations of tone and changes of tempo in which the ancient public world took pleasure. In those days the rules of written style were the same as those of spoken style; and these rules depended in part on the astonishing development, the refined requirements of ear and larynx, in part on the strength, endurance and power of ancient lungs. A period is, in the sense in which the ancients understood it, above all a physio-logical whole, inasmuch as it is composed by a single breath. Periods such as appear with Demosthenes or Cicero, rising twice and sinking twice and all within a single breath: these are delights for men of antiquity, who knew from their own schooling how to value the virtue in them, the rarity and difficulty of the delivery of such a period ? the have really no right to the grand period, we moderns, we who are short of breath in every sense! For these ancients were one and all themselves dilettantes in rhetoric, consequently connoisseurs, consequently critics ? and so they drove their orators to extremes; in the same way as, in the last century, when all Italians and Italiennes knew how to sing, virtuosity in singing (and therewith also the art of melody ?) attained its height with them. In Germany, however, there was (until very recently, when a kind of platform eloquence began shyly and heavily to flap its young wings) really but one species of public and ,fairly artistic oratory: that from the pulpit. The preacher was the only one in Germany who knew what a syllable, what a word weighs, how a sentence strikes, rises, falls, runs, runs to an end, he alone had a conscience in his ears, often enough a bad conscience: for there is no lack of reasons why it is precisely the German who rarely achieves proficiency in oratory, or almost always achieves it too late. The masterpiece of German prose is therefore, as is to be expected, the masterpiece of its great preacher: the Bible has been the best German book hitherto. Compared with Luther's Bible almost everything else is merely `literature' ? a thing that has not grown up in Germany and therefore has not taken and does not take root in German hearts: as the Bible has done.
There are two kinds of genius: the kind which above all begets and wants to beget, and the kind which likes to be fructified and to give birth. And likewise there are among peoples of genius those upon whom has fallen the woman's problem of pregnancy and the secret task of forming, maturing, perfecting ? the Greeks, for example, were a people of this kind, and so were the French ?; and others who have to fructify and become the cause of new orders of life ? like the Jews, the Romans and, to ask it in all modesty, the Germans??peoples tormented and enraptured by unknown fevers and irresistibly driven outside themselves, enamoured of and lusting after foreign races (after those which `want to be fructified') and at the same time hungry for dominion, like everything which knows itself full of generative power and consequently `by the grace of God'. These two kinds of genius seek one another, as man and woman do; but they also misunderstand one another ? as man and woman do.
Every people has its own tartuffery and calls it its virtues. The best that one is one does not know ? one cannot know.
What Europe owes to the Jews? ? Many things, good and bad, and above all one thing that is at once of the best and the worst: the grand style in morality, the dreadfulness and majesty of infinite demands, infinite significances, the whole romanticism and sublimity of moral questionabilities ? and consequently precisely the most attractive, insidious and choicest part of those iridescences and seductions to life with whose afterglow the sky of our European culture, its evening sky, is now aflame ? and perhaps burning itself up. We artists among the spectators and philosophers are ? grateful to the Jews for this.
If a people is suffering and wants to suffer from nationalistic nervous fever and political ambition, it must be expected that all sorts of clouds and disturbances ? in short, little attacks of stupidity ? will pass over its spirit into the bargain: among present?day Germans, for example, now the anti?French stupidity, now the anti?Jewish, now the anti?Polish, now the Christian?romantic, now the Wagnerian, now the Teutonic, now the Prussian (just look at those miserable historians, those Sybels and Treitschkes, with their thickly bandaged heads ?), and whatever else these little obfuscations of the German spirit and conscience may be called. May it be forgiven me that I too, during a daring brief sojourn in a highly infected area, did not remain wholly free of the disease and began, like the rest of the world, to entertain ideas about things that were none of my business: first symptom of the political infection. About the Jews, for example: listen. ? I have never met a German who was favourably inclined towards the Jews; and however unconditionally all cautious and politic men may have repudiated real anti?Jewism, even this caution and policy is not directed against this class of feeling itself but only against its dangerous immoderation, and especially against the distasteful and shameful way in which this immoderate feeling is expressed ? one must not deceive oneself about that. That Germany has an ample sufficiency of Jews, that the German stomach, German blood has difficulty (and will continue to have difficulty for a long time to come) in absorbing even this quantum of `Jew' ? as the Italians, the French, the English have absorbed them through possessing a stronger digestion ?: this is the clear declaration and language of a universal instinct to which one must pay heed, in accordance with which one must act. `Let in no more Jews! And close especially the doors to the East (also to Austria)!' ? thus commands the instinct of a people whose type is still weak and undetermined, so that it could easily be effaced, easily extinguished by a stronger race. The Jews, however, are beyond all doubt the strongest, toughest and purest race at present living in Europe; they know how to prevail even under the worst conditions (better even than under favourable ones), by means of virtues which one would like to stamp as vices ? thanks above all to a resolute faith which does not need to be ashamed before `modem ideas.'; they change, when they change, only in the way in which the Russian Empire makes its conquests ? an empire that has time and is not of yesterday ?: namely, according to the principle `as slowly as possible'! A thinker who has the future of Europe on his conscience will, in all the designs he makes for this future, take the Jews into account as he will take the Russians, as the immediately surest and most probable factors in the great game and struggle of forces. That which is called a `nation' in Europe today and is actually more of a res facto than nata (indeed sometimes positively resembles a res ficta et picta ?) is in any case something growing, young, easily disruptable, not yet a race, let alone such an aere perennius as the Jewish type is: these `nations' should certainly avoid all hot?headed rivalry and hostility very carefully! That the Jews could, if they wanted ? or if they were compelled, as the anti?Semites seem to want ? even now predominate, indeed quite literally rule over Europe, is certain; that they are not planning and working towards that is equally certain. In the meantime they are, rather, wanting and wishing, even with some importunity, to be absorbed and assimilated by and into Europe, they are longing to be finally settled, permitted, respected somewhere and to put an end to the nomadic life, to the `Wandering Jew' ?; one ought to pay heed to this inclination and impulse (which is perhaps even a sign that the Jewish instincts are becoming milder) and go out to meet it: for which it would perhaps be a good idea to eject the anti?Semitic ranters from the country. Go out to meet it with all caution, with selectivity; much as the English nobility do. It is plain that the stronger and already more firmly formed types of the new Germanism could enter into relations with them with the least hesitation; the aristocratic officer of the March, for example: it would be interesting in many ways to see whether the genius of money and patience (and above all a little mind and spirituality, of which there is a plentiful lack in the persons above mentioned ?) could not be added and bred into the hereditary art of commanding and obeying, in both of which the abovementioned land is today classic. But here it is fitting that I should break off my cheerful Germanomaniac address: for already I am touching on what is to me serious, on the `European problem' as I understand it, on the breeding of a new ruling caste for Europe.
They are no philosophical race ? these English: Bacon signifies an attack on the philosophical spirit in general, Hobbes, Hume and Locke a debasement and devaluation of the concept `philosopher' for more than a century. It was against Hume that Kant rose up; it was Locke of whom Schelling had a right to say: je meprise Locke'; in their struggle against the English-mechanistic stultification of the world, Hegel and Schopenhauer were (with Goethe) of one accord: those two hostile brother geniuses who strove apart towards the antithetical poles of the German spirit and in doing so wronged one another as only brothers wrong one another. ? What is lacking in England and always has been lacking was realized well enough by that semi?actor and rhetorician, the tasteless muddlehead Carlyle, who tried to conceal behind passionate grimaces what he knew about himself: namely what was lacking in Carlyle ? real power of spirituality, real depth of spiritual insight, in short philosophy. ? It is characteristic of such an unphilosophical race that they should cling firmly to Christianity: they need its discipline if they are to become `moral' and humane. The Englishman, gloomier, more sensual, stronger of will and more brutal than the German ? is for just that reason, as the more vulgar of the two, also more pious than the German: he is in greater need of Christianity. To finer nostrils even this English Christianity possesses a true English by?scent of the spleen and alcoholic excess against which it is with good reason employed as an antidote ? the subtler poison against the coarser: and indeed a subtle poisoning is in the case of coarse peoples already a certain progress, a step towards spiritualization. English coarseness and peasant seriousness still finds its most tolerable disguise in Christian gestures and in praying and psalm?singing: more correctly, it is best interpreted and given a new meaning by those things; and as for those drunken and dissolute cattle who formerly learned to grunt morally under the constraint of Methodism and more recently as the `Salvation Army', a spasm of penitence may really be the highest achievement of `humanity' to which they can be raised: that much may fairly be conceded. But what offends in even the most humane Englishman is, to speak metaphorically (and not metaphorically), his lack of music: he has in the movements of his soul and body no rhythm and dance, indeed not even the desire for rhythm and dance, for `music'. Listen to him speak; watch the most beautiful Englishwomen walk ? in no land on earth are there more beautiful doves and swans ? finally: listen to them sing! But I ask too much . . .
There are truths which are recognized best by mediocre minds because they are most suited to them, there are truths which possess charm and seductive powers only for mediocre spirits one is brought up against this perhaps disagreeable proposition just at the moment because the spirit of respectable but mediocre Englishmen ? I name Darwin, John Stuart Mill and Herbert Spencer ?is starting to gain ascendancy in the midregion of European taste. Who indeed would doubt that it is useful for ouch spirits to dominate for a while? It would be a mistake to regard exalted spirits who fly off on their own as especially well adapted to identifying, assembling and making deductions from a host of little common facts ? as exceptions they are, rather, from the first in no very favourable position with respect to the `rules'. After all, they have more to do than merely know something new ? namely to be something new, to signify something new, to represent new values! The gulf between knowing and being able is perhaps wider, also more uncanny, than one thinks: the man who is able in the grand style, the creator, might possibly have to be ignorant while, on the other hand, for scientific discoveries such as Darwin's a certain narrowness, aridity and industrious conscientiousness, something English in short, may not be an unfavourable disposition. ? Finally, let us not forget that the English, with their profound averageness, have once before brought about a collective depression of the European spirit: that which is called `modern ideas' or `the ideas of the eighteenth century' or even `French ideas' ? that is to say, that which the German spirit has risen against in profound disgust ? was of English origin, there can be no doubt about that. The French have been only the apes and actors of these ideas, also their finest soldiers, also unhappily their first and most thorough victims: for through the damnable Anglomania of `modem ideas' the awe francaise has finally grown so thin and emaciated that today one recalls her sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, her profound passionate strength, her noble inventiveness, almost with disbelief. But one must hang on with one's teeth to this proposition of historical equity and defend it against the prejudice of the day: European noblesse ? of feeling, of taste, of custom, in short noblesse in every exalted sense of the word ? is the work and invention of France, European vulgarity, the plebeianism of modern ideas, that of ? England.
Even now France is still the seat of Europe's most spiritual and refined culture and the leading school of taste: but one has to know how to find this `France of taste'. He who belongs to it keeps himself well hidden ? it may be only a small number in whom it lives and moves, and they, perhaps, men whose legs are not of the strongest, some of them fatalists, gloomy, sick, some of them spoilt and artificial, such men as have an ambition to hide themselves. One thing they all have in common: they shut their ears to the raving stupidity and the noisy yapping of the democratic bourgeois. Indeed, it is a coarse and stupid France that trundles in the foreground today ? it recently celebrated, at Victor Hugo's funeral, a veritable orgy of tastelessness and at the same time self?admiration. Something else too they have in common: a great will to resist spiritual Germanization ? and an even greater inability to do so! Perhaps Schopenhauer has now become more at home and indigenous in this France of the spirit, which is also a France of pessimism, than he ever was in Germany; not to speak of Heinrich Heine, who has long since entered into the flesh and blood of the more refined and demanding lyric poets of Paris, or of Hegel, who today, in the shape of Taine ? that is to say, in that of the first of living historians exercises an almost tyrannical influence. As for Richard Wagner, however: the more French music learns to shape itself according to the actual needs of the ame moderne, the more will it `Wagnerize', that one can safely predict ? it is doing so sufficiently already! There are nevertheless three things which, despite all voluntary and involuntary Germanization and vulgarization of taste, the French can still today exhibit with pride as their inheritance and possession and as an indelible mark of their ancient cultural superiority in Europe. Firstly, the capacity for artistic passions, for devotion to `form', for which, together with a thousand others, the term fart pour fart has been devised ? it has been present in France for three hundred years and, thanks to their respect for the `small number', has again and again made possible a kind of literary chamber music not to be found anywhere else in Europe ?. The second thing by which the French can argue their superiority to the rest of Europe is their ancient. manifold, moralistic culture, by virtue of which one finds on average even in little romanciers of the newspapers and chance boulevardiers de Paris a psychological sensitivity and curiosity of which in Germany, for example, they have no conception (not to speak of having the thing itself!). The Germans lack the couple of centuries of moralistic labour needed for this, a labour which, as aforesaid, France did not spare itself; he who calls the Germans `naive' on that account commends them for a fault. (As antithesis to German inexperience and innocence in voluptate psychologica, which is not too distantly related to the boringness of German company ? and as the most successful expression of a genuine French curiosity and inventiveness in this domain of delicate thrills, one should observe Henri Beyle, that remarkable anticipator and forerunner who ran with a Napoleonic tempo through his Europe, through several centuries of the European soul, as a detector and discoverer of his soul ? it needed two generations to overtake him, to divine once more some of the riddles which tormented and delighted him, this strange Epicurean and question?mark who was France's last great psychologist ?.) There is yet a third claim to superiority: in the French nature there exists a half?achieved synthesis of north and south which makes them understand many things and urges them to do many things which an Englishman will never understand. Their temperament, periodically turning towards the south and away from the south, in which the Provencal and Ligurian blood from time to time foams over, preserves them from dreary northern grey?on?grey and sunless concept?ghoulishness and anaemia ? the disease of our German taste against whose excess one has at just this moment very resolutely prescribed blood and iron, that is to say `grand politics' (in accordance with a dangerous therapeutic which has certainly taught me how to wait but has not yet taught me how to hope ?). Even now there exists in France an understanding in advance and welcome for those rarer and rarely contented men who are too comprehensive to find their satisfaction in any kind of patriotism and know how to love the south in the north and the north in the south ? for the born Midlanders, the `good Europeans'. ? It was for them that Bizet made music, that last genius to perceive a new beauty and a new seduction ? who has discovered a region of the south in music.
Against German music I feel all sorts of precautions should be taken. Suppose one loves the south as I love it, as a great school of convalescence, for all the diseases of senses and spirit, as a tremendous abundance of sun and transfiguration by sun, spreading itself over an autonomous existence which believes in itself: well, such a person will learn to be somewhat on guard against German music because, by spoiling his taste again, it will also spoil his health again. Such a southerner, not by descent but by faith, must, if he dreams of the future of music, also dream of the redemption of music from the north and have in his ears the prelude to a deeper, mightier, perhaps wickeder and more mysterious music, a supra?German music which does not fade, turn yellow, turn pale at the sight of the blue voluptuous sea and the luminous sky of the Mediterranean, as all German music does; a supra?European music which holds its own even before the brown sunsets of the desert, whose soul is kindred to the palm?tree and knows how to roam and be at home among great beautiful solitary beasts of prey .... I could imagine a music whose rarest magic would consist in this, that it no longer knew anything of good and evil, except that perhaps some sailor's homesickness, some golden shadow and delicate weakness would now and then flit across it: an art that would see fleeing towards it from a great distance the colours of a declining, now almost incomprehensible moral world, and would be hospitable and deep enough to receive such late fugitives.
Thanks to the morbid estrangement which the lunacy of nationality has produced and continues to produce between the peoples of Europe, thanks likewise to the shortsighted and hasty?handed politicians who are with its aid on top today and have not the slightest notion to what extent the politics of disintegration they pursue must necessarily be only an interlude ? thanks to all this, and to much else that is altogether unmentionable today, the most unambiguous signs are now being overlooked, or arbitrarily and lyingly misinterpreted, which declare that Europe wants to become one. In all the more profound and comprehensive men of this century the general tendency of the mysterious workings of their souls has really been to prepare the way to this new synthesis and to anticipate experimentally the European of the future: only in their foregrounds, or in hours of weakness, in old age perhaps, were they among the `men of the fatherland' ? they were only taking a rest from themselves when they became `patriots'. I think of men such as Napoleon, Goethe, Beethoven, Stendhal, Heinrich Heine, Schopenhauer; I must not be blamed if I also include Richard Wagner among them: one should not let oneself be misled about him by his own misunderstandings geniuses of his sort seldom have the right to understand themselves ? and even less, to be sure, by the unseemly noise with which he is opposed and resisted today in France: the fact none the less remains that French lute romanticism of the forties and Richard Wagner belong most closely and intimately together. They are related, fundamentally related, in all the heights and depths of their needs: it is Europe, the one Europe, whose soul forces its way longingly up and out through their manifold and impetuous art ? whither? into a new light? towards a new sun? But who could express precisely what all these masters of new means of speech themselves did not know how to express clearly? What is certain is that they were tormented by the same storm and stress, that they sought in the same way, these last great seekers! One and all dominated by literature up to their eyes and ears ? the first artists formed and cultivated by world literature ? most of them even writers and poets themselves and mediators and minglers of the arts and senses (as a musician Wagner belongs among painters, as a poet among musicians, as an artist as such among actors); one and all fanatics for expression `at any cost' ? I call particular attention to Delacroix, Wagner's closest relation ? one and all great discoverers in the realm of the sublime, also of the ugly and horrible, even greater discoverers in effects, in display, in the art of the shop window, one and all talents far beyond their genius ? virtuosos through and through, with uncanny access to everything that seduces, lures, constrains, overwhelms, born enemies of logic and straight lines, constantly hankering after the strange, the exotic, the monstrous, the crooked, the self?contradictory; as human beings Tantaluses of the will, plebeians risen in the world who knew themselves incapable, in their lives and in their works, of a noble tempo, a lento ? think of Balzac, for instance ? unbridled workers, almost destroying themselves through work; antinomians, fomenters of moral disorder, ambitious, insatiable men without balance or enjoyment; one and all collapsing and sinking at last before the Christian Cross (and with every right: for who among them would have been profound or primary enough for a philosophy of anti?christ) ? on the whole an audacious?daring, splendidly violent, high?flying type of higher men who bore others up with them and whose lot it was to teach their century ? and it is the century of the mob! ? the concept `higher man' . . . . Let the German friends of Richard Wagner deliberate whether there is in Wagnerian art anything simply German, or whether it is not precisely its distinction that it derives from supra?German sources and impulses: in considering which it should not be underestimated how indispensable Paris was for the cultivation of his type, how the depth of his instinct drew him precisely thither at the most decisive time, and how his whole manner of appearance and self?apostolate could perfect itself only by his seeing its French socialist model. Perhaps a subtler comparison will reveal that, to the credit of Richard Wagner's German nature, he fashioned stronger, more daring, more severe and more elevated things than a nineteenth?century Frenchman could have done ? thanks to the circumstance that we Germans are still closer to barbarism than the French ?; perhaps the most remarkable thing Wagner created is even inaccessible, inimitable to the entire, so late Latin race for ever and not only for the present: the figure of Siegfried, that very free human being who may indeed be much too free, too hard, too cheerful, too healthy, too anti?Catholic for the taste of peoples of an ancient, mellow culture. He may even have been a sin against romanticism, this anti?Romantic Siegfried: well, Wagner amply atoned for this sin in his old, melancholy days when ? anticipating a taste which has since become political ? he began, with the religious vehemence characteristic of him, if not to walk at any rate to preach the road to Rome. ? That these last words shall not be misunderstood I shall call to my aid a few powerful rhymes which will reveal what I mean to less refined ears too ? what I object to in `late Wagner' and his Parsifal music:
Is this still German?
From German heart this sultry ululating?
Of German body this self?lacerating?
German, this altar?priest prostration,
This incense?perfumed stimulation?
German this reeling, stumbling, tumbling,
This muddy booming bim?bam?bumbling,
This nunnish ogling, Ave?hour?bell chiming,
This false?ecstatic higher?than?heaven climbing?
? Is this still German?
Reflect! And then your answer frame:
For what you hear is Rome ? Rome's faith in all but name!
Part Nine : What Is Noble?
Every elevation of the type "man," has hitherto been the work of an aristocratic society and so it will always be--a society believing in a long scale of gradations of rank and differences of worth among human beings, and requiring slavery in some form or other. Without the pathos of distance, such as grows out of the incarnated difference of classes, out of the constant out-looking and down-looking of the ruling caste on subordinates and instruments, and out of their equally constant practice of obeying and commanding, of keeping down and keeping at a distance--that other more mysterious pathos could never have arisen, the longing for an ever new widening of distance within the soul itself, the formation of ever higher, rarer, further, more extended, more comprehensive states, in short, just the elevation of the type "man," the continued "self-surmounting of man," to use a moral formula in a supermoral sense. To be sure, one must not resign oneself to any humanitarian illusions about the history of the origin of an aristocratic society (that is to say, of the preliminary condition for the elevation of the type "man"): the truth is hard. Let us acknowledge unprejudicedly how every higher civilisation hitherto has originated! Men with a still natural nature, barbarians in every terrible sense of the word, men of prey, still in possession of unbroken strength of will and desire for power, threw themselves upon weaker, more moral, more peaceful races (perhaps trading or cattle-rearing communities), or upon old mellow civilisations in which the final vital force was flickering out in brilliant fireworks of wit and depravity. At the commencement, the noble caste was always the barbarian caste: their superiority did not consist first of all in their physical, but in their psychical power--they were more complete men (which at every point also implies the same as "more complete beasts").
Corruption--as the indication that anarchy threatens to break out among the instincts, and that the foundation of the emotions, called "life," is convulsed--is something radically different according to the organisation in which it manifests itself. When, for instance, an aristocracy like that of France at the beginning of the Revolution, flung away its privileges with sublime disgust and sacrificed itself to an excess of its moral sentiments, it was corruption:-- it was really only the closing act of the corruption which had existed for centuries, by virtue of which that aristocracy had abdicated step by step its lordly prerogatives and lowered itself to a function of royalty (in the end even to its decoration and parade-dress). The essential thing, however, in a good and healthy aristocracy is that it should not regard itself as a function either of the kingship or the commonwealth, but as the significance and highest justification thereof--that it should therefore accept with a good conscience the sacrifice of a legion of individuals, who, for its sake, must be suppressed and reduced to imperfect men, to slaves and instruments. Its fundamental belief must be precisely that society is not allowed to exist for its own sake, but only as a foundation and scaffolding, by means of which a select class of beings may be able to elevate themselves to their higher duties, and in general to a higher existence: like those sun-seeking climbing plants in Java--they are called Sipo Matador, --which encircle an oak so long and so often with their arms, until at last, high above it, but supported by it, they can unfold their tops in the open light, and exhibit their happiness.
To refrain mutually from injury, from violence, from exploitation, and put one's will on a par with that of others: this may result in a certain rough sense in good conduct among individuals when the necessary conditions are given (namely, the actual similarity of the individuals in amount of force and degree of worth, and their co-relation within one organisation). As soon, however, as one wished to take this principle more generally, and if possible even as the fundamental principle of society, it would immediately disclose what it really is--namely, a Will to the denial of life, a principle of dissolution and decay. Here one must think profoundly to the very basis and resist all sentimental weakness: life itself is essentially appropriation, injury, conquest of the strange and weak, suppression, severity, obtrusion of peculiar forms, incorporation, and at the least, putting it mildest, exploitation;--but why should one for ever use precisely these words on which for ages a disparaging purpose has been stamped? Even the organisation within which, as was previously supposed, the individuals treat each other as equal--it takes place in every healthy aristocracy--must itself, if it be a living and not a dying organisation, do all that towards other bodies, which the individuals within it refrain from doing to each other: it will have to be the incarnated Will to Power, it will endeavour to grow, to gain ground, attract to itself and acquire ascendency--not owing to any morality or immorality, but because it lives, and because life is precisely Will to Power. On no point, however, is the ordinary consciousness of Europeans more unwilling to be corrected than on this matter; people now rave everywhere, even under the guise of science, about coming conditions of society in which "the exploiting character" is to be absent:-- that sounds to my ears as if they promised to invent a mode of life which should refrain from all organic functions. "Exploitation" does not belong to a depraved, or imperfect and primitive society: it belongs to the nature of the living being as a primary organic function; it is a consequence of the intrinsic Will to Power, which is precisely the Will to Life.--Granting that as a theory this is a novelty--as a reality it is the fundamental fact of all history: let us be so far honest towards ourselves!
In a tour through the many finer and coarser moralities which have hitherto prevailed or still prevail on the earth, I found certain traits recurring regularly together, and connected with one another, until finally two primary types revealed themselves to me, and a radical distinction was brought to light. There is master-morality and slave-morality; --I would at once add, however, that in all higher and mixed civilisations, there are also attempts at the reconciliation of the two moralities; but one finds still oftener the confusion and mutual misunderstanding of them, indeed sometimes their close juxtaposition--even in the same man, within one soul. The distinctions of moral values have either originated in a ruling caste, pleasantly conscious of being different from the ruled--or among the ruled class, the slaves and dependents of all sorts. In the first case, when it is the rulers who determine the conception "good," it is the exalted, proud disposition which is regarded as the distinguishing feature, and that which determines the order of rank The noble type of man separates from himself the beings in whom the opposite of this exalted, proud disposition displays itself: he despises them. Let it at once be noted that in this first kind of morality the antithesis "good" and "bad" means practically the same as "noble" and "despicable";--the antithesis "good" and "evil" is of a different origin. The cowardly, the timid, the insignificant, and those thinking merely of narrow utility are despised; moreover, also, the distrustful, with their constrained glances, the self-abasing, the dog-like kind of men who let themselves be abused, the mendicant flatterers, and above all the liars:--it is a fundamental belief of all aristocrats that the common people are untruthful. "We truthful ones"--the nobility in ancient Greece called themselves. It is obvious that everywhere the designations of moral value were at first applied to men; and were only derivatively and at a later period applied to actions; it is a gross mistake, therefore, when historians of morals start with questions like, "Why have sympathetic actions been praised?" The noble type of man regards himself as a determiner of values; he does not require to be approved of; he passes the judgment: "What is injurious to me is injurious in itself"; he knows that it is he himself only who confers honour on things; he is a creator of values. He honours whatever he recognises in himself: such morality equals self-glorification. In the foreground there is the feeling of plenitude, of power, which seeks to overflow, the happiness of high tension, the consciousness of a wealth which would fain give and bestow:--the noble man also helps the unfortunate, but not--or scarcely--out of pity, but rather from an impulse generated by the super-abundance of power. The noble man honours in himself the powerful one, him also who has power over himself, who knows how to speak and how to keep silence, who takes pleasure in subjecting himself to severity and hardness, and has reverence for all that is severe and hard. "Wotan placed a hard heart in my breast," says an old Scandinavian Saga: it is thus rightly expressed from the soul of a proud Viking. Such a type of man is even proud of not being made for sympathy; the hero of the Saga therefore adds warningly: "He who has not a hard heart when young, will never have one." The noble and brave who think thus are the furthest removed from the morality which sees, precisely in sympathy, or in acting for the good of others, or in desinteressement, the characteristic of the moral; faith in oneself, pride in oneself, a radical enmity and irony towards "selflessness," belong as definitely to noble morality, as do a careless scorn and precaution in presence of sympathy and the "warm heart."--It is the powerful who know how to honour, it is their art, their domain for invention. The profound reverence for age and for tradition--all law rests on this double reverence,--the belief and prejudice in favour of ancestors and unfavourable to newcomers, is typical in the morality of the powerful; and if, reversely, men of "modern ideas" believe almost instinctively in progress and the "future," and are more and more lacking in respect for old age, the ignoble origin of these "ideas" has complacently betrayed itself thereby. A morality of the ruling class, however, is more especially foreign and irritating to present-day taste in the sternness of its principle that one has duties only to one's equals; that one may act towards beings of a lower rank, towards all that is foreign, just as seems good to one, or "as the heart desires," and in any case "": it is here that sympathy and similar sentiments can have a place. The ability and obligation to exercise prolonged gratitude and prolonged revenge both only within the circle of equals,--artfulness in retaliation, raffinement of the idea in friendship, a certain necessity to have enemies (as outlets for the emotions of envy, quarrelsomeness, arrogance--in fact, in order to be a good friend)a: all these are typical characteristics of the noble morality, which, as has been pointed out, is not the morality of "modern ideas," and is therefore at present difficult to realise, and also to unearth and disclose.--It is otherwise with the second type of morality, slave-morality. Supposing that the abused, the oppressed, the suffering, the unemancipated, the weary, and those uncertain of themselves should moralise, what will be the common element in their moral estimates? Probably a pessimistic suspicion with regard to the entire situation of man will find expression, perhaps a condemnation of man, together with his situation. The slave has an unfavourable eye for the virtues of the powerful; he has a scepticism and distrust, a refinement of distrust of everything "good" that is there honoured--he would fain persuade himself that the very happiness there is not genuine. On the other hand, those qualities which serve to alleviate the existence of sufferers are brought into prominence and flooded with light; it is here that sympathy, the kind, helping hand, the warm heart, patience, diligence, humility, and friendliness attain to honour; for here these are the most useful qualities, and almost the only means of supporting the burden of existence. Slave-morality is essentially the morality of utility. Here is the seat of the origin of the famous antithesis "good" and "evil": --power and dangerousness are assumed to reside in the evil, a certain dreadfulness, subtlety, and strength, which do not admit of being despised. According to slave-morality, therefore, the "evil" man arouses fear; according to master-morality, it is precisely the "good" man who arouses fear and seeks to arouse it, while the bad man is regarded as the despicable being. The contrast attains its maximum when, in accordance with the logical consequences of slave- morality, a shade of depreciation--it may be slight and well-intentioned--at last attaches itself to the "good" man of this morality; because, according to the servile mode of thought, the good man must in any case be the safe man: he is good-natured, easily deceived, perhaps a little stupid, un bonhomme. Everywhere that slave-morality gains the ascendency, language shows a tendency to approximate the significations of the words "good" and "stupid."--A last fundamental difference: the desire for freedom, the instinct for happiness and the refinements of the feeling of liberty belong as necessarily to slave-morals and morality, as artifice and enthusiasm in reverence and devotion are the regular symptoms of an aristocratic mode of thinking and estimating.--Hence we can understand without further detail why love as a passion--it is our European specialty--must absolutely be of noble origin; as is well known, its invention is due to the Provencal poet-cavaliers, those brilliant, ingenious men of the "gai saber," to whom Europe owes so much, and almost owes itself.
Vanity is one of the things which are perhaps most difficult for a noble man to understand: he will be tempted to deny it, where another kind of man thinks he sees it self-evidently. The problem for him is to represent to his mind beings who seek to arouse a good opinion of themselves which they themselves do not possess--and consequently also do not "deserve,"--and who yet believe in this good opinion afterwards. This seems to him on the one hand such bad taste and so self-disrespectful, and on the other hand so grotesquely unreasonable, that he would like to consider vanity an exception, and is doubtful about it in most cases when it is spoken of. He will say, for instance: "I may be mistaken about my value, and on the other hand may nevertheless demand that my value should be acknowledged by others precisely as I rate it:--that, however, is not vanity (but self-conceit, or, in most cases, that which is called 'humility,' and also 'modesty')." Or he will even say: "For many reasons I can delight in the good opinion of others, perhaps because I love and honour them, and rejoice in all their joys, perhaps also because their good opinion endorses and strengthens my belief in my own good opinion, perhaps because the good opinion of others, even in cases where I do not share it, is useful to me, or gives promise of usefulness:--all this, however, is not vanity." The man of noble character must first bring it home forcibly to his mind, especially with the aid of history, that, from time immemorial, in all social strata in any way dependent, the ordinary man was only that which he passed for:--not being at all accustomed to fix values, he did not assign even to himself any other value than that which his master assigned to him (it is the peculiar right of masters to create values). It may be looked upon as the result of an extraordinary atavism, that the ordinary man, even at present, is still always waiting for an opinion about himself and then instinctively submitting himself to it; yet by no means only to a "good" opinion, but also to a bad and unjust one (think, for instance, of the greater part of the self-appreciations and self-depreciations which believing women learn from their confessors, and which in general the believing Christian learns from his Church). In fact, conformably to the slow rise of the democratic social order (and its cause, the blending of the blood of masters and slaves), the originally noble and rare impulse of the masters to assign a value to themselves and to "think well" of themselves, will now be more and more encouraged and extended; but it has at all times an older, ampler, and more radically ingrained propensity opposed to it--and in the phenomenon of 'vanity" this older propensity overmasters the younger. The vain person rejoices over every good opinion which he hears about himself (quite apart from the point of view of its usefulness, and equally regardless of its truth or falsehood), just as he suffers from every bad opinion: for he subjects himself to both, he feels himself subjected to both, by that oldest instinct of subjection which breaks forth in him.--It is "the slave" in the vain man's blood, the remains of the slave's craftiness--and how much of the "slave" is still left in woman, for instance!--which seeks to seduce to good opinions of itself; it is the slave, too, who immediately afterwards falls prostrate himself before these opinions, as though he had not called them forth.--And to repeat it again: vanity is an atavism.
A species originates, and a type becomes established and strong in the long struggle with essentially constant unfavourable conditions. On the other hand, it is known by the experience of breeders that species which receive super-abundant nourishment, and in general a surplus of protection and care, immediately tend in the most marked way to develop variations, and are fertile in prodigies and monstrosities (also in monstrous vices). Now look at an aristocratic commonwealth, say an ancient Greek polis, or Venice, as a voluntary or involuntary contrivance for the purpose of rearing human beings; there are there men beside one another, thrown upon their own resources, who want to make their species prevail, chiefly because they must prevail, or else run the terrible danger of being exterminated. The favour, the super-abundance, the protection are there lacking under which variations are fostered; the species needs itself as species, as something which, precisely by virtue of its hardness, its uniformity, and simplicity of structure, can in general prevail and make itself permanent in constant struggle with its neighbours, or with rebellious or rebellion-threatening vassals. The most varied experience teaches it what are the qualities to which it principally owes the fact that it still exists, in spite of all Gods and men, and has hitherto been victorious: these qualities it calls virtues, and these virtues alone it develops to maturity. It does so with severity, indeed it desires severity; every aristocratic morality is intolerant in the education of youth, in the control of women, in the marriage customs, in the relations of old and young, in the penal laws (which have an eye only for the degenerating): it counts intolerance itself among the virtues, under the name of "justice." A type with few, but very marked features, a species of severe, warlike, wisely silent, reserved, and reticent men (and as such, with the most delicate sensibility for the charm and nuances of society) is thus established, unaffected by the vicissitudes of generations; the constant struggle with uniform unfavourable conditions is, as already remarked, the cause of a type becoming stable and hard. Finally, however, a happy state of things results, the enormous tension is relaxed; there are perhaps no more enemies among the neighbouring peoples, and the means of life, even of the enjoyment of life, are present in super abundance. With one stroke the bond and constraint of the old discipline severs: it is no longer regarded as necessary, as a condition of existence--if it would continue, it can only do so as a form of luxury, as an archaising taste. Variations, whether they be deviations (into the higher, finer, and rarer), or deteriorations and monstrosities, appear suddenly on the scene in the greatest exuberance and splendour; the individual dares to be individual and detach himself. At this turning-point of history there manifest themselves, side by side, and often mixed and entangled together, a magnificent, manifold, virgin-forest-like up-growth and up-striving, a kind of tropical tempo in the rivalry of growth, and an extraordinary decay and self-destruction, owing to the savagely opposing and seemingly exploding egoisms, which strive with one an other "for sun and light," and can no longer assign any limit, restraint, or forbearance for themselves by means of the hitherto existing morality. It was this morality itself which piled up the strength so enormously, which bent the bow in so threatening a manner:--it is now "out of date," it is getting "out of date." The dangerous and disquieting point has been reached when the greater, more manifold, more comprehensive life is lived beyond the old morality; the "individual" stands out, and is obliged to have recourse to his own law-giving, his own arts and artifices for self-preservation, self-elevation, and self-deliverance. Nothing but new "Whys," nothing but new "Hows," no common formulas any longer, misunderstanding and disregard in league with each other, decay, deterioration, and the loftiest desires frightfully entangled, the genius of the race overflowing from all the cornucopias of good and bad, a portentous simultaneousness of Spring and Autumn, full of new charms and mysteries peculiar to the fresh, still inexhausted, still unwearied corruption. Danger is again present, the mother of morality, great danger; this time shifted into the individual, into the neighbour and friend, into the street, into their own child, into their own heart, into all the most personal and secret recesses of their desires and volitions. What will the moral philosophers who appear at this time have to preach? They discover, these sharp onlookers and loafers, that the end is quickly approaching, that everything around them decays and produces decay, that nothing will endure until the day after to-morrow, except one species of man, the incurably mediocre. The mediocre alone have a prospect of continuing and propagating themselves--they will be the men of the future, the sole survivors; "be like them! become mediocre!" is now the only morality which has still a significance, which still obtains a hearing.--But it is difficult to preach this morality of mediocrity! it can never avow what it is and what it desires! it has to talk of moderation and dignity and duty and brotherly love--it will have difficulty in concealing its irony!
There is an instinct for rank, which more than anything else is already the sign of a high rank; there is a delight in the nuances of reverence which leads one to infer noble origin and habits. The refinement, goodness, and loftiness of a soul are put to a perilous test when something passes by that is of the highest rank, but is not yet protected by the awe of authority from obtrusive touches and incivilities: something that goes its way like a living touchstone, undistinguished, undiscovered, and tentative, perhaps voluntarily veiled and disguised. He whose task and practice it is to investigate souls, will avail himself of many varieties of this very art to determine the ultimate value of a soul, the unalterable, innate order of rank to which it belongs: he will test it by its instinct for reverence. Difference engendre haine: the vulgarity of many a nature spurts up suddenly like dirty water, when any holy vessel, any jewel from closed shrines, any book bearing the marks of great destiny, is brought before it; while on the other hand, there is an involuntary silence, a hesitation of the eye, a cessation of all gestures, by which it is indicated that a soul feels the nearness of what is worthiest of respect. The way in which, on the whole, the reverence for the Bible has hitherto been maintained in Europe, is perhaps the best example of discipline and refinement of manners which Europe owes to Christianity: books of such profoundness and supreme significance require for their protection an external tyranny of authority, in order to acquire the period of thousands of years which is necessary to exhaust and unriddle them. Much has been achieved when the sentiment has been at last instilled into the masses (the shallow-pates and the boobies of every kind) that they are not allowed to touch everything, that there are holy experiences before which they must take off their shoes and keep away the unclean hand--it is almost their highest advance towards humanity. On the contrary, in the so-called cultured classes, the believers in "modern ideas," nothing is perhaps so repulsive as their lack of shame, the easy insolence of eye and hand with which they touch, taste, and finger everything; and it is possible that even yet there is more relative nobility of taste, and more tact for reverence among the people, among the lower classes of the people, especially among peasants, than among the newspaper-reading demimonde of intellect, the cultured class.
It cannot be effaced from a man's soul what his ancestors have preferably and most constantly done: whether they were perhaps diligent economisers attached to a desk and a cash-box, modest and citizen-like in their desires, modest also in their virtues; or whether they were accustomed to commanding from morning till night, fond of rude pleasures and probably of still ruder duties and responsibilities; or whether, finally, at one time or another, they have sacrificed old privileges of birth and possession, in order to live wholly for their faith--for their "God,"--as men of an inexorable and sensitive conscience, which blushes at every compromise. It is quite impossible for a man not to have the qualities and predilections of his parents and ancestors in his constitution, whatever appearances. may suggest to the contrary. This is the problem of race. Granted that one knows something of the parents, it is admissible to draw a conclusion about the child: any kind of offensive incontinence, any kind of sordid envy; or of clumsy self-vaunting--the three things which together have constituted the genuine plebeian type in all times--such must pass over to the child, as surely as bad blood; and with the help of the best education and culture one will only succeed in deceiving with regard to such heredity.--And what else does education and culture try to do nowadays! In our very democratic, or rather, very plebeian age, "education" and "culture" must be essentially the art of deceiving--deceiving with regard to origin, with regard to the inherited plebeianism in body and soul. An educator who nowadays preached truthfulness above everything else, and called out constantly to his pupils: "Be true! Be natural! Show yourselves as you are!"--even such a virtuous and sincere ass would learn in a short time to have recourse to the furca of Horace, naturam expellere: with what results? "Plebeianism" usque recurret.
At the risk of displeasing innocent ears, I submit that egoism belongs to the essence of a noble soul, I mean the unalterable belief that to a being such as "we," other beings must naturally be in subjection, and have to sacrifice themselves. The noble soul accepts the fact of his egoism without question, and also without consciousness of harshness, constraint, or arbitrariness therein, but rather as something that may have its basis in the primary law of things:--if he sought a designation for it he would say: "It is justice itself." He acknowledges under certain circumstances, which made him hesitate at first, that there are other equally privileged ones; as soon as he has settled this question of rank, he moves among those equals and equally privileged ones with the same assurance, as regards modesty and delicate respect, which he enjoys in intercourse with himself--in accordance with an innate heavenly mechanism which all the stars understand. It is an additional instance of his egoism, this artfulness and self-limitation in intercourse with his equals--every star is a similar egoist, he honours himself in them, and in the rights which he concedes to them, he has no doubt that the exchange of honours and rights, as the essence of all intercourse, belongs also to the natural condition of things. The noble soul gives as he takes, prompted by the passionate and sensitive instinct of requital, which is at the root of his nature. The notion of "favour" has, inter pares, neither significance nor good repute; there may be a sublime way of letting gifts as it were light upon one from above, and of drinking them thirstily like dew-drops; but for those arts and displays the noble soul has no aptitude. His egoism hinders him here: in general, he looks "aloft" unwillingly--he looks either forward, horizontally and deliberately, or downwards--he knows that he is on a height.
"One can only truly esteem him who does not look out for himself"--Goethe to Rath Schlosser.
The Chinese have a proverb which mothers even teach their children: "Siao-sin" ("make thy heart small"). This is the essentially fundamental tendency in latter-day civilisations. I have no doubt that an ancient Greek, also, would first of all remark the self-dwarfing in us Europeans of to-day--in this respect alone we should immediately be "distasteful" to him.
What, after all, is ignobleness?--Words are vocal symbols for ideas; ideas, however, are more or less definite mental symbols for frequently returning and concurring sensations, for groups of sensations. It is not sufficient to use the same words in order to understand one another: we must also employ the same words for the same kind of internal experiences, we must in the end have experiences in common. On this account the people of one nation understand one another better than those belonging to different nations, even when they use the same language; or rather, when people have lived long together under similar conditions (of climate, soil, danger, requirement, toil) there originates therefrom an entity that "understands itself"--namely, a nation. In all souls a like number of frequently recurring experiences have gained the upper hand over those occurring more rarely: about these matters people understand one another rapidly and always more rapidly--the history of language is the history of a process of abbreviation; on the basis of this quick comprehension people always unite closer and closer. The greater the danger, the greater is the need of agreeing quickly and readily about what is necessary; not to misunderstand one another in danger--that is what cannot at all be dispensed with in intercourse. Also in all loves and friendships one has the experience that nothing of the kind continues when the discovery has been made that in using the same words, one of the two parties has feelings, thoughts, intuitions, wishes, or fears different from those of the other. (The fear of the "eternal misunderstanding": that is the good genius which so often keeps persons of different sexes from too hasty attachments, to which sense and heart prompt them--and not some Schopenhauerian "genius of the species"!) Whichever groups of sensations within a soul awaken most readily, begin to speak, and give the word of command--these decide as to the general order of rank of its values, and determine ultimately its list of desirable things. A man's estimates of value betray something of the structure of his soul, and wherein it sees its conditions of life, its intrinsic needs. Supposing now that necessity has from all time drawn together only such men as could express similar requirements and similar experiences by similar symbols, it results on the whole that the easy communicability of need, which implies ultimately the undergoing only of average and common experiences, must have been the most potent of all the forces which have hitherto operated upon mankind. The more similar, the more ordinary people, have always had and are still having the advantage; the more select, more refined, more unique, and difficult to comprehend, are liable to stand alone; they succumb to accidents in their isolation, and seldom propagate themselves. One must appeal to immense opposing forces, in order to thwart this natural, all-too-natural progressus in simile, the evolution of man to the similar, the ordinary, the average, the gregarious--to the ignoble!-
The more a psychologist--a born, an unavoidable psychologist and soul-diviner--turns his attention to the more select cases and individuals, the greater is his danger of being suffocated by sympathy: he needs sternness and cheerfulness more than any other man. For the corruption, the ruination of higher men, of the more unusually constituted souls, is in fact, the rule: it is dreadful to have such a rule always before one's eyes. The manifold torment of the psychologist who has discovered this ruination, who discovers once, and then discovers almost repeatedly throughout all history, this universal inner "desperateness" of higher men, this eternal "too late!" in every sense--may perhaps one day be the cause of his turning with bitterness against his own lot, and of his making an attempt at self-destruction--of his "going to ruin" himself. One may perceive in almost every psychologist a tell-tale inclination for delightful intercourse with commonplace and well-ordered men; the fact is thereby disclosed that he always requires healing, that he needs a sort of flight and forgetfulness, away from what his insight and incisiveness--from what his "business"--has laid upon his conscience. The fear of his memory is peculiar to him. He is easily silenced by the judgment of others; he hears with unmoved countenance how people honour, admire, love, and glorify, where he has perceived--or he even conceals his silence by expressly assenting to some plausible opinion. Perhaps the paradox of his situation becomes so dreadful that, precisely where he has learnt great sympathy, together with great contempt, the multitude, the educated, and the visionaries, have on their part learnt great reverence--reverence for "great men" and marvellous animals, for the sake of whom one blesses and honours the fatherland, the earth, the dignity of mankind, and one's own self, to whom one points the young, and in view of whom one educates them. And who knows but in all great instances hitherto just the same happened: that the multitude worshipped a God, and that the "God" was only a poor sacrificial animal! Success has always been the greatest liar--and the "work" itself is a success; the great statesman, the conqueror, the discoverer, are disguised in their creations until they are unrecognisable; the "work" of the artist, of the philosopher, only invents him who has created it, is reputed to have created it; the "great men, as they are reverenced, are poor little fictions composed afterwards; in the world of historical values spurious coinage prevails. Those great poets, for example, such as Byron, Musset, Poe, Leopardi, Kleist, Gogol (I do not venture to mention much greater names, but I have them in my mind), as they now appear, and were perhaps obliged to be: men of the moment, enthusiastic, sensuous, and childish, light-minded and impulsive in their trust and distrust; with souls in which usually some flaw has to be concealed; often taking revenge with their works for an internal defilement, often seeking forgetfulness in their soaring from a too true memory, often lost in the mud and almost in love with it, until they become like the Will-o'-the-Wisps around the swamps, and pretend to be stars--the people then call them idealists,--often struggling with protracted disgust, with an ever-reappearing phantom of disbelief, which makes them cold, and obliges them to languish for gloria and devour "faith as it is" out of the hands of intoxicated adulators:--what a torment these great artists are and the so-called higher men in general, to him who has once found them out! It is thus conceivable that it is just from woman--who is clairvoyant in the world of suffering, and also unfortunately eager to help and save to an extent far beyond her powers--that they have learnt so readily those outbreaks of boundless devoted sympathy, which the multitude, above all the reverent multitude, do not understand, and overwhelm with prying and self-gratifying interpretations. This sympathising invariably deceives itself as to its power; woman would like to believe that love can do everything--it is the superstition peculiar to her. Alas, he who knows the heart finds out how poor, helpless, pretentious, and blundering even the best and deepest love is--he finds that it rather destroys than saves!--It is possible that under the holy fable and travesty of the life of Jesus there is hidden one of the most painful cases of the martyrdom of knowledge about love: the martyrdom of the most innocent and most craving heart, that never had enough of any human love, that demanded love, that demanded inexorably and frantically to be loved and nothing else, with terrible outbursts against those who refused him their love; the story of a poor soul insatiated and insatiable in love, that had to invent hell to send thither those who would not love him--and that at last, enlightened about human love, had to invent a God who is entire love, entire capacity for love--who takes pity on human love, because it is so paltry, so ignorant! He who has such sentiments, he who has such knowledge about love--seeks for death!--But why should one deal with such painful matters? Provided, of course, that one is not obliged to do so.
The intellectual haughtiness and loathing of every man who has suffered deeply--it almost determines the order of rank how deeply men can suffer--the chilling certainty, with which he is thoroughly imbued and coloured, that by virtue of his suffering he knows more than the shrewdest and wisest can ever know, that he has been familiar with, and "at home" in, many distant, dreadful worlds of which "you know nothing"!--this silent intellectual haughtiness of the sufferer, this pride of the elect of knowledge, of the "initiated," of the almost sacrificed, finds all forms of disguise necessary to protect itself from contact with officious and sympathising hands, and in general from all that is not its equal in suffering. Profound suffering makes noble: it separates.--One of the most refined forms of disguise is Epicurism, along with a certain ostentatious boldness of taste, which takes suffering lightly, and puts itself on the defensive against all that is sorrowful and profound. They are "gay men" who make use of gaiety, because they are misunderstood on account of it--they wish to be misunderstood. There are "scientific minds" who make use of science, because it gives a gay appearance, and because scientificness leads to the conclusion that a person is superficial--they wish to mislead to a false conclusion. There are free insolent minds which would fain conceal and deny that they are broken, proud, incurable hearts (the cynicism of Hamlet--the case of Galiani); and occasionally folly itself is the mask of an unfortunate over-assured knowledge.--From which it follows that it is the part of a more refined humanity to have reverence "for the mask," and not to make use of psychology and curiosity in the wrong place.
That which separates two men most profoundly is a different sense and grade of purity. What does it matter about all their honesty and reciprocal usefulness, what does if matter about all their mutual good-will: the fact still remains--they "cannot smell each other!" The highest instinct for purity places him who is affected with it in the most extraordinary and dangerous isolation, as a saint: for it is just holiness--the highest spiritualisation of the instinct in question. Any kind of cognisance of an indescribable excess in the joy of the bath, any kind of ardour or thirst which perpetually impels the soul out of night into the morning, and out of gloom, out of "affliction" into clearness, brightness, depth, and refinement:--just as much as such a tendency distinguishes--it is a noble tendency--it also separates.--The pity of the saint is pity for the filth of the human, all-to-human. And there are grades and heights where pity itself is regarded by him as impurity, as Filth.
Signs of nobility: never to think of lowering our duties to the rank of duties for everybody; to be unwilling to renounce or to share our responsibilities; to count our prerogatives, and the exercise of them, among our duties.
A man who strives after great things, looks upon every one whom he encounters on his way either as a means of advance, or a delay and hindrance--or as a temporary resting-place. His peculiar lofty bounty to his fellow-men is only possible when he attains his elevation and dominates. Impatience, and the consciousness of being always condemned to comedy up to that time--for even strife is a comedy, and conceals the end, as every means does--spoil all intercourse for him; this kind of man is acquainted with solitude, and what is most poisonous in it.
The Problem of Those Who Wait.--Happy chances are necessary, and many incalculable elements, in order that a higher man in whom the solution of a problem is dormant, may yet take action, or "break forth," as one might say--at the right moment. On an average it does not happen; and in all corners of the earth there are waiting ones sitting who hardly know to what extent they are waiting, and still less that they wait in vain. Occasionally, too, the waking call comes too late--the chance which gives "permission" to take action--when their best youth, and strength for action have been used up in sitting still; and how many a one, just as he "sprang up," has found with horror that his limbs are benumbed and his spirits are now too heavy! "It is too late," he has said to himself--and has become self-distrustful and henceforth for ever useless.--In the domain of genius, may not the "Raphael without hands" (taking the expression in its widest sense) perhaps not be the exception, but the rule?--Perhaps genius is by no means so rare: but rather the five hundred hands which it requires in order to tyrannise over the "the right time"--in order to take chance by the forelock!
He who does not wish to see the height of a man, looks all the more sharply at what is low in him, and in the foreground--and thereby betrays himself.
In all kinds of injury and loss the lower and coarser soul is better off than the nobler soul: the dangers of the latter must be greater, the probability that it will come to grief and perish is in fact immense, considering the multiplicity of the conditions of its existence.--In a lizard a finger grows again which has been lost; not so in man.--
It is too bad! Always the old story! When a man has finished building his house, he finds that he has learnt unawares something which he ought absolutely to have known before he--began to build. The eternal, fatal "Too late!" The melancholia of everything completed!--
--Wanderer, who art thou? I see thee follow thy path without scorn, without love, with unfathomable eyes, wet and sad as a plummet which has returned to the light unsated out of every depth--what did it seek down there?--with a bosom that never sighs, with lips that conceal their loathing, with a hand which only slowly grasps: who art thou? what hast thou done? Rest thee here: this place has hospitality for every one--refresh thyself! And whoever thou art, what is it that now pleases thee? What will serve to refresh thee? Only name it, whatever I have I offer thee! "To refresh me? To refresh me? Oh, thou prying one, what sayest thou! But give me, I pray thee--" What? what? Speak out! "Another mask! A second mask!"
Men of profound sadness betray themselves when they are happy: they have a mode of seizing upon happiness as though they would choke and strangle it, out of jealousy--ah, they know only too well that it will flee from them!
"Bad! Bad! What? Does he not--go back?" Yes! But you misunderstand him when you complain about it. He goes back like every one who is about to make a great spring.
--"Will people believe it of me? But I insist that they believe it of me: I have always thought very unsatisfactorily of myself and about myself, only in very rare cases, only compulsorily, always without delight in 'the subject,' ready to digress from 'myself,' and always without faith in the result, owing to an unconquerable distrust of the possibility of self-knowledge, which has led me so far as to feel a contradictio in adjecto even in the idea of 'direct knowledge' which theorists allow themselves:--this matter of fact is almost the most certain thing I know about myself. There must be a sort of repugnance in me to believe anything definite about myself.--Is there perhaps some enigma therein? Probably; but fortunately nothing for my own teeth.--Perhaps it betrays the species to which I belong?--but not to myself as is sufficiently agreeable to me."
--"But what has happened to you?"--"I do not know," he said, hesitatingly; "perhaps the Harpies have flown over my table."--It some times happens nowadays that a gentle, sober, retiring man becomes suddenly mad, breaks the plates, upsets the table, shrieks, raves, and shocks everybody--and finally withdraws, ashamed, and raging at himself--hither? for what purpose? To famish apart? To suffocate with his memories? To him who has the desires of a lofty and dainty soul, and only seldom finds his table laid and his food prepared, the danger will always be great--nowadays, however, it is extraordinarily so. Thrown into the midst of a noisy and plebeian age, with which he does not like to eat out of the same dish, he may readily perish of hunger and thirst--or, should he nevertheless finally "fall to," of sudden nausea.--We have probably all sat at tables to which we did not belong; and precisely the most spiritual of us, who are most difficult to nourish, know the dangerous dyspepsia which originates from a sudden insight and disillusionment about our food and our messmates--the after-dinner nausea.
If one wishes to praise at all, it is a delicate and at the same time a noble self-control, to praise only where one does not agree--otherwise in fact one would praise oneself, which is contrary to good taste:--a self-control, to be sure, which offers excellent opportunity and provocation to constant misunderstanding. To be able to allow oneself this veritable luxury of taste and morality, one must not live among intellectual imbeciles, but rather among men whose misunderstandings and mistakes amuse by their refinement--or one will have to pay dearly for it!--"He praises me, therefore he acknowledges me to be right"--this asinine method of inference spoils half of the life of us recluses, for it brings the asses into our neighbourhood and friendship.
To live in a vast and proud tranquillity; always beyond ... To have, or not to have, one's emotions, one's For and Against, according to choice; to lower oneself to them for hours; to seat oneself on them as upon horses, and often as upon asses:--for one must know how to make use of their stupidity as well as of their fire. To conserve one's three hundred foregrounds; also one's black spectacles: for there are circumstances when nobody must look into our eyes, still less into our "motives." And to choose for company that roguish and cheerful vice, politeness. And to remain master of one's four virtues, courage, insight, sympathy, and solitude. For solitude is a virtue with us, as a sublime bent and bias to purity, which divines that in the contact of man and man--in society"--it must be unavoidably impure. All society makes one somehow, somewhere, or sometime--"commonplace."
The greatest events and thoughts--the greatest thoughts, however, are the greatest events--are longest in being comprehended: the generations which are contemporary with them do not experience such events--they live past them. Something happens there as in the realm of stars. The light of the furthest stars is longest in reaching man; and before it has arrived man denies--that there are stars there. "How many centuries does a mind require to be understood?"--that is also a standard, one also makes a gradation of rank and an etiquette therewith, such as is necessary for mind and for star.
"Here is the prospect free, the mind exalted "--But there is a reverse kind of man, who is also upon a height, and has also a free prospect--but looks downwards.
--What is noble? What does the word "noble" still mean for us nowadays? How does the noble man betray himself, how is he recognised under this heavy overcast sky of the commencing plebeianism, by which everything is rendered opaque and leaden?--It is not his actions which establish his claim--actions are always ambiguous, always inscrutable; neither is it his "works." One finds nowadays among artists and scholars plenty of those who betray by their works that a profound longing for nobleness impels them; but this very need of nobleness is radically different from the needs of the noble soul itself, and is in fact the eloquent and dangerous sign of the lack thereof. It is not the works, but the belief which is here decisive and determines the order of rank--to employ once more an old religious formula with a new and deeper meaning--it is some fundamental certainty which a noble soul has about itself, something which is not to be sought, is not to be found, and perhaps, also, is not to be lost.--The noble soul has reverence for itself.--
There are men who are unavoidably intellectual, let them turn and twist themselves as they will, and hold their hands before their treacherous eyes--as though the hand were not a betrayer; it always comes out at last that they have something which they hide--namely, intellect. One of the subtlest means of deceiving, at least as long as possible, and of successfully representing oneself to be stupider than one really is--which in everyday life is often as desirable as an umbrella,--is called enthusiasm, including what belongs to it, for instance, virtue. For as Galiani said, who was obliged to know it: vertu est enthousiasme.
In the writings of a recluse one always hears something of the echo of the wilderness, something of the murmuring tones and timid vigilance of solitude; in his strongest words, even in his cry itself, there sounds a new and more dangerous kind of silence, of concealment. He who has sat day and night, from year's end to year's end, alone with his soul in familiar discord and discourse, he who has become a cave-bear, or a treasure-seeker, or a treasure-guardian and dragon in his cave--it may be a labyrinth, but can also be a gold-mine--his ideas themselves eventually acquire a twilight-colour of their own, and an odour, as much of the depth as of the mould, something uncommunicative and repulsive, which blows chilly upon every passerby. The recluse does not believe that a philosopher--supposing that a philosopher has always in the first place been a recluse--ever expressed his actual and ultimate opinions in books: are not books written precisely to hide what is in us?--indeed, he will doubt whether a philosopher can have "ultimate and actual" opinions at all; whether behind every cave in him there is not, and must necessarily be, a still deeper cave: an ampler, stranger, richer world beyond the surface, an abyss behind every bottom, beneath every "foundation." Every philosophy is a foreground philosophy--this is a recluse's verdict: "There is something arbitrary in the fact that the philosopher came to a stand here, took a retrospect, and looked around; that he here laid his spade aside and did not dig any deeper--there is also something suspicious in it." Every philosophy also conceals a philosophy; every opinion is also a lurking-place, every word is also a mask.
Every deep thinker is more afraid of being understood than of being misunderstood. The latter perhaps wounds his vanity, but the former wounds his heart, his sympathy, which always says: "Ah, why would you also have as hard a time of it as I have?"
Man, a complex, mendacious, artful, and inscrutable animal, uncanny to the other animals by his artifice and sagacity, rather than by his strength, has invented the good conscience in order finally to enjoy his soul as something simple; and the whole of morality is a long, audacious falsification, by virtue of which generally enjoyment at the sight of the soul becomes possible. From this point of view there is perhaps much more in the conception of "art" than is generally believed.
A philosopher: that is a man who constantly experiences, sees, hears, suspects, hopes, and dreams extraordinary things; who is struck by his own thoughts as if they came from the outside, from above and below, as a species of events and lightning-flashes peculiar to him; who is perhaps himself a storm pregnant with new lightnings; a portentous man, around whom there is always rumbling and mumbling and gaping and something uncanny going on. A philosopher: alas, a being who often runs away from himself, is often afraid of himself--but whose curiosity always makes him "come to himself" again.
A man who says: "I like that, I take it for my own, and mean to guard and protect it from every one"; a man who can conduct a case, carry out a resolution, remain true to an opinion, keep hold of a woman, punish and overthrow insolence; a man who has his indignation and his sword, and to whom the weak, the suffering, the oppressed, and even the animals willingly submit and naturally belong; in short, a man who is a master by nature--when such a man has sympathy, well! that sympathy has value! But of what account is the sympathy of those who suffer! Or of those even who preach sympathy! There is nowadays, throughout almost the whole of Europe, a sickly irritability and sensitiveness towards pain, and also a repulsive irrestrainableness in complaining, an effeminising, which, with the aid of religion and philosophical nonsense, seeks to deck itself out as something superior--there is a regular cult of suffering. The unmanliness of that which is called "sympathy" by such groups of visionaries, is always, I believe, the first thing that strikes the eye.--One must resolutely and radically taboo this latest form of bad taste; and finally I wish people to put the good amulet, "gai saber" ("gay science," in ordinary language), on heart and neck, as a protection against it.
The Olympian Vice. --Despite the philosopher who, as a genuine Englishman, tried to bring laughter into bad repute in all thinking minds--"Laughing is a bad infirmity of human nature, which every thinking mind will strive to overcome" (Hobbes),--I would even allow myself to rank philosophers according to the quality of their laughing--up to those who are capable of golden laughter. And supposing that Gods also philosophise, which I am strongly inclined to believe, owing to many reasons--I have no doubt that they also know how to laugh thereby in an overman-like and new fashion--and at the expense of all serious things! Gods are fond of ridicule: it seems that they cannot refrain from laughter even in holy matters.
The genius of the heart, as that great mysterious one possesses it, the tempter-god and born rat-catcher of consciences, whose voice can descend into the nether-world of every soul, who neither speaks a word nor casts a glance in which there may not be some motive or touch of allurement, to whose perfection it pertains that he knows how to appear,--not as he is, but in a guise which acts as an additional constraint on his followers to press ever closer to him, to follow him more cordially and thoroughly;--the genius of the heart, which imposes silence and attention on everything loud and self-conceited, which smooths rough souls and makes them taste a new longing--to lie placid as a mirror, that the deep heavens may be reflected in them;--the genius of the heart, which teaches the clumsy and too hasty hand to hesitate, and to grasp more delicately; which scents the hidden and forgotten treasure, the drop of goodness and sweet spirituality under thick dark ice, and is a divining-rod for every grain of gold, long buried and imprisoned in mud and sand; the genius of the heart, from contact with which every one goes away richer; not favoured or surprised, not as though gratified and oppressed by the good things of others; but richer in himself, newer than before, broken up, blown upon, and sounded by a thawing wind; more uncertain, perhaps, more delicate, more fragile, more bruised, but full of hopes which as yet lack names, full of a new will and current, full of a new ill-will and counter-current ... but what am I doing, my friends? Of whom am I talking to you? Have I forgotten myself so far that I have not even told you his name? Unless it be that you have already divined of your own accord who this questionable God and spirit is, that wishes to be praised in such a manner? For, as it happens to every one who from childhood onward has always been on his legs, and in foreign lands, I have also encountered on my path many strange and dangerous spirits; above all, however, and again and again, the one of whom I have just spoken: in fact, no less a personage than the God Dionysus, the great equivocator and tempter, to whom, as you know, I once offered in all secrecy and reverence my first-fruits--the last, as it seems to me, who has offered a sacrifice to him, for I have found no one who could understand what I was then doing. In the meantime, however, I have learned much, far too much, about the philosophy of this God, and, as I said, from mouth to mouth--I, the last disciple and initiate of the God Dionysus: and perhaps I might at last begin to give you, my friends, as far as I am allowed, a little taste of this philosophy? In a hushed voice, as is but seemly: for it has to do with much that is secret, new, strange, wonderful, and uncanny. The very fact that Dionysus is a philosopher, and that therefore Gods also philosophise, seems to me a novelty which is not unensnaring, and might perhaps arouse suspicion precisely among philosophers;--among you, my friends, there is less to be said against it, except that it comes too late and not at the right time; for, as it has been disclosed to me, you are loth nowadays to believe in God and gods. It may happen, too, that in the frankness of my story I must go further than is agreeable to the strict usages of your ears? Certainly the God in question went further, very much further, in such dialogues, and was always many paces ahead of me ... Indeed, if it were allowed, I should have to give him, according to human usage, fine ceremonious titles of lustre and merit, I should have to extol his courage as investigator and discoverer, his fearless honesty, truthfulness, and love of wisdom. But such a God does not know what to do with all that respectable trumpery and pomp. "Keep that," he would say, "for thyself and those like thee, and whoever else require it! I--have no reason to cover my nakedness!" One suspects that this kind of divinity and philosopher perhaps lacks shame?-- He once said: "Under certain circumstances I love mankind"--and referred thereby to Ariadne, who was present; "in my opinion man is an agreeable, brave, inventive animal, that has not his equal upon earth, he makes his way even through all labyrinths. I like man, and often think how I can still further advance him, and make him stronger, more evil, and more profound."--"Stronger, more evil, and more profound?" I asked in horror. 'Yes," he said again, "stronger, more evil, and more profound; also more beautiful"--and thereby the tempter-god smiled with his halcyon smile, as though he had just paid some charming compliment. One here sees at once that it is not only shame that this divinity lacks;--and in general there are good grounds for supposing that in some things the Gods could all of them come to us men for instruction. We men are--more human.--
Alas! what are you, after all, my written and painted thoughts! Not long ago you were so variegated, young and malicious, so full of thorns and secret spices, that you made me sneeze and laugh--and now? You have already doffed your novelty, and some of you, I fear, are ready to become truths, so immortal do they look, so pathetically honest, so tedious! And was it ever otherwise? What then do we write and paint, we mandarins with Chinese brush, we immortalisers of things which lend themselves to writing, what are we alone capable of painting? Alas, only that which is just about to fade and begins to lose its odour! Alas, only exhausted and departing storms and belated yellow sentiments! Alas, only birds strayed and fatigued by flight, which now let themselves be captured with the hand--with our hand! We immortalise what cannot live and fly much longer, things only which are exhausted and mellow! And it is only for your afternoon, you, my written and painted thoughts, for which alone I have colours, many colours, perhaps, many variegated softenings, and fifty yellows and browns and greens and reds;--but nobody will divine thereby how ye looked in your morning, you sudden sparks and marvels of my solitude, you, my old, beloved--evil thoughts!
From High Mountains: Epode
Oh life's midday! Oh festival! Oh garden of summer! I wait in restless ecstasy, I stand and watch and wait - where are you, friends? It is you I await, in readiness day and night. Come now! It is time you were here!
Was it not for you the glacier today exchanged its grey for roses? The brook seeks you; and wind and clouds press higher in the blue, longingly they crowd aloft to look for you.
For you have I prepared my table in the highest height - who lives so near the stars as I, or who so near the depths of the abyss? My empire -has an empire ever reached so far? And my honey - who has tasted the sweetness of it?
- And there you are, friends! - But, alas, am I not he you came to visit? You hesitate, you stare - no, be angry, rather! Is it no longer - I? Are hand, step, face transformed? And what I am, to you friends - I am not?
Am I another? A stranger to myself? Sprung from myself? A wrestler who subdued himself too often? Turned his own strength against himself too often, checked and wounded by his own victory?
Did I seek where the wind bites keenest, learn to live where no one lives, in the desert where only the polar bear lives, unlearn to pray and curse, unlearn man and god, become a ghost flitting across the glaciers?
- Old friends! how pale you look, how full of love and terror! No - be gone! Be not angry! Here -you could not be at home: here in this far domain of ice and rocks - here you must be a huntsman, and like the Alpine goat.
A wicked huntsman is what I have become! - See how bent my bow! He who drew that bow, surely he was the mightiest of men - : but the arrow, alas - ah, no arrow is dangerous as that arrow is dangerous -away! be gone! For your own preservation! . . .
You turn away? - O heart, you have borne up well, your hopes stayed strong: now keep your door open to new friends! Let the old go! Let memories go! If once you were young, now - you are younger!
What once united us, the bond of one hope - who still can read the signs love once inscribed therein, now faint and faded? It is like a parchment - discoloured, scorched - from which the hand shrinks back.
No longer friends, but - what shall I call them? - they are the ghosts of friends which at my heart and window knock at night, which gaze on me and say: 'were we once friends?' - oh faded word, once fragrant as the rose!
Oh longing of youth, which did not know itself! Those 1 longed for, those I deemed changed into kin of mine - that they have aged is what has banished them: only he who changes remains akin to me.
Oh life's midday! Oh second youth! Oh garden of summer! I wait in restless ecstasy, I stand and watch and wait - it is friends I await, in readiness day and night, new friends. Come now! It is time you were here!
This song is done - desire's sweet cry died on the lips: a sorcerer did it, the timely friend, the midday friend - no! ask not, who he is - at midday it happened, at midday one became
Now, sure of victory together, we celebrate the feast of feasts: friend Zarathustra has come, the guest of guests! Now the world is laughing, the dread curtain is rent, the wedding day has come for light and darkness . . .